Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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)

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-07-08, 11:37 AM   #1
MIN 
big ring
Thread Starter
 
MIN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: philadelphia
Bikes:
Posts: 5,838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Installed tubular wheels last night.

Story:

Having recently made the switch to tubulars on my geared bike (aka the coffee shop bike) I had been looking to build up a set of tub wheels for my fixed gear. I was nearly ready to order some rims, spokes and hubs to build up a handmade set. (I've been reading Jobst Brandt's wheel theory book.)

Imagine how stoked I was when I found a new, never glued set of Velocity, DT spoke, Formula fixed/free wheelset on the local Portland Craigslist. Bonus: it was $90! Actually, I drove over the guys house to pick them up and he knocked off another $10 for coming over. $80 for what I estimated to be a $300 set. Ironically, there was a price sticker on the wheels from River City Bike for $300.

Apparently, the dude won these wheels at cross race sponsored by RCB. RCB sponsors the famously popular cross crusade series here in P-town. He didn't want tubulars. I did. Fair trade!

I had been stretching some Conti Sprinter Gatorskins on another wheelset. I mounted those on the back without glue just to take it for a spin. On the front wheel, I mounted Schwalbe Stelvio tires, which was my spare due to a repaired puncture from last week.

I took it for a 30 minute spin around the neighborhood. I rode gently and took the corners nice and easy because again, there was no glue. But, about 30% of the holding power comes from the inflated tire stretching over the rim surface (with the remaining 70% of the grip coming from the glue's adhesion.) So this it totally doable unless you ride like a jackass.

Some observations:

I had been riding cheap Vittoria Zaffiros on my clincher wheelset. They are 25c tires and weigh a ton. When I got on the tub wheelset (same bike of course) the difference was noticeable within a couple of pedal strokes. Spins up faster. Soaks up bumps. Quieter. Best. Upgrade. Ever.

The amazing thing is how the tires make you feel like you are floating over rough roads. Whereas a cheap clincher tires uses thick casing that reduces the flexibility of the casing to deform over the rough stuff, nice tubulars have a more supple casing which allows the tire to deform locally over the imperfections in the road. In other words, tub tires act like suspension to greater degree than cheap clinchers. Caveat: keep in mind that clinchers have really evolved recently and a high quality open tubular constructed clincher (such as Veloflex and Vittoria Open Corsa tires) ride as well as tubulars.

I lost 600 grams of rotation mass with the new wheels and tires. Aside from the obvious benefit of having lighter wheels, tubular tires are rounder in profile so they feel better around the corners. On the other hand, tubular tires are not for the mechanically challenged or the impatient. It takes 3 days to glue, cure and mount tubs the right way. Any less time and the risk of rolling the tire off the rim during a high-speed corner is high. You have to carry a spare tub with you when you ride because a patch kit does not work since there is no access to the inner tube. These are considerations that must be evaluated before leaping to the world of tubular tires but in my experience there has been no greater upgrade than the performance and ride enhancing ride of tubular wheels and tires.

Links:

Jobst Brandt FAQ

Park Tools Tubular Mounting Guide

Last edited by MIN; 03-07-08 at 11:46 AM.
MIN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-08, 11:47 AM   #2
queerpunk
aka mattio
 
queerpunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 6,018
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
i like your observations - they're more precise than most of what i've heard (which usually comes out to, "yeah, i like tubulars.") ... i've been getting tempted to mess with tubs lately.
queerpunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-08, 12:04 PM   #3
goldenskeletons
dan bones!
 
goldenskeletons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: brooklyn
Bikes: iro mark v for street, sh itamori peloton for track
Posts: 887
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i've been riding tubulars on my daily commuter/street bike for about a month solid now. i'm glad you're going with the gatorskin tubies. i did the same and i ride how i normally would pretty confidently.
goldenskeletons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-08, 12:07 PM   #4
kmart
Blue Light Special
 
kmart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, Sunny Cali
Bikes: '05 Felt F55, Schwinn Prologue road bike, '86 Centurion DS Iron Man, Sette Flite AM MTB
Posts: 1,467
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Your description of "floating over the rough stuff" sounds really enticing. I would like to mess with tubulars to see if this floating shock absorbing effect is really all it's cracked up to be. However, you have some high quality tires on there (Gatorskins). I have read that cheap tubulars feel just like cheap clinchers and the price of good tubulars kind of makes them hard to justify for road training rides and especially for tooling-around-on-the-fixed rides.

