Lighter tubes? Noticeable?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by bikewithnoname

Been running conti supersonic tube for 6 years ish, can't say I've had more than a couple of punctures a year and they have the benefit of not having to pump them up every day like latex tubes. Cheapest wieght saving you can make, with no discernable downsides.

note: this is running veloflex corsa 23 tyres.
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by RimClencher

I bought two Supersonic tubes from ebay and got multiple holes in the rubber around the valve. Based on what others are saying they were obviously from a bad batch, but I'm wary of them now. Using Panaracer R'Air tubes instead as they've always been rock solid for me.

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by PLuKE

Thank you for all the input!

So plus and minus points here for both.

Latex tubes have a lower RR than Supersonics. I always check and pump my tyres before each ride without fail, so doesn't really bother me.

I guess it depends is there more performance increase from lower RR of latex or light weight of the


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by Ozrider

On a really heavy bike 50-100g saved by going to lighter tubes won't make a massive difference, but most of these bikes have heavy tires, so swapping to lighter tyres and tubes can save you 250-300g which should be noticeable, as well as offer lower rolling resistance.

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by kulivontot

If a thorns going through your tire, it's also going through your tube. 0.2mm of extra butyl rubber is not going to make a difference.
I have heard there may be a higher prevalence of tubes flat out of the box though, but that could be an urban legend.

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by PLuKE

I guess if a stone is sharp enought to go all the way through the tyre itself, then like has been said, no chance any innertubes is going to take the hit either.

So with my Ultremo tyres, added with the latex tubes I am not going to benefit? As I thought the Ultermo ZX tyres are one of the lightest and low RR?


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by aaric

The other benefit of supersonics is they take up less space. I can fit two of them in my saddle bag in the space one generic tube takes up, and for the same weight.

As for a greater incidence of flats: I haven't noticed a big difference in normal punctures, but they definitely will push out of a cut in the tire easier, and abrade through much more easily in the case of something rubbing inside the tire, such as a tire boot.

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by rmerka

You know PLuKE, there are a lot of pros and cons to latex v. butyl. Rolling resistance will be better with latex no matter what tire you have, this is known quantity. The ride will be slightly more comfy and the latex will be more resistant to pinch flats. You should care a butyl spare though if you do get a small cut in your tire that doesn't actually puncture your tube the latex can squeeze out and pop where the butyl will be tougher in that instance. The butyl will be easier to mount on the side of the road as well.

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by PLuKE

Thanks guys.

I am going to order some Vredestein latex tubes.


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by bfno

Surely 100g around the wheel would be noticeable. Quicker acceleration I would have thought
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by AGW

Another pro is latex is easy to patch. It's just silly with butyl but latex tubes can add up if you have a bad string of flats. A latex glove from work or a not-too-old latex tube can serve as a patch source for a looooooong time.

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by AJS914

Huh? I've patched latex tubes with standard Rema patches.

Personally, I gave up on the latex tubes. I liked the idea but I couldn't feel any difference and I got tired of pumping up my tires for every single ride.

I get the Michelin Airstop tubes because they have smooth presta valves which make a much better seal on my Silca track pump. They weigh 10 grams more than the Michelin latex. I just weighed two 94g vs 84g (latex).

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by WMW

PLuKE wrote:I would of thought weight would make the most noticeable difference in performance although small, how does Latex give a lower rolling restistence?

Butyl absorbs a lot of energy when it flexes. Latex absorbs approximately none. That's why they use it for spearguns and slingshots.

The difference is fairly substantial. If you are racing and care about the details, latex is a must.
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