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  1. #1
    Senior Member goose70's Avatar
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    Tubular Tire Advice - Which One?

    I'll be racing on tubulars for the first time this season (Reynolds 44/66 combo). I purchased a set of lightly used wheels with Hutchinson Carbon Comp's already glued on. The job appears to be well done (verified by my team's mechanic) and the tires appear lightly used, so I plan to keep them on for now.

    As a ready-to-go back-up set, I was going to jump on a good deal for two of the same tires. But now I'm wondering if I should I go with another tire when these are done, such as the well-regarded Contin Sprinter? I'd appreciate thoughts from folks with experience comparing the Carbon Comps with other tubulars.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    coffee-stained punk hammy56's Avatar
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    two threads about "which tubulars" going at the same time...if you do a search you'll find a plethora of info on the subject.

  3. #3
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    I went with Conti Sprinters for my first set, but I wouldn't advise that for road racing - I flatted on the 10th race on them (some crits & rrs).
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  4. #4
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    I went with Conti Sprinters for my first set, but I wouldn't advise that for road racing - I flatted on the 10th race on them (some crits & rrs).
    I flatted a bunch of different brands of tires, both tubulars and clinchers. I just wrap my rims in duct tape now. No more flats and cheaper.

  5. #5
    coffee-stained punk hammy56's Avatar
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  6. #6
    My idea of fun kensuf's Avatar
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    Non-serious answer: Ex's post.

    Serious answer: Vittoria Corsa Evo CX.

    And google.
    Putting the Duh in Floriduh.

  7. #7
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    +1 Evo CX.

    I just ordered four from over the other side of the pond, to keep the reserves topped up. I had Bontys but whatever, plus they're 2x-3x what I paid for the EVOs. I bought Contis too but "handmade" means "not straight" and they're lumpy as heck. It's like sitting on a vibrating bike on rollers. I mean if that's your thing then great but if you want to be able to read your cyclometer then not so great. I use as much more more care putting the Contis on as the Vittorias.

    For what it's worth Vittoria, Kenda, Specialized, Bontrager, I'm sure there are others, now Michelin, the tubulars are all made in the same factory. It's in Thailand but they make good tubulars. I bought Vittorias and Clements when they were Italian (and Wolbers wherever they were made), bought the Veloflexes they made in the former Clement factory (or something like that), etc, and the Vittorias seemed consistent in quality before and after the move.

    I would NEVER buy a Hutchinson tubular. I saw at least one roll a base tape in person, saw another two where the rider caught the base tape rolling before the base tape rolled, and then finally I saw a pro rider named Lance roll a base tape in a race called the Tour de France. Rolling a base tape is the absolute worst thing that can happen on a tubular because it's a defect in the tire. I found two tires on my rims that were going to go after a teammate rolled his Hutchinson in a regular corner. I thought it was a bad batch - I basically tossed a bunch of tires - but when a pro rolls a tire then there's something wrong with their process. I wouldn't trust a Hutchinson tubular nor anyone riding one. For all I know they're made in the same Thai factory but they're doing something wrong. I've never seen anything like that, how easily the base tape came off the tire.

  8. #8
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    I wouldn't trust a Hutchinson tubular nor anyone riding one. For all I know they're made in the same Thai factory but they're doing something wrong. I've never seen anything like that, how easily the base tape came off the tire.
    FWIW I have several Hutchinsons and they appear to be pretty identical in build and QC as the (good) Vittorias. I've had some stunningly well assembled Conti's. And good/bad Tufos.

    And I've had Veloflex's delaminate (the rubber tread actually separated from the rubber casing) and some really lumpy Vittorias.

    My take away is that tubulars are such (relatively) small production runs and used mostly in racing applications that you get bad batches that get shrugged off by the consumers because

    a) Racers are too busy training to raise a ruckus
    b) It's a long back channel to the manufacturer
    c) It's not like 100,000 tires are flying off SUV's
    d) There's a lot of engineering variables that it's hard to nail down a problem

    I went through 4 Vittorias and 4 Hutchinsons picking out the best tire for my TT disc. You could see a pretty good range from best to worst. With a clincher that's not going to happen.

    Tubeless, at some point down the line, will be the answer.

  9. #9
    Senior Member goose70's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys. Very helpful, per usual.

    Another bit of advice I keep hearing is that the inherent stability of tubulars (at least when glued properly and not plagued with manfacturing defects) makes differences in brand/type less noticeable than with clinchers. Of course, that could also be due to so many tubies being made by the same factory.

    I try them out for the first time later this week....first time on carbon rims, first time on rims this deep and first time on tubulars, so my "race only" wheels will need to be training wheels until I'm comfortable pushing them through the paces. I'll have "Pitstop" with me, plus put my wife on notice with the team car.

  10. #10
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I just received some EVO CXs. Looking forward to replacing the lumpy Rallys I have on now.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  11. #11
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I just received some EVO CXs. Looking forward to replacing the lumpy Rallys I have on now.
    Winner!!!
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Jancouver's Avatar
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    I dont want to hijack the thread but what is the recommended tubular for ZIPP 808 firecrest? Something that can be used for anything from crits and RR to TT.

    I heard it is trendy to use some 25s for these wide rims which I woudnt appose to as I'm tall and heavy so 25s is definitely appealing.
    "Cycling is primitive. You just have to pedal" - AK
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  13. #13
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    ^ I'm using 23 mm tires for my HEDs. There are those, including the ProTour teams, that would use 25 mm tires.

    Knowing your riding etc maybe you can ask around at the pendleton ride? I think there'd be some good feedback from people doing massive hours yearly.

