You probably don't think much about the tubes you put inside your tires, but with Vittoria's Competition Latex Road Tubes, you'll have a slight advantage when it comes to speed. In testing, latex tubes are smooth enough to reduce rolling resistance by a few watts. And while a few watts may not seem like much, when you consider that switching to latex saves nearly 75g, the seemingly innocuous tube starts to make a dent in your results. The lighter tubes mean quicker accelerations and the lower rolling resistance means you'll stay at speed for longer. In addition to being faster, latex tubes are also more elastic to increase puncture resistance to pinch flats.
See? All that together makes a difference.
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Wheel Size: 700C/29" (ISO 622)
Tube Valve Length: 48 mm
Tube Valve Type: Smooth Presta (Rem. Core)
Application: Road Racing
Valve Stem: 48 mm Presta
700 x 19/24mm - 48mm Smooth Presta
Tube Valve Length: 48 mm
Tube Type: Latex
Mfg PartNum: 1TA00001
Tube Width: 19-23mm
ISO (ETRTO) Size: 19/23-622 mm
700 x 25/28mm - 48 Smooth Presta
Tube Valve Length: 48 mm
Mfg PartNum: 1TA00002
Tube Type: Latex
Tube Width: 25-28mm
ISO (ETRTO) Size: 25/28-622 mm
700 x 30/38mm - 48mm Smooth Presta
Tube Valve Length: 48 mm
Tube Type: Latex
Mfg PartNum: 1TA00003
Tube Width: 30-38mm
So after much research following the hype around latex tubes, I decided to try these along with a new set of Vittoria Corsa N.EXT tires. I am switching (temporarily) from GP5000s which I find to be the gold standard (except when trying to remove and install - an absolute nightmare). My first impressions of the ride have been really favorable - the wheels seem to have a bit more kick in their roll. Very cushy ride along with great grip. From a performance perspective, I'm more than okay with the experience I expected in terms of ride quality and resistance vs the GP5Ks. Granted I am on Trek Domane clocking in just south of 20 lbs (Di2 battery kills weight), these roll great and complement the Corsas very well. Now onto the issues:
1) I have not had enough miles to determine how durable these are vs butyl. There are way too many stories and comments everywhere about how these pinch flat and puncture more easily. I'm simply waiting my turn.
2) I read CO2 cartridges are not compatible with latex due to the temperature at which the gas injects into the tube. The remedy if planning to use C02 (my standard) is to have a regular tube on hand - or a normal hand pump.
3) These are expensive relative to regular tubes. I'm still wondering if they're a fit for me personally over a much longer term than reverting back to performance butyl tubing.
4) I've never run tubeless so I can't make a valid comparison. I simply have no plans whatsoever in converting to tubeless. Not happening.
I bought a pair of these for a 24hr time trial. Used with 700x25 Conti GP5000s the ride was noticeably cushier and seemed to have less rolling resistance.
Won the race and set a course record. Guess they worked
Ahhhhh, latex tubes. So much controversy. The fact is that latex tubes are far superior to butyl except when mounting them. Lighter, more supple and the difference in rolling resistance is incredible. I have actually found they are also more puncture resistant as well. Iï¿½ve been cycling all my life and have used latex on and off over the years and every time I go back to them I wonder why I took the out in the first place. The trick is to install them very carefully and make sure they are not pinched by the tire and rim when mounting. Use lots of powder, that is key to longevity. I powder the inside of the tire as well as the tube itself. Iï¿½ve had them last for years using them this way. Wish I could find the old orange continental latex tubes but these pinkies are a close second. Buy 3, keep a spare and go for it.
These tubes are extremely unreliable in my experience. I started using them this summer (2023) when I could not find Specialized talced tubes in the 700 x 25/28 size. I purchased 8 of these Vittoria Latex Road Tubes since early June and I have had valve failures on at least six occasions after 40 to 60 miles of use. The most recent was last evening when I went out to ride after work. The tube I was using had no more than six miles on it (I had replaced it when the valve on the prior tube failed about 2 miles from the finish of the ride I was on the weekend before.) I was about 2 miles into the after-work ride when I heard the familiar sound of air whooshing out of the valve stem. These are not punctures. When I try to inflate the tube after it is removed to find out where the puncture is I can't get it to hold air at all. As soon as the pump is removed the air just escapes through the valve.