However I'm still keeping my eyes peeled for a deal on a second hand tubular wheelset at the price range you got (very nice find!).
kmart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-08, 12:13 PM   #5
timmhaan
more ape than man
 
timmhaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: nyc
Bikes:
Posts: 8,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
i don't know much about the tubular world, so how exactly does one handle a flat on the side of the road? how quickly can you be up and running again?
timmhaan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-08, 12:14 PM   #6
Boss Moniker
It's an old photo
 
Boss Moniker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Entropia
Bikes: Cannondale R500, Specialized Hardrock
Posts: 774
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I picked up a pair of deep section carbon fiber tubulars (sold by Fetish Cycles.. they're probably rebranded something or others) from Cypress (the BF member). I was planning on being able to convert between a road freehub and fixed gear with a Surly Fixxer so I could use them on my road bike, but they didn't have the right kind of hub for that. Replacement ones were hard to find because few people make 24 hole hubs with the splined interface for freehubs. So I found a cheap 24h track hub with slotted holes (made my job easier because I already had bladed spokes). Currently it's being rebuilt and I can't wait to ride the pair, I think I lost over 700 grams compared to my Deep Vs.

I got some Vittoria Corsa Evo Pave CG tires (yep, the $100 per tire ones that lots of TdF riders use on the Paris-Roubaix stage, although I got them for cheaper) that are 290tpi so they should roll really smoothly. I'm excited.
Boss Moniker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-08, 12:17 PM   #7
*new*guy
ambassador of good will
 
*new*guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NOVA
Bikes: many.
Posts: 2,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan View Post
i don't know much about the tubular world, so how exactly does one handle a flat on the side of the road? how quickly can you be up and running again?
when i ride them i just carry a pre-stretched and glued spare tire in my bag. you can throw a bit of fresh glue on and have it mounted in about the same amount of time it takes to swap out a clincher. the spare takes up a bit more space than a tube, but it's easy and fairly fast.
*new*guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-08, 12:42 PM   #8
MIN 
big ring
Thread Starter
 
MIN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: philadelphia
Bikes:
Posts: 5,838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmart View Post
However, you have some high quality tires on there (Gatorskins). I have read that cheap tubulars feel just like cheap clinchers and the price of good tubulars kind of makes them hard to justify for road training rides and especially for tooling-around-on-the-fixed rides.

True. There are bad tubulars out there. The reason they are bad is

* not round
* lumpy
* heavy
* less puncture protection.

If you compare my Schwalbe Stelvio vs Conti Gatorskins though, the Schwalbe is hands down a better tire. It's just not as puncture resistant because of the thin casing. The very thing that makes the Sprinter Gatorskin different from the Schwalbe (the tough sidewall) is the thing that keeps it from rolling as nice.

**Stelvio = true 300 TPI cotton casing. $$$$
**Sprinter Gatorskin = 3 ply 60 TPI casing to arrive at a fake 180 TPI casing. $$$
Vectran fibers which is not as supple as cotton. Note that this is NOT just a tubular version of the clincher Gatorskin. The casing and construction is fundamentally different.

**By comparison, the baller tires used by Lance Armstrong is Andre Dugast. 350 TPI SILK casing. Baller status at $160 each. $$$$$
MIN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-08, 12:46 PM   #9
MIN 
big ring
Thread Starter
 
MIN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: philadelphia
Bikes:
Posts: 5,838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boss Moniker View Post
I picked up a pair of deep section carbon fiber tubulars (sold by Fetish Cycles.. they're probably rebranded something or others) from Cypress (the BF member). I was planning on being able to convert between a road freehub and fixed gear with a Surly Fixxer so I could use them on my road bike, but they didn't have the right kind of hub for that. Replacement ones were hard to find because few people make 24 hole hubs with the splined interface for freehubs. So I found a cheap 24h track hub with slotted holes (made my job easier because I already had bladed spokes). Currently it's being rebuilt and I can't wait to ride the pair, I think I lost over 700 grams compared to my Deep Vs.

I got some Vittoria Corsa Evo Pave CG tires (yep, the $100 per tire ones that lots of TdF riders use on the Paris-Roubaix stage, although I got them for cheaper) that are 290tpi so they should roll really smoothly. I'm excited.
Those are Planet X wheels which was rebranded to Fetish Cycles. Which was originally speced by Gigantex of Taiwan.

