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Why tubeless over tubulars?

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Why tubeless over tubulars?

Old 12-24-21, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by sincos
These days I like more volume and lower pressure so I'm a convert to tubeless, but if your thing is skinny tires at high pressure, you could do a lot worse than tubulars.
Im starting to favor wider tires with lower pressure now (25-28mm with 70-90 psi, maybe even wider and lower as I get used to it). Any reason thatís not practical on a tubular?
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Old 12-24-21, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Ah, I see. So on the spare, corner gingerly until you get home and glue it completely?
Also go light with the brakes on that wheel - with a less-than perfect glue job the tire can slide/rotate on the wheel when you brake, and your valve will get crooked and might cause problems. Installed spare tubulars should probably be pumped up to max for best hold. Stop and check the tire a few times on the way home.

Originally Posted by woodcraft
I think you are referring to "the myth of the rolled tubular" which turns out to be a vanishingly rare event.
I know a guy who heard about a guy that saw somebody roll one once.
There's another myth that tubulars don't pinch flat... the term snakebite was literally invented to describe tubular pinch flats... usually it's a hard pothole hit or something, and it's more common at lower pressure, just like with clinchers. Someone who really gets a lot of snake bites would probably move to tubeless,

Originally Posted by urbanknight
Im starting to favor wider tires with lower pressure now (25-28mm with 70-90 psi, maybe even wider and lower as I get used to it). Any reason that’s not practical on a tubular?
No - you will love it... although 70 psig is probably on the low side, and lower psi means a good glue job is even more important. - start with 90 and work your way down until you find the pressure you like.

Last edited by DiabloScott; 12-24-21 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 12-24-21, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Im starting to favor wider tires with lower pressure now (25-28mm with 70-90 psi, maybe even wider and lower as I get used to it). Any reason thatís not practical on a tubular?

Arguably, tubulars have the comfort/cushioning of the next size larger clincher because of the shape & air volume.

The 30mm tires that I've tried are nice but a bit shy in durability. I use 32mm file tread CX tires for around town, & they are fun, all purpose (handle dirt fine) & reasonably fast & quiet.

I have a Specialized 'hell of the north' 28mm tire that looks promising, but haven't tried it yet.
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Old 12-24-21, 07:26 PM
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You don't need big tubular tires. First off, a tubular has more 'useful' air volume than a clincher/tubeless of the same nominal size. On a clincher rim, the air between the brake tracks does not serve any purpose: the purpose of an inflated tube/tire being to cushion the rim against the road surface. In a tubular tire, almost all of the air volume is useful.

Second, a tubular almost impossible to pinch flat. I've never done it, and I've hit filling-rattling objects that flattened the rim. Look at the tubular rim profile: a smooth circular section that cradles the tire. It lacks the pinch-flat causing sharp 'hooks' required to hold a clincher tire on.

Because tubulars do not pinch flat, you can run them at much lower pressures. Here is the sorry chain of events behind big clincher tires:
  1. The hooks on the clincher rim cause pinch flats.
  2. If we want a comfortable ride, we have to lower the tire pressure.
  3. So we have to increase the tire volume to protect against pinch flats.
  4. To compensate for the larger tires, we need wider rims.
  5. Wider rims and bigger tires are heavy and have high rolling resistance.
Plus we're all getting fatter. Tubulars avoid all of the above.
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Old 12-24-21, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Im starting to favor wider tires with lower pressure now (25-28mm with 70-90 psi, maybe even wider and lower as I get used to it). Any reason thatís not practical on a tubular?
Should work great! Though to me these days anything < 28mm is skinny and > 75psi is high pressure. Anyway, I like sewups a lot, my beef is with repair. If you're handier with a needle than I am, or if you find the tedium of repair zen-like and contemplative I totally get it. But it takes me too long, my stitches are always uneven and I never get the base tape back on smooth.

