I'll usually use clinchers on road-races and tubulars on crits. My tubular wheels weighs 1950gm with tyres+cassette and are about 2lbs lighter than my clinchers. The difference in response time in transitioning from straight-line to full-cornering is incredible. It's telepathic! And making mid-corner corrections to avoid wrecks or to jump over a body is much quicker and easier.
I did an informal coast-down measurement from 15mph and the tubulars rolled 60ft farther, so they also have less rolling resistance as well. But I don't think that affects my straight-line speed much since the draft is worth much more than that.
Also when you get a flat under maximum-cornering at 35mph, tubulars don't lose as much control as clinchers...
My tubular wheels weighs 1950gm with tyres+cassette and are about 2lbs lighter than my clinchers. (
That is a huge difference. I assume you are comparing them to a descent clincher set?
The last two crits I did I saw one guy in each race roll a tubular and slide out into the curb. I understand they probably did not glue them properly but still it would not ever happen with a clincher. I don't know enough about them but they kind of freak me out. I rode a tubular set on a track bike many many years ago but a good friend of mine who knew what he was doing glued them on. I don't trust myself. I am thinking of getting a set for cross this year mainly because you can put very low pressure in them and still avoid flats and I won't be doing much high speed cornering in cross.
There used to be a suspension for rolled tubies...still the case? I've only raced on tubies and never had any roll. They're the ride for racing, that's for sure...IMHO more important than ultra low count spoken wheelsets, etc.. for mass start events.
"That is a huge difference. I assume you are comparing them to a descent clincher set?"
Most of the weight is in the rims and tyres where it makes the most difference in polar moment of inertia anyway. Don't forget to add the separate weight of a tube and rim-strip for clinchers. Here's what I use on my tubulars:
rim: FIR 280gm heat-treated 7000-series alloy rims (stronger and lighter than Sun M19a-II I used to use) tyres: Panaracer Rapide 180gm or previous generation kevlar Tourguard slicks 200gm
Nuke Proof carbon-fibre hubs: 275gm/pr
Ringlé CamTwist titanium skewers: 80gm/pr
DT Revolution 2.0/1.5mm spokes & alloy nipples: 250gm both wheels
Regina 7-speed alloy freewheel: 275gm
hollow bushingless chain... not sure brand... Regina?
"The last two crits I did I saw one guy in each race roll a tubular and slide out into the curb. I understand they probably did not glue them properly but still it would not ever happen with a clincher."
Clincher's do get pinched flats in bumps or pinched tube. I don't have the relative failure rates of tubulars vs. clinchers in races though. However, flat tubulars are more controllable than flat clinchers. Glue is easy, you just have to make sure you remove as much of the old glue as possible, it contaminates the new layer. Also I don't like the old-tech glues, I prefer 3M Fastak weatherstripping adhesive #08031 or #08033. Sometimes you have to cut the tyre off the rim to remove it...
I race on tubulars with a pair of Zipp 303. What more can you ask? I can pump the psi to 140 and the tires still handle rough pavement very well. The only way you can get a pair of sub 1300g wheels is to go carbon tubular.
My tubular wheels in bare configuration comes to hubs 275gm+ spokes 250gm + rims 560gm = 1085gm. Still 1/2-lb lighter than the RolfPrima ElanAero and they only cost me $150 to build. Add two tyres, two rim-strips, two tubes, two QR skewers and a cassette and you're well over 1-lb heavier than my set of tubulars. Not to mention I get 24/28 spokes for better lateral support of the rim. Tall aero rims have to be so vertically stiff in order to use fewer spokes that they give a very harsh, non-compliant ride over bumps. Try max-speed downhills at 45-50mph with maximum-braking and max-cornering over bumps on a set of those RolfPrimas and what's left of your numb hands will be white-knuckles from shear terror..
The idea is you take ANY clincher wheel-set, and shave off the hook beads on the rims and remove the beads from the tyres and you'll always have a lighter set of wheels.
The last two crits I did I saw one guy in each race roll a tubular and slide out into the curb. I understand they probably did not glue them properly but still it would not ever happen with a clincher.
So if a guy puts a carbon bar set on with a giant breaker bar at 400ft/lbs....there's a problem with the bars?
I once slid my bike across an entire crit field when my front clincher went *poof* (instaflat). Kept it upright and barely missed the curb. Guess what I use in races now?
You can screw up installation on a lot of different parts with bad results. It's not the parts fault.