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  1. #1
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    Clincher vs tubular - 160# rider - individual pursuit

    New track rider here, and I have never owned tubulars so I am a little uncomfortable about them. I like the clinchers because they are so easy, no mess, etc. I do not have any support and will also not likely have multiple sets of wheels, so my ability to change a tire/tube myself in a jam is moderately important. That being said I am assuming flats on the track are fairly rare.

    I weigh about 160 and would believe the fastest clincher tire I can run on the ZIPP clincher rims is a 20mm from Vittoria,probably the KX unless there's another one out there I am missing. Original thought was to get a rear clincher disc rear and run my existing Flashpoint 80 front wheel, although I have an opportunity to buy a nice set of Cane Creek Endurance 85's (tubulars) right now, at a very fair price.

    In terms of speed, the Cane Creek's are probably equally as fast as the disc/FP80 combo outside, however if I ever make it to an indoor track I am going to want to run dual discs.

    I can run the ZIPPs at 125 PSI according to Zipp, which is probably slightly less than I'd want, but probably still not bad.

    Another plus to the Cane Creeks is if I run those all year, then rent wheels for a big indoor event, these are very likely going to be tubulars. Then I am already used to riding tubulars...which I know when you first get on them can be a little scary if you're not used to it.

    The Cane Creeks are about the same price as a single ZIPP disc...AND then I don't have to steal a wheel from my TT bike (not really THAT much of a concern... but nice since I everyday ride the TT bike) this seems sort of obvious that the Cane Creeks are a good wheelset for the money?

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    Clinchers are great for training. Tubulars are for racing.

  3. #3
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
    Clinchers are great for training. Tubulars are for racing.
    Ditto that.

    I have clinchers on my training set (40mm Deep Vs). Tubulars on my race set (100mm carbon front, disc rear).

    Consider the lower resistance from extra PSIs that you can run with tubulars sort of a turbo boost for race day! You'll fee like you are flying.


    If you've only got budget for one set, get a quality clincher set. Then when you get some bike money again, buy a nice tubular front first, then a rear when you can. It's my understanding that aero front wheels provide more benefit than aero rear, and are generally cheaper.

  4. #4
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    What is your 100mm carbon front?

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
    What is your 100mm carbon front?
    Blackwell Research 100mm front.
    http://www.blackwellresearch.com/p_wheels_track.htm

    For reference: It's about the size of a Zipp 1080 which is 108mm deep.


    My reare is a Zipp 900 disc (with track conversion)
    http://www.zipp.com/wheels/detail.php?ID=27

  6. #6
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    Thanks. Nice looking wheels. The set I am looking @ is a 85mm front/rear set (18/24 spoke) from Cane Creek. Price around $850 for the pair and they are new. So it is a lot of speed for the dollar. I'd set them up with 19mm tubulars.

    Here's what I'm thinking:

    1) I'm not going to ride on the road on my track bike, and very only likely going to have 1 track wheelset for now. All track racing here is outside, except Nationals unless I live in California, and I don't.

    2) If I get a rear zipp disc clincher (cost $800-900 used) and run my Flashpoint 80mm deep front - is probably only slightly slower than the 85's from Cane Creek, but a little more rolling resistance, but I get the ease of the clincher, then I am going to train and race with clinchers and get used to that.
    2b) Can't put disc on the roof rack (this is a consideration, since I can't really put my bike in the car reasonably with my wife/dog etc. who come to all of my races).

    3) If I go to the HD Center, and need to rent a wheel, it is going to be very tough to find a front disc clincher rental, so then I'm going to have a combination of clincher rear/tubular front, sort of weird because they feel quite differently.

    4) If I just get tubulars now, get used to them, then I am probably in a better place, renting 2 tubular discs later.

    A few other choices:

    Get the clincher disc now, and search for a 2nd clincher disc to convert later.

    Get a track clincher that matches my FP80, like another FP80 (these are clinchers) - however they are $$$$ - $800 for one rear wheel. Advantages: Clincher, supporting a wheelbuilder I like, and ability to go on the roof rack - however I believe this is actually slower than the Cane Creek combo.

    You see I could go on and on and on. It seems like I could just buy the Cane Creeks, take that as far as I need to go,then rent or beg to borrow tubular front/rear discs.

    So many choices!

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    19mm is REALLY narrow. I rode a 19mm front tire for 1 lap at my track (DLV) and took it off. If I were you, I'd consider at least 21mm.

