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The Great Wheel Debate

Old 06-11-15, 07:47 AM
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gsteinb
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The Great Wheel Debate

A little mid season diversion…

I've grown tired of racing tubulars. Not the racing part so much, but the flatting part. I'm given serious though to changing back to clinchers, and in fact did my last two races on a circa 06 pair of Kysrium SLs. I did not hate it. Adding to the weariness is the fact that over the past few seasons I've cracked three zipp wheels. East coast roads kinda suck.

A few points to debate…is this stupid or wise? What wheels would prove to be a worthy clincher race wheel? Weight vs aero? Is my 404 self realistically going to lose a race to that same self on an kysrium with clinchers?

Of course a non carbon wheel is apt to weigh pretty close to a deeper carbon wheel, so weight might be a toss up right out of the box.
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Old 06-11-15, 07:57 AM
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I like my 404 clincher.

cant really tell the difference between it and a tubular to be honest, unless I flat.
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Old 06-11-15, 08:01 AM
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I'm riding Reynolds FourtySix's with clinchers. Love em. No complaints at all.
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Old 06-11-15, 08:07 AM
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i've never ridden tubulars so my opinion is probably moot, but the ride quality of my race clinchers with nice tires (vittoria open corsa) and latex tubes on wide rims (pacenti) is pretty much as good as I could ask for.
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Old 06-11-15, 08:37 AM
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First off, I feel like you're underselling 'The Great Wheel Debate' by not giving it a proper title and going all lower case....it gives it more a 'meh wheel debate' feel.

I've always been on clinchers, so I'm not going to say they're superior to tubulars because I haven't ridden both. When I did research into getting tubulars, the benefits didn't outweigh the cost enough for me to go that route. I race HED Jet 4's which have a wider rim that supposedly gives better rolling resistance....works for me.
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Old 06-11-15, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by furiousferret View Post
First off, I feel like you're underselling 'The Great Wheel Debate' by not giving it a proper title and going all lower case....it gives it more a 'meh wheel debate' feel.

I've always been on clinchers, so I'm not going to say they're superior to tubulars because I haven't ridden both. When I did research into getting tubulars, the benefits didn't outweigh the cost enough for me to go that route. I race HED Jet 4's which have a wider rim that supposedly gives better rolling resistance....works for me.
I'm sorry. I'll correct it.
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Old 06-11-15, 08:53 AM
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Muy bueno!
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Old 06-11-15, 09:01 AM
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I think, if I were going to go to carbon clinchers as opposed to tubulars (I'm still racing road on alloy clinchers), I would consider going tubeless at this point. Not as many options there, though. Reynolds has tubeless-ready carbon clinchers, like the AERO series or the cheaper Attack/Assault/Strike. Not sure if the cheaper ones are as up-to-date aerodynamically, though. Some other manufacturers may options, as well. You still sacrifice a good pound or more with clinchers over tubulars, but the gap isn't anywhere near as bad as it used to be. If I decided I didn't care about tubeless, and money was no object, I would probably look at Zipp and Enve clinchers before just about anything else. Oh, and HED is on that list, too.
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Old 06-11-15, 09:05 AM
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I really love the feel of my Stinger 3s, and they're really light (1100g), but I just flatted the rear again, so here we go again with stretching and gluing and buying another backup tire. I guess I just hate giving up the weight savings -with no cost savings- for clinchers even if it's not much. Having said that, I don't know if would be able to tell the feel difference between clinchers and tubulars, I just like to think I could.

Last edited by Yep; 06-11-15 at 09:14 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-11-15, 09:23 AM
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I've never run tubulars, but have tinkered with various clincher setups. Currently, I'm using a set of Reynolds 50mm deep wheels that are 25mm wide and SWorks Turbo clinchers. The wheels are great, deep enough for some aero, but still quite light (~1500g for a 20/24 build on White Industries hubs). I used to run Conti GP4k because that's basically all that is sold around here. The wide wheel combo with the SWorks tires is actually quite nice and the first time I felt that one tire was truly more "supple" than another. I've heard the SWorks may wear out faster than the Conti's, but I'm only about 1,000 miles into them.
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Old 06-11-15, 10:21 AM
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Ride quality and safety are my two concerns. I've seen people roll clinchers at fast bumpy crits. I've also seen people roll tubulars, but those people did horrible glue jobs. With a clincher, you have less control over the seating of the tire, and thus less control over how firm of a hold you will get(what you get is what you get essentially). Will this ever matter? Maybe, maybe not. But I have the confidence in my tubulars as every pair I have to cut off when replacing, so I know they aren't going anywhere mid corner.
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Old 06-11-15, 10:28 AM
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I paid like $800 for my last nice alu wheel build. From now on, I'll just pay the $900 to the RaceRims guy for the 50mm clinchers. They weigh less, brake well enough in all conditions, and feel good in the wind. They've also never needed to be trued in like ... 13-15k miles.
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Old 06-11-15, 10:35 AM
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^ i thought i saw you racing on 80s^
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Old 06-11-15, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by save10 View Post
^ i thought i saw you racing on 80s^
yeah, racerim 80s when I don't care about weight. but for training or climbing races I just use the 50s.

actually lately I've been training on my alu wheelset and leaving that bike as-is for weekday rides and racing the scott... so I don't have to change brake pads.
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Old 06-11-15, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by misterwaterfall View Post
Ride quality and safety are my two concerns. I've seen people roll clinchers at fast bumpy crits. I've also seen people roll tubulars, but those people did horrible glue jobs. With a clincher, you have less control over the seating of the tire, and thus less control over how firm of a hold you will get(what you get is what you get essentially). Will this ever matter? Maybe, maybe not. But I have the confidence in my tubulars as every pair I have to cut off when replacing, so I know they aren't going anywhere mid corner.
Rolling clinchers? That's news to me.
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Old 06-11-15, 10:50 AM
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He's a big guy. It's a wonder he doesn't turn the frame tubes inside out in the last turn.
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Old 06-11-15, 10:57 AM
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Hey now, I didn't say I've ever rolled a clincher. I actually saw it most recently a couple weekends ago with a guy about my size in a crit.

