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Looking for inexpensive tubular tires

Old 10-22-23, 12:29 PM
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Looking for inexpensive tubular tires

I'm building up a bike that uses them so I figure I'll keep it like that so I can be one of them cool kids.

Kidding; there is just too much gravel everywhere in Alaska including the roads for skinny tires (we don't salt, we gravel everything). This is not a bike I plan on riding a whole lot, more of a building project like some people do jigsaw puzzles (except that a whole lot more expensive and you start with what you want the puzzle to look like and then buy the pieces hoping they will fit). As such cheap tires will do just fine.

I take it I should not contact cement these on... Recommendations for a cheap glue would be welcome as well.
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Old 10-22-23, 12:35 PM
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We have a sticky thread at the top of this forum for just this topic: Totally Tubular
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Old 10-22-23, 01:00 PM
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I have tried various cheapish tubulars by now and for riding would recommend the Tufo S33 pros. They are round, straight, bulletproof and pretty easy to mount straight. They dont have bulges near the valve stem also. Vittoria Rally-s seem to have the best classic look to them. Continental Giros look so cheap and like the Vittorias, good luckk getting the valve stem part to fit right. I have one Schwalbe Lugano also somewere and that seemed to have similar issues aswell.
I mainly use 21mm S33-s on my track bike that gets ridden the most. I ride mostly in the city and without brakes so they get a lot abuse. Rear tire usually lasts a riding season, havent had the need to replace the front yet due to wear. Cons for S33-s are that they dont roll that well unless at high pressures, but they still feel better than some mid range clinchers imo.
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Old 10-22-23, 01:20 PM
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I think the cheapest option is Yellow Jersey's "three for $85 Servizio Corse" tubular. I bought a set for a Raleigh Pro I was rebuilding and since that bike was too big for me I didn't think I would ride it much and didn't want to invest in better tires. Here on the forum people don't speak of them highly except for use as inexpensive spares. Since the last time I rode tubulars any distance was the '70s I didn't really know the difference, I thought they were pretty fun to ride. They mounted straight and round enough for me.
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Old 10-22-23, 01:30 PM
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Please don't read this as snobbery as it is not, but I strongly think that if you are not willing to purchase good quality sew-ups, you are much better served by buying good quality clinchers. It's really not worth the extra effort to attach and repair tubular tires unless you're buying ones with an exceptional ride. There are a number of makers of quality tires still, but you're not likely to get a tire worth the bother for under $90 unless you find it on deep discount or from someone getting out of tubulars and listing it on evilbay. Again, I'm not writing this as some snob; rather I'm writing this as someone who has ridden both high quality and poor quality sew-ups over decades. I wish you the best of luck in your decision.
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Old 10-22-23, 01:37 PM
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Buy good tubulars or ride good clinchers.
Why cheap out on the only thing that touches the road?
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Old 10-22-23, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MooneyBloke
Please don't read this as snobbery as it is not, but I strongly think that if you are not willing to purchase good quality sew-ups, you are much better served by buying good quality clinchers. It's really not worth the extra effort to attach and repair tubular tires unless you're buying ones with an exceptional ride. There are a number of makers of quality tires still, but you're not likely to get a tire worth the bother for under $90 unless you find it on deep discount or from someone getting out of tubulars and listing it on evilbay. Again, I'm not writing this as some snob; rather I'm writing this as someone who has ridden both high quality and poor quality sew-ups over decades. I wish you the best of luck in your decision.
Came here to say similar. Cheap tubulars are frequently more trouble then they're worth.
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Old 10-22-23, 03:25 PM
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Cheap tubulars are always more cool than any clincher. If you will not ride it much or often, I would not put nice clinchers or tubulars on it. If it's a wall hanger, get some classy vintage rubber and don't even glue them on. Rallys are straight and a couple years ago, I found 3 for 75 bucks.
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Old 10-22-23, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
Cheap tubulars are always more cool than any clincher.
Having ridden cheap tubulars when I didn't have the cash for better, I'm going to disagree with you. There is nothing cool about a tire with an unpleasant ride or a casing weak enough that it bursts when you put even close to a reasonable pressure. I remember one day when I tried to inflate a cheap Vitt, and I saw the casing fail right before my eyes. Total waste of cash.
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Old 10-22-23, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MooneyBloke
Please don't read this as snobbery as it is not, but I strongly think that if you are not willing to purchase good quality sew-ups, you are much better served by buying good quality clinchers.
Could point me to a good set of clinchers that will fit tubular rims

Chances are I'll barely get a chance to ride this bike (too many bikes, wrong conditions around here to ride it much). Cheap tires are meant to be a huge improvement over the 40 years old tires that are there now.
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Old 10-22-23, 06:22 PM
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What's the point in trying to articulate the truth won through four decades on sew-ups if the audience is just going to try to gainsay me? You do you, but buying cheap tubulars is not going to earn any endorsement from me. I think that's a foolish waste of money and time.

I think if I had "too many bikes," I'd sell some of the excess and put the money into good rubber. It makes a significant difference.
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Old 10-22-23, 07:18 PM
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I'm not trying to gain an endorsement from you. I'm trying to find inexpensive tires for a bike I intent to ride a few times. Any tire that is safe to mount and ride will do just fine.
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Old 10-22-23, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by abdon

Chances are I'll barely get a chance to ride this bike (too many bikes, wrong conditions around here to ride it much). Cheap tires are meant to be a huge improvement over the 40 years old tires that are there now.
A fair amount of of minimally used, higher quality tubulars show up on the sale platforms. I'd pursue that route, especially if the tires aren't going to see much use.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pair-of-Spe...p2056016.l4276
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Old 10-22-23, 08:22 PM
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Good or bad, riding tubulars is a part of the classic lightweight experience.