    How new to the track are you? Do you think that you'll make it to Elites next year (at the Home Depot Center)? Do you already have:
    - Skinsuits
    - Aero Helmet
    - Shoe booties
    - Bike that you want
    - Aerobars that you want

    Hey man, tubulars don't feel that much different. The difference is noticeable, but minor. Like going from cotton socks to wool socks. You'll get used to in in about a lap (seriously). I've seen people trade wheels like business cards during races at the track. Different tires, clincher/tubular, different PSIs. Nobody exploded.

    By the way, I read (but can't recall where) that clinchers actually provide less rolling resistance than tubulars due to the fact that they sit taller on the rim.

    Finally, consider the Continental Grand Prix Supersonic clincher tire. The 23mm version can be pumped to 145 PSI. The 20mm version can be pumped to 170 PSI. It's a nice soft, and sticky tire, but wears out quickly on cement tracks. Problem solved?

    EDIT (had the wrong link before): GP Supersonic at Continental website

  8. #8
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    I made the switch this year- from Mavic ellipse to Velocity Pro-elite with continental Stehers(tubulars) for training... I also have Tubular race wheels.

    I don't think that the switch from clencher to tubular will really make a difference in speed... But for me there is a huge difference, in for lack of a better way to explain it, "Lateral Stiffness". I can really feel the difference in turn 3/4 on flying 200's on the tubulars! For all intensive purposes the mavics and the velocitys are similar rims- so I feel that I get a pretty good comparison of clencher to tubular. I wont be switching back!

    +1 on staying away from 19's.. IIRC Zipp doesn't even recommend using tires that narrow... Unless you have a Kilo/pursuit specific wheelset!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinn8it View Post
    I made the switch this year- from Mavic ellipse to Velocity Pro-elite with continental Stehers(tubulars) for training... I also have Tubular race wheels.

    I don't think that the switch from clencher to tubular will really make a difference in speed... But for me there is a huge difference, in for lack of a better way to explain it, "Lateral Stiffness". I can really feel the difference in turn 3/4 on flying 200's on the tubulars! For all intensive purposes the mavics and the velocitys are similar rims- so I feel that I get a pretty good comparison of clencher to tubular. I wont be switching back!

    +1 on staying away from 19's.. IIRC Zipp doesn't even recommend using tires that narrow... Unless you have a Kilo/pursuit specific wheelset!
    I would concur on several points.

    1. Don't ride 19 mm tires.
    2. Don't worry about double discs for now. When you have accumulated some prize winnings is the time to look at front discs. For most racing, even indoors, they are just harder to manage and also a bit of a poseur thing -- you better be good if you show up with them.
    3. Tubulars aren't about speed. They're about how they stick on the track and how they let you steer. Try both and you decide, but there are strong reasons at least to race on tubulars. The weight is secondary and frankly, you don't win if you puncture on too-lite tires. Get something like the Stehers and you can race and train on the same tires for at least a season.

  10. #10
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies.

    How come 19mm is too wide? I run a 20mm wide on my Flashpoint 80 (Zipp) clinchers for time trialing, but do not really take corners fast with that.

    The Cane Creeks (I did end up getting the Endurance 85 wheelset) suggest 19mm and I would guess the Vittoria Pista Evo CS is a great tire.

    I am brand new to track, have never actually been on one yet, but hope to focus on the IP for 2010. Bicycle will be pieced together over the next few weeks. Check on the aero helmet and skinsuit as I've done a lot of time trialing. No booties yet.

    I think I should be able to qualify (based on the times I see at local tracks.. qualifying is around 5:00?) for nationals but no idea how much my form and power will come up from where it is now in the next year so we'll have to see.

    I will get to the track in early 2010 to do some testing , and by then I should be in much better shape than now also

  11. #11
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    19mm is too narrow, not too wide.

    Because the track is banked, one actually rides on the side of the tire not on the center. Less tire means that one may be more inclined to slide out at lower speeds. Wider tires mushroom outside of the rim. Thinner tires don't.

    Man, you are over-thinking this. Your best bet is to get your base miles in over the winter. Maybe get a coach with track experience. Show up to the track early and often and see what others are using.

    Excelling at the velodrome isn't easy as a lot of people seem to think. It's easy to learn the basics. But there is a big difference between Cat 4 (beginner) and Cat 3. Bigger difference between Cat 3 and Cat 2. And a HUGE difference between Cat 2 and Cat 1 / PRO. Everyone at Elite Nationals is Cat 1 or PRO. You are Cat 5 right now. After you take the beginner class, you will be Cat 4.