Tubeless can take more damage than sealant in tubes. If you get a puncture the sealant won't fix (and that's going to be a big hole), put a bacon strip in it. If that's not enough, boot it and tube it. This is what happens when you get lazy and say, I'm not going far, I don't need plugs, the chances of a puncture are tiny:




But I rode it 9 miles home -- horrible clattering sound but it didn't lose air. Patched it and 1500 miles later it's still going strong. Of course that's a big (40-622) tough (Vittoria Terreno Dry) heavy (but lighter than Marathons) tire and my 30mm Hutchie Fusion 5s would surely have needed a plug. But even those would shrug off brads and construction staples.
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Old 12-24-21, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by sincos
Should work great! Though to me these days anything < 28mm is skinny and > 75psi is high pressure. Anyway, I like sewups a lot, my beef is with repair. If you're handier with a needle than I am, or if you find the tedium of repair zen-like and contemplative I totally get it. But it takes me too long, my stitches are always uneven and I never get the base tape back on smooth.
Iím horrible at sewing, but considering how rare it would be to have a puncture sealant couldnít fix, Iíd be willing to just toss the tire and get a new one.
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Old 12-24-21, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Iím horrible at sewing, but considering how rare it would be to have a puncture sealant couldnít fix, Iíd be willing to just toss the tire and get a new one.
Get a speedy stitcher sewing awl and use the thinner needle. Easier and much easier on your hands. Yes, there will be some C&Vers cringing in their caves but they never bothered me.
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Old 12-24-21, 09:48 PM
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I've been riding mainly tubulars for a few years, just because I feel like it. Just a recreational rider, no racing. The main problem these days, is few alloy rims out there any more. I run Veloflex Arenberg 25s, though they don't make them anymore so I guess I'm stuck. I was carrying some Bontrager TLR 2oz sealant for post-flat, but the local Trek place stopped stocking it and I went over to Orange Seal. Used it in a couple of tires. I don't think it works as quickly as in tubeless, but it does work. I've never carried a spare tire. I just tape a valve core tool to the bottle of juice. I'm mostly on 35mm section rims and with extenders on the stems I don't really have a problem with gunked up valves, though I have pulled the cores and cleaned them up.

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Old 12-25-21, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Iím horrible at sewing, but considering how rare it would be to have a puncture sealant couldnít fix, Iíd be willing to just toss the tire and get a new one.


I also suck at this. Sometimes I'll try if it's a good tire with lots of tread left... but I'm never happy with the results. That Speedy Stitch thing sounds neat though.
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Old 12-25-21, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
you don't re glue on the road, have the spare pre glued, pull the flat off, put the spare on pump it up and ride, but don't push hard. get home and glue properly
I don't even bother pre gluing my spares anymore. Either way I'm going to take it easy riding it home, it's not coming off.
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Old 12-25-21, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
Get a speedy stitcher sewing awl and use the thinner needle. Easier and much easier on your hands. Yes, there will be some C&Vers cringing in their caves but they never bothered me.
I sew with dental floss. I cut the old threads with a little thread cutter thing that came in a small military sewing kit.

When doing my last repair I glued the base tape back on with some fabric glue I already had which was bought at Walmart. Just wanted to test it out and it works perfect. It's a really strong adhesive but very flexible.

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Old 12-25-21, 03:25 AM
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i flatted with tubulars coming up tunitus creek rd in the bay area.

put on a new tire at skyline, bombed down kings mountain rd full blast with oncoming traffic, (fast, tight decent of many miles)

group caught up with me and lectured me on bike safety, now i do not do that anymore.

point is that a tubular with marginal gluing will still be pretty good. even with silca pump inflation psi.
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Old 12-25-21, 07:30 AM
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1986 at a race in Battle Creek, MI I witnessed first hand what a poor glue job will result in. A customer of mine wanted me to glue his new tires on new rims the day before the race. I told him no in that I use a method that requires aging the glue on the tire for 24 hours and then applying glue to the rim, setting the tire to the rim and letting that age for 24 hours before using.
He went to the shop a mile away and they glued him up in a jiffy. At the race he was next to me going into turn 3 and then he was gone. Come to find out the tire had "rolled" off the rim. No myth here, the glue was applied as one drop between the spoke holes and nothing on the tire itself. Hammering into the corners was too much for it to handle and the tire simply peeled off the rim (ie, rolled).

