from Fort Wayne, IN, USA
Date Reviewed: July 15, 2010
Strengths: In order; comfort, weight, handling, and rolling resistance.
Weaknesses: Easy to tear when installing; loses about 25psi in 24 hours; more expensive then most butyl tubes.
These tubes are more expensive then most, but if your wanting a noticeable comfortable ride then these are better then butyl. Latex pumped up to 110psi feels like butyl pumped up to about 70, so the ride is plusher and you notice it. The rest of the strengths are barely perceivable if at all. According to tests I've seen in rolling resistance you save about 5 watts which is something I doubt anyone can feel-but it's there and racers might like the slight edge.
You have to be careful installing these tubes, and I recommend you put Talcum powder on the inside of the tire (they come pre-powdered). If you catch the tube with a tire iron it will probably rip so try to use hands only.
These tubes lose about 25 psi in a day so you have to pump them up for each ride, but ultralight butyl racing tubes lose about 10 so either way you still have to pump up the tires before a ride. One reviewer reported pinch flats, he probably didn't realize they lose that much air in 24 hours and rode it low on air...that's the only way they, or butyl, will pinch flat.
Summary, overall I like them better then butyl and rated them outstanding. I gave them a 4 star value rating only because of expense.
Similar Products Used: Butyl tubes before, Latex over 25 years ago but brands unknown.
Bike Setup: 84 Trek 660
Date Reviewed: October 25, 2006
Strengths: Light, low rolling resistance, comfortable, more puncture proof than other conventional tubes that are as light.
Weaknesses: Inflate them before every ride, they loose air slowly.
I use them with Nobby Nick 2,1, aprox.2,3 Bar, my weight 68kg. No more flats on rougher downhills, no more puntures. For me, inflating before every ride is not a problem: no more flats, more comfort, better traction, lower rolling resistance. Let's see how long they last.
Bike Setup: Trek Madone 5.9 OCLV 110, with Dura-ace. Upgrade to Zipp Z2 wheels.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 30, 2004
Strengths: Light and relatively puncture reistant.
Weaknesses: Rotten attachment to the tube.
I have had endless trouble with these tubes. Four of these have leaked around where the presta valve is attached to the mian body of the tube. It's a fault in certain batches. Fortunately I got them for a good price & got them changed right away no trouble.
Bike Setup: Marin Mount Vision. Full XT. Hope hubs on Masic X717 Disc rims. Hope Mini Discs. Easton bits.
from New Forest, UK
Date Reviewed: November 26, 2003
Strengths: Very light tubes with good feel... good puncture resistance. Makes your bike really fast...
Weaknesses: Valve stem not threaded which means that you cannot use a lock-nut. I have had several failures due to the tube around the valve puncturing due to the valve twisting in the rim caused by heavy braking on the front or acceleration on the rear. This cannot be repaired...very annoying and frustrating.
Excellent tubes but could be even better with threaded valve stems. All the junked tubes are due to this as when the valve tears out of the tube it cannot be repaired. If it was'nt for this they would probably last for years and years...
Similar Products Used: Common tubes, and sh*t called MAXXIS Flyweight (4 tubes in one month!)
Bike Setup: C'dale Jeckyll
a Cross Country Rider
from Los Angles, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: April 9, 2002
Strengths: Light weight, and they never flat.
Weaknesses: They do loose air over time, the air permiates through the laytex, you have to pump before you pedal.
I don' agree with the previous post at all. I put these in a year ago and (tempting fate here)I haven't had a flat since. I mean between loosing the weight and never having to stop on the trail and change a tube, its a no brainer! Buy theses and forget about flats. You do have to pump them up (they loose air very slowly) every 4 days or so to your exact pressure but that way you have consistency in your set up. Also you can run low pressures and increase traction and not have to worry. Why use a regular tube again?
Bike Setup: Titus Switchblade with Panaracer Fire XC Pro's 2.1 tires
a Cross Country Rider
from Madrid (Spain)
Date Reviewed: March 31, 2002
Strengths: Very light and skinny.
Weaknesses: Prone to pinch!
Those damn tubes pinch a lot (yeah, they're quite light, but you never need to remove weight from a tube), I bought a pack of 10 and for using I needed to fit a pinch armor into my tyres to avoid flats. So the weight losed with the tubes I gained with the pinch armor.
Stay very far from those damn tubes, another problems is that the pinch cannot be fixed, the normal repair kits don't work with latex tubes.