Continental Supersonic Innertubes or Latex?

Weeman1973
Weeman1973 Posts: 471
edited January 2014 in Road buying advice
Anybody got any experience with the Continental Supersonic Innertubes?

I currently ride Latex tubes on my 'posh' bike (Scott CR1 with RS80 Wheels & Veloflex Master Clinchers) which I find a great ride but with certain drawbacks - Constantly need inflating due to them being more porous than Butyl, more susceptible to punctures, particularly pinch / impact flats (in my experience) and also they do tend to stretch after a while. With this in mind, I am looking at alternatives and the Conti Supersonics have sprung to mind.

Having done some research on them, the jury is out as it is 50/50 as to whether or not they are worth the extra premium than on regular Butyl tubes.

Or do I just get a load of the Planet X Light tubes they currently have for £1.99, be done with it, ride & enjoy and not worry too much about 'marginal gains' or whatever Sir David might call them!

I think I might have just answered my own question.........

Comments

  • Supersonics are fine- light and expensive, but similar to a regular butyl tube in every other way. You won't get the same ride quality as you do on latex.

    If you're after ride quality, try and get hold of some Vredestein latex tubes with your Veloflex- much much better than the Michelin ones.
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,470
    I use the supersonics all of the time. Have tried latex and didn't notice any difference, but I do notice the difference (just) with supersonics or latex vs. heavier tubes.

    As the OP implied, in terms of actual rolling resistance it seems to be the weight that matters rather than the material. Latex is more malleable than butyl, but a butyl tube of the same weight is thinner than the latex one. I guess latex is just less dense. But I reckon the thinness of really light butyl and the malleability of latex pretty much cancel out in terms of rolling resistance. And the butyl ones don't go flat in a few hours...

    The only problem with the supersonics is that you have to be careful fitting and removing the tyre as the tubes are more prone to being snagged. But once fitted I don't reckon they are very much more more puncture prone than thicker tubes.
  • cycleclinic
    cycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    I use them and have no issues except for when I puncture my wallet feels it more.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I could be imagining it but don't latex tubes sound different to standard butyl?
  • mfin
    mfin Posts: 6,729
    Supersonics are fine- light and expensive, but similar to a regular butyl tube in every other way. You won't get the same ride quality as you do on latex.

    If you're after ride quality, try and get hold of some Vredestein latex tubes with your Veloflex- much much better than the Michelin ones.

    You can tell a difference in ride quality between those two latex tubes?? Really?? :)
  • mfin
    mfin Posts: 6,729
    Carbonator wrote:
    I could be imagining it but don't latex tubes sound different to standard butyl?

    Yes, on occasion on the right surface type you get the kind of sound that you might expect if you were riding on upturned sellotape, that's the best way to describe it, you get this with tubs sometimes too. Most of the time you don't hear anything different though.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Yes, I find it similar to tubs and I like tubs.
    Guess you do not get that with supersonics?
    Was thinking of trying them but might just try some different latex ones.
  • Semantik
    Semantik Posts: 537
    Latex inner tubes feel great. Most people can tell the difference in ride quality over butyl. I can also say I have NEVER had a visit from the p******e fairy while riding latex tubes for the past 10k miles.
  • mfin
    mfin Posts: 6,729
    I don't know about the supersonics, to be honest I run Challenge Latex tubes with Vittoria Evo SCs, the challenge ones are light. On the winter bike I run bog standard Conti tubes. I wouldn't bother putting a latex tube into anything but an open tub myself.

    What makes me smile is if people buy light tubes and go on about it but are running low end 50mm carbon clinchers which weigh a ton and then only ride about at 15.72-16.84mph.
  • mfin
    mfin Posts: 6,729
    Semantik wrote:
    Latex inner tubes feel great. Most people can tell the difference in ride quality over butyl. I can also say I have NEVER had a visit from the p******e fairy while riding latex tubes for the past 10k miles.

    It depends on the bike too, as a smooth riding frame and wheel will show the effect of latex tubes less. Plus, remember you have to remove all the people that ride at really high pressures cos they've read a number on the side of the tyre and just pumped up theirs to that.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    The Vittoria Evo's are due to be my next purchase.
    What do you like about the Challenge latex tubes? I have only tried Michelin and Vittoria ones so far.
    What pressure do you run them at?
  • FransJacques
    FransJacques Posts: 2,148
    You did answer your own question and thanks for pointing out the increase in punctures, that was my experience with them several years ago when I tried them.

    Personally I race on thin tubes (thin = 80-90 grams) from Vittoria or Continental or Schwalbe with very good results in terms of reliability.

    If you had never tried latex I'd say go for it to see for yourself, it's only a £14-16 investment anyway...
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • Moonbiker
    Moonbiker Posts: 1,706
    Shame the PX ones are all out of stock.