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Favorite Tubulars?(26 posts)

Favorite Tubulars?collinsc
Dec 1, 2003 11:05 PM
Lets make this as much of a poll as possible, I would like to hear your experiences with various tubular tires. What do you use? Why? What have you used? Why dont you use them any more?

I can guess a lot of what will be posted here, but I want to hear what you guys have to say, especially those of you who train/ride regularly on them.

(I do not care to get into a clinch. vs tub. debate here. I like clinchers just fine, but am likely to end up with a pair of zipp rimmed wheels from my coach for racing)
re: Favorite Tubulars?MShaw
Dec 1, 2003 11:17 PM
Right now I'm riding Tufo's 190g S3 Pro tires on my track bike (and on race road wheels if I had any) and some S22s on my training wheels. They seem to be decent tires for not a bunch of money. They're wearing very well so far.

My favorite of all time tubular are Conti Competitions. I used to get them for inexpensively enough that I could justify riding on way spendy tires.

After that, Sprinters are also good tires.

I don't really like Vittorias offerings since they moved production to the far east. Ugh! I haven't ridden any Veloflex tires, so I can't comment.

That help?

re: Favorite Tubulars?collinsc
Dec 1, 2003 11:54 PM
Yeah, this is exactly the sort of response I was looking for.

Could you help clarify, though, what the difference between the Conti Competition and Sprinter is?
According to, looks like the Comp has more puncture protection layers and TPI. How does this translate into the real riding world?
similar but differenthudsonite
Dec 2, 2003 5:49 AM
As I mentioned in another post, the comps on-line in the US are $60.00, the sprinters are $40.00.

The two tires are more similar than different. Construction is similar, tubes are similar, they weight about the same. The objective differences are:

- Color (lot of choices for the comps)
- Handmade(Comps), machine made (sprinters)
- Construction (5 plies comps, 3 plies sprinters)

As for the ride quality, they are not the same, with the two feeling different. But which is better, impossible to say with 'facts'. But I choose to ride the comps.

As for puncture resistance, this is a tricky one. They are both very good. Conti claims the comps are better than the sprinter. But it is a very hard thing to prove. As punctures are a random occurance, you would need to study the experiences of a large number of riders to make a determination. Myself, I have noticed no difference. But I like the idea of more puncture resistance so I 'buy' into the marketing and go with the comps.

If money was an issue, the sprinters are the way to go. If money is not an issue, then go with the comps and get color coordinated tires if you are into that.
re: Favorite Tubulars?AllUpHill
Dec 2, 2003 4:46 AM
I've been using the Veloflex Servizio Corse. I'm no sage tubular veteran, so I can't comment on the long term durability, or compare them to other tubulars. These came without any visible defects, and glued on nice and straight. I have weighed them and they meet or beat the quoted weight. They have a super plush ride quality no matter how high the pressure, and they stick incredibly well, much better than any clincher i've used, in corners. I only use them for special occasions, but I have put about 500 miles on my pair without any punctures. The rear tire's tread does appear to be wearing down a bit after this short distance, but that's to be expected for tacky race tires; they have plenty of life left.
Conti Competition 22hudsonite
Dec 2, 2003 5:15 AM
I have used a bunch over the last 30 years. Currently one bike is wearing Conti Competition 22's. Great tires and if you buy them on-line you can purchase them for less than $60 a pop. As a reference point, the LBS price in the UK for these tires is about £32 or $USD56.00. The LBS price in US about $110 and in Canada $160. Same tire, different distributor!

So as a $60 tire, they are excellent and a good value in a high performance tire; clincher or tubular. No complaints. Puncture resistant, great road feel, holds air pressure, good on wet roads and are nice looking. You can get them in multiple colors if you desire (if you order them on line).

The tubs are used for training, long distance riding and climbing. They are used on smooth roads and dirt roads. I always carry a spare tire in case of a flat. The spare has not been used in a long time though. Personally, on the road flat repair is much easier with a tub than with a clincher, IMO. Rip off the old, stretch on the new, and you are done. New tire and tube. And despite what people say, a tub will not roll off after a road side repair. They are on tight. Now what you don't want to do is go crazy in the corners before you take the time to reglue.
But I have gone over 1000km without doing the right thing (regluing the tire) without a problem.

On long distance rides (200km+), I will also bring a patch kit in case I flat more than once. It has never happened, but I am prepared if it were to happen. Fixing a tub takes about an hour the first time you try. After that, you can do it in about 15 minutes.

I have used other brands in the past (Vittoria, Clemente). Good tires, but the latex tubes in these tubulars need to be pumped up every day. The conti's hold pressure longer, so I can fill them up on a Saturday and not have to worry about them on the Sunday, Monday or even the Tuesday. I could actually go the entire week, but I like to check air pressure on a regular basis.

The only downside of the Conti Competetion is that they are a b**ch to get on if they are not pre-stretched. You don't want to be around the workshop when new tires are being stretched for the first time. Mind you, you don't want to be in the workshop when some clinchers are going on the first time either.

There are lots of good tubs on the market, especially on-line. But the Conti's have been very good and I will stick with them until something better comes around.

