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  1. #1
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    tubular tires for century +

    This spring I am switching over to tubulars on zipp 303 rims.

    This summer I am doing a 175 mile charity ride, 105 first day and 70 second day.

    My training this season is geared for that, and I like to use the same gear for training and racing. I have been using Conti Grand Prix 4 seasons in the winter on clinchers, so I don't mind a few more grams for durability. But I want a fast tire, no gatorskins need apply.

    I have done a lot of reading on tires, and my impression is the Vittoria Corsa CX is great but a bit flat prone. Is there something similar with a bit more flat resistance? Maybe the Corsa SR?

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    FMB Paris Roubaix Pro's

  3. #3
    Senior Member I <3 Robots's Avatar
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    Thats some serious coin to drop for tires.

    I just roll my Haterskins with some Stan's sealant in there.
    Cervelo S2 | Zipp | SRAM | Rotor

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    Quote Originally Posted by I <3 Robots View Post
    Thats some serious coin to drop for tires.

    I just roll my Haterskins with some Stan's sealant in there.
    Dude this is a 170 mile charity event. No point in showing up without carbon wheels and high performance tubulars.

  5. #5
    Senior Member I <3 Robots's Avatar
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    Point taken...
    Cervelo S2 | Zipp | SRAM | Rotor

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    Quote Originally Posted by I <3 Robots View Post
    Point taken...
    For the record I run Gators or Rubino 25's on hand-built 105/Open Pro 32 spoke wheels and they never hold me back but I don't think that was the answer he was looking for.

  7. #7
    Senior Member I <3 Robots's Avatar
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    Not sure I would consider taking tubulars on a ride of that type. Imagine getting a slash on the tire that can't be repaired by sealant. Even with a support car...it would still be a huge headache. I would go with the most durable tire and skip the bling on this one.

    Whatever tire the OP decides to go with...I would still bring a pre stretched pre glued spare.
    Cervelo S2 | Zipp | SRAM | Rotor

  8. #8
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    I love tubular tires for racing but I would never do a long point to point ride on them. I'd get some carbon clinchers if I wanted a high zoot wheel set, and in fact that's what I did when I ran DV46 tubulars. I bought a matching set of DV46 clinchers and trained and traveled with the clinchers. I've done 35 minute descents, the first half with switchbacks, no problem, raced on them a number of times, trained on them for a couple years. Both wheel sets are still in use under two different teammates.

    If you get a super durable tubular you start chipping away at the reasons for having tubulars which is mainly the weight savings. Nowadays you can get a wider clincher rim, get a similar ride. The big advantage is that if you have a flat with a clincher you can fix it and then you'll know the tire is now 100%. With a tubular that's just not the case. Regardless if you have properly glued tires you have to spend a lot of time dismounting the flat tire.

    You won't get as light as the tubular but you'll get close, and, honestly, the 300-400g or so won't make a huge difference between the tubulars and some nice carbon clinchers. You can diet and lose weight and make up that difference. I'm 15-20 lbs heavier than I was just a few years ago and it's way more significant than the 1-3 lbs I save by using tubulars over my light or heavy set of clinchers.

    Of course on the other hand I've raced for two seasons on tires no problems and that would cover way more than 170 miles. I run Vittoria EVO CXs and I just got some EVO Techs (for wet weather), both in 23mm. I also run Bontragers (their top one that's 23mm wide). They've all been good, I'll eventually get a flat from a piece of glass or something.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by I <3 Robots View Post
    Thats some serious coin to drop for tires.

    I just roll my Haterskins with some Stan's sealant in there.
    Quote Originally Posted by therhodeo View Post
    Dude this is a 170 mile charity event. No point in showing up without carbon wheels and high performance tubulars.
    Quote Originally Posted by I <3 Robots View Post
    Point taken...
    Stop it!... you guys are too much.
    Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 03-27-14 at 04:55 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member kleng's Avatar
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    Tufo elite <160 tubs with 20ml stans sealant

  11. #11
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    You'll be how far from help when your tubies go belly-up? I don't think you can count on every rest stop to be equipped to handle your tubie emergencies - maybe one, but far from all.

    You bringing either a spare tire or a can of compressed goo? Better off with both to be more self-sufficient. Have you practiced a field repair or are you trusting you'll know what to do when the heat is on?

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    Been there; done that.
    I wasn't cut out for tubies.
    (I learned the hard way multiple times)

    Best wishes for an epic bike tour!

  13. #13
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    conti spinter gator skins + 1oz on stans tubeless sealant. Carry a pre glued folded up in your pocket just in case, carry cel phone in case you flat the spare.
    Rule #10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by therhodeo View Post
    Dude this is a 170 mile charity event. No point in showing up without carbon wheels and high performance tubulars.
    Some people treat the ride as a race, some don't. Happens to be the guys I am training with do

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    No reason not to ride tubulars, one spare under your seat, one on your seat post , both pre-glued. Two ounces of sealant , you'll be fine . Just as apt to slice a clincher sidewall as a tubular.

