Making the transition to tubulars

Everything about building wheels, glueing tubs, etc.
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by HammerTime2

Geoff wrote:Yeah, well, that is the way we dealt with 'difficult' tires back 'in the day'.

I still remember 'Old' George teaching me how to do a stirrup-stretch when I was 12 or 13 years old, or so. We raced and trained on Czech-made Barum tires (incidentally, now Tufo). I was suprised to see the amount of force he applied, resulting in a series of loud, 'snapping' sounds as the basetape threads separated. The tires went on much easier, and I never had a problem mounting the tire using his technique. Also, I never had a problem with tires adhereing or flats as a result.

Today, a lot of manufactures specifically warn against using a stirrup-stretch on their tires to avoid damaging them. Today, almost everybody recommends stretching tires by leaving them on s rim (which doesn't help getting them on a rim in the first place, which can actually be harder than getting them on a rim having glue on already, due to slippage). Though I don't advise that you do it yourself, lest you damage a tire, I have been known, on occasion, to revert to my old ways for a difficult tire (Dugast seta 27's, for instance) :oops:

Anyway, once a tire is nicely stretched-out (however you get there) you should not have any problem mounting it.
I say once again, someone should produce a slightly undersized "pre-stretching" rim, which would have a small enough diameter to make it easy to initially mount a (tubular) tire without glue. The tire would then be inflated for an initial (pre-)stretching. Then the tire would be removed and placed on a full-sized rim, and inflated for final stretching. The pre-stretching rim should be big enough to allow enough stretching when the tire is inflated so as to make placing the tire on the full-sized rim easy.

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by LionelB

It's hard enough to find new alum tubular rims, you are not about to find a slightly smaller stretching only tubular rim.

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by vdrey

That truly would be a niche within a niche

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by nlouthan

Wheels Manufacturing is closing out some Kinlin tub rims for USD24. I picked up four.

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by Geoff

Nah, just go to an old-timer's LBS. They are usually pack-rats, so often have piles of old rims from when alloy rims got replaced by Durex hard-anodized rims. You can often get a bunch of them for a small fee. By now, even most of the old-timers have realized that Fiamme Red Label rims are not coming back...

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by HillRPete

Out on 23mm Vittoria SC for the first time today, after a few years on Conti. Rode some roads of changing quality for comparison. Pressure a bit over 7bar, been using 6-7bar on the Conti Comps. Got to say I could not feel any of the purported "smoothness of the 320tpi". They felt a bit different to the Comps, but not really noticeably smoother. Didn't have any complaints about the Contis, either. Maybe I just don't have a very sensitive backside? They do look super on carbon rims, though.

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by dj97223

Try it with the same pressure as the Conti's and see if it feels any different.
“If you save your breath I feel a man like you can manage it. And if you don't manage it, you'll die. Only slowly, very slowly, old friend.”

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by HillRPete

Ok I did that, rode them a bit under 7bar, just like I did with the Comps recently. Quite honestly, I don't think the improvement in ride quality is worth mentioning. Maybe there is a little difference in how they feel, but that might just be the psychological effect of being more alert when trying new gear. Anyway I'm glad I glued them up, since I've been reading the glowing reviews of high TPI tubs for years, and there is nothing like finding out for yourself.

Will wear them down and try 25mm Comps. I'm pretty convinced now that those will be the best tyres for me.

Update: got a few rides on them, and either they are breaking in, or I'm getting used to them. Liking them more and more at 6bar front / 7bar rear. Rider is a bit over 70kg.

Update 2: I should also mention that the rear Conti Comp was worn out, so that might have contributed to its supple feel.
Last edited by HillRPete on Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by Geoff

You know, I don't mind the Conti Comps, either! I think we're in the minority on the Board that say that, though. My favorite Vittorias are the old All-Weathers, which were pretty heavy-duty. They were quite a bit nicer to ride than Conti Comps.

If you really want to feel what a tubular can be, try the FMB or Dugast offerings.

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by mellowJohnny

Geoff wrote:A Vittoria Rally might be a good choice, too.

