I don't steal posts without giving out proper credit so today I would like to thank Jeff for his Facebook post yesterday to his buddy about latex tubes and the benefit to them. I thought to myself what a great follow-up to the chatter we have been having since Friday about ways to lower Rolling Resistance.
Here is the Link to the Article:
In our previous article on road bike tires, we touched on the benefits of latex tubes. Because of their flexible, supple material properties, latex tubes improve both comfort and rolling resistance by a substantial amount over a normal butyl tube. Careful testing by Tom Anhalt has shown a power savings of around 3-4 watts per tire at 25mph, along with better comfort and handling. A good clincher tire with a latex tube can offer the same or better rolling resistance and comfort as a tubular.
The context behind the article was a comparison to Tubular Tires vs Clinchers. I am not saying that Clinchers with Latex Tubes is a true alternative to Tubulars but it is a "less expensive" alternative since you don't have to get a new wheel that is Tubular compatible.
I have run Latex Tubes in some of my bikes and I know our mechanic TS runs them on race day only on his Mountain Bike. I am not scientific by any means when it comes to the difference of one setup compared to another. If it is harder to pedal I either switch gears or pedal harder. I don't have the time or the interest to have 3 alike bikes setup with Tubulars, Latex Tubes, and Standard tubes but if you see what is referenced above it is showing a savings of 3-4 watts per tire at 25 mph. Now simple math since we are riding bicycles would make that 6-8 watts saving at 25 mph.
If you ride with power and ride long distances then I imagine that is a pretty nice savings of energy for more power at the end of a ride. If you are a recreational rider that is just focused on turning the wheels over on beautiful days in the country then I would recommend sticking with the set up you have and keep on enjoying life. If you are looking for an alternative to tubulars then I would definitely look into the Latex Tube aspect.
For more information on all of the above stop by the shop. We can get you Power, Tubulars, Clinchers, Latex Tubes, or just standard tubes from 10-6 today.