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New Tubular User. What tire to choose ...gluing, reparing...(8 posts)

New Tubular User. What tire to choose ...gluing, reparing...AllUpHill
Feb 2, 2002 4:53 PM
Hey folks. I plan on getting my first tubular wheelset soon (exciting! I feel like I'm loosing my clincher virginity!). My plan is to ride them only for races, except for a couple rides initially to learn the cornering feel and such.

What tire do you personally recommend based on this useage? I've combed through the Reviews on this site, but let's have some discussion. I guess this scenario dictates, for me, grip first, puncture resistance second, and long tread wear third.

I hesitate to say this cause it probably means I'll puncture tomorrow, but, for whatever reason I evidently do not flat easily ... exactly 3 I think in the last ~10,000+ miles ... and I ride frequently on gravel roads. Maybe I've just always chosen tough clinchers, perhaps it's cause i'm a light guy and don't force objects through the tire as badly.

Now, let's turn the tables and say I get "clinched" on tubulars and want to ride them all the time. Let's say this means long tread wear first, puncure resistance second, and tackiness last. What tire now?

Preferably I'd like to use a brand that one of the cheap-overseas dealers (such as s-deals) carries. I seem to hear mixed things about Conti Sprinters and Vittoria Corsas, but mainly positive things about Tufo's except that there's just one dealer in the US or something. I've liked Vittoria's clinchers in the past, and I have access to them direct at wholesale cost, but that may not last forever.

So tell me the whole story here. And pass along any other tips and talk about gluing, riding, repair, etc. Is it practical to learn to patch and re-sew them, or best to throw them out? I've heard of some guy who does "mail-order repair" for something like $20/tire.
re: New Tubular User. What tire to choose ...gluing, reparing...mackgoo
Feb 2, 2002 5:15 PM
Welcome. The only thing I can tell you is STAY AWAY FROM TUBASTI RIM CEMENT. The white stuff any way if they make more than one kind. That white stuff is a night mare to work with.
My .02$Starliner
Feb 2, 2002 6:02 PM
I'm a recent convert too, so I can't vouch for the Tufos, but I use and like Vittoria Corsas (I weigh 195). Haven't worn out the first set yet so I'll pass on the longevity question. But I do prefer the latex tubes in the Vittorias which are lighter, stretchier and resist tearing compared to butyl tubes, so I'd say they are less flat-prone, which with a tubie is more important than with a clincher from several points of view: cost of repair and or replacement, and the time and effort required to surgically break into a flatted sewup, make the repair, and then sew it back up. Real roadies don't wuss out on their flatted tubies and throw them out, so find somebody to teach you how to be a tire surgeon (BTW, Contis are easier to break into and repair than the hand-made Corsas). (BTW #2, I've also heard of that guy in Florida who'll fix a tire for $20, 2 or more for $15 ea. Look for his small ads in some of the cycling publications)

However with the latex tubes, the Corsas do need to be aired up more frequently though, but so what. Many people swear by the Conti Sprinter which is about $10 cheaper than the Corsas, but I flatted with one barely 3 miles into my first ride with the new wheels, so I replaced it with a Corsa.

Zonabici in Italy sells the Vittorias for a good price but their shipping fee is about the cost of a tire. Labicicletta in Toronto/New York sells the Conti Sprinters for cheap, and the Vittorias at around 20% more than Zonabici, but with lower shipping costs and faster delivery.
Maybe some other riders can turn us on to some other places with good prices/service.
I love the conti sprinters...tuffnick
Feb 2, 2002 11:04 PM
I'm a trackie so all of this may be irrelevant to you but I love my conti sprinters on the track... I use axial pros on the road and have yet to switch over because a spell of 2-3 flats on the road can make me broke pretty damn fast and why do you need them when clincher tires have become so high in quality? Veloflex at 110 psi seriously feel like a good tubular. But anyway I got them on my training wheels and my disc wheels and have had relatively good luck with wear. On the concrete velodrome in Calgary the file tread has been worn down after about a season but theres still plenty of life in them. As long as you keep the pressure up around 130-140 you shouldn't have much problem with flats. Its like axial pros... people whine and complain about how much they flat but a huge huge part of it is people simply not putting enough air in them. If you put 110-120 in you should be fine barring anything completely unforseen like nailing a really deep pothole at 45 km/h.
O ya...tuffnick
Feb 2, 2002 11:09 PM
Whenever glueing tires try to always use the same brand glue as your tire or worst come to worse use at least a name brand. NEVER EVER GET GENERIC TIRE GLUE. If you do you deserve your fate... its not pretty. We had to glue a new tire onto a set of tires during track nationals 2 years ago and well regardless to say the glue took like a week to dry so we never used the wheel. The reason behind it is just to properly activate the glue that already comes on a lot tubulars properly and then of course at least you know name brand glue will dry within a reasonable ammount of time.
Try Tufo Lite 215'sRusty McNasty
Feb 3, 2002 6:03 AM
And use only good glue, like vittoria Mastik1 or conti glue. Also, buy the Tufo sealant-they absolutely can not be opened for repairs, so you will need it to patch any puncture you get.
Anti TufoJimP
Feb 3, 2002 11:58 AM
I went through 4 Tufos last year. 3 were the S3 lite 215s. 2 of the 215s that were on the rear and the 195 that was on the front all failed around the valve stem. The tires evidently weren't as round as they should have been and started to squirm. They were glued with Conti cement and after the first failure, I re-glued the front and was very careful when gluing the rear. Nimble Sport (www.nimble.net) recommends that the tire be "wet glued" where a second layer of glue is applied to the wheel and the tire is immediately mounted.
I am now back to riding on Contis - Comp GP 19 on the front and Sprinter on the rear. I feel the Conti tire has a better grip than the Tufo but it isn't quite as light. The best price on the Conti is from sdeals where I just ordered some at under $25 usd each.
---Thanks to all for the input ------- keep it up-----------(nm)AllUpHill
Feb 3, 2002 12:22 PM