Guys, as always, thank you! To think this thread went here after I asked about wheels. Good stuff - Cleave, especially, that was great. Shovel, Hermes, I've always known 650c was obsolete, but I have what I have. As I said, I originally bought that Felt for triathlon, I never even considered I'd ride it in an actual ITT. And until I do in the SG, I haven't!
Check out Slowtwitch.com classified for 650 wheels
Time for silly questions.
How does one go about gluing a tubular to the rim? How long does the glue take to set up? Are tubular tires more expensive than clinchers?
Clean the rim. I use Goo-Gone, a brass brush, and lots of rags. Get it as clean as you can, then finish clean with acetone. Plan on one hour per rim.
As soon as you get your tires, stretch them on a spare set of wheels. Clinchers will work. Inflate to riding pressure.
Plan on 4 tubes of glue per wheelset, or 1/3 of a can. Buy a dozen 1/4" metal brushes for application.
Wipe the base tape of the tire down with acetone.
Using the brush, apply one thin layer of glue to the rims, then the tire. A truing stand or spare fork chucked in a vise helps to hold the wheel. For the tire, inflate it to 30 pounds, and turn it inside out, with the base tape on the outside. Hold it in a figure-eight with your hands in the middle. Wear nitrile gloves.
Hang the wheels and tires up for 24 hours to dry. Repeat.
The final, third thin layer is the one that matters the most. Apply to one rim and one tire. Deflate the tire. Lay a piece of cardboard down on the floor. Hold the rim with the valve hole towards you with the wheel on the cardboard. Insert the valve in the valve hole (if deep rims you need to attach extenders first, another topic for another day). Work the tire around the rim until you cannot go any further. Flip the wheel upside down and work the tire onto the last part of the rim.
Now the clock starts. You have about ten minutes to get this right. Inflate the tire to 50 pounds. Put it in a truing stand or fork or spin it in your hands. If the tread is wobbly, correct it by stopping, and working the tire to the short side. Spin again. Straighten. Repeat. Once it's pretty close to straight, hang it up and do the next one.
It takes time and practice. There is a reason so many people pay the LBS to do this for them.
Shovel, that's a project! I would bet CDR has a video on it on YouTube. I'll check.
I think I'd pay my LBS to do it. Or use clinchers. I've been pondering carbon tubulars, but now I don't know!
Sarals: it sounds complicated, but it's not. It just takes some patience. Watch CDR's video and blog and see.
Carling Black Label is still available, just not in CA... Look like you can get it in Ohio, Mass., Canada (seems to be affiliated with Molsen and PBR).
Its a 'budget' beer.
-if the rim is carbon, it'll be elbow grease and more elbow grease. dull-edged teaspoons are good to remove whatever base tape that may be on the rim. brass brush may or may not damage the carbon. Apply liberal amounts of Goof-off/Goo-Gone to the rim, wait 15-20 minutes, then proceed to use rag to clean off the rim
the last layer of glue to apply before mounting should be that on the rim as this gives you more time to position the tire. once it's on there, grab the skewer are roll the wheel on the ground while placing your body weight on the skewer. this will straighten the tire, too
I paid another shop to do my rear wheel b/c i couldn't be bothered to scrub off the glue. The final glue job was decent, though certainly no better than the job i did on the front wheel.
also, you want to do this outside or have a huge fan if you are doing this inside
I'm glad I peeked in here.
Selecting a tire:
Removing a well glued tire (toughest part about tubulars):
The whole "rolling a tubular" thing (no blood in the post):
Tubulars are more expensive than clinchers, by far. Street price in the US on good tubulars is in the $80-120 range per tire. Vittoria EVO CX and similar are my favorite, and I just learned that the wet weather tire from Vittoria is incredible in the rain, even if a late racer inadvertently overinflates his rear tire to 120psi in the wet (couldn't be me...). Bontrager - I've used both of their two good tires (the third I wouldn't touch, it's a cheap vulcanized one) and I still have them on my Stinger 6s.
You can get tires from the UK for much less. I have to admit that I buy 4-6-8 Vittorias at a time when they're on sale.
I buy the Bontrager tires through the shop that sponsors the team. We get a break but it still isn't cheap. Nevertheless I think I bought 6 or 8 tires the last time I ordered.
I've glued enough tires that I don't bother stretching them. I do inflate them and leave them overnight - I've had a few brand new tires show up with a bad tube and they'd be dead flat in the morning. Depending on your source you may be able to exchange the tire. That overnight stretch is enough. In a pinch I've gambled and glued on a tire without even doing that.