Just make sure it fits the rims you ride before setting out with it. The Rallys don't have a removable core, so you are kinda stuck with that stem length (which is not generous to begin with). You could opt for the Zipp style valve extenders, but then you'll need to carry an adapter for your pump as the extenders don't have threads.

Can you tell I've been down that road? :-)

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by Zoro

Zoro wrote:
fdegrove wrote:...From your reasoning a stiff tyre (low tpi) pumped up high enough is nirvana....
As explained in the prior post that is not what I was suggesting

If a 65kg racer was given a 22mm clincher with 120 TPI stiff tough stuff, and a 25 mm silk tubular and we assumed there would be no punctures.

If it was crit like and maybe wet...
I'd say, run the silk around 90psi front, 100 psi rear.
Run poor quality clincher 100 front, 110 rear and hope for the best (my son's case today was 120, wet and crit)

If it was RR like, dry and smooth...
I'd say run the silk 115 front, 125 rear
Run poor quality clincher 120 front, 130 rear (don't bounce)

If it was TT like, dry and smooth...
I'd say run the silk 130 front, 135 rear
Run poor quality clincher 130 front, 135 rear (don't bounce)

If it was cobble like (I don't know so much about those, but I'm learning) and they are going to be bouncing because, its cobbles.
I'd say run the silk 95 front, 105 rear
Run poor quality clincher 105 front, 110 rear as the deformation of the tyre is a big penalty.

Data from 2014 TDF - just two teams (in addition to data from Garmin Mech from prior tour).
Note the 145psi number for TTs: ... e-pressure
Dry Wet Cobbles Time Trial
Astana 7.5-8 bar 7-7.5 bar 6 bar 7.5-8.5 bar
109-116psi 102-109psi 87psi 109-123psi
Cofidis 7-7.5 bar 7-7.5 bar 6 bar 10 bar
102-109psi 102-109psi 87psi 145psi

"For this Tour, tyre pressures have ranged everywhere from 4 bar / 58psi on the cobbles up to an expected 10 bar / 145psi for certain riders for the stage 20 time trial. The highest pressure we have heard used? That would be 15 bar [220psi], as put in by Tinkoff-Saxo Bank mechanic Rune Kristensen, for a large rider for a road stage (though not at this Tour)."

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by HillRPete

Initially I wrote here that the Vittoria SC basically rode the same as the Conti Comp for me (both in 22mm). Now I feel the urge to add more info, after a few 100k.

I don't know what it is. Either my perception has changed, or the tyres have finally broken in. Yesterday I rode a semi-regular sector of mine, that has road surface different to what's usually found around here, a kind of tarmac, but rougher. Usually one immediately feels when crossing into the sectors, because of the slight vibrations caused. Yesterday, first time on the Vitto I just rode the climb mindlessly, until idly wondering when the rough surface would start -- immediately realizing I was already right in the middle of it.

More and more I think the Vittorias (and similar tyres) actually have something going for them. Maybe I'm just so spoilt by the generally very smooth roads here, that I didn't immediately feel a big difference on my regular loops.

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by thechemist

So, quick question as I let me ignorance shine through here. I flatted my vittoria's last week and was just going to put some stans in and replace the vittoria stem. Unscrewed the red vittoria valve stem and put some stans in etc etc.

I could not for the life of me reattach the red vittoria removable stem? It doesn't have an inner core but it was clearly threaded to be reattached.

I ended up taking the whole tire off but for future reference does the red vottoria removable stems just suck or do I need more practice/patience?

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by Kayrehn

Sometimes the rubber casing gets in between the gap - try to pry ad widen the area around the stem first. If you're using a long stem for deeper rims, I'm amazed you managed to get the stans sealant in at all!

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by thechemist

Kayrehn wrote:Sometimes the rubber casing gets in between the gap - try to pry ad widen the area around the stem first. If you're using a long stem for deeper rims, I'm amazed you managed to get the stans sealant in at all!

Well I haven't glued the tire back on yet so I will go check around the casing and make sure the stem is easy access.

I am using zipp 404s but once I took the value stem off I just put the sealant in the valve stem hole?

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