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.