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Are tubulars just for racing?(9 posts)

Are tubulars just for racing?my327vette
Jul 15, 2002 5:18 PM
Are tubular wheels/tires just for racing? I am thinking about getting a new set of wheels, but don't race and was wondering if tubulars would be good for me. (I do mainly solo rides and some group rides for charity). Is it possible to fix a flat on tubluar tires on the roadside? I'm not much of a tech guy, so i would appreciate any information that anyone could provide for me. Thanks!
re: Are tubulars just for racing?OffTheBack
Jul 16, 2002 5:38 AM
You can train on tubulars, but you will find it to be expensive and inconvenient. If you get a flat, you have to peel off the tire (which is glued to the rim) and put on another tire and hope that inflation pressure holds it on until you get home. Also, hope you don't get a second flat. Once home, you have to unstich the tire, patch the tube, stich the tire back up, and re-glue it to the rim.

With that said, tubies are lighter and ride smoother than clinchers, but unless every gram is really critical I don't think it's worth it. Modern clinchers are pretty darn good, lots of pros even race on them.
get clinchersColnagoFE
Jul 16, 2002 7:22 AM
the advantages are slightly lighter weight and a supposedly better ride, but modern clinchers are so close i dont know why you'd want to mess with it unless you were racing pretty seriously--if even then.
contrary to.....buffalosorrow
Jul 16, 2002 12:11 PM
contrary to.....what has been said tubulars can be re-sewn on the road, it may take a proficient rider just as much time as to swap a tube on a clincher as to sew up a tubular. The only problem is that, it is an honest skill to learn, and on top of that you have to be good. If you are willing to throw a bit of martha stewart into your riding go for it. It is a skill that I would like to learn. Just imagine as you ride you C-40, carbisimo or other with your mavic kys, zipp's, hyperon or hed's you have the skills to repair any inconvience that one may encounter.
I would much rather see a rider on $500 bike repairing a tubular on the side of a road rather than a rider on C-40 asking where the nearest bike shop can be found to change an inner tube or asking for a pump.
got to agree.....JimP
Jul 16, 2002 12:52 PM
You can re-sew or you if the hole is small, you can use Tufo sealant and pump it back up. One reason for riding tubulars is fewer pinch flats and if you do get a flat, there is better control while stopping. Another reason for riding tubulars is that some wheels are only available as tubulars and the rims are usually lighter.

Jim
Theory vs. practiceKerry
Jul 16, 2002 5:28 PM
Someone who is highly skilled can repair 3 tubulars in an hour by setting up a "production line" to allow the glue to dry (both for the patch and for the base tape). Repairing a single tubular would be tough to do in less than 20 minutes, as you would need to allow at least 5 minutes for each set of glue to dry. I don't know anyone who takes 20 minutes to change a tube on a clincher. And try sewing a tire on the road side when it's 95 degrees and humid - a virtual impossibility. Since you don't even know how to do this, it seems you're passing along myth rather than practical experience. For someone asking the question of a group of strangers, the answer is nearly always "stick with clinchers." I rode tubulars for nearly 30 years, switched to clinchers in '98, and never looked back.
contrary to.....Noam
Jul 16, 2002 8:22 PM
No way

I can not repair a tubular puncture at the road side full stop. The main difficulty is that because you do not always know where is the puncture, you do not always know where to cut the stiches. the art is to cut as little as possible of the stiches and to pull the inner out through the small opening. You will also need some water to detect the puncture. Unless you travel with a water container this will be difficult.
I ride themaeon
Jul 16, 2002 4:02 PM
My bike came with tubular rims, and both me and my dad use them most of the time. Modern tubulars are possibly even tougher than clinchers, especially if you use latex inside them to seal small holes.

The rims can be made freakishly light, and if you ever do get a puncture, the glue already on the rim should be enough to keep the new one on.

You do have to carry a spare tire, preferably one that's been used so it's stretched out and has some residual glue on it.

It is a bit more maintainance than a clincher, but lighter and with a better ride. Once you learn how to glue properly and sew a punctured one (at home) they're alright.

It's really your call though. If you don't like or want to work on your bike that much, and don't need the weight savings, and don't race, you might want clinchers.
re: Are tubulars just for racing?JimP
Jul 18, 2002 11:40 AM
I switched from clinchers to tubulars several years ago for my regular wheels. I usually carry 2 spare tires that have been used but are still good enough to be a spare. Recently I had a flat while riding with a couple of friends who had never seen a tubular changed. They thought I was able to pull off the old tire and replace it with the spare in less time than they could replace the tube in a clincher. I took the old tire home and later determined that the tire wasn't worth repairing. Now, some would say that they don't carry spare tires, only a tube or patch kit. That's fine until you cut the tire with a piece of glass and need to repair the tire. One of the friends mentioned above had a cut tire during a charity ride that sliced the sidewall of the tire from the rim to the middle of the tread and blew out the tube so neither could be repaired. He got a ride back in the sag wagon.