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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:07 pm 
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Posts: 19
I'm starting racing this season and have a pair of 23mm wide Gigantex 50mm tubulars on Chris King R45 hubs with ceramic bearings on the way from wheelsmith.co.uk. I plan to use those for racing and my Dura Ace C24 clinchers (which I absolutely love) for training and for longer and hillier events like La Marmotte.

I was previously of the 'what the hell, tubulars? go with a tyre that can't really be repaired out on the road and is a major pain in the ass to put on and take off? No way can that be worthwhile' mentality. But a few hours browsing this and other forums and talking to some other racers convinced me that the extra smoothness of the ride, low rolling resistance and of course, that it gets me into deep rims without the weight of aluminium braking surfaces or the braking/durability issues of carbon clinchers makes them the best choice for racing.

So I've taken the leap of faith in ordering them but now I'm trying to figure out what I need to buy and do to make the transition stick. I have many very little free time available so can rarely get to a local bike store so prefer to use the bit of free time I do have in the evenings to research online, order the right stuff and then do any work I can myself and I generally order spares in advance to limit downtime due to issues. So here's what I'm trying to figure out and would really appreciate help on:
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • I know there’s an epic thread on here about glueing 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?
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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?

Sorry for the loads of questions but this would really help demystify the whole area of tubs for me and I just want to ensure I’m fully prepared to properly maintain the wheels when they arrive so that I don’t have to bench them for any races. I know there’s any number of threads on tubulars out there, but I’d imagine that other newbies like myself would benefit from having the above topics addressed at least at a high-level in one summary thread and they can then delve into the more detailed threads once they have that context.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:37 pm
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Location: it's raining, it must be uk
no harm going wider, they'll have lower rolling resistance, whether or not they give more or less aero drag will depend on the overall wheel+tyre combination, running a narrower front and wider rear is always an option

veloflex roubaix (or arenburg) are 25mm and tougher than the, lighter, 23mm carbon, personally i use carbons

diy* - this is one of the ways to do it, opinions/preferences vary, i'm assuming the tub has been stretched if it needs it and that any necessary extender has been fitted and firmly tightened
- supplies: acetone, vittoria mastick one glue, acid/flux brushes are good for applying but there are other ways
- with a brand new cf rim, lightly scrub the mounting surface with really fine steel wool, 0000 grade
- clean rim of any remaining grease with acetone (don't get on skin, it's toxic)
- apply a *thin* coat of glue to rim, leave to dry for a 12-24 hours, repeat once more
- if the basetape is covered in latex (downside of veloflex), scrape it off otherwise it'll stay opf the rim when you eventually remove the tub
- apply thin coat of glue to basetape, leave to dry 12-24 hours
- mounting time, apply a thin coat to the rim
- mount the tyre, keep even tension as the tyre is mounted, try to get it as central as possible
- once on, inflate enough to firm, then centre it using finger/thumb force
- if you really screwed up the mounting, pull the tyre off quick before the glue bites and have another go
- inflate to full pressure, roll the wheel through a full revolution with all your weight on it to help seat it and squish out any air pockets
- leave for 24 hours
- if there's any glue on brake tracks, clean with white spirit (don't get it on the tyre), use acetone to get ant trace of grease off tracks
- ride
* there are you tube videos and web pages galore, search and you'll find plenty
success rate should be near 100%

carry some tufo extreme sealant
carry a pre-glued lightweight tub as a last-resort spare, tufo elite jet for instance

but really, take a couple of hours to go through the threads, there is a lot of experience there, with many tips and one-off problems/solutions, so taking the time is the only way you'll get to it all

a well prepared rim will allow you to remove and fit tyres at least once, maybe a few times, before it needs to be stripped

remove glue with white spirit, for sheer luxury use schwalbe glue remover


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Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:18 pm 


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:07 pm
Posts: 68
Tubular newbie here also :welcome:

Here's a few hints and tips that I have experienced so far.
Vittoria tubs (latex base tape) are easier to mount even without stretching, I practiced mounting/centering the tubs dry prior to gluing.
I've read continental tubs are a lot harder to mount due to their butly base tape and stretching is a must. They don't always centre a easily as vittoria's (but I suppose it depends upon experience). Ride quality is poorer compared to vittoria/veloflex, but puncture resistance is greater.
Veloflex carbon is my next purchase as they have the performance of vittoria but with better puncture resistance.