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    My similar distance charity ride this summer (RI MS 150 w day 1 century option) will likely be ridden on 700x25 Conti Supersport Pluses. This will be my fifth and I now know the value of tough tires.

    As others have said, clinchers are much more serviceable at rest stops. If you shred your $80 race clincher, at least they can replace it with a cheapie wire bead clincher to salvage the rest of your ride. With rubies, I dunno.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebreak View Post
    Some people treat the ride as a race, some don't. Happens to be the guys I am training with do
    Not trying to be difficult but if you flat a tubular would they wait the 15-20 minutes it might take to change one, if you're quick, or the 30+ minutes if you're not? And then take it easy in the corners and descents afterward so that you don't roll a tire and face plant into the pavement? If you had an unfortunate flat 10 miles into the first day's ride would you be willing to either hold everyone back or ride 90 miles with other riders?

    With a clincher you return to 100% tire function immediately, no question, and it can take as little as 1-5 minutes. 1 minute is a bit iffy with someone prepping the new tube, no checks for cause of flat, using a tire that's retained its round shape, and using CO2. 2 minutes is really fast for a regular flat change. 5 minutes is a normal tube replacement time. Add 2-4 minutes for a mini/frame pump.

    There's a recent review I just saw about the Zipp 202 clinchers. I've never ridden them, never seen them that I know of, but the wheels are allegedly under 1400g and as aero as a normal width 60mm tall rim. I'd use those in a heartbeat on a long ride, or something similar.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  18. #18
    Senior Member waters60's Avatar
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    It seems most folks commenting on how difficult it is to change a tubular have never ridden tubulars, much less changed one on the road. I have done so many times and the difference in time between changing a tubular and clincher is zero. On long rides, as noted, you may want to carry two spares. If you make a habit of riding tubulars you should have a tire bag ( BikeTiresDirect Sew-up Tire Bag at BikeTiresDirect ); I can squeeze two tires into mine. They also have two small zipper pockets into which I put my cell phone, spoke wrench. I have ridden Vittoria Rally's for years. Not the best, but I doubt that if you pay twice as much you will get twice the miles. I have ridden many a century on mine and never had problems. I also tend to keep my pressure around 80 -85 psi in front and maybe 90 psi rear. I suspect that many tire problems are caused by over inflation.

  19. #19
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    I race on Vittoria Evo Corsa Cx and don't find them flat prone. Majority of the time I use them for a full race seaon or more,a nd replace them for wear before I get a flat.

    They're made with Kevlar, and have a puncture resistant belt. Only downside I see, compared to other tubulars is price.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  20. #20
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waters60 View Post
    It seems most folks commenting on how difficult it is to change a tubular have never ridden tubulars, much less changed one on the road. I have done so many times and the difference in time between changing a tubular and clincher is zero.
    If the tubular is really glued on well, it can take awhile to get the old one off. In my experience it doesn't take that much longer to change a tubular on the side of the road, but it can take longer.

    And then you have CDR's point that you can't really push hard riding on the spare until its properly glued (and yes I know to preglue the spare, but it's not the same).

    Then what are you trying to accomplish with tubulars in the first place? There are several advantages to tubulars, all of which are limited if you're not racing and have to carry your own replacements:

    1)Weight savings; the weight difference between a very good clincher wheelset, and a tubular wheelset is getting smaller. If you have to carry an extra tire or two, plus sealant, the weight savings is mostly eaten up.

    2) ability to ride flat; this is significant racing, not so much on a tour;

    3) better ride quality; this is largely eroding as clinchers have gotten better, Vittoria Open Corsa for example ride veery nice;

    4) lower rolling resistance; this has actually flipped in favor of clinchers;

    5) braking on descents; this is one place carbon tubular rims do better than carbon clinchers, given that you don't have to worry about blowing out sidewalls.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    You can add me to the "tubulars for racing, clinchers otherwise" camp for all the reasons posted.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

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    Also a tubular racer, clincher for everything else.

