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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-18-06, 09:31 PM   #1
Mouton
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Well I still don't know how to repair a tubular...

But I know how to blow one up!

So I got my first tubular flat this afternoon. No spectacle at all. The tire just went flat. Looking at the tire on the scene I found a small shard of glass or something that I assumed to be the culprit. After SherbertTights walked me home (One of the benefits of riding tubulars if you ask me, thanks Ava!) I found the hole in the tread where that piece of glass was and started to open the tube up. So I get the tube open and theres no hole there! Damnit! So then I start pumping the tire up a little bit to listen for the leak (which I should have done first, of course.) And I hear it leaking out of this small gap in the Base Tape at a completely different place on the tire!! So I pull back this small opening in the base tape so that it goes all the way to the stitching, pour a little water in there and start pumping. Sure enough, its bubbling out from through the threads! WTF?! So meanwhile Im pumping up the tire a lot and ive got a few inches of innertube hanging out of the spot where I had previously performed surgery and all of a sudden: BANG!!!!

Classic!

but the new question is: Why and How did my tire fail somewhere on the Inside of the tire and not on the tread? What is that all about? These were cheap Continental Giro tubulars so maybe it was just crap manufacturing? What else would cause that to happen?
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Old 03-18-06, 09:38 PM   #2
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awesome. looks like a cherry bomb went off inside a snake. But I don't know about your question. I'm not looking forward to my first tubular flat.
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Old 03-18-06, 09:51 PM   #3
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Unless there's glass on the track, I don't expect to ever get a tubular flat.
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Old 03-18-06, 09:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 12XU
Unless there's glass on the track, I don't expect to ever get a tubular flat.
Oh you new fangled kids and your clinchers!
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Old 03-18-06, 10:59 PM   #5
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Voodoo, man. Tubulars are freakin' voodoo.
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Old 03-18-06, 11:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouton
Oh you new fangled kids and your clinchers!
My parents toured Europe on tubulars back in the day. After they got back my dad decided, despite tubulars being better, to relace to clinchers rims. Apparently they got a lot of flats.
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Old 03-19-06, 01:14 AM   #7
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Clinchers sucks big time... I dont have problems with tubulars so far today, but clichers always give me problems...

HI.. I did the same than u fixing a tubular when i was like 13 y/o hehe it sucks hehehehehe...

Look sometimes when u hit a hole in the road or maybe a chip of glass or a rock hard enough that the tubular simply give up at the opposite side, I mean... the thread holds the hit just fine, the upper part of the innner tube does it fine too but the internal part simply gives up because the object smashed over the rim and thats cause a super small pucture. U just said that U found a glass chip there, maybe other glass chip did it too but in that case it just went deeper enough to get the inner tube and "pinch" at the opposite side just where the stitches are. U can fix that tubular btw, try it and save it...

Continental tubulars arent what it was before but the problem it wasnt with the tubular itself, It was only your bad luck... thats all, get a flat in a 300 grams tubular is quite rare, usually u get flat on those because the thread is old, or because u put too much air to them and maybe u dont know how to take care of them...

Please do not put 160 PSI or whatever is the max inflation to those tubulars, the reason is that they get so hard that anything that hit that tubular can make it blow as a balloon or get flats by zillions, I learned this the hard way so please listen to me.

The next thing is this one... if u get at home at night or if u r not going to use the bike anymore that day, please take the air out of the tubulars, try to take as much as 50% of the air OK? If u r going to ride the next day, put air to them again (thats why I have a good air pump at home). The reason for this is that tubulars expand, u can leave them with air for years but obviously not 100 psi, 10 psi or 20 psi it is ok, but if u leave them completely inflated the tubular will expand (1 or 2 days its ok but long periods of time will f*** the tubular, even if its brand new, so rule?? take the air out every day), Even the threaded part it will expand and will get thinner so u'll be more exposed to punctures. I learned this the hard way too, I left a 140 grams Alvarez pista tubular with 100 psi for 4 months ( i forgot that I put them in a closet) when i found them they where like a Cyclocross tubular... Waste of money. About inflation... put between 80 and 100 psi or if u wat between 6 - 7 atm. That is more than enough so far for the streets... and always carry an spare under the seat. U can use the one it blown up that I hope u'll try to fix, ans use it as a spare.

cya
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Old 03-19-06, 02:43 AM   #8
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Mouton,

When you said your tire failed somewhere inside on the tire, you were talking about the puncture, right? Well, when you inflate a tubular, then submerge it and look for air bubbles, the air can travel under the tubular casing from the puncture hole before it emerges from the tubular. This can happen if the tube has shifted just slightly inside the tire so that air coming out of the puncture in the tube doesn't find the puncture hole in the tread. Then it'll usually come out through the stitching, but it can do so a few inches away. It can be slightly maddening at times. A few tricks: First, don't put too much air in -- it'll just force the tube hard against the casing and cause air to go all over the place. Second, locate every possible cut on the tread and use a toothpick on an uninflated tire to see which ones go through or not (that sometimes will be your best method to find the true hole). Third, have some soapy water and brush it on the tread of the tire -- don't bend and kink the tire by trying to submerge it in your sink, because this will just redirect where the air bubbles flow. And finally, sacrifice a chicken. Sometimes you need all the help you can get.

All that being said, while most holes do happen in the tread, tubulars are getting awfully good these days. Giro's are pretty close to the bottom of the scale, unfortunately, but tubulars today are a lot better than they were 20 years ago, believe me. They are a lot more puncture resistant, and by and large are a lot more resistant to punctures than clinchers are, but you can still get a snakebite (just like on clinchers). Knocking loudly on wood, that's the only puncture I've had this winter. And a snakebite will of course be on the inside. If you bottom the tire out, you're bottoming it out, regardless of whether it's a tubular or clincher. This is not as likely as a hole on the tread that is trying to hide itself, but worth considering.

