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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-31-12, 10:07 AM   #1
Seattle Forrest
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Tubular flat - what do I do?

On Saturday, I drove two hours to the foot of Mount Rainier, to climb to Paradise. I was looking forward to a 5,000 vertical foot climb over about 20 miles. It was a gorgeous day, and there wasn't a cloud anywhere in the state, except the west side of the mountain ... it was a bad omen.

I had thought taking the snow shoes out of my trunk would be good for my wheels, instead of setting them on top of something metal, and then hitting a crack in the pavement on the freeway. Well, there was part of a staple or something in the bottom of the trunk, and it found its way into my rear tire. I parked the car in Ashford, got the bike out of the back seat, pulled the wheels out, and one was flat. A can of cafe latex turned it into a slow leak. I rode about 5 miles, and it just wasn't working. This is when it started to rain - I could have got a sunburn if I'd stayed at home.

Two more hours in the car, and I stopped at the LBS. They took part of the valve off, pumped the tire full of sealant, and sent me on my way. I rode 35 miles that evening, enjoying the last of the sun, and it was fine. The next morning, it hadn't lost any more air than the front tire. So I pumped them up, then went and rode 20 miles in the foot hills, closer to home. The valve blew out at the end of the ride, about a mile from the car. I rode back to the car slowly, keeping as much weight as I could on the front wheel.

At home, I tried pumping the tire up. It was good until about 120 psi, then sealant started coming out of the tire. It stopped somewhere around 100 psi, and held air after that.

The tire has about 800 or 900 miles on it. I'm not going to do abdominal surgery on a snake. Do I need to replace it? Should I try more sealant? Any other options I have? I've ordered a double wheel bag, so this won't happen again. I ride a lot in remote places. And I like exactly 120 psi in the rear wheel, it doesn't feel right when it's much more or less than that.
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Old 05-31-12, 10:17 AM   #2
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Don't foget to put a spare or 2 under your saddle. Sorry, I have no sealant experience, but here's a thread about it
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...n-their-tubies
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Last edited by Homebrew01; 05-31-12 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 05-31-12, 10:32 AM   #3
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If you save your flat tubulars, esp the ones with good tread left, there's a place in Clearwater FL that will cut the casing open, replace the tube (with a tube type of your choice) and send you back the tire. Our team does an annual "group buy" from them where all the team riders get their flatted tubulars and send them back.

http://www.tirealert.com/

The only way to properly fix a flatted tubular, as long as the casing is okay, is to replace the whole tube. I've had a couple tires done but I tend to hang onto my tires too long before sending them in. If the tread is starting to crack then it's probably either not worth it or you should get the tire fixed and relegate it to under the saddle.
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Old 05-31-12, 10:46 AM   #4
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So what exactly is the benefit over clinchers if you're not racing or supported?
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Old 05-31-12, 10:59 AM   #5
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If you save your flat tubulars, esp the ones with good tread left, there's a place in Clearwater FL that will cut the casing open, replace the tube (with a tube type of your choice) and send you back the tire. Our team does an annual "group buy" from them where all the team riders get their flatted tubulars and send them back.

http://www.tirealert.com/

The only way to properly fix a flatted tubular, as long as the casing is okay, is to replace the whole tube. I've had a couple tires done but I tend to hang onto my tires too long before sending them in. If the tread is starting to crack then it's probably either not worth it or you should get the tire fixed and relegate it to under the saddle.
Very cool, and thanks! I didn't know I could pay someone else to fix 'em for me.

So does this mean my best bet is to buy a new tire, have it put on, and send the old one in? I won't be thrilled if that's my best bet, but I want a reliable tire more than I want to save money.

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So what exactly is the benefit over clinchers if you're not racing or supported?
Start a new thread on that. This thread is for me to learn the answer to my question, and I don't want it to get hijacked by a holy war, which will distract people enough to forget about telling me how to solve my problem. Thanks.
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Old 05-31-12, 11:04 AM   #6
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So what exactly is the benefit over clinchers if you're not racing or supported?
You don't need to be supported, you carry a spare, just like you carry a spare tube with clinchers.
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Old 05-31-12, 12:26 PM   #7
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The tire has about 800 or 900 miles on it. I'm not going to do abdominal surgery on a snake. Do I need to replace it? Should I try more sealant? Any other options I have?
If it's a decent tire and the casing is in decent condition, it may be worthwhile to send it to Tire Alert for a new tube:

http://www.tirealert.com/tirealert/Welcome.html
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Old 05-31-12, 12:37 PM   #8
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Sounds like my best bet is to put a new tire on in the meantime, and send this one in for a new tube, then? No more sealant or anything else?
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Old 05-31-12, 12:44 PM   #9
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In prehistoric days we used to fix our own "sew ups" as we called them . We carried a razor blade , sewing needle , dental floss and a patch kit . Are modern tubulars so different that it is not possible to fix your own ?
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Old 05-31-12, 01:02 PM   #10
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In prehistoric days we used to fix our own "sew ups" as we called them . We carried a razor blade , sewing needle , dental floss and a patch kit . Are modern tubulars so different that it is not possible to fix your own ?
We're lazy.
Personally, just about every flat I've had was after so many miles that it didn't seem worth the trouble.
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Old 05-31-12, 01:23 PM   #11
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If it's a decent tire and the casing is in decent condition, it may be worthwhile to send it to Tire Alert for a new tube:

