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Risks of Rolling a Tubular?

Old 08-14-11, 04:27 PM
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Risks of Rolling a Tubular?

Greetings all -

After 2 years back into the sport and racing, I'm about to lay down the coin for some aero carbon wheels...adding to the stable of alloy training (32 spoke Open Pros with 105 hubset) and racing wheels (SRAM S30). Can't, however, decide between clinchers or sew-ups. I rode them 20 years ago while in college, and am familiar with their slightly better handling/cornering characteristics, lighter weight, etc.

My main "fear," if you will, is rolling one of these things in a crit, taking down the field, suffering the shame of peers, etc. Plus, I read somewhere that at one time rolling a sew-up meant an automatic suspension (not sure if this is the case anymore). So, as I haven't ridden sew-ups in years and don't know new technology, assuming I have my trusty LBS professionally glue them, what are the "real" odds of rolling one of these things in the typical flat crits we have here in Florida?

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 08-14-11, 08:06 PM
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A good glue job makes rolling a tire VERY unlikely...you're more likely to flat a clincher and hit the deck. I'd ask around and find out who in your area knows how to really glue a tire...often people that think they do don't. I use Vittoria Mastik and with my protocol the glue job is stronger than the factory glue on the base tape.

No rule I'm aware of about suspension for rolling a tire, at least for USAC. Tubulars are great race tires.

I rarely race on clinchers.
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Old 08-14-11, 08:23 PM
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Interesting. No rule on auto 10 day suspension anymore. In fact if you roll a tire it appears there is no pertinent rule for penalizing the rider. That's different from the old days where you got your rule book in the mail with a slip that said "this is your warning to not roll a tire. therefore you'll be suspended 10 days if you roll a tire." or something like that.

A well glued tire will pretty much never roll, and one that's checked will probably not roll that day (even a basetape roll).

A long time ago one of my teammates got slammed into a chainlink fence sideways at about 30-35 mph, landed on the rear wheel, the tire rolled for about 4 inches, the tire actually blew out a brake block from a brake pad holder (rotating the right direction, so the tire tore out the brake pad), and he skidded to a stop. He went to get a free lap. One official, a non-cyclist type, said, no, you rolled the tire. Another official looked at the tire in disbelief. He pointed out that the force required to blow out a brake pad from a brake pad holder is immense (it was a crimped pad, not meant to be serviceable) and the tire would have come completely off had it been glued poorly. The official couldn't budge the tire off the rim so they gave him a free lap.
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Old 08-16-11, 08:44 AM
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Check out this method:

velocipedesalon tire gluing

Apparently the use of belgian tubular tape in addition to the normal glue creates a bond strong enough for abuse from cyclocross. Much overkill for road tires setups he says. I like his method of rolling the wheel/tire on a broom handle, and the use of electrical tape on the brake surface.

Does Belgian tubular tape in combo with glue increase rolling resistance?
Any roadies use this method?
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Old 08-17-11, 05:34 AM
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I glue mine pretty much the same way CDR does.

I was knocked off my bike at leadout speed in a crit early this season by a rider swerving into my front end. The force of this snapped my front wheel sideways and then fully loaded the front wheel, sending me flying. A combination highside-endo at crit speeds.

That is about as much lateral force as would ever be possible on the front tire for me. The result? One edge of the tubular came unglued, but the other edge and the center stayed on. The tire remained fully seated on the rim. Had the rim not been crushed by a rider running me over, it would have been ridable immediately after the crash.

The rider was not able to do anything immediately however.

I should also mention that I did remove that tire eventually in order to attempt to re-use it on another rim. That proved impossible as the crushed rim caused the tire to be punctured by carbon shards. It was still very difficult to remove, nearly as tough as pulling a tire that had not been subjected to any lateral force. I cut it off with a utility knife.
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Old 08-17-11, 07:57 AM
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A well glued tubular will be a pain to get off the rim. If you know anyone who rides tubulars, offer to remove the tire for them when they are changing tires. That would give you a good idea of how well the tires are stuck to the rim.
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Old 08-20-11, 07:13 AM
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A local racer was training on his fixed gear + front brake bike. Blew a front tubular going hard into a 90 deg turn. Stayed upright, tire didn't budge. He wrote me about this after I posted about all the rolling tubulars this summer.

I have on video my teammate diving hard into a turn just as he flatted. His front tire slides but he was upright/okay. This was from last summer.
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