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Choosing clinchers for racing triathlons(9 posts)

Choosing clinchers for racing triathlonsBig Cat
Nov 14, 2001 10:21 AM
Does anyone out there have any experience or knowledge concerning the TUFO "tubular clinchers"?
Are they as easy to mount , repair a flat, etc as they claim? They are much heavier than regular clinchers. Does the the fact that you can eliminate rim tape and an inertube make up for that?
If you have had negative experiences with them , what other clinchers would you advise for tri racing on Hed deep rims, and or rolf vector comps?
Think racing, not training. I can use the basic Michelin or what not for training.
Worst of both worldsBobo
Nov 14, 2001 2:17 PM
These things are silly (no offense, I'm not implying that you are).

You still have an inner tube to deal with, it's inside the tire just like a standard tubular. They also have a bead since they mount on a clincher rim (tubulars don't). For repair, you have to hack into the base tape (or something similar) to get at the tube to repair it. Because it's a clincher, you'll have to use clincher rims which negates the weight advantage one has while using tubular rims.

So, you get the repair hassles associated with tubulars but none of the benefits of lower rim/tire weight.

Well, you do get to pump them up in excess of 150 psi and there's no glue to fool with.

Just seems like a bad idea to me. Use Conti Supersonics or something similar for racing if you want a very high PSI tire (though some clincher rims can't withstand the high PSI). I've heard, but not experienced first hand, that they're a pain to mount and will blow off some rims.

Again, just my opinion.

Dave
Small, firm, and light.grzy
Nov 14, 2001 2:34 PM
Just run a qualtiy high pressure tire and keep it pumped up to spec. What do you honestly hope to gain with some magic/strange tire? It isn't like they're going to make up for your inherent ability and training investment. You have been training, right? Besides, if you sneak a few drafts it's better ;-) or pick a tri that allows drafting. Regular clinchers give you the ability to make a fast flat repair - jst carry a CO2 inflator.
Look at Velovlex clinchers and Zipp wheelsmatt
Nov 15, 2001 5:25 AM
The veloflex tires are flyweight tires. Their lightest comes in at 130 grams. Coupled with an ultra light tube at 50 grams, you get a tire set up at under 200 grams. You might want to reconsider the HED rims. I worked as a mechanic last week at the Ironman, and changed lots of tubes. The head wheels have a taller rim and are darned near impossible to get a tire on. The Zipp 404 clinchers on the other hand are more aero and much easier to mount a tire on. Their 2002 wheels are awesome. The rep Zipp had at the race was in excess of 300 lbs and he rides the 404 wheels as a daily riding wheel and never has to true them. That is a testament to strength. As for the Rolf wheels, Trek dumped them as a supplier of wheels, so think long and hard about Rolfs.
TUFO: fact and fallacyRusty McNasty
Nov 15, 2001 7:54 AM
I have used TUFO (true)tubular tires for more than a year now. I would have to say that they are the best damn $40 tubulars I have ever used! I've tried the S3 lite, also-what a great tire! But, I haven't tried the tubulo-clincho versions.
How much does a good clincher, tube, and tape weigh? Chances are, it will be close to the weight of a TUFO. My experience with Tufos is ythat the workmanship and durability of their tires is first class. Their tubular tires are the closest thing to perfectly round tires I've yet found. The downside is that, should you puncture, the sealant must work, or the tire is trash-they can not be opened for repair.
One of the advantages of tubulars is that they are quicker to replace on the road. Rip off the old one, put on a new one, pump, and go. The bead on the tubo-clinco tires may slow you down a good bit. I'm not sure, but you might need tire levers to put them on.
I could see myself buying these tires if I were looking for smooth riding training tires for a clincher rim. I'd also consider using them if I were trying to avoid pinch flats. I'm not convinced they would be good for racing, though.
If you are really looking for a light, reliable tubular, then get a set of tubular rims, and put S3 lights (or maybe one of their track tires: check out www.worldclasscycles.com for the full range) on them. You won't be disappointed
re: Choosing clinchers for racing triathlonsGreyhound
Nov 15, 2001 1:44 PM
I am on my second pair of tubular clinchers from Tufo and love them. Great road feel, great ride, great durability, similar weight to equivelent clincher, and best of all you can go up to 175psi. Awsome tires, I would highly recomend them. I work at a shop that sells them and all the customers that have bought them like them too. The only other clincher i would look at is Verdistien, or how ever you spell that.
more "real" experienceDog
Nov 15, 2001 2:24 PM
I have the Tufo clincher/tubulars on one set of wheels.

First, they are very heavy, about the same as a hefty training tire and normal tube. Mine weighed in around 350 grams each (need to rim tape, though).

They can be hard to mount. Not only do you have to stretch them on like a tubular, but you gotta seat this little groove on each side all the way around. Count on 5-10 minutes per tire.

Forget about ever repairing them. They are sealed. For punctures, you use a little supplied tool to remove the valve core, then inject some sealant into the tire. I hear it works well, but then, knock on wood, mine have never flatted. When I ride with them, I don't carry a spare or a tube (naturally), just the sealant, the little tool, and CO2/pump (well, and a cell phone).

The best thing is that they are heavy duty tires, with hard, thick rubber, and are flat resistant. So, you can have some confidence that carrying a spare tire or tube is less necessary.

For flat ground races, I might consider them. But, for hills, forget it. Just too heavy. You can pump them up pretty high, though, a little higher than most clinchers.

For clincher rims in a tri, I'd recommend something like Axial Pros. Much lighter.

Doug
Vredestein Fortezza 20c 160 psi (NM)Woof the dog
Nov 16, 2001 6:25 PM
nm
re: Choosing clinchers for racing triathlonsBig Cat
Nov 21, 2001 10:52 AM
Thanks to evryone who has replied. I am still debating, with myself(mental masturbation, I guess). But, your input has been helpful.