Any reason to "try" tubulars today

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Shrike
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by Shrike

I jumped in last year, at the tail end of the party.

The wheels themselves are great, it's the tubular tyre itself that's the issue I find. I have this precious mentality with them because I'm thinking if I ride too many miles on them I'll have to do a new glue job again soon. So in terms of value for money, I'm not getting as much out of them as I do from my clincher wheelset on which I don't give a toss about the tyre mileage. I might stick something like a GP4000sII on the 404s tubs next as it's probably better wearing that my current G+ and I'll ride them more often.

That said, I can't imagine a better feeling in the world than being on 202 tubulars. Beats a finger in the bum. No contest.

Never had a puncture on a tubular by the way, but I guess that's partially luck based so not sure if it's worth noting. I see that pros puncture them a fair bit but they're likely using really thin and fast tubs and using them on even woeful surfaces, something mortals like us wouldn't do.

If I was buying my posh wheels again, I'd stick with tubs for the 202s, but I'd go clinchers for the 404s.

Should you try them? You have posh wheels already, so unless you wanted some truly magical feeling climbing wheels, I wouldn't bother.

Not unless you see a really cheap set going, or just want the experience under your belt.

by Weenie


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naylor343
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by naylor343

People often mention, and quite correctly, the security of well glued on tubs when puncturing downhill. This however adds its own problems. If as I do, you live in a mountain environment, the security of the glue is there. The problem occurs after a puncture, when you fit your super lite thin spare tubular and you still have to get home up and down mountain roads.

As someone who started racing in the 80's and used tubs up until the early 2000's I have always hankered to go back to tubs, especially for rim weight. But the security offered from a tub changed after a puncture is not enough. At least when you have repaired a clincher or tubeless puncture, you are back to the same security you had when you set out. With the tub, it is can be a long and nervous ride home hoping you survive each corner on the descents

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wheelsONfire
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by wheelsONfire

I mainly bought tubular for the sake of lower weight.
Ride feel is great!
Worst thing is when you get a puncture and/ or cleaning off old glue
I hate both!

Buying into tubulars is kind of reviving a sense of old school,... which speaks to me.
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LouisN
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by LouisN

FWIW I ride with tubulars 95% of the time, in Canada, from april to november. To me there is no drawbacks to riding tubular tires.
Light, safe, comfortable. I use pre glued NORMAL tub as spares on my rides and never had any issues or security worries getting back home safely. A tub takes less time to change a flat than a clincher.
Clinchers are perfect for indoor training. I have to agree, on the stainless rollers they are faster :lol: .

Louis :)

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

Spent years riding tubular only and for ride quality and lighter rims tubular has an advantage over most other options. The exception is super supple, big (28 mm or more) clincher with a latext tube on a really wide rim, run at minimal pressure.

I currently have one set of wheels with 28mm Compass Extralights on rims with a 22mm internal width. Done the same with Vittoria Corsa 28mm. At 60 - 65 psi the only thing that is comparable in terms of ride quality would be a 30 mm high quality tubular at the same pressure. That leaves very few options in the tubular department. The convenience of the clincher set-up is a fair trade off for the extra weight IMO.

The performance of the "wide clincher" set-up is so good (speed, grip, comfort, descending confidence) that I will never go back to tubular.
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Marin
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by Marin

I've never ridden tubulars, but I'm currently riding a set of Panaracer-made 32mm Fairweather Traveler tires tubeless (!) that ride *at least* as good as Compass Extralights, and that stay seated when deflated - so now you can finally have it all :)

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brycerider
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by brycerider

I swap between a set of Black Inc 50 clinchers running 25mm Conti GP4K and some Zipp 404 tubs running Vittoria Evo Corsa in 25mm. Ride a lot of chipseal roads and the tubs are significantly smoother. I just like riding them. Out in a rural area so not as much risk of puncture as it would be if I was riding in the city. And these days with everyone wanting to go disc you can pickup new or near new rim brake tubs for a bargain.
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Calnago
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by Calnago

As long as clinchers (tubeless or tubed) are supported by two hard “walls” on either side, coupled with relatively stiff sidewalls (compared to tubulars), then there is no way they can “move” as freely as they woukd if supported on a shallow rim bed with a similar radius as the tire, as tubulars are. Of course, once you get beyond a certain size then how they are supported probably matters less and less I’m sure, so for mountain bikes at least tubulars are less relevant due to both size and the fact that bouncing over rocks etc makes it next to impossible to feel the subtle differences in ride characteristics that a tubular has over a clincher on nice pavement. So for road tires up to at least 28mm or so, IMO tubulars still far outperform the best clinchers when it comes to handling and ride characteristics.
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MyM3Coupe
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by MyM3Coupe

wintershade wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:29 pm

On the flip side, I hear tubeless is the "future" . .

