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Am I the only one that finds latex overrated?
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Been using latex tubes about 2 years. Then towards the end of the year I ran out and had to put an old butyle tube in. As far as I can tell switching back and fourth a couple times I have noticed no difference between butyle and latex.

I know the data, read it 100 times. Seen all the slowtwich conversations. But to me I just don’t notice a difference other than lower life span and a lighter wallet. Anyone else feel this way or am I just some lost cycling Neanderthal?

Personally me, now that I finally ran through most of my old butyle stock (some cheap ass Kendas at that), I think it’s just not worth the money and effort. With that said before an “A” race I’ll likely switch to latex and run that tube till it’s done. But that’s another story all together.

I still lapped everyone on the couch!
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
Been using latex tubes about 2 years. Then towards the end of the year I ran out and had to put an old butyle tube in. As far as I can tell switching back and fourth a couple times I have noticed no difference between butyle and latex.

I know the data, read it 100 times. Seen all the slowtwich conversations. But to me I just don’t notice a difference other than lower life span and a lighter wallet. Anyone else feel this way or am I just some lost cycling Neanderthal?

Personally me, now that I finally ran through most of my old butyle stock (some cheap ass Kendas at that), I think it’s just not worth the money and effort. With that said before an “A” race I’ll likely switch to latex and run that tube till it’s done. But that’s another story all together.

You aren't going to notice a difference in speed. I can't tell the difference in ride quality either (air pressure makes a far bigger difference).

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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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What size tire and pressure do you normally run? I personally feel latex really shines with a lower pressure. Regardless of “feel” there’s plenty of research showing the advantages of latex (Silca comes to mind).
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [tridude93] [ In reply to ]
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tridude93 wrote:
What size tire and pressure do you normally run? I personally feel latex really shines with a lower pressure. Regardless of “feel” there’s plenty of research showing the advantages of latex (Silca comes to mind).

Usually 23mm 100psi. I couldn’t really fit 25’s in my rear brake (Felt B10). I’ve read tons of research. But everything I’ve read has been lab based. So I’m not so sure it actually makes that big a difference in the wild. I HAVE noticed differences in speed and comfort by changing tires. Or helmets. Even different kits. None of it was in a controlled environment but I tried to even out the data through using Strava segments and repeated use seeing if there were trends.

I still lapped everyone on the couch!
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
Been using latex tubes about 2 years. Then towards the end of the year I ran out and had to put an old butyle tube in. As far as I can tell switching back and fourth a couple times I have noticed no difference between butyle and latex.

I know the data, read it 100 times. Seen all the slowtwich conversations. But to me I just don’t notice a difference other than lower life span and a lighter wallet. Anyone else feel this way or am I just some lost cycling Neanderthal?

Personally me, now that I finally ran through most of my old butyle stock (some cheap ass Kendas at that), I think it’s just not worth the money and effort. With that said before an “A” race I’ll likely switch to latex and run that tube till it’s done. But that’s another story all together.

Did you really expect you would be able to feel a difference of 3-4 watts lower rolling resistance? You've got to trust the data, not your spidey senses.

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VeloVetta is developing AERO cycling shoes with CFD and wind tunnel testing.
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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RowToTri wrote:
Jloewe wrote:
Been using latex tubes about 2 years. Then towards the end of the year I ran out and had to put an old butyle tube in. As far as I can tell switching back and fourth a couple times I have noticed no difference between butyle and latex.

I know the data, read it 100 times. Seen all the slowtwich conversations. But to me I just don’t notice a difference other than lower life span and a lighter wallet. Anyone else feel this way or am I just some lost cycling Neanderthal?

Personally me, now that I finally ran through most of my old butyle stock (some cheap ass Kendas at that), I think it’s just not worth the money and effort. With that said before an “A” race I’ll likely switch to latex and run that tube till it’s done. But that’s another story all together.