    I'm sure that you are following Joseph's saga on Fixed Gear Fever. He expected to post an Elite caliber time in the Kilo at a track after self-timing a 1:07 Kilo on the road during training. I think he actually did a 1:16 when he got to the Manchester Velodrome. 1:16 isn't even an impressive time for an age-grouped Masters racer.

    http://www.fixedgearfever.com/module...ewtopic&t=7128

  12. #12
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    In general Carleton is right on... but I will make two points!
    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Everyone at Elite Nationals is Cat 1 or PRO.
    I raced this year as a cat-4 and got 2 top 20 finishes and a top 10...

    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    I think he actually did a 1:16 when he got to the Manchester Velodrome. 1:16 isn't even an impressive time for an age-grouped Masters racer.
    1:15.7 got me silver at 35-39 masters states in California-(ADT) .4 off of Gold

    obviously I dropped bunch of time off my kilo before going to Nat's (would have been the 2nd fastest time in any age group at masters states) ... But I do think it is important to let people know that these competitions are not completely out of reach. Training on the road, with some track time, is a fine way to prepare for Masters States, and if you are gifted it could land you a respectable spot at Nats...

  13. #13
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    EDITED to clear up my ramblings:

    I agree about training on the road and that these competitions are within reach. But, I think this guy is aiming for Elite Nationals where he might race specialists.

    With regard to Joseph's time of 1:16, I was talking about Master's Nationals. A 1:15 (which is faster than me) would have not got anyone a podium spot at Master's Nationals this year. Well, maybe 30-34 which had only 4 competitors. His 1:07 from the road would have been fastest of ALL age groups at Masters and probably a national record if he'd done that on the track.

    Congrats on doing well at Elites. What events?

    By the way, I was told that only Cat 2 and above are allowed on the Home Depot track. I guess not.
    Last edited by carleton; 11-29-09 at 11:07 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    I rode: Kilo, Team Sprint, standing 250m

    As for Joseph... I can only imagine he will drop a couple seconds fast! and people I knew who rode Kilo's at Colorado Springs took about 2 seconds off their ADT times. Altitude helps! So does only navigating 12 turns! (333m vs 250m) So it is easy to imagine him riding at the very least, a "respectable" time.

    As for ADT (aka Home Depot) All level of riders are allowed. They require a beginner class for novices, but I am pretty sure it will get you your 5-4 upgrade. The cat-2 and above thing refers to riders who do not have to take either the "Beginner" or "Advanced" certification class before training or racing. So if you are lower than cat-2 you will have to be certified prior to being allowed on the track.
    Also there were different Cat restrictions for different events at Nats. TT's were cat-4 and mass starts and sprints were Cat-2 and up...

  15. #15
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Oh, man. I'd love to do a standing 250 in competition. Did you use your Kilo gear or something shorter?

    I competed in the Kilo in Colorado Springs and there was definitely a difference with the low drag of the thin air...then there was the thin air. With 1/2 lap to go it was like someone turned the oxygen off.

    The altitude also shaves .5" from flying 200M times.

  16. #16
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    To keep a little on track of the topic here are the wheels I ended up with http://www.canecreek.com/component-t...t=endurance-85 Ended up getting them for what I think is a fair deal.

    Too thin is what I meant to say. I do not know how much the sharp cornering aspect applies to individual pursuit versus other events where they are taking sharper turns? I will keep that in mind when getting tires but Cane Creek suggested 19's on that wheel.

    I am not sure how it works with HD center for Nationals regarding categories because I know according to USAC, individual pursuiters are allowed to be cat4 as Quinn8it said.

    As for Elite Nationals, I have no idea really-- I am sure I can qualify but qualifying and being in contention are entirely different. I have been trying to look @ results, but they are all jacked up for 2009. Roman Kilun's best time was a 4:34.2 and they accidently gave Daniel Harm a 4:34.2 also, so I don't know what Daniel Harm posted during previous rounds other than during the finals where he he won for 3rd @ 4:47.

    I'll try not to say anything else too dumb before getting to the track

  17. #17
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
    2b) Can't put disc on the roof rack (this is a consideration, since I can't really put my bike in the car reasonably with my wife/dog etc. who come to all of my races).
    Get a cheap used wheel for putting it on the roof.

    3) If I go to the HD Center, and need to rent a wheel, it is going to be very tough to find a front disc clincher rental, so then I'm going to have a combination of clincher rear/tubular front, sort of weird because they feel quite differently.
    I ride HDC all the time with one clincher and one tubular (but pretty much only race tubulars). It's not that big a deal, but decent tubulars do generally handle better and more consistently than clinchers.

