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NEW tubular stretching ideas?

Old 12-02-20, 12:36 PM
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NEW tubular stretching ideas?

I bought new Tufo tubulars(for my '86 Trek 2000. They are impossibly tight, no possibility of me getting them on the rims. I have no spare rims, clincher or otherwise, and I doubt these tires would go on any 700c rim in their current state.

I find 10,000 old posts telling me that tubulars need to be pre-stretched. I get that. I find 1,000 telling me to put them on old rims. No can do. I've read that pumping them up to pressure, without being on rims, is a bad idea for a couple of reasons. I've tried stretching them by hand.

I need other ideas for stretching these tires. Jokes are fine, but seriously, I want to use them before the snow arrives in Minneapolis.

Last edited by StanSeven; 12-03-20 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 12-02-20, 12:45 PM
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Put them around a broomstick, stand on it while twisting another rod at the other end with your hands? Or find somewhere where you can hang them, with enough room/height for you to hang on the tyres yourself?
Not sure the twisting will do much good for a tubular or any tyre for that matter, so maybe ditch that part of the suggestion.
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Old 12-02-20, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by jimh12345 View Post
I bought new Tufo tubulars(for my '86 Trek 2000. They are impossibly tight, no possibility of me getting them on the rims. I have no spare rims, clincher or otherwise, and I doubt these tires would go on any 700c rim in their current state.

I find 10,000 old posts telling me that tubulars need to be pre-stretched. I get that. I find 1,000 telling me to put them on old rims. No can do. I've read that pumping them up to pressure, without being on rims, is a bad idea for a couple of reasons. I've tried stretching them by hand.

I need other ideas for stretching these tires. Jokes are fine, but seriously, I want to use them before the snow arrives in Minneapolis.
my first tubies were tufos I did put them on my rims before taping. my experience was that patience and strength and endurance was needed.

here is what i did....put something soft on the floor so you can put the rim on it and push.

put the valve in and with the valve at 12 oclock start puting the tire on evenly on both sides. (no air in the tire at all) get it on a bit and hold both sides and push down, stretching the tire. hold for as long as you can and them put the next section on, keep doing this until you get the whole tire on....it can take 5 or 10 minutes......then inflate the tire to 100lb or so and let it sit at least over night. then you can take it off and tape/glue it on.

if gluing here is the best tutorial i have seen (and it show the stretching sorta) Tubular Tire Mounting Cement Gluing Adhesion by Yellow Jersey; Thoughts on a Front Wheel
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Old 12-02-20, 02:04 PM
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How do you stretch by hand? When dealing with an unstretched tire that had to go on that day and was too tight we'd put two feet on the bottom and pull up by hand, took some actual force. If we had time to let them stretch then put in the valve and start working the tire around with both hands just like normal, when you hit a certain point where you can't get more on by hand use a spring clamp on the rim to keep the tire from popping off on one side and use the tire levers along the other. You don't have to put real space between the levers, just keep moving them along, first one then the other till the tire pops on. If you have to put this much work in though, really take the time to stretch the tire for several days at full pressure or you'll make a mess with the glue.
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Old 12-02-20, 02:17 PM
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I installed tufo tubs recently and they where tighter than I remembered.
Can you use a lever to get them on dry.Pump them and leave for a while.
Or you can pump them before install just don't go crazy.
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Old 12-02-20, 02:22 PM
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You can surely find a rim, doesn't have to be a tubular rim.
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Old 12-02-20, 02:24 PM
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I take it you've tried to install them on your existing rims without glue or tape? If not, I suggest using a toe strap or a zip tie to hold a section in place while you tug like mad (or use a tire iron) to install around the rest of the rim.
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Old 12-02-20, 02:49 PM
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I've tried manual stretching using leg muscles. Maybe Captain America could do it, I couldn't get enough stretch to make even a noticeable difference. These tires are TIGHT. Some combination of clamps, zip ties and levers might eventually get it there. I'm trying to think of a way to stretch it, maybe by making some sort of expandable jig. ...
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Old 12-02-20, 07:08 PM
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I tried everything, stretched them as hard as I dared, tried zip ties, levers, hot air gun. There is no way these can be mounted; the amount of force it would take to get that last inch would destroy the tire or damage the rim. I don't think all my stretching made a bit of difference. I Googled these tires and found some other complaints about how hard and stiff they are. Most people were able to get them mounted somehow, but some said they couldn't be stretched and would be no good as a spare.