Did you really expect you would be able to feel a difference of 3-4 watts lower rolling resistance? You've got to trust the data, not your spidey senses.

That’s just it there was no difference in velocity. Nothing consistent anyway, sometimes I was faster in butyle. Also I don’t have a PM so I cant really measure watts. Going forward latex is going to be more for special occasions. A races such as IM, AG Nats, maybe world’s if I do aquabike and take the back door in. But for local races and training not worth the hassle for me. Just wondering if I’m alone in that feeling.

I still lapped everyone on the couch!
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
RowToTri wrote:
Jloewe wrote:
Been using latex tubes about 2 years. Then towards the end of the year I ran out and had to put an old butyle tube in. As far as I can tell switching back and fourth a couple times I have noticed no difference between butyle and latex.

I know the data, read it 100 times. Seen all the slowtwich conversations. But to me I just don’t notice a difference other than lower life span and a lighter wallet. Anyone else feel this way or am I just some lost cycling Neanderthal?

Personally me, now that I finally ran through most of my old butyle stock (some cheap ass Kendas at that), I think it’s just not worth the money and effort. With that said before an “A” race I’ll likely switch to latex and run that tube till it’s done. But that’s another story all together.

Did you really expect you would be able to feel a difference of 3-4 watts lower rolling resistance? You've got to trust the data, not your spidey senses.

That’s just it there was no difference in velocity. Nothing consistent anyway, sometimes I was faster in butyle. Also I don’t have a PM so I cant really measure watts. Going forward latex is going to be more for special occasions. A races such as IM, AG Nats, maybe world’s if I do aquabike and take the back door in. But for local races and training not worth the hassle for me. Just wondering if I’m alone in that feeling.

yeah, you're not going to notice that difference unless you can correlate power to velocity, and also control for other factors.

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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
That’s just it there was no difference in velocity. Nothing consistent anyway, sometimes I was faster in butyle. Also I don’t have a PM so I cant really measure watts.
Is your testing method precise enough to detect changes on the order of a twentieth or a tenth of a mph? Careful coastdown testing could do it, but usually not just eyeballing Strava speed data across multiple like-for-like-ish rides.

Anyway, the biggest benefit of latex is the superior acoustics.
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [HTupolev] [ In reply to ]
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HTupolev wrote:
Jloewe wrote:
That’s just it there was no difference in velocity. Nothing consistent anyway, sometimes I was faster in butyle. Also I don’t have a PM so I cant really measure watts.

Is your testing method precise enough to detect changes on the order of a twentieth or a tenth of a mph? Careful coastdown testing could do it, but usually not just eyeballing Strava speed data across multiple like-for-like-ish rides.

Anyway, the biggest benefit of latex is the superior acoustics.

No but you're kind of proving my point. I said overrated and not worth it. Not that the advantage doesn't exist. For example if I traded out my Synth for my A2 and did a like for like there's a clear benefit, same if I put on my way too old Pearl Izumi PRO tri jersey and shorts. The one with all the ripples. It always ends up just being a little bit faster. It's pretty consistent too. Same with switching from a slow set of training tires such as Vitttoria Zaffario (came on the bike lasted FOREVER) vs my (older version) Attack Force combo.

I still lapped everyone on the couch!
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
I have noticed no difference between butyle and latex.
Yeah, you go ahead and keep on using butyl tubes. You ain't going to notice a difference during your daily rides, but controlled field tests will show the difference. I can see a noticeable delta between the two on my own rollers.
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
Been using latex tubes about 2 years. Then towards the end of the year I ran out and had to put an old butyle tube in. As far as I can tell switching back and fourth a couple times I have noticed no difference between butyle and latex.

I know the data, read it 100 times. Seen all the slowtwich conversations. But to me I just don’t notice a difference other than lower life span and a lighter wallet. Anyone else feel this way or am I just some lost cycling Neanderthal?

