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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 06-06-08, 11:20 AM   #1
beatifik
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tubulars for all the wrong reasons?

recently, i've been really interested in getting a tubular wheelset. here's the thing:

i've had the same set of wheels for oh, i don't know, 5 years(iro wheels w/aerohead rims) and they've been great. i've had the same tires for about the last 2-3 years(michelin carbon) and they're about due for a change. as you can probably tell from the amount of useage i get from my wheel stuffs, i'm kind of a fair-weather, leisure rider and i'm fine with that.

so, with that said, as a casual rider, will i see the benefits of riding on tubs that others see? the "connection to the road" and "more supple ride" that i've heard about?

the other thing that really appeals to me about tubs is the craftsmanship involved. i really appreciate a well made product especially those with old-world roots. i'm a romantic in that sense.

but, i ride ONLY on the street. i live in brooklyn, ny and most of my riding is done in brooklyn or manhattan. not on bike paths or on the track. I don't even really like to ride at the park.

so am i being silly in wanting tubulars?
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Old 06-06-08, 11:34 AM   #2
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well, if you want to spring for them and u have the cash i say go for it...
as for a more supple ride, im not quite sure
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Old 06-06-08, 11:52 AM   #3
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Tubulars are nice, they roll about 1-2mph faster. Are you looking at getting a tubular wheelset, or tubular clinchers?

TBH, for the type of riding you're doing, I think tubulars are a bit unnecessary. If you puncture a tubular, the tubular is usually done, whereas on a clincher you can typically just replace the tube and be fine, or use a boot for large punctures.
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Old 06-06-08, 12:06 PM   #4
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I know quite a few riders who ride only tubulars and only ride on the streets. There's a few skills that one needs to pick up with regards to their maintenance, but it's nothing that complicated, either.

Punctured tubulars can be repaired pretty easily, though not on the side of the road. If you carry a pre-glued spare tire with you, you can fix a flat in seconds.

On the plus side, you'd never have to worry about pinch flatting anymore.

Tubular mounting and maintenance is a good skill to have for any cyclist anyway, even if it isn't as relevant as it used to be; just like being able to effectively use friction shifters.

If you have the money, I would definitely encourage you to give tubs a try.
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Old 06-06-08, 12:27 PM   #5
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you will probably find that alot of people with no experience with tubs will come in here and talk about how bad they are.

they ride better as long as you are willing to spend a little money on the tires, the cheapest ones suck. they ride horrible and flat really easy, i notice all the hipsters with the aero front have them on their wheels.
you will have to watch where you ride and what you ride through. getting a tire off a rim that is actually glued well is kind of a pain in the ass.

do you like to do the awesomer skidz? then tubs probably aren't for you.
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Old 06-06-08, 01:12 PM   #6
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do you like to do the awesomer skidz?
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i've had the same tires for about the last 2-3 years(michelin carbon) and they're about due for a change.
not to be snyde but i think he'll be alright.

if you've had one pair of tires for 2-3 years you're probably pretty good about riding in good conditions, avoiding quarter mile long beds of broken glass\nails, etc. the biggest disadvantage to riding tubs is that they're gone after a puncture and you must always carry a pre-glued spare.

tubulars also have that good old fashioned skinwall look if you're into the aesthetic. i would say that its far from necessary but it would look and feel slightly better. some people love them, others don't see the cost as being worth the convenience. but if you have the money you should try them out. its a good market for used track stuff right now if you change your mind. that being said...there are probably a few motivated people interested in your old wheelset.
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Old 06-06-08, 01:25 PM   #7
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not to be snyde but i think he'll be alright.
the biggest disadvantage to riding tubs is that they're gone after a puncture and you must always carry a pre-glued spare.
Someone here has instructions with pictures on repairing tube punctures on sew-ups, but I'm too lazy to find it.

I have a tubular set that I've been wanting to use, but like I said, lazy.
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Old 06-06-08, 01:30 PM   #8
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Use a tubular front and clincher rear, alleviates 75 percent of flat tire anxiety.
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Old 06-06-08, 01:30 PM   #9
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Someone here has instructions with pictures on repairing tube punctures on sew-ups, but I'm too lazy to find it.

