•I was advised that as I’m 90kg (and even in race fitness will struggle to get below 85kg due to boxing background) 24mm or 25mm tubular tyres would give a better ride quality and actually be faster than 23mm – is this sound advice?
No. Unless that is, you are on cobbles!•What tubular tyres offer the best combination of performance and puncture resistance? I have Continental GP4000s on my clinchers and find them brilliant for both low rolling resistance and high puncture resistance, but found I punctured a lot with Ultremo ZX HDs, so what tyres (maybe 24mm as above) are generally regarded as the best bet for tubs?
The GP4000 may be bombproof but the ride quality is not very good. The key is to look for a latex inner tube with high TPI (Thread per Inch) count of 320 or more. That offers the best ride quality and resilience. Veloflex Extreme and Carbon series offers a high quality, high thread count 350 TPI core spun casing tire that feels great, rolls fast, responsive and relatively durable even on chip sealed roads. Silk (Seta) are the ultimate for suppleness, but will start rotting and self-destruct if ridden in the rain just once. That's why Egyptian Cotton is widely used today in most all commercial tubulars. For a lower price point, take a look at the Vittoria Corsa CX series in quantity for a discount. After selling their factory to Veloflex and moving to Thailand they had some serious vulcanization issues back in the late 90's. However, that is finally being addressed and I recently got 5600 miles out of a front tire that STILL has not gone flat with usable tread! Again, make sure you buy tubulars with LATEX tubes. Conti's top of the line Competitions use butyl. They do NOT ride as nice and I feel that they are very high priced for the money. Dugast and other boutique tires are great, but cost prohibitive for regular riding. BTW ... I train on what I race. Then there are zero surprises. You'll never go wrong with Veloflex.•I know there’s an epic thread on here about gluing tubs but before I invest time in reading through that – is it generally the done thing to do it DIY and if you’re relatively copped on how long should it take and is the success rate high?
I've tried them all in various combinations but have found that tires glued with Continental Cement has worked perfectly for decades. Holds great in extreme heat of 127F and extreme cold 30F. Learn to glue. It's a good skill to have. Otherwise, I've been on the TUFO Extreme tape with very good success for the past 4 years with no serious issues; although you'll read the caveats everywhere from the manufactures that there are no guarantees.
Take some time and learn how to do both. You won't regret it and when properly glued ... will be the LAST thing on your mind during those 60 mph descents!•What do people generally do to prevent the risk of getting stranded while out on tubs? I’ve seen reference to pre-adding sealant, bringing sealant with you in a can, bringing a pre-glued tyre but haven’t really figured out what the best bet is.
The "best bet" is to ALWAYS CARRY A GLUED SPARE in your rear jersey pocket if you don't like hiking back in your 500 buck lightweight carbon soled cycling shoes! Sealant as a prophylactic is a great solution to start with BEFORE you flat out. And you WILL flat out. It is only a matter of time because in the end it is only a tire. We should have thought about injecting liquid latex 30 years ago! Stan's works great and is cheap protection. When you mount a new tire...put it in! And carry a pump and a spare!!!•There’s also an epic thread on here about repairing tubs – again, what’s the consensus, is this generally the done thing? What should I order to be ready for these repairs?
I've repaired tubulars for decades and a great skill to possess. Using Stan's will reduce that chore to only the really bad flats. Get a Velox kit with a triangulated needle (or go to any sewing shop to buy nice quality ones for very little money) a standard patch kit with ribbon floss works great too if you don't like the kit idea. Go on Youtube to see it all in action. Sheldon Smith always had good advice. The tire MUST be taken off the rim for repair. It takes a little practice, but is a great thing to know in an emergency situation. Don't be afraid to get in there and see how the tire is constructed. Refusal to get educated results in being helpless out in the middle of nowhere. Believe me...it's a great skill to possess and will save you one day from riding home 37 miles on your new $5000 high end carbon rims!•What should I buy in order to be best prepared for removing glue from the rims and getting it ready for a new tub when needed?
If you use a good glue like Conti DON'T TAKE OFF THE BASE GLUE...just the residual crumbs. It is what you need to keep that tire on the rim and prevent it from rolling off. Ditto for tape. It may not look pretty, but it will save your life. Some residual buildup may be taken off with a metal brush on aluminum rims but for carbon call the manufacturer to find out exactly what they recommend.That being said, I have NEVER rolled a properly glued tire in 360,000 miles for not taking off the base glue. When I first started riding, I witnessed a head injury from a rider who didn't adhere to the basic principles of gluing tubulars. That left an indelible impression upon my mind to get educated.
Best of luck. Tubulars are the way to go. Way safer than clinchers on long fast descents. You'll never blow it off the rim if done correctly. Besides, why would ya want to buy a Ferrari and then put cheap Polyglass tires on it? It just doesn't make any sense ...