Haven't ridden tubs since around 1993 as I had stopped crit racing and was mountain biking almost exclusively. Have thought about going tubeless, but after setting up hundreds of them for customers on all sorts of rims with all sorts of tire combinations, it has lost its appeal. Tubulars still call on me once in a while, but I can't get over the cost and then the total failure on my part to adequately repair them to satisfaction. I know a guy that repairs them, but he charges 40 bucks plus the tube per tire. I'm way too cheap for that!

I will say that riding a tub at 140psi is a unique experience. Had them up to 180psi for a ride once. Very firm ride, and I weighed at the time 215 pounds.
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Old 12-25-21, 12:59 PM
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I didn't bother to read many responses, but enough to realize that some people still have the misconception that higher tire pressures result in less rolling resistance. That's not true on the average asphalt or concrete road surface. There's an optimum pressure that's a lot lower than 100 psi that will result in lower rolling resistance, with road tires in the 28-32mm range. Zipp.com has a great calculator that recommends optimum pressure for a wide variety of rim widths, hooked or hookless rims and road conditions.

The wider the rim, the lower the recommended pressure. Road rims used to be 15-17mm internal width, but now 19-25mm is the trend. Zipp has high level road rims that are hookless and wider than previous rims.

I switched from 25mm tubed tires with 17mm internal width rims to 28mm tires and 19mm width rims with tubeless tires and now use only 60-65 psi. The ride is much better with no increase in rolling resistance that I can tell. My average speeds have not declined. I'm considering 23 or 25mm internal width hookless rims, with 28mm tires. The suggested air pressure is only in the 50s.
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Old 12-25-21, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
I have no insight regarding sealants in tubulars. Never used it while riding them. I am hanging out here to absorb the current thinking because I am going back. Eight years ago I had the crash that decided it. Had a clincher blow and come off. Never want to do that again and that was just a rear at ~22mph. I cannot get that out of my mind going downhill. By contrast, I've blown tubulars as 40+ and they were so uneventful I cannot remember whether it was front or rear.

Being a belt and suspenders guy (and not having a spouse, willing or otherwise), I will carry at least one spare and a patch kit. I see no reason not to go back the the Tubasti I used for everything but my race wheels. (I trained, commuted and club raced on the stuff. Never cleaned the rims other than taking off high areas. Spares were stuck on well enough to club race when I got home.)
Why dont you just glue the clincher to the rim? One or both beads. Saves you the hassle with tubs.
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Old 12-25-21, 03:20 PM
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i use to fix those criterium seta's but there was always a bump where i stitched it up.

i like the way those sewups sound, you get a whole flock of riders and they sing pretty good.
now all i hear is clusters ratcheting.
120 in a blowup is nice, but it will be about 80 when you get back from a long one.
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Old 12-25-21, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
1986 at a race in Battle Creek, MI I witnessed first hand what a poor glue job will result in. A customer of mine wanted me to glue his new tires on new rims the day before the race. I told him no in that I use a method that requires aging the glue on the tire for 24 hours and then applying glue to the rim, setting the tire to the rim and letting that age for 24 hours before using.
He went to the shop a mile away and they glued him up in a jiffy. At the race he was next to me going into turn 3 and then he was gone. Come to find out the tire had "rolled" off the rim. No myth here, the glue was applied as one drop between the spoke holes and nothing on the tire itself. Hammering into the corners was too much for it to handle and the tire simply peeled off the rim (ie, rolled).
Yeah. If you need to ride aggressively right after mounting a new tire, use tape instead of glue.
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Old 12-25-21, 10:57 PM
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Glued my first sew up in 1974. For a number of years they were my only tire type on the various bike I had. I stopped running them on bikes about 15 years ago mainly due to the poor casing alignment and air retention right out of the box. I use to buy 5 sew ups at a time and in those later years found that, often, 1 would leak down overnight (and I would test inflate/stretch all the tires for as long as I could because once there's glue on a casing there's no returning them), 2 would be so lumpy/casing twisted I hated to ride them and the remaining 2 would be fine. 2 out of 5 was a poor value.