Personally me, now that I finally ran through most of my old butyle stock (some cheap ass Kendas at that), I think it’s just not worth the money and effort. With that said before an “A” race I’ll likely switch to latex and run that tube till it’s done. But that’s another story all together.

How are latex tubes lower life span? I actually flat less now that I run latex all the time.

Why latex?
https://www.youtube.com/...XUpq27mG2CM&t=3s

I 100% think latex is not overrated. It's one of the biggest bang for your bucks to get "free speed".

How much do you weight, what tires and wheels are your running? 100 psi seems on the high side personally but highly depends on your setup and road surface.

get comfortable being uncomfortable
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
HTupolev wrote:
Jloewe wrote:
That’s just it there was no difference in velocity. Nothing consistent anyway, sometimes I was faster in butyle. Also I don’t have a PM so I cant really measure watts.

Is your testing method precise enough to detect changes on the order of a twentieth or a tenth of a mph? Careful coastdown testing could do it, but usually not just eyeballing Strava speed data across multiple like-for-like-ish rides.

Anyway, the biggest benefit of latex is the superior acoustics.


No but you're kind of proving my point. I said overrated and not worth it. Not that the advantage doesn't exist. For example if I traded out my Synth for my A2 and did a like for like there's a clear benefit, same if I put on my way too old Pearl Izumi PRO tri jersey and shorts. The one with all the ripples. It always ends up just being a little bit faster. It's pretty consistent too. Same with switching from a slow set of training tires such as Vitttoria Zaffario (came on the bike lasted FOREVER) vs my (older version) Attack Force combo.

So you said you do not have a power meter, but you have tested things and measured meaningful differences, but cannot detect a difference for the tubes.... Your power could be fluctuating 15 watts EASILY from test to test on the same RPE. 300% of the difference you are hoping to see with the tubes. And probably more than you are seeing with your helmets. On top of that, from day to day, temperature and pressure changes will mean the air density is different between tests, not to mention wind speed, tire pressure, etc. This is an exercise in imparting meaning to entirely random numbers.

Even if you were able to control ALL factors perfectly and all your sensors had 0% error, a 4 watt rr improvement for latex tubes would give you about 0.15 mph improvement. You might find that insignificant. But it's 2 minutes in an ironman. For some people that is worth it.

-------------
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www.VeloVetta.com
VeloVetta is developing AERO cycling shoes with CFD and wind tunnel testing.
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Curious what the hassle is other than a few $$ a tube? Maybe I am doing it wrong, but I don't notice much more hassle installing them and I think the pair I currently am riding are over 2 years old. Ridden during the summer, hang in the freezing garage all winter. I do need to top them off before every ride, but I do that as a habit anyway regardless of the tire/tube set up.

I have never noticed a difference in feel or power either - I just assume it's there.

"It's good enough for who it's for" - Grandpa Wayne
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:

No but you're kind of proving my point. I said overrated and not worth it. Not that the advantage doesn't exist.

If you don’t think that $10 additional per tube ($20 total) is not worth 3-4 watts, then by all means, don’t use them.

I’m not sure why you’re trying to justify your reasoning with personal experience that is purely anecdotal and has no testing protocol. Especially when all the testing has already been performed many times.
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
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RowToTri wrote:
Jloewe wrote:
HTupolev wrote:
Jloewe wrote:
That’s just it there was no difference in velocity. Nothing consistent anyway, sometimes I was faster in butyle. Also I don’t have a PM so I cant really measure watts.

Is your testing method precise enough to detect changes on the order of a twentieth or a tenth of a mph? Careful coastdown testing could do it, but usually not just eyeballing Strava speed data across multiple like-for-like-ish rides.

Anyway, the biggest benefit of latex is the superior acoustics.