Ironically, my tubular 28-spoke Zipps seem mega stiffer than my new 32-spoke Velocity Escape wheels on the same tires. It's the carbon deep section. (I have Schwalbe/Sprinter Gatorskins FR/RR on both my bikes.)
MIN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-08, 01:01 PM   #10
streetlightpoet
Banned.
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lexington, KY
Bikes: Masi Speciale Fixed, Surly 1x1, 2 70's Bianchi folders, Swingbike, Columbia Cruiser 3 spd, Specialized Big Hit and P.2, Cove G-Spot, Xtracycled Bianchi San Jose.
Posts: 668
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Darn you! I just got a chris king/eno eccentric wheelset laced up to some mavic rims that I have been dying to try, but I haven't made my tire choice yet and would feel silly using the eno on a bike with track ends.
streetlightpoet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-08, 05:03 PM   #11
westokyo
どうでもいいよ
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: West Tokyo Japan
Bikes:
Posts: 238
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The difference for me tubulars vs clinchers show in the gearing I run. I run 47-17 on my Velocity Deep V clincher set but on my Araya tubular set I run 47-16. Same effort
westokyo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-08, 06:34 PM   #12
GeraldChan
road curmudgeon, FG rider
 
GeraldChan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Bikes: 1973 Nishiki Professional, 1990 Serotta Colorado II, 2002 Waterford Track
Posts: 677
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by westokyo View Post
The difference for me tubulars vs clinchers show in the gearing I run. I run 47-17 on my Velocity Deep V clincher set but on my Araya tubular set I run 47-16. Same effort
It's nice to see someone who has the same idea.

On both my fixed geared bikes I run 44X16 for my tubular wheels and 44X17 for my clinchers. On my Nishiki I use Campy Record hubs 32h laced 3X for both wheelsets and for my Waterford I run high flange Phils 32h laced 3X onto Open Pros and my sew-up wheels are DA high flange laced the same way to Mavic Reflexs. I favor Veloflex Criteriums for the tubulars and Veloflex Paves (open tubulars) for my clincher tires When I am just tooling around or when the roads are wet or just bad I run the clinchers.
When I want to really fly I run the tubulars with their higher gearing.

Yes you can really feel the difference. Min is dead on coorect on the superior comfort and awesome cornering capabilities of tubulars (although you need to be on a road bike to really get a serious lean into a turn; esp when you countersteer and then dive into a sharp turn.
GeraldChan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-08, 08:08 PM   #13
marqueemoon
or tarckeemoon, depending
 
marqueemoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: the pesto of cities
Bikes: Davidson Impulse, Merckx Titanium AX, Bruce Gordon Rock & Road, Cross Check custom build, On-One Il Pomino, Shawver Cycles cross, Zion 737, Mercian Vincitore, Brompton S1L, Charge Juicer
Posts: 7,020
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've been thinking about doing the tub thing on my new road build but I want to finish the damn thing and ride it for awhile first.

For those who have tried both, how does tape stack up against gluing?

I have clincher Stelvios and they're bumming me out. Fast, light, and fun, but not very puncture-resistant. Maybe the tubs are better but I'm not going to spend the money to find out.
marqueemoon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-08, 09:07 PM   #14
westokyo
どうでもいいよ
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: West Tokyo Japan
Bikes:
Posts: 238
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
^^^ I only use Miyata tape. Clean, fast, and easy.
westokyo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-08, 12:41 AM   #15
logdrum
Headset-press carrier
 
logdrum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Corrales New Mexico
Bikes: Kona with Campy 8, Lynskey Ti with Rival, Bianchi pista, Raleigh Team Frame with SRAM Red, Specialized Stump Jumper, Surley Big Dummy
Posts: 2,137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan View Post
i don't know much about the tubular world, so how exactly does one handle a flat on the side of the road? how quickly can you be up and running again?
Not all tubulars can be fixed and that usually includes everything made byTufo. I have been riding tubulars on my road bike for more than 10 years now and I think it does not really cost more than clinchers.

You need to get a tire with a removable valve head -- that would be Conti sprinters and up (price wise) and all tufos. Apply Stans or the tufo sealant and something like the Gatorskin or vectran/black chili should be good enough to last a season of commuting. If it works in New Mexico or the southwest, should work everywhere else.

Apply Stans every 3 months.

I actually have a tubular repair kit on my saddle bag. You need a seam ripper, regular patch and a curve leather needle and nylon thread plus a regular patch kit. These items will fit in the patch kit. Although it is much easier to bring a pre stretched tire with Stan's, if you know how to sew, you can repair a tire with regular tubes (Conti sprinters) I think a latex tube is harder to repair but I think they sell a tubular repair kit as well.

Someone is selling Mavic Reflex SUP rims with formula hubs on ebay all the time for 139. These weigh 1700 grams I think or maybe a bit more but Deep V's are like 2500 grams. Another 100 for a Conti gatorskin sprinters pair should set you up nicely.

