Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ontario Canada
Bikes: Argon18 road, Seven mtb, Marinoni track, Masi dirt road bike, Marinoni cyclocross.
Tubulars make more sense for things like cyclocross and track for good reasons. In 'cross they allow lower pressures (for grip) to be used without the problems of pinch flats, common with low pressure clinchers. For track, they allow greater control of the bike if a tire flats. Clinchers tend to roll off the rim when flat where tubulars stay put.
But for anyone to say "clinchers are sooo bad that you shouldn't even ride them on the track, at all" is absolutely not right. I wonder what the problems are that would generate such a statement?
Yes, for track racers, tubulars will be faster (that would go for road racers too) and they will provide more safety with a puncture but there are many clinchers ridden on tracks that don't give any problems to their users.
I've ridden the Forest City Velodrome (short & very steep) since it opened (4 years ago) for training (not racing) and have yet to have one issue with clinchers. I've probably done a couple of hundred thousand laps. I use, arguably, the world's lightest clincher too - the Continental Supersonic at 160grams (weighed 'em myself) and 130psi. I wear them down until the casing thread's grain can be seen under the tread. Just what would cause a flat tire on an indoor board track? If the base tape is good and the valve stem doesn't pull out of the tube there's not much else to go wrong.
All the rental bikes at the FCV (and many other tracks too) are clinchers. Tubulars on rentals would be a bit too much of a headache I think.
Maybe some racers will pop up here and say that there's no way they would use clinchers on a track. I'd probably use tubulars too if I was a good racer. Oh by the way - many racers do use clinchers on the FCV and its 50 degree 146 meter bankings and they have as many issues as I do.
Also, I can't think of one factory-built track bike that comes standard with tubulars.
Edit - at least with clinchers you don't have to worry whether they are stuck on properly or not -
Last edited by Mike T.; 03-30-09 at 05:20 AM.