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Old 02-22-12, 08:54 AM   #1
jyl
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Newbie To Tubular Tires . . . Advice? (Cannondale R1000 2.8)

I recently acquired a 1992 Cannondale R1000 with tubular tires. I am not sure if this bike will stay intact - I bought it for my wife who now wants a recumbent instead - but I want to try riding it a bit before I decide.

However, I have never had a bike with tubulars before, and these are probably at least a decade old.

My feeling is that, before riding, I should remove the old tubulars, remove any glue lumps on the rim, and install new tires. I've read various guides to installing tubulars but remain intimidated. Can I ask these things (and please feel free to add anything I'm missing):

1. Should I remove all the glue from the rim on the theory that it is old and hard, and re-apply the glue base?

2. Should I skip the glue and use tubular tape instead? What are the pros/cons of tape vs glue?

3. What brand of tubular tire will be more flat-resistant and not terribly costly? For all I know, I may hate tubulars or be incapable of gluing them competently, so I don't want to spend $100/ea x 3.

By the way, I've never had a Cannondale before. This one seems nice. The P.O. kept it in beautfiul condition and retained almost all the original Mavic components. He must have been a weight weenie, because the wheelset, stem/bar, and seatpost/saddle were switched to lighter items. I guess that's how the Campagnolo tubular rims/Hi-E hubs got on there. I should weigh it.

One thing slightly puzzling is that this was described as a 1992 2.8, and indeed that seems to be the only year that a Cannondale 2.8 came with all Mavic bits, but the catalog says the color was yellow/black while this bike is a deep blue. http://www.vintagecannondale.com/catalog.html Is that sort of discrepancy common?
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Old 02-22-12, 10:38 AM   #2
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As to #3, I have had good luck with Continental Sprinter Gatorskins. I think they run about $50 a tire. I am a recent tubular convert and love them. I am putting them on most of my bikes. I remove as much of the old, hard glue as I can before putting on new glue. I use Vittoria Mastik. Others have had good luck with Tufo tape, but I have not tried it. Good luck!
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Old 02-22-12, 11:36 AM   #3
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Don't try to remove all the old glue - too much work. Remove large chunks and as much as comes off by scraping, but don't work too hard. Most existing glue will get employed in the re-gluing. On aluminum rims I use a heat gun to soften any lumps that won't come off.

Don't be intimidated and use common sense. You are going for adhesion, not perfection. You will make a mess on the sidewalls the first time but it won't hurt anything. I use acid brushes to get a liberal coating on rim and tire
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Old 02-22-12, 11:47 AM   #4
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I can't help with the tubulars (not had the best of luck with them).

I have a '93 R600 2.8 in a blue. It is the lightest bike I own at something like 20lbs as equipped with Shimano 105 gear. It could be that your R1000 received the '93 paint. Is it this color?

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Old 02-22-12, 12:00 PM   #5
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Yes, it is that same blue color. So it may have been made late in the year. Tonight I'll check the serial number and see.
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Old 02-22-12, 12:17 PM   #6
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Quick, easy way to get any old dried up hard glue on the rim is to use a Dremel with a brass wire brush wheel on it. I zings it off a whole rim in just minutes. Just remember to wear a dust mask when you do it. Don't bother with Goo Gone and other similar glue removal chemicals if the glue is hard an dry as it can take days of applying the chemical and scrubbing to melt the glue down and off the rims. Cleaned up a set of Mavic GL330 rims with 30 year old rock hard glue residue on it a couple of years ago. That's how I discovered the Dremel method as a last resort after having no luck remiving the glue with Goo Gone and thinners. Don't worry about the Dremel wire wheel affecting the finish. The dark anodizing on my GL330s was not affected/damaged at all.

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Old 02-22-12, 01:28 PM   #7
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A little lacquer thinner, acetone ore even gasoline will soften the glue up enough to re-use. Just add a little more where needed. I used to glue the rim, wait until it got tacky, the stretched the new tire on, then pumped up . Clean up with a solvent soaked rag.
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Old 02-22-12, 05:59 PM   #8
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As tempted as I get with the variety of light racing tires and cool skinny rims, this all sounds like a RPITA. What do you do when you get a flat? I mean, it sounds like you can't even change a tire without packing special glue, a hair dryer, Dremel tool or whatever, on top of hex keys, pump and tire levers. Do pro-racers still use tubulars? What are the advantage? 
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Old 02-22-12, 06:12 PM   #9
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As tempted as I get with the variety of light racing tires and cool skinny rims, this all sounds like a RPITA. What do you do when you get a flat? I mean, it sounds like you can't even change a tire without packing special glue, a hair dryer, Dremel tool or whatever, on top of hex keys, pump and tire levers. Do pro-racers still use tubulars? What are the advantage? 
The pros do not complain cause they have mechanics to do the work on the tires and rims. Recreational/sport cyclists/C&V riders love tubulars for the difference in feel and performance compared to most HP clinchers and just take what comes with it as a small price to pay for the fantastic ride.
You can get used to how to handle /maintain tubulars on your bike after a while. You just have to try it.