BTW I ride both clinchers and tubs. Both are good. If you don't like tubs, don't ride them. If you like them, ride them.
Conti Competition 22 questiondesmo
Dec 2, 2003 8:44 AM
Is the stitching on the Comps the same machine stitch that the Sprinters use? I've had better luck repairing the old style plain overhead sticth than that loop thing on the Sprinters, which I always manage to pull the wrong way.

As for the original question. I've been happy with Sprinters. I think they ride really well and have the "feel". As for punctures, I think it's more road conditions, how you ride, and luck that determines the amount of punctures you'll get. I didn't notice any more or less than I do with various clinchers, etc. The only other current brand of sew-ups I've tried are the newly introduced Asian Clements. I bought an inexpensive pair for a vintage ride I had put together, and I would not recommend them. They ride like a rock, and the first time I pulled them off to repair more than half the base tape came off (and not where I needed it too!). But you get what you pay for.
Don't know about the stitchinghudsonite
Dec 2, 2003 8:55 AM
I have not had the pleasure of finding out how they are sewed/stitched yet. No flats on the Comps yet. I guess I should not have said that....

The cheap tubular tires are best avoided. They are not worth the money and do not ride very well.
Least Favorite Tubulars?Alexx
Dec 2, 2003 5:55 AM
So far, aside from Vittoria Corsas (and ONLY the Corsa line), everybody has already mentioned my faves. I still have a pair of "old" Clements, but obsolete models aren't what we're talking about here, so I won't go in that direction...

I have, in the last few years, been VERY disappointed by several brands of tubulars, so here they are, don't make the same mistake in buying them:

Conti Giros: I guess these used to be good, but now they are made in Thailand, along with all the other cr@p tires. They aren't the cheapest, but they sure feel like it. For some reason, all the Thai-tubbies have a pronounced lump on them near the valvestem, and it's enough to drive you crazy. Also, they flat really easily. Complete waste of

Hutchison Gold: Just plain cr@p-not round, hard tread, uneven base tape, flats easily. Why even bother making something this bad? I've never bought any Hutchison tire that was worth a damn.

Vittoria Rally/Formula Uno: These have different tread componds (Uno being softer), but they are pretty much the same underneath. These are just about the cheapest tubulars ever made, and boy does it show! Hard ride, heavy, lumpy tread, poor construction, etc., etc. I'd rather ride bare rims than use one of these again. Not even worth having as a spare.

Now, for one really good tire, and cheap, too: Tufo S22. This is their basic "training tire", but unlike other brands, that doesn't mean it's garbage. Yeah, it's a bit more than, say, a Vittoria Rallye, but it is a quality tire. There is good grip to the tread, it rides nice, it's round, and it wears a long time. It's a bit heavy for a tufo (275g, same as a conti sprinter), but for an everyday tire, it's hard to beat.
I recently gave them up but I can offer my experience...biknben
Dec 2, 2003 5:57 AM
In the two plus years I rode tubulars I tried Conti Sprinters, Vittoria Corsa TTs, and Tufo Specials.

I originally tried the Sprinters because they were available locally and I've had good experience with Conti. They did the job, they wore well, but didn't offer any great feel. I bought them simply because they were always available at the drop of a hat.

I tried the Tufo and had the same conclusion. I was dissapointed with the Tufos since they cost more and can be difficult to find. I know of only two on-line places that sell them. I wouldn't bother to buy them again.

My happiest experience was with the Vittorias. They can be found for well under $50. They had the tubular "feel" that I was expecting. They wore well. The trade-off for the supple feel was that they were paper thin (compared to the other two). I can't say I got more flats but the tire didn't have a lot of flat protection. They also use Latex tubes so they will loose significant air pressure overnight. If I had stayed with tubulars, my next tire purchase would have been a bulk order of these tires.
Veloflex Criteriums.No_sprint
Dec 2, 2003 7:39 AM
Conti Sprinters are nice too. I can get the Crits cheaper from critusa at aol dot com.

If I were blindfolded and riding many of them, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

I basically only race tubies.
Vittoria Corsa CX nmgtx
Dec 2, 2003 9:06 AM
Veloflex Criteriumsflying
Dec 2, 2003 10:36 AM
I have been through about 6-8 of these & always get almost exactly 2000 miles out of them.
I buy them from Crit USA Danny always has a special on them.
The Veloflex tires are hand made by the folks in Italy that were the Vittoria tubular makers before Vittoria switched to Thailand.
I cannot say enough good things about them. Supple, true, excellent quality. This is the ride I like & use them for everyday training riding as well as roller duty. No probs.
Yep, they're grrrrrreat!!! nmNo_sprint
Dec 2, 2003 11:00 AM
great info, thanks! nmgtx
Dec 2, 2003 2:28 PM
I put Danny's email in my original postNo_sprint
Dec 2, 2003 2:38 PM
Best prices I've found and he's a great guy to deal with. No website, no frills, email only.

