Any reason to "try" tubulars today

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

robertbb wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:28 am
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?
For rims - 20mm or greater internal width. For tires - 28mm or more. 28mm is nice because it allows people of average weight to run pressures in the 60's psi and will still fit in some proper road bikes. If there's clearance, even bigger tires would be useful as the road surface deteriorates.

And C36 is right. This type of wheel/tire combo feels a bit more sluggish during hard accelerations. Not sure if it is, maybe just feels that way. Perhaps it's just be the extra weight. The tire pressure is also a factor. It's not what I'd race a crit on. The application is more for endurance riding or anytime the surface is not so good. On a perfect surface none of this matters much.
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by Weenie


zefs
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by zefs

If you want the 1% marginal gain why not train a bit more (or more clever rather)?
In my opinion there is no golden standard out of all the wheel systems, it depends on what you wish to achieve.

thePrince
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by thePrince

zefs wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:42 am
If you want the 1% marginal gain why not train a bit more (or more clever rather)?
In my opinion there is no golden standard out of all the wheel systems, it depends on what you wish to achieve.
That could be said for anybody. If Chris Froome had just trained a bit more (or clever) maybe he would have won the TDF this year. The question wasn't "should I stop attempting to train better and replace with trying tubulars".

No amount of training will allow you to corner faster on clinchers than tubulars (or maybe a hookless tubeless type of setup). That's why some of us are addressing the original question of "any reason to try tubulars today" with valid reasons that are equipment-related only. Because there are reasons, especially if you are a road, crit, or cx racer. Pros are almost all still racing on tubulars (except TTs).

zefs
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by zefs

He mentions training and occassional fondos, if tubular is the most optimal setup for that kind of riding maybe people will be suggesting cx bikes for road racing too :|

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Calnago
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by Calnago

Your “logic” defies logic.
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wintershade
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by wintershade

I think zefs is just trolling and can be ignored. Thanks to those of you who stayed on topic -- which is more about the subjective experience/pleasure of riding tubulars (vs tubeless / high TPI clinchers), rather than the performance benefits in racing situations, though I understand they're related.

I think it's great when topics are useful for more than merely the OP. I hope the situation I'm posing likely applies to many recrational riders (non-racers) who are in search of the most enjoyable riding experience. That's what this thread is meant to be about -- is it worth adding tubulars to one's wheel arsenal in search of the "perfect" "long ride" (be it a training ride or a fondo). That said, I'm a competitive long-course triathlete, with a world-reknowned coach, but the tubular usage would be for fun/training, not racing. Who knows, maybe I'd love them and switch out to tubulars on my TT bike, but that's not my expectation.

robertbb
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by robertbb

wintershade wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:18 pm
I think zefs is just trolling and can be ignored. Thanks to those of you who stayed on topic -- which is more about the subjective experience/pleasure of riding tubulars (vs tubeless / high TPI clinchers), rather than the performance benefits in racing situations, though I understand they're related.

I think it's great when topics are useful for more than merely the OP. I hope the situation I'm posing likely applies to many recrational riders (non-racers) who are in search of the most enjoyable riding experience. That's what this thread is meant to be about -- is it worth adding tubulars to one's wheel arsenal in search of the "perfect" "long ride" (be it a training ride or a fondo). That said, I'm a competitive long-course triathlete, with a world-reknowned coach, but the tubular usage would be for fun/training, not racing. Who knows, maybe I'd love them and switch out to tubulars on my TT bike, but that's not my expectation.
According to Campagnolo (at least, may be others) clinchers are faster than tubulars. Their new Bora WTO's aren't even available in tubular. Perhaps there's still reasons to ride tubulars on road bikes (perhaps...!) but on a Tri bike I wouldn't have thought so. Dan Martin chose Clinchers for his TT bike not so long ago.
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wintershade
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by wintershade

Clinchers are more aero for sure, and in TT aero rules. Not much accelerating in an Ironman if you're doing things right. I try to keep my VI below 1.1. And I'm pretty invested in my CC race wheels. I'm planning to go to San Diego later this winter to aero test different wheel/tire combos. Every last watt counts.

But I road bike for fun, to add a healthy dose of joy to training, especially on "post-season"/pre-season. If tubulars make it more fun, maybe it's an experiment worth dabbling in. Just trying to understand the joy/hassle ratio.

I think I'm convinced enough to give it a go... but a set of Bora 35 tubies to but on one of my lighter bikes. In the spirit of making this as fun / low hassle as possible, any suggestions on ideal tire combos for spirited training rides would be welcome. Also, what is this tape peopel speak of, and can I use it to get out of the multi-day-long gluing rituals I see others adhere too.

robertbb
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by robertbb

wintershade wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:45 am
Clinchers are more aero for sure, and in TT aero rules. Not much accelerating in an Ironman if you're doing things right. I try to keep my VI below 1.1. And I'm pretty invested in my CC race wheels. I'm planning to go to San Diego later this winter to aero test different wheel/tire combos. Every last watt counts.

But I road bike for fun, to add a healthy dose of joy to training, especially on "post-season"/pre-season. If tubulars make it more fun, maybe it's an experiment worth dabbling in. Just trying to understand the joy/hassle ratio.