They are Tufo 700 24 S33 Pro. Something is wrong here; either a material has been substituted or there's a dimensional error. I'm returning them to Amazon.

Can anyone recommend a current tubular that's not difficult to mount but still has good puncture resistance?

Last edited by jimh12345; 12-02-20 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 12-02-20, 07:26 PM
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I installed valve first. Got as far as I could with fingers. Then used two steel Park tires levers until I hit the wall again. Then got my son's to help. I held the tire against my waist. He used the levers and I used my thumbs. Lot of muttering bad words. Key is to have an assistant willing to listen but having just one extra hand can make all the difference. Having someone help might save the install.
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Old 12-02-20, 07:30 PM
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I had to REALLY exert myself to stretch some Conti tubs onto dry rims. Contis are known to be tight in many clincher models and this is the first pair of Conti sewups I have tried...also VERY tight! But a combo of pre-stretching and then doing as others suggest "anchor" them at the sections when you get them on (I used tape but toe-straps, sure, whatever works) and work your way to the "Hail Mary" section when you have to grunt and roll them on. Was filled with a feeling of victory, soon faded...
One bit of materials trivia: heat causes MOST rubber to shrink, not to expand. I thought this would be my secret weapon but after having tucked the Contis into a plastic bag and then in my freezer for an hour: no difference I could tell. Neither better or worse, just colder!

Last edited by unworthy1; 12-02-20 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 12-02-20, 08:53 PM
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I've mounted tubulars several times, no big deal, I know the drill. I tried stretching these with the knee-shoulder method, really layed into it, it made no difference at all. Tried working my way around the rim and using zip ties at intervals. I had a way rigged up to stretch it, hard, as I went, plenty of leverage. Could not even really get close - there was no way it was going to happen without damage or injury.

I don't know what Tufo is thinking here; maybe their manufacturing quality has suffered due to the virus. But there's no reason mounting tires should be this difficult. I'm sending these back to Amazon tomorrow.

Then I'll take a little more time to find a better tire that can actually be pre-stretched and mounted by one person.
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Old 12-02-20, 08:56 PM
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Yeah, seems like there's something defective with those tires. Send 'em back!
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Old 12-02-20, 09:00 PM
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I'm a firm believer in using a rim (preferably tubular, but I've used a clincher on occasion) and with a large tire iron and very large screwdriver. Just work it on inch by inch. And immediately inflate to 100lbs. pressure. Then, I've been riding nothing but Vittoria Rallys for the last fifteen years, and have gotten spoiled.
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Old 12-03-20, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by jimh12345 View Post
I tried everything, stretched them as hard as I dared, tried zip ties, levers, hot air gun. There is no way these can be mounted; the amount of force it would take to get that last inch would destroy the tire or damage the rim. I don't think all my stretching made a bit of difference. I Googled these tires and found some other complaints about how hard and stiff they are. Most people were able to get them mounted somehow, but some said they couldn't be stretched and would be no good as a spare.


They are Tufo 700 24 S33 Pro. Something is wrong here; either a material has been substituted or there's a dimensional error. I'm returning them to Amazon.

Can anyone recommend a current tubular that's not difficult to mount but still has good puncture resistance?
I recently bought and mounted the same tire model and size in the "tubular-clincher" version. They had to be the most difficult pair of tires I ever mounted. I spent an hour or more on each one and it took several days for my hands to recover. I can commiserate with you!


My advice is to not give up--- but it certainly does seem as if you've really given it your best shot so far.

As far as a tire recommendation, I've also ridden Continental Gatorskin tubulars and not had any flats, but--- YMMV. They were easy to mount.
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Old 12-03-20, 10:27 AM
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I really appreciate the sanity checks from you guys sharing your stories. Now I don't feel bad about sending these back for a refund. Tufo has gone off on some sort of weird tangent here. Maybe they're trying to get known for making the 'toughest' tire regardless of the tradeoffs.

