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Advice on sew-ups needed

Old 01-16-22, 12:25 PM
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shopco43
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Advice on sew-ups needed

I haven’t ridden sew-ups for decades but my ’73 Raleigh Pro is nearing completion and I am finding myself in unfamiliar territory.

Reducing rolling resistance: it is my understanding that narrow high pressure has given way to wider lower pressure. Does this apply to tubulars as well?
Some concerns would be the fit on the rim (Super Champion record du monde, ≈20mm), resistance to rolling off the rim and puncture resistance.

Of course my favorite cement, Clement, is no longer available. The only available brand that I remember from my past is Tubasti, which I did not like so much. Opinions are welcome.

On to the tires themselves. The “Servizio Corse” from Yellow Jersey sound too good to be true at $20. Has anyone tried them? I would love not spending $200 on tires I might end up throwing away. In my stronger but poorer days I did get fairly adept at fixing flats but now I do not particularly want to renew that skill.

I should add that at 72 and +200 lbs. I will be doing little more than slow-rolling for an hour or two.

PS. No, I am not going to put clinchers on the Pro.
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Old 01-16-22, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by shopco43 View Post
....
Reducing rolling resistance: it is my understanding that narrow high pressure has given way to wider lower pressure. Does this apply to tubulars as well?
Some concerns would be the fit on the rim (Super Champion record du monde, ≈20mm), resistance to rolling off the rim and puncture resistance.
The differences in rolling resistance will be minor. A bigger factor would be the ability of larger tires to handle the rough roads better. Most tubulars are the conventional 22mm (or so) size. I haven't looked for larger ones, but even back in the day, the larger ones were valued for the nicer ride.

Originally Posted by shopco43 View Post
....
Of course my favorite cement, Clement, is no longer available. The only available brand that I remember from my past is Tubasti, which I did not like so much. Opinions are welcome.
My LBS carries Vittoria or Continental, both of which are pretty similar and work well. Tubasti.. well, it's not my favorite either! One of the local shops still has some tubes on the shelf. I can't decide whether it is still in production or if they are still trying to unload the stuff 40 years after getting the shipment.

Originally Posted by shopco43 View Post
....
On to the tires themselves. The “Servizio Corse” from Yellow Jersey sound too good to be true at $20. Has anyone tried them? I would love not spending $200 on tires I might end up throwing away. In my stronger but poorer days I did get fairly adept at fixing flats but now I do not particularly want to renew that skill.
I've used the Yellow Jersey sew-ups, and while they aren't great, they aren't terrible and were reliable. Certainly not a bad choice for dipping the toes back into the tubular waters. If you decide you want to continue to ride tubulars, then you can get some nicer ones after the cheap ones wear out.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 01-16-22, 12:50 PM
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Here is another choice for tubulars. Note the font size of the branding.

https://gammisport.com/collections/tires
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Old 01-16-22, 12:57 PM
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Glad to hear you want to use tubulars on your Pro. I am a big fan of them as well.

As to glue, I have had good luck with Vittoria Mastik. When I started out on tubulars, I used the Vittoria Rally. Even that felt like a revelation at the time. Then I tried others, like the Continental Sprinters. They seemed to last longer but did not have the same lively feel. Many here have tried the Servizio Corse and can comment on those. Others that come to mind are the Vittoria Corsas and Veloflex. I have been sitting on some Dugast silks in 27mm that might be too nice for my purposes. I will let others answer about rolling resistance . Check out the "Totally Tubular" sticky at the top of the C&V home page for more information.

How wide of a tire will fit on your Pro? If you can do a 28mm, I had some Bontrager R4s that were not bad. I wanted a tan-walled tire with unobtrusive graphics (see below). I did not put too many miles on them before I sold them with the bike, so can't comment on puncture resistance or longevity, but they seemed to do the trick. They are $50/each on ebay.

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Old 01-16-22, 01:07 PM
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Unless you are willing to spend more money, I don't see much point to tubulars over clinchers.

