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Serfa Secas: Tubular or Clincher?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Serfa Secas: Tubular or Clincher?

Old 08-12-12, 02:24 AM
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Serfa Secas: Tubular or Clincher?

I'm contemplating on the idea of switching from clincher tires to tubular. I ride on mostly flat asphalt in suburbs, and I've been wanting to improve my overall speed.

I have a wheelset handed down to me that take tubular tires, so I figure I may as well try them out.

In an effort to not spend $100 per tire (since I'm only trying this out), I was considering Serfa Secas.

REI doesn't tell me whether these are tubular or clincher: https://www.rei.com/product/724618/se...700-x-23-25-28

Does "slick thread" mean tubular and "wire thread" mean clincher?
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Old 08-12-12, 03:57 AM
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99% sure those are clinchers or it would say tubular somewhere. Probably a wire bead clincher instead of a foldable. If you try tubulars, make sure you glue them on properly ... (they won't make you faster... Do intervals to make the engine faster).
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Old 08-12-12, 06:15 AM
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Given the price, I'd wager that those are clinchers with non-foldable, wire bead.
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Old 08-12-12, 07:04 AM
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Serfas doesn't seem to list a tubular tire on their website.
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Old 08-12-12, 08:34 AM
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I have several Serfas Seca tires, both wire bead and foldable. They are nice riding tires but tend to suffer the death of a thousand cuts. For the price, a short life may not be such a bad deal. The foldable version weighs a mere 205 grams or so.
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Old 08-12-12, 08:38 AM
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Old 08-12-12, 09:32 AM
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Old tubular wheelsets are like old computers. They don't offer much advantage and can cost as much or more to "restore" (i.e. buy good tires) than a decent clincher setup. Just like getting a larger hard drive, more memory, and maybe updating the OS can make an old computer more of a hassle than buying a new one, similarly buying and gluing tires can be enough of a hassle that a new, lightweight/aero clincher wheelset may be more rewarding.

I'd consider switching to tubulars if the wheelset offered significant advantages - much lighter weight (tubular wheelsets are usually stronger for a given rim weight), extremely rough condition riding (Paris Roubaix), or aero (i.e. aero carbon wheels). Most hand me down tubulars are box section 28 or 32H aluminum rimmed wheels. I have a bunch of them at the house and I haven't ridden any of them in forever, maybe 15+ years. I stripped most of them of tires. I'd use a superlight front wheel for windy/gusty/rainy conditions but I haven't found it worth my time/money to glue a good tire onto even a 280g/330g rim 28H front wheel for use in the few times I'd race in wet conditions (and as it was I probably rode those wheels 50-100 times before hanging them up, some only 10-20 times since they were "the best").

Tubular tires have a super wide range of quality/performance levels. Since, at a practical level, a puncture means losing use of that tire for a while (while you either patch it, pay someone to patch it, or buy/mount a new tire), getting a lower quality tire has more significant ramifications in the tubular world than the clincher world.

A bit I wrote on selecting a tubular because a bad tubular is way worse than a medium clincher:

And gluing, because the most common preventable issue with tubulars is rolling one off the rim accidentally:

You may enjoy the tubulars and the associated necessary skills to properly mount tires. There's certainly something to that. I rode, for many winters, in a "pro" position (saddle further back and lower), on fat tubulars, with wider bars, with heavier less efficient but pro pedals, using the Spinaccis, reverting to downtube shifters, even buying softer more flexible frames, because I liked pretending to be good (pro). hahahaha. Seriously though there's something to that and it encouraged me to ride and race even when things were tough. There's something special about hammering along on a dirt road at 28 mph, on the tops, knowing that only sharp rocks present a threat to my tires, reaching down to slap the shift lever, big ring, chain bouncing. It's magical. That Specialized ad resonates with me because I was that kid 30 years ago and I still am, to a lessor extent, now.

I admit that if I didn't race I wouldn't ride tubulars. I train on them maybe once every two years, usually as a check up on the wheel/tire/glue-job condition, but also if I set out on the ride with a specific performance goal (break max speed on my sprint bit, check out how significant the wheels affect my avg power: avg speed, etc).
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Old 04-12-21, 08:21 AM
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I love my tubulars,and my clinchers too but I think my tubulars make me feel faster though I know I'm not. My Garman tells me so. I'm glad to hear someone else mention average speed, I got blasted from all angles for suggesting that I might enjoy looking at my average speed. My old Garman tells me overall time,distance and average speed,I find it interesting how it changes very little over all types of terrain even though in some views I'm just an old fool for even looking at average speed.
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Old 04-12-21, 06:27 PM
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Clinchers, I had a pair that I disliked so much I gave them away.
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Old 04-12-21, 10:38 PM
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