I'm not going to damage these nice classic rims with big screwdrivers, or end up with a tire glued on crooked. These go back today.
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Old 12-05-20, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by jimh12345 View Post

Can anyone recommend a current tubular that's not difficult to mount but still has good puncture resistance?
Iíve had good luck with Veloflex tires. The Vittorias Iíve used have also been easy to mount. I do not even consider tires with a reputation for being tight no matter how good the price.
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Old 12-05-20, 08:22 AM
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Make sure they are not 650c
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Old 12-05-20, 09:42 AM
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I always found brand new tubular tyres to be very hard to stretch on to a rim. I always put my foot in one end and slowly physically stretched them by pulling with my hands. I would immediately after try stretching then on to a rim without glue, just dry. You can usually manage after a bit to get it on the rim. Then inflate it hard and let it sit over night. Usually that does the trick for when you go to glue them on. They ride fabulously but I havenít used them in twenty years because of all the typical issues.
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Old 12-06-20, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jimh12345 View Post
I bought new Tufo tubulars(for my '86 Trek 2000. They are impossibly tight, no possibility of me getting them on the rims. I have no spare rims, clincher or otherwise, and I doubt these tires would go on any 700c rim in their current state.

I find 10,000 old posts telling me that tubulars need to be pre-stretched. I get that. I find 1,000 telling me to put them on old rims. No can do. I've read that pumping them up to pressure, without being on rims, is a bad idea for a couple of reasons. I've tried stretching them by hand.

I need other ideas for stretching these tires. Jokes are fine, but seriously, I want to use them before the snow arrives in Minneapolis.
Put your location in your profile. Then maybe someone near you will offer an old rim for stretching.
Or ask local bike shops.
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Old 12-09-20, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jimh12345 View Post
.
They are Tufo 700 24 S33 Pro. Something is wrong here; either a material has been substituted or there's a dimensional error. I'm returning them to Amazon.

Can anyone recommend a current tubular that's not difficult to mount but still has good puncture resistance?
I like those!
Re-sell?

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Old 08-22-21, 06:36 AM
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I just found this thread because I've got the same issue.

New pair of Tufo S33 Pro 24 Tubular with Tufo 19mm Road Tape.
(Red stripe version because it's £10 cheaper)
Fitting them to Mavic Monthlery Route 700c (21.5mm).

Watched the very nice Tufo Youtube video and it looks fairly easy.
Comes to actually putting the tyre on the rim and no way.

Tried stretching it by putting feet either side of the valve and pulling with both hands, no obvious progress.
Then I had an idea: ratchet luggage strap

Turned a bench upside down - the bench legs are 3 feet apart.
Put a folded towel round one leg and I'm stretching the tyre round that with the ratchet strap round the other leg.
I'll leave it for several hours to see if it works, but I should be able to ratchet it out as far as required.
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Old 08-22-21, 08:27 AM
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Unfortunately I'm just getting back into bikes after about 25 years off, so I've only got the 2 rims I'm trying to put the tyres on.
And it's my first go at fitting tubular.

I did try dry mounting on the other rim but it wasn't going to go on.
Hence the search for how to stretch them.
I'm fairly certain the ratchet will solve the issue though.
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Old 08-22-21, 09:47 AM
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A fun thread. I'm picturing a Monty Python skit about "mounting the unmountable tire" wherein a series of escalating attempts all end in disaster.

I returned those Tufos, and bought some very ordinary tubulars (Servizio Corsa, from YellowJersery.com). They went on without any great difficulty, just like I remembered from years ago. They run true and feel good. Unforturnately, one did go flat after not too many miles; a sharp piece of road cr@p stuck to it and burrowed in (I probably can't ride inner city streets with these tires). So, I got to mount another - again, no problem.

I used to use Panaracer Practice Dual Tour Guard tubulars, with kevlar. They were mountable, and lasted forever. But I never liked the red sidewalls and don't want to go back to that look.
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Old 08-22-21, 10:12 AM
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Yep, I'm prepared to not like the red colour after a while, luckily my Holdsworth is red so it might work.
If I like tubulars I might get some 'better' ones when I've got more idea what I'm doing.

Also S33 Pro 24mm on Wiggle.co.uk:
black - £29.68
tan stripe: £21.99
red stripe: £18.99

So the red has a £10.69 advantage
Those have to be about the cheapest tubulars around.
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