This is not another tubular vs clincher thread. I am asking a very specific question that I can not find the answer to via search or anywhere online.
What wheel is faster - 2013 FC tubular or clincher. Assume all variables are the same besides the wheel itself. Not interested in earlier versions of these wheels. I know there is one variable, the tire, that also is not the same, but let's say the tubular is a Veloflex Carbon and the clincher is a Conti 4000s. Not interested in the convenience issue at all. I actually hope it's the tubular that is faster.
Which of these wheels is faster with the same bike, terrain, rider, gear... (all of that stuff should be set in stone the same in disussions like this imo).
I am assuming the tubular! Please confirm oh great ones.
The advantage of the tubulars is weight, a saving of 170g. Clincher 1525g vs tubular 1355g according to Zipps tech specs.
Theoretically the tubulars would be marginally quicker in accelerating and on inclines due to lower weight, also this is rotating mass, so has a greater effect than 170g frame or component weight. According to some sources, rotating weight has double the value of static weight in acceleration and climbing.
There is also the advantage of the more supple ride of tubulars, and supposedly lower rolling resistance.
One of the Zipp engineers is a board member, maybe he, or another tech expert can give better feedback.
Parlee Z5 XL (6055g/13.32lbs) Trek Madone 5.9 (7052-7500g)Jonesman Columbus Spirit (8680g)
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However, that being said, Tony Martin (among others) used clinchers to massive TT-success and lately reports have shown that the difference in CRR between a clincher & a tubular isn't that far off.
However, that being said, do not use latex tubes inside a full carbon clincher.
However, that being said, a thinner butyl tube will offer better ride feel, and potentially less crr, than a regular thick tube.
Which you would do anyway.
Because this is Weight Weenies.
Tony Martin thinks clinchers have lower rolling resistance based on testing but he runs super-thin clinchers which are puncture-prone.
I do know that whilst at World champs when he won it was a wide tire on the rear, 25mm or more. My Belgium manager last year (Kristof de Kegal) did some work with Tony on his position in conjunction with his mechanic and his aerodynamic guru and the tire width was something I remember him telling me about.
so, two reasons tubs will be faster:
- better cornering - especially on faster descents, hairpins etc
- lighter weigh for fractionally faster accelerations
On the latter point, some WWs poo-poo the idea this can be felt, but IME riding the clincher and tub versions of the same wheelsets (with c300g difference at the rims admittedly) the difference is obvious
Stiff, Light, Aero - Pick Three!!
Now Al Morrison has done probably the most comprehensive testing of road bike tires out there, and his tests show a slight advantage in favor of tubulars. That said he is using vastly different equipment and test protocols, and no disrespect to him and all the hard work he has put into it, but for my money I'm going to go with what the multi-million dollar R&D facilities are showing, and not some guy with rollers in his garage.
An Excerpt from Lennard Zinns article quoting the Tour test.
Germany’s Tour magazine has published the results of rolling resistance tests for clinchers to go along with their previously published testing of tubulars. All the tests were performed at the Continental Tire facility, and I’ve attached a summary of Coefficient of Rolling Resistance (Crr) of both types of tires tested in a single list. [Editor's note: The following table represents a combination of these twolists.]
Deda Tre Giro d’Italia 0.0038
Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX 0.0039
Michelin Pro 2 Race 0.0042
Vittoria Diamante Pro Rain 0.0044
Michelin Megamium 2 0.0047
Pariba Revolution 0.0048
*Veloflex Carbon (Tubular) 0.0049
Michelin Carbon 0.0050
*Gommitalia Route du Nord (Tubular) 0.0050
Panaracer Stradius Pro 0.0051
Schwalbe Stelvio Plus 0.0052
*Gommitalia Platinum (Tubular) 0.0053
*Vittoria Corsa Evo CX (Tubular) 0.0054
Schwalbe Stelvio Evolution Front 0.0056
Continental GP Force (rear specific) 0.0057
Hutchinson Fusion 0.0057
Schwalbe Stelvio Evolution Rear 0.0057
*Vittoria Corsa Evo KS (Tubular) 0.0057
Continental Ultra GatorSkin 0.0058
Ritchey Pro Race Slick WCS 0.0058
Schwalbe Stelvio 0.0059
*Continental Competition (Tubular) 0.0059
*Veloflex Roubaix (Tubular) 0.0059
*Continental Podium (Tubular) 0.0060
Specialized S-Works Mondo 0.0061
Continental GP 3000 0.0067
Hutchinson Top Speed 0.0069
*Schwalbe Stelvio (Tubular) 0.0069
Continental GP Attack (front specific) 0.0073
*Tufo Elite Jet (Tubular) 0.0073
*Schwalbe Montello 300 (Tubular) 0.0075
*Tufo Hi-Composite Carbon (Tubular) 0.0077
*denotes tubular tire test
As can be seen by that list, from a rolling resistance standpoint, the best clinchers have a significant rolling resistance advantage over the best tubulars tested. Particularly interesting to me were the results of the Vittoria Corsa CX and Open Corsa CX tires. These tires are literally identical (same casing, same tread) except for the means of attachment to the rim.
In this testing, the tubular version had an almost 40 percent higher rolling resistance, 0.0039 vs. 0.0054.
There are others tests out there as well, but the fact is Al,s testing is the only I've seen that puts tubulars even in the same realm as clinchers as far as rolling resistance.
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I'm sticking with tubs purely from a ride quality perspective, I know that much!
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