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Tubulars for safety

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Tubulars for safety

Old 11-19-05, 12:20 PM
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telenick
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Tubulars for safety

I keep coming back to the idea of running tubulars. Why? First and foremost, because of safety. Then the ride quality ...next weight reduction ...next the reduction of flats and finally for the OCP factor.

But safety is what keeps me bringing it back to the front burner of "what to buy next". My main concern is the blowout on a fast descent while riding clinchers. I live in the Central Colorado Rockies. 90% of my rides involve descending a pass at high speed. It's just the nature of the beast. Riding the brakes is dangerous because that will result in a heated rim and eventually a blowout. So you either let 'er rip, or you tap the brakes. The difference is really only about 10 mph. If I get a blowout on a clincher, then the chance of the tire peeling off the rim is practically guaranteed. With a tubular, the chance of a blowout is much, much less and tire will stay glued on the rim if it does blow. You can see that there's a BIG difference in the safety factor here.

I ran tubulars exclusively for 8 years. My only gripe is that they are spendy. But they're not that spendy if you factor into the cost of clinchers and multiple inner tubes. But at the end of the day, tubies are more spendy when you compare them to clincher tires of the same quality and performance. They're super easy to mount. They even easier to change during a ride. I can swap out tubie tires in less than 90 seconds ...anyone can. They do have a wonderful ride quality.

I sold the bike that had the tubular rims when I got my Seven. The Seven came with Campy Neutron clinchers. So I entered the world of clinchers by way of fate.

What do you think?
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Old 11-19-05, 12:25 PM
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Tubular clinchers maybe? I know what you mean about needing to brake on some of these descents. I'm trying to figure out how to put on a front disc brake on my old road bike now.
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Old 11-19-05, 12:33 PM
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If you worry about generating enough heat by braking to blow out a clincher, is there not an even greater possibility that you will melt the glue on a tubular?
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Old 11-19-05, 12:39 PM
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Exactly what kind of responses are you looking for if you've already rode sew-ups for 8 years??? I switched to clinchers for the cost factor, and am spoiled by how they have simplified my life. No need anymore to have a bunch of tires hanging in the closet, nor having a couple of pairs pre-stretching on spare wheels.
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Old 11-19-05, 12:41 PM
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That's urban myth for the most part.

The amount of heat needed to blow an inner tube is way, way less than the heat required to degrade the glue. I've never heard of it happening from a reliable source. And, in my eight years of riding tubies ...it's never been an issue. I have friends who have been riding tubies for over 20 years ...same experiences.
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Old 11-19-05, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by pigmode
Exactly what kind of responses are you looking for if you've already rode sew-ups for 8 years??? I switched to clinchers for the cost factor, and am spoiled by how they have simplified my life. No need anymore to have a bunch of tires hanging in the closet, nor having a couple of pairs pre-stretching on spare wheels.
Okay, my premise for posting this is ...this is a cycling forum ...in here we share ideas, commraderie, thoughts and useful information. I think this is a useful post because it discusses something of a higher level that is cycling related. It's certainly has a more salient content for the level of sofistication of this board than say the usual shaving thread. At the very least, I'm hoping that it will benefit me.

Is that helpful?

I wouldn't consider myself an expert by way of 8 years. I am looking to draw on the experience of others.

Like I said ...What do you think?

Last edited by telenick; 11-19-05 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 11-19-05, 12:46 PM
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I'm not sure a tubular/clincher i.e. Tufo
will hold that well if deflated, its still being
held to the rim by the beading.

fwiw if I lived in Colorado I wouldn't
ride anything but tubulars.
wait. . .all I ride IS tubulars.
heat (texas) has never been a factor
if glued properly.

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Old 11-19-05, 12:54 PM
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So have any of you blown out a clincher from brake-generated heat? Or is this (also) an "urban myth"?

Last edited by Sluggo; 11-19-05 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 11-19-05, 12:54 PM
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If you'll feel more confident with tubulars, I'd say go for it. If we had similar mountainous terrain here, I know I would.
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Old 11-19-05, 12:57 PM
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Yeah, I agree Lotek. I'm not sold on Tufos. Albeit, they are a neat idea. But ther was never anything wrong with tubulars in the first place that Tufo needed to fix.

Tufos are great if you really don't want to switch to tubie rims.

