Tires/tubes: Impact on ride quality, puncture resistance

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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savechief
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:36 am

by savechief

Brand new, in my garage right now I have a set of Veloflex Corsa 23 clincher tires and Vredestein latex tubes. By all accounts, this combination will be awesome from a weight and ride quality point of view, but not-so-great from a durability point of view. For the record, I don't ride enough miles in a year to be concerned with tread wear, but I'm not a big fan of roadside tube changes. I have had three punctures over the last 2 years. Two failures came with what I believe were poorly manufactured Challenge latex tubes, as they failed in identical spots (right where the black portion meets the red latex portion; see picture), they both failed when my bike was motionless (one with a loud bang during a re-group, one overnight in my garage) and they both failed many rides after they were initially installed. The third failure I believe to be a snakebite failure of a Michelin Aircomp butyl tube, but I don't remember hitting any large holes. None of the three flats involved penetration of the tire by a sharp object, but that's not to say that it couldn't happen in the future. I ride in SoCal, so not the worst roads in the world, but there are certain rides I do that have more debris than others.

So...on to my question. What is your opinion on the better compromise from a ride quality and puncture resistance point of view?

Option A: Use the Veloflex Corsa tire with a non-WW butyl tube (supple tire + heavier duty tube)
Option B: Use a "training" type tire with the Vredestein latex tube (heavier duty tire + supple tube)

From a weight perspective, these two options could come out pretty much equal (~200g tire + ~100g tube or ~250g tire + ~50g tube). By "training" tire, I'm referring to tires along the lines of the Continental Gatorskin or GP 4-Season, Schwalbe Ultremo Double Defense, etc. Basically, something that's a 7/10 for puncture resistance if a Continental GP4000S is a 5/10 for puncture resistance.

Who knows, maybe I'll end up going with Option C...Veloflex tires + Vredestein latex tubes, but I'd really like to hear some opinions on the relative differences between Options A & B. Thanks.
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Challenge Latex Tube.jpg
Time VXRS Ulteam (7.16 kg)
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by Weenie


NGMN
Posts: 1536
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:13 am

by NGMN

I don't think latex tubes sacrifice much, if anything, in terms of durability once properly installed. In my experience, once they are installed they are as durable as a standard butyl tube.

savechief
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:36 am

by savechief

I guess my experience with the Challenge tubes soured me (temporarily) on latex tubes, and I somehow convinced myself that they were not as durable as a butyl tube that weighs twice as much.

John
Time VXRS Ulteam (7.16 kg)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=120268

NGMN
Posts: 1536
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:13 am

by NGMN

I've never heard of Challenge specifically, but have heard of latex tubes having problems at the spot you mentioned. I've always had fairly good luck with Michelin's Latex tubes but last I checked they were harder to find.

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theremery
Posts: 2673
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 10:56 am
Location: New Zealand

by theremery

Ahhh!!!....that particular failure is familiar. Your rim tape and/or valve hole are the issue. The latex tubes are SO flexible that they will find "escape routes".
The Fix:
Disassemble tyre and tube from the rim and remove your rim tape. Very carefully inspect around the valve hole. Any bumps or burrs must be fully removed (file usually.....it's cause by threaded valves rubbing a lip of aul up usually but I had an AC rim that was corrosion damaged). Install a rim tape that sits well or if you have Veloplugs fitted and have corrosion damage (as I did) then I re-profiled it using 2-pack epoxy and sandpaper. All surfaces must be smooth and the hole around the valve must be "tight fitting". If the hole is lose, glue a section of heavier rim tape (I used continental tape on a friend's wheel) over and re-set the hole using a heated item (tip of a soldering iron, in the latter example's case).
Fitting error possibility:
A failure near the valve can also mean the valve was not fully seated. This will cause an "embolism" type failure (internal swelling and a very sudden deflation when the "balloon " pops....typically a subdued pop followed by a near instant deflation).
The error here is that the valve has not been fully seated and has sat up with a gap underneath......the tube flexes and expands into the gap....and "whoosh" she's flat as a pancake in under 2 seconds (more like less than 1 second!). This is often the type of failure if it failed within 5 mins of you setting it to full pressure for the first time.
Fix for this:
Install your tube normally but after you have depressed the valve inward to check none is pinched under the bead, once you have about 5-10PSI in the tyre pull the valve down to seat it fully. This will completely prevent that type of failure.
Those Challenge Latex tubes are awesome!
BTW.....you can fix them with normal puncture repair stuff but don't use glueless patches (they are emergency only fixes, really) and use a small and light gauge patch.
You are gonna love the veloflexes but they really do go down if you even look at a piece of glass from a 10m distance :)
They are my favourite tyre BY MILES.
Updated: Racing again! Thought this was unlikely! Eventually, I may even have a decent race!
Edit: 2015: darn near won the best South Island series (got second in age
-group)..woo hoo Racy Theremery is back!!

sedluk
Posts: 409
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:10 am

by sedluk

If you are interested in ride quality and puncture resistance then you are wasting your time with clinchers, try tubulars.

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tommasini
Posts: 1296
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:48 am
Location: Central USA
Contact:

by tommasini

+ 1000

Ditch the clinchers and ride ride quality riding tubbies (if you aren't aware of what's considered to offer good ride quality then the search function works wonders).

And if concerned about tubbie reliability, for approxamately 9 out of 10 of those "good ride quality" tubbies that I ride I run them until I see the tread gone and casing making an appearance - only then do I replace.....this is due to their great history of reliability.......but keep in mind everyone has their own set of roads/hazards presented to them!

Cheers :beerchug:

by Weenie


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