I run 34mm Dugasts at 50 psi on modern and vintage rims, width is irrelevant and I have no issues. While tape costs more, it is easier than glue in every sense. Yellow Jersey tires are pure crap and good as spares only. Again, if you aren't willing to spend more, clinchers are the way to go.
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Old 01-16-22, 03:44 PM
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Get some tubes of continental glue and three 22mm Continental Sprinters. You are only riding an hour or two. Fat tires might be faster on modern bikes but on a Raleigh Pro, 28mm Tubulars are slow😁
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Old 01-16-22, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Get some tubes of continental glue and three 22mm Continental Sprinters. You are only riding an hour or two. Fat tires might be faster on modern bikes but on a Raleigh Pro, 28mm Tubulars are slow😁
I like the way you think!
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Old 01-16-22, 04:07 PM
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"Unless you are willing to spend more money, I don't see much point to tubulars over clinchers.

I run 34mm Dugasts at 50 psi on modern and vintage rims, width is irrelevant and I have no issues. While tape costs more, it is easier than glue in every sense. Yellow Jersey tires are pure crap and good as spares only. Again, if you aren't willing to spend more, clinchers are the way to go"

I had hoped to avoid the morass that is that subject but I guess that was just wishful thinking.
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Old 01-16-22, 04:18 PM
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I'm new to tubulars, but I got my first set 3 months back: Tufo S33 Pro 24mm
And the red stripe version was £18 at Wiggle.

Fitted them to Mavic Monthlery Route (22mm) using Tufo Tape and had no problems so far (about 200 miles).
Currently I quite like tubulars.
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Old 01-16-22, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by shopco43 View Post

I had hoped to avoid the morass that is that subject but I guess that was just wishful thinking.
Didn't you start the morass?

If you want to use tubulars, knock yourself out. Absolutely nothing stopping you. But ask a question, don't whine about the answer.
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Old 01-16-22, 04:27 PM
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Continental Giro 700c X 22mm even a little more budget minded and if you want tan wall that is how they come . 145psi if you want , I run mine about 90psi .
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Old 01-16-22, 04:32 PM
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Lowest rolling resistance modern tubular tires for the money I had used so far are the Vittoria Corsa G "Graphene" tires.
Definitely much faster than the mid and upper level Michelin, Continental, Veloflex and Schwalbe tubulars I had been also using in the last few years.
They are about upper mid priced, but definitely, definitely worth the extra money, and they come in tan skinwalls too, which is a plus for C&V bike apllications.
Even in narrower 23mm width, which I have on my bikes, they feel really compliant, and comfortable. It should even feel better in wider sizes.
If you want significant enough performance improvements when switching from clinchers to tubulars, try not to bother with the bargain basement models like the Vittoria Rallies or the Continintal Giros, as their quality leaves a lot to be desired with lumpy base tapes, seams and misaligned treads, most of the time..... pretty much a waste of money, unless you just use them as emergency spares....
I find Continental's tubular tire glue to be easiest to use, as it has good consistency for easy spreading on rims and tires.
I tried Vittoria's Mastik when I could not find the Continental glue and I found it a bit too thick and harder to manage.

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Old 01-16-22, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Unless you are willing to spend more money, I don't see much point to tubulars over clinchers.

I run 34mm Dugasts at 50 psi on modern and vintage rims, width is irrelevant and I have no issues. While tape costs more, it is easier than glue in every sense. Again, if you aren't willing to spend more, clinchers are the way to go.
Originally Posted by iab View Post
If you want to use tubulars, knock yourself out. Absolutely nothing stopping you. But ask a question, don't whine about the answer.
He asked about tubulars, and his budget was <$200. Your comments about clinchers and cheap tubulars were not an answer. Your comment about tape was borderline.

@shopco43
I've got 28mm Vittorias on my Eddy Merckx and they make riding a vintage bike lots more fun.
Continental cement, because my LBS has it and it works.
If 28s or 30s will fit your frame, you will enjoy them... they will certainly fit your 20mm rims - wider rims for wide tubulars MIGHT be a little more aero, no biggie.
You probably want high thread count, latex tubes, about 80 psi, and medium flat protection maybe adding sealant.
And look at the "Totally Tubular" thread in the stickies for every pro-and-con ever discussed.
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Old 01-16-22, 05:06 PM
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Vittoria Corsa G+ or Veloflex Protour gumwall
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Old 01-16-22, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Unless you are willing to spend more money, I don't see much point to tubulars over clinchers.