No but you're kind of proving my point. I said overrated and not worth it. Not that the advantage doesn't exist. For example if I traded out my Synth for my A2 and did a like for like there's a clear benefit, same if I put on my way too old Pearl Izumi PRO tri jersey and shorts. The one with all the ripples. It always ends up just being a little bit faster. It's pretty consistent too. Same with switching from a slow set of training tires such as Vitttoria Zaffario (came on the bike lasted FOREVER) vs my (older version) Attack Force combo.


So you said you do not have a power meter, but you have tested things and measured meaningful differences, but cannot detect a difference for the tubes.... Your power could be fluctuating 15 watts EASILY from test to test on the same RPE. 300% of the difference you are hoping to see with the tubes. And probably more than you are seeing with your helmets. On top of that, from day to day, temperature and pressure changes will mean the air density is different between tests, not to mention wind speed, tire pressure, etc. This is an exercise in imparting meaning to entirely random numbers.

Even if you were able to control ALL factors perfectly and all your sensors had 0% error, a 4 watt rr improvement for latex tubes would give you about 0.15 mph improvement. You might find that insignificant. But it's 2 minutes in an ironman. For some people that is worth it.

And to put that 4 watts into perspective... there is about a 4 watt difference between those two tires. As RowToTri says, for some that's worth it. 2 latex tubes are cheaper than a lot of other items to save that.
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
Been using latex tubes about 2 years. Then towards the end of the year I ran out and had to put an old butyle tube in. As far as I can tell switching back and fourth a couple times I have noticed no difference between butyle and latex.

I know the data, read it 100 times. Seen all the slowtwich conversations. But to me I just don’t notice a difference other than lower life span and a lighter wallet. Anyone else feel this way or am I just some lost cycling Neanderthal?

Personally me, now that I finally ran through most of my old butyle stock (some cheap ass Kendas at that), I think it’s just not worth the money and effort. With that said before an “A” race I’ll likely switch to latex and run that tube till it’s done. But that’s another story all together.

I think others here have adequately explained the whole data vs. subjective impression thing. I've never noticed a subjective difference but I always run latex for races as I trust the data. While some people claim latex is less reliable that hasn't been my experience. A couple of years ago in Miamiman someone threw down thumbtacks and a ton of people flatted. After the race I found a thumbtack stuck in my tire, I'd ridden half the race with it and didn't lose any air pressure. Now maybe a butyl tube would have held air in that situation but as for me I'll keep using latex.
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
Been using latex tubes about 2 years. Then towards the end of the year I ran out and had to put an old butyle tube in. As far as I can tell switching back and fourth a couple times I have noticed no difference between butyle and latex.

I know the data, read it 100 times. Seen all the slowtwich conversations. But to me I just don’t notice a difference other than lower life span and a lighter wallet. Anyone else feel this way or am I just some lost cycling Neanderthal?

Personally me, now that I finally ran through most of my old butyle stock (some cheap ass Kendas at that), I think it’s just not worth the money and effort. With that said before an “A” race I’ll likely switch to latex and run that tube till it’s done. But that’s another story all together.

First off, I didn't generally put in a latex tube when I was younger and used them only for races. With that being said, I don't hesitate to put in a latex for training these days for three big reasons:

1) They are way more comfortable than butyl. For anyone that says you cannot tell the difference, break your foot in a couple of places and still ride on it outdoors. It will become obvious very quick that the ride is much forgiving. Unfortunately it did take a fall down the stairs for me to find this out.

2) You are less likely to flat with latex. Although I patch my buytl tubes many don't and less flats might make the $$$ neutral.

3) You could potentially save your self from a crash with sealant. Butyl and sealant doesn't work, but in the event of a high-speed flat, preferably while bombing down a steep descent. In the ideal scenario the latex might allow you to come to a controlled stop.

With that being said, latex is not for everyone. You need to install them correctly otherwise IMHO you are going the other way in terms of dangers, costs, etcs. I wrote up my own personal pros and cons of latex with some more details here.


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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
None of it was in a controlled environment but I tried to even out the data through using Strava segments and repeated use seeing if there were trends.

