While most gravel bikes seem to have joined mountain bikes in fully adopting tubeless, plenty of road riders still roll on clinchers with butyl tubes. Latex tubes offer lower weight, decreased rolling resistance & improved puncture resistance, making them a relatively low-cost, high-value upgrade. Plus, Silca saw that many riders need to carry a bit more than just one tube in the saddle bag, so have introduced a bigger version of their Seat Roll called the Grande Americano.
Silca latex road bike inner tubes
Latex tubes are nothing new. In fact, we’ve been using (& spreading the gospel of lower rolling resistance and fewer flats with) the seamless ones from Challenge in road clincher and cyclocross clincher tire tests for years. The industry consensus is about 2-5W per tube in energy savings. And the only real downside is that you have to pump your tires up to your ideal pressure for every ride as air slowly leeches out (since latex is more porous vs. butyl, compounded more so if you use a CO2 in a roadside repair.) But while they cost at least 2x a typical butyl tube, the limiting factor was often ease of availability. So now Silca partnered with tire & tube maker Vittoria, to help more riders find their way to rolling on latex tubes.
Available now, Silca’s new latex road tubes are sized to fit tires that measure out to 24-30mm wide. That means they’ll slot in well to cover what has become the new performance road standard of 25c-28c tires on the latest crop of wider rims. At 85g with a 42mm long Presta valve stem, the tubes are made in Thailand by Vittoria with a single lap seam next to the valve, and will comfortably work with rims up to ~38-40mm deep. For $15 per tube (about 15-20% less than other latex offerings), you’ll save about 15-25g off of a relatively light black butyl tube of the same size.
If you have deeper section wheels and can wait until March 1st, Silca will also offer the latex tubes bundled with a valve extender and a SpeedShield rim protector/valve nut fairing. For $22 you get a kit for an extra 40mm, or $24 for an extra 70mm for those super deep wheels.
Silca Seat Roll Grande Americano tool roll saddle bag
OK, so you decided to replace your tubes with latex, so now to be able to carry a couple of spares (although you are probably less likely to need them thanks to the reduced pinch flatting or puncturing of latex tubes.) Silca took feedback from their first Seat Roll Premio bags, and realized that many riders needed more carrying capacity. While the Premio’s BOA cinches down a single road tube, the new Seat Roll Grande Americano essentially double the space.
The $58 made-in-the-US Grande Americano shares the same three-pocket water-repellent nylon tool roll-style design, central velcro flap closure strap, and the BOA wire & dial that tighten everything up & cinch it to your saddle rails. The BOA dial does move a bit down the body of the Seat Roll to keep this version from slipping. It keeps the rail guard sleeve that protects the BOA wire & rails, while also improving grip to keep everything from moving around on the bike. (But as we can see in these promo shots, it doesn’t always end up over both rails.)
The new bag gets a pleated fold at its base that lets it expand a bit to fit larger tube. Now it can carry up to a single 700x50mm (29×2”) tube, or two 200x28mm tubes, making it well suited for more off-road, gravel & cross riding. The new Grande Americano is also available now.