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Tufo Tubular Clincher review, advice needed

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Tufo Tubular Clincher review, advice needed

Old 09-05-06, 08:29 AM
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DRLski
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Tufo Tubular Clincher review, advice needed

Well, after riding on my Tufo Tubular Clinchers for a few months I've decided to write something up since I seem to be having problems with them lately. I've been using them on 2 seperate bikes, both bikes with Tufo C S33 Special tubular clincher tires. They were extremely hard to get on the first time trying it but once I figured out how to mount them I can now dismount and mount them within a minute or two and without any tools. I love how you can run them at higher pressures for a faster/harder ride or a lower pressure for a softer ride, I've been running mine at 140psi during training rides and 160-170psi during races. I believe the biggest performance difference that I see is in the rain, they tread water extremely well, in fact while riding you can see the stream of water in front of you that they're spitting out, and gives me more confidence on wet roads, especially when turning and descents. The ride of these tires are unbelievable compared to my Michelin Carbons that I had.

That was the good, now for the bad. Since these are larger than a tube and don't fold up as much as a regular tubular tire I'm forced to ride with quite a large seat bag to hold a spare tire which is the least of my worries. The main thing I've been concerned with is that the middle of the tire, the sidewalls are holding up great and have had a few slices from glass and such and they're still holding up, I've also seen no wear, however the middle of the tire is not as great. I already blew one tire that had a hole in the middle of the tread the size of a pin hole that blew when I filled my tire up when I noticed that the pressure was a tad low. The only thing that the sealant did was spray all over the ground making a mess. Now on a second tire I notice that there's another pin hole that seems to have a small pebble in it that I'm concerned about. I don't think I've even seen holes like these in my Michelin Carbons. Anyone else ever have issues like these with your tubular clinchers? I figured for the price I'm paying these tires should be holding up a bit better again pebbles than they are.

I'm thinking about switching to Conti Gran Prix 4000s at least for training rides, will those hold up better?
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Old 09-05-06, 08:37 AM
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Hmm how many miles do you have on them? I am nearing 1300 miles on my S33 Specials (tubular not TC but it is the same tire) and while I do have some cutting in the tread area and the rear is starting to square off I have yet to have a flat (there is sealant in these). I set off on a 80 mile ride yesterday with no spare to speak of and wasn't worried about it. I do think I hit something on Sunday that the sealant took care of as there was a white spot on the tire and I needed a top off yesterday.

I have been very with them and will be getting a new set of 2007.
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Old 09-05-06, 08:45 AM
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only a few hundred miles on each tire since I switch off between bikes, I've only had them for a few months.
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Old 09-05-06, 10:34 AM
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I've had less problems with flats after I started deflating the tires at the end of the day.

Also, I rarely run my S33 Specials (tubular clinchers) at anything greater than 120 psi unless I'm on a paved trail where it is less likely to come across glass or metal shards. I rode them for 62 miles on the road (littered with glass and other crap) yesterday at 120 psi and this morning, commuting, at 100 psi in the rain--no problem. I haven't been using the sealant until I absolutely have to.

You can seal exterior cuts using Shoe Goo as long as you haven't used Tufo sealant. YMMV using Shoe Goo for punctures.

I've been able to fold a spare S33 Special tight enough to fit in my jersey pocket along with a tube of sealant (just in case) and small plastic box that contains spare valve extenders, valves, and Tufo valve removal tools. My jerseys are men's small.

Last edited by NoRacer; 09-05-06 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 09-05-06, 03:54 PM
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Well i've been using my tufo's exclusively on 2 bikes for over a year now. I've used Tubular Clincher's, Elite Roads, Carbon's, s33 special, and jet special.

I was thinking about posting since i recently had a stroke of bad luck.

It started with a "mystery flat" HIC-Carbon i had raced on all season (~400km) one day about 1km out of my driveway. My rear tire just suddenly was flat. No puncture, and sealant seemed to do nothing. The air was actually leaking out around the hole in the tire that the valve stem sticks out of. So it was covered under warratee and i got a new one.

A couple weeks later, i'm riding the new replacement HIC-Carbon and i'm about 45k outside the city and *PING* i felt a rock flick up and it must have hit the side wall just the wrong way and i had a flat. It was quite big so the sealant couldn't do much and i didn't have glue on me. Luckily a fellow cyclist drove by in his station wagon and gave me a ride back into town.

The next week i'm riding an old Elite road (front tire from last season) to replace the rear carbon that has the side wall cut. I get 10k outside the city trying to catch up to a group and i hear *PSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHH*, massive cut (7mm) and i'm coasting along on my flat tubular clincher. Great. Of course this could have happened to any tire so no biggie.

