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  1. #1
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    Sew-ups and clinchers again-Sorry!

    I have a Concorde bike with Edco Competition componentry circa 1984 which came with 36 spoke wheels and sew-ups. I used to buy low end tires, but was really thrilled with the feel of the wheels. Since, I was flatting out regularly, and did not bother to figure out how to patch sew-ups since people told me that there was no way to patch without getting a noticeable thump out of the fixed tire-each flat was costing me a new tire. My remedy was to rebuild the wheels with clinchers. I choose Specialized Pro 700CX20 on the rear and 23 on the front.
    I am happy with the new wheels and tires and feel more confident going long distances with only a tube and tools-but something is missing!
    Is it possible to get the same feel on higher end clinchers as I remember on the sew-ups or do I have to buy new wheels with sew-ups for occasional runs? The local bike store is pushing some sort of would-be sew-up for clincher rims that are supposed to be close to a sew-up feel.
    Also, should I consider replacing the tube each time if I go this route and learning to sew it into the tire?
    Could it be that too much attention and money is being spent on frames when wheel upgrades and possibly better clipless peddles would give better bang for the dollar, given the effect of rotating mass?
    Sorry if I'm going over old stuff-I'm new here.

  2. #2
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    I ride Michelin Axial Pro Race 700x23. There are now around 9 or 10 pro teams riding these tires, exclusively, even in races. That's not why I ride them....I ride them becasue they are comfortable and durable. Axial Pros were the first clincher to win Paris-Roubaix (Mapei has ridden them for a few years).

    The old days are gone...most teams and many guys I know around where I live who race are tired of flatting in a crit, because when that happens, you are toast. I ride in a large park, and have flatted three times in two years riding between 40-50 miles per day.

    Michelin is not the only company with high end clinchers....Hutchinson also makes a very nice tire and I am sure there are others. I just got hooked on Michelins because I find them very comfortable.

    The Axial Pros are good and there are deals on them if you look around some...the Pro Race is the next generation, and a few more $$$.

    Hope that helps.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply. I was thinking that my query was so lame that it did not deserve a reply.
    1-I see that the Michelin tyre that you use is rated at 230 grams. The Axial-Lite version saves 40 grams. Any point in going for that advantage?
    2-What do you use for tubes? The better quality Michelins weigh out at 70 grams, which would make the complete tyre that you refer to 300 grams relative to a high quality tubular at around 240 grams. The Axial-Lite would give an overall rating of 260 grams in contrast.
    3-Michelin also advertises a latex tube but with no weight mentioned.
    4-Have you noticed any differnce in 23c as opposed to 20c tyres?
    5-Lastly, does anyone ever use a different tyre on the front as opposed to the rear? As I mentioned, I am using 20c on the rear and 23c on the front. I previously had a 25c on the rear, and other than speed, that I attribute to higher pressure, I don't think I can intelligently comment on the different properties.
    Thanks again for the reply.

  4. #4
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Weight is less of a determining factor for me than durability. I use a tube made by a company called Wrench Force. About 80 grams on the summer ones and I use a self-sealing tube in the winter/fall that is heavy at 125 grams...but when the road is littered with "stuff", it does prevent the unfortunate flat and having to change a tire when is is 0-5 degrees C (32-40ish F), not on my list of fun things to do.

    I use the 23 tires..the 20's are lighter, sure, but less durable. The 25's are "cushy" making for a more comfortable ride..also good for longer touring.

    Obvioulsy, the ligher then tube and tire, the less durable they become as the walls of each are thinner.

    By the way, don't know if you get CycleSport...but there is a great photo of Oscar Friere on stage 6 of the Vuelta with a nice shot of the Michelin Pro Race logo on the tire.

    I guess what you choose depends on taste and need. My need since my racing days are over are durability first, then weight. In other words, the lightest durable tire/tube I can get. A couple of grams here and there are not going to matter to me...but the Pro Race tires and the Axial Pros are race tested..if they are good enough for the Forest of Arenburg, they are good enough for Indianapolis streets.

    Even Lance rides a clincher in training. He doesn't want to stop, either.

    I think I answered all your questions. If not, let me know.

    oh...I use the same type tire, front and back.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the info.. I will go the route of upgrading the clinchers instead of having two sets of wheels-one for training and one for performance. I am going to put on a set of cheap clinchers for using on the rollers this winter. Cannot believe that some on the rollers get confident enough to take off a t-shirt for instance while spinning. Good riding and good luck.

  6. #6
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    My $0.02:
    1 - The Axial-lites probably wear faster (APs wear fast enough, thanx). Get 'em if you race (and only use them in events). How much are you willing to give up to shave a few grams.
    2 - I like quality lightweight butyl tubes, but often use regular weight tubes.
    3 - I've never used latex but heard a lot of complaints. They loose air faster, harder to patch, cost more. Again, how much are you willing to give up to shave a few grams.
    4 - I generally avoid 20s - too narrow. Leaves sidewalls and rims too exposed to damage by road debris.
    5 - All the time, but lately not as much as I used to. Obviously, you notice the "ride" and "feel" of the front tire much more than the rear.

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