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  1. #1
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    pros and cons of tubular tires vs. clincher

    hi,
    great forum you have here. stupid newbie question. whats good and bad about tubular tires vs. clinchers. i know a little(started riding in december) but not which is better and also have any of you heard of these TUFO clincher/tubulars?
    http://tufonorthamerica.com/tiretypes.php

  2. #2
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    Tubulars
    Pro
    - the lightest practical tubulars will always be lighter than the lightest clincher
    - if you flat, you can ride on it for a little longer
    - if glued properly and the tire will stay on the rim even if it flats
    - ride quality
    Con
    - costs more (rims, tubulars)
    - more difficult to maintain/repatch as an individual without team support on the road
    - you could get tire/rim seperation, esp when rims are hot from braking and end up like Beloki.

    Clincher
    Pro
    - cheaper
    - more common
    - wheels are more common
    - easier to patch on the road, no need for gluing, stretching tire, etc

    Con
    - if you flat, you can't really ride on it
    - some say a lower quality ride
    - will always be heavier (tube, tire, clincher interface)

    The ride quality and weight differences are getting smaller, but will always continue to be there. Esp with carbon wheels - carbon clinchers are more difficult to make... and will be heavier than their carbon tubular rim counterparts.

    I've heard of TUFO tubular clinchers... altho I don't see the point of them. Listening to the experiences and advice of others, they only seem to make sense for things like cyclcross... allowing you to run at lower pressure? sorta like a tubeless clincher for MTB. But why use it on a road bike? They're not necessarily lighter, cost a lot more, requires liquid sealant to patch? *shrug* But a lot of people love them so they must offer something - so listen to their input too.
    "The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night." -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  3. #3
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    d-new.
    Ok, this is right up there with Campy v shimaNo, in terms of controversy.
    To set the record straight I ride tubulars almost exclusively so I'm a
    bit biased.
    first do a seach here for Tubulars there are quite a few threads.

    If you flat on a tubular the tire stays on the rim
    (usually there are rare cases where you roll a tubular), if you are on a
    downhill or riding fast its easier to maintain control. On rare occaisions
    you can ride a flatted tubular home and not kill your rims (but I don't
    recommend it). This doesn't work with clinchers, you end up with rim on
    road which is not a good thing.
    Clinchers by design make it easier to repair/replace tubes on the road.
    with a Tubular you need to cut threads, repair the tube then sew up the
    carcass.
    Tubulars are easier to change on the road, break the seal, roll the old
    tire off, stretch new tire on center it, pump it up and away you
    go (and NEVER go out without spare tubular or repair kit).
    Clinchers are cheaper that tubulars. Good tubulars can be very expensive
    (I think there is one that is $300 per tire but its a track only tire).
    Cheap Clinchers are better than cheap tubulars.
    The Tufo tubular clincher is the best of both worlds in terms of
    a clincher rim with a beaded tubular tire, btw Tufo's are NOT repairable
    if the sealant does not work, sol.
    Tubulars do not pinch flat.

    I've said enough for now. I'm sure others will chime in shortly
    from both sides of the camp.

    Marty
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    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  4. #4
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    I really miss my Chris King hub/Reflex rim tubular wheelset and Zipp 303 tubular because I have been racing/training/riding with my Powertap SL wheels. They are clincher.

    Quote Originally Posted by d-new
    hi,
    great forum you have here. stupid newbie question. whats good and bad about tubular tires vs. clinchers. i know a little(started riding in december) but not which is better and also have any of you heard of these TUFO clincher/tubulars?
    http://tufonorthamerica.com/tiretypes.php

  5. #5
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d-new
    hi,
    great forum you have here. stupid newbie question. whats good and bad about tubular tires vs. clinchers. i know a little(started riding in december) but not which is better and also have any of you heard of these TUFO clincher/tubulars?
    http://tufonorthamerica.com/tiretypes.php

    The above post leaves out the reason I have tubulars on my race bike - they are faster, and you can pump them up to much higher pressures. Of the Pros that I know, I don't know one who rides on clinchers.

    I use clinchers for my training bike, because tubulars are too expensive, and too much a pain in the butt (and expensive) to change.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  6. #6
    "Great One" 53-11_alltheway's Avatar
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    I really like the Tufo tubular clinchers. I like pumpin' my tires up to high psi though.

    Compared to tubulars they weigh more, but they don't have the glue problem that supposedly increases rolling resistance due to tire squirm on the tubular rim.

    The Tubular clinchers are very easy to mount and I believe safer than a regular clincher during a blow-out at high speed.