I think I'm convinced enough to give it a go... but a set of Bora 35 tubies to but on one of my lighter bikes. In the spirit of making this as fun / low hassle as possible, any suggestions on ideal tire combos for spirited training rides would be welcome. Also, what is this tape peopel speak of, and can I use it to get out of the multi-day-long gluing rituals I see others adhere too.
If you're wanting to give tubulars a go, and because you specifically mentioned Bora 35's... I am about to list my Bora 35 ULTRA tubulars (dark label). They were my fair whether wheels and are still on their first set of Vittoria Corsa Graphene tyres and have seen about 500k (I ride Shamal clinchers 95% of the time). I'm in Australia, happy to ship. Depending on your home currency my asking price may be a steal for you... PM me if interested :-) The tyres are glued on, but I also have a roll of Vitorria tape ready to go...
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beanbiken
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by beanbiken

wintershade wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:45 am
Also, what is this tape peopel speak of, and can I use it to get out of the multi-day-long gluing rituals I see others adhere too.
Don't ride clinchers,nothing against them but bar one set of alloy tubless all my wheels are CF. Can't advise on one tape over another but the Vittoria Maskik Pro is a one step glue that I now used. It's not a multiple day type procedure but you do have to let it cure before riding. You also need to be mindful that if you get it over your brake track it is a beast to clean off 100%..........

BB
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RyanH
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by RyanH

I only ride tubulars but here's my take and you can take it for what it's worth:

Comfort/smoothness: Veloflex Master with latex are at least on par with Arenberg
Aero: clinchers
RR: Most likely tubeless or clinchers

So, why ride tubulars? Ride feel/handling, safety and possibly less prone to punctures (I ride in LA and puncture less than once every 10k miles).

Last time I rode clinchers, it turned my bike into a 90's Cadillac in the corners. It felt sluggish, vague and I really had to work a turn compared to my usual setup. Some will say going wider will solve this but in my experience with going up in size on tubs, you lose some of the agility and fun as you go up in size. On perfect pavement, 22mm tubs are amazing. On the large end, 27mm actual tubs gain a huge edge when descending broken pavement but when running them at the proper psi, they feel a bit soft when sprinting and doing efforts. It's a give and take with the larger tires. Mind you, 27mm actual tubs is like most 25mm clinchers in size on a 17c rim. Once you're talking about 21mm internal with 28mm clinchers, we're now talking about a cross bike. So, i think tubs allow you to run a smaller actual size tire for the perceived ride feel while retaining the responsiveness and agility of a relatively smaller tire.

Lastly, people over complicate gluing tubs. It's between a 30 min and hour long process total if using regular Mastik and Veloflex/Vittoria tires (don't need to stretch). I can glue wheels at noon and ride them hard the next morning.

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Calnago
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by Calnago

I concur with RyanH’s comments re ride/handling characteristics but didn’t have the energy to write it down. I only ride tubulars now. I have clinchers but they are rotting in the garage. I have some 27mm Vlanderens which are great tires and if my roads were really bad or I was riding gravel all the time I’d probably use them for that. I got them to test out and try for myself. Bigger tires just feel slow and sluggish handling on a nice road bike to me. I have 32mm clinchers on wider rims on my touring bike. It rides like a Cadillac. It’s nice, for what it is. And when I jump back on a nice road bike after a few weeks on the touring bike, it takes a little while to adjust for sure. But it sure is nice to be back on the equivalent of a sports car versus the caddy. Smooth, agile and lively, and stuck to the road is the best way to describe the difference, especially in the turns where it counts. To each his own. There is no one right answer.
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HeluvaSkier
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by HeluvaSkier

All of my tires are either Vittoria Evo CX III or Vittoria Corsa Competition... Both Tubular and Clincher, 23c on 25mm - 27mm wide rims (internal on the clinchers is 21 I think). I don't notice a huge speed difference between the tubular and clincher tires, but the grip and sense of confidence that the tire will hold is much better on the tubulars. They simply feel safer and more planted with better road feel... no risk of blow out from braking on carbon rims or unexpected pot holes. The clinchers are fine tires, but they don't offer the same sense of road feel and security that the tubular tires do. The tubulars, despite being the same exact tire, seem to be less prone to flats... and I do more miles on the tubulars (4,000 miles this year and one tubular flat on a tire that had 2k miles on it... and 3 clincher flats on newish clincher tires).

For racing (which I don't do much of anymore), more 'spritied' group rides, or solo training rides where I'm trying to set a personal best, I won't ride anything but tubulars. For more casual rides, unpredictable road surfaces, or travel, the combination of an aluminum or alu/ceramic brake track and a clincher tire can't be beat for reliability, serviceability and peace of mind.

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wheelbuilder
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by wheelbuilder

I can give my anecdotal shop experience, as I don't personally ride them but have torn down/set up many, many pairs. I worked at a shop that was one of the very few shops in my area that would remove/clean and or glue tubulars. We had a lot of guys use us quite regularly, and customers from all around the bay area coming in to drop off wheelsets. in 2013/2014 we were doing 2-3 sets a week. It gradually fell out of favor in the area combined with mechanic turnover/shop ownership changes that made them a less attractive proposition. Today, we don't offer the service, and I haven't had a call or a request to do so in probably over a year. I think they losing popularity fairly quickly. The same guys that have always ridden them are still out there but doing them themselves. The "me too" and romanticized aspect of tubulars has waned considerably. imo.

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kgt
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by kgt

I agree with RyanH and Calnago.

A few years ago some things were pretty clear to the mind of the competitive cyclist. Tubular wheelset and tires were much better. Lighter tires and lighter rims = better responsiveness, agility, manoeuvrability, inertia. Tubulars were also safer and had a considerably better riding quality.

Nowadays a 28-30mm clincher or tubeless tire is supposed to be a better choice. It is not. You ride a heavy, slugish, less responsive tire and wheelset. Of course you can ride over anything so you don't actually feel the tarmac but you think you ride a high quality tire. You don't.

IMHO huge tires is another marketing driven choice. In reality 23-25mm is still the ideal road racing tire. Thankfully pros will keep on believing in common sense and keep on riding tubulars (until they have no other choice).

I only ride tubulars since 2010 and I hope I can keep on doing so in the future as well.

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