  14. #14
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    I rolled a 23mm Evo CX off of a Zipp 404 carbon clincher last year. OK it's a sample size of 1 but it's got me kind of scared using "open tubulars" for crits. (I'm 200 pounds and a sprinter).

    Feel free to tell me that N=1 means I should ignore the event and try again...or not.

  15. #15
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rapwithtom View Post
    I rolled a 23mm Evo CX off of a Zipp 404 carbon clincher last year. OK it's a sample size of 1 but it's got me kind of scared using "open tubulars" for crits. (I'm 200 pounds and a sprinter).

    Feel free to tell me that N=1 means I should ignore the event and try again...or not.
    Ignore.
    I use the same tires and have never had an issue. Those *****es are tough to get off in the first place, what kind of air pressure are you running?
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  16. #16
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    ^ Are you sure you didn't flat first and then roll the tire?

    I could see a leak losing pressure, less than a blowout, then rolling the tire cornering hard with 30 pounds or so pressure left.

    I've crashed in a crit from a tire in the process of going flat in a turn.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkwaki View Post
    Ignore.
    I use the same tires and have never had an issue. Those *****es are tough to get off in the first place, what kind of air pressure are you running?
    OK - thanks for the feedback. I will try them again. I think on that day I was probably running 105 or 110 psi (I'm too lazy to look at my notes) on the rear, which is the one I rolled.

    BTW I am reminded of your "Cat 4 breakaway specialist" comment. Yeah, so I'm a Cat 4 sprinter specialist.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    ^ Are you sure you didn't flat first and then roll the tire?

    I could see a leak losing pressure, less than a blowout, then rolling the tire cornering hard with 30 pounds or so pressure left.

    I've crashed in a crit from a tire in the process of going flat in a turn.
    Certainly a possibility, I suppose, but I wasn't aware of the tube going flat before it exploded. And I have no idea if the tube exploded and then the tire rolled or vice versa - it felt simultaneous to me.

  19. #19
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rapwithtom View Post
    OK - thanks for the feedback. I will try them again. I think on that day I was probably running 105 or 110 psi (I'm too lazy to look at my notes) on the rear, which is the one I rolled.

    BTW I am reminded of your "Cat 4 breakaway specialist" comment. Yeah, so I'm a Cat 4 sprinter specialist.
    We are probably the same size (though slightly different power profiles) - I run 120-125 on my CXs
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  20. #20
    Senior Member Jancouver's Avatar
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    I have one 25 and one 23 Vottoria CX EVO on hand so I guess I will do 25 back and 23 front. Just wasnt sure if the 25 would be also aerodynamicly preferred size for the front wheel as I believe the front wheel is more important.

    Hey Ex, can you comment on this? You probably tunnel tested these, didnt ya?
    "Cycling is primitive. You just have to pedal" - AK
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jancouver View Post
    I have one 25 and one 23 Vottoria CX EVO on hand so I guess I will do 25 back and 23 front. Just wasnt sure if the 25 would be also aerodynamicly preferred size for the front wheel as I believe the front wheel is more important.

    Hey Ex, can you comment on this? You probably tunnel tested these, didnt ya?
    I'm no Ex, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn oops I meant talk to Zipp when I bought my 404's. They said that 23mm tires are unambiguously more aero on their wheels than the 25mm, but that the difference was small, so that other things may appropriately drive one to a 25mm.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Jancouver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rapwithtom View Post
    I'm no Ex, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn oops I meant talk to Zipp when I bought my 404's. They said that 23mm tires are unambiguously more aero on their wheels than the 25mm, but that the difference was small, so that other things may appropriately drive one to a 25mm.
    Thanks for the info. I just ordered another 25mm Conti Competition tubular so now I have to decide if I should glue the front wheel with 23mm or 25mm. Also have to decide between Vittoria and Conti for the rear 25mm. Anybody knows which one is more durable? CX EVO or Conti Competition?
    "Cycling is primitive. You just have to pedal" - AK
    "I had lactic acid coming out of my ears" - FC
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that?!" - JV

  23. #23
    Senior Member Walrus's Avatar
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    I don't have much experience with tubulars, but I raced on veloflex criteriums briefly last year before selling the rims and going back to clinchers. Haven't used a tire since that felt that good.

  24. #24
    VeloSIRraptor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jancouver View Post
    Thanks for the info. I just ordered another 25mm Conti Competition tubular so now I have to decide if I should glue the front wheel with 23mm or 25mm. Also have to decide between Vittoria and Conti for the rear 25mm. Anybody knows which one is more durable? CX EVO or Conti Competition?
    Front tyre: there's not 'that' much difference between them - the interface of profiles between tyre & rim would be my personal decider between which I would go with on the front. 'Aero wisdom' is that you should go a bit narrower on the front, CRR says... well, depends on who you ask. Cornering says, advantage to the 25.
    Durability: My shop sees Conti Comps last a bit longer than CX Evos, but neither are long-term tyres.

    On the positive side, you won't go wrong with any of those choices for mass-start racing.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Jancouver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hida Yanra View Post
    Front tyre: there's not 'that' much difference between them - the interface of profiles between tyre & rim would be my personal decider between which I would go with on the front. 'Aero wisdom' is that you should go a bit narrower on the front, CRR says... well, depends on who you ask. Cornering says, advantage to the 25.
    Durability: My shop sees Conti Comps last a bit longer than CX Evos, but neither are long-term tyres.

    On the positive side, you won't go wrong with any of those choices for mass-start racing.
    Thanks, do you know if the Conti Competitions run narrower compare to the CX Evo? At least that what I heard about the Conti's so perhaps the Conti in 25 would be a better choice for the front wheel and CX Evo 25 in the back?
    "Cycling is primitive. You just have to pedal" - AK
    "I had lactic acid coming out of my ears" - FC
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that?!" - JV

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