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Challenge produces the only seamless 'one-piece' latex inner tubes on the market providing a smooth, balanced ride with no pucker or bump-like those found on other tubes. Latex tubes are lighter, thinner, and more flexible than a butyl tube, increasing your comfort, lowering your rolling resistance, and helping to prevent flats. The tube also includes a removable core Presta valve making them compatible with both inline and external valve extenders.
The lighter, softer, more supple tube reduces rolling resistance and improves comfort, traction, and cornering. This is because latex extends and expands 7 to 8 times its original size, whereas butyl only about 1.5 times, which means latex is much, much more flexible, guaranteeing more speed, improving rolling resistance and comfort than a standard butyl tube.
Latex inner tubes also weigh less than standard butyl tubes so can help save weight.
They also increase puncture protection; the latex stretches and deforms around the body which is trying to penetrate the tube instead of, like the stiffer butyl, trying to resist the body and shortly after, being punctured through with a big blow.
The highly elastic latex material is extremely more difficult to puncture and in the unlikely case that it is, the air will anyhow come out very slowly, because the elastic latex, punctured at that point, will move slightly and still stick and conform to the object so not leaving a big tear and gaping hole. The slight leaking of air in that point means that if you are riding and have no spare, you may still be able to ride most of the way back while it very, very slowly loses air, but you won’t be stranded somewhere out there with a sudden flat!
Latex is more porous and gas permeable meaning that a tire with a latex tube should be checked before every ride, to make sure that it has retained your desired pressure.
Installation of a latex tube is also not so easy and can be tricky for the inexperienced hand. It can be more prone to pinch flats if not installed properly. The suppleness of latex means it can find its way into the smallest of cracks and holes and push itself in between and pinch. Latex is also somewhat sticky, which is why it comes with a coating of talcum powder to help it slide.
In case the talcum came off and you found that the inner tube was sticky, you could add a little coating of talcum powder to eliminate this stickiness, which otherwise wouldn’t make it easy for you to slide it smoothly and seat it properly. When seated correctly in its cone, the latex inner tube can be extremely strong, reliable and a great added benefit to your ride.
A latex tube is also known to be somewhat delicate and susceptible to greasers and degreasers, ammonia and solvents, direct prolonged sunshine, and high heat, all of which may contribute to damaging its properties. These agents, light, and heat must be avoided as much as possible.
Now that you know of its great advantages and have taken the additional precautions and care, you’ll certainly feel the difference, enjoy your ride and ride longer!
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