All told, I'd suggest you consider a tubular like a Continental Sprinter. It's very durable, lasts a long time, withstands skids and other abuse, and if you shop the internet you can find them for as low as $33 apiece (just as one recommendation, check out a seller called Euromike on eBay for the best prices I've seen, and he's a very reliable guy). At that price they are hard to beat. If you can handle the cost of keeping a couple extra around, you can then send them to www.tirealert.com when they do puncture, and those folks completely replace the inner tube and send them back to you for a pretty nominal amount. I happen to like to fix tubulars while I'm sitting watching a late nite movie, and I've done it for years so I'm at ease doing it, but then, lots of people do very odd things in front of a late nite movie.

Tubulars are good. They just have some special tricks you learn over time. It's a more sophisticated kind of tire, so you have to learn to outwit them. But they're totally worth the effort. It does help to have a nice little repair kit: Get some thin sailmakers' needles from West Marine (online, or one of their local stores) and a small pair of pliers to push them through with; they're much better than the ones in the tubular repair kits. Get a small seam ripper from a sewing store -- it opens up a tire in seconds with no risk of extra damage. Be sure and use the small feathered Rema patches (same as the good ones for clinchers) -- they make it a lot easier to reassemble your tubular -- and dust everything with talcum before you restitch to help slide the tire back inside easily. Don't sand the tube like the repair kits say -- just use a little naphtha or acetone to clean off the inner tube. And get some carpetlayers' latex adhesive to glue the base tape back on with -- it's cheap and is the same stuff that was used to glue the base tape on originally. A little box with all your repair stuff in one place makes life so much easier.

You're on the right track. Most of these folks with wiseass comments about tubulars have never had the nerve to use them. You're willing to learn something new, and that's a big plus. After a few flats, this will be old hat.
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Old 03-20-06, 06:41 AM   #9
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11.4 - just wanted to say that your contributions to this forum are great. I am about to pick up my first pair of tubular wheels and learned more from that one post than I have for a while. Thanks a lot.
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Old 03-20-06, 08:09 AM   #10
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yeah youuyss are really given me something to think about here.

thanks for the education!
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Old 03-20-06, 09:53 AM   #11
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+1 Conti Sprinters. biketiresdirect has them for ~ $35.
I have to get myself a repair kit soon.
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Old 03-20-06, 10:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultraman6970
Clinchers sucks big time... I dont have problems with tubulars so far today, but clichers always give me problems...
User error

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultraman6970
The next thing is this one... if u get at home at night or if u r not going to use the bike anymore that day, please take the air out of the tubulars, try to take as much as 50% of the air OK? If u r going to ride the next day, put air to them again (thats why I have a good air pump at home). The reason for this is that tubulars expand, u can leave them with air for years but obviously not 100 psi, 10 psi or 20 psi it is ok, but if u leave them completely inflated the tubular will expand (1 or 2 days its ok but long periods of time will f*** the tubular, even if its brand new, so rule?? take the air out every day), Even the threaded part it will expand and will get thinner so u'll be more exposed to punctures. I learned this the hard way too, I left a 140 grams Alvarez pista tubular with 100 psi for 4 months ( i forgot that I put them in a closet) when i found them they where like a Cyclocross tubular... Waste of money. About inflation... put between 80 and 100 psi or if u wat between 6 - 7 atm. That is more than enough so far for the streets...
Ceya and other experts: is this true? I mean come on.. you can't leave a tubular with 120 psi in for a couple of weeks? I mean, you ****ing ride it with the same pressure, right? So...? And 6-7 bar as the recommended max? I run my clinchers with more than that, so where's the greater pressure tolerance of tubulars then?
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Old 03-20-06, 11:00 AM   #13
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that's interesting about leaving tubulars inflated when not in use. I know it used to be common practice to deflate those super fine track tubulars (Silks and others) between uses. But this went hand-in-hand with the use of wheel covers. They were both methods to prevent punctures, tears, and explosions. These old track tubies were very, very delicate. I swear I read this somewhere.

Can someone with more experience and knowledge speak to this?
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Old 03-20-06, 11:14 AM   #14
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11.4 hits a home run again!!!!

I am afraid that at the price for current tubulars($35 at BikeTiresDirect) I am just going to replace them when they flat instead of trying to learn how to find the hole, repair the hole, replace the base tape and trust my repair job.
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Old 03-20-06, 11:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouton
But I know how to blow one up!

So I got my first tubular flat this afternoon. No spectacle at all. The tire just went flat. Looking at the tire on the scene I found a small shard of glass or something that I assumed to be the culprit. After SherbertTights walked me home (One of the benefits of riding tubulars if you ask me, thanks Ava!) I found the hole in the tread where that piece of glass was and started to open the tube up. So I get the tube open and theres no hole there! Damnit! So then I start pumping the tire up a little bit to listen for the leak (which I should have done first, of course.) And I hear it leaking out of this small gap in the Base Tape at a completely different place on the tire!! So I pull back this small opening in the base tape so that it goes all the way to the stitching, pour a little water in there and start pumping. Sure enough, its bubbling out from through the threads! WTF?! So meanwhile Im pumping up the tire a lot and ive got a few inches of innertube hanging out of the spot where I had previously performed surgery and all of a sudden: BANG!!!!

Classic!

but the new question is: Why and How did my tire fail somewhere on the Inside of the tire and not on the tread? What is that all about? These were cheap Continental Giro tubulars so maybe it was just crap manufacturing? What else would cause that to happen?
While you were riding them were they nicer than clinchers?
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