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Tubulars?(9 posts)

Jun 5, 2002 5:50 PM
If you use tubulars, why? I'm thinking of getting a set, and have heard there's night and day difference, but are they really worth it? And also, what wheelset do you use? I'm thinking about DA hubs and Reflex rims with Conti. Sprinter tires. Any suggestions are appreciated.
re: Tubulars?hammer_cycle
Jun 5, 2002 7:18 PM
I used to race on tubulars, and switched back to racing on clinchers. That being said, I'm in the process of building up a set of tubulars.

I think the new breed of clinchers are amazing (Axial Pro Light, etc) and are light enough to compete against the 'good' tubulars (Corsa cx, conti gps, etc.) They also tend to corner almost as well as tubulars. The key advantage of tubulars is that they have a slightly different ride (not necessarily better) and they tend to have a more even grip during cornering. The other big key advantage is that you can get a lighter wheelset if you go with tubulars because the shape of the rim allows for less material to achieve the same strength. Clinchers on the other hand are much cheaper and easier to deal with. But is there a night and day different? No. There possibly USED to be a different, but the new clinchers are fantastic.

I would only get tubulars for racing to deal with the hassle issue of having to change them. I would also only get them if I were building up or buying a lightweight race wheelset. For example, the Zipp 404's and 303's are significantly lighter in the tubular version vs their clincher version.

As to why I'm building up a set of tubulars, I have lightweight Mavic GEL280 rims (about 300 grams) when laced with DT revo spokes on Chris King hubs is significantly lighter than a set of lightweight clinchers (tires, tubes, rim strips included).

Good luck.
re: Tubulars?Woof the dog
Jun 5, 2002 10:17 PM
Some say they are not harder to change when you flat, but you certainly gotta know what you are doing. I think all you gotta do is rip the old one off, stick the new one on and off you go. Hmmm, certainly will take some practice. If I ever train on tubs I will just stick a tubie to the back of my seatpost with a rubber band. I am anxious to try it all out eventually. I think you will find this thread worth someping.


Woof the dog.
re: Tubulars?hammer_cycle
Jun 6, 2002 5:22 AM
You're right, its not that bad replacing the tire. It all really comes down to how safe you want to be in avoiding a tire roll off! Since I used tubulars for for racing I made very sure that the glue was applied in a very consistent and complete manner. What this means is that it takes some effort to get the tire off! Some people ride without really glueing their tires, which is fine for recreational riding if you are careful, but not a good idea in a race situation.
My sentiments exactly...biknben
Jun 6, 2002 6:04 AM
I got into a conversation with an older gentleman at the LBS about glueing techniques. He explains to me that he only applies four dabs of glue to the rim and tire. One at each quadrant of the wheel (ie: 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock). I politely said I prefer a more conservative glueing method.

I flatted during a ride for the first time a couple weeks ago. I swapped tires and was back on the road in ten minutes. By some people's standards that is slow. I didn't mind at all.
re: Tubulars?jarraa
Jun 6, 2002 3:18 AM
I actually have the same setup as you are talking about. Except I use Vittoria Corsa CX's. They are at present my "serious training" wheelset" (I do not race ...but consider this type of training as solo racing :) ). I just switched to Tubulars a few months ago. They seem to be quite better that clinchers (rode them for 2.5 years). That said, I think its mostly in my mind. As for switching flats. Get a used tubulat tire from somebody add some glue (if not already abundantly present from previous install) fold it glue side facing each other. wrap it up and you are good to go. A big plus about tubulars (the good ones) is that you can pump them up to crazy tire pressure (200 psi). I keep them at 150 and bring them down to 120 on rough roads. This prevents unnecessary pinch flats and lets you cut through turns much faster. In any regard, you will never know until you try it. Ironically, that is what cycling and LIFE is all about ;)
my reasonDougSloan
Jun 6, 2002 6:05 AM
For me, there is only one good reason to use tubulars -- when the rims or wheels you want to use only come in tubular, such as aero all carbon rims.

Sure, you can get away with using tubulars all the time, but they have some drawbacks compared to clinchers. You usually carry only one spare (and it's a lot heavier than carrying only a tube), so you get more than one flat and you're walkin'. I've had to spend up to 5 minutes pulling them off before when I did a good glue job, which sucks in a race. Some aren't repairable, like Tufo's, so a flat costs you $60 maybe.

For ultimate speed, they are likely a tiny bit faster. However, get something like Zipp 303 carbon/aluminum clinchers and light tires and tubes and you have a darn light setup.

Only for race wheelsJS
Jun 6, 2002 7:13 AM
and only on rims that offer a distinct advantage (weight/aero) and are available in tubular only. For anything else they just aren't worth the hassle, and they are a pain. I race on ZIPP 404's which are avaiable as a clincher but the weight penalty is significant and since these are my race wheels I took the tubular route and save alot of weight.
Only for race wheelsCharlie - Empire Cycle Craft
Jun 6, 2002 7:03 PM
Agree, I only use tubulars for racing. I have a pair of Zipp 303's that I love. But would not use them for everyday riding. Tubulars are to expensive to get a lot of flats on.