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Convince me to go tubular

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Convince me to go tubular

Old 02-05-09, 11:48 AM
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Convince me to go tubular

I am looking to buy a set of new wheels. I am deciding between the Reynolds DV46 UL tubulars and the Reynolds Assaults. They both can be had for roughly $1000 so thats why I am comparing them. The tubulars weigh only 1040 grams while the clinchers weigh 1525 grams (1405 grams if I get the upgraded DV46 UL Clinchers but they go for way more money). My current wheels are Ultegra/Open pro's that are a claimed 1795g (I never weighed them though). By switching to the tubulars that is 755 grams saved or over 1.6 pounds. That is a huge savings. The Assault Clinchers will still save me almost a half-pound which is nice but a full pound less savings.

Here are my questions/concerns...

1. I know tubular wheels are lighter but how does the weight of a tubular tire compare to a clincher tire, tube and rim strips? Is the tire setup lighter too or heavier?

2. I won't say I am not concerned with flats but it doesnt really bother me. Say you flat. What is the typical fix? Vittoria Pit Stop or some other item in a can? I know some people carry extra tires with them. How would they change it if they are glued to the rim? I would assume it would be a real pain to get the tire off on the side of the road.

3. My major concern is gluing the tubulars. I have no confidence in any of my LBS's. I don't want to be going into a corner at xx mph and have to wonder if they did a good job. How hard is it to learn to glue them? Is there a way to tell they are done correctly or is it more like you don't know until you crash when the tire rolls off?

I feel if I get a flat and can still make it home and don;t have to worry about the tire falling off I should go tubular. Any additional info would be great. Thanks

I do like the ease of clinchers but a
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Old 02-05-09, 11:55 AM
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I really want to know this info too. One of my buddies let me use his EC90 Aeros on my first race and they felt great. I'm definitely considering getting tubulars if this season goes well.
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Old 02-05-09, 11:58 AM
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Can't answer everything, but if you want to glue your own, get a cheapo tubular rim/tire to practice with. MIN did this instructional thread here which was nicely done:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=480630
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Old 02-05-09, 11:58 AM
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Tire weight is about a wash...for instance the Vittoria Corsa CX tubular is 270g while the clincher is 204g plus say you go with the lightest possible tube would be about 50g plus rim strip.

If you are worried about glue go with the Tufo Extreme gluing tape...it works great.

Will you use these to train on or just in races...I used to ride daily on tubulars and never got a flat in 2 years...but I ran Tufo S33 Specials which are pretty bulletproof but don't have the best reputation in terms of ride quality (the Vittoria is butter).

To me it all depends on where you ride...here in central PA there is nex to no debris on the roads that I have to worry about....when I ride in Austin I am amazed by the nails, screws, glass, roofing staples and other tire killing crap all over the roads...not to even mention the goat head thorns. I may go back to tubulars here...I would never to it in Austin.
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Old 02-05-09, 11:59 AM
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Can't we just talk about religion instead?
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Old 02-05-09, 12:00 PM
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Check out this thread as far as gluing goes... has a lot of good info. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...gluing+tubular

As far as the rest of the questions... I also would Like to know.

EDIT* there is also some good info on patching a punctured tubular tire if you google it... how to cut and resew the tire etc.

My biggest question is on the procedure of changing a tire road side... I would love to get a step by step from a knowledgeable BF elder.

Last edited by mr handy; 02-05-09 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 02-05-09, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Can't we just talk about religion instead?
Did you hear Pcad got his Cervelo?
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Old 02-05-09, 12:02 PM
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I heard with tubulars the corner is better but also that since the tires are glued to the rims if you got say a front flat going down hill you would retain more control with tubulars. Is this true?
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Old 02-05-09, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by fauxto nick View Post
I heard with tubulars the corner is better but also that since the tires are glued to the rims if you got say a front flat going down hill you would retain more control with tubulars. Is this true?
Clincher can and will roll off the rim...the chances of a tubular doing it are significantly less.
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Old 02-05-09, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Can't we just talk about religion instead?
Cycling isnt a religion? What? Are you Saying I've been following a False Prophet? That I've been a part of a cult? OMG! I just cant believe what you're telling me, thats just not possible!
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Old 02-05-09, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper View Post
Clincher can and will roll off the rim...the chances of a tubular doing it are significantly less.
Interesting. Ever since I got a front wheel flat going down hill at about 20 mph really early in the morning I've been so scared of flats.
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Old 02-05-09, 01:03 PM
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1. I know tubular wheels are lighter but how does the weight of a tubular tire compare to a clincher tire, tube and rim strips? Is the tire setup lighter too or heavier?

