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But what about Clinchers vs. Tubulars in a blowout???(6 posts)

But what about Clinchers vs. Tubulars in a blowout???DUOHEAD
Jan 19, 2004 10:49 PM
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........!!!!!!]

Cheers!!!
MaybeaOldMan
Jan 20, 2004 6:28 AM
You can still ride a tubular when it goes flat. If the tire is well glued the tire will stay on and you can bring the bike to a controlled stop.

However, I do not know what would happen if you were leaned over in a corner and the tire were to blow. It is never happened to me on a tub so I can not say for sure.

In a blowout situation, tubs do have an advantage over clinchers. However, there are other situations where clinchers have advantages, primarily in the case of a going down very steep and long hills on a hot day. The tire glue is going to get hot and soft. This could cause the tire to move on the rim and potentially roll off. In the case of a clincher, the tire is less likely to move. But in either case, very hot rims caused by braking is going to cause problems, such as blowouts, but tubulars are going to see the problems sooner than clinchers. Typically what happens on a tub when the glue gets too hot is you will begin to feel a 'thump', 'thump', 'thump'. This is a warning that the tire has moved and the valve stem is not centetred. At that point it is time to stop, remove and re-mount the tire (a five minute job).

I have been riding tubulars for 30 years. In all those years I have never had a tub roll off the rim or had a problem during a flat/blowout. With that said, i am very aware of the issue of getting the rim too hot on long moutain descents. But I have had clinchers blow that have resulted in a crash and lots of road rash.

These days I ride both tubs and clinchers. The tubs are used when the weather is nice and I am going out for a long solo ride. The clinchers are used during the late fall, early spring and winter. They both work well. I prefer the ride of the tubs and the convenience of the quick tire change in case of a blowout. The clinchers are also very good, but they do not provide the same ride as the tubs, and at least for me, they are more trouble to fix on the road.

But from a safety perspective I don't really think one tire type is better than the other. Both can be a problem if mounted wrong. Both will provide good and safe riding if mounted correctly. I have had more crashes because of clinchers blowing off the rim, but not enough to say that tubs are safer than clinchers.

The bottom line is that 's**t' happens in life. We can try to mitigate the risk in cycling by using helmets, keeping our bikes in good condition and making sure our tires are not worn out. But the single biggest issue is watching out for dangerous situations involving cars & trucks and road hazards. But even though I love tubulars, I do not feel people should buy them for 'safety' reasons. While they can mitigate some risk, they introduce other usability factors that make them 'not recommended' for most riders.
Very illuminating & well stated! Could anyone expound on theDUOHEAD
Jan 20, 2004 10:05 AM
control factor of a blown tub vs. blown clinch?

Is there much greater control with completely flatted [blown] tub @ speed vs. clinch?

I.O.W.....Can you steer with the blown/flat tubular??

Thanks!
No...biknben
Jan 20, 2004 11:36 AM
Don't expect a flat tubular to provide steering control at anything more than a casual speed. You'll be able to ride straight and take corners like you are on ice. If you were in a crit, you would be able to ride to the pit area for another wheel. In a RR, you may be able to ride one until support got to you. In either case you are gonna have to slow down significantly.

If you got a blow out on either type of tire, you are in trouble. If descending at speed in a turn, you're going down. A flat tubular will do little more than protect the rim from getting trashed if you had to ride it.

Ben (was forced to ride flat tubular for ten mile when I got stranded)
On a blown tubular you CAN steer...but do it carefully (nm)il sogno
Jan 20, 2004 6:48 PM
re: But what about Clinchers vs. Tubulars in a blowout???BR1
Jan 21, 2004 7:58 AM
tubulars don't "blow out" the way clinchers do they soften slowly giving you the chance to control the bike.

for that reason they are safer.