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Tubulars--Thinking about trying them...(10 posts)

Tubulars--Thinking about trying them...SimpleGreen
Jun 17, 2001 3:24 PM
Hi all you sew-up users!

I'm thinking about trying Tubulars, but I hesitate for the obvious reasons. I also don't race, so there may be no reason for me to try them that is justifiable. I would still ride clinchers, but it would be nice to have tubulars once in a while to just enjoy "The Ride"--I could also use them on centuries, if I am trying to set a PR or general making-my-buds-suffer days.

What attracts me to trying them is that I hear great things about their ride qualities. I appreciate ride quality, and one of my favorite bikes is a classic steel bike.

So, I realize that I'll be spending money on tires and new wheels. Cost is always a concern--the questions I have are:

1.) Are differences in ride quality significant?
2.) Are the cheaper, training sew-ups decent compared to Clinchers
3.) Does Tufo Tube seal really work?

Any advice or insight is greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch!

Please take no offense, butKerry Irons
Jun 17, 2001 7:34 PM
you should check the archives. This has been talked to death, repeatedly.
re: Tubulars--Thinking about trying them...carlin
Jun 17, 2001 8:11 PM
if you're worried about costs, don't bother. and don't even think about getting cheapies
tubular maintenence/repairmilsk88
Jun 17, 2001 9:14 PM
Actually, cost isn't really a problem, time is. When using tubulars, if you get a puncture, it just takes a lot longer to repair the tire. Here's how:

1.) Take sew-up off the rim.
2.)There are two methods for finding the hole: a.) Hold tire under water and search for escaping air. b.) The better method is to inflate the tire slightly and then squeeze each section of the tire until air no longer escapes.
3.)Remove the strip covering the threads.
4.)Remove the threads over the punture with a knife or seam ripper.
5.)Use a patch kit (Not the stick on kind) to cement a patch over the hole.
6.)Sew the threads back through the origional holes.
7.)Use liquid silicon (Found in tubular repair kits) to re-glue the cloth over the threads.
8.)Let the liquid silicon dry.
9.)Use tire again.

The problem most people don't understand about sew-ups, is that they are not much more expensive than clinchers but they do require more time for maintenence. Besides this, the ride is better. Also, sew-ups can be pumped up to a much higher p.s.i.. This gives you faster acceloration and since there is a smaller surface area of the tire touching the ground, it requires less effort from you to pedal. Last but not least, a cheap sew-ups/tubular rim combination, weighs much, much, less than cheap clincher tire/rim combo.

If you have the time, tubs are well worth it.
re: Tubulars--Thinking about trying them...Mel Erickson
Jun 17, 2001 9:55 PM
Yeah, I used to ride tubs, all the time. Here's my take.

1.) Are differences in ride quality significant?

Not any more. I still ride them occasionally, but, I can't notice a significant difference. In fact, I can't positively attribute the difference I can feel to the tubs, because they're different rims and hubs too.

2.) Are the cheaper, training sew-ups decent compared to Clinchers?

Compared to cheap clinchers? Maybe. Compared to good clinchers? Nope. If you go with tubs, get the good ones. There's a much bigger difference between low end and high end sew ups than there is between low end and high end clinchers. Low end tubs can be bad.

3.) Does Tufo Tube seal really work?

Good question. I don't have an answer. Never used it.

All that said, give tubs a try. Like I said, I still ride them for that old time feel and enjoy them. I doubt they'd give you a faster time on a century or make your buds suffer more, unless you think they will. The mind is a powerful thing!
don't do itDuane Gran
Jun 18, 2001 6:57 AM
The only reason to ride tubulars is if you race. I don't say this to be a snob, it is just a fact. They are too much of a pain in the neck to bother with. I love my tubulars, but they never come with me on a training ride.
I thought about them too...then I bought them...biknben
Jun 18, 2001 8:19 AM
I had a few months to measure all the pros and cons while waiting for money to build a new bike. I completely drove myself nuts. It was one of the few bike related things I had never tried. I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.

When I finally built up the new ride I purchased a clincher wheelset and a tubular. I assumed I'd use the tubs for racing, events, or hammer rides only. To be honest I've used my clinchers just once since April.

Personally, I don't notice a different "ride quality" from the tires alone. I do notice that a lightweight, aero wheelset with tubs is a HUGE difference.
if you dont raceColnagoFE
Jun 18, 2001 8:45 AM
there is little to no reason to run tubulars unless you like sewing and gluing.
Think hardMass Biker
Jun 18, 2001 8:45 AM
Rode/raced with sewups years ago. My take (now that I have gone back to clinchers):

* difference in ride quality today is not that significant. High end clinchers ride offer a ride that is on par with all but the most expensive sewups. Low end sewups offer you a crummy ride. Rode the Vittoria Open Pro (clinchers) last year and swore that they rode about the same as my old Corsa CX (high $$)sewups, and rode a ton better than my old Vittoria Mondiale (low $$) sewups. This has changed a ton in the last several years.
* forget about the training sewups. If you're getting tubulars, get the good stuff. Forget about the cost if you are in search of "the ride".
* don't know about the Tube seal.

For me, the hassle and cost of sewups became a real pain. I had a bunch of old rims lying around that I would use to stretch and age tires, and I had all sorts of bottles of Clement tire glue banging around the bottom of my tool kit. After one too many late-night tire-glueing sessions, the notion of "old world charm" went out the window.

So now, I just buy a bunch of (clincher) tires in bulk at the beginning of the season, swap them over (keeping the less-worn ones for use on the trainer in the winter) and forget about it. No muss. No fuss.

Thanks--I'm still on the fence on this oneSimpleGreen
Jun 18, 2001 10:24 PM
I had another idea. One thing that may make me try tubbies is to rebuild a Cinelli Supercorsa with downtube shifters for the total retro/old-school bike. As some of you suggested, I'd get nice tubulars and then enjoy the ride.

For now, I'll wait...