He also has great prices on select other items like some lubricants and great prices on Campy groupsets.
I put Danny's email in my original postgtx
Dec 2, 2003 3:25 PM
Yeah, I think I may have purchased a Dura Ace group from him back in 1989. Is that possible--could it be the same guy? Next time I need tires I'm going to e-mail him.
I put Danny's email in my original postflying
Dec 2, 2003 9:16 PM
Yup that is the same guy allright ;-)
I have also dealt with him from a little before 89.... 87 I think.
Anyway he just mailed me this list a few days ago check it out & the cool thing with him is just tell him what you want he sends it. He trusts you to send him a check. Nice guy!!

Criterium U.S.A. Inc.


Michelin Megamium-700 x 23-black/black $18.95 each + shipping

Michelin Carbon-700 x 23-black/yellow $23.95 each + shipping

Michelin MUD Cyclocross Tire-700 x 30-ALL BLACK $26.75 each + shipping

Michelin Pro Race-700 x 23-black $29.99 each + shipping
Michelin Pro Race-700 x 23-black/yellow $29.99 each + shipping
Michelin Pro Race-700 x 23-black/dark blue $29.99 each + shipping

Michelin Pro Race-700 x 20-black $29.99 each + shipping

Michelin Pro Race-650 x 23-black $29.99 each + shipping

Michelin Pro IRONMAN-700x 23/black/red $29.99 each + shipping
Michelin Pro IRONMAN-700 x 20-black/red $29.99 each + shipping

Michelin Pro LIGHT-700 x 23-black/light blue $32.50 each + shipping
Michelin Pro LIGHT-700 x 20-black/light blue $32.50 each + shipping

Veloflex Pave----700 x 22-180 grams-BLACK/BLACK $32.49 each + shipping
Veloflex Pave 700 x 22-180 grams-BLACK/YELLOW $32.49 each + shipping
Velflex Pave 700 x 22-180 grams-BLACK/BLUE $32.49 each + shipping
Veloflex Pave 700 x 22-180 grams-BLACK/RED $32.49 each + shipping
Veloflex Master-700 x 20-170 grams-natural/black $33.49 each + shipping
Veloflex Corsa---700 x 20-180 grams-natural/black $34.99 each + shipping
Veloflex Record-700 x 20-130 grams-natural/black $35.99 each + shipping

Michelin LONG VALVE Tubes $3.99 each + shipping
Cinelli Cork Ribbon $7.50 per pack + shipping
Campagnolo Chain Lube $25.75 per can + shipping

Veloflex Carbon TUBULARS--------700 x 22-240 grams $53.75 each + shipping
Veloflex Criterium TUBULARS-----700 x 22-250 grams $53.75 each + shipping
Veloflex Servizio Corsa TUBULAR-700 x 20-210 grams $55.75 each + shipping
Veloflex Record TUBULAR---------700 x 20-180 grams $65.00 each + shipping

very cool nmgtx
Dec 3, 2003 10:46 AM
Conti Comps. And here's a cheaper place to get thempurplepaul
Dec 2, 2003 10:39 AM

Sprinters for $35.

Now, if someone would just do a review of those $18 Gommitalia's, I'd be interested.

I've only used the Comps in the 6 or so months I've been on tubulars, but I love how they feel and they are very puncture resistant (Okay, one tire bit the dust on a nasty piece of glass after 125 miles, but my first rear tire lasted over 3500 miles. The replacement front is still going with close to 4000 miles; there are some tiny, superficial cuts, but it looks almost brand new).

They are my everyday tires and I'm in NYC.
Wow, Sprinters for $35!!!!!! nmNo_sprint
Dec 2, 2003 11:02 AM
650 Only??? What good is that??? (nm)Alexx
Dec 2, 2003 11:29 AM
They are currently sold out.hudsonite
Dec 2, 2003 1:11 PM
Last I checked ital-techno, they are sold out of the 700c comps. There new stock will probably be in for the spring.

Check out $59. for the comps.
I didn't notice that...No_sprint
Dec 2, 2003 1:56 PM
at $35, I bet they sold out in about 5 minutes.
I didn't notice that...Bob1010
Dec 2, 2003 4:20 PM
$27 at but the Tufo are sooooo much better. Try the Elite road tire with 440 TPI and a punture resistance ply plus better side wall protection,,,,,then take them up to 220 psi and we'll see you later.
The Sprinters are 700c.purplepaul
Dec 2, 2003 5:35 PM
I've not ordered from them, since I bought a bunch of Comps from the UK when the dollar was much stronger. But, I did send them an email to clarify that the tires were comp 240's, factory fresh, etc., and they replied quickly with all the relevant info. So, they DO sell the 700's for $52, and have been listing them as such for the better part of a year.

Occassionally they will knock $2 off them during a weekly special. Again, I've never actually ordered them from italtechno, but they seem to be a legit source.

As for the UK shops, the dollar is so weak right now that I don't think it would make sense, after shipping costs are included, to order from them. The other problem, one that I encountered with the Comps, is that 1 in 3 seems to come out lumpy or out of round. There's no way I'm sending a tire back to the UK, but I might send it to a shop in the US.

Just food for thought.