I use these tubes with Conti GP5000 25mm tires. The feel is similar to the sew up tires that I rode back in the day. Very responsive and lively. Before I used these tubes I used Conti super light (50 grams) butyl tubes. There is no comparison between the two tubes. Have not had a flat with them (or the GP 5000's for that matter). They cost more but they are well worth it if you are looking for a bit more speed and improved feel with the road. If you are not running top tier tires with them I am not sure that I would use them. If you are running good tires then you are foolish not to use latex tubes.
I still use tubes in my Road bike tires, and I think these are the best bang for buck tubes available. I rarely get punctures if that concerns you. I also use a Panaracer tire powder (think talc) on the tubes to reduce the tire casing to tube friction, and maybe puncture chances, which goes against some friction experts position. Regardless, I think these are fast tubes and worth the money. You don't have to worry about burping air out on impacts like tubeless setups either.
So I don't review gear much but thought I'd contribute to the geekery of 'tube tech'. So I switched to these latex tubes on both of my road bikes a few years back. I know it's been awhile since I purchased the tubes, but hey.... I like to field test things fully rather than write a review immediately after buying a product like SOOOO many consumers do. Drives me nuts when people do that. I'll admit I was leery of the claims others made about "how sublime latex tubes were". I thought it's a tube, how different can it really be? So I bought several of these 25/28c tubes and used them both on 2 different bikes: 1 frame is carbon, the other is Ti. Tires used were Clement Stradas 28c, and two different Vittoria tires: Corsa and the Rubino, both 25c G+ tires. And what I experienced blew my mind. Supple? Oh yeah! Lower hysteresis? Check! What I didn't expect was decreased flats? Huh? How? I haven't had a flat in over a year and a half, riding the same roads I always have, with thousands of miles ridden. Not one. By lowering the pressures and using wider rims, the tire/tubes are allowed to "flex" over pepples and other irregularities thus preventing flats. AND.....additionally it makes your hands and butt happy. Sounds great huh? Now, what's the bad? Cost, fragility, repairability? Ok, they're more expensive. Initially. But when you factor a likely 4-6 flats minimum/ year, the time spent buying new butyl tubes or repairing butyl tubes, etc, the cost of latex actually becomes more advantageous.. and maybe even cheaper when you consider all of those factors.
Fragile? Yeah, you definitely need to be careful mounting them and ensure the tire is completely in the rims drop-channel and no part of the latex gets pinched..... or BOOM! I talc all my tubes regardless so I'd suggest that as well. When I'm done adding air, I always hold the tubes valve stem while removing the pumps air chuck because the Presta rim hole could potentially start cutting the area around the latex valve. So just learn to be a little more careful handling latex tubes with your monkey hands, and then go ride.
So if you want to decrease the vibrations on all contact points and improve your cycling experience, while even boosting speed a bit, then use these with some higher TPI tires (150-330tpi) and see what you think.
These are my first latex tubes. I've ridden on butyl tubes for years, and I do notice a difference. The latex does seem to absorb the bumps more. I've been maybe 300 miles on them with no issues. One thing, the stems are not threaded, so I wonder if pumping the tubes up for every ride will be tough in the tube/stem union. My work-around for this issue is to place half of the stem-cover that comes with tube back on the stem and gently (I do mean gently) secure a small pair of vise-grips to the base of the stem with the vise-grip handles resting on a wooden block that's the same height as the tire and wheel combined. When I attach the pump, the vise grips keep the stem from pushing into the tube. Then when I remove the pump, I hold onto the vise grips, so that the stem doesn't pull on the tube. So far so good.
Vittoria Competition Latex 700c Road Tube - A lot of old school road riders use latex and for good reason. they provide the most comfortable and supple ride. They are more resistant to punctures than butyl tubes.
Three things to be aware of:
1. You must use tire talc (do not body talc which is corn starch) on the inside of the tire casing and the tube! Otherwise you risk pinching while installing.
