Latex failure

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

So i was with this girl and....

On a more serious note, today I had quite a frightening tube failure. I was descending and riding with someone not as comfortable going down so I was on my brakes more often. Right as I let off the brakes and leaned into a turn I hear a pop and my front wheel is instantly flat. Of course at this same moment there is a car coming in the opposite direction as I swerve a bit to get my bike under control. :? I'm really pleased I did not hit the guy or go down!

The failure happened near the valve stem at the seam (on the rim side and my rimtape is clean). I've read that latex has some issues with descending but this is the first time I have an issue. I'm usually very precise with my braking so today maybe I had more heat buildup than usual. I don't want to go back to butyl, but if it's a safety thing I don't have much of a choice. The remainder of the ride with a regular tube just did not feel as good.

Anyways I have added some pictures, Seems like even the tire around the valve stem was melted! I rode on it for maybe 50 yards finding a suitable place to stop. The rest of the sidewall looks ok but the spot right next to the valve stem was really sticky when i pealed that tube off. The tube has been used for quite some time, it may just also have been it's time.

My Lynskey R420 with Chorus 11

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by Weenie

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by HammerTime2

If you want to ride latex, stick with tubulars.

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by ECT

Is that a Bontrager tube? I've had two fail prematurely, one with a split at the valve that looked similar to yours.

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by Werdna

HammerTime2 wrote:If you want to ride latex, stick with tubulars.

What he said. Latex tubes can't always handle the pressures (literally) of being stuffed into a clincher.

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by boolinwall

I used to have the same issues with Michelin latex tubes. They'd always pop right at the seam edge and always on the rim side. I've been running Vittoria latex tubes all summer (knock on wood) without so much as a hint of an issue. I've heard that Vredestein and Challenge also make fine latex tubes, but have never tried them myself. So, before giving up on latex, try the Vittorias.

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by em3

If in fact, as you indicate, your tire was slightly melted as well, then I doubt that a butyl tube would have fared any better. EM3

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by Szczuldo

yeah i have no clue what happened on that descent. For all I know the tire was damaged after I flatted and the front wheel slid a bit.

I'll give one of the other brands a try. Latex just feels too good, and I'm not in a position where I want to be switching to tubulars.
My Lynskey R420 with Chorus 11

If you are interested in a Weight Weenies kit I no longer know what you should do.

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by Horacio

I've had two rear and one front failure with Mich latex tubes, all on descents. I'm not sure if the brake tract is overheating and causing the failure. Additionally, its only happened during the summer months. I've also gained a few extra lbs. So maybe all these factors have contributed to my failures. For the time being, I've gone back to butyl. I miss the latex ride tho.

The Vittoria tubes sound interesting. Where are you sourcing them?

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by ticou

You can get Conti Supersonics at 60g's, so why bother with latex? I use slightly heavier Conti's, repaired a large twin spike puncture, and it's back at 130psi.

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by Doolop

ticou, I feel as though you miss the point of riding with a latex tube. And try riding with about 30 less PSI.

To the OP,

Failures happen. Thankfully you were not hurt. Latex tubes are bonded at a certain point and there are inherent flaws with that.

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by ticou

The sole advantage tubsies have, is to run at 130 psi, and the steel frames to massage it on the road.

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by Juanmoretime

I could have been age too. Most of use ride tubes until they fail but over time both with harden with age and eventually fail. Maybe an annual replacement might be cheap insurance. I've already gone almost 6,000 miles this year on the same Michelin latex tubes and not one single flat.

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by 1415chris

I have done 2 Vredestein latex in that way. I mean punctures almost in the same spot as you described.
Checked tire, rim tape, plenty of talc. No idea what caused it.
The only difference, in my cases, deflation wasn't that dramatic. Slow enough to stop and still have an air in the tube.

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by dj97223

It appears the failure was at a joint. The challenge latex tubes are constructed differently, with no overlapping join like that. I've had punctures/flats, but no big hole like shown in your pic.
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by LionelB

12 years ago this happen to me, except it was on the rear with a michelin superlight butyl tube. It did not end as nicely as the rear tire ended up unseated and got caught on the rear brake sending my flying on the road and ended in a ditch. Luckily no cars we around. I have been riding tubular almost exclusively ever since.

by Weenie

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