So i turn to my other bike. My synapse has a jet special on the front and s33 special on the back. Great combo, and both were filled with a different anti puncture goo. Tire slime, works great, and i like it a little more then the tufo stuff. I've already worn thru a rear s33 special (right down to the threads under the rubber ~1600km). So i put a new s33 special on there and and instead use the tufo sealant in this one again since i had it handy when i installed the tire.
4 days ago i'm on a club ride, ridding my synapse with the jet and s33 special, i get another "mystery flat" on the rear tire which has tufo's regular sealant. I try to pump it but with no luck (lose's air as fast and i can pump it in. Again it's leaking air around the valve stem hole so this tire is probably going to have to be warranteed aswell.

That's 3 rides in a row (first one was a while ago), i've flatted in the middle of a ride with tufo's. (i have an injured back so the rest of my rides have just been recovery rides on the rollers). In the second two casse's i didn't have anymore tufo tires to carry as a spare, and like the others said, they are a bit of a pain to fold up small enough to fit in even the biggeset seat pack.

So i'm out of tufo tires and decide to put on the original tires that came with my synapse Conti Ultra Sport (wow i really didn't miss tire leavers took me a good 5 minutes to mount each tire). Did 100km on sunday solo, with a patch kit in my pocket. Didn't have a single problem.

I also didn't have a single problem with my tufo's for 1600km when i was using Tire slime (green) sealant.

I was able to patch the hole on the sidewall of my carbon with some glue, a peice of tire patch, some more glue, and some sealant.

So will i give up tufo's since the big run of bad luck? No probably not, i still love the simple no tools installation, and the reliability of knowing i won't get a tube blow out. I just have to make sure i'm always carrying a spare. And the smalle the tire, the smaller it can fold up if done right. I'll probably keep the Conti's on my synapse for now for comparrison. I may even pick up some michelin pro2race's for my racing bike next year. And put tufo's back on my synapse once the conti's run down.

Finaly some rules of thumb i've noticed that seem to work for me:

-Always use sealant from day one as a preventative measure.
-Use a sealant that won't dry up sitting in the tire, and that can hold pressure in cuts better (ex:tire slime), tufo's sealant is a little to watery/greasy. There's a couple other brands out there, dont' be afraid to try them.
-Always test out patch jobs overnight to see if they'll hold riding pressure for longer then 5 minutes.
-Suck it up and carry a spare. (Most tufo's can be folded quite small, the trick is to squeeze all the air out as you're folding, otherwise you'll end up with something that looks like a giant boot sized prezel.)


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Old 09-05-06, 06:48 PM
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thanks for the info, sounds like a somewhat similar situation to myself. We'll have to see what happens I guess, as I said I LOVE these tufo tires but may have to experiment a bit to see if they're really worth it.
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Old 09-05-06, 08:41 PM
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I love Tufos, but after a rash of blow outs earlier this year I decided to ditch them. I had C Elites on both my bikes and blew out three of the four tires. I had Tufo Sealant in both tires and I guess they held up fine with the smaller punctures, but when they blew out they were pretty catastrophic. Pssssshhhhhhhhh.
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Old 09-05-06, 08:48 PM
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What kind of rims are you guys using? I thought about the Tufo's ... but my AC420s have a rim limit of 120 psi, which I can get on my Conti clinchers so there's no point running Tufo's as I'd only want to run then at higher psi for racing. I'd like to try them though.
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Old 09-05-06, 09:16 PM
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You need not worry about what wheels you're mounting tufo's on, as long as they meet the rim width requirements (~13mm inside width, which most roadie rims do). The pressure is contained entirely inside the tire so you can run a tufo at 170psi on a clincher rim that's only rated for 120.
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Old 09-05-06, 09:31 PM
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I've ridden the Tufo C Elites for a year and changed back to conventional clincher tires and tubes. They ride just fine as I've had no performance issues. I've had 2 flats, the first was close enough to home so I just rode the flat, no problem there. The flat I had on the road required a stop and a tire change, I had a spare so that was fine too. The problem lies in having to carry an entire spare. I finally decided that it's just more convenient to carry a spare tube which takes up much less room. It's an innovative design which I like, I'm just not convinced it's a better mousetrap. I've used them on my training wheels, the race wheels are tubular.
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Old 09-06-06, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMan
What kind of rims are you guys using? I thought about the Tufo's ... but my AC420s have a rim limit of 120 psi, which I can get on my Conti clinchers so there's no point running Tufo's as I'd only want to run then at higher psi for racing. I'd like to try them though.
I've run Tufo C Elite Road tires on my AC420s at 180 psi with no problem. As stated, Tufo tubular clinchers do not exert the same forces on the rim as do regular clincher tire/tube pairs.
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Old 09-06-06, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Louman
I've ridden the Tufo C Elites for a year and changed back to conventional clincher tires and tubes. They ride just fine as I've had no performance issues. I've had 2 flats, the first was close enough to home so I just rode the flat, no problem there. The flat I had on the road required a stop and a tire change, I had a spare so that was fine too. The problem lies in having to carry an entire spare. I finally decided that it's just more convenient to carry a spare tube which takes up much less room. It's an innovative design which I like, I'm just not convinced it's a better mousetrap. I've used them on my training wheels, the race wheels are tubular.
The reasons I continue using the Tufo tubular clinchers are:

1 - Puncture resistance - they seem to do better at a higher pressure than regular clinchers. I can run these at 120 psi and have a very comfortable ride. Regular clincher/tire pairs offer a harsher ride at near max rim rating.