Tire weight slightly favors tubulars but nearly neutral when considering the weight of glue (and Stan's Sealant, which I pre-inject into my tires.) The weight savings is in the rims.

2. I won't say I am not concerned with flats but it doesnt really bother me. Say you flat. What is the typical fix? Vittoria Pit Stop or some other item in a can? I know some people carry extra tires with them. How would they change it if they are glued to the rim? I would assume it would be a real pain to get the tire off on the side of the road.

Pit Stop rarely works, Stan's Sealant does. You'd be wise to carry a spare tubular rolled up under your saddle in the event that sealant does not hold.

3. My major concern is gluing the tubulars. I have no confidence in any of my LBS's. I don't want to be going into a corner at xx mph and have to wonder if they did a good job. How hard is it to learn to glue them? Is there a way to tell they are done correctly or is it more like you don't know until you crash when the tire rolls off?

Most bike shops, especially the larger ones, will not glue tubs for liability reasons. You should learn how to glue if you are serious about buying tubulars. You can check to see if the glue job is bad or not by deflating the tire and rolling the casing back - to check the adhesion.

Good.




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Old 02-05-09, 01:06 PM
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One thing that constantly "teases" me to get a set of Tubulars is the deal on CLove/Bonktown for those Reynolds carbon (or is it Easton's) at a significant discount.

Last edited by FreddyBoy; 02-05-09 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 02-05-09, 01:08 PM
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Go tubeless. Shimano Dura Ace 7850SL and Hutchinson Fusion 2 Tubeless.
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Old 02-05-09, 01:15 PM
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Tubular isn't hard at all.
With almost no help I glued a set of tubulars, raced and trained on them all year with no problems. If you use enough glue ~ 1 tube pre wheel, and let them sit you shouldn't have any problems. If these are race wheels it will be completely worth it.
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Old 02-05-09, 01:22 PM
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When I was 14, the father of a my friend who turned me on to 10 speed racer bikes crashed while going downhill when the front tubular on his PX-10 rolled off the rim. He changed to clinchers after then. He was a large guy, over 225 lbs, so perhaps there is a cautionary limit to who should ride them. Me, at 165? I want to ride tubulars before I die.
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Old 02-05-09, 01:49 PM
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Answers...

1. Borrow a set of tubular wheels and try them out. Weight is not the biggest advantage IMHO.

2. For flats you need to understand that the bonding glue is not much more than contact cement. When you get a flat you can pull the tire off with your hands most of the time. If not pry under the base tape with a tire lever. When I ride my tubular tires (non races) I carry an extra tire thats folded pretty much down to the size of a spare inner tube. Dont pre-glue the tire as this will make it a pain to get on the rim IMHO. All youre doing is putting something on that will get you back home.

3. I agree that most LBS have no clue how to properly glue a tire on so learn how to do it yourself Its pretty simple.

* Pre-stretch the tires for a few days at full pressure while on the tubular rim. Check tire for defects.

* Take tire off and inflate so that the base tape is turning up (making it easier to apply glue). Put one coat on the rim and one coat on the tire. Let sit for 30 mins or so

* Apply another coat to the rim and tire. Let sit for 30 mins or so.

* Apply another light coat to the rim. Let sit for about 5 minutes then put the tire on.

* Pump up the tire to whatever pressure you normally run (110-130ish?) Let tire sit for 48 hours but its prob ok after 24.

I have been on sew-ups for over 15 years and have never rolled a tire using this method.
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Old 02-05-09, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
Answers...

1. Borrow a set of tubular wheels and try them out. Weight is not the biggest advantage IMHO.

2. For flats you need to understand that the bonding glue is not much more than contact cement. When you get a flat you can pull the tire off with your hands most of the time. If not pry under the base tape with a tire lever. When I ride my tubular tires (non races) I carry an extra tire thats folded pretty much down to the size of a spare inner tube. Dont pre-glue the tire as this will make it a pain to get on the rim IMHO. All youre doing is putting something on that will get you back home.