If you flat a tubular with a lot of tread use tirealert.com in Florida. They cut the casing open, put in a new tube (you can select the grade of tube), sew it all back together. I saw one tire come back from them where they didn't line up the holes correctly so the casing was slightly twisted, but that was 20 years go or so. My teammates use them for all their cross tires. I haven't used them in a while myself but the "whole tube" approach is much better than manually patching a tube and sewing that one part of the tire back up. I used to do this for those terrible flats like the one where I had a brand new tire, rode it about 50 yards, and flatted it.
If the tread is squared off on a rear tire or the rubber is cracking on a front tire then don't bother.
If you flat a rear (they usually go first because the worn center is much thinner) then put your front tire on the rear wheel. Good front tires will dry rot / crack / etc before they flat. I've had to throw away otherwise-good tires because the casing was disintegrating or the tread was flaking off.
A little late to the party. I thought Cleave was talking about me. Never considered Vance to be the target :D
Also, FWIW sarals, and to add some personal anecdotes to the discussion, I own 3 sets of eBay carbon wheels. Although YMMV, and I can't vouch for all of them, all sets have held up just fine. All 3 were bought piecemeal by me (hubs, rims, spokes separate) and built by my local master wheelbuilder. I'm a clydesdale racer (probably will be for life) and use these exclusively in races now. One set is a 50mm clincher I use as my permanent wheels. I have 50mm tubular and clincher, and 88mm tubular. The 88's have 28/24 spokes and the 50mm's are 32/28 to offset any weight issues by me :D I bought them from ebay seller: a_baygoods.
I prefer the ride of the tubulars and would ride them daily, but as CDR said, they are expensive. If I rode them until they wore out & no flats, I'd splurge on the money for one/month. I have a source for cheap Vittoria's, but they're still $20 more than my Michelin clinchers.
What I've done to make it easier and get it right is (a) get a truing stand, and (b) use my fingers to apply the glue to the wheel. Using a brush didn't get it as even on the wheel, though it works fine for me on the tire. For the final coat, I do the wheel first, so I can clean my fingers, then the tire, then assemble. My first one had a bit of a bulge at the valve, but the two I just did came out great. I also try hard to line it up as it goes on, rather than tweak it afterward, because shifting the tire once on the rim is a pita and takes some muscle.
My eyes are wide open. This good stuff. Stupid question coming up, so either duck it, or answer it (Botto says I'm an idiot, remember). Which do you experienced guys prefer over the other (I won't say which is better), and why? Tubular or clincher (I know tubulars are lighter - I think I know that).
I like my tubulars for racing because they are lighter, suppler, and rounder (cross-section) than my clinchers. I have the Vittoria CX in 25mm on 50mm deep generic Chinese wheels (novatec hubs/gigantex rims/pillar spokes). I felt like the 25 mm really smoothed out the ride on my aluminum frame and made 70 mile RR's tolerable. On a carbon frame it's like a Cadillac.
You can race on clinchers just fine, just as you can race on shallow section rims, a heavier bike, stock bearings, etc. Like so many factors, it's a question of how much you want to compromise, and where to draw the line on cost-benefit, and hassle-benefit. Tubulars are faster. They roll better, handle better, and are lighter. There is a clear difference you can feel. Plus, flats on tubulars are more survivable in a race than a clincher flat. You've no doubt seen pro's ride a flat tubular for significant distances while their support car came up. Ex won a race last year on a flat tubular. Whether it is worth it or not is an individual decision. Some people like to train on their racing wheels, and opt for clinchers. Others liken putting the race wheels on the bike, to "putting on your Sunday best" (I think that's the phrase AJ used here long ago), and use that to get in the racing mindset. For me, the deciding factor is being able to use very aero wheels without paying a weight penalty. My tubulars are deeper and lighter than my clinchers. One thing I did this time around to make the wheel change easy was to have my training clinchers exactly the same width as my racing tubulars. There is absolutely no adjustment needed when I swap wheels.
What AZT said. Tubulars are lighter and roll faster. In my case my sewup race wheels are over a pound lighter than my clincher training wheels and the sewup wheels are deeper. I can feel the difference. I also have them set up like AZT so I can swap back and forth with no issues. It has to be that way as they are my pit wheels. I don't want to be futzing with brake cables in the pit under time pressure. I do not use sealant, although many do. I make sure to wipe my tires during a race if needed, and I wipe them down and inspect them after every race day. If I could afford it, I would ride tubulars exclusively like in the old days.
Cool. How about brake pads? Do you have dual purpose pads, or do you swap them when you swap the wheels?