2 - Blow-out protection - If I'm riding down a hill at 40 mph, I want to be sure that the tire will not have a catastrophic blowout and peel off the rim.

3 - Ability to ride a flat - When I do get a puncture, I can place sealant in it and pump it up to about 40-60 psi and continue to ride (or, usually, just ride it home). I've ridden a punctured tire filled at low pressure for 30 miles reaching speeds of 20 mph at times--no problem.
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Old 09-06-06, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by NoRacer
The reasons I continue using the Tufo tubular clinchers are:

1 - Puncture resistance - they seem to do better at a higher pressure than regular clinchers. I can run these at 120 psi and have a very comfortable ride. Regular clincher/tire pairs offer a harsher ride at near max rim rating.

2 - Blow-out protection - If I'm riding down a hill at 40 mph, I want to be sure that the tire will not have a catastrophic blowout and peel off the rim.

3 - Ability to ride a flat - When I do get a puncture, I can place sealant in it and pump it up to about 40-60 psi and continue to ride (or, usually, just ride it home). I've ridden a punctured tire filled at low pressure for 30 miles reaching speeds of 20 mph at times--no problem.
I definitely agree with all 3 of these, these are the reasons why I started riding tubular clinchers in the first place, but it's getting costly that I need to keep replacing them. I may only use them for races since that is when I'll most likely be traveling at higher speeds.
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Old 09-06-06, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Louman
I'm just not convinced it's a better mousetrap.
I was thinking of trying Tufo's next season, but after reading the above comments, there is no way I'm buying them. They don't weigh any less than good clinchers when you take into account the spare and the sealant. They are more expensive. They require you to carry an entire spare. Where is the advantage? I don't get it.
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Old 09-06-06, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by NJWheelBuilder
I was thinking of trying Tufo's next season, but after reading the above comments, there is no way I'm buying them. They don't weigh any less than good clinchers when you take into account the spare and the sealant. They are more expensive. They require you to carry an entire spare. Where is the advantage? I don't get it.
The advantage is as mentioned on post #12
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Old 09-06-06, 04:43 PM
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I've just got my first flat yesterday after 6000 lucky miles without flat.

Can someone list all the sealants they recommend using instead of Tufo sealant?
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Old 09-06-06, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by krazyderek
You need not worry about what wheels you're mounting tufo's on, as long as they meet the rim width requirements (~13mm inside width, which most roadie rims do). The pressure is contained entirely inside the tire so you can run a tufo at 170psi on a clincher rim that's only rated for 120.
Duh! Gotcha ... thanks!

As for the Ca-na-da ... you talking about Smashy and Nicey? Canada MATE!!!!
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Old 09-06-06, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rapidcarbon
I've just got my first flat yesterday after 6000 lucky miles without flat.

Can someone list all the sealants they recommend using instead of Tufo sealant?
Slime is one of the bigger one's. They make pre glued patch's, slime filled inner tubes, slime tire liners, and of course, slime sealant available in a container. You can buy it from performance, nashbar, probikekit, to name a few populars for varying prices, some with coupon's other's with free shipping, yada yada.

Toob Spooge By rock & roll lubricants is another i've heard people say good things about. But i've never tried it.

Not sure about any other bicycle specific sealants.

There are also kits that will repair and inflate the tire at the same time, basicly just combining CO2 canister with some sealant in it. Vittorie has "pit stop".
Although if i were going to go this route, i'd probably try and find one that fills the tire with expanding foam since if you're already using sealant preventatively, and you have to turn to this stuff on the side of the road, chances are, A) throwing more sealant in the tire isn't going to do squat cause of reason B, B) the cut is to big C) without a spare you're screwed and D) if the cut is to big for sealant chances are slim that you're going to be able to repair it and if C) applies, you want something that will let you ride home without damaging your rim to much (flat spots), hence foam.

If you google it you'll get a few companies, mostly all automotive and big truck targetted, ironically ALL claiming to be #1 in the sealant industry for X amount of years. But i'd say stick with bicycle specific, as there is a huge difference between car and bike tires.(tread thickness, psi, size, etc).


Ca-na-da, is just something i got from a canadian heritage commercial with native canadians and the british, and how canada was really the name of a village not the name of the upper half north america.
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