Touring - tubular rims and tires for touring?
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12-24-07, 09:44 AM
is this a really bad idea? if not, which tires are the most durable?
12-24-07, 11:30 AM
Probably a bad idea. Tubulars can be fairly durable in their own way on smooth roads but there are none that I am aware of that would come close to some of the popular touring tires. Also as I recall from when I used them (admittedly 30 years ago) when you do change them they are difficult to change and prone to come off until the glue sets. Also virtually impossible to find outisde af a very few locations. I would try to pick up some durable used rims to fit your bike and switch to regular tires/ tubes if touring.
I did a tour of Sweden & Norway in 1973 on tubulars, mostly because I didn't know any better. I also ran cheap tubulars on two different bikes in the '70s and early '80s. When they puncture the repair job is long and tedious, and stitching the tire back together properly so that it doesn't have a wobble is really, really difficult. You really need a Speedy-Stitcher sewing awl to get it right. Gluing them on can be messy, especially out in the field, and, like Imzimmer says, they are prone to roll-off before the glue sets up completely. The glue is also prone to softening if the rim gets hot from braking on long descents. I actually rolled a front tire off the rim that way on the Norway trip, at the end of a 20 km (12 mile) descent.
Get the fattest pair of high quality clinchers you can fit on your bike, get some decent quality tubes and good rim tape, and enjoy a more puncture-free ride. If you're worried about weight, get folding clinchers and substitute Velo-Plugs (http://www.velocityusa.com/default.asp?contentID=555) for rim tape.
is this a really bad idea?
Why would you want to use tubulars? Clinchers are commonly available and work great.
In the mid eighties I rode tubulars for a while. I learned all about mounting and repairing them. After a couple of years I couldn't justify using them to myself and went back to clinchers. No regrets about that change!
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