I would argue why not switch? Either go tubular or go clincher. You'll save a pound of weight by switching to tubie rims and you'll get a much larger selection of tubie tires than what Tufo has to offer. Also you'll have the flexibility of having both types of rims.
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Old 11-19-05, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Sluggo
So have any of you blown out a clincher from brake-generated heat?
Yep. I have. And I witnessed it happening to another rider just moments later. I was descending at around 52 mph on the west side of Loveland Pass during the '89 Triple Bypass. That was the same year that the Courage Classic was on the same route, same day. This CC lady was pedaling up the west side of Loveland and decided that she didn't want to go the whole way up. So she pulled a U turn just before a turn right into the path a TBP descender. The crash required Flight For Life to Denver because of massive head injuries. On my descent, I rounded the turn and came upon a mass of riders that were stopped to assist. I braked hard for what seemed like 30 seconds and BAM! just as my bike came to a stop. Then I dismounted and got the hell out of the way. A minute later the same exact thing happened to another rider that came upon the scene in a blaze of speed. He also blew his tube just as his bike came to a stop.
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Old 11-19-05, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Sluggo
Or is this (also) an "urban myth"?
Gee, tough crowd. I'm going skiing. We have 60" already and patrol is opening new bowl terrain today at 1:00. Resolution Bowl and Lower Enchanted Forest. Eyeing my new K2 Work Stinx with Hammerheads. What a day! Bluebird skies and freshies.

I guess I'll go tubular when I can afford to. Now is the season for discretionary income to be spent on ski gear.
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Old 11-19-05, 03:27 PM
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I know you're curious...

It was awesome. Skiing powder rules all else. Resolution Bowl was tracked up after two runs. I got there for the ceremonial rope drop. Then there was the usual directed skiing by 'trollers so as to avoid the rocks that had been exposed by wind. I didn't bother with Enchanted Forest ...it takes too long to return to the top.

Now I'm back at work.
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Old 11-19-05, 03:42 PM
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Why not convert to tubeless clinchers? You'll be less likely to get a puncture flat and there's not tube to burn through.
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Old 11-19-05, 03:53 PM
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Now I am scared to ride my clinchers... I wish I never knew about this.




!!!
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Old 11-19-05, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by duckliondog
Why not convert to tubeless clinchers? You'll be less likely to get a puncture flat and there's not tube to burn through.
Why are you less likely to get a puncture flat with a tubless clincher than a tubular tire?

Why not convert to tubless clinchers?

Weak tire choices.
No benefit of weight savings. Tubular rims vs. a clincher rims represent a differnce of 1 lb.
No benefit of glue holding the tire in the case of a descending blowout. (Where this thread really began.)
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Old 11-19-05, 03:57 PM
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So what if you are 100 miles out from home and you get a flat... do you have to reglue a new tire on the road? Does that mean you have to carry an entire tire with you? That's sort of brutal!
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Old 11-19-05, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cmcenroe
Now I am scared to ride my clinchers... I wish I never knew about this.




!!!
What's scary is how many rec riders are unaware of this.
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Old 11-19-05, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by cmcenroe
So what if you are 100 miles out from home and you get a flat... do you have to reglue a new tire on the road? Does that mean you have to carry an entire tire with you? That's sort of brutal!
The glue is semi-tacky, so you can peel off the flat tyre and the replacement tyre will hav been pre-treated with glue. The two semi-tacky surfaces will stick to each other quite well.

I think the flat-potential for both is about the same. In general, while tubulars may be less susceptible to pinched flats, they are more prone to debris and glass since they have thinner casings and very few have kevlar belts. So overall, the rates of flats shouldn't really be that different. I suspect that those tubular clinchers would have the same rates as well since you've got the same sharp-edge clincher rim and you'd be pinching through two layers of tube and two layers of sidewall regardless of how the tyre's attached to the rim.

What I do is run heavy-duty touring clincher setup with the works for flat-prevention and use tubulars for racing. Saving 1lb per wheel makes a tremendous difference in the feel and speed.
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Old 11-19-05, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by cmcenroe
So what if you are 100 miles out from home and you get a flat... do you have to reglue a new tire on the road? Does that mean you have to carry an entire tire with you? That's sort of brutal!
No what's brutal is having to ride home with road rash ...at best.

Yes, you should carry an extra tire. Most people carry a never used TT tubular as a spare because they will provide adequate performance for getting you home, they are super light and they are much smaller to pack than a regular tire.

