Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
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Tubeless and tubular are entirely different things.
A tubular tire ('tub' or 'sew up') is a tire/tube where the tire casing is sewn up to enclose the inner tube, then glued onto the rim. Because the tire is glued on, the bike can be 'run flat' for a short time if there's a puncture without risk of the tire rolling off the rim -- a good/safety thing in road racing.
Tubeless became popular first in mtb: primarily because no inner tube means no pinch flats, so you can run much lower pressures. This increases traction off-road, and is a definite advantage.
Various pushes have been/are being made to popularize tubeless for road use, but on-road the advantages are much less obvious. It is true that tubeless has slightly lower rolling resistance, and the ability to run lower pressures without risk of pinch flatting is a good thing. However, if one does have a puncture flat and the sealant doesn't do its job, one still has to have or have access to a tube to install in order to get going.
Modern clinchers with tubes work so well it's not at all clear that on-road there's any real advantage to the non-racing cyclist of either tubular or tubeless.