    I mostly ride Conti GP4KS, but for organized hill rides and centuries I always go with Michelin Krylion Carbons (now Pro 4 Endurance). I find them to have the best durability of a tire that won't slow you down or ride like a brick.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by waters60 View Post
    It seems most folks commenting on how difficult it is to change a tubular have never ridden tubulars, much less changed one on the road. I have done so many times and the difference in time between changing a tubular and clincher is zero. On long rides, as noted, you may want to carry two spares. If you make a habit of riding tubulars you should have a tire bag ( BikeTiresDirect Sew-up Tire Bag at BikeTiresDirect ); I can squeeze two tires into mine. They also have two small zipper pockets into which I put my cell phone, spoke wrench. I have ridden Vittoria Rally's for years. Not the best, but I doubt that if you pay twice as much you will get twice the miles. I have ridden many a century on mine and never had problems. I also tend to keep my pressure around 80 -85 psi in front and maybe 90 psi rear. I suspect that many tire problems are caused by over inflation.
    I raced and trained exclusively on tubulars for a long time, about 12-13 years (83-93? then 97-2000?). Since 2001 I've trained on clinchers pretty much exclusively. I've always tried to race tubulars, save one year where I went to Campy 10s and only had one rear wheel.

    I've changed plenty of tubulars on the road (learning along the way the disadvantages of vulcanized tires, flat mold tires, etc), ridden a bunch of flatted tubulars home (even if I had a spare tire), learned the tricks (I used to carry a "compact spare", a 150g 17mm tire that wasn't much bigger than a 700x23 tube when folded up), etc etc etc.

    A well glued tire is extremely hard to remove. It's the first foot or so that's the hardest if you don't care about the tire - a well glued tire doesn't have room for a tire lever to fit, you need a flat blade screwdriver or something similar to get under the base tape. Once you have a foot or so separated then you can pull the tire off pretty quickly if you don't care about the base tape. It's a bit slower if you're reusing the tire. It's slower on a carbon rim, especially one of the wide ones (I have five of such wheel right now). Sweaty fingers, sweat dripping into your eyes, that slows me down.

    It takes me 15 minutes or so to remove a tire when I'm fresh, in my basement, and my heart is beating normally. If outside, in the heat or rain or wind or whatever, with all sorts of external obligation pressure (friends waiting for me for example)… It takes me less time to glue the tire but of course it's not rideable immediately after.

    I flatted in the middle of a high pressure ride last year. I needed to go pick up my son after the ride (daycare charges per minute you're late) and I realized that riding outside was really irresponsible in this situation (what if I got hit by a car etc). Of course I flatted. I had only one tube at the time so I took the time to find the culprit (base tape moved, moving it back took some doing), replace the tube, pump it up, and get going. It took me 10 minutes, and most of the time I spent doing the troubleshooting on the flat. If I flatted again I'd have been much later than if I didn't spend the time making sure I didn't flat again. I made it on time and later I checked and fixed the base tape on the other wheel.

    I know that if I was hammering along in a group ride, even a regular one (forget about a point to point or a one off long loop like 100 miles) I'd be on clinchers for all sorts of reasons. Safety, convenience, and consideration for the others riding with me.

    Note on rolling tires - you only roll a tire when you're really pushing, so maybe on that wicked fast fun descent. A rider won't roll just riding along, even one improperly glued. It's when it counts that it fails, so that swerve to avoid the deer or maybe a rider that rolled a tire, the sudden change in line in a corner because the car going the other way is on your side of the road, etc etc. Even the pros aren't immune to it - there are plenty of examples of racers rolling tires close to the finish line. They made it through most of the race but under pressure, when they were pushing it, they rolled their tire/s. Rudy Dhaenens rolled both tires in a stage in the Tour and the tires had no evidence of glue on them, they fell off the rim when he picked his bike up. He made it to the final kilometer, he attacked out of the field, all on unglued tires, but then he fell in the last corner of the stage.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  24. #24
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    You may think that you and your friends are going to race this event, but based on what I've seen of these charity rides, the odds are that you're going to spend the first 30 miles of day 1 threading your way through a collection of the clueless. And oh yeah, these events have a way of being held on the rainiest day of the spring or summer.

    I'm not familiar with the ride linked in your signature. But many rides give priority starting privileges to the biggest fundraisers, or to those who suffer from the particular condition that's the subject of the charity (for example, the Tour de Cure starts the Red Riders, diabetics, first). The MS rides send out whole teams first. These teams can have anywhere from a handful to 200+ riders, and those big teams may have people who'll average 8-10 mph, and others who'll average 23 mph. I did one MS ride. Predictably, it was raining like hell at the start. I saw two riders go down by cornering too fast for the road conditions, and that was just around me. Another one tried to pass a group on the right, on a left turn, and ate the curb. If you've done this ride before, and know what to expect, and actually racing the whole ride will be feasible, that's great. If you haven't, you might be in for a surprise if you think you're going to complete 105 in under 5 hours actual riding time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mprelaw View Post
    collection of the clueless. .
    And for a t-shirt ride most of those "clueless" are doing it right and not being half as dangerous as the guys trying to ride a TTT through the course. If you want to race enter a race or go out on our own with your buddies. I have a good friend who's recovering from shoulder surgery currently due to a charity ride racer.

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