your experience with tubulars and flats

Everything about building wheels, glueing tubs, etc.
Geoff
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Location: Canada

by Geoff

In my own experience, tubulars are much more resistant to flatting because it is harder to pinch-flat them. The new aero deep rim beds are causing some issues, but the response of the manufacturers with larger-volume tires has counteracted that nicely. We have a Crown-funded glass recycling scheme that keeps garbage off the roads, so our risk is almost entirely pinch-flats from our terrible winter frost-heaves every season. It is the perfect tubular environment. Your results may vary dramatically.

by Weenie


petepeterson
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Location: 604

by petepeterson

I used to make fun of Conti tubs for their ride qualities (relative to other tires) but over the years have come to love Continental Competitions for daily use. They are durable, great grip in wet, and have decent supleness despite not having a latex tube (unless you get some Pro LTD). Also the butyl tubes don't need to be inflated daily.

sawyer
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by sawyer

robertbb wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 5:35 am
KCookie wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 3:17 am
No, I just ride home carefully without tape, or if the tape stays on the rim just carry on riding.

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Right. Do you pre-glue the replacement?
You really don't need to. Pressure provides a lot of the "adhesion" of the tub to the rim. Just don't do any hard cornering and you will be fine. I wouldn't ride in a group with an unglued tub out of safety consideration for others, but really plenty of people on here who are long-time tub users have ridden many many times on unglued/untaped tubs without incident.
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robertbb
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by robertbb

sawyer wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:38 pm
robertbb wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 5:35 am
KCookie wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 3:17 am
No, I just ride home carefully without tape, or if the tape stays on the rim just carry on riding.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
Right. Do you pre-glue the replacement?
You really don't need to. Pressure provides a lot of the "adhesion" of the tub to the rim. Just don't do any hard cornering and you will be fine. I wouldn't ride in a group with an unglued tub out of safety consideration for others, but really plenty of people on here who are long-time tub users have ridden many many times on unglued/untaped tubs without incident.
Thanks Sawyer. I guess that's OK if you're out on a flat-ish or casual ride but if you're in the middle of a spirited ride, involving any climbing/descending... or even a fondo... it does not sound ideal at all. Don't want to have to trickle home...

The whole point of running tubulars is for my A-rides, hillclimbs and fondo's etc.... and if I need to change a tyre I want to then be able to get back on and push it again.

Does pre-gluing help at all? Is there another way to replace a tubular in such a way that a ride can be continued at full intensity?
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Calnago
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by Calnago

I would never take a non preglued tire with me as a spare. It makes a huge difference for sure. Contact cement is activated with pressure so even though you might think it’s all dry, just wait till you get home and go to remove it to glue it properly. You’ll be surprised how stuck it actually is. Now contrast that to running a Tubular with no glue, like I had the misfortune of doing inadvertently a few weeks ago when I thought a set of wheels was glued but they were actually just mounted and waiting to be glued. Took them out. Rode normally. Eventually noticed a hop in the rear wheel. That’s weird I thought and it was enough that I stopped to see what was wrong. But I couldn’t find anything so got home and removed the tire. To my surprise I hadn’t even glued it and a bulge had formed against the valve from the tire backing up against it as I braked. I was very lucky nothing more serious happened. A preglued tire would have been much more adhered to the rim. Don’t know why anyone wouold even consider going out with a spare that wasn’t preglued.
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sawyer
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by sawyer

Calnago wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:13 am
I would never take a non preglued tire with me as a spare. It makes a huge difference for sure. Contact cement is activated with pressure so even though you might think it’s all dry, just wait till you get home and go to remove it to glue it properly. You’ll be surprised how stuck it actually is. Now contrast that to running a Tubular with no glue, like I had the misfortune of doing inadvertently a few weeks ago when I thought a set of wheels was glued but they were actually just mounted and waiting to be glued. Took them out. Rode normally. Eventually noticed a hop in the rear wheel. That’s weird I thought and it was enough that I stopped to see what was wrong. But I couldn’t find anything so got home and removed the tire. To my surprise I hadn’t even glued it and a bulge had formed against the valve from the tire backing up against it as I braked. I was very lucky nothing more serious happened. A preglued tire would have been much more adhered to the rim. Don’t know why anyone wouold even consider going out with a spare that wasn’t preglued.
Hi - that sounds unfortunate. And no doubt it will depend in part on weight, riding style, tub, rim etc etc, but for sure plenty of people do ride from time to time with an unglued tub, with absolutely no problems whatever. I would just caution - take it easy, and don't ride with others.