  7. #7
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    thanks shinybaldy,
    thanks for the info

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    I like tubulars. They ride better, and very easy to change if you get a flat. I just carry a spare (already stretched), and some glue. You can also ride when they go flat.
    Keep on trying-perseverance pays off! Stan

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    thanks everyone for your imput!!!

  10. #10
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    Note that Beloki's tire did not roll off. this has been an issue that has been discussed extensively and if it did roll, he would have just slid and laid down the bike and he would not have landed the way he did.
    fogriderlooking for sun

  11. #11
    cab horn
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    General riding - clinchers.
    Racers - tubulars.

  12. #12
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    Safety of Tubulars

    Hi Folks,

    Another newbie question about tubulars. I am 6ft tall, 185lbs and race CAT3. Always have used clinchers in the past, but recently bought my first set of carbon tubulars. Do you think there is any danger of the tires rolling off in fast, hard corners due to the fact that I am heavier than the average racer - assuming the tires are glue properly?

    Thanks,
    Rob

  13. #13
    Quarq shill cslone's Avatar
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    There's always a chance, but not if they're mounted correctly.
    FS: Fuji SL1 frameset, 55.5cm toptube, excellent condition.

  14. #14
    Writin' stuff ZeCanon's Avatar
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    I ride a set of box-section (ambrosio f20 and an old gel280) tubulars in crits and a set of deep carbon tubulars in road races. For crits, I prefer the round, lower profile of good tubulars for cornering, plus they are light as hell and spin up fast. Tubulars make for a much lighter wheel, they are more comfortable, and "feel" faster.

    I train exclusively on clinchers, because both of my tubular setups are race-only, very light wheelsets and because carrying an extra tub with you on a training ride is just a pain the as$. Plus I train with a powertap laced to a clincher rim.
    Velo Magazine/VeloNews.com tech guy — get in touch or hit me on the tweeter @CaleyFretz

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    A better compromise, IMO, are the so-called "open tubulars" like the Deda Corsa RS or Vittoria Open Corsa CX. These are clinchers that mount on clincher rims, but the tread side is built like a tubular. They have a high tpi (threads per inch) of 290, and you can run a high psi - up to 145. If you ride-compare them side by side to other tires on the same bike/wheels you'll never run anything else - if you can afford them. They're not cheap and they don't last very long. Here's a couple of links:

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?...datre_rs_corsa
    http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in.../t-378247.html

    And here's a cut-away pix:
    Last edited by Smorgasbord42; 02-19-08 at 12:24 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Hell, I can hardly get them off when I want to. I happen to use glue on my Zipp 999 set which are on my time trial bike, but I use Tufo extreme tape on my road bike to mount my tubulars. I changed a tire yesterday, and I finally had to cut the damn thing off it was so hard to even begin to remove. I can't imagine that these things would ever roll off if mounted properly. I just wish I had a better method to get them off!
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by defoorr View Post
    Hi Folks,

    Another newbie question about tubulars. I am 6ft tall, 185lbs and race CAT3. Always have used clinchers in the past, but recently bought my first set of carbon tubulars. Do you think there is any danger of the tires rolling off in fast, hard corners due to the fact that I am heavier than the average racer - assuming the tires are glue properly?

    Thanks,
    Rob
    No problem
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  18. #18
    Headset-press carrier logdrum's Avatar
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    Here in the High desert and Southwest, we have these pesky thorns called "goatheads", They will go ttrough any tire at some point, but Conti Vectrans and Gatorskin and the Armadillos resist them farily well but I still use tufo or stan's sealant. If you ride through broken glass and then through goatheads, there is a grater chance for your tire to be punctured by goatheads before the glass. A glass may tear the thread but a goathead is guaranteed to go through.

    I still use tubulars, because ,my bike came with 2 tubular wheelsets and 1 more pair with no freehub body. I use tofus but now using Conti Sptinter Gatorskins and the Vectrans. Most of tofu's work too but you have really to get them inflated at higher PSI.

    Here's what I found... My traditional looking wheels Mavic SUP and some really light Campy rims are better at climbing than newer clincher wheels I've tried (no carbon though) . They are also durable and hold their roundness. Plus all the benefits above. As long as I use the conti gators or vectran plus the sealant, I have zero flats most of the season. The only time that the sealant failed are when the threads got cut (this was a cheaper tufo) and if this was a clincher the inner tube would burst out of the hole anyway unless you boot the tire.

    Having said that my other bikes have clinchers and I am happy with them as well.
    If you must, then you should Laying off BF for a while. Forum posting does nothing to enjoyment or improvement on the bike
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  19. #19
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    If you dont have a high disposable income don't run tubulars. Clinchers offer a variety of tire sizes that are not offered with tubulars.