    4) If I just get tubulars now, get used to them, then I am probably in a better place, renting 2 tubular discs later.
    I rarely see people on double disks, even at nats (probably in part due to cost). About the only times a front disk is useful is IP or mass start test.

    I'd recommend getting decent tubulars that you can afford and that will be useful racing locally and then if you get to nats you can beg/borrow/rent/steal fancier stuff if you think you need it.
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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    By the way, I read (but can't recall where) that clinchers actually provide less rolling resistance than tubulars due to the fact that they sit taller on the rim.
    I think jobst brandt had published some stuff on this. Even at 120 psi clincher vs. 180 psi tubular, the clincher was lower RR. For mass start racing I think tubulars handle way better, and whatever small penalty there is in RR is worth it.

    Finally, consider the Continental Grand Prix Supersonic clincher tire. The 23mm version can be pumped to 145 PSI. The 20mm version can be pumped to 170 PSI. It's a nice soft, and sticky tire, but wears out quickly on cement tracks. Problem solved?
    Yeah, they're quite nice-- I've even been riding madison practice on them at HDC occasionally and they do pretty well. Be careful about going past about 140 PSI or so-- many rims may not be rated for that high of a pressure.
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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    And a HUGE difference between Cat 2 and Cat 1 / PRO. Everyone at Elite Nationals is Cat 1 or PRO. You are Cat 5 right now. After you take the beginner class, you will be Cat 4.
    Cat 2 to Cat 1 there's often not a lot of difference on the track-- there's little point to upgrading past 2 other than to have a 1 on your license, and I know quite a few 2's who have finished on the podium at elites. The fields at elites include a bunch of 2s, a bunch of 1s, and a few pros. There are even a few people who ride the qualifiers as 3s and get upgraded to 2 to ride elites. This year the distribution may be somewhat different, as the qualification process is being updated.

    And in the TTs at elites you can ride all the way down to cat 4-- categories are basically only for mass start racing. You don't get upgrade credit for TTs, and you don't need to be terribly skilled at mass start to ride a good TT.
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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    By the way, I was told that only Cat 2 and above are allowed on the Home Depot track. I guess not.
    The best way to find out for sure is to RTFM: http://lavelodrome.org/Getting%20Started.htm

    If you're a track 1, 2, or have a pro license you can walk up, pay your money, sign the waiver, and ride. If you're not you have to take a class and be approved. Which class is best for you depends on your prior experience on and off the track. We regularly run races for Cat 5s and even did a friday night select your own category (A/B/C) series this past year.
    Last edited by bitingduck; 12-02-09 at 02:38 AM.
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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post

    [/FONT][FONT=monospace]As for Elite Nationals, I have no idea really-- I am sure I can qualify but qualifying and being in contention are entirely different. I have been trying to look @ results, but they are all jacked up for 2009. Roman Kilun's best time was a 4:34.2 and they accidently gave Daniel Harm a 4:34.2 also, so I don't know what Daniel Harm posted during previous rounds other than during the finals where he he won for 3rd @ 4:47.
    Results for the final are probably messed up at USAC because of goofy things happening when they import the data. Roman was overtaken in the final and they posted a time for Phinney (not sure how they came up with it), but not Roman. In the qualifying round Mini rode a 4:30.855, and 4th place (Harm) was a 4:48.929. Past 5 minutes and you're down below 10th place. The USAC results database is always really messy for track stuff-- you're usually better off going to cyclingnews.com and finding what they posted (either copied from the communiques or gotten direct from the timer and cleaned up).
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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info and clearing that stuff up with first hand experience.

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    I've ridden 19's for a year with no issues. I'm about 170 lbs, and the OP is 160. It's probably ok, especially if he's really only interested in the pursuit. That said, I think they are not any faster than 22's. There's no real advantage, methinks. I only bought 19's over 22's cuz they were on blow-out at PBK.com. Maybe they LOOK faster....

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    As regarding Joseph (tangent...), I think a 1:16 is pretty blazing for a guy's first time on a track! I know it's a lot better than my first time was, he will probably be under 1:10 in no time. Cut the guy some slack.

  25. #25
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
    As regarding Joseph (tangent...), I think a 1:16 is pretty blazing for a guy's first time on a track! I know it's a lot better than my first time was, he will probably be under 1:10 in no time. Cut the guy some slack.
    I agree that he'll undoubtedly be faster for several reasons. Experience, scheduling a peak performance, aerobars, gym work...any combination of those will make a better time for him, no doubt. He's faster than me, that's for sure.

    I guess my point was about expecting similar times when comparing road efforts to track. That's all.

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