No, you don't need to re-glue another tire. The tacky glue residue on the rim and on your spare added to the air pressure will be more than sufficient to provide solid purchase of tire to rim.

Tubulars are far less likely to flat than a clincher. The tire casing is much thicker where the rubber meets the road than a clincher. This is the biggest reason for their great road feel.
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Old 11-19-05, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
I think the flat-potential for both is about the same. In general, while tubulars may be less susceptible to pinched flats, they are more prone to debris and glass since they have thinner casings and very few have kevlar belts. So overall, the rates of flats shouldn't really be that different. I suspect that those tubular clinchers would have the same rates as well since you've got the same sharp-edge clincher rim and you'd be pinching through two layers of tube and two layers of sidewall regardless of how the tyre's attached to the rim.

)
I had always thought that tubulars had a thicker rubber casing on the running surface. Like I said ...I ain't no expert.

But why is it that I had put thousands of miles over eight years on tubulars and only ever flatted twice? I flat at least once every year on clinchers ...same miles, same roads.
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Old 11-19-05, 04:27 PM
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The only heat generation/glue problems I ever had with tubulars was on a 155 mile ride in Florida with air temperatures near 100 F. Who knows what the road surface temperatures were that day. The issue that caused flats was not the glue between the tubular and the rim, but the glue between the base tape and the casing. Eventually it got soft enough to cause some slipping, but the base tape/rim glue job held just fine. Eventually enough rubbing between the base tape and the casing caused a stitch to pop so that the tube herniated and eventually punctured from rubbing between the base tape and the casing. I got two flats that day via that failure mode. Of course the failure mode was very benign in terms of bike stability as all it really did was create a very slow leak, the kind you can get from a "bruise" on the tube. OF course I am really careful in my tubular gluing. Many times when rolling off an old tubular the base tape stays on the rim and the casing rolls off. No big deal, but it does inspire a lot of confidence when cornering hard.
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Old 11-19-05, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by telenick
Gee, tough crowd. I'm going skiing.
Sorry, did not mean that to sound so negative. However, I am not convinced that tubulars are inherently safer. How much heat does it take to blow a tire that probably stays on the rim at 180 psi? I am betting that tubular glue would be pretty soft at the same temperature. I have seen crashes from tubulars rolling off the rim (though not from heat). I have also descended some pretty big mountains, with and without a full touring load, and never blown a tire off (your blow-out story was pretty impressive, though).

I say, if you want tubulars, go for tubulars. They have their own charms. In fact, this whole discussion makes me misty-eyed-nostalgic over del mondo setas. I am just not convinced that safety is the reason to make the switch.
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Old 11-19-05, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Sluggo
Sorry, did not mean that to sound so negative. However, I am not convinced that tubulars are inherently safer. How much heat does it take to blow a tire that probably stays on the rim at 180 psi? I am betting that tubular glue would be pretty soft at the same temperature. I have seen crashes from tubulars rolling off the rim (though not from heat). I have also descended some pretty big mountains, with and without a full touring load, and never blown a tire off (your blow-out story was pretty impressive, though).

I say, if you want tubulars, go for tubulars. They have their own charms. In fact, this whole discussion makes me misty-eyed-nostalgic over del mondo setas. I am just not convinced that safety is the reason to make the switch.
I was just being melodramatic, Sluggo.

Apparently the inner tube can blow due to excessive heat on the rim from braking. Then the tire goes flat and gets peeled off the rim during hard braking. At that point it's aluminum on asphalt.

This thread made you misty eyed? Your makeup is going to run. I'm touched by you admission of emotional outpouring. I appreciate your input, Sluggo. And I'm a long time Zippy fan.

I should talk to my mechanic dood and ask him what he thinks. He'll probably growl at me.
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Old 11-19-05, 05:19 PM
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I think i might do some tests on some old tubes to see at what temperature I would have to worry. If I were to blow out due to braking at high speed, isn't it pretty likely that I would riding at a fairly low speed at the point anyway? I assume that the thermal energy generated by braking in order to raise the temp enough in the rim would be great enough to slow you down substantially assuming you are not going ridiculously fast. But even if I did blow out, what would be the advantage of having the tire left on the rim versus bare aluminum? It is likely that either would damage the rim. Wouldn't bare aluminum on the road exhibit a greater lateral friction force than a tire on tire (in the case of tubular) lateral friction? If that doesn't make sense I can explain what I mean better.

Colin
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