In a 2014 interview, Josh told Slowtwitch.com that latex inner tubes were the biggest bang for the buck upgrade a cyclist could make. For many years, latex inner tubes were limited to tubular tires, where they are largely responsible for both the puncture resistance and ride quality of the finest tubular tires. Now, SILCA has partnered with Vittoria, to create the highest quality, lowest rolling resistance, finest riding inner tube, sized for modern clincher tire setups.
Why Latex? Compared to standard bicycle inner tubes which are made of butyl rubber, Latex is significantly more elastic (10x elongation compared to 2-3x), but more importantly, Latex Rubber has significantly lower coefficient of damping which means that when latex rubber is stretched or flexed, it returns to shape faster and with fewer energy losses.
What does this mean for an inner tube? Latex inner tubes are generally 2-5 Watts (per tire) more efficient at 30mph than tubes made of other materials, are harder to pinch-flat, and offer superior suppleness and road feel, especially when combined with supple, low rolling resistance tires.
This tube has been sized to fit tires measuring 24-30mm, which will equate to 23-28mm tires used on modern wider rims. Valve stem length is 42mm and will work in all modern disc wheels.
So why did Josh call this the 'Biggest Bang For Your Buck'?
SILCA Latex Inner Tube Upgrade (2 wheels): 4-10 Watts, $30
Full Wheelset Ceramic Bearing Upgrade (6 cartridges): 0.8-1 watt savings, $400-1000.
Ceramic bearing derailleur pulleys: 1-3 Watts, $200-400
Newest Aero Road Helmet: 4-8 Watts, $300
WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND USING 2 WRAPS OF TUBELESS RIM TAPE WHEN USING LATEX INNER TUBES. TUBELESS TAPES MAKE INSTALLING TIRES EASIER, MAKE IT LESS LIKELY TO PINCH THE TUBE DURING INSTALL AND ARE LESS LIKELY TO MOVE AROUND DURING INSTALLATION.