I use vittoria mastik which is nice to apply. I use a trimmed down paint brush. I've read continental glue is a bit more stringier in its application and also tries a lot quicker. I apply two coats to the basetape, two coats on the rim, leave 24 hrs between each application and a final quick/thin coat to rim immediately before mounting. Don't be shy with the glue on the basetape around the valve as the basetape overlaps slightly on the tubular and you want good contact with the rim so you don't feel a hop each time you ride over the valve.

Acetone ideal to remove the grease of new rims and white spirits to clean the brake tracks of any glue.

Schwable glue remover is excellent and makes cleaning a rim so quick and easy. I apply the glue remover with finger (gloved) leave for 45 mins or so. Then use a teaspoon to scoop all the glue of the rim. Re-apply the glue remover again, wait another 45 mins then scoop of excess glue and use a rag soaked in white spirits to clean off any stubborn bits. You can leave the glue remover on overninght but make sure you put something on the floor as the glue will eventually drip off the rim.

Like OnPinchy states, practice and definitely read all the glueing tubular forum it's an easy read with lots of great tips. The ride of tubs is like day and night compared to clinchers.

Good luck and take your time applying glue.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:07 pm
Posts: 68
Oops forgot to say I purchased the schwable glue remover from bike.24 (Germany) can't find it in the UK. Ordered it Monday arrived Thursday, quality service. Each tube does easily does two wheels.

http://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;n ... ,188;mid=6

Some may thinks its expensive, but you can get two wheels perfectly clean in 2 hours without any elbow grease.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:34 am 
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Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K
I can get wheels clean of glue with brake cleaner and elbow grease in less time than that. Althogh this was with alloy rims not carbonso I felt I could be a bit more agressive with them.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:47 am 
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Posts: 19
Wow, thanks for the great advice folks - if there was a Thanks button here, I'd be straight on it!

I read the posts a few hours ago on my phone and to be honest I was a bit daunted by it all at first, as it sounds like there's a lot to get right and having to do the glueing in phases over a day or so sounds like it takes a lot of planning (I've a very hectic schedule so would need to plan it in advance), but now I'm leaning more towards getting stuck in, reading up, buying the right gear, with the hope of having independence to not be unduly delayed when tubs need replacing/repairing.

I saw something on a thread here that the outer measurements of the tire should align with the rim width so that the tire doesn't stick out over the edge of the rim which would impact the aero performance, but then it's hard to tell if the rolling resistance gains from a wider tire for a heavy rider outweigh those aero losses. So, still unclear if I should go for a 23, 24, or 25mm tire to match with these Gigantex 50mm deep 23mm wide rims. For now as I'm browsing I'm looking at 23mm tubs as they are wider than some tires, but would tie in with the rim width.

I'll try get some time to read through the tub glueing and repair threads (any other key threads I should hit up?) but for now it would be good to understand if stretching involves any tools or means hand stretching before fitting and also what people mean by 6-month aged tubs - is that buying them and leaving them sit for 6-months before use?

Do people generally carry sealant with them or fill the tyre in advance and is the rolling resistance impact negligible or noteworthy? By carrying a preglued spare tub, do people mean use a tape or actually paint the glue on and then wrap it and cover it?

So based on the advice here, assuming I want to do it right and have as little hassle as possible, it seems my shopping list should include: schwable glue remover, Vittoria Mastik, Acetone (will have to lookup what the product name is to look for), fine steel wool, Tufo Extreme Sealant, a lightweight tub to carry as a pre-glued spare (e.g. Tufo Elite Jet). Not insignificant, but I guess I should think of it as an investment for years of tub goodness that lie ahead of me.

As for the actual tires themselves, should I keep the list to the following, which all seem to get good mentions and which one stands out as best weight:rolling resistance:puncture resistance trade-off? Or is it more the case that they're all damn good so the differences are minor? Veloflex Carbons, Veloflex Extremes, Vittoria Corsa Evo, Continental GP4000s.

Thanks...it's all starting to make a bit of sense but it ain't exactly straightforward so I can only imagine how much better the ride quality for tubs must be for so many people to feel they merit the effort.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:00 am
Posts: 176
Location: Melbourne
gb103 wrote:
Tubular newbie here also :welcome:

Here's a few hints and tips that I have experienced so far.
Vittoria tubs (latex base tape) are easier to mount even without stretching, I practiced mounting/centering the tubs dry prior to gluing.
I've read continental tubs are a lot harder to mount due to their butly base tape and stretching is a must. They don't always centre a easily as vittoria's (but I suppose it depends upon experience). Ride quality is poorer compared to vittoria/veloflex, but puncture resistance is greater.
Veloflex carbon is my next purchase as they have the performance of vittoria but with better puncture resistance.