I run 34mm Dugasts at 50 psi on modern and vintage rims, width is irrelevant and I have no issues. While tape costs more, it is easier than glue in every sense. Yellow Jersey tires are pure crap and good as spares only. Again, if you aren't willing to spend more, clinchers are the way to go.

After trying sew-ups. I totally agree with this. I do have one bike left, fitted with sew-ups but I ride it rarely and only on the best of roads. Sew-up flats are just TOO expensive to replace, in my opinion.
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Old 01-16-22, 06:34 PM
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Flats. Try removing the valve core and putting some sealant in. Pump up a bit and see if the sealant works.
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Old 01-16-22, 06:54 PM
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I only ride sewups, based on the ride quality as well as historical preference (old guy here)... I really like the Yellow Jersey tires, they seem to work well for me. I have had great luck with the Challenge Elite tires, which seem like they are high quality. I used to ride Continental Giro, but these tend to have a lot of irregularities in base tape and can be lumpy. The main drawback to the Giro is the valve stem core is fixed, so you cannot add sealant easily. The Yellow Jersey and Challenge (available in a variety of widths) do have removable valve cores. I add sealant to mine, and in fact this has actually repaired small punctures from thorns. I have found tubulars to be long lasting.

Thanks,

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Old 01-16-22, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by shopco43 View Post
Reducing rolling resistance: it is my understanding that narrow high pressure has given way to wider lower pressure. Does this apply to tubulars as well?
All else equal, a narrow, high-pressure tire will have similar rolling resistance as a wider, lower pressure tire. This applies to both clinchers and tubulars. But the wider tire will be more comfortable on rough terrain/pavement than the narrow tire.

Some concerns would be the fit on the rim (Super Champion record du monde, ≈20mm), resistance to rolling off the rim and puncture resistance.
Shouldn't be a problem with a good glue job.

Of course my favorite cement, Clement, is no longer available. The only available brand that I remember from my past is Tubasti, which I did not like so much. Opinions are welcome.
I've been using Continental adhesive. It works fine. Lately, my LBS wasn't able to get Continental, so I bought a couple tubes of Panaracer adhesive. I have yet to try it, but it came well-recommended.

On to the tires themselves. The “Servizio Corse” from Yellow Jersey sound too good to be true at $20. Has anyone tried them?
For the money, they're tough to beat. I've heard some complaints about being lumpy or not quite straight, but that hasn't been my experience. Only available in one width (21mm). They were 3 for $50; has the price gone up?

I would love not spending $200 on tires I might end up throwing away. In my stronger but poorer days I did get fairly adept at fixing flats but now I do not particularly want to renew that skill.[/quote]

I put sealant in them. It works well for most punctures.
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Old 01-16-22, 07:10 PM
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I recently installed Vittoria Rallys (because they were all I had on hand and Mrs. PB had put a hold on bike spending) on my Lotus. While cheap and often panned, I was very pleased. I used Effetto Mariposa Carogna Double Sided Tubular Gluing Tape, so easy and no mess. They look good as well.


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Old 01-16-22, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by shopco43 View Post
Reducing rolling resistance: it is my understanding that narrow high pressure has given way to wider lower pressure. Does this apply to tubulars as well?
Has not happened with tubulars, because you don't need high-volume tubulars, except if you are gravel riding. You DO need high(er) volume clinchers, because clincher rims require 'hooks' to hold the tires in place. These hooks are fragile, and are sharp enough to cause pinch flats. In contrast, tubular rims are lighter, stronger, less susceptible to impacts and do not cause pinch flats. You can run tubulars at lower pressures if you are on rough surfaces.

Rolling resistance: a vastly over-thought subject. First, high pressure tires have the lowest rolling resistance, except on very rough surfaces. Narrow tires and rims are more aero, and they are inherently lighter. Regardless, the difference between the very fastest clinchers and tubulars (both with latex tubes) is probably immeasurable.