So try tubular, or has that ship sailed?
They been say that for years, but tubeless never really took off. Silly idea on a road bike to say the least. Aa nice, wide, high TPI tire with a latex tube is 90% of a tubular ride. So yea, that ship sailed years ago.

thePrince
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by thePrince

I don't see any reason for crit/road and still mostly cx not to race tubulars, and probably even train in them - once I discovered effetto mariposa tape and orange seal. I have had the same set of 404 tubies since 2009 and it was my only set of tubular - I raced on them and always dreaded flatting. Now, w/ orange seal minor punctures are sealed 99% of the time, and the effetto tape makes changing the tires a breeze. I tried other tapes when I first started (tufo looking at you) and they were bad. My tubular lineup has ballooned to 5 sets.

Last week I wanted to swap a nice set of vittoria cx tires onto my 404s from a different set that needs a few spokes/nipples replaced. The 404s had tires on them already, so this process involved:

1. removing tires on both wheelsets
2. removing excess tape from the 404s
3. gluing the cx tires onto the 404s
4. adding orange seal to 404s

I timed the whole process at 35 minutes. Would like to see many tubeless (and some clincher) users out there swap tires any faster than that.

Anyways, as Calnago pointed out, you can't finder a nicer ride than the rim profile/tire construction of a tublar, and combined with the effetto tape it's now an easy process as well.

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

thePrince wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:59 pm
I don't see any reason for crit/road and still mostly cx not to race tubulars, and probably even train in them - once I discovered effetto mariposa tape and orange seal. I have had the same set of 404 tubies since 2009 and it was my only set of tubular - I raced on them and always dreaded flatting. Now, w/ orange seal minor punctures are sealed 99% of the time, and the effetto tape makes changing the tires a breeze. I tried other tapes when I first started (tufo looking at you) and they were bad. My tubular lineup has ballooned to 5 sets.

Last week I wanted to swap a nice set of vittoria cx tires onto my 404s from a different set that needs a few spokes/nipples replaced. The 404s had tires on them already, so this process involved:

1. removing tires on both wheelsets
2. removing excess tape from the 404s
3. gluing the cx tires onto the 404s
4. adding orange seal to 404s

I timed the whole process at 35 minutes. Would like to see many tubeless (and some clincher) users out there swap tires any faster than that.

Anyways, as Calnago pointed out, you can't finder a nicer ride than the rim profile/tire construction of a tublar, and combined with the effetto tape it's now an easy process as well.
While 35 minutes is decent for what you did, I can swap tires on two clincher wheelsets in half that. Not that speedy tire changes should be any sort of factor. As an enthusiast, it is always worth some extra time to do something special. But bigger supple clichers IMO have really negated the ride quality advantage.

@Marin, yes I have heard about the Fairweathers from Panaracer. Never had them in my hand but tubeless suggest to me that the casing is somewhat more robest then the non-tubeless extralights from Compass. The extralight's sidewalls are like paper. I don't ever remember any tubulars that were as supple. Maybe some Clement silks from back when I was racing. IIRC you could fit those Fairweather 32's with regular calipers? What calipers - I have to look up your build thread. That was a cool bike.

@Cal, I know you really groove on a bike that handles well. At some point try what I am suggesting. A really fat, but super supple clincher on a really wide rim. If the rim is wide enough it will feel more solid and "hooked up" than even a premium 25mm tubular. I was shocked by the descending - just so good. Leaning the bike way over, really pushing it on rough surface and still by far the most confidence inspiring wheel tire combo I have ever felt - by a significant margin. You would think at 60 - 65 psi it would fold over under hard cornering or be squishy out of the saddle. Nope - rock solid. I am 170 lbs.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

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C36
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by C36

Mr.Gib wrote:[
@Cal, I know you really groove on a bike that handles well. At some point try what I am suggesting. A really fat, but super supple clincher on a really wide rim. If the rim is wide enough it will feel more solid and "hooked up" than even a premium 25mm tubular. I was shocked by the descending - just so good. Leaning the bike way over, really pushing it on rough surface and still by far the most confidence inspiring wheel tire combo I have ever felt - by a significant margin. You would think at 60 - 65 psi it would fold over under hard cornering or be squishy out of the saddle. Nope - rock solid. I am 170 lbs.
Tried few times on friends wheels, crazy wide Enve and I think it was 28mm continental... yes they were smooth and more forgiving that narrower tires... but boy that felt bad accelerating and sprinting.


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robertbb
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by robertbb

Mr.Gib wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:42 am


@Cal, I know you really groove on a bike that handles well. At some point try what I am suggesting. A really fat, but super supple clincher on a really wide rim. If the rim is wide enough it will feel more solid and "hooked up" than even a premium 25mm tubular. I was shocked by the descending - just so good. Leaning the bike way over, really pushing it on rough surface and still by far the most confidence inspiring wheel tire combo I have ever felt - by a significant margin. You would think at 60 - 65 psi it would fold over under hard cornering or be squishy out of the saddle. Nope - rock solid. I am 170 lbs.
What do you define as a really fat, and what you you define as really wide? And what tyres are you using?

by Weenie


TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

robertbb wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:28 am

What do you define as a really fat, and what you you define as really wide? And what tyres are you using?

He means the wide rim and wide clincher combo create a sidewall profile that is nearly a straight vertical. The tire's cross-section is therefore more of a U instead of a C. This creates a larger contact patch when leaned into corners in addition to being more aero. With hookless rims, the clincher has an ever better profile.

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