It is the tube, not the base tape

True, I find Vittoria's cut up a lot easier then Veloflex, though the ride is close
Conti's don't have that issue, but they feel like rocks compared to the V brands. Hard to mount is not a concern... you would rather spend some time doing it anyway... but the feel is (BTW I run Conti Gators on my wet bike, which is clincher, and I think they are the best for that, I use to have GP4000 and attack/force on those wheels as well, and am a fan of those, but all Clinchers)

Subjectively the extra suppleness of the Veloflex means you can happily run them at higher pressures so that helps them roll better as well

25 will be fine, I am not sure about this big tyre trend personally, but since you have big rims I think 25 would sit best


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:40 am 
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Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 7:25 pm
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Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K
Carry sealant like Pit stop but do not preload. Carry a pre gled tb as well.

As for which tubs try them all out and see which ones you get on with. A tub habbit is expensive as you need a cople of set stretching and a pair on your bike. That pair of Conti's, Vittorio's and veloflex's. I currently use Conti gator skin sprinter on the bike I se for TT's. This is beacause I ride 7 miles to the TT and back again and I would rather not have an incident.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:21 am 
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bm0p700f wrote:
I can get wheels clean of glue with brake cleaner and elbow grease in less time than that. Althogh this was with alloy rims not carbonso I felt I could be a bit more agressive with them.


Ah but the 1.5 hrs includes watching tv letting the gunk works its magic. In reality 45 mins of elbow grease and £6 cost for the product is a bargain in my eyes.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 2:32 pm
Posts: 71
I'm new-ish to tubulars (one year anniversary this month!) and use them for racing as well as fast group rides, since I can't help now but ride them a bit more often so as to enjoy them. I'll only add a couple things:

1. Pretty good quick-review summary posted upthread, but its really worth your time to sit and take 2-3 hours to read/browse the full stickied gluing tubular thread.

2. Granted there is time investment to stretch them, glue them and gain the needed experience. The first time will make you rethink the endeavor, but the second time goes so much better. Its not as bad as it first seems, especially if you are patient and well-read/advised before starting, and the payoff, at least IME, surprised even me. You. Will. LOVE them.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:00 pm 
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Posts: 346
this all sounds more concise than reading through tons of posts. thx for all the info for n00bs. i would like to try tubulars...and see how much the weight savings has on my riding.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:07 pm
Posts: 11
Read through the sticky.
Veloflex are nicer and go on easier than Vittoria, in my experience. They are worth the extra bucks.
As with anything, the first few tries can be a learning experience but installing tubs is a fairly simple operation once you get the hang of it.
Enjoy!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:35 pm 
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Just wanted to say thanks for the latest replies - I've taken the advice and am reading through the glueing tubulars sticky with any bits of free time I can find. Slowly but surely I'm picking up the key points on there and am putting my shopping list together.

I think I'll go ahead and buy some Veloflex tubs, still not sure what size to go for, though it seems the Carbons or Extreme models will be the ones I'll choose between (seem to get good mentions on here). Are there any good threads on here or other sources of info about the merits of different size tyres? From what I've loosely gathered, it seems that for heavier riders (I'm 90kg), a 24 or 25mm tyre might gives a lower rolling resistance (and that the rolling resistance gains outweigh any minor increased weight costs) - is that correct?

I think I'll make up a couple of wheel holders in my shed using strips of timber so that I can use them to hold the wheels while I put the glue on and to hold them while they dry - do people generally do something like that?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:08 pm 
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Location: it's raining, it must be uk
for everyday riding i'd go for the carbons, the extremes are lighter, so will wear faster and be a bit more vulnerable to punctures

for a nice 25mm, there're the roubaix and arenberg (gum wall vs. black wall), a bit heavier than the carbons, but tougher again

i've not found it necessary to stretch veloflex, they are easy to fit

having tried both ways, i think it's well worth taking time to scrape the latex coating off of the basetape before gluing, otherwise when time comes to change a tyre most of the latex will be left on the rim - you can put a layer of glue over it ok, but it means an extra layer of gunk is now on the rim

it's easy enough to hold a rim while gluing, then hang it from a bent wire/hook/whatever while it dries


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Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:08 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:13 am 
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 2:20 am
Posts: 5795
Location: Belgium
Hi,

Quote:
having tried both ways, i think it's well worth taking time to scrape the latex coating off of the basetape before gluing, otherwise when time comes to change a tyre most of the latex will be left on the rim - you can put a layer of glue over it ok, but it means an extra layer of gunk is now on the rim


Just curious. Which manufacturer is still using latex on top of the base tape?

Ciao, )

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