Making the transition to tubulars

Everything about building wheels, glueing tubs, etc.
HillRPete
Posts: 2292
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:08 am
Location: Pedal Square

by HillRPete

fdegrove wrote:One can't help but admire the brave.

Please explain.
I get around one flat per year. So when that happens, i try to seal it with the Vittoria. If that works, i can top up with the cartridge, and limp home.
If it doesn't seal, i put on the spare, and inflate with the cartridge. That always works. So 2 shots at getting the flat fixed. For something that's happening only with a double-digit number of months in between, that's good enough.

Maybe i need to carry more stuff when trying Vittoria tubs instead of Contis soon :mrgreen:

Geoff
Posts: 5093
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 2:25 am
Location: Canada

by Geoff

@n808, the funny thing is that tubulars are not at all analogous to your turntable example. Rather, the tubular tire has yet to be equalled by 'new' technology (which is why it is still the only real choice for racing).

I am the first to admit that there are lots of superlatives bandied about regarding the mythic 'feel' of tubulars. The reason is that it is hard to explain and really does have to be experienced. In my view, the reason for the different feel comes down to the construction of the tubular system: a structural fabric casing surrounding a pneumatic tube and surmounted by a rubber tread, all adhered to a soft-shouldered rim bed by glue.

Because the tubular tire does not rely upon the rim to mechanically fasten it, it does without the high and sharp bead hooks that clinchers have and, at the same time, eliminates the requirement for a stiff, structural tire sidewall to house the bead. Accordingly, the tubular tire can be reliably run at much lower pressures than can a clincher tire without the same risk of pinch-flatting. In good condition, I run tubulars at between 90-110 psi, maximum, for the road. In the rain, I will run them up to 10psi lighter. In addition, the 'soft' sidewalls of a tubular tire let's it 'roll' over the road more smoothly (which is the reason that tubulars are faster in the real world than they appear on magazine tests that use steel rollers as the test medium). These factors all contribute to the superior 'feel'.

For me, the elimination of pinch-flatting means that tubulars simply do not flat (admittedly, this is down to your local riding conditions - we have no cactus and Crown-sponsored bottle recycling).

Do yourself a favor and try tubulars. Life is too short to ride clinchers...

by Weenie


n808
Posts: 103
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:09 pm
Location: Seattle, WA | Gjøvik, Norway

by n808

Geoff: thanks for the very well thought out explanation! What you write makes a lot of sense. And also thanks for the other replies.

I still think there's some likeness to analog vinyl in that the extra care and work that's needed does add to the enjoyment of riding on the finished wheel, in addition to its technical virtues detailed in your answer.

Back when I was riding tubulars I knew of no other experience, then I had a several year break in road riding until I got my road bike here in the U.S. so I could not really compare. The exception is when I visit Norway, but that's frequently for Christmas, so I can only ride my Reynolds 753 tubed Eddy Merckx on rollers. Hopefully I'll be able to take a trip back home this summer and do some real tubular riding.

Thanks!
(2012/2014) Scott Addict R1, SRAM Red 6.6kg | 2012 Scott Scale Pro, SRAM X0, 9.4kg

fdegrove
Tubbie Guru
Posts: 5851
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 2:20 am
Location: Belgium

by fdegrove

Hi,

I still think there's some likeness to analog vinyl in that the extra care and work that's needed does add to the enjoyment of riding on the finished wheel, in addition to its technical virtues detailed in your answer.


You can even throw in a couple of vacuum tubes and a glass of fine Scottish single malt for me too.

Ciao, ;)
Being a snob is an expensive hobby.

kulivontot
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:28 pm

by kulivontot

I think if you're riding 130PSI regardless of tubular or clincher, you're doing it wrong.

cazone
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:32 pm

by cazone

fdegrove wrote:Hi,

I still think there's some likeness to analog vinyl in that the extra care and work that's needed does add to the enjoyment of riding on the finished wheel, in addition to its technical virtues detailed in your answer.


You can even throw in a couple of vacuum tubes and a glass of fine Scottish single malt for me too.

Ciao, ;)


Extra care, for sure!
But vinyl sounds better too.

(My Audio Research VT60 just abandoned me ...
Had to switch to a DIY Push-Pull 6V6 amp.
Sounds nice too.)

c*

mallardducks
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:19 pm

by mallardducks

Ha! My main stereo system is tube preamp and amp, though I use a solid state (but legendary) phono stage. Due to their construction, tubulars posses a ride quality advantage over clinchers that cannot be overcome. YMMV but for me, over the years, the inconvenience of tubs has had me go from riding them all the time (Wolber Invulnerable steel (!) belted tubs for training - anyone remember those?) to only using them on race wheels. Tubular ride quality is magical.

Sony PS-2250 (vintage TT aimed at broadcast market)
Kenwood L02-C used as phono stage
Audible Illusions L1 preamp
Rogue 80 amp
Osborne Eclipse speakers
Yamaha CDX-2020 used as transport
Ack dAck DAC

Zoro
Posts: 349
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:52 am

by Zoro

kulivontot wrote:I think if you're riding 130PSI regardless of tubular or clincher, you're doing it wrong.
Or you may be a Tour de France rider...

kulivontot
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:28 pm

by kulivontot

In the 80's maybe

Geoff
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Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 2:25 am
Location: Canada

by Geoff

No, not even 80's-vintage Tour riders.

Oh, wait a sec. Were you talking about the Kenwood?

Zoro
Posts: 349
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:52 am

by Zoro


project3
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:18 am

by project3

My previous wheel set was a zipp alu clincher with 23mm conti GP 4000s and now I'm using zipp carbon tubular with conti sprinter gato and I do not feel any diff between clincher and the new tub wheel. All my friends are excited about it and asking me any diff.

I was told that tub suppose to feel lighter and spin faster. My tub front wheel is 115psi and rear is 120 and I'm 56kg.

Psi wrong or the choice of tires for tub ?

dha
Posts: 163
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:40 pm

by dha

PSI, way too high. I am 64kg and run 90/95 or 95/100 depending on road conditions on 23mm tubs. Even that 'might' be too high

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sugarkane
in the industry
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Location: SYD
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by sugarkane

I run VF extreme and carbon combos at 90/95-100 and I'm 85kgs on a good day..
I can out descend 99% of the worlds population.. It's the only thing in really good at on a bike. More pressure won't make me faster cause I won't have as much grip and the bike will bounce around.. Not ideal for hooking down tech descents at 70-90kph.
If it's wet I'd run 5-10psi less. Having fast wheels ( ceramics ) and a really good tuck make for better speed not over inflating tires till the fight the road..

by Weenie


dha
Posts: 163
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:40 pm

by dha

My concern about going too low on pressure is the minimum recommendation on the tub, will that affect how it sits on the wheel and it's stability and possibly how much pressure there is on the bond with the glue?

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