Ok, that's just dumb. Seriously dumb. You can't measure the difference that these make by randomly looking at strava segments and trying to "see if there were trends". You can't control the conditions needed to tease out 1/10th of a mph from random data. And you sure as hell can't do it AT ALL without a power meter.

Almost every other speed improvement in triathlon costs more per watt than latex tubes. Its a delta cost of ~$10 over butyl.
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Thomas Gerlach] [ In reply to ]
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Thomas Gerlach wrote:


2) You are less likely to flat with latex. Although I patch my buytl tubes many don't and less flats might make the $$$ neutral.


I don't see this as true. I've had more flats since switching. Maybe that's just been bad luck, which I think is more likely than some major difference between butyl and latex properties. But, I patch my latex, just as butyl. I've also taken to bringing a bead-jack with me on all rides---its much faster, and WAY safer for the tube.

Thomas Gerlach wrote:

3) You could potentially save your self from a crash with sealant. Butyl and sealant doesn't work, but in the event of a high-speed flat, preferably while bombing down a steep descent. In the ideal scenario the latex might allow you to come to a controlled stop.


Potentially, yes. But, I've had many more sealant failures than successes. Honestly for daily use, I'm moving away from sealant. Its more cost, it very rarely works, and often it ruins the tube so I can't patch it (even more cost). So, I just carry a spare tube, patch kit, and CO2 on daily stuff. But, I will still use sealant on race-day on the off-chance that it DOES work.

ETA: Most often I find that sealant will hold about 60psi, but the seal blows out above that. 60psi will get you home, but its hard to control a CO2 shot. On several occasions, I've given the tube a short burp of CO2, which initially holds. Then I spin the tire to ensure sealant gets fully into the "hole". Wait a bit, and listen for any leaks. Then give it a good blast of CO2, and spin the tire again. Often on the second blast it will blow-out.
Last edited by: Tom_hampton: Feb 19, 19 14:03
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe]

Yes. Well, actually there are obviously others or the latex tubes threads wouldn’t exist, but you are close to alone.
Last edited by: DFW_Tri: Feb 19, 19 13:58
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [DFW_Tri] [ In reply to ]
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DFW_Tri wrote:
Jloewe wrote:
Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe]

Yes. Well, actually there are obviously others or the latex tubes threads wouldn’t exist, but you are close to alone.

The others are all just to skeeered to chime in.
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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In the grand scheme of “buying performance”, latex tubes are kind of a must have for me, and good bang for the buck. But then i am not a power rider, so 5w for me is something I want/need. If i was averaging 400w i might care less, but then i would be competative... and would care more.

And i use carbon clinchers! Take that! (But i am light and most descents are more big hills)
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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For what it’s worth I already said I’d run them for an A race. But the more proponents of latex argue its virtue the more many of them say you won’t notice a difference in the wild. I’m well aware of scientific method and how to properly use it but there’s also lab results and real world results. Since we do not live in a controlled environment real world results are also important. Plus even by proponents estimation we’re talking 2 minutes in an Ironman. Now I realize that people on the Kona bubble that 2 minutes is a long time but that’s a fraction of the athletes on slowtwich and I’m personally not among them.

Also it’s not as cheap as one might think. $10 per a tube, let’s say 3 tubes a year, that’s $30 a year. Over the course of 5 years that’s $150. I picked up an A2 last year on clearance for $75. $150 is on or around the price of some of the most expensive clinchers out there. A wheel cover is $100. All cheaper and save maybe the tires all > 4 watts.

I still lapped everyone on the couch!
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Anyway all and all I’ll be switching back. Tried it, only thing I felt go faster was my paycheck. Probably only use it for really big races. Training and local I’m not particularly impressed.

I still lapped everyone on the couch!
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Re: Am I the only one that finds latex overrated? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Over rated?

I'd assert they're the most under-rated and under-utilized technical performance piece available and have the highest bang-for-the-buck.
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