Bad are the Challenge Vulcano and cheap Vittorio Rallye's. Good budget are Panaracer Practice 270. Buy in three's. Budget Tufo's get the job done but won't achieve the quality ride. Cheaper than a clincher, rim tape and tube.

I'm always lurking and snagging deals for Dugast and FMB. Further stepping up and when the deals arise, don't skip out on Vittoria Corsa control Graphene 2.0. I typically buy when any in this group are $75 to $100 pair. That's $50 or less per. Not often those offerings are available, but patience pays on ebay. Deals are out there for tubular because the market demand is gone.

I always glue, never tape.

Yes, I do appreciate today's high end premium clinchers.... and although largely convenient on getting, they're not low priced.
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Old 10-22-23, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by abdon
I'm not trying to gain an endorsement from you. I'm trying to find inexpensive tires for a bike I intent to ride a few times. Any tire that is safe to mount and ride will do just fine.
The Yellow Jersey ones are fine - although they wouldn't be my choice for gravel roads at only 21mm wide.
Vittoria Rallys come in 25 and 28, those would feel better and not too much more $$$.
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Old 10-22-23, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by MooneyBloke
I think if I had "too many bikes," I'd sell some of the excess and put the money into good rubber. It makes a significant difference.
You know, the same can be said for clinchers. Good tires make a cheap bike ride a lot nicer, bad tires make an expensive bike ride like crap.
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Old 10-23-23, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by chain_whipped
Good or bad, riding tubulars is a part of the classic lightweight experience.

Bad are the Challenge Vulcano and cheap Vittorio Rallye's. Good budget are Panaracer Practice 270. Buy in three's. Budget Tufo's get the job done but won't achieve the quality ride. Cheaper than a clincher, rim tape and tube.

I'm always lurking and snagging deals for Dugast and FMB. Further stepping up and when the deals arise, don't skip out on Vittoria Corsa control Graphene 2.0. I typically buy when any in this group are $75 to $100 pair. That's $50 or less per. Not often those offerings are available, but patience pays on ebay. Deals are out there for tubular because the market demand is gone.

I always glue, never tape.

Yes, I do appreciate today's high end premium clinchers.... and although largely convenient on getting, they're not low priced.
I think I can get away with 25mm tires. The seatpost it awfully close to the tire on (what I think are) Panaracer Practice tires. The lettering is pretty much gone on the current tires. I would go with those but I'm hoping to get away with as much tire as the frame will let me which as I said is probably 25mm.

With Challenge tires there is a huge difference between their cheap stuff and the hand made ones. I have the Challenge Paris Roubaix on my tourer and I love those tires. My daughter has Challenge Strada on her road bike and she's equally happy.
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Old 10-23-23, 07:44 AM
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Bought some Specialized cotton cased “He’ll of the North” tubulars recently from their website. Price wasn’t bad - maybe $45 on sale
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Old 10-23-23, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by MooneyBloke
Having ridden cheap tubulars when I didn't have the cash for better, I'm going to disagree with you. There is nothing cool about a tire with an unpleasant ride or a casing weak enough that it bursts when you put even close to a reasonable pressure. I remember one day when I tried to inflate a cheap Vitt, and I saw the casing fail right before my eyes. Total waste of cash.
width matters on these. 21,23,25
the 25’s are scarce- probably due to needing a better casing.

I just referenced earlier today and there are few 25-28 tires without spending big dollars.
interesting.
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Old 10-23-23, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage
I just referenced earlier today and there are few 25-28 tires without spending big dollars.
I've been on 23s so long, I'm on the fence about going to 25s. I hope I can find a good bulk deal. Back when I bought my Veloflex Crits, there were a couple of, perhaps gray market, importers who sold them around $50 a piece, and so I wound up buying about thirteen of them. No such luck these days. Outside of one where I saw tread detaching, they have held up well, and I was much happier with those than the Vitt CXes my custom bikes started with. Talking to the builder later, he made the same switch. I've no idea what he's using for rubber now.
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Old 10-23-23, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by DMC707
Bought some Specialized cotton cased “He’ll of the North” tubulars recently from their website. Price wasn’t bad - maybe $45 on sale
Do you have any idea who they contracted to make these? I suspect the work was farmed out, but to whom?
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Old 10-23-23, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by MooneyBloke
Do you have any idea who they contracted to make these? I suspect the work was farmed out, but to whom?
I know Challenge makes their cyclocross tubs... probably the same.
I've got a pair of Hell of the North tires ready to glue on this month - they have a Challenge kind of look to them.
Also just a hair thinner than spec, so 28s fit just fine on my steed.






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Old 10-23-23, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by chain_whipped

Bad are the Challenge Vulcano and cheap Vittorio Rallye's. Good budget are Panaracer Practice 270. Buy in three's. Budget Tufo's get the job done but won't achieve the quality ride. Cheaper than a clincher, rim tape and tube.
When last I bought a set, the Paranacers didn't have removable valve cores. An ounce of Stan's in your sew-ups is a lot of peace of mind.
For causal, occasional use or just to utilize a nice tubular wheelset the YJs are fine. So is tape..

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Old 10-23-23, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by top506
An ounce of Stan's in your sew-ups is a lot of peace of mind.
For causal, occasional use or just to utilize a nice tubular wheelset the YJs are fine. So is tape..
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Agree about the Stan's (saved my bacon a couple of times_, disagree about the YJs. Bad rubber makes an otherwise great bike crappy to ride.
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Old 10-23-23, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott
I know Challenge makes their cyclocross tubs... probably the same.
I've got a pair of Hell of the North tires ready to glue on this month - they have a Challenge kind of look to them.
Also just a hair thinner than spec, so 28s fit just fine on my steed.
That would be a bit of a tight fit for me. I think a true 25mm or less is about as fat as I'd go.
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