I have rolled 2 tires off the rear end and both times they were spares that I had mounted on the road earlier during the day. That's when I found Jantex tire tape. Much like the current Tuffo stuff Jantex lets you glue on a tire without mess or drying time. I still have a roll or two. If you ride an unglued tire the tire will creep along the rim, much like a wired on (clincher for those who don't know history) but with the valve held in the rim hole the casing will bunch up on one side of the valve and stretch out on the other side. While not good for the tire (we would reverse the tire and ride the lumps and low spot out) an unglued tire WILL roll off the rim if any aggressive handling is done, regardless of inflation pressures. (Back in the day well organized races would have a tire retention test before the rider was allowed to line up, if the safety checker could get the casing to lift off ot shift on the rim with their hands the tire was not safely bonded to the rim).

I would much more rather be riding a sew up if I were to get a flat at speed. Otherwise I'd rather get a flat on a wired on as it's so much easier to change out a tube. And I likely will never run sealant in either tire type. Andy
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Old 12-26-21, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan
Why dont you just glue the clincher to the rim? One or both beads. Saves you the hassle with tubs.
Is that really a thing?
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Old 12-26-21, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
Is that really a thing?
Well, it could be if anyone cared to try rather than complain about clinchers coming off. I've seen no one else propose it and usually ppl just ignore me when I do. - and then complain some more about clinchers coming off in the next thread, haha :-) Honestly, I've never had that particular problem, but the solution seem straight forward.
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Old 12-26-21, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan
Well, it could be if anyone cared to try rather than complain about clinchers coming off. I've seen no one else propose it and usually ppl just ignore me when I do. - and then complain some more about clinchers coming off in the next thread, haha :-) Honestly, I've never had that particular problem, but the solution seem straight forward.
Except this thread is not about complaining that clinchers come off the rim. I am not.
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Old 12-26-21, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS
I didn't bother to read many responses, but...
You didn't miss much. Most of them did not address the original question of whether or not it's feasible to run sealant in a tubular just like one does with tubeless, and I was dumb enough to continue the conversation with all of them.
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Old 12-26-21, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan
Why dont you just glue the clincher to the rim? One or both beads. Saves you the hassle with tubs.
If you're suggesting gluing them with the same glue that you use with tubulars, I highly doubt that would be of any benefit. Since clinchers are held on by little hooks on each side, you wouldn't have nearly as much real estate to put the adhesive on compared to a tubular tire which uses the whole width of the rim, assuming the glue would even adhere properly to the bead. I'm quite sure said clincher would still roll off in the event of a blowout on a curve, so the glue would just be there to make a mess.
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Old 12-27-21, 12:19 AM
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I don't know, the way some complain about clinchers like Marathon Pluses being 'hard to mount/dismount' I wonder just how easy it would be to roll one off the rim in the case of a blowout.
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Old 12-27-21, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
You didn't miss much. Most of them did not address the original question of whether or not it's feasible to run sealant in a tubular just like one does with tubeless, and I was dumb enough to continue the conversation with all of them.
I haven't thought about tubulars in over 45 years. Not until this thread. Not even well over a decade on this forum has reawakened the memory of a misspent youth messing around with tubulars and their relevant accoutrements. You just may have to run your own feasability trials re: sealant in said tubulars because I doubt there is sufficient depth of participation in tubular tire culture to make a question like that a 'hot' thread topic. While you are correct in that 'most' replies did not directly address the o.p. ... at least one did. And that is just from casual recollection. How much money do you think I would lose betting that putting sealant in tubulars works about as well as putting sealant in tubeless??

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