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Old 07-25-09, 06:55 PM   #1
vortexrob
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Tubular vs Clincher

While watching the TdF on Versus, Bobke said that most of the riders in the tour were riding tubular instead of clinchers. Why?
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Old 07-25-09, 07:03 PM   #2
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Not necessarily in order
  1. tradition
  2. lighter, particularly on CF rims
  3. can be ridden flat much better than clinchers
  4. corner better and more comfortable ride

Conversely there's an argument that clinchers can have lower rolling resistence. But on balnace, most people for whom cost and hassle is not an issue, still prefer tubulars.
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Old 07-25-09, 07:48 PM   #3
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They make a lighter package, its much easier to build a cf tubular rim, they roll better, etc.

I run clinchers anyway because all the above is outweighed by the PITA they are to change and fix flats on for me, but if I had someone to follow me around in a car with spare wheels, that'd be another story.
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Old 07-25-09, 08:59 PM   #4
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^ basically what those two already said. they can be superior in performance for those situations. the reason none of us "normal" peeps run them is because we have to change our own flats, not just have a mechanic hop out of the car with a brand new wheel/tire ready to go.
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Old 07-25-09, 09:28 PM   #5
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They are also safer to ride flat. And are less likely to cause a rider to crash on a high speed descent when they flat. So long as the rider is not going into a corner or hits something or is braking hard. They are really time consuming to repair. And expensive compared to tubeless clinchers or tubed clinchers.

Not only is it easier to build a tubular rim. A tubular rim can be made quite a bit lighter as it doesn't require as much rim material.
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Old 07-25-09, 10:33 PM   #6
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Clincher fans can take heart knowing the Mavic neutral support bikes are equipped with clinchers.
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Old 07-26-09, 10:51 AM   #7
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^ basically what those two already said. they can be superior in performance for those situations. the reason none of us "normal" peeps run them is because we have to change our own flats, not just have a mechanic hop out of the car with a brand new wheel/tire ready to go.
Oh, some of us "normal" peeps do run tubulars, by preference. I've been riding them for so many years (started in 1972) that I consider all the "troublesome" aspects no trouble at all, in fact I consider that to be the norm. If anything, given a puncture on the road, I'd really rather be on one of my tubular equipped bikes than one with clinchers. I'm back on the road much faster.
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Old 07-26-09, 10:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Not necessarily in order
  1. tradition
  2. lighter, particularly on CF rims
  3. can be ridden flat much better than clinchers
  4. corner better and more comfortable ride
5. Don't get snake-bite flats
6. For the same size tire, the tubular puts more distance between the rim and the road
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Old 07-26-09, 11:00 AM   #9
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Clincher fans can take heart knowing the Mavic neutral support bikes are equipped with clinchers.
No wonder the guys never want to put on these wheels except under extreme duress.
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Old 07-26-09, 06:28 PM   #10
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5. Don't get snake-bite flats
6. For the same size tire, the tubular puts more distance between the rim and the road

7. The pros have someone to glue tubulars for them.
8. The pros have someone to clean the old glue off their rims for them.


These two events were enough for me to junk my one (and only) set of tubulars after 1 season.
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Old 07-26-09, 09:13 PM   #11
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They are also safer to ride flat. And are less likely to cause a rider to crash on a high speed descent when they flat. So long as the rider is not going into a corner or hits something or is braking hard. They are really time consuming to repair. And expensive compared to tubeless clinchers or tubed clinchers.

Not only is it easier to build a tubular rim. A tubular rim can be made quite a bit lighter as it doesn't require as much rim material.
I don't if you have ever flatted on a racing tubular while racing, but I have and a flat Seta (silk) 220gr racing tubular has less traction than a vaseline smeared banana....
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Old 07-26-09, 09:46 PM   #12
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Oh, some of us "normal" peeps do run tubulars, by preference. I've been riding them for so many years (started in 1972) that I consider all the "troublesome" aspects no trouble at all, in fact I consider that to be the norm. If anything, given a puncture on the road, I'd really rather be on one of my tubular equipped bikes than one with clinchers. I'm back on the road much faster.
Really? And that's an honest "Really?", not a belligerent one -- what do you do to repair a tubular puncture?
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Old 07-26-09, 10:04 PM   #13
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^Remove the punctured tire from the rim, and pop on a new tire. Piece of cake.
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Old 07-26-09, 10:09 PM   #14
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^Remove the punctured tire from the rim, and pop on a new tire. Piece of cake.
Yeah, I guess; and just ride carefully on it after that? And is that with regular glue, Tufo tape, a preglued tire, or something else?

I really shouldn't bother asking since I just got another clincher set, but I'm still curious..
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Old 07-26-09, 10:40 PM   #15
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^Regular old continental glue was my choice.

Remember, this is just a training ride. Decending a mountain calls for a bit of common sense.

They stick pretty good, I've never rolled one.

I've seen it happen though.
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Old 07-27-09, 03:11 PM   #16
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Really? And that's an honest "Really?", not a belligerent one -- what do you do to repair a tubular puncture?
No belligerence taken, I think we're talking a bit of confusion in semantics.

I'm talking replacement on the roadside to get back riding as fast as possible - which I do with either tubulars or clinchers. Patching the tube or unsewing the tubular and then patching the tube is done at home. On all my road bikes, under the seat you'll either find a rolled up tubular, or a wedge pack containing a tube and three tyre irons. Everything else I need (CO2 inflator, glue, pressure gauge,etc.) is carried in a zip lock baggie in a jersey pocket. Some of my bike also have a manual pump bolted to the frame, just in case the inflator fails. It hasn't yet.

I can normally do a tubular in five minutes. My best on a clincher is slightly above that, but if I have a set of tyres that are *****es to get off, it can take four times as long. Oh yeah, I'm not incredibly precise with the glue on the roadside, I just make sure it gets on clean and completely. And I do take it easy for the next 5-10 minutes just to make sure the tyre has set right. Just the same, I've never had a tubular roll off a rim, yet.

I just feel more secure with the tubulars.
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Old 07-28-09, 01:44 PM   #17
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No belligerence taken, I think we're talking a bit of confusion in semantics.
Ok, cool. I thought that it was a necessity to let them cure for longer than that.

Maybe I'll try some of those Tufo "tubular clinchers" sometime, at least when my current Vredesteins wear out.
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Old 07-28-09, 03:14 PM   #18
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Wonder how many teams were running the new tubeless clincher systems....

Suppose to be the safest in the event of a puncture.
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Old 07-28-09, 03:29 PM   #19
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Ok, cool. I thought that it was a necessity to let them cure for longer than that.

Maybe I'll try some of those Tufo "tubular clinchers" sometime, at least when my current Vredesteins wear out.
Yeah, I'll usually let them cure for a couple of days. For example: My last puncture was a few days ago, on my morning workout. Happily, it happened 500 meters past the end of my driveway. Rather than spend time changing, on this one I just rode the bike back into the garage on the flat, grabbed another bike, and did my morning ride.

That evening, I changed the tyre on the bike, and it's still hanging there. I'll probably ride it this weekend. Fixed the puncture while watching the evening's Tour stage and sipping a couple of glasses of burgundy.

I don't have a set curing time, but since I've got eight bikes hanging on the garage wall, whatever bike has just had a flat repaired normally hangs there for a couple of days. Had this puncture happened 4-5 miles from home, I'd have done a quick road repair, ridden back home and just hung the bike. Next time I'd want to ride it, I'd deflate the tyre and make sure it was glued properly all the way around.

So far I haven't had to pull off a tyre and reglue.
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