Agree that "full intensity" riding needs a pre-glued tub
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Calnago
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by Calnago

I’m not saying I’d go “full intensity” with even a pre-glued spare that was mounted roadside either, just that it’s a whole lot better than riding a non-preglued spare. You must be talking about tri guys when you say “plenty of people” do it :)
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sawyer
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by sawyer

Calnago wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:30 pm
I’m not saying I’d go “full intensity” with even a pre-glued spare that was mounted roadside either, just that it’s a whole lot better than riding a non-preglued spare. You must be talking about tri guys when you say “plenty of people” do it :)
Very few tri guys IME would know what a tub was. The %age of competing triathathletes riding tubs must be absolutely tiny - and to be fair I'm not sure why you would do it.

No - I mean road bike riders who sometimes/often use tubs. Perhaps not that many people admit to it where you are. But the truth is, it's one of the myths of tubs that it's incredibly unsafe to go anywhere near a bike with unglued tubs. It's not safe for riding quick, or with others (just in case), but for a steady ride if you have to, it is nothing to worry about.

But I appreciate you never do it, so wouldn't know.

The other thing I'd say on this, although it's hard to quantify, is that a really tight fitting tub such as a Conti will no doubt be quite a bit more secure
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Calnago
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by Calnago

Didn’t I just say I inadvertently did it, went out on a ride with unglued tubes by mistake (thought they were, my bad) and by the end of the ride there was a noticeable hop in the wheel. Made total sense when I realized they weren’t glued. Just a very bad practice to even consider except in the case of an emergency. Don’t know why you would actually be telling people it’s perfectly fine. Sure, if you need to in order to get home you’re going to be fine, but it begs the question if you had a spare with you in the first place, why wasn’t it preglued?
Some tri guys would do it because they figure they’re mostly riding in a straight line, so no big deal, and that a quick change in the event of flat was more important than a glued tire :).
But yes, I would suspect the number of tri guys using tubulars these days is tiny, especially since there’s “studies” that show clinchers are faster (tri guys do love the hype, whether real or not) and they can run sealant with tubeless and not worry about their race being over due to a puncture. I just love to poke fun at the tri guys because well, you know :)
Realistically, hardly anyone I know rides tubulars on a regular basis anyways, it’s really mostly folks like us on the internet that talk about them. I happen to only ride tubulars now, but I don’t mind the effort involved in keeping them all running. Love the ride and handling characteristics.
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sungod
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by sungod

what calnago said, or to put it another way...

some people smoke and don't get cancer, that doesn't make smoking a good idea

some people ride unglued tubs and don't crash horribly, that doesn't make riding unglued tubs a good idea

robertbb
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

Calnago wrote: Realistically, hardly anyone I know rides tubulars on a regular basis anyways, it’s really mostly folks like us on the internet that talk about them.
Quote of the day.

Sooooo many pages of tubular love on these forums, but which omit some very simple truths and are misleading because sentences that should start with "if" or "unless" usually don't. Welcome to the Internet :)
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shimmeD
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by shimmeD

Sad, there's noone else to talk to about tubulars.
Less is more.

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Calnago
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by Calnago

It’s a lonely road we ride on tubulars, but smiling knowingly all the way.
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Nixster
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by Nixster

My anecdotes-
I flat more on tubs than clinchers but then I don’t flat much on either one. Mainly because I watch where I’m going. But and it’s a big but for me, I get pinch flat punctures on potholes as the main mode of failure on tubs and it’s happened to me twice in a ‘race’ when I was in a group and had limited forward visibility. Sure I could stop under control but the group was long gone and both times sealant didn’t work.
I’m still committed to tubs for the summer but still feeling a bit sore that when I really needed my tyres to work they let me down, literally!

addictR1
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Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:11 am

by addictR1

Calnago wrote:It’s a lonely road we ride on tubulars, but smiling knowingly all the way.
Yes it’s so true... of all my friends I ride with, in the only guy that rides tubular and I love it.

For me it’s like riding on cloud9... but yea it’s lonely as not one to talk to about tubs


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by Weenie


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