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Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:26 pm
by Calnago
I doubt that tubeless will win out over tubular (in the pro peloton) in the end, simply because of the better handling characteristics that tubulars possess. Tubeless still needs two stiff sidewalls pressing against the solid sidewalls of a clincher rim. That won’t change. And because of that they will never be able to be as supple and conform as easily to the road imperfections, especially while in a gnarly turn, as tubulars will, which are just laying on a smooth curved rim bed approximately the same radius as the tire without any hard edged walls on the side or the constraints of having to make the tire sidewalls stiff as boards.
If it was a flat straight course then the handling characteristics really don’t matter at all, so in that scenario, then pick whichever one you want. But for all round riding, tubulars hands down.
And as for the UCI reducing the weight limit, as long as manufacturers are pushing discs and aero, there won’t be any more pressure from the manufacturers to be reducing the weight limit anytime soon. And so I expect the 6.8kg limit to stay as it is for awhile. If they do lower it, then you may find yourself wondering where all those disc braked aero bikes went in the pro peloton all of a sudden, just as they were finally gaining some traction.

Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:26 pm
by Weenie

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:24 am
by Geoff
The tubular/clincher (and now tubeless) debate will probably never end.

In my own experience, I would say that you can absolutely ride on a punctured tubular. Unlike clinchers, the fact that the casing is wrapped tightly around the tube seems to prevent the air from rushing-out quickly, giving you more time to stop safely. I recall one instance where a teammate was able to feign the ability to cover attacks long enough for me to recover after bridging across to that group and take his place (we ended-up winning that sprint). He was able to stay in the group for well over 1,000m. With three of us there, they all kind of just sat-up. There is no way I would have been able to follow another move right away if he was riding clinchers and had to drop-out of the group immediately (but tubeless...?). For sure, someone would have gone right away if that happened and there would have been no way I would have been able to stay with that. Tubulars rule for racing.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:34 am
by Calnago
I’d agree with Geoff and said as much earlier that a punctured tubular seems to lose air much more slowly than a clincher, in which case you can still ride it. But once flat, it’s pretty hard to control and I’d certainly be waiting on the side of a descent for a replacement before continuing.
Ironically, the two worst crashes I’ve had were the result of riding on an almost flat tubular. During one, I hit a turn hard and only then (too late) realized my rear tire was way low, but couldn’t recover in time and highsided myself into the hospital. The other occasion I was riding up a hill and the front tire felt mushy. So once at the top on level ground I knew of a place to pull out and check things. A 90 degree turn into a driveway at about 20mph with hardly any air in the front tire was not a wise thing to do. I didn’t end up in the hospital but felt like I’d gone a couple rounds with Mike Tyson before he threw me out of the ring onto the concrete floor. I had to chuckle a bit since I’ve been of the major advantages of tubulars is the safety and here I am attributing my two worst crashes to them. So now, I don’t generally try to ride very far at least once I realize the pressure is dropping.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:43 am
by AJS914
If you had tubeless with sealant you may have never noticed a flat in the first place. Tubeless is getting better and better. We'll have to sit back and watch and see whether the pros adopt it en masse.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:32 am
by Calnago
Regardless of whether you get a flat or not, the tubular remains the handling king for reasons already stated.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:38 pm
by wheelsONfire
If pro teams start riding tubeless i guess the crowd will follow just as with most things. Always wondered what those guys would ride if they decided themselves.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:57 pm
by Calnago
Use of tubulars at the pro level is kind of a unique situation. Here we have virtually all of the pro peloton using tubulars, yet only a tiny fraction of the general public using them, regardless of their skill level. Tire manufacturers aren't pushing tubulars on the public, not at all... they are totally happy to sell clinchers all day long. Unlike disc brakes for example, where they are definitely being "pushed" in the pro peloton, as marketing fodder to present to the public, even though perhaps the most appropriate braking technology in the pro peloton may very well still be rim brakes. But tubulars are in more of a "pull" situation, meaning the riders must really want to use them, and prefer them, so demand to use them. It's certainly not easier for the mechanics, and really... from a manufacturers sales standpoint, a tire is a tire, people need them when they wear out, and it doesn't really matter from a sales perspective if they replace them with a tubular, a normal clincher, or a tubeless clincher. They have to be replaced. So tubulars are one of the few areas I can think of that despite their inconsequential sales figures to the general public, they are simply preferred by the vast majority of riders in the pro peloton and teams are still happy to provide them to the riders. So I don't know if a change to a different tire technology is imminent, because where the rubber actually really does meet the road, safety and handling are tough things to give up, especially when you're racing for a living.
Yet even the pros, when not racing, are probably more often than not using clinchers. So, tubulars are in my opinion almost in a category all their own, very exclusive piece of critical equipment requiring a certain kind of commitment to using them. Do the rewards outweigh the hassles. For some, myself included, absolutely. But my advice to most people... probably not.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:27 pm
by zefs
Calnago wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:26 pm
Tubeless still needs two stiff sidewalls pressing against the solid sidewalls of a clincher rim. That won’t change. And because of that they will never be able to be as supple and conform as easily to the road imperfections, especially while in a gnarly turn, as tubulars will, which are just laying on a smooth curved rim bed approximately the same radius as the tire without any hard edged walls on the side or the constraints of having to make the tire sidewalls stiff as boards.
Vittoria's 320 tpi tubeless tires that are coming out soon will probably be great to ride. I have tried Corsa G with latex tubes and people say that's how tubulars feel, so I imagine the TL ones will have even better road feel and suppleness. Combined with the lower pressures but good RR, too.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:11 pm
by AJS914
Once the pros start riding tubeless, the conspiracy theorists will come out and say they pros are being forced to use them. :D