For me, low rotational weight wins. I'm drafting someone 90% of the time, so aero doesn't matter. But when the fast guys decide to accelerate hard out of a corner, or try and shed folks off of the back during a short hill, that is when you need the lowest rotation mass and the lightest bike. Disc brakes for the fail here.... Sometimes a 3 foot gap at the end of a 1/4 mile grind is the difference between recovering at the back of the pack, or suffering solo into the wind for many miles.
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Old 01-16-22, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
After trying sew-ups. I totally agree with this. I do have one bike left, fitted with sew-ups but I ride it rarely and only on the best of roads. Sew-up flats are just TOO expensive to replace, in my opinion.
Compared to clinchers, where you can just pull the tube out and patch it, there's no question about the relative cost. Just pulling the sew-up off the rim means that you'll use a half tube of glue to put the tire back on (IIRC).

I might be the only person who has a bike fitted with tubulars just for the nostalgia factor. I don't get that many flats on tubulars, but I sorta enjoy the excuse to work on my sew-up repairs skills. I've got a Velox repair kit with plenty of thread and patches, so I might as well use it. The big disadvantage is just the time required to perform the repair. If you don't view it as an opportunity to work on a skill, sealant might be a better option.

Or maybe tubulars are just a way to relive a bit of my youth?? I can't imagine I'd be doing it if it was a new skill set that I had to pick up. That probably applies to riding a bike with a 5 speed freewheel too, I suppose.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 01-16-22, 08:09 PM
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Another vote for the Yellow Jerseys, though the Bontrager R4s mentioned above look interesting because of the puncture protection.
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Old 01-16-22, 08:46 PM
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I'm going back to tubulars when my current clinchers and rims wear out. Reason? 10 years ago I had a clincher come off at ~25 mph. I was riding on the rim, like riding on ice, and trying to stay off the outside curb. I was succeeding; holding the bars lightly ice-style when the tire came off and jammed in the seatstay. The ensuing crash was nightmare. To this day I cannot block it out on fast descents. By contrast, I blew out tubulars at least once in my racing days at 45+. Coming to a stop was so uneventful I cannot remember the wheel (or the number of times it happened).

Also I have a bike that needs the ride. A bike that is basically a 1989 high end racer. Open Pro rims and Corsa G+ tires are nice but no more that training wheels. Quality sewup wheels and G+ tubulars? I haven't ridden that yet but those silks I used to race were magic carpets. This bike deserves that carpet ride.
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Old 01-17-22, 09:29 AM
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Well, even though I mainly run clincher on all my bikes I do have around 1/2 running modern tubulars. I usually go now with Veloflex branded tubulars bought cheaper from one of the UK sites. I've yet to experience a flat on any of them. I don't prep them with sealant when I install but my "flat plan" involves carrying sealent and Co2 (as well as my normal frame pump) just in case.

I've used EFFETTO MARIPOSA CAROGNA TUB TAPE on some of the rims and Mastik One glue on the others. I prefer the tape to be honest. It's so fast, holds well and allows me to get a tire on perfectly positioned. The downside to tape may be removing a flat tire on the road if I have to. That said. I've about to tape up another set of brand new rims this week.

I don't normally experience many flats whether clincher or tubular so that experience makes me more comfortable about using tape over glue.

If there's not a real rush, the Veloflex tubulars seem to go on sale at Merlin or PBK pretty often so if you can catch a sell you'll get some really nice riding tubulars at an great price.


Modern Veloflex Roubaix tubulars on some 1981 Arc En Ceil rims. The ride on the road is magnificent.
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Old 01-17-22, 09:48 AM
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I ran the 3/50 on my Colnago. They were a step up from the clinchers.
Now that I have run a couple of other higher priced tubies, I am sold on the value they bring. Thread count being one of the significant criteria for selection. My favorite right now are the Vittoria G+ in 23. I was sold with the clincher version on the Pinarello. It is being upgraded to Challenger Roubaix. The De Rosa has the G+ on it and the clincher version will likely go on the Bottecchia or Langster. I am converting the fleet over to sew-ups.
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