3. I agree that most LBS have no clue how to properly glue a tire on so learn how to do it yourself Its pretty simple.

* Pre-stretch the tires for a few days at full pressure while on the tubular rim. Check tire for defects.

* Take tire off and inflate so that the base tape is turning up (making it easier to apply glue). Put one coat on the rim and one coat on the tire. Let sit for 30 mins or so

* Apply another coat to the rim and tire. Let sit for 30 mins or so.

* Apply another light coat to the rim. Let sit for about 5 minutes then put the tire on.

* Pump up the tire to whatever pressure you normally run (110-130ish?) Let tire sit for 48 hours but its prob ok after 24.

I have been on sew-ups for over 15 years and have never rolled a tire using this method.
What would you say is the biggest advantage? Ride quality?

Also if it is nothing more then a contact cement adhesion that you can remove with your hands how safe is that in the grand scheme of things? does it not come off during cornering if you can remove it with your hands?

How do you feel about the tapes some people use?
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Old 02-05-09, 01:56 PM
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I love the ride of my tubbies but they are somewhat of a pain in the ass. I've flatted on them at about the same rate as my clinchers but they are much more difficult to deal with to fix... I carried a spare tire around for a while until I flatted and couldn't actually get the old tire off the rim. Glued too well! Then I carried sealant which worked a few times but then left me stranded. The tires are considerably more expensive and a flat means a new tire instead of just a new tube.

I'm sticking with them though... I haven't really had any trouble with them while racing, I think there is much less debris to worry about when you can ride in the middle of the road instead of on the shoulder, and I am more confident descending on them because I know (or at least believe) that a flat [while descending at 40mph+] is likely to be less catastrosphic than with a clincher.
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Old 02-05-09, 01:59 PM
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Removing the flat tire is the trickiest part of fixing a tubie flat. Prying around with a tire iron works for me although I've considered carrying a small knife or razor to cut the thing across the tread and then easily peel it off around the rim. Obviously this wouldn't allow you to repair the tire but if it's old, worn, or badly damaged from the flat that might not be an issue anyway.

I agree you should definetely glue them yourself, it's easy.
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Old 02-05-09, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Jynx View Post
What would you say is the biggest advantage? Ride quality?

Also if it is nothing more then a contact cement adhesion that you can remove with your hands how safe is that in the grand scheme of things? does it not come off during cornering if you can remove it with your hands?

How do you feel about the tapes some people use?
Biggest advantage is ride quality and smoothness. Also they are completely round opposed to clinchers that have more of a U shape form. When you corner at high speeds the contact patch is better on tubulars because of this.

The tire pressure keeps the tire on the rim. Even at 90 PSI you would be hard pressed to roll a tubular tire.

I say dont use tape. The bond of glue is strongest on the edges of the rim and reinforced by the glue in the middle. With thape the bond is in the middle and the edges dont have a good bond. Several folks have reported rolling taped tires. Myself I tried it two years ago and didnt feel safe with this approach. I could hand roll the tire with full pressure to the point I could see the bottom of the rim... Not good. Also tape is a ***** to get off the rim and tire if you have a flat or need to swap something around. Good luck changing a flat if you use TUFO tape. Also some tires just dont work with TUFO tape... Vittoria CX comes to mind (due to its latex base layer).
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Old 02-05-09, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Jynx View Post
....

I do like the ease of clinchers but a
No point in replying. The manuscript broke off. Clearly the poster died in mid-sentence.

And I had the best and most convincing arguments in favour of tubulars ever.
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Old 02-05-09, 02:10 PM
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For more tips see this thread
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=154679
yes, it's classic&vintage forum but some of these folks have been riding tubulars for eons.

Be careful of gluing tape on carbon fibre rims, I seem to recall that it is not recommended by
some manufacturers.

Marty
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Old 02-05-09, 02:14 PM
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Does anyone know where to get those sweet vintage tubular bags?
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Old 02-05-09, 02:18 PM
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Yeah, I want to be convinced about tubulars as well. I can just see it, being on a group ride and flatting. The Vittoria Pit Stop doesn't work.

"Uh, wait up guys, while I figure out what to do now..." Everyone rolls their eyes.

"What are you doing with tubulars outside of racing anyway?"

"Well, um, the rims were lighter? You guys go ahead, I'll call my wife to pick me up."
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