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New to road cycling - info about Tubular Tires...(9 posts)

New to road cycling - info about Tubular Tires...KRider
Jan 14, 2004 10:11 AM
I'd like to know about Tubular tires, specifically what advantages-disadvantages over clinchers. I know that they can be inflated to a much higher pressure. Are they easy to flat?

Anyone here running tubulars?


#1 all time FAQDougSloan
Jan 14, 2004 10:15 AM
Sheldon Brown probably gives the most useful, unbiased info on tubulars.

Basically, in my view, if you are asking, you don't want them.

Good answer...KRider
Jan 14, 2004 10:38 AM
Used to work in a shop and I've seen what tubulars involve when changing tires, etc.

Still interested in them.

Gonna check out that link.


my personal viewDougSloan
Jan 14, 2004 10:50 AM
My personal view is to use them only on all carbon rims to take full advantage of the light weight, and even then only for important events and with full support (so you are not carrying a full spare, of which you'll have only one, and not have to change it yourself), a very limited scenario.

Otherwise, it makes far more sense to use good clinchers.

I think that would be...gtx
Jan 14, 2004 11:29 AM
"is it safe to hang my bike from a hook?"
re: New to road cycling - info about Tubular Tires...one_speed
Jan 14, 2004 11:10 AM
i've been using them for about 10 years. actually, my first wheels were tubies, all i rode for at least 2 years before getting any clinchers. the new clinchers are pretty nice though, and i've switched mostly to clinchers due to maintenance. i always maintain one pair of tubies for racing, however.

there used to be a huge difference in ride quality, with the tubies being much smoother. but times have changed and the playing field is mostly evened. i'd still take a good pair of tubies over clinchers. but in the real world, the clinchers are pretty nice and changing a flat is much easier and less expensive. these days, i can only recommend tubies for a second, race weight, set of wheels.

if you try them, be sure you learn how to properly glue them on the rims. rolling a tire can be pretty ugly. enjoy!
Not much difference in ride qualitybimini
Jan 14, 2004 1:42 PM
between a good clincher and a tubular. Tubulars use to be the only way to get great ride quality and low rolling resistance. Modern top of the line clinchers are very close. We can always start a good argument on which brand is best. Even during the last tour I read it was a 50/50 mix between clinchers and tubulars, and these are bikes with large support crews riding behind. And rides where seconds count. In other words, go with clinchers.

However, I've been toying with the idea of getting a good set of aerodynamic racing wheels. On these I will probably go tubular. You can get the tubulars in narrow widths and super high pressure and ultra low weights. I've heard arguments that to get the most out of a great aero wheel you need a thin tire. I would tend to agree with this argument in that aerodynamic profile of a 19 or 20 cm tubular on an aero wheel looks cleaner than a 22 or 23 cm clincher on the same style of aero wheel. (an old hobby of mine was building and flying RC sailpanes where we spent hours arguing about the pros and cons of the different airfoils)

These would be race only wheels and maybe TT only wheels.
re: New to road cycling - info about Tubular Tires...Dave_Stohler
Jan 14, 2004 7:05 PM
tubulars are harder to flat, they ride better (despite what all the know-nothings say-most of them have never rode tubulars), they weigh less, tubular rims weigh less, and some tubulars can be pumped up to atronomical pressures. They can also safely be rode at very low pressure without worrying about pinch flatting.
Alas, they are a pain to fix, a hassle to mount, and poorly suited to wet weather riding. Good tubulars are also quite expensive. Aside from the Tufo S22 ($30 best deal I can find), any tubular worth considering is over $40. Really good tubulars are often $70 or more.
Wait a few hours and I'm sure Kerry will post his same old response to this question.....
But,,,,,But what about Clinch vs. Tub in a blowout situation...?DUOHEAD
Jan 15, 2004 12:20 AM
When I had my superlight Veloflex clincher[front]catch a rock, the subsequent blowout @ about 15mph left me upright but pretty much out of control, even with clincher still on rim. [No steering control of course.]

I picture this same scenario, in a corner, with a 5 or 50 or 200 foot dropoff....chances maybe slim [but maybe not in twisty, hilly W. Marin!!] but what if...? Not pretty. [I hate scratches on my bike!]

If a well glued tubular that blows & stays on the rim would allow me to maintain a significantly greater degree of control thru steering and possibly prevent a crash & burn [or die], for me it would be worth all the well known hassles of tubs.

Am I thinking straight here......?

[My life may be hanging in the balance........!!!!!!]