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Thread: Tubulars

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    Tubulars

    I used to use tubulars. Of course, back then, I weighed only 190 lb. Now, of course, I weigh quite a bit more.

    I am building a set of vintage wheels and it just struck me, maybe I should go back to tubulars. I can find vintage tubular rims much more easily than vintage clincher rims. Well, should I, or should I not?

    Who makes a good tubular for this application. Not a fly-weight tubular, but a robust tubular for use on the reasonably clean, pothole-free streets of southern California? I would probably want a larger cross-section tire (25 mm diameter).
    Last edited by Mike Mills; 06-19-09 at 03:11 PM.

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    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Well, a real good cheap tire is teh Yellow Jersey Servizio Corse, 3 for $45 at Yellow Jersey. They are around 21 mm, and I've had them up to 110 psi, no issues. Another and a better one is the Vittoria Rallye, about 270 grams, list about $35 each but often can be found around 1/2 price. These come in a 21 mm and a 23, and can definitely handle 130 psi. I use the 23, and I think it is a great ride. What's really better in this one is a kevlar liner. A third choice that I don't feel so positive about is the Continental Giro, again 21 mm and 300 grams, around $35 each. I just haven't bought any for a while. Finally I like the Gommitalia for around $25. Forgot the name, but it seems to install very true.

    Sections as large as 25 mm are in the high price range. Veloflex, Vittoria, and Challenger all have a 24 mm or wider tubular intended for races like the Paris-Roubaix. All are $95 each and northward.

    I weigh 175 to 180 depending, and I find teh robustness of all these tires and the rim protection to be just fine. Your 10 more pounds won't scare these tires at all.

    They all have butyl tubes, by the way.

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    Mike,

    For cross type tires try Tufo. They make cyclocross tires with a diamond tread pattern in
    28 and 32 mm cross sections. Also check out the Elite Road tires they are 23 or 25 mm tires with more
    of a road tread pattern.
    For more traditional Tubulars:
    Vittoria Cross XN is a 32 mm tire mild tread pattern
    Veloflex Roubaix 24mm tire
    Conti Sprinter Gatorskins 22mm tire but reportedly bulletproof.

    Marty
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    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotek View Post
    Mike,

    For cross type tires try Tufo. They make cyclocross tires with a diamond tread pattern in
    28 and 32 mm cross sections. Also check out the Elite Road tires they are 23 or 25 mm tires with more
    of a road tread pattern.
    For more traditional Tubulars:
    Vittoria Cross XN is a 32 mm tire mild tread pattern
    Veloflex Roubaix 24mm tire
    Conti Sprinter Gatorskins 22mm tire but reportedly bulletproof.

    Marty
    I'm using teh Vittoria XN in 32 on my Woodrup. Very nice ride, cushy.

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    You guys jumped right over the basic question and into which model to use. Does this imply you think I should use them?

    Is this the XN to which you refer, Vittoria Cross Evo XN?

    http://www.vittoria.com/index.php?op...098&Itemid=116

    The Vittoria web site refers to the size as 28". I assume that is 700c to me, our standard tubular tire rim size, correct?
    Last edited by Mike Mills; 06-19-09 at 02:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    Well, a real good cheap tire is teh Yellow Jersey Servizio Corse, 3 for $45 at Yellow Jersey. They are around 21 mm, and I've had them up to 110 psi, no issues. Another and a better one is the Vittoria Rallye, about 270 grams, list about $35 each but often can be found around 1/2 price. These come in a 21 mm and a 23, and can definitely handle 130 psi. I use the 23, and I think it is a great ride. What's really better in this one is a kevlar liner. A third choice that I don't feel so positive about is the Continental Giro, again 21 mm and 300 grams, around $35 each. I just haven't bought any for a while. Finally I like the Gommitalia for around $25. Forgot the name, but it seems to install very true.

    Sections as large as 25 mm are in the high price range. Veloflex, Vittoria, and Challenger all have a 24 mm or wider tubular intended for races like the Paris-Roubaix. All are $95 each and northward.

    I weigh 175 to 180 depending, and I find teh robustness of all these tires and the rim protection to be just fine. Your 10 more pounds won't scare these tires at all.

    They all have butyl tubes, by the way.
    I was thinking about starting a thread on the topic of cheap tubulars. I just bought three Ralleys at probikekit this AM for $15 each less the 5%. I've used the Ralleys and Servizio Corse, and have a new pair of Giros yet to mount. I'm thinking that they are all made in the same factory in Thailand because they are so similar. I have also read that the Ritchey Race Slicks, which also have "Kevlar", are made by Vittoria. Maybe they are just rebadged Ralleys with a different tread pattern. Does anyone think that among the cheap tubulars one is any better/worse than the others?

