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Aero Race Wheels - Tubular or Clincher(6 posts)

Aero Race Wheels - Tubular or Clincherttoth11
May 20, 2002 8:50 AM
Its been a while since I purchased deep dish race wheels and I was wondering if clinchers have improved enough to warrant forgoing tubular wheels for racing. My chief concern is the absolute pain that flat tubulars present, particularly because I don't want to carry an extra tire with me. I've been thinking about buying a set of used Cosmic Carbone clinchers, but I'm hesitant because the tubulars I've raced with were always real nice.

FYI, while I think it must be a typo, the mavic website lists the rear Cosmic clincher as ten grams lighter than the tubular. Doesn't seem possible to me though.
re: Aero Race Wheels - Tubular or Clincherjw25
May 20, 2002 11:07 AM
Alrighty then, I'll take a stab at this. If you're buying deep aero wheels for TT's, then tubies are the way to go. Lighter, higher pressures, and if you flat, you're abandoning anyway.
For pack racing, well, do you really need aero? If you're soloing off the front, then sure, but if we're talking pack tactics, you're likely to enjoy the faster acceleration of a shallower rim.
IMHO, if you've used tubies in the past, and do a good glue job, know about stretching and aging, and have other tubie wheels, then sure, they're lighter in most cases, and have a bigger safety factor when they flat.
Otherwise, clinchers are very nice these days, and with lighter tubes (Michelin A1 are my favorites) are pretty competitive weightwise. A spare tube is lighter and smaller than a spare tire, and a tube can be patched if necessary on the side of the road.
As for the Cosmic Carbones, I'd almost have to recommend against them. The big beef there is the "carbon" fairing, which is cosmetic only. Sure they're aero, but you end up running 16 or 20 spokes into a fairly light rim, so strength is compromised. I'd recommend their Cosmic Pros, Equipes, Elites, or some Campy Shamals or the like, with a deep aluminum rim, or else go the Zipp/HED/Corima/LEW route. They're carbon, but it's structural, so strength is good. Ebay routinely has bunches of aero wheels, so pick and choose.
re: Aero Race Wheels - Tubular or Clincherttoth11
May 20, 2002 11:23 AM
Appreciate the response.
The wheels would actually be for everything, TTs and triathlons included, so I would prefer an aero wheel.

I read what you're saying about the Cosmic Carbones. I don't hold a very favorable view towards them because they aren't true carbon rims, except that I noticed a pair of clinchers for sale at a reasonable price (although still expensive). As for other carbon wheels, I'm definately still looking around but these are almost exclusively tubular wheels and I'm undecided on the pros and cons between them. Tubulars are marginally faster and "feel" nicer, while clinchers are more convenient.

Still looking and if you notice any good deals to be had, let us know.

zipp 404 and tufos tubieskarlooz
May 20, 2002 11:48 AM
if you are going full aero, at least 50mm rim depth, then go tubie. save as much weight as you can to compensate for the deep section. get some zipps and and tufos. great deals on zipps on ebay and tufos are quite durable, expecially with their sealant. i've used zipp 404's and tufo s3 lites for everything. they've held up well and i don't carry a spare (knock on wood) but bring along a cell phone ;)
re: Aero Race Wheels - Tubular or ClincherJimP
May 20, 2002 1:43 PM
I would recommend looking at the Nimble Crosswinds. They are light and more aerodynamic than most other spoked wheels. I would recommend against the S3 lite Tufo tires - I went through 3 of them last year at the valvestem joint. It seems that they aren't quite as straight as they should be and will squirm after a while causing the valvestem to work free. The sealant works, but only for little holes, not the valvestem coming out.
I'd opt for clinchersMGS
May 20, 2002 4:47 PM
This topic has been bantered around in the past, and people espouse the benefits of tubular tires with as much zeal and love as those people who push the beloved Brooks saddles on others.

It seems that misery, to a certain degree, loves company. Not to suddenly get flamed, as I realize some people just love the Brooks saddle, but in my opinion, a saddle should feel good right out of the box. Why destroy your butt breaking it in. But that is another topic.

Not to digress, and back to the topic, I've had tubulars, I know tubulars, and I am a no tubular kind of guy. The advantages of a Victoria clincher, with a light weight inner tube, far outweigh the slight weight advantage of a tubular. It's as smooth as a tubie, almost as light, and can be patched and repaired on the road. Also a spare inner tube can be put in a small bike bag.

The advantage of a tubular being safer is one of those comments which I've never understood. I've had a clincher go flat, decending a hill at 40mph, and I safely stopped the bike and pulled off the road. Typically, clinchers do go flat, rather precipitously, but I've not heard of anyone stating that "riding a tubular saved my life."

That being said, I'd opt for the Zipp 404 clinchers. Aero, light weight, and structurally sound.

But that's just my opinion.....