They also balloon unpredictably with very little inflation visible. I suggest blowing into them to get shape before mounting on rim. I use them on fun rides because I like the feel. They make the tires more supple allowing a better ride at higher pressure or less wasted energy at lower pressure. My old tubulars were latex tubed and never lost a stem. These are cheaply made but not cheap.
I have been using latex tubes for years in clinchers for racing and also with tubulars (different situation). I knew i wanted a latex tube for cross and this is really the only option out there. They are exactly like my vittoria road latex tubes, no issues in quality. Bleeds air at the normal rate for a latex tube, probably a bit less than normal. I would suggest getting some talc powder when installing to make it easier. When you install inflate them slightly to make sure you do not pinch flat them during the install. Also do not inflate and then see a bubble, then complain about quality, that is normal in all latex tubes.
Carefully mounted four times on two different rims, with partial low inflation and careful checking all around to be absolutely sure that there was no pinching anywhere. Each time, when pumping up and pressure reached about 100 psi, tube exploded. Then would patch hole and try again with different tire andor rim after checking for any sharp object or bump thru rim tape. Holes were always on the inside of the tube, but off center. Failure locations did not coincide with locations of grommet bumps or spoke hole edges. Rims were Mavic Open Pro and Kinlin 28mm deep, tires used were Vittoria Open Corsa, Forte Pro Plus, and Vredestein Fortezza Tricomp. No problems whatsoever using thin wall lightweight butyl tubes on identical applications.
NO, don't blame it on me. I am an expert bike mechanic, most likely been doing this since before you were born.
Also have had bad experiences with Challenge Criterium Open Tubulars which are exceptionally flat prone, especially on rear wheel, and have treads that will eventually start to peel off of the casings.
It took three tubes to get aired up the first time. Since they seep air you have to inflate them each time. They do not have threaded stems so just trying to inflate them damaged the tube. Three flats in 30 miles.
I paired these with the Challenge Paris Roubaix 27mm tires for a super pseudo tubular feel, and it was all that was promised, supple and smooth! The front tube is still going strong but the rear failed where the valve connects to the tube after only a couple hundred miles. Based on other reviews, sounds like there's a quality control issue with these tubes. I've ordered some Vittoria latex as replacements as they seem to have a very positive response from the reviewing public.
These are much more fragile than traditional rubber tubes thus making it easy to destroy them while installing or changing a tire. I lost 1 of 2 during installation. The 2nd one simply blew while on a long ride. I had maybe 70 miles on it and at the time had it recommended inflation.
I wouldn't recommend them unless you know how to work with them.
I use these with Vittoria open corsa Pave 27 tires. Amazing ride. I've used the Challenge and Vittoria latex tubes over the years. I think the Challenge may be a little better made, they are also a little lighter. I put about 5-7ml of sealant in them with installation. Almost never a flat, if you do, you can usually pump them up again and it will hold. I ride this combo in the mtn gravel roads around Boulder on an S-works Roubaix. I like Caffe Latex over Stan's. regarding the air leak of course this will happen with all latex, just like tubulars. get used to it. I check the pressure and pump them up before every ride. I want different pressures depending on the road anyway. with latex you can more easily get away with low pressures. I weight 135lb and run 70-80psi rear and 70-60 front depending on surface and conditions.
I've used this tube for several years and never been disappointed. I ride both 23 and 25 mm tires and this tubes is great in both. I have a wheels with a variety of rim depth and the 48mm stem doesn't look silly on a standard rim but still accommodates a pretty wide arrow rim. The removable valve core makes adding a sealant like Stan's extremely easy.
It's extremely difficult to flat a latex tube. A latex tube with a sealer is almost impossible to flat with a good tire. Perfect for those subfreezing winter rides!
I have a High performance Lowracer style of bicycle and these tubes do everything I bought them for.They are one of the lightest tubes I could find, always important on a bike and they give a noticably smoother ride than butyl inner tubes which lets you go farther and faster for a given watt output.
My wife and I have been using these tubes for couple of years without any flats. In the winter we use Stan's sealant which is easy to install due to the removable valve core. I do replace the tubes at the same time as the tires, so I don't really test their durability.
Using on my winter cyclocross bike for winter road riding (Trying to save a few grams on heavy winter tires).
No noticeable difference from butyl ride wise. No flats, bit more pumping up, but who cares. Not much weight saving.
I got these tubes for cyclocross so I could get better traction while cornering and in off camber sections. With the same pressure, I notice a little more supple feel compared to a butyl tube. Is it enough to make a real difference in a race, I can't say but for the price it can't hurt.
Couldn't believe the difference in the ride switching to latex tubes. More of a cushion air ride feel on shock absorbers. Measured weight on two different tubes was 76.8g and 77.6g which was higher than advertised but still good. You have to be more careful installing them as they are easier to puncture. I found that pumping them slightly with air first after installation on the rim under the tire, and then massaging all around the tire bead seems to give you a better chance that the tube will not get pinched by the tire as you gradually go to full pressure. I don't suggest trying to pump in any air prior to installation. It is true they lose pressure faster than butyl tubes when not in use, requiring you to check tire pressure before each ride, but the quality of ride is worth the time spent to do this, which should be done anyway if you care at all about your ride efficiency. If not, don't bother with latex tubes.
I have these tubes paired with Challenge Grifo open tubulars and they are a great combo. I'm 195 lbs and run these at 30 PSI front and rear for cyclocross.
I can feel the difference in ride quality between these and butyl tubes. It takes some getting used to as more compliance can almost feel like your tire is going flat. But once you get used to running lower pressures and letting the tires do their job everything really hooks up.