Now For Something Completely Different... Training on Tubs

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Zen Cyclery
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by Zen Cyclery

I have found that in my area, tubulars are far less prone to flats than clinchers. If your thinking of going carbon, then tubulars could be a great option. With an alloy hoop I still think I prefer clincher though.

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by andyindo

dcl10 wrote:I have just as many flats with tubulars as i do clinchers, so that's my experience. I don't really get pinch flats, that's not an issue for me. The difference is with a clincher it takes 10 min to fix and a 25 cent patch. I trained on tubs last season, mostly because we weren't provided with any clincher wheels, and the ones I have suck. In any case a spent so much time screwing around with those SOB's I'll never do it again. Some people here just love gluing up tubs, and that is great if you do, but I don't have time for it. I ran vits and they are a good tire, but I only get two weeks on the rear, and usually a puncture every two weeks. I ran through 33 tubs last year, and even though i get them for pretty cheap, that was still almost $1,000 for 11,500 miles of riding. Conti's last longer and are a little cheaper, but still that's pretty bad. I probably spent and extra 30 minutes to an hour each week because of them. I think that time would have been better spent training than mounting tires, but that's just my opinion. Between cycling and my regular job I really don't have any free time to be screwing around with something like that.

Yes, but were they aged? :wink:

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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:57 pm
Location: Denver

by mattydubs

The lighter weight is some of my attraction to them, but the handling is more. Part of that is that I've been using Gatorskins as training tires for years and while I get fewer punctures (four last year), they are heavy (especially if I do something stupid and buy an ultra discounted set of wire bead ones... which I'm riding right now) and feel pretty dead (inside... like me).

I ride rough roads and gravel as well, so if I train on them, they'd need to be the Gatorskin variety. We shall see. Putting on lighter clinchers today at least...

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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:16 pm

by JMT

A spare tube can easily be carried in a back pocket and changing it is fast, little inconvenience to me or training mates.
If sealant wont fix your tubular, you better be carrying a spare pre-glued one (which is certainly more inconvenient than carrying a tube). Then you are good to go but may want to ride a bit more carefully.
So it pretty much depends on if you think it is worth carrying a spare tire with you or not, or if you train in a place where you can get a cab/spouse to pick you up when sealant doesn't work.
Personally I prefer just to be carrying an extra tube or two.

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Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:07 pm

by Musiker

I "never" experienced pinch flats on my clinchers, I think that punctures on my tubs are just about as common as on my clinchers.
I think that the different experiences people have also comes from the different kind of debris that is on the road in different parts of the world. Here in denmark we have a lot of small knife sharp flintstones. I regularly remove them from my tires and they leave lots of smaller and bigger cuts.
Also the rider weight and how good you are at avoiding potential puncture spots matter a lot I think :) - Based on my experiences (62kg, pretty good at jumping potholes/debris and cleaning tires while riding).

Advantage Clinchers:
1) spare inner tubes take up much less room than a spare tub - So I most always bring two for longer rides.
2) There is no preperation associated with clinchers (just buy, mount and go)
3) I ride more "relaxed" on the clinchers, as in I don't take as much care with where I ride when training - Because the only hazzle with a flat is to replace the innertube, there is no risk of having to redo a gluejob or throw out a $80 tubular.

Disadvantage Clinchers:
1) Clincher wheelsets are always heavier than their tubular counterparts.
2) Some tire/rim combos are just a pain to mount! Much more so than my tubs
3) When in a hurry doing a repair, (dont clean tire throughly or if innertube get caught in tire) I have flatted again instantly when pumping :roll:

Advantage Tubs:
1) Lighter wheels
2) Much easier to find a good deal on a highend carbon tubular wheelset than the comparable clincher versions (I bought my 202's used in a shop a couple of years ago for around $800 (2008 model)), never seen any good deals on Zipp clinchers (Neither new or used).
3) Ride quality/feel (for the price I guess)
4) Often faster for me to change a preglued tub than to change a inner tube.
5) The small amount of liquid sealent I have in the tubes sometimes make sure that I don't even notice that I flatted.. Don't run liquid sealent on clinchers...

Disadvantage Tubs:
1) Preperation - tubulars need to be stretched and preglued, and every once in a while rim needs to be cleaned and glued up from scratch again.
2) You need to bring a spare pre-glued tubular on long rides, unless you can get a lift home (Its not all punctures liquid sealant can fix)
3) The liquid sealant that you absolutly need here in Denmark, age and loose its effect.
4) Like everything else it takes a bit of practice to mount/glue tubs correctly and quickly.
5) When training I sometimes find myself a bit more careful with where I ride.

I love my Zipp 202's and ride them as often as not. However I also use my clinchers a lot, mostly when the weather is bad or when I have a flat on the tubs and the gluework needs to be redone completly. Then I ride clinchers until I feel like cleaning and glueing the tubs, lol..

I don't know what the conclusion is.. Clinchers have the ease of maintance going for them IMO (no cleaning of rim/preglueing stretching). I like that, but on the other hand the tubs feels great and a good used cabon tubular wheelset can bet gotten cheaper than the clincher versions..

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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:57 pm
Location: Denver

by mattydubs

Based on this feedback, I think I'll build the tubs and pick the wheelset based on the ride... normal training rides/group rides/races: tubs. Nasty routes, epic mountain journeys on questionable roads: clinchers.

The only downside is... I may end up buying a second Red cassette to facilitate quick changes. Maybe. Haha.

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Location: Canada

by Geoff

I love your title.

When I started racing, we had never heard of 'clinchers' (other than kids bikes or girl's bikes). All training and racing was done on tubulars. As time has gone on, I have become a bit of a tire aficionado, so have felt the need to try other systems, including clinchers.

The biggest difference for me between clinchers and tubulars is puncture-resistance. Where I live, we have had a government-sponsored glass bottle recycling programme for decades. As a result, we do not have to face some of the 'usual' road hazards that some of you face. Also, we have no thorns. Accordingly, the vast majority of punctures we experience here are pinch-flats caused by our frost-heaved roads. In the past 25+ years spent on tubulars, I have had 4 flats (2 sets of double-punctures) on tubulars. I have easily tripled that with my clincher experiment (now, thankfully, over, being replaced by a tubeless experiment). In fact, I equalled my lifetime flat record in a couple of months on clinchers.

If you live in an area where the threat of 'true' punctures is very real, then maybe I understand why you might not want to ride tubulars. I'm not sure clinchers would be the best solution, though.

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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:15 am

by JackDaniels

I would never train on tubular race wheels. Last week I was on a fast group ride, flatted on a piece of metal (which would have certainly flatted a tubbie), was able to fix in 3-4 minutes and catch the group. On tubbies, I would have limped home. Also, I like having my race tires in as good a condition as possible. Just me though.

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