http://www.tirealert.com/tirealert/Welcome.html
Great info. I'll be sending these guys a Evo CX soon. Flatted it last night.
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Old 05-31-12, 01:25 PM   #12
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Sounds like my best bet is to put a new tire on in the meantime, and send this one in for a new tube, then? No more sealant or anything else?
Thats going to be the most reliable way. You can run some Stan's before you install the tire. Stan's has been more reliable for me than the Calfee and Pitstop.
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Old 05-31-12, 01:27 PM   #13
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In prehistoric days we used to fix our own "sew ups" as we called them . We carried a razor blade , sewing needle , dental floss and a patch kit . Are modern tubulars so different that it is not possible to fix your own ?
We also used to wear wool shorts.

Clincher technology improved so much that it makes tubulars near irrelevant in just about any discussion outside of racing. Even then there are still many podiums done on clinchers.

There's a guy around here that still insists on training with tubulars. Why? well....because he can afford it, has absolutely nothing to do all day, and feels like he needs every single advantage he can get so that he can "win" his team's un-sanctioned Tuesday night crit race on open roads....err..."group ride".

But for racing....

You really don't get a good idea of how effective tubulars are for racing on the road until you have extremely technical courses that are super fast. I glued up about 6 sets for a series of races a couple of weeks back. We landed a racer on the podium of the P/1/2 race - in 2nd. Hella-strong kid. His wheels were new when I handed him the set on Saturday morning. Sunday night - the hot-patches were completely worn off of the sidewalls.

The announcer was riding in the pace car for the masters race and came up to our guy - winner - afterwards and said, "you opened up 8-10 bike lengths on guys in the corners."

You can tell the difference between a tubular and high end clincher still....but these are experiences at the upper end of what anyone would really expect to encounter.

Bear in mind I literally just got done gluing up 3 more tubulars. A couple of fingertips are sticking to the keys and not for the fun reason. 3 more to glue up for Saturday.....ugh.... C Ya
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Old 05-31-12, 02:02 PM   #14
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The only way to properly fix a flatted tubular, as long as the casing is okay, is to replace the whole tube.
I fix my own by opening up the casing and patching the whole then sew the casing shut. Been doing it for many many years this way and it works like a charm.

---

I've had reasonably good experience with Cafe Laytex but mostly just for very small holes but it can save you the trouble of taking off the tire and opening the casing to find the hole to patch it.
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Old 05-31-12, 02:51 PM   #15
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Sounds like my best bet is to put a new tire on in the meantime, and send this one in for a new tube, then? No more sealant or anything else?
Yes.

As far as if you have a tire worth saving or not:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...ular-tire.html
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Old 05-31-12, 03:27 PM   #16
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So people who think they know everything don't, and may not even realize that tubulars not only grip better but ride better (more comfy) than clinchers. But if you have firecrest wheels (which also sound and look cool), it is a major inconvenience to swap from them to clincher rims as you have to completely readjust brakes and swap brake pads.
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Old 05-31-12, 03:40 PM   #17
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So people who think they know everything don't,
A bit of reflection maybe?

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and may not even realize that tubulars not only grip better but ride better (more comfy) than clinchers.
To pull a line from your standard script - show me the data on that one.

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But if you have firecrest wheels (which also sound and look cool), it is a major inconvenience to swap from them to clincher rims as you have to completely readjust brakes and swap brake pads.
Enough so that even Caroline Mani - a top cross pro - tweeted about her issues with them last fall. Calling them every name in the book.

...but you can't fight the trend. Everyone has a "wide bodied" clincher now. Hell, I've even had rims for a while. SRAM's 2012 RED brakes take them easily and have much better clearance.

Whatever you keep riding - let's hope it keeps you in a position to "win" your group ride! We know cornering grip will come in handy with the number of stop signs you and your team blow! Safety first...would hate to lose grip and slide out....
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Old 05-31-12, 03:45 PM   #18
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Again, for the ignorant, the braking surface is on an angle on a firecrest wheel so even their clinchers aren't at the proper angle thus a pad swap (in addition to a complete brake realignment) is necessary to maintain optimal braking.
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Old 05-31-12, 04:00 PM   #19
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Again, for the ignorant, the braking surface is on an angle on a firecrest wheel so even their clinchers aren't at the proper angle thus a pad swap (in addition to a complete brake realignment) is necessary to maintain optimal braking.
You just need firecrest clinchers for training wheels. The profile appears to be the same.

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Old 05-31-12, 04:10 PM   #20
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Okay it looks like OP got his answer, thanks to those that helped. I know that after school by the slide is the best place to fight but right now, It's 308pm and the school playground is closed. Thank you for participating.
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