Experimenting a bit with my clincher wheels. I know tubeless is an option as well, but frankly not sure I want to go in that direction and it is more expensive initially.
I have some Challenge 700x28/35 latex tubes mounted up right now, and so far so good, but they are pricey (~$20 each). Wondering if anyone has had success using the Vittoria 700x25/28 latex tubes for CX use. Even though I'd be running way lower pressure than in a road 28, I'd concerned using them on a 34 CX tire would stretch them too thin. If they work, the Vittoria stuff is alot easier to get your hands on and cheaper from my research.
yes this works, been doing the same thing with the michelin green tubes for years. remember co2 dons not work with latex!
Thanks Mike, so even down to a 700x23 tube works fine? Doesn't look like Michelin makes them any bigger. Good to know.
If your question is using smaller latex tubes in cx sized tires, I can speak from experience that it works fine. Last year I rode my 700x32 tires with (super old school) Conti. road latex tubes. No issues with stretching. Ive ridden the challenge tubes too, in my road bike, and have noticed no difference between brands. Do you notice a difference between butyl tubes? Probably not. Same goes for latex, in my experience.
If you cant race tubulars, I think latex is the way to do it. I cant say I noticed a huge difference, but the tubes weighed less (non-factor, probably) and I think I was able to run them a bit lower PSI than my butyl tubes. It may not even be that there was less air/PSI in there, but they did feel a bit softer.
Verdict: Use latex tubes, try not to ride crazy low pressure (unless you have spare wheels or like blowing through $14 tubes), and if youre scared, put a squirt of caffelatex in. Good luck this season.
Ive only had bad luck on the road with Vittoria latex tubes. I've never had them on my cross bike. They seem really fragile to me and they don't patch up very well. I think of the Vittorias as disposable.
I'm running the Challenges. I think they hold air better. I've pinch flatted once. I was able to repair it easily. They feel sturdier.
to be 100% honest, I think theyre made in the same factory. Theyre both red/pink. Both made in Thailand- where Vittoria has a HUGE output. Sooooo many tubulars (at least their casings/basetape) are made by vittoria if you take a very close look. Just a guess that there arent tons of factories in Thailand making latex tubes. Just a guess, but I bet the same latex tubes are used in their tubulars.
This is all speculation, but winters in a PA bike shop give you a lot of time to think about these things.
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