Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes: Too Many
I have some experience with Tufo tubulars, tape and slime. I used them on my first set of TT race wheels. This was primarily from a recommendation of a mechanic with a lot of international race experience. The tires look very nice and install easily with the Tufo tape. The racing theory behind the slime is one has to finish a race to score anything other than a DNP. The slime seemed to work for other local racers.
RacerEx touched on the first issue with tape. It may increase rolling resistance. In fact, Tufo tires (with or without tape) have some of the highest rolling resistance of all tubulars. It can be somewhat reduced by pumping them up to high pressure but then IMO, the ride and handling are not great.
I used those for a year and decided to replace the Tufos with Vittorias and glue them. The tire was difficult to remove so it appeared that the tape with a Tufo tire was very secure. Once the tire was removed, there was a layer of tape on the carbon rim. I wanted to remove the tape so that I could put a layer of glue directly on the carbon rim. This proved to be extremely difficult to remove and I tried various liquid removers (safe for carbon rims) and scraping. It was a very slow process.
That concluded the use of Tufo tires, slime and tape.
Since I race road and track, trackies (the gang that I hang out with) do not use tape on tubulars for the track. I think a lot of this is tradition and properly glued tires have proven efficacy at the track.
Since tape may increase rolling resistance, it seems like a no brainer to use glue at the track since tape does not have proven reliability.
And at the track, racers take turns at high speeds with the bike perpendicular to the surface such that the 2 "Gs" that are experienced in a flying 200 meters on a 250 meter track pushes the tire directly onto the rim.
Contrast the track to a road criterium that has an off camber turn. The tire will see more force laterally as the racer applies downward force to hold the turn.
My takeaway from using tape and glue is that I will not use tape again. Glue has the efficacy for both road and track racing and seems to offer the best performance.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle