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sew ups ?

Old 09-26-20, 10:51 AM
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sew ups ?

I recently acquired a mint Trek 770, completely original with Campy Super Record gear. Even has the original Trek water bottle. I am trying to decide if I want to get a new pair of sew up tires for it. Never had sew ups before. My other bikes I carry a couple spare tubes when I ride in case of flats. What do you do when you have sew ups, carry a spare tire with you and change the tire when you have a flat ? How hard is it to change the tire out on the road ? Also how hard is it to repair the tire back home ?
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Old 09-26-20, 10:59 AM
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These days sew-ups are usually referred to as tubulars. IMO, they are not worth the work and expense unless you have a full-time mechanic to deal with them for you. Modern clinchers are really good, and then there is the tubeless option...
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Old 09-26-20, 11:11 AM
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I find tubs only worth the effort if you buy the high end ones such as Vittoria Corsa. They can really sing. I still remember the Clement Criterium silks for racing. Those were sweet tires.

Bottom line is that modern high end clinchers with latex tubes are darn close. Since I don't race, I wouldn't buy tubular rims but if I had them I wouldn't replace them either, especially if you want to keep the bike as close to original.

As far as repairing them, it isn't as bad as people make it out and there are services.
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Old 09-26-20, 11:40 AM
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Yes, you carry a spare tire. It is generally easier to put the spare on road-side than it is to replace a tube. Typically folks use an older, used tire for the spare, but I've had good results carrying a narrow, lightweight one which folds up not that much bigger than a tube.

Mounting the tires is more muss and fuss than with clinchers, and repairing a tire is a 20 minute project, but that happens infrequently.

I've ridden tubulars (on the road) exclusively for years including in your area & wore the last two rear tires to the cords without a flat.

If you watch youtube videos of tire mounting, ignore the ones that make it a multi-day, sky is falling ordeal, and favor the instructions that come with the tires, which describe the process in a few pictures.
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Old 09-26-20, 11:59 AM
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Tubeless is so much easier. I see no reason to go with tubs.
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Old 09-26-20, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dmanders View Post
I still remember the Clement Criterium silks for racing. Those were sweet tires.

Bottom line is that modern high end clinchers with latex tubes are darn close.
I remember having those Clement silks myself. The sound coming out of them was like wind going right through tire. They were wonderful.

To the OP, stick with your sew-ups. Learn how to perform road repairs. Enjoy what you have.
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Old 09-26-20, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Tubeless is so much easier. I see no reason to go with tubs.
I have tubeless, and they're great. But they don't have the feel and character of sew-ups.
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Old 09-26-20, 03:49 PM
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OP, the switch to sewups is a big deal. Like they say in addiction recovery, there is only one thing you have to change - everything. But - with that huge change come real rewards if you are willing do it. Really good sewups are magic carpets. The ride. Really good sewups are wonderful to corner on (assuming you've glued your tires well). You can hit rocks, potholes, RR tracksetc. and rarely pinch flat (even on cheap sewups).. All sewups are immune to one happening that can be a nightmare - the tire coming off the rim at speed, especially after flats or blowouts. Again, assming properly glued, you can have the worst possible blow out at 50 mph and just come to a stop, even using the brake gently on that wheel, Swap the tire and ride on like nothing happened, I haven't flatted at 50. But I have at 45. No big deal. In fact, small enough that I cannot remember if it was a front or rear. You can also ride as far as you need to on a flatted tire safely. Not great for the rim or tire, but if you have to get there, they won't stop you.

Gluing and tire changes on the road - many glues set up hard and are less than ideal stick when you throw another tire on dry out on the road. But the French Tubasti does not set up hard and dry changes stick quite well after a couple of miles of riding. I rode Tubasti 25 years. I'm planning to go back to sewups and will use it again. (I used Clement, a glue that set up hard for my race wheels, but Tubasti on my training and club race wheels as well as many thousands of miles of commuting. Tire changes - if you use a glue that isn't ridiculously hard, road changes take 5 minutes. Peel off the old tire, stretch another on. (Many of us use decent older tires as spares, Easy to mount. No skill required at all. You don't even need to get the tire on straight. (If you flat in the rain, snow, at night or in a bad neighborhood, tubulars are a real blessing!

To repair - get a tubular repair kit. Find a comfortable spot at a table and put on some music. I won't go into the instructions, they are available on line and on the patchkit but basically you have to pull the basetape away from the tire, make a neat cut n the stitching and pull it out in both directions, Tie it off securely to itself. Pull out some tube and patch, (Find that hole before you open the tire!) Boot tire if necessary. Now sew the tire back up, glue down the basetape. You're done.

Many of us buy sewups in bulk, store the ones we don't need now in a dark, cool, ozone free place, perhaps for quite a few years. Keep one per bike folded under the seat, perhaps in a bag or sock,under the seat, traditionally held by an old toestrap. Once we've repaired a flat, that tire becomes a spare and new ones go into the closet. Another trick - have an old rim (or new) and mount new tires dry on it prior to mounting on you wheels, This will stretch the new tire and make mounting on the wheel a lot easier.

Re: the word "sewups". There are some tubulars now that are not sewups. (Huh?) Sewup refers to the fact that the casing of the tire, instead of being "U" shaped and wrapping around a wire or Kevlar bead, is instead pulled completely around the innertube. Then the casing is sewn to itself to encapsulate the tube. (There is a tape on the inside to protect the tube from the stitching.) You can inflate the tire to full pressure on or off the bike. (You'll never get it on inflated and it will roll over to tread in when you inflate but it won't hurt the tire at all. Back to the word "sewup". The tire I just described is a sewup, In recent years, some manufacturers have made tubulars that have fully cylindrical casings, I believe with no tubes. Tufo for one. Tubular but not a sewup. I know little about these because they did not exist yet when I was riding sewups.

More than you wanted to know, but there it is. For more, find the recurring thread here "Totally Tubular". Totally Tubular Diablo Scott's been riding them as long as I have and has current knowledge on what's out there. He's a regular on that thread so easy to find. (There are many other knowledgeables too on the thread.)

Ben
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Old 09-26-20, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
OP, the switch to sewups is a big deal. Like they say in addiction recovery, there is only one thing you have to change - everything. But - with that huge change come real rewards if you are willing do it. Really good sewups are magic carpets. The ride. Really good sewups are wonderful to corner on (assuming you've glued your tires well). You can hit rocks, potholes, RR tracksetc. and rarely pinch flat (even on cheap sewups).. All sewups are immune to one happening that can be a nightmare - the tire coming off the rim at speed, especially after flats or blowouts. Again, assming properly glued, you can have the worst possible blow out at 50 mph and just come to a stop, even using the brake gently on that wheel, Swap the tire and ride on like nothing happened, I haven't flatted at 50. But I have at 45. No big deal. In fact, small enough that I cannot remember if it was a front or rear. You can also ride as far as you need to on a flatted tire safely. Not great for the rim or tire, but if you have to get there, they won't stop you.

Gluing and tire changes on the road - many glues set up hard and are less than ideal stick when you throw another tire on dry out on the road. But the French Tubasti does not set up hard and dry changes stick quite well after a couple of miles of riding. I rode Tubasti 25 years. I'm planning to go back to sewups and will use it again. (I used Clement, a glue that set up hard for my race wheels, but Tubasti on my training and club race wheels as well as many thousands of miles of commuting. Tire changes - if you use a glue that isn't ridiculously hard, road changes take 5 minutes. Peel off the old tire, stretch another on. (Many of us use decent older tires as spares, Easy to mount. No skill required at all. You don't even need to get the tire on straight. (If you flat in the rain, snow, at night or in a bad neighborhood, tubulars are a real blessing!

To repair - get a tubular repair kit. Find a comfortable spot at a table and put on some music. I won't go into the instructions, they are available on line and on the patchkit but basically you have to pull the basetape away from the tire, make a neat cut n the stitching and pull it out in both directions, Tie it off securely to itself. Pull out some tube and patch, (Find that hole before you open the tire!) Boot tire if necessary. Now sew the tire back up, glue down the basetape. You're done.

Many of us buy sewups in bulk, store the ones we don't need now in a dark, cool, ozone free place, perhaps for quite a few years. Keep one per bike folded under the seat, perhaps in a bag or sock,under the seat, traditionally held by an old toestrap. Once we've repaired a flat, that tire becomes a spare and new ones go into the closet. Another trick - have an old rim (or new) and mount new tires dry on it prior to mounting on you wheels, This will stretch the new tire and make mounting on the wheel a lot easier.

Re: the word "sewups". There are some tubulars now that are not sewups. (Huh?) Sewup refers to the fact that the casing of the tire, instead of being "U" shaped and wrapping around a wire or Kevlar bead, is instead pulled completely around the innertube. Then the casing is sewn to itself to encapsulate the tube. (There is a tape on the inside to protect the tube from the stitching.) You can inflate the tire to full pressure on or off the bike. (You'll never get it on inflated and it will roll over to tread in when you inflate but it won't hurt the tire at all. Back to the word "sewup". The tire I just described is a sewup, In recent years, some manufacturers have made tubulars that have fully cylindrical casings, I believe with no tubes. Tufo for one. Tubular but not a sewup. I know little about these because they did not exist yet when I was riding sewups.

More than you wanted to know, but there it is. For more, find the recurring thread here "Totally Tubular". Totally Tubular Diablo Scott's been riding them as long as I have and has current knowledge on what's out there. He's a regular on that thread so easy to find. (There are many other knowledgeables too on the thread.)

Ben
RUN! For the sake of god, RUN. There is a reason that less than 1% of the cycling world use tubulars and unless you get to the Pro tour, racers don't use them either. Just run a great supple clincher like a Turbo Cotton and latex tube, be done with it. A few minutes to change a flat on the side of the road and few minutes to repair the tube when home that's it. I have yet to ever see or met someone who has had a clincher come off the rim due to a flat. World tour Pro's actually need to ride on the flat if a support vehicle is not nearby thus the risk of dismounting the tire, understanding of course both the tire and the rim are destroyed by doing this.

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Old 09-26-20, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
OP, the switch to sewups is a big deal. Like they say in addiction recovery, there is only one thing you have to change - everything. But - with that huge change come real rewards if you are willing do it. Really good sewups are magic carpets. The ride. Really good sewups are wonderful to corner on (assuming you've glued your tires well). You can hit rocks, potholes, RR tracksetc. and rarely pinch flat (even on cheap sewups).. All sewups are immune to one happening that can be a nightmare - the tire coming off the rim at speed, especially after flats or blowouts. Again, assming properly glued, you can have the worst possible blow out at 50 mph and just come to a stop, even using the brake gently on that wheel, Swap the tire and ride on like nothing happened, I haven't flatted at 50. But I have at 45. No big deal. In fact, small enough that I cannot remember if it was a front or rear. You can also ride as far as you need to on a flatted tire safely. Not great for the rim or tire, but if you have to get there, they won't stop you.

Gluing and tire changes on the road - many glues set up hard and are less than ideal stick when you throw another tire on dry out on the road. But the French Tubasti does not set up hard and dry changes stick quite well after a couple of miles of riding. I rode Tubasti 25 years. I'm planning to go back to sewups and will use it again. (I used Clement, a glue that set up hard for my race wheels, but Tubasti on my training and club race wheels as well as many thousands of miles of commuting. Tire changes - if you use a glue that isn't ridiculously hard, road changes take 5 minutes. Peel off the old tire, stretch another on. (Many of us use decent older tires as spares, Easy to mount. No skill required at all. You don't even need to get the tire on straight. (If you flat in the rain, snow, at night or in a bad neighborhood, tubulars are a real blessing!

To repair - get a tubular repair kit. Find a comfortable spot at a table and put on some music. I won't go into the instructions, they are available on line and on the patchkit but basically you have to pull the basetape away from the tire, make a neat cut n the stitching and pull it out in both directions, Tie it off securely to itself. Pull out some tube and patch, (Find that hole before you open the tire!) Boot tire if necessary. Now sew the tire back up, glue down the basetape. You're done.

Many of us buy sewups in bulk, store the ones we don't need now in a dark, cool, ozone free place, perhaps for quite a few years. Keep one per bike folded under the seat, perhaps in a bag or sock,under the seat, traditionally held by an old toestrap. Once we've repaired a flat, that tire becomes a spare and new ones go into the closet. Another trick - have an old rim (or new) and mount new tires dry on it prior to mounting on you wheels, This will stretch the new tire and make mounting on the wheel a lot easier.

Re: the word "sewups". There are some tubulars now that are not sewups. (Huh?) Sewup refers to the fact that the casing of the tire, instead of being "U" shaped and wrapping around a wire or Kevlar bead, is instead pulled completely around the innertube. Then the casing is sewn to itself to encapsulate the tube. (There is a tape on the inside to protect the tube from the stitching.) You can inflate the tire to full pressure on or off the bike. (You'll never get it on inflated and it will roll over to tread in when you inflate but it won't hurt the tire at all. Back to the word "sewup". The tire I just described is a sewup, In recent years, some manufacturers have made tubulars that have fully cylindrical casings, I believe with no tubes. Tufo for one. Tubular but not a sewup. I know little about these because they did not exist yet when I was riding sewups.

More than you wanted to know, but there it is. For more, find the recurring thread here "Totally Tubular". Totally Tubular Diablo Scott's been riding them as long as I have and has current knowledge on what's out there. He's a regular on that thread so easy to find. (There are many other knowledgeables too on the thread.)

Ben
Ben,
Thanks for the great info on tubulars ! The thread "Totally Tubular" is a wealth of information.

Also thanks to everyone for your info. !

I owe it to myself to try tubulars. I think I will jump in and try them. I want to keep this old Trek original. I want to use toe clips and straps too Thanks for helping a sew up (tubular) neophyte to learn.
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Old 09-26-20, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by frogman View Post
Ben,
Thanks for the great info on tubulars ! The thread "Totally Tubular" is a wealth of information.

Also thanks to everyone for your info. !

I owe it to myself to try tubulars. I think I will jump in and try them. I want to keep this old Trek original. I want to use toe clips and straps too Thanks for helping a sew up (tubular) neophyte to learn.
I still use toeclips. straps and traditional slotted cleats on my fix gears. I never want to pull a foot off going downhill fast and be hit in the back of my ankle with a 20 RPM pedal driven with gear reduction by all the weight of me and the bike. It does mean falling over at a standstill when I forget. That's OK. The embarassment hurts a lot less and is over with far faster.
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Old 09-26-20, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I still use toeclips. straps and traditional slotted cleats on my fix gears. I never want to pull a foot off going downhill fast and be hit in the back of my ankle with a 20 RPM pedal driven with gear reduction by all the weight of me and the bike. It does mean falling over at a standstill when I forget. That's OK. The embarassment hurts a lot less and is over with far faster.

I know the feeling. On my roadbike with Look pedals, when I was first getting used to them I coasted up to stop at a stop light and tried to put my right foot out for the curb and forgot I had the Look cleats on. I fell over on the sidewalk. Totally embarrassed........... the driver in the car next to me asked if I was OK. I said "Im fine, just a dumb mistake"
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Old 09-26-20, 08:18 PM
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Thereís basically one advantage left for tubulars. You can ride them flat. That can be a big deal racing; ask Abraham Olano.

Other than that, with really good clinchers and tubeless options, there is really no reason to ride tubulars.
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Old 09-26-20, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Thereís basically one advantage left for tubulars. You can ride them flat. That can be a big deal racing; ask Abraham Olano.

Other than that, with really good clinchers and tubeless options, there is really no reason to ride tubulars.
Disagree. I'm on tubeless and they have nowhere near the feel of silk sew-ups.
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Old 09-26-20, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
Disagree. I'm on tubeless and they have nowhere near the feel of silk sew-ups.

