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Tubular Tire Flats

Old 07-01-09, 01:51 PM
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Tubular Tire Flats

Yesterday, I got to the track to check for a workout and to check gearing for my upcoming 2K pursuit. I planned to use my Zipp Disc / Hed trispoke tubular wheelset. I pumped up the tires at the car and after the warmup, started to change out the wheelset for the race wheels. The HED Trispoke tire felt soft.

This tire is a Vittoria CX 20mm 150 (I think) with 3 track sessions on it. And this is at the track with no glass, thorns and etc. The other aspect of this tire is that it has a latex tube which is great for rolling resistance but latex does not hold air very well so the tire is always flat prior to use so you do not know if there is a problem until it is pumped up and checked after time. I kept the front clincher tire on and did the rest of the workout / testing.

When I got home, I checked the tire for leaks in the sink. I saw bubbles coming from the junction of the valve and the extender. The valve had come lose. After retightening, inflation and testing, all is well.

Dodged a $90 bullet plus strip / re-glue. The cool, schwaggy fast wheels and tires are not without their trials and tribulations.
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Old 07-01-09, 02:38 PM
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Don't talk to me about flats - I've had enough of them in the last few weeks

Glad to hear it was not a true disaster - but a minor inconvience.
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Old 07-01-09, 03:02 PM
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Boy can I relate. Glad of your good fortune! I'm using about the same setup on my P2C. I just put a Bonty 19mm TT tire on the front. I feel faster just looking at it!
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Old 07-01-09, 03:31 PM
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Hermes,

We used to call them "sewups" for a reason. Perhaps the VeloDiva can provide some sewing instructions.
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Old 07-01-09, 03:34 PM
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Hi,

Same thing happened to me on Day 1 of our districts. My Hed 3c went soft and I didn't notice it until just before my race so I used my training tubular. Same problem without the extender. Used the wheel the next day for the 2K and also trained on it the following Thursday with no problems.

Until I figured out the problem I was sweating bullets too -- especially because I use the same wheels on my TT bike.
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Old 07-01-09, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Dodged a $90 bullet plus strip / re-glue. The cool, schwaggy fast wheels and tires are not without their trials and tribulations.
Which is probably why more folks don't ride on them. Great tires; great ride; but...
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Old 07-01-09, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Boy can I relate. Glad of your good fortune! I'm using about the same setup on my P2C. I just put a Bonty 19mm TT tire on the front. I feel faster just looking at it!
Keep your eye on that tire. I had a Tufo 19 mm 135 on my track bike. I rode them twice for about 3 hours and my wife for about 6 hours and the front flatted due to tread wear. Another racer, raced on a set and wore them out in one points race.

I have the Tufo 19 135 on my TT bike and so far so good but that is riding mostly in a straight line.
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Old 07-01-09, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
Hermes,

We used to call them "sewups" for a reason. Perhaps the VeloDiva can provide some sewing instructions.
She might but to give you an idea of her sewing skills and motivation I could hide her birthday and Christmas presents in her sewing basket and not worry about her finding them.
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Old 07-01-09, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Keep your eye on that tire. I had a Tufo 19 mm 135 on my track bike. I rode them twice for about 3 hours and my wife for about 6 hours and the front flatted due to tread wear. Another racer, raced on a set and wore them out in one points race.

I have the Tufo 19 135 on my TT bike and so far so good but that is riding mostly in a straight line.
Thanks for the advice. So far my only use of the HED3 is the 10 mile TT's at the speedway so very limited mileage.
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Old 07-01-09, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Keep your eye on that tire. I had a Tufo 19 mm 135 on my track bike. I rode them twice for about 3 hours and my wife for about 6 hours and the front flatted due to tread wear. Another racer, raced on a set and wore them out in one points race.

I have the Tufo 19 135 on my TT bike and so far so good but that is riding mostly in a straight line.
I think I know what you meant to say. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 07-01-09, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
I think I know what you meant to say. Correct me if I'm wrong.


No one will call me a 2 minute man.
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Old 07-01-09, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post

No one will call me a 2 minute man.
They are testing for those ED drugs as athletic performance enhancers - and besides, your supposed to see your doctor if it last more than 4 hours...
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Old 07-02-09, 02:03 PM
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ED performance enhancing drug discussions could be fun but back to the topic at hand - flats.

I just fixed a garage flat. These are the best ones. A flat tire that goes flat at the end of a ride or occurs in your garage. This one was on the front wheel of my Cervelo and the tube separated from the stem forming a crack. There was no visible tire damage. Replaced the tube and good to go.

With respect to running tubular tires, most racers at the track use tubulars. We have more robust tubulars for training than racing. And tubulars can more easily match the thickness of the rim reducing aero drag.

On the road for training, many of my cycling friends ride tubulars. A number of them use the Tufo tire, tape and sealant system. It seems to work really well and even better than clinchers since the sealant works well sealing minor punctures.

My gripe with Tufos is that they have much higher rolling resistance and if you pump them up high enough to mitigate the increase rolling resistance, it is like riding on a garden hose.

So I will stick with nice supple clincher tires for training and tubulars for racing.
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Old 07-02-09, 03:54 PM
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I use Latex tubes with clinchers on the Tandem- but heavy weight Latex. They do seep air but one advantage I have found with them is that if you do get a puncture- The latex grips round the thorn or flint and semi-seals it. You do have a slow puncture but it will hold for a good while.

And funnily enough- I contemplated getting tubs on the TCR-C but did not like the idea of a difficult repair. There is a sealing compund that you can use- but putting it in before a puncture defeated the gain of a lighweight tyre. Put 100 grammes of sealant in and where's the weight advantage? And if you get a puncture and then the sealant doesn't work- What can you do?

The sealant wouldn't have helped with a leaking valve in any case.
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Old 07-02-09, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
I use Latex tubes with clinchers on the Tandem- but heavy weight Latex. They do seep air but one advantage I have found with them is that if you do get a puncture- The latex grips round the thorn or flint and semi-seals it. You do have a slow puncture but it will hold for a good while.

And funnily enough- I contemplated getting tubs on the TCR-C but did not like the idea of a difficult repair. There is a sealing compund that you can use- but putting it in before a puncture defeated the gain of a lighweight tyre. Put 100 grammes of sealant in and where's the weight advantage? And if you get a puncture and then the sealant doesn't work- What can you do?

The sealant wouldn't have helped with a leaking valve in any case.
Actually, it might have sealed the leaking valve on my tubular problem. Those Vittorias are latex and sealant is not possible. I have a set of Tufos on my road TT bike race wheels with sealant. I regret purchasing that tire system. When the tires wear a little more I am going to replace them with Vittoria latex tubulars. However, it is fine for straight none technical TTs and one cannot post a time in a race unless one crosses the finish line.

I would recheck your math on the overall weight savings for tubular wheelset with tires and sealant and a clincher wheelset with tires, tape, tube and extra rim to hook the clinchers on. In the Tufo system, the 100 gm for sealant seems overstated. I think it is more like 50 gm or less. The sealant only works with butyl rubber tubes so for Vittoria with latex tubes, the sealant does not work.

The primary reason for using tubulars is for high speed cornering and lighter weight when climbing. With a tubular tire, there is more surface area because the tire is glued on so that you can lean the bike more. And you are not susceptible to pinch flats. My cycling friends that ride tubulars on the road have been doing for years so a lot of it is tradition, they like the feel and because they can. Racing is a different dynamic and I see both systems in use.
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