Latex Tubing or Rubber Bands?

What is better for elastic purposes? We’ve only used the latex tubing, so we want to know what will be stronger and stretchier.

When you vote, please reply saying why.

Rubber bands are somewhat easier to use, but either one will work.

Like Thorondor said, rubber bands are easier to use because you can change the total tension just by changing the number of rubber bands, but depending on the system you want to tension, it may be unwieldy/impossible to add in the structure you need to hold the rubber bands. Latex tubing is advantageous in this way because you can thread the tensioners continuously back and forth between two holes in metal.

For example, many robots in Gateway had the rubber bands on their 6-bars. This worked well because adding in pillars/long screws to hold the rubber bands was easy on almost any 6-bar. In contrast, for the tensioners that many robots had on their intake rollers (for flipping out/staying down), using latex tubing was more convenient.

We love rubber bands because you get a constant force if both sides of a lift have the same amount of rubber bands on it. But real lifts should have rubber bands on them… :wink:

Rubber bands are easier to use but latex tubing can be stretched further without snapping.

If you are trying to balance tension on two sides rubber bands can be easier to deal with as getting two bands of tubing to the same tension can be tricky. More often than not I’ve seen the tubing stretched past its elastic limit, usually to the point of ripping or tearing.

We’ve always used rubber bands. For gateway, 1437z used them like most people did (on the 6-bar). If you were at worlds in the math division, you know how many 1437x used to release its “mouth.” They’re easier to replace as they wear out (as long as you remember to replace them), especially when it comes to keeping tension balanced (as many others have said), and slightly increasing or decreasing rubber band strength is easier than tensioning the latex more or less.

A good rule of thumb our team has come up with when it comes to rubber bands is that if anything doesn’t work, add more rubber bands.

latex tubing stretches a lot farther without breaking, but it is quite expensive.
rubberbands are easy to swap out, and if you need to thread them through a hole, just cut them.
we used 8 on our robot at a time for gateway, and they were easy to switch when needed. 7inch file rubberbands are nice and long, and stretch as much as the latex tubing.

Rubber bands because they’re cheaper and easier to obtain.:smiley:

@raygunpanda-you mentioned longer rubber bands, are you sure these are legal? The manual says #32, or does that refer to something besides the size of the band?

We went through about two packs of latex tubing at Worlds. We used one of the strands looped 7 bands on each side attached at about 150 degrees from the rotational radius and stretched 15 inches. Then we had four loops per side stretched 10 inches in a regular configuration to provide a more direct vertical lift. I don’t think it would be possible to achieve this amount of spring force with just rubber bands.

well we were never told anything about them and we went all the way to the QF at nationals

if you need longer rubber bands, you can tie them together so they are 2 bands long
thats what we did for the huge bungee in order to pull the super stacker apart

My robotics team in the past has used both rubber bands and latex tubing. In my experience latex tubing is better for tension, but because you have to tie them, there is a lot more human error involved than with rubber bands. In many of my matches the latex tubing knot was just not tied tight enough and came loose. It is for this reason that we have migrated to rubber bands. Also a additional benefit for rubber bands is that it is so easy to replace. Between matches we all know it is hectic and we are all pressed on time, when something breaks it is much faster and easier to replace rubber bands than to get the perfect length of latex tubing, then tie it down.

The don’t really care what size rubber bands you use, provided they aren’t hugely outside the VEX size (but it is still illegal to use rubber bands that aren’t #32). I saw teams with 1/8" polycarb claws getting through inspection at worlds.

Latex tubing breaks very frequently whenever I’ve tried to use it, so we tend to stick with the much cheaper rubber bands.

We use rubber bands because they are cheaper and we find them easier to use and replace.

However, we have used latex tubing in the past and had great success with that.


latex tubing can strech further
rubber bands are easier to use

either way good luck


aperture science


Richard P

Rubber bands can go more places than latex tubing. My team has only used rubber bands, and they have worked fine. Here and there they do tend to break and stretch out, but they are not that expensive to replace.

I have not really used latex tubing, so I wouldn’t know a whole lot about it.

You can cut the solid part of a pop rivet so that it’s shorter, and then insert that into an end of the latex tubing’s hole. The pin’s biggger end can be on the other side of the vex metal’s square hole. This way you can control the length of your latex tubing each time you are using it, and therefore the tension. Also I think that latex tubing breaks less than rubber bands, except for the fact that it ages with use so for consistency you would need to replace the latex often (as with rubber bands).