They also give something to wax on at length about that you used to do.
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Old 09-27-20, 04:39 AM
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Not much to add, other than to agree that although there may be something “special” about tubulars, the benefits are very modest and the hassle factor is huge.

There is a reason why you can get a great price on “barely used” tubular wheel sets.
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Old 09-27-20, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
I have tubeless, and they're great. But they don't have the feel and character of sew-ups.
I've heard that from some friends. I don't have a basis of comparison.
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Old 09-27-20, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I still use toeclips. straps and traditional slotted cleats on my fix gears. I never want to pull a foot off going downhill fast and be hit in the back of my ankle with a 20 RPM pedal driven with gear reduction by all the weight of me and the bike. It does mean falling over at a standstill when I forget. That's OK. The embarassment hurts a lot less and is over with far faster.
Slotted cleats are still available?!
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Old 09-27-20, 06:25 AM
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I wonder how many people who tell us that tubulars are so difficult and are not worth the ď hassle ď have ever ridden tubulars?
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Old 09-27-20, 08:28 AM
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The point of the hard glue is less rolling resistance, btw.

Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
There’s basically one advantage left for tubulars. You can ride them flat. That can be a big deal racing; ask Abraham Olano.

Other than that, with really good clinchers and tubeless options, there is really no reason to ride tubulars.
Unless you figure maybe 200g or so less at the rim might be worth something...
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Old 09-27-20, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by waters60 View Post
Slotted cleats are still available?!
Yes. Exustar makes aluminum cleats that fit LOOK 3-bolt shoes. Excellent cleats. ~$20. Easiest cleat to dial in the angle that I have ever used. Tighten cleat screws to semi-tight. slide your foot in the pedal, twist until perfect, lift your foot out and tighten. Realy good slots that last a log time. (But they are aluminum so they will eat aluminum cages. They will barely scuff chrome steel cages.)

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Old 09-27-20, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by waters60 View Post
I wonder how many people who tell us that tubulars are so difficult and are not worth the ď hassle ď have ever ridden tubulars?
I have. I used to use them back in the 1980's. I used them for several years. I do honestly feel they are not worth the hassle for most of us, but of course YMMV.
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Old 09-27-20, 03:42 PM
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I am on tubs (Veloflex Arenburg) and am on the lookout but never see these cheap used wheelsets people write about. Maybe some Firecrests here or there but not cheap.

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Old 09-27-20, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by waters60 View Post
I wonder how many people who tell us that tubulars are so difficult and are not worth the ď hassle ď have ever ridden tubulars?
Iíve got wheelsets in tubular, tubed clincher and tubeless clinchers.

Other than some gravel and endurance races, I havenít raced in the last 5 years. Before that I raced on tubulars, given that there was always support with a fresh wheel.

Given the improvement in tubeless clinchers, if I went back to racing cries and road races, I think itís debatable I ride tubulars. And riding without a support car no way Iím riding tubulars any more.
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Old 09-27-20, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by waters60 View Post
I wonder how many people who tell us that tubulars are so difficult and are not worth the ď hassle ď have ever ridden tubulars?
Spent at least a decade riding tubulars and countless hours patching them in front of the tv or glueing onto rims in the 70ís and part of the 80ís. Compared to anything else available at the time there was no comparison regarding ride quality and efficiency. All that changed with the advent of the open tubular type clincher tires. Vittoria corsa Cx were an amazing tire and equivalent or better than a tubular in every way. A supple tubeless tire or great tubed tire like my current favourite Specialized Turbo Cotton with a latex tube is easily as good as any tubular but incredibly more convenient. This talk about being able to safely ride a tubular when flat Is a strange fixation, it ruins both the tire and the rim and only applies in incredibly rare competitive circumstances. Itís more likely a rider gets more than one flat on a ride and then they are screwed. On day long outings I usually carry 2 tubes and some instant patches should they be required.
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