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Clincher vs Tubular for long distance riding

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Clincher vs Tubular for long distance riding

Old 01-06-15, 12:44 AM
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reqm
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Clincher vs Tubular for long distance riding

I've recently converted to tubular and was wondering about its usage for long distance rides.
Would it be preferable to swap it with a set of clinchers when going on longer rides like gran fondos, randonneuring events, etc. for easier roadside repairs?

For those of you who own both tubular and clincher wheelsets, what do you normally use each set for?
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Old 01-06-15, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by reqm View Post
Would it be preferable to swap it with a set of clinchers when going on longer rides like gran fondos, randonneuring events, etc. for easier roadside repairs?
It's been many years since I used tubular tires, but roadside repairs were much easier and quicker with them. It was the at home repair after the ride (unstitching, patching, and sewing) that was a big pain. On the road I always carried at least one spare tire so it was just a matter of pulling off the flat one and putting on the spare. No fussing to check for the cause of the flat or making sure the tube didn't get pinched like I have to do with clinchers now.
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Old 01-06-15, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by reqm View Post
I've recently converted to tubular and was wondering about its usage for long distance rides.
Would it be preferable to swap it with a set of clinchers when going on longer rides like gran fondos, randonneuring events, etc. for easier roadside repairs?

For those of you who own both tubular and clincher wheelsets, what do you normally use each set for?
I pre glue a spare tire, but have never had to use it on a ride.
I always carry a can Vitoria Pit Stop. Had 1 flat in just over 4k miles on a set of 20 mm Corsa CX's. Fixed permanently with the Pit stop. Possibly fixed another, too, as I had to add air a couple times one day.
You still need a pump or CO2 to use with the Pit Stop, just in case it doesn't 'take' quick enough to hold all of the air in.

T
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Old 01-06-15, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
It's been many years since I used tubular tires, but roadside repairs were much easier and quicker with them. It was the at home repair after the ride (unstitching, patching, and sewing) that was a big pain. On the road I always carried at least one spare tire so it was just a matter of pulling off the flat one and putting on the spare. No fussing to check for the cause of the flat or making sure the tube didn't get pinched like I have to do with clinchers now.
I think carrying a spare at all times is a necessity too. But for time-based events like gran fondos, wouldn't a spare offer limited benefits since you wouldn't be able to ride at the required intensity to finish within the time limit?
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Old 01-06-15, 02:44 AM
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I ride a lot of sportives and Gran Fondos with tubulars. I've never actually flatted during one, but if I did I wouldn't worry about it too much. My first strategy is to try sealant like PitStop, which works most of the time and you are back on the road in a minute or two. If I do have to change the tire, it isn't that big of a deal. I carry a roll of tape with me and just tape the spare on until the end of the ride. It won't come off and you don't really have to baby it.
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Old 01-06-15, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by tctdvm View Post
I pre glue a spare tire, but have never had to use it on a ride.
I always carry a can Vitoria Pit Stop. Had 1 flat in just over 4k miles on a set of 20 mm Corsa CX's. Fixed permanently with the Pit stop. Possibly fixed another, too, as I had to add air a couple times one day.
You still need a pump or CO2 to use with the Pit Stop, just in case it doesn't 'take' quick enough to hold all of the air in.

T
I've been carrying sealant too (Stan's) -- thankfully I didn't need to use it yet. Just looked up some videos on how to apply it.. looked simple enough.
Hopefully it works successfully when the time comes to use it!

I'm not carrying a CO2.. but I do carry around a mini pump when I know no one else will have it on them.
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Old 01-06-15, 07:12 AM
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It probably doesn't matter a whole lot either way, but sure is a lot less expensive to carry tube(s) and patches than it is to carry tubular(s). Less bulky, too.

There might also be a nod in favor of clinchers depending on your weight, terrain, riding style, and weighting of convenience, specifically for heavier riders who like to get after it in hilly terrain, where cornering loads would suggest regluing/taping the replacement tubular for security.
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Old 01-06-15, 07:50 AM
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As a former tubular rider I don't understand why anyone would "convert" to tubular now a days but to each there own. Back in the days tubulars were WAY lighter and more supple but today that's just not true.
With that said the only issue I ever had with tubulars on long rides were the mental "what if" issues. What if I double flatted.... What if my spare was bad.... Etc.... I could not turn to my buddy and ask for a spare tube. I was on my own if I did have a issue .....but I never did. I do miss the romance of tubulars but not the mess.
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Old 01-06-15, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by garysol1 View Post
As a former tubular rider I don't understand why anyone would "convert" to tubular now a days but to each there own. Back in the days tubulars were WAY lighter and more supple but today that's just not true.
With that said the only issue I ever had with tubulars on long rides were the mental "what if" issues. What if I double flatted.... What if my spare was bad.... Etc.... I could not turn to my buddy and ask for a spare tube. I was on my own if I did have a issue .....but I never did. I do miss the romance of tubulars but not the mess.
+ 1.
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Old 01-06-15, 09:24 AM
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As a good wrench and distance rider I have no idea why someone would use tubular. A pro rider then maybe but otherwise crazy. Great clinchers with great rims available easy to deal with at all levels
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Old 01-06-15, 09:54 AM
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Although I'm a huge fan of tubulars for racing for performance and safety, the cost/benefit equation doesn't work for me when I think about tubulars and non-races. On all my within-20-or-25-years long rides I used clinchers. They're easy to fix, you can carry 2-3 tubes vs one tubular, and if it's really bad you can buy a new tire or more tubes without much trouble, meaning virtually any shop will have a road clincher tire/tube available for sale.