2. You will need to air up before each ride. I do regardless of what tubes I use but more so with latex tubes.
3. Carry a butyl tube as a spare as the latex is fastidious to install on the raid without tire talc
Practically the same rolling resistance as tubeless. So noticeably faster and responsive than the old butyl tubes. Feels like an instant upgrade to racing wheels, and much better puncture resistance than butyl as well.
This is the cheapest and highest-impact improvement you can make on ride quality as long as you are willing to put a little air in your tires before you go out. A longtime user of latex-tubed sew-ups, I recently switched bikes and found myself on factory-issue clinchers. They rode like rocks. It's getting really hard to find tubular rims these days, so I did the next best (and cheaper) thing and got these latex tubes along with good-quality tires (Continental GP5000). Latex installs just like any other tube, there's nothing complicated here. And the difference is enormous. Yes, you will have to top up the pressure from day to day, that's just how latex works. But you'll never go back, guaranteed.
I keep going back to the latex tubes and these have been nice ones. I get a little less than a year out of them. Not the cheapest way to go but just seem to be the best. I have had very little problems with flats using them, however where I ride I don't get many flats anyway. They usually fail at the valve when I pump them up prior to a ride, and that only happens after 6-9 months of using them. This time I am going to try them with sealant in them. Even though I do not typically have problems with getting flats I don't want another front tire flat. Some things are only fun once. I don't anticipate any improvement in the longevity, just in flat prevention. I plan on replacing them at the 6-month mark anyway.
I had an unusual experience with these that I feel is worth documenting. I've used latex tubes for years now. When I installed these, the front went flat in about 2 hours, the rear went flat overnight. Now, I'm not talking about they lost a few psi, I know latex tubes do that. I'm saying totally zero psi, tire lost shape, board flat. I removed them, pumped them to hold shape, held them under water and couldn't find a leak anywhere. I then left them hanging on a chair with enough pressure for them to hold shape and they held that 5-8 psi for several days. Where did the air go? I decided to check the removable valve cores and they seemed to be loose. I removed the valve cores, put some teflon tape on the threads, tightened the cores back in the stems and installed the tubes in the same tires. They are now holding pressure just fine. So, if you have trouble with them going flat right away and the leak seems to be coming from the valve stem area, it may just be that the removable valve core is loose and needs to be tightened or sealed with teflon tape.
I switched to the Vittoria Latex road tubes a year ago and could not be happier. I have compared race butyl tubes to the Vitorria latex tubes in Vittoria Open Corsa and Veloflex Corsa Clinchers and in both cases I immediately felt the difference in ride quality and handling. The benefits of the tires quality construction and materials are maximized and noticeable the moment I put the latex tubes in. Most enjoyable thought is the supple ride feel, it's just so satisfying on the flats, downhill, as well as climbing. I have also put these in my Continental 4000 IIs tires which I was not happy with until I replaced the tubes. Compared to the other two tires, the Conti's are stiff and provided a much rougher ride, and I did not feel confident on a quick downhill turn but the switch to the latex tube has greatly improved ride quality as well as my confidence with the tire. Aside from one blowout from a chunk of glass in the center of the Conti, I have not had a flat in about 2000 miles.
I bought these latex tubes after reading many of the reviews of the product. They are what all the reviews say they are. Light, supple and fragile. I got 667 miles out of the front tube before it went flat. On removal of the tube the hole was located at the base of the stem where the two ends of the tube are joined. After spending a few minutes inspecting the hole and the area around the hole, it looked like the tube may have been rubbing either on the rim tape or some irregularity in the wheel, even though I couldn't feel any irregularity that seemed sharp enough to cause the proble. The wheel is a DT Swiss R470db. I used an idea I got from the LBS some years ago and cut out a piece of butyl tube about 2.25 inches by 1 inch. I punched a hole in the piece and slide it over the stem to give that area of the tube a little more protection. Time will tell if this was a good fix or not. The last point about the tubes is Vittoria claims they may decrease the rolling resistance of the tire assemble by as much as 5.5 watts. Again this is something I can't personally verify but assuming it may be true, that works out to about $3.00 per watt of decreased rolling resistance. I think that is a bargain.