roshea wrote:There is some evidence that latex tubes or thin butyl ones produce lower rolling resistance (lots of hits on Google); I don't have a good enough understanding of the data to say whether that makes a significant difference to the speed once the whole bike + rider is included in any calculations. People also talk about the "feel" of different tubes (again, latex has many fans).
In my experience, cost is a good indicator of tube quality. I have tried relatively light (under 80 grams) butyl tubes from Maxxis, Vittoria, Continental and Michelin and prefer the 2nd lightest Continentals (Race Light) for their balance of weight, puncture resistance, valve quality and price.
Makes good sense to me. Of course, I think the same.
The latex tubes are lighter and noticeably "more lively". The snag is that they are porous to air and need constant reinflation. They are more resistant to the occasional sharp object penetration, but in the long run, when they eventually yield, the result can be traumatic, as in large unrepairable puncture. (not always I should add). The manufacture of butyl tubes has improved so much that they have now become very reliable. But, you need to go to a premium manufacturer. Do not expect your cheap discount tube supplier to give you a good deal on anything other than price. The thickness of the tube, the quality of the vulcanising of the valve are significant components of the mix, and in my opinion, the cheap ones just do not cut it. I I do not like to have a failure / puncture at an inconvenient moment.
The best racing singles always used latex tubes. ( not sure if they still do). I know that some of the high quality triathlon singles use butyl tubes.
Stay fixed. Keeping a cool head.