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What is the difference between "tublars" & "clinchers"(3 posts)

What is the difference between "tublars" & "clinchers"JP
Sep 4, 2001 10:57 AM
OK call me stupid, but I mainly ride MT. bikes, but have a desire to broaden my abilities. What is the difference between tublars and clinchers? Is one better than the other and why? Looking at pictures of tublar rims, hard to comprehend the tire staying on the rim. Thanks for the help and quick education.
re: What is the difference between "tublars" & "clinchers"Dave Hickey
Sep 4, 2001 11:33 AM
With tubulars, the tire and tube come as one unit. The tire casing actually encloses the tube. This unit is glued on the rim.

With clinchers, the tire and tube are seperate. the tire has a bead of wire or kevlar that attaches under the lip of the rim.
the difference between "tublars" & "clinchers"alex the engineer
Sep 4, 2001 11:43 AM
Clinchers are what you use on your ATB, so I won't elaborate further on them.
Tubulars are a tire and inner tube, all in 1. The tire is stitched around an inner tube (exception: Tufo), then the threads are covered by a base tape. The entire unit is removed when flat, and usually fixed at a later time. Repair requires cutting the thread, unstitching part of the tire, patching the flat, then sewing the tire back up. Experienced people can do this in 20 minutes.
The tire sits tightly on a rim which has no "hooks" or side walls, and glue is used to improve the adhesion of the tire to the rim.
Tubulars have advantages in weight (no bead), rim weight (less there), ride, ultimate pressure (most CAN handle 175 psig, some can take 225 psig), greater pressure range (don't have to worry about a bead coming off at low pressures), pinch-flat resistance (no sides to the rim), and quickness of changing on the road.
Tubulars are at a disadvantage in cost (cheap tubulars really are $hit), ease of use (setting tire on rim, glue, etc.), prep time (glue really needs to set for 12 hours to adhere fully), and difficulty in using in wet conditions (tape can seperate from glue if wet for long periods, can't get glue to set when wet). Also, if poorly installed, a tubular CAN roll off the rim while cornering, and cheap glues CAN liquefy when the rim gets hot(downhills), resulting in rolloff or tire misalignment.
MOST of the top riders in the TdF used tubulars. This is a fact that even tubular-bashers can't deny. Tubulars pre-date clinchers (they go back to the 1870's, whereas clinchers were a turn-of-the-century invention), and offer real advantages over clinchers to those willing to deal with the disadvantages.
Many cyclocross competitors also use tubulars. There was a company which made ATB tubulars once (Clement?), but I haven't seen those in a while.
Tufo makes tubulars differently. The casing is bonded, rather than sewn, so repairing of flats is possible only with their own sealant (which actually does work). They also make a tubular-clincher, which is a tubular tire that sits on a clincher rim. Clement used to make a similar tire years ago.