I think that in the end a tire is not a very visible part of the bike. A tiny Continental label rolling by is not very visible. It probably doesn't really matter to Continental if Chris Froome wins on a Conti tubular or a GP5000.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:41 pm
by RocketRacing
I think of froom won on a gp5000, conti would be all over it for marketing.

There is an interesting discussion of why pros still use tubular on the marginal gains podcast “ask josh par 2” (josh p of zipp fame, and now silca... who has worked with pro teams for years including sagan, etc).

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:53 am
by LouisN
I don't think it will help Rocketracing deciding on buying a new wheelset, but tubular tires are there to stay in the pro peloton.
It's just the best practical choice. Guys can ride for a few km's until the team car gets to them and get a new wheel. Or on events like Paris Roubaix, they can ride to the next soigneur who may be 4-5 km's down the road. With tubeless or clinchers in the event of a flat tire, there would be either some security issue riding on them or simply the rider's race would be over.
The rest is just some very marginal gains...

Louis :)

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:43 am
by Pinguin
LouisN wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:53 am
I don't think it will help Rocketracing deciding on buying a new wheelset, but tubular tires are there to stay in the pro peloton.
It's just the best practical choice. Guys can ride for a few km's until the team car gets to them and get a new wheel. Or on events like Paris Roubaix, they can ride to the next soigneur who may be 4-5 km's down the road. With tubeless or clinchers in the event of a flat tire, there would be either some security issue riding on them or simply the rider's race would be over.
The rest is just some very marginal gains...

Louis :)
+1
Tubulars for the pros and everyone who want to ride it
For Hobbyriders whos time crunched Clinchers are the better (easyier) way
Rocket: if you want to try,why not,but dont expect wonders from tubulars

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:41 am
by mikemelbrooks
RocketRacing wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:41 pm
I think of froom won on a gp5000, conti would be all over it for marketing.

There is an interesting discussion of why pros still use tubular on the marginal gains podcast (josh p of zipp fame, and now silca... who has worked with pro teams for years including sagan, etc).
What people don't understand is it's only a marginal gain if your the only one using it, if every pro raced on tubeless there would be no gain.
What I find interesting is that we are seeing tubeless set ups on pros timetrial bikes where every second counts and the risk/ reward of a puncture and bike change, and lower rolling resistance seems to be changing.
I can see tubeless gaining a foothold from the timetrial stages. Also note what wheels and tyres pros use on their training bikes when they don't have a team car and mechanic following them.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:46 pm
by RocketRacing
https://marginalgainspodcast.cc/ask-josh-anything-002/

At the end is the tubular question about pros. For a guy that works closely with the top pros, i figure josh has good insight.

Me trying tubular will be more “intellectual masturbation”... or what i will officially coin “marginal masturbation.” Up to 1.5lbs taken out of wheels/tires is no joke, but this is more about getting my bike to 11.5lbs, and maybe cutting a few seconds off a local climbing segment than winning pro races. And then balancing that with the cost of building a custom wheelset (cause my wheels need to be 18k matching carbon). Winter training has made the most difference. The rest is more vanity, and i am happy to admit it.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:52 pm
by Kayrehn
Lighter. Smoother. Better handling. Less likely to puncture. Unlikely to explode during a puncture event. Unlikely to have the tires run off after a puncture.

Those using clinchers for aero gains are the ones chasing marginal gains. All the above attributes of tubulars make sense to me as a recreational cyclist. And because I'm a hobbyist, I have the time to mess with it.

Damn I told myself not to pitch in but can't help it. This thread should be killed for being endlessly repetitive.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk


Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:52 pm
by Weenie