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New testing shows latex tubes are still fastest - CyclingTips

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In recent years, there has been a surprising explosive growth in inner tube options. Butyl rubber, latex and current polyurethane materials have gone through many iterations and all claim to have obvious performance advantages. British company Aerocoach just released

, Although some of the latest choices work well, but high-end latex still tops the list.

Polyurethane is hardly a new material for innertubes (Panaracer first introduced Greenlite innertubes in the 1990s), but a reformulated polymer version has reappeared as an alternative material. Tubolito can be said to have started this trend with its unique orange color, but the German company Revoloop has become more and more popular, and Schwalbe has recently joined the polyurethane industry with its unique color.


Polyurethane proppants have many advantages, including extremely light weight, excellent air retention and impressive puncture resistance. For example, Tubolito’s disc-specific road model is said to weigh 23 grams, which is incredible, while Schwalbe claims that its Aerothan tube is twice as difficult to puncture as latex or butyl rubber, and it is also more resistant to crushing.

But what about rolling resistance?

Aerocoach’s earlier tests included two inner tube models of Tubolito, and the final packaging results were moderate compared to ultra-light butyl rubber and latex. Compared with the ultra-light butyl inner tube, in the company's roller test, a pair of Tubolito's standard inner tube requires 2.7 watts less power to maintain a speed of 45 km / h, while the faster 1.5 W Tubolito S model is still better than the top 2.6W slower. Perform latex inner tube.

However, there is obviously something to be said about the way the tube is made, not just the way the tube is made.

The performance of the Revoloop lamp is better, it has an advantage of 2.3 watts than the Tubolito S lamp, and is 1.1 watts behind the best tested Vredestein latex lamp. And those new Schwalbe Aerothans? They land between Tubolito S and Revoloop tubes, but still have an impressive efficiency because Revoloops has a minimum advantage of 0.5W.

Therefore, strictly according to Aerocoach's numbers, it is obvious that if you are too focused on reducing rolling resistance and still prefer to use inner tubes, then high-quality latex tubes are the way to go. According to Aerocoach's test, it doesn't seem to matter which latex tube you run. Challenge, the drop between Vittoria and Vredstein models is within 0.1 W (Michelin's Aircomp latex is an abnormal value, and an additional 1.4 is required. The test speed is W. , But still ahead of all butyl and polyurethane samples (except Revoloops).

However, other factors need to be considered.

For example, if you are a stubborn weight person and want to shave every piece of mass, those Tubolito S inner tubes may drop 100 grams relative to latex. Polyurethane tubes also have better air retention than latex. Latex needs to be repaired almost every day. If you use the manufacturer’s face value to obtain manufacturer data, these novel polyurethane tubes are unlikely to be pierced during driving. .

In other words, although the rolling resistance loss is small compared to latex, polyurethane pipe seems to have many advantages, despite the large initial investment. The retail price of most of these polyurethane tubing is about twice that of latex tubing (latex tubing is even more expensive than ultra-light butyl tubing). Fortunately, they can be repaired if you put them flat, although they do require a dedicated patch package to be repaired properly.

So which pipe is right for you? Obviously, butyl is still the cheapest, and latex is still the fastest. But polyurethane is clearly becoming popular, and if prices can start to fall, we may face a legal battle.

Which type of tube do you like and why? Let us know in the comments below.

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