I have a tubular set that I've been wanting to use, but like I said, lazy.
I rode tubulars on the street a few times and flatted 4 tires. After that I just left my tubulars in a storage container at the velodrome and built a set of clincher wheels to ride to and from the track.

And here are the repair photos:




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Old 06-06-08, 01:32 PM   #10
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That's the one!
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Old 06-06-08, 01:58 PM   #11
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Tubulars don't roll faster. It's a fact that high-end clinchers have lower rolling resistance than high-end tubs. Most folks ride tubular for the ride quality.

I ride tubulars on my fixed and road bike because tubular wheels are lighter I can use insane low PSI without pinch flats. Tires such as Michelin PR3 handle as well as the best tubulars so handling is a moot point.
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Old 06-06-08, 02:23 PM   #12
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It's a fact that high-end clinchers have lower rolling resistance than high-end tubs at the same PSI.
Higher PSI means lower rolling resistance so while a tubular at 120 PSI may have higher rolling resistance than a clincher at 120 PSI, it will almost definitely have lower rolling resistance at 220 PSI than a clincher at 140 PSI.

Of course this is a question about tubulars on the street not the velodrome so you wouldn't want to run your tires at 220 PSI anyway.
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Old 06-06-08, 02:27 PM   #13
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You wouldn't run 220 psi ever, unless it was a perfect wooden track.
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Old 06-06-08, 02:57 PM   #14
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Of course this is a question about tubulars on the street not the velodrome so you wouldn't want to run your tires at 220 PSI anyway.
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You wouldn't run 220 psi ever, unless it was a perfect wooden track.
Uh...yeah...
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Old 06-06-08, 03:13 PM   #15
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I was clarifying: concrete velodromes in a state of disrepair (e.g. Alpenrose) should be run as pressures similar to road racing.

Anyway, to the OP, tubulars are great! Get them, but only make the jump if you can afford higher quality tires. Cheap tubulars are worse than cheap clinchers and can definitely ruin the experience for you.
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Old 06-06-08, 03:23 PM   #16
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I was clarifying: concrete velodromes in a state of disrepair (e.g. Alpenrose) should be run as pressures similar to road racing.

Anyway, to the OP, tubulars are great! Get them, but only make the jump if you can afford higher quality tires. Cheap tubulars are worse than cheap clinchers and can definitely ruin the experience for you.
Oh yeah, I agree 100%. Kissena is like that and I find running my tubulars higher than 120 PSI is troublesome (there are some bumps that will hop my rear wheel if the pressure is too high).

In my experience tubulars aren't worth the hassle for street riding but I know many people who would disagree with me. I chalk it up to bad luck on my part.
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Old 06-06-08, 05:21 PM   #17
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Anyway, to the OP, tubulars are great! Get them, but only make the jump if you can afford higher quality tires. Cheap tubulars are worse than cheap clinchers and can definitely ruin the experience for you.
I agree. I tried tubulars but used some crappy Hutchinson's that an older friend gave me for free. The base tape was falling off so I couldn't get them glued securely and I was terrified when cornering. The gluing process was also a huge pain in the ass. I'd be willing to try it again since I can't find anyone interested in buying my wheels, but I would use higher quality tires.
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Old 06-06-08, 05:40 PM   #18
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Screw The Hype I <3 Clinchers
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Old 06-06-08, 05:53 PM   #19
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niki, i ride my tubulars at 135 at kissena.



just kidding! i don't ride a bike any more.
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Old 06-07-08, 03:53 PM   #20
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Tubulars are nice, they roll about 1-2mph faster.
Wow, that sounds super scientific!
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Old 06-07-08, 04:02 PM   #21
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So whats the hype on them Tubular-Clinchers?
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Old 06-07-08, 04:18 PM   #22
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For the record, I managed to pinch flat a tubular...if you hit a curb hard enough, you will be disappointed by the results of your cantankerous attitude towards tire choice.
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Old 06-07-08, 10:41 PM   #23
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So whats the hype on them Tubular-Clinchers?
it combines the worse aspect of clinchers with none of the benefits of tubs. avoid.
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