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racing on tubulars vs clinchers???(9 posts)

racing on tubulars vs clinchers???daveo
Jan 29, 2003 1:46 PM
hey who races on what and why? i heard positive things about tubulars but they still seem less common?
Local vs. national vs. pro levelKerry
Jan 29, 2003 5:50 PM
In the TdF, 75% of riders are on tubulars. In the lower level USCF races, it's more like 10%. You will NOT win or lose races because of the choice of tubulars vs. clinchers.
both have pros and consFasCat
Jan 29, 2003 6:53 PM
Tubulars offer pinch flat resistance. For a rough course or one that may have 'cobbles' or dirt sections' , tubulars can keep you from flatting and having to get a wheel change and then have to bust it to catch back onto the peloton. Plus, they often times grip the road better and thus offer better traction that can be 'xtra handy during criteriums or descents. The only drawback (beside cost) is having to dedicate a wheelset to that one tubular set with its tread and width.

Clinchers offer flexibility in that they can be switched between wheelsets depending on the type of race or training.

I have both and like each for their individual reasons.

Good Luck!
both have pros and consdoog
Jan 30, 2003 8:44 PM
I was taught that tubulars are generally better. They grip the road better when turning b/c they sorta slightly stay vertical but clinchers lean with the wheel so your sorta riding on the sides of the tires. But, aren't tubulars a pain to put on?
Hey Kerry, tell Olano that! (nm)Ye Olde Balde One
Feb 10, 2003 11:09 AM
boils down to psychology?DougSloan
Jan 31, 2003 8:16 AM
I'm the type who doesn't like to feel I'm disadvantaged in the slightest from my equipment. Others may feel tougher by using heavier or less "trick" equipment, and get a boost from that.

Tubulars will generally be slightly faster, primarily due to the weight of the rims they are on. If you use superlight all carbon rims, then tubulars are the only way to go. For aluminum tubular rims, the savings is around 20-30 grams a rim, plus the weight savings of the tubular itself.

Tubulars weigh around 190-250 grams, but that includes the tube. Racing clinchers are around 180-220 grams, plus a 50-90 gram tube. Rim tape and glue probably cancel out.

The added benefit of light carbon tubular rims is that they are either very aero (Zipp 404's) or somewhat aero (303's). To get a clincher rim with the same aero shape, you add at least 100-300 grams per rim.

With Tufo tubular glue strips, mounting a tubular is as easy as a clincher. No mess; no waiting, rock solid mounting. Removal is more difficult, though, as the stuff really sticks tenaciously.

Tubulars are usually shot after one flat, unless you use sealant for small holes, or perform surgery on them. They will certainly be more costly in the long run. But, if you only race on them, that's not as much of an issue.

I doubt any race would be won or lost using the state of the art tubulars or clinchers, unless we are talking about seconds. In other words, if you are a real contender, it's probably worth using tubulars. If you are off the back on the first hill or 50 places back at the finish, I doubt they will make a meaningful difference.

Doug
And to second that from a luddite's perspective:shirt
Jan 31, 2003 10:46 AM
I've raced on some Very Fine clinchers, and even those just don't provide me the feel that my generic tubulars do (Chris King | Straight Gauge DT | Mavic). In a bumpy crit I really prefer the feel of my tubulars.

Do they actually stick better? They may, they may not. I don't care. I feel more comfortable cornering, and that comfort translates to me being more relaxed. End of story.

/shirt
Tufo tubular glue stripsp lo
Feb 2, 2003 9:48 PM
so, what are these and how do they work? anybody else try them yet?

thanks
re: racing on tubulars vs clinchers???MR_GRUMPY
Jan 31, 2003 6:43 PM
In road races, it doesn't make too much difference. If you flat, you're not going to catch up unless you are a Cat 1-2 with neutral support, and a quick wheel change.
In crits, it's a different story. Tight turns, wet turns, bumpy turns. The pace doesn't slow.
How fast can you ride a flat clincher? If it takes 5 minutes to ride around to the wheel pit, they might not give you a free lap. A flat tubular can be ridden at speed without problems. The only time that you have to slow is in the turns.