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Old 02-22-12, 06:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kanegon View Post
As tempted as I get with the variety of light racing tires and cool skinny rims, this all sounds like a RPITA. What do you do when you get a flat? I mean, it sounds like you can't even change a tire without packing special glue, a hair dryer, Dremel tool or whatever, on top of hex keys, pump and tire levers. Do pro-racers still use tubulars? What are the advantage? 
Changing a flat is easier and quicker with tubulars. The spare tire should be pre-glued and pre-stretched. Then you just pull off the flat tire, mount the spare, pump, and ride. The tubular glue retains a bit of tackiness, so there's no need to glue the spare on. In fact, doing so would be quite dangerous as the tire will slide around until the glue dries. The biggest drawback to using tubular in non-race situations is that if you get a flat in the early part of a ride, you should use a little caution on downhills or taking tight turns the rest of the ride. The spare will stay on the tire in most circumstances, but is not as secure as a tubular that has been properly glued and let to dry (which should be done once you finish the ride).

Last edited by gaucho777; 02-22-12 at 06:46 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-22-12, 06:32 PM   #11
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What do you all think about the "tubular clinchers" by Tufo? Are they a way to try a bit of the tubular feel without actually buying new wheels?
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Old 02-22-12, 06:35 PM   #12
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While I can't state from the catalog standpoint I have seen the full mavic R1000s in both yellow and blue.
I find it odd that when cutting some weight from the stock mavic gear they kept the craknset.
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Old 02-22-12, 06:38 PM   #13
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What do you all think about the "tubular clinchers" by Tufo? Are they a way to try a bit of the tubular feel without actually buying new wheels?
Some say "tubular" clinchers feel just like tubs, but I cannot confirm as I have not tried the former....I can't put those tubuluar clinchers on my precious C&V bikes though as it will certainly be not "period correct"!! They most likely not make them with skin/gum walls anyway too(?)

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Old 02-22-12, 06:44 PM   #14
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What do you all think about the "tubular clinchers" by Tufo?
Poseurs.
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Old 02-22-12, 11:29 PM   #15
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While I can't state from the catalog standpoint I have seen the full mavic R1000s in both yellow and blue.
I find it odd that when cutting some weight from the stock mavic gear they kept the craknset.
They cut quite a bit of weight off. Campy tubular rims, Hi-E hubs, American Classic seatpost cut down, titanium railed Avocet saddle, etc. Maybe they figured that was enough and didn't want to spend for a new crank. Obviously I wish they'd left it all stock, but the bike is nicely light.
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Old 02-23-12, 02:12 AM   #16
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I've really come to love tubulars. Yeah, they're a bit of a pain. But once you go through the process a couple times, it goes a lot faster and neater. Patience is key. My process is to use the end of the handle of a cheap stainless spoon to scrape off the worst of the old glue then wipe it down with alcohol to remove any dust. I glue mine on, simply because it's cheap. I like the Vittoria mastic, it's pretty odorless and has a reasonable open time. So I use an acid brush to get a coat on the rim (I try to not get any in the spoke recesses)-- and doing so in the frame or a truing stand, so I can spin the wheel while I'm loading up the brush again and this way I don't get bad lumps. When I have the rim coated I give it a good spin, I think this helps the glue skin over and the rotation keeps everything distributed evenly. I give the base tape on the tire a nice neat coat, and then I let everything dry for about two hours. When I come back, I give the tire another light coat, run a narrow bead down the center of the rim, and mount it up. When all is said and done, I've used about 2/3-3/4 of the tube per tire.

Adjust the tire for straightness, pump it to 30 PSI and let it dry. After a day I pump it to recommended pressure and take it for a ride. I've yet to change a flat on the road, but I do ride with a prepped spare tube. I'm still learning the dread secrets and mysteries of re-stitching the casing, but my efforts are slowly getting better. Every so often I put an ad on Craigslist offering ten bucks for patchable tubulars and am getting quite a nice collection.
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Old 02-23-12, 06:05 AM   #17
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What do you all think about the "tubular clinchers" by Tufo? Are they a way to try a bit of the tubular feel without actually buying new wheels?
1-I like the tubular Tufo S33 Pro. Now available stateside (San Diego, I think) for a decent price.
2-Tape. Tape. Tape. (did I mention that the tape is great?)
3-Tubular clinchers. I have some, and like them. C S 33 Pro's.
I'm actually lending them to an LBS wrench to try.
He's looking at the Challenge tubular clinchers, too.

