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  1. #1
    2 Wheels > 4 Hydrate's Avatar
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    Which Upgrade would you do if your only doing 1. Disc or Tubulars

    If you could only do one upgrade to your cross bike for racing which would you do and why.
    Discs (I know new bike altogether)
    Tubular Wheel set

  2. #2
    Senior Member HOWSER's Avatar
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    I'd go with a set of tubulars 1st. Disc brakes are nice when the conditions are bad but the tubular wheelset will show improved cornering and flat resistance (when running at appropriate psi) consistently.

  3. #3
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    Plus 1 for tubulars. I went to tubulars this season and I notice a huge improvement. I can run well below 30psi (I'm 185lbs) with no problems. Tubulars really help maintain tire contact with the ground and traction in all conditions. They also smooth out those jangly corners, which is not only faster, but reduces fatigue on the wrists and arms. Less fatigue = better endurance = faster. I've occasionally bottomed mine out with no consequences. Last season I pinch flatted my clinchers in a race. This doesn't happen with tubulars, you can actually adjust your tire pressure to what the course conditions demand, not just "well how low do I dare go".

    Keep your bike and update your wheelset. Biggest improvement you can make in almost any cycling discipline is with wheels and tires and this is doubly true for 'cross. Keep your clinchers for training rides and gravel biking or whatever else you do, save your tubies for race day. Downside with tubies is increased hassle mounting them, changing flats etc, but that doesn't really matter for 'cross. If you don't ride them on the road, chances are you'll never flat them, they'll wear out first.

    As for discs, well I think the jury on their utility in 'cross RACING is still split. Yes overall they offer increased braking performance, but do you really need it, and they add weight. You are not trying to decelerate from high speeds in the wet on pavement in 'cross. You are mostly just trying to modulate your speed going into corners. I notice a lot of discs scrape and are noisy, I don't think they are foolproof.

    Let me put it this way, a lot of elite riders still use cantis, but I doubt many of them are not running tubulars.

  4. #4
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    I enjoy having disc brakes this year, but it isn't a TOTAL game changer. Moving to tubulars... can change racing significantly IMO.

    I have clinchers in the same tread pattern as tubulars, and the ride is completely different

  5. #5
    2 Wheels > 4 Hydrate's Avatar
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    Yes think I will keep my current bike and do the upgrade to tubular before next season, only one race left for me this year and everyone I talk to expresses same thing with the tires. Thanks for your feedback

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Plural, sets .. since a punctured tubular is complicated to mend, probably take a few days , then theres the gluing time..

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Tubulars, my TRP's have never given me a problem stopping, however running tubies in complete slop at 24psi is the gift that gives back!

  8. #8
    Digging in the pain cave. midschool22's Avatar
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    Tubulars. I have three sets of tubs with different tires glued for all conditions. A fourth set would be killer. My Avid Shorty's stop me fine.

  9. #9
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Tubulars.

  10. #10
    2 Wheels > 4 Hydrate's Avatar
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    Got the tubulars well actually got the wheels, no tires glued on yet thought I would wait to glue on tires till end of summer prior to start of Cross season

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