    BTW, do the Ralley's have a kevlar belt or just kevlar fibers added to the rubber? The x-section at PBK doesn't show a belt.

    Edit> no belt shown here: http://www.vittoria.com/index.php?op...242&Itemid=209
    Last edited by sced; 06-19-09 at 02:58 PM.

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    In your consideration of my questions, I am not so worried about price so much as I am about viability (puncture resistance, etc) for someone who now weighs over 220 lb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
    In your consideration of my questions, I am not so worried about price so much as I am about viability (puncture resistance, etc) for someone who now weighs over 220 lb.
    Sure, why not. Make your wheels strong. I weigh 190 and ride tubulars all the time.

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    I think tubulars might give you an advantage at your weight...No pinch flats! I'd be more concerned about a sturdy wheel build than the tires...
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    I never have problems with the strength of my wheels. I am light for my weight. ;-)

    I never used to get pinch flats, even on the crappy roads I used to have to navigate. I did get dented rims from all the darned potholes I had to ride over back then (city driving = no maneuvering room). I also used to get flats, mostly from tiny shards of broken glass. I think the potholes and (hopefully) the glass are behind me these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    Another and a better one is the Vittoria Rallye,
    I understand that everyone is different and run into different circumstances in life but there is no way I would ever buy another Vittoria Rallye again. I have never, repeat, NEVER had one last more than 17 miles without a leak from a normal rock. They are junk and do not last. Yes, I am stupid enough to keep thinking it is bad luck, but not after 5 Rallye's. Never again.

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    Not to hijack but does anyone know where to get plugs for old tubular wheels only half-laced?

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    Are there any retailers who typically have a very competitive price on tubulars?

    For instance, the Veloflex Roubaix is being advertised for as high as $189 and as low as $90. Both sound too high to me. Put another way, what's a decent price for a Veloflex Roubaix, what is a rip off?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butcher View Post
    I understand that everyone is different and run into different circumstances in life but there is no way I would ever buy another Vittoria Rallye again. I have never, repeat, NEVER had one last more than 17 miles without a leak from a normal rock. They are junk and do not last. Yes, I am stupid enough to keep thinking it is bad luck, but not after 5 Rallye's. Never again.
    I concur on the poor quality of the Vittoria Rallye. I chose these when I made my first foray into the world of tubular tires. What a mistake! I flatted two of them before even putting 100 miles on them. A third self destructed after having been mounted but before I even got it out on the road.

    I've since been using the Vittoria Corsa CR. Haven't had a problem yet.

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    iab
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
    Are there any retailers who typically have a very competitive price on tubulars?

    For instance, the Veloflex Roubaix is being advertised for as high as $189 and as low as $90. Both sound too high to me. Put another way, what's a decent price for a Veloflex Roubaix, what is a rip off?
    World class cycles has them for $89.

    http://www.worldclasscycles.com/tubu..._only_cart.htm


    Sometimes you can find them cheaper, but it is pretty rare. I happened across an Austrian dealer who was closing up their shop and got some Veloflex Criteriums for $55. And I also had a great exchange rate.

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    What ever happened to silk casings? I don't see any tires at any price that are using silk cords. Cotton cords were the hallmark of a lower-priced tubular. Silk was premium for competition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butcher View Post
    I understand that everyone is different and run into different circumstances in life but there is no way I would ever buy another Vittoria Rallye again. I have never, repeat, NEVER had one last more than 17 miles without a leak from a normal rock. They are junk and do not last. Yes, I am stupid enough to keep thinking it is bad luck, but not after 5 Rallye's. Never again.
    I've had the opposite luck - been using Rallyes since 2005, average one puncture a season usually on a tyre worn enough that I don't bother patching it, have had excellent luck with them, and will continue to ride them almost exclusively until my luck turns bad. Normally run 100lbs pressure (topped off every day before riding).
    Syke

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
    You guys jumped right over the basic question and into which model to use. Does this imply you think I should use them?

    Is this the XN to which you refer, Vittoria Cross Evo XN?

    http://www.vittoria.com/index.php?op...098&Itemid=116

    The Vittoria web site refers to the size as 28". I assume that is 700c to me, our standard tubular tire rim size, correct?
    Yes, Mike, I think you should TRY them. If you like them, you don't need me to tell you to stay with them.

    There are silks out there. Check out www.worldclasscycles.com - there are silk road tires. When you see the prices, you'll see why I didn't mention them. I gathered from your original post that you were interested in a cost-effective robust starting tire that would not break the bank. I think (not sure) they use latex tubes, as well, which means you lose lots of air pressure every night. You have to know you really like them to be willing to re-pressurize every day. I don't go that far. I like having a bike that is always ready to go.

