Michelin vs Challenge latex tubes

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
rruff
Shop Owner
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Location: Alto, NM

by rruff

77kg, 90 psi front, 95 psi rear, 23mm tires. Latex is pretty resistant to pinch flatting.

I have a whole box (20) of these tubes. Grabbing out a handful the weights varied between 60-70g for 48mm valve versions.

by Weenie


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Mario Jr.
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by Mario Jr.

I raced them on Edge clinchers last week. My source told me to take three tubes right away, as he had some trouble with some of them leaking at the valve. Good thing I did, as the first tube I mounted, blew open at the valve when installing. An other thing is that they seem to be a bit "smaller/shorter" in the overall diameter, so I had to have my wife help me putting them on the wheels.

But other than that, I like them. Mine were in the 70g area with 60mm valve.

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Jurcy
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Location: Slovenia

by Jurcy

One quick question: why are latex tubes better than normal?

And sorry for off topic question.

fdegrove
Tubbie Guru
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Location: Belgium

by fdegrove

Hi,

Latex' elasticity is about 9x that of butyl making it very supple, hence able to deform better to road irregularities.
Therefore lower rolling resitance and less prone to pinch flats.

Ciao, ;)
Being a snob is an expensive hobby.

rruff
Shop Owner
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:12 am
Location: Alto, NM

by rruff

Mario Jr. wrote:My source told me to take three tubes right away, as he had some trouble with some of them leaking at the valve.


Since the valve is removable (screws off) they can leak if they aren't tight... but that is easy to fix.

Johnny Rad
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Location: Zion

by Johnny Rad

Challenge latex tube ride report: It's been almost two weeks since I started riding my new Challenge latex tubes and I'm totally satisfied! They're light and transmit loads of feel from the road.

In addition to holding air, the Challenge latex tubes feel yield much more road feel and suppleness than my outgoing Michelin A1 latex tubes. I'm feeling all sorts of road imperfections now! As a matter of fact, at the same psi (110 rear and 100-105psi front), the Challenges feel like they're flatting versus the the Michelins. I checked multiple times and the Challenges aren't suffering any slow leaks (no more so than the few psi per day from latex).

Before posting this ride report, I tried my other wheelset for a few days to make sure of my conclusion. My primary wheels are Reynolds Assaults with with Challenge and Ultremo R.1s and my other is Reynolds Attacks with Michelin and Continental GP Attack (fr) / GP4000S (rr). Today, I swapped out the Michelins for Challenges in the Attacks and I'm getting loads more road feel - just like the Challenges in my Assaults.

The Challenge tubes weigh less than the Michelins (71g vs 89g), which I attribute partly to a smaller diameter. They're tight on my rim versus the over-sized strategy employed by Michelin. I suspect they may also feature thinner walls, but I can't say one way or the other.

I conclude the Challenges are a smoother riding latex tube than the Michelin A1 latex tubes. I think Danton has already arrived at half of this conclusion based on his post on page 1.

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