    Unless you want to pay big bucks you can't get a wider tubular. Tufo tires are crap. I don't care what people say about them. You can't repair a tufo once it is punctured it will leak. The magic sealant might work okay but thats just more $$$

    If you aren't racing stick with clinchers. Having a race only set of tubulars is logical. A 20$ clincher will be rounder than a 20$ tubular.

    If you want a lighter wheel get tubulars but be prepared to spend big bucks. The main advantage of a tubular is that a flat will have more control because it is fixed to the rim.

  20. #20
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    open tubulars are clinchers. don't be fooled by the terms

    I switched from clincher to tubulars last summer. Have not had a flat since.

    just sayin.

    the ride is very nice too. yes it is noticeable. I will say that the Michelin Pro Race 2 were a nice clincher

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoreFeet View Post
    If you dont have a high disposable income don't run tubulars. Clinchers offer a variety of tire sizes that are not offered with tubulars.

    Unless you want to pay big bucks you can't get a wider tubular. Tufo tires are crap. I don't care what people say about them. You can't repair a tufo once it is punctured it will leak. The magic sealant might work okay but thats just more $$$

    If you aren't racing stick with clinchers. Having a race only set of tubulars is logical. A 20$ clincher will be rounder than a 20$ tubular.

    If you want a lighter wheel get tubulars but be prepared to spend big bucks. The main advantage of a tubular is that a flat will have more control because it is fixed to the rim.
    All of these are silly and please pay no attention to them.

    I am broke and use tubulars.

    for sealant you can use just about any sealant. I use stans

    this is very silly

  22. #22
    Worker Ant maddog17's Avatar
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    my take on tubulars vs. clinchers.... for me, when i started racing, i used clinchers. i didn't trust myself gluing a tire on a rim, just that thought alone scared me. so i stuck with clinchers. while the pro's and con's of each are good, my take on it would be are you racing or just out riding? i think needing the extra roll resistance with tubulars for racing makes sense, but not for everyday riding. if it's for price, then clinchers are cheaper. a tube is a lot cheaper than a tubular.
    1998 Ted Wojcik road

  23. #23
    Senior Member unbelievably's Avatar
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    Please correct me if I'm wrong,
    but I'm in the understanding the a tubular
    is less likely to puncture over a clincher.
    The pleasures which we most rarely experience give us the greatest delight.

  24. #24
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbelievably View Post
    Please correct me if I'm wrong,
    but I'm in the understanding the a tubular
    is less likely to puncture over a clincher.
    Too bad if you do puncture, then you're ****ed. Seriously. Nobody in their right mind would ride tubulars on the street unless they're racing, or really like carrying spare tubulars with them on every ride.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  25. #25
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    General riding - clinchers.
    Racers - tubulars.
    It doesn't get much more complicated than that. I've been riding/racing tubies for the better part of 20 years, and I even trained on them for a time. But they are a massive pain in the ass compared to clinchers, very expensive, and between the need to repair (very difficult or a mail order project) a tubular after a flat and re-GLUE the stupid things, I mean, forget it. It's up to you, tubulars are really lighter, better riding, handling, climbing, sprinting, etc., but for most cyclists clinchers are just dandy. I have tubular racing wheels (Zipp 404s) because you just can't beat 'em for light (about 1250 grams for 58mm carbon deep section rims) wheels that are aero and super light. And because in a race, I don't carry a spare. It ain't the Giro, you flat, your race is over. But my races are 30-50 miles long, I have never punctured in a USCF event, only on training or competitive street rides. So I ride my Zipp tubies on The Nyack Ride and Park Ridge Rides here locally (local racer dude fast training rides that are like sandlot bicycle races) and for racing. So they'll see <2000 miles each season.

    The rest of the time I'm on clinchers. If I didn't race I wouldn't bother with tubulars. I like them, but I don't love them enough to put up with the hassle. They are worth it for competitive riding. I can feel the difference with those Zipp tubies, particularly on the late ride cimbs when I'm on the rivet, or when my nose is in the wind @ 30mph. To be sure zero doubt. Everybody I know who rides/races similar wheels will tell you the same thing. Everybody who's too cheap to buy Zipps or light tubie wheels comes on here to tell you it's all a crock of ****. The entire pro peloton in Europe is riding this stuff. Who do you believe?

    Will tubies propel you from Cat V to Cat II? No. Do they make hanging on for dear life a marginally less desperate endeavor? Yes.

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