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Do "open" tubulars ride as well as normal tubs?(5 posts)

Do "open" tubulars ride as well as normal tubs?dawgcatchr
Jun 25, 2003 10:09 AM
I am building up a Campy bike, and therefore am looking into a new set of wheels. I normally ride tubulars, as the roads around here are very rough, and I like the way they feel. Plus, I have a bunch of tubs that I picked up from Europe cheap (mostly Conti's), so I was planning on riding them for awhile.

Unfortunately, some of the wheels I had been lusting after (Campy Eurus) come in clincher only. I know that there are some "open" tubulars on the market that have a high TPI like a tubular, and are marketed as riding as well as tubs. Am I going to be losing ride quality by having to use a clincher-type open tubular, or should I forget about the Eurus and look for a real tubular wheel? Another option would be the tubular Bontrager Race X-lite or Mavic Ksyriums, but the Mavic's may be too stiff for my weight (148 lbs) and I am not a big Trek/Bonty fan.
"Open tubular" = euro euphamism for "clincher" (nm)TJeanloz
Jun 25, 2003 10:26 AM
actually, it's a euphemism for *expensive* clincher (nm)DMoore
Jun 25, 2003 11:18 AM
Open tubular = high end clincher.jw25
Jun 25, 2003 1:21 PM
According to marketing copy, open tubulars are the same tire as their tubie counterparts, but have kevlar beads installed instead of being sewn shut. At least that's what Vittoria and Veloflex say.
Personally, I've yet to ride tubulars, but I've got time on some Open Corsa TT's, and they're very nice. Much smoother than Conti GP 3000's, for instance, though I find those to ride pretty dead at any pressure.
I see a couple choices here. If you want the Eurus, go clincher and get some nice Veloflex or Gommitalia tires (almost the same thing at the top end - Pave vs. Targa - but the Targa's a little tougher). I don't think ride quality will suffer at all, and clinchers are more convenient for training and club rides as well.
I doubt the Ksyriums would be too stiff (is there such a thing), and 148 lbs isn't flyweight. Actually, it's right around the sweet spot for race equipment, so count your blessings (I'm 150, and I do every day). Wheel stiffness is blown out of proportion, anyway. You'd feel 5 psi difference before you'd feel a stiffer wheel.
You could also build some nice tubular wheels for race use, and get a decent clincher set for training. That seems to be how many go. It's easy to put a light tubie wheelset together, since the rims are much lighter. Maybe Record to Reflexes or Velocity Escapes with light spokes.
Or you could sell the tubulars for a profit, and put it towards some spendy clincher wheels. Ebay or here should work.
Decisions, decisions. Personally, I hesitate to learn gluing and tubular repair, so I'm a clincher guy, but I've always been curious how they ride.
Close but no cigargrandemamou
Jun 25, 2003 3:41 PM
I bought a pair of Veloflex Pave's and the ride is pretty close. Or at least as I remember it. I haven't ridden tubulars in years. Too much trouble for me.

The Velo flex Pave's are as close as I have seen to tubular feel with clinchers but if you must have tubulars then nothing will probably equal the feel.