And I'm big boned damnit!
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Old 06-11-15, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
I paid like $800 for my last nice alu wheel build. From now on, I'll just pay the $900 to the RaceRims guy for the 50mm clinchers. They weigh less, brake well enough in all conditions, and feel good in the wind. They've also never needed to be trued in like ... 13-15k miles.
These are the 50s I run. Great wheel. Have used them essentially as an everything wheel (training, racing, dirt, etc) and they've been perfect. Reynolds wide rims laced to your choice of hub for low cost and low weight. I've got a set of his alloy wheels as well and they're equally great, but see little time on the bike (maybe harsher winter rides).

Last edited by hack; 06-11-15 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 06-11-15, 11:31 AM
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I have no experience with tubulars. I've switched to tubeless. Can't see going back.
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Old 06-11-15, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
I paid like $800 for my last nice alu wheel build. From now on, I'll just pay the $900 to the RaceRims guy for the 50mm clinchers. They weigh less, brake well enough in all conditions, and feel good in the wind. They've also never needed to be trued in like ... 13-15k miles.
Originally Posted by hack View Post
These are the 50s I run. Great wheel. Have used them essentially as an everything wheel (training, racing, dirt, etc) and they've been perfect. Reynolds wide rims laced to your choice of hub for low cost and low weight. I've got a set of his alloy wheels as well and they're equally great, but see little time on the bike (maybe harsher winter rides).
I know it's ridiculous, but if I'm looking at the right website, it's not confidence-inspiring. You say these are Reynolds rims? How's that?

(This is the website I found: http://www.racerim.com/)
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Old 06-11-15, 12:26 PM
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I race 404 clinchers. Two seasons ago, I raced 303 tubulars. For me, the convenience more than outweighs any performance disadvantage, because I use my race wheels everyday. It's more fun to train on aero wheels

The simple fact is that the gap between a really nice clincher tire and a really nice tubular ain't even close to what it used to be, especially when it comes to rolling resistance.

If I flat in a corner, I'll admittedly be less secure, but I've done exactly that twice now (front wheel once) and came out unscathed.

If if I were buying today,I'd look really hard at Knight along with the other usual suspects.
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Old 06-11-15, 12:28 PM
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I got a set of Williams 58 clinchers. Slightly heavier than my no-name Chinese 50mm tubulars, but seem to roll better and so much less hassle.
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Old 06-11-15, 12:49 PM
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I've had a set of zipp 808 tubulars for the past couple years that I've been racing on. Over the winter I got myself a set of Enve 6.7 clinchers. I ride these wheels full time (training and racing). During the beginning of the season I still just raced with my Zipps, but I've switched to racing my Enve's full time and keeping my Zipps only on the TT bike. The quality of clinchers has really come a long way and I don't really feel any difference between the two. I've heard great things things about Williams and would have gotten them myself had I not got such a good deal on my Enve wheels. I have a teammate that runs the 3.4s and loves them and another friend that just got the 4.5s and has no complaints.
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Old 06-11-15, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
A little mid season diversion…

I've grown tired of racing tubulars. Not the racing part so much, but the flatting part. I'm given serious though to changing back to clinchers, and in fact did my last two races on a circa 06 pair of Kysrium SLs. I did not hate it. Adding to the weariness is the fact that over the past few seasons I've cracked three zipp wheels. East coast roads kinda suck.

A few points to debate…is this stupid or wise? What wheels would prove to be a worthy clincher race wheel? Weight vs aero? Is my 404 self realistically going to lose a race to that same self on an kysrium with clinchers?

Of course a non carbon wheel is apt to weigh pretty close to a deeper carbon wheel, so weight might be a toss up right out of the box.
I think by definition your 404 self will lose to your Kysrium self. Even in just the last jump there's probably a foot or two at the line, and at top speed, 1-2 mph, at least.

Some other thoughts - why not try some open mold rims? I'm thinking of doing that, for training clinchers, going by @shovelhd recommendation. This would apply for either tubulars or clinchers.

Also clinchers are clinchers, if you're thinking racing clinchers you're going to be breaking clincher rims just as frequently as tubular ones if not more. Clincher rims are more fragile than tubular rims, at least as far as I've seen. If you have aluminum clinchers the price pain is lower, carbon clinchers pain is high unless you have open mold rims.

Another "clinchers are clinchers" thing, if you're cracking tubular rims you're hitting stuff pretty hard, hard enough that a clincher might pinch flat, even with solid pressure in the tire. For pressure I'm talking 100-115 psi, which is what I run in my 23c mounted on 23mm wide rims, although I don't think I've had a pinch flat yet in 5 years, but then again I don't race them that much either.
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Old 06-11-15, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Rolling clinchers? That's news to me.
The rim/tire hook affect that and as they use pressure to stay on, vs. glue, when the pressure is gone, they tend to leave the rim if cornering. Simple solution would be to stop riding when you get a flat, but in a big cut, rock pinch flat on a fast corner or decent you may not have that option.
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