    If you look again at World Class (http://www.worldclasscycles.com/cycl...tires_cart.htm), they have the Vittoria XN in the 2008 tread and the 2007 tread. Mine are the 2007 tread. Currently your link from Vittoria shows the 2008, and PBK now only shows the 2008. I got my 2007's about 6 months ago from PBK, they must have been blowing them out at that time.

    The tire fits 700C rims. I can't say why Vittoria refers to them as 28 inch, they just do. I mounted them on 700C rims, it really does fit them.

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    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
    What ever happened to silk casings? I don't see any tires at any price that are using silk cords. Cotton cords were the hallmark of a lower-priced tubular. Silk was premium for competition.
    See my previous post for tlinks to silk tires.

    Yes, silk was the premium, but there were and still are a lot of excellent cotton tubulars, that were and are suitable for racing. I didn't race and don't, so I can't really speak intelligently about when one would select one over the other. Thread count is very significant in making a more supple-feeling tire, and careful assembly makes a tire that tends to lie straight. For $70 and up in a cotton road tubular today you get features such as these.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kranz View Post
    I concur on the poor quality of the Vittoria Rallye. I chose these when I made my first foray into the world of tubular tires. What a mistake! I flatted two of them before even putting 100 miles on them. A third self destructed after having been mounted but before I even got it out on the road.

    I've since been using the Vittoria Corsa CR. Haven't had a problem yet.
    I've had better experiene with my four Rallys. Our roads here have a lot of broken edge pavement and blacktop that fades out into pebble-covered areas, all of which I ride through.

    I bought all four of mine at the same time from the same supplier, plus they are all 23 mm, and I've heard the 23s are "better" in some way than the 21 mm version. I had misread the "23-28" designator as meaning these are 28 mm tires (DOOOHHH!), so that's why I jumped on them. But I'm glad I did.

    Two theories: There were bad batches, or you have the 21s and the 21s are indeed worse.

    I can't apologize for the Rally, I just have had good experience with them.
    Last edited by Road Fan; 06-20-09 at 07:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
    I never have problems with the strength of my wheels. I am light for my weight. ;-)

    I never used to get pinch flats, even on the crappy roads I used to have to navigate. I did get dented rims from all the darned potholes I had to ride over back then (city driving = no maneuvering room). I also used to get flats, mostly from tiny shards of broken glass. I think the potholes and (hopefully) the glass are behind me these days.
    So Mike, I think if you get tubular wheels made with NOS Mavic GP4 rims, 36 hole, assembled and tensioned by a really good builder, then put on some Veloflex Roubaix for $90 from World Class, you'll be fine. I've taken wheels similar to that through some nasty city potholes, and had only a minor spoke tweak needed. I also have some wheels with 32 hole Wolber Aspin rims, that are not as strong and have needed more help over the years.

    You're ready. Go do tubulars. I think you'll be gentle enough, you're willing to buy quality parts, and you know how strong a wheel would serve you for a long time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butcher View Post
    I understand that everyone is different and run into different circumstances in life but there is no way I would ever buy another Vittoria Rallye again. I have never, repeat, NEVER had one last more than 17 miles without a leak from a normal rock. They are junk and do not last. Yes, I am stupid enough to keep thinking it is bad luck, but not after 5 Rallye's. Never again.
    Amen! I had exactly the same experience. A couple of them just went BANG! for no apparent reason at all. I had a set of clinchers built after that. Only had one flat in three years or so since.

    But I'm thinking of going tubular again with my '66 Bottecchia Professional project. I would probably go with the expensive Pais/Roubaix type tubulars to be safe.
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    I have a new set of Mavic wheels for anyone interested. PM me.

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    iab
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    The tire fits 700C rims. I can't say why Vittoria refers to them as 28 inch, they just do. I mounted them on 700C rims, it really does fit them.
    Because they are Italian and Italians refer to their rims as 28" instead of 700C. Only the French were smart enough not to mix metric and English measurements. The rest of the world, not so much.

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    I'm 240 and regularly ride the following wheels:

    * Mavic 571/2 hubs
    * DT 14/15 spokes with 14GA drive side rear (32)
    * Mavic Reflex rims
    * Clement Campionato Del Mondo tubulars

    It's like being on a magic carpet. However, going the sew-up route is a commitment -- if you cheap out, you'll just end up frustrated. When my CdM's wear out, I'll probably go with 27mm Dugast Paris-Roubaix cottons.
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