Tubulars are safer in corners if you have a flat but in a crit I might do 160 corners in an hour, maybe 3/4 of them at speed. On training rides I'd be hard pressed to do more than a few hard corners an hour, and even when I corner "hard" in training I'm not pushing like I do in a race. Also in a race I can't afford to stop if I run over something or break a spoke or whatever - if my bike seems to be working I just keep going. On a regular ride if something dramatic happens I'll stop and check my equipment. If it seems okay I keep going. Therefore the risk factor of clinchers vs tubulars isn't as significant in training.
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Old 01-06-15, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by reqm View Post
I think carrying a spare at all times is a necessity too. But for time-based events like gran fondos, wouldn't a spare offer limited benefits since you wouldn't be able to ride at the required intensity to finish within the time limit?
I never rode any slower after changing a tubular so the only issue would be the 1-2 minutes spent changing the tire and pumping it up. That was much faster than I could change a clincher.

But I agree with the other comments that clinchers these days are good enough that I see no reason to ever go back to tubulars.
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Old 01-06-15, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
clinchers these days are good enough that I see no reason to ever go back to tubulars.
I agree with you on clinchers being good enough. My view on using tubulars for long training rides is that I like to train on what I race on. I realize not everyone shares my view, and I'm OK with that. The OP's question was also in regard to Gran Fondos, which are at least here in Europe, amateur races. Many involve high-speed descents from mountains, so lots of hard cornering. Tubulars are well-suited for that.

I do have a backup rain/bad weather bike that has clinchers on it, but that is the exception rather than the norm for me. I don't ride it so far or so often anymore.
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Old 01-06-15, 10:37 AM
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For true long distance riding like touring, you would typically carry a spare clincher tire. The challenge is handling multiple flats with tubular. What about tubeless?
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Old 01-06-15, 10:58 AM
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I run stans sealant in my tubs, bit less than 1oz per wheel. Never had a flat on the road. Have worn down the rear tire a few times from mileage wear. I do carry a pre glued tube in my pocket but never used it.

Ride feel, tubeless tires have a VERY close tubular feel to them. Again w/ stans sealant and ever had a flat. Even off roading in the LA Rapha gents race But tubs corner better...
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Old 01-06-15, 11:44 AM
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Yeah, tubulars are great for cornering...if they're glued on.

The downside is the replacement tubular, which probably isn't.

I've heard some tri athletes don't even fully glue on initial installation so that it's easier to get off in case of flat, and they get away with it because they don't really corner.

Of course one could glue or tape the replacement during the repair, on the road, bit that would probably tip the convenience scale in favor of clincher.

The point of easy availability of clincher spares in a worst case scenario is well considered.
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Old 01-06-15, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by reqm View Post
I've been carrying sealant too (Stan's) -- thankfully I didn't need to use it yet. Just looked up some videos on how to apply it.. looked simple enough.
Hopefully it works successfully when the time comes to use it!

I'm not carrying a CO2.. but I do carry around a mini pump when I know no one else will have it on them.
The sealant has a way of blowing back up out of the stem into your pump head. Probably not an issue, but could muck up a smaller more delicate pump.

T
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Old 01-08-15, 08:19 AM
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So the general consensus is to ride clinchers for long distance rides, and only take out the tubulars for high performance rides like races?
I'm still a total noob when it comes to tubulars so I have zero confidence in myself to repair or change to spare tires on the road. Most of my riding buddies ride clinchers as well so they would be no help either.
I guess that's the main reason I'm leaning towards clinchers for Gran Fondos and other long rides. I'd like to avoid the 'DNFs' that occur due to bad luck (double flats, sealant not working, etc.).
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Old 01-08-15, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by reqm View Post
So the general consensus is to ride clinchers for long distance rides, and only take out the tubulars for high performance rides like races?
I'm still a total noob when it comes to tubulars so I have zero confidence in myself to repair or change to spare tires on the road. Most of my riding buddies ride clinchers as well so they would be no help either.
I guess that's the main reason I'm leaning towards clinchers for Gran Fondos and other long rides. I'd like to avoid the 'DNFs' that occur due to bad luck (double flats, sealant not working, etc.).
I think the consensus is that either works, and that you need to define your priorities in order to decide which is best for you.

If one type was in all ways better than the other, you'd have no problem deciding,right?!

Cost, risk, convenience, performance...only you can say how respectively important they are to you.
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Old 01-08-15, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
I think the consensus is that either works, and that you need to define your priorities in order to decide which is best for you.

If one type was in all ways better than the other, you'd have no problem deciding,right?!

Cost, risk, convenience, performance...only you can say how respectively important they are to you.
Thanks! Makes perfect sense
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Old 01-08-15, 08:52 PM
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BITD, I rode across the country + on tubulars & lightly loaded race bike.

A few flats, NBD. Eventually ran out of tires (& money) on the east cost, had to get to a college town to get another tire.

Jay's cross country trip 1973 - A bike ride in Fairfax, CA
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Old 01-08-15, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tctdvm View Post
The sealant has a way of blowing back up out of the stem into your pump head. Probably not an issue, but could muck up a smaller more delicate pump.

T
The sealant has a way of not working at all with small high pressure tires, too.
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Old 01-08-15, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by achoo View Post
The sealant has a way of not working at all with small high pressure tires, too.
Are you talking microns?
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Old 01-09-15, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by reqm View Post
I've recently converted to tubular and was wondering about its usage for long distance rides.
Would it be preferable to swap it with a set of clinchers when going on longer rides like gran fondos, randonneuring events, etc. for easier roadside repairs?

For those of you who own both tubular and clincher wheelsets, what do you normally use each set for?
If the valves have removable cores, sealants like Orange Seal work well to prevent flats. orangeseal website :: Home

In general, there is no good reason to switch to clinchers for a longer ride.
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