Downside: you either have to carry one for a spare, or both a tube and tire.

They're on this bike, and yes, I've fixed the saddle tilt. I was testing it with khaki's on.....
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Old 02-23-12, 11:58 AM   #18
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totally-tubular

That's a pretty good thread with lots of information and tips about tubulars.
I second the idea of Conti Sprinters as a good durable tubular, the only thing
is I think they give up a bit of the tubular ride compared to say a nice Veloflex
or Vittoria tubular.
I prefer Vittoria Mastik over tape, I tried the Tufo tape and ended up with
a gooey sticky mess on sidewalls of my rims. I just don't think it works well
here in Texas during the summer, haven't tried the extreme tape. I was told
by Tufo North America that the regular tape is for Cross type applications and
not for road bikes so that may have played into my situation.
One downside of tape is that when you remove a tire much of it comes off
with the tire, which means you probably should carry spare tape along with
spare tire. In some instances the tape can pull the base-tape off your tubulars
which is not a good thing.
I chip off the worst of the dried on glue and just apply new glue over the
residue.
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Old 02-23-12, 01:25 PM   #19
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I have been using Tufo Extreme tape for a couple of years and I love it. I'll never mess with glue again. The weather is much cooler here than in Texas, though.

The tape comes off whole with the tire. I carry spare tape with my spare tire when I carry one. Usually I just carry a cell phone to call my wife and tell her to bring the truck.

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Old 02-23-12, 02:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
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A little lacquer thinner, acetone ore even gasoline will soften the glue up enough to re-use. Just add a little more where needed. I used to glue the rim, wait until it got tacky, the stretched the new tire on, then pumped up . Clean up with a solvent soaked rag.
Using gasoline for this purpose is a bad idea. Gasoline can leave a thin oily residue that will hinder bonding. Gasoline is also carcinogenic (mostely due to benzene content) and produces explosive vapors. LT and Acetone are much better for this purpose.
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Old 02-23-12, 02:25 PM   #21
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Can I just say how refreshing it is to have a tubular-related thread that hasn't disintegrated into a tub v. clincher mud-throwing contest.
And, as I am in a similar situation as the OP, with a tubular wheelset ready to go on my Olmo, thanks to all who have contributed advice.

One last tip, for those in Europe - VERY nice looking tubs are available from Decathlon for just €9,90. Vittoria Rallye, I think.
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Old 02-23-12, 03:41 PM   #22
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As for the cost of replacing tubulars - that was my biggest concern when I started riding them...and when the first dreaded flat happened, I panicked! My shop told me to relax and use Stans tire sealant...it works on pretty much all but the largest tears. It plugs the hole from inside and you're good to go. I feel like I just wrote ad copy.
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Old 02-23-12, 04:13 PM   #23
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Does anyone see a problem with using a heat gun to remove the old glue? I had some old rims, (1973) used a heat gun to soften the old glue and it wiped off nice and clean. Wouldn't use this method on a carbon rim but seems to work well on aluminum.
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Old 02-23-12, 06:01 PM   #24
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I recently acquired a 1992 Cannondale R1000 with tubular tires. I am not sure if this bike will stay intact - I bought it for my wife who now wants a recumbent instead - but I want to try riding it a bit before I decide....
I ride on tubulars almost all of the time, including commuting in the rain. Tips:

For old dried glue, remove with a wire wheel attachment for a powered hand-drill. Use safety goggles. The old glue will be gone in about 60 seconds.

Glue with Vittoria Mastik. Buy it in the little tubs; far more cost effective.

After glueing, remove the valve core on the rear tire and inject about 30cc of Stan's sealant. Use an old junk pump where the valve parts in the head have been removed. The rear tire will now be almost impervious to flats. I have been riding on an old Tufo for a full year now with no flats.
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Old 02-23-12, 06:21 PM   #25
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I'm a big fan of Tufo rim tape, I'll never glue a tire again. If you follow the directions taping is fool proof.

As far as removing glue...I use a drill with a wire brush, it works exceptionaly well for old dried up glue but makes alot of dust. Newer glue that isn't rock dryhard come off a touch sticky but it does come off.


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