Another nice tubular wheelset is the Crane Creek Volos track.
logdrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-08, 12:50 AM   #16
mark9950
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 439
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
True. There are bad tubulars out there. The reason they are bad is

* not round
* lumpy
* heavy
* less puncture protection.
They are no different than the poor quality bontrager tires that came with my trek,You could see the lumpiness and they have a tire hump in them.
mark9950 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-08, 05:13 AM   #17
nateintokyo
Senior Member
 
nateintokyo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Santa Barbara
Bikes: SE Quadrangle, '82 Venus NJS, '03 Bianchi Pista, '86 P'sonic Mt Cat, Fat City Yo Eddy '91 + '93, B'cuda A2E, '86 Trek Elance 400, '88 Centurion D.Scott Expert, '88 Fisher Mt Tam (and no longer with me: SE OM Flyer, Umezawa/B-stone/Samson NJS)
Posts: 1,508
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
MarqueeM--

I have been VERY happy with the Miyata tape. Super fast, clean, easy to use. and it doesn't stink like glue (but maybe that is your thing). It feels really secure to me, but I don't really feel like I do extremely heavy cornering (like on long descents, etc) since I am solely a city rider these days.
nateintokyo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-08, 07:59 AM   #18
bonechilling
Run What 'Ya Brung
 
bonechilling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 5,694
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sorry to spoil the tubular tire love-in, but they idea that you're somehow floating on air if you ride tubulars is kind of BS. It's pretty well documented the quality clinchers have as good or better rolling resistance than tubular tires, they're no more or less likely to get pinch flats, and they typically only add a few grams more to a bike (though that few grams could matter to you, I'm not taking that away). I used and enjoyed tubulars for fifteen or so years, on and off, and I have no particular grudge against them, but this fawning praise should be tempered with some counter-arguments.
bonechilling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-08, 08:50 AM   #19
MIN 
big ring
Thread Starter
 
MIN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: philadelphia
Bikes:
Posts: 5,838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonechilling View Post
Sorry to spoil the tubular tire love-in, but they idea that you're somehow floating on air if you ride tubulars is kind of BS. It's pretty well documented the quality clinchers have as good or better rolling resistance than tubular tires, they're no more or less likely to get pinch flats, and they typically only add a few grams more to a bike (though that few grams could matter to you, I'm not taking that away). I used and enjoyed tubulars for fifteen or so years, on and off, and I have no particular grudge against them, but this fawning praise should be tempered with some counter-arguments.
I clearly stated that caveat.
MIN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-08, 09:01 AM   #20
bonechilling
Run What 'Ya Brung
 
bonechilling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 5,694
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIN View Post
I clearly stated that caveat.
...And?

Last edited by bonechilling; 03-08-08 at 09:07 AM.
bonechilling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-08, 09:13 AM   #21
MIN 
big ring
Thread Starter
 
MIN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: philadelphia
Bikes:
Posts: 5,838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I concede your point.
MIN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-08, 09:46 AM   #22
NitroPye
Guest
 
Bikes:
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Touché
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-08, 09:59 AM   #23
Peedtm
Tell them I hate them
 
Peedtm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Boise, ID
Bikes: Specialized Allez Epic '91, IRO Mark V Pro, Schwinn Traveler
Posts: 939
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIN View Post
. . .

It takes 3 days to glue, cure and mount tubs the right way. Any less time and the risk of rolling the tire off the rim during a high-speed corner is high.

You have to carry a spare tub with you when you ride because a patch kit does not work since there is no access to the inner tube.
I'm having trouble reconciling these two statements. Does it take 3 days to fix it? Do you carry a tent too?

Regarding the 2nd statement, I thought you could comfortably (relative) ride a few miles on a blown tubular.
Peedtm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-08, 10:23 AM   #24
operator
cab horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione
Posts: 28,306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peedtm View Post
I'm having trouble reconciling these two statements. Does it take 3 days to fix it? Do you carry a tent too?

Regarding the 2nd statement, I thought you could comfortably (relative) ride a few miles on a blown tubular.
You can ride on a flat tubular forever. And man, if hipsters start rocking totally impractical tubular wheelsets on the road because of this thread, i'm going to kill something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonechilling View Post
Sorry to spoil the tubular tire love-in, but they idea that you're somehow floating on air if you ride tubulars is kind of BS. It's pretty well documented the quality clinchers have as good or better rolling resistance than tubular tires, they're no more or less likely to get pinch flats, and they typically only add a few grams more to a bike (though that few grams could matter to you, I'm not taking that away). I used and enjoyed tubulars for fifteen or so years, on and off, and I have no particular grudge against them, but this fawning praise should be tempered with some counter-arguments.
Arguments like 99.9% of this forum would be ill-served by buying a tubular wheelset.
operator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-08, 10:29 AM   #25
thenewblk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
how can you fall in love at such a crawl? i don't know if i like anything until i've sped things up a bit.
thenewblk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:09 PM.