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Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:10 am
by RocketRacing
So tubular is dying. Aero over weight. But the marginal gains poscast Q&A part 2 adresses my question of why pros continue to use tubulars:

- easy for them
- running on flats (safe)
- pro tubulars faster than what we can buy
- lighter still has an advantage.

But as on only wheelset, they seem silly to a non pro like me. Now that i have 1500g 56mm aero wheelset, i am tempted to get a tubular set of the same aero wheels that could save me 1.2-1.5lbs!!!! Run some corsa speeds.

I could have a 12lbs bike with all my crap on it, or 11.2lbs as you would get it from the factory.

Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:10 am
by Weenie

Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:32 am
by Calnago
I would never recommend tubulars as an only wheelset to anyone.
And I think that list above is lame.
- The ability to ride with a flat tire is really part of the safety equation. You cannot really “ride” on a flat tubular but that’s how they make it sound. The advantage is that at least the tire won’t be coming off the rim like it most likely would with a clincher. Still, with a flat tubular you are wanting a replacement, now.
-Easy for the riders, yes. Easy for the mechanics?... hardly, in fact more like a pain in the ass. Remember, ALL equipment is easy for the riders. They’re paid to ride, not worry about their equipment. So, if it’s so hard for the mechanics, then why bother... simple....
- ride and handling characteristics, which isn’t even mentioned in the list above but is by far the most important trait and the main reason they are still so prevalent in the pro peloton.
- the tires the pros ride are “faster” than what we can buy. Ha... the only good example I’m aware of of a tubular the pros are using that is different than what we can buy is the Continental Competition Pro Ltd, which has a latex innertube instead of a butyl innertube.
But the others... like Velfolex, same. Specialized S-Works, same. Etc. I can get any of them tomorrow.

But if you’ve got an itch to scratch, then by all means scratch it. It’s the only way you’re going to know for yourself. You can talk to others all day long. You can spend all night on google looking for the answer. It’s not there. It’s just words. Same as this. Nothing in my post will give you the experience first hand.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:37 am
by LouisN
It comes down to choice.
I use tubulars 95% of the time, in all weathers.
One alloy tubular wheelset ( 1375 g) with 27 mm Vittoria Pave's for bad weather.
One carbon high profile set (56 mm X 25 mm at 1325 g) with 25 mm Arenbergs for nicer weather rides.
I carry two spare tubulars when I do very long rides on crappy roads or rough weather. I don't really feel it, I have to touch my back to check if they're still there during the ride.

The clincher sets are for indoor rides ;) .


Louis :)

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:46 am
by RocketRacing
The safety part was a big discussion point. When clinchers or tubeless fail, it can be catastrophic.

Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:52 am
by Calnago
Yes, If you’re descending at speed down a big mountain and go into a curve and your tire punctures, well, with a clincher you’ve got a good chance of being bare rim to pavement very quickly, followed by something very bad. If the same thing happens with a tubular, there’s still going to be a layer of rubber between your rim and the pavement, giving you a better chance. Also, in my experience, I’ve never had a tubular just go flat as instantly as a clincher does. It’s just harder for the air to escape. That extra time can be all the time you need to get things to a controlled stop. I don’t think anyone is going to continue descending at speed with a flat tubular.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:20 am
by AJS914
I could see tubeless taking over as long as the 6.8kg limit isn't lowered.

low rolling resistance
no or reduced flats
potentially more aero
bike still weighs 6.8kg

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:54 am
by LionelB
Ah, the tubular vs tubeless vs clincher debate :roll:

I ride tubular exclusively but I have stopped trying to convince others to do so.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:56 am
by beanbiken
LionelB wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:54 am
Ah, the tubular vs tubeless vs clincher debate :roll:

I ride tubular exclusively but I have stopped trying to convince others to do so.
Ditto........... we can go round in circles until hell freezes over

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:39 am
by alcatraz
I have a wealthy older weightweenie friend. He loves his tubular wheelset. He knows that he is safer descending or racing on this wheelset. He keeps it for special occasions like when he wants to PR on a climb section or race on smoother roads.

I'm to cheap to ride tubular tires myself. I know I won't replace them in time and then suffer a lot of punctures and possibly taxi rides.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:41 am
by wheelsONfire
What is the deal with tubeless on a racing bike? Isn't tubeless about lower pressure?
Well, perhaps better RR, but is it really worth it?
You might aswell use tubolito and get a lower weight...

Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:49 pm
by Calnago
LionelB wrote:Ah, the tubular vs tubeless vs clincher debate :roll:

I ride tubular exclusively but I have stopped trying to convince others to do so.
Agreed... i spend zero time trying to convince people to go to tubulars and I probably spend more time dissuading people who see my tubulars and say “I wanna try”. If they’re still interested after I point out the maintenance required, I’ll certainly encourage them but with the caveat that while I quite enjoy maintaining my own tubulars I really hate doing it for others even if they’re paying me. But if they really insist, I’ll show them the process, once. After that, it’s their responsibility.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:34 pm
by Hexsense
wheelsONfire wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:41 am
What is the deal with tubeless on a racing bike? Isn't tubeless about lower pressure? -> Somewhat, and reduced chance of getting flat with sealant is another.
Well, perhaps better RR, but is it really worth it? -> also, just like clinchers, on wide rims they are more aero than tubular.
You might aswell use tubolito and get a lower weight... -> Tubolito never been shown to do well in rolling resistance. Yes it weight less but it roll slower than even regular butyl tube. [cite]
Answered in blue.

Tubeless tires also hold tight on the rim. It has lower chance of getting off the rim in event of flat. That's the safety factor Tubular has over tubeless, isn't it?
PS. I'm not ready yet to move to tubeless though. Still using Clincher with Latex tube.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:42 pm
by wheelsONfire
Tubeless hold tight to the rim? Have you heard of tire burps?
I can tell you, i had that on my gravel. The tire went from good to zero in a flash when i was cornering.
I crashed really hard and hit a metal fence along the road at 45-50km/h.
The fun thing was that it was a Hutchinson tire (they introduced tubeless on bikes i've been told).
The not so fun was i had to walk home 18km with the bike hanging at my shoulder.
So don't say tubeless is a miracle!

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:33 pm
by Hexsense
wheelsONfire wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:42 pm
So don't say tubeless is a miracle!
We don't. Hence why i'm still on Latex tube clincher. It's not miracle or second coming of the lord of rolling rings or whatever.
Fitment is real area to be improved in Tubeless. It supposed to be just right, fit and yet easy to mount. Unfortunately, compatibility varies badly. But on tubeless set that fit just right. What i said is true about it stay on the rim tightly.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:06 pm
by AJS914
It's not a miracle. Road tubeless is still an evolving standard. I said that I could see tubeless becoming popular in the pro peloton as long as bikes stay at 6.8kg and tubulars don't have a weight advantage.

Kristoff was riding Bora WTO tubeless in Flanders and he won Gent-Wevelgem on tubeless. I think it's going to start edging out tubulars. If riders/teams think they can get an edge with less flats, less rolling resistance, and better aero they will take the chance.
Tubeless hold tight to the rim? Have you heard of tire burps?
You must have been running pretty low pressure to get a burp. It's really not an issue at road tire pressures.

Re: Tubular in my head

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:06 pm
by Weenie