Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Are tubular tires worth it ?

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Are tubular tires worth it ?

Old 04-03-18, 08:46 PM
  #1  
Teamprovicycle
Banned
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Providence
Posts: 733

Bikes: Specialized tarmac sl2 giant tcx zero

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 319 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Are tubular tires worth it ?

I really want to get some aero ish wheels not too deep but enought to give me the feel that more aero can provide. I really want to get some under 500 usd and the wheel sets i see that i could afford are tubular wheels . i know nothing about running tubs so i need advice on the subject please and thanks ...
Teamprovicycle is offline  
Old 04-03-18, 08:58 PM
  #2  
woodcraft
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 5,283
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1484 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 519 Times in 307 Posts
Yes.

Slightly more hassle mounting (maybe not than tubeless),

fewer flats. Wheels are lighter, cheaper, & stronger. Ride quality good.

Lots of used race wheels available. Chinese carbon for sub $500 are pretty great.

Tires not more expensive than clinchers if you shop.
woodcraft is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 05:13 AM
  #3  
Lazyass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 8,318

Bikes: Vintage steel, aluminum, modern carbon disc, single speed, MTB's, the works

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2006 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 46 Posts
Mounting isn't a big deal after you've done it a couple of times and learn all the little tricks, like most everything else in life. Most carry a 3rd spare and I can change one faster than replacing a tube on a clincher. Most tubular tires today have removable valve cores so you can carry a small 2ml bottle of sealant in your jersey pocket. Worst case, you can ride a flat tubular at slow speeds unlike clinchers. It is possible to get a pinch flat but it's *almost* unheard of. I personally use Continental glue. On their website they have a good video on how to prep and mount tubulars.

If you get a midrange or high end tire it's a magic carpet ride. You would have to experience it to understand. They even sound different on the road.

My clinchers were Techlite's. They weighed 1410g, 20/24 spoke and I had Vittoria Rubino Pro G+'s mounted. Like most similar low spoke count wheels they flexed a lot.

My tubulars have Pure rims from bicyclewheelwarehouse, DT Comp spokes, 32H 2X f/r, brass nipples, Ultegra 6700 hubs and Vredestein FRECCIA Pro TriComp tires. They're a 220tpi midrange tubular with flat protection and I got 3 for $125. They're even cheaper if you order from the UK. Vittoria Corsa Elite's and Conti Sprinter Gatorskins are other nice tires at a decent price.

With tires mounted and including skewers on each, the wheelsets were within 50g of each other. The front tubular was 20g lighter and the rear was 70g heavier. That's superlight 1410g clincher vs a 32 spoke wheelset with Shimano hubs and brass nipples.

Lazyass is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 11:29 AM
  #4  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 6,300

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame, Ti 26 MTB

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1541 Post(s)
Liked 367 Times in 263 Posts
You can find open tubular tires which give you the suppleness of a tubular but with ease of fixing flats and installing like a clincher. Personally I would go with those as it is easier to deal with over all. Since your budget is low it would likely be cheaper to get clinchers.

If you do use tubulars make sure you mount them properly and don't skip steps or try and do it quickly. If your tire comes off the rim it could be dangerous. Most shops won't glue tubs because of the risk factor involved. Give yourself plenty of time to glue them and let things set. Or you can just get some clinchers and have them mounted and out riding within a few minutes or less.
veganbikes is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 11:40 AM
  #5  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,285 Times in 802 Posts
If you want the ride the Pros have, They use Tubulars (Unless a sponsor has some product to promote )..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 11:56 AM
  #6  
Lazyass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 8,318

Bikes: Vintage steel, aluminum, modern carbon disc, single speed, MTB's, the works

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2006 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 46 Posts
Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
If you do use tubulars make sure you mount them properly and don't skip steps or try and do it quickly. If your tire comes off the rim it could be dangerous. Most shops won't glue tubs because of the risk factor involved.
Any shop that won't do something as basic as gluing tubulars shouldn't be in business.
Lazyass is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 12:06 PM
  #7  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 39,215

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2311 Post(s)
Liked 1,098 Times in 577 Posts
Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
Any shop that won't do something as basic as gluing tubulars shouldn't be in business.
Exactly.
caloso is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 12:06 PM
  #8  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 6,300

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame, Ti 26 MTB

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1541 Post(s)
Liked 367 Times in 263 Posts
Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
Any shop that won't do something as basic as gluing tubulars shouldn't be in business.
Not really just basic but more liability. Yes plenty of mechanics can do it but the risk factor is high. If something happens out on the road the person who mounted the tires could be libel. Gluing tubulars should not be considered basic. Doing it right is not a basic task. Sure it is coating two things with glue and putting them together if you want to put it at it's most basic form but to say that is ridiculous. It is making sure the surface is prepped, the tires are stretched, the glue is evenly and properly coated and the tire is properly aligned on the rim.

Most mechanics I talk to wouldn't leave their tubs to be glued by someone else because of the risk. They want to trust their own hands because if it comes off, it is bad news bears.

I am not however saying I dislike tubs. Heck I am in the process of preparing some old Campy Record freewheel hubs/Mavic rims for some new tires and stretching the new tires right now. However I am mostly doing this to learn more about them and less to switch to tubulars because I find open tubulars to be quite nice and since I keep things at proper pressure I tend to not get flats very often.
veganbikes is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 12:31 PM
  #9  
Lazyass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 8,318

Bikes: Vintage steel, aluminum, modern carbon disc, single speed, MTB's, the works

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2006 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 46 Posts
Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Not really just basic but more liability. Yes plenty of mechanics can do it but the risk factor is high. If something happens out on the road the person who mounted the tires could be libel. Gluing tubulars should not be considered basic. Doing it right is not a basic task. Sure it is coating two things with glue and putting them together if you want to put it at it's most basic form but to say that is ridiculous. It is making sure the surface is prepped, the tires are stretched, the glue is evenly and properly coated and the tire is properly aligned on the rim.
Everything you described is basic. Hell, up until the 80's any half serious cyclist knew how to do it. Any newbie here can do it properly by just watching one of the hundreds of you tube videos. Never in my life have I heard of a shop with a professional bicycle mechanic who would actually refuse to mount tubulars because of "risk" lol

If there's any high level of risk it's from someone who buys a used bike with age old tubulars and dried glue and goes on a ride.
Lazyass is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 01:15 PM
  #10  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 39,215

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2311 Post(s)
Liked 1,098 Times in 577 Posts
Gluing up a tubular properly doesn't raise any greater potential liability than adjusting brakes or installing a headset.
caloso is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 01:38 PM
  #11  
daviddavieboy 
Senior Member
 
daviddavieboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Great White North
Posts: 778

Bikes: Yeah, I have some.

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 270 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 42 Posts
Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
. Any newbie here can do it properly by just watching one of the hundreds of you tube videos.
I just picked up my first set of tubulars and didnít have too much trouble mounting them. I had a flat and still rode it for a half mile and it never came off. It did take a couple tries to get them straight. They rode great and very smooth compared with the bontrager aw3 tires considering they were Vitoria rallys. Even got a couple PRs on the way home.
daviddavieboy is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 01:46 PM
  #12  
bruce19
Senior Member
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Posts: 7,336

Bikes: CAAD 12, MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1232 Post(s)
Liked 577 Times in 348 Posts
Former racer friends tell me they love them. They also say that, for the average cyclist, they are a bit of a PITA to deal with regarding flats on the road. Since I'm your average recreational rider, I've never felt the need to go to them for the small benefit I could feel. I've been happy with my Ksyrium Elites. Although I saw on GCN that the Mavic tubeless system seems pretty enticing.
bruce19 is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 01:50 PM
  #13  
Lazyass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 8,318

Bikes: Vintage steel, aluminum, modern carbon disc, single speed, MTB's, the works

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2006 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 46 Posts
Originally Posted by daviddavieboy View Post
It did take a couple tries to get them straight.
The biggest newbie mistake is probably mounting the tires and letting the glue dry before checking for lumps and flattening them out. Or not even knowing what is causing the lump and blaming a bad tire.
Lazyass is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 04:22 PM
  #14  
woodcraft
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 5,283
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1484 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 519 Times in 307 Posts
Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
You can find open tubular tires which give you the suppleness of a tubular but with ease of fixing flats and installing like a clincher. Personally I would go with those as it is easier to deal with over all. Since your budget is low it would likely be cheaper to get clinchers.

If you do use tubulars make sure you mount them properly and don't skip steps or try and do it quickly. If your tire comes off the rim it could be dangerous. Most shops won't glue tubs because of the risk factor involved. Give yourself plenty of time to glue them and let things set. Or you can just get some clinchers and have them mounted and out riding within a few minutes or less.


This is bs. There is not an issue with tubular tires coming off (CX excluded).

The average recreational rider would probably not notice if there was no glue at all.
woodcraft is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 04:38 PM
  #15  
Kontact
Senior Member
 
Kontact's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 3,595
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2146 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
I've glued many tubular tires as a pro mechanic. I would not call it easy to get a good, concentric mounting. Especially if you don't have a fair amount of hand strength.

I have seen wrecks from tires rolling, usually mounted by home mechanics. I'm sure they thought they followed the youtube instructions correctly.

If I were new to tubulars, I would have a good shop mount them, or I would pay a good shop to teach me to mount them - hands on.
Kontact is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 05:32 PM
  #16  
Lazyass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 8,318

Bikes: Vintage steel, aluminum, modern carbon disc, single speed, MTB's, the works

Mentioned: 60 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2006 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 46 Posts
It's easier to learn how to mount tubulars than it is to learn how to adjust derailleurs. I don't know when it supposedly became difficult. In the 90's I guess.
Lazyass is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 07:05 PM
  #17  
woodcraft
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 5,283
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1484 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 519 Times in 307 Posts
Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
I've glued many tubular tires as a pro mechanic. I would not call it easy to get a good, concentric mounting. Especially if you don't have a fair amount of hand strength.

I have seen wrecks from tires rolling, usually mounted by home mechanics. I'm sure they thought they followed the youtube instructions correctly.

If I were new to tubulars, I would have a good shop mount them, or I would pay a good shop to teach me to mount them - hands on.


Can you describe a wreck from a rolled tire that you saw?
woodcraft is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 07:11 PM
  #18  
Hellgate
Member
 
Hellgate's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 44

Bikes: 333fab Ti, Davidson Ti, Guru Flite CX, Peugeot PXN10E

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've not ridden tubbies in 20 years since my first wife stopped repairing them. The ride is awesome, much lighter, no pinch flat but object punctures are the same as a clicher. Try a nice Vittoria Corsa instead.
Hellgate is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 07:23 PM
  #19  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 6,300

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame, Ti 26 MTB

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1541 Post(s)
Liked 367 Times in 263 Posts
Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
This is bs. There is not an issue with tubular tires coming off (CX excluded).

The average recreational rider would probably not notice if there was no glue at all.
Tires can come off if they are not properly glued and the average recreational rider has no need for tubulars and very well could roll one off. They might not but the way some folks ride it is wholly possible.

Still rolling off during CX is rolling off.

Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
Everything you described is basic. Hell, up until the 80's any half serious cyclist knew how to do it. Any newbie here can do it properly by just watching one of the hundreds of you tube videos. Never in my life have I heard of a shop with a professional bicycle mechanic who would actually refuse to mount tubulars because of "risk" lol

If there's any high level of risk it's from someone who buys a used bike with age old tubulars and dried glue and goes on a ride.
Maybe you don't go to shops often? It can be a risk, you can deny it as much as you want but you know it is true. Yes it might not be the absolute most difficult thing to do to get it right and make sure it is done correctly and safely is something.
veganbikes is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 07:33 PM
  #20  
Kontact
Senior Member
 
Kontact's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 3,595
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2146 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Can you describe a wreck from a rolled tire that you saw?
I repaired the wrecked bikes. One I recall in particular crashed in Pyrenees on a descent during a bike tour organized by my shop's owner. He was behind the rider and saw him crash in a switchback. Bent handlebar, broken collar bone, road rash on rider and bike.
Kontact is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 08:02 PM
  #21  
Teamprovicycle
Banned
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Providence
Posts: 733

Bikes: Specialized tarmac sl2 giant tcx zero

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 319 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Im only thinking tubs because the aero wheels are cheaper in my area for abused set .
Teamprovicycle is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 11:01 PM
  #22  
woodcraft
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 5,283
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1484 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 519 Times in 307 Posts
Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
I repaired the wrecked bikes. One I recall in particular crashed in Pyrenees on a descent during a bike tour organized by my shop's owner. He was behind the rider and saw him crash in a switchback. Bent handlebar, broken collar bone, road rash on rider and bike.


Thanks.

When was that, roughly?
woodcraft is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 11:15 PM
  #23  
Kontact
Senior Member
 
Kontact's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 3,595
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2146 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Thanks.

When was that, roughly?
Fall of 2013. Why?
Kontact is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 11:20 PM
  #24  
woodcraft
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 5,283
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1484 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 519 Times in 307 Posts
Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Fall of 2013. Why?

Glue wasn't quite as good BITD.
woodcraft is offline  
Old 04-04-18, 11:33 PM
  #25  
50PlusCycling
Senior Member
 
50PlusCycling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 349
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 174 Post(s)
Liked 57 Times in 34 Posts
I love tubulars, and used to run them exclusively. But in those days, I was single, and had more free time, and didn't mind unsewing the tires to patch flats. Tubulars are smooth, fast, and handle better. In my experience, they are no less likely to get punctures than clinchers. Now that I don't have time to patch tubulars while watching TDF and Paris-Roubaix reruns on VHS, I run clinchers on all of my bikes.
50PlusCycling is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.