Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => Topic started by: Gandalf on April 15, 2008, 08:45:50 am

Title: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: Gandalf on April 15, 2008, 08:45:50 am
Morning campers, just wondering what the received wisdom was on the above.  I seem to recall you can get get Butyl or Latex, does it make a blind bit of difference?
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: rogerzilla on April 15, 2008, 08:50:05 am
Latex are too much trouble to bother with; they lose air really fast although patches stick well and they have slightly lower rolling resistance.

Avoid Specialized tubes.  The valves are notorious for separating, giving you an unpatchable leak.
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: tiermat on April 15, 2008, 08:51:10 am
If you are a weight weenie then yes, other wise latex ones are a PITA as you need to re-inflate each ride (it's more porous than butyl).

Amoungst the standard butyl ones I have found it does matter which ones you go for, I have used Contis (split at the slightest sign of a rock) Halfords own (so-so) and now rely on Raliegh's inner tubes, they are (for road tubes) thicker than normal (more MTB grade rubber) and last a lot lot longer
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: hellymedic on April 15, 2008, 08:51:54 am
Latex apparently lose air faster, are easier to patch and cost more. Being more elastic, they may give the speed boys some advantage.
I have never tried latex for this...
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: hellymedic on April 15, 2008, 08:58:09 am
I agree with RZ about Specialized tubes separating at the valve stem.
Unfortunately, sometimes they're the only option if you want long stem Presta valves in a touring size.
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: Treewheeler on April 15, 2008, 09:30:57 am
All the bargain Continental tubes I bought in 2007 from Wiggle fell apart at the valve.
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: Ian H on April 15, 2008, 09:45:23 am
There's no advantage in using latex tubes unless they are inside lightweight, supple  tyres - the sort that generally both roll and puncture easily.
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: Mr Larrington on April 15, 2008, 10:13:50 am
There's no advantage in using latex tubes unless they are inside lightweight, supple  tyres - the sort that generally both roll and puncture easily.

I used to have some on my mountain bike!  My excuse is that they were already installed when I bought it.
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: numbnuts on April 15, 2008, 10:20:15 am
I must be the odd man out....or very lucky, I've never had any trouble with specialized tubes :)
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: alchemy on April 15, 2008, 10:27:51 am
Avoid Specialized tubes.  The valves are notorious for separating, giving you an unpatchable leak.

I've had the same problem with a few Michelin tubes recently. On one, the valve separated as I was gently unclipping the pump head and another one just gave up the ghost while the tyre was on the bike just after I had pumped the tyre up.

It's put me right off them which is a shame because I quite liked their long valve tubes

Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: rogerzilla on April 15, 2008, 10:40:08 am
I've found Michelin and Conti tubes to be OK.
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: Greenbank on April 15, 2008, 10:43:35 am
Never had a problem with an inner-tube itself, only punctures caused by things going through the tyre.

I just stock up with whatever they sell in the shop I'm in. Current selection: Spesh (from Wiggle), Bontrager (Evans), Conti (came with the GP 4 Seasons) and Schwalbe (W.F.Holdsworth).
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on April 15, 2008, 11:00:53 am
I think most manufacturers produce a bad batch eventually.  At various times my Do Not Purchase tube manufacturers (when I was a bike mechanic or manager) included Michelin, Specialized, IRC and probably a few others.
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: Biggsy on April 15, 2008, 01:20:54 pm
The choice is more complicated than just butyl versus latex, as a range of weights are available for each.

The ultra light butyl Schwalbe, Michelin and Vittoria tubes provide a decent compromise between weight, practicality and price, imho.  Schwalbe Extra Light are my favourites at the moment.  They're proving reliable.

Continental Supersonic butyl have been ridiculously unreliable, IME.  They're so thin that the 700x18-23 version is lighter even than any latex tube at just 50 grams.   It only takes a little bit of abrasion for holes to develop.
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: rogerzilla on April 15, 2008, 01:30:51 pm
One reason to buy Conti tubes is that *some* of them have had the mould lines machined off, meaning you don't need to carry an old razor blade to shave the tube before patching it.
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: Biggsy on April 15, 2008, 01:39:03 pm
The mould lines on the tubes I mention above are slight enough not to need shaving when using small thin patches (eg. from Mike Dyasons).  These patches form around the lines closely.
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: clarion on April 15, 2008, 05:55:32 pm
Latex are light and puncture resistant.  I rode thousands of miles on them on ordinary tyres (no protection - back in those days it was a steel belt! :o ) with no punctures at all.  Ever.

But yes, you do have to top them up every day.  It just becomes part of your routine, really.  And a lot of the time, I'd check my tyres before going out.  Most bikes get a check every time.  Daily ute gets at least a weekly shot of air.

I think the advantage of latex tubes is more marginal than back then, but it's still worth it.
Title: Re: Inner tubes....does it make any difference which ones?
Post by: Biggsy on April 15, 2008, 06:03:25 pm
I punctured on the first day I tried latex tubes (Air B: supposedly puncture resistant).  It was just a normal tiny bit of glass.  This proves nothing much but doesn't make me inclined to believe they are more resistant to the normal kind of puncture.  I returned to butyl shortly after that and haven't bothered with latex since.