educate me on tubulars

the OG wheelset on the Ciocc is tubular, but I swapped em out for a set of CXP22s for now, onaccounta i don;t know WTF i’m doing w/ tubies. Can y’all teach me bout tubies, or direct me to noobie toobie resources?


What exactly do you want to know?

Dave Moulton’s now-defunct blog has a good series of articles on tubular tires. ... art-i.html

basically everything, as i currently know nothing. installation, care and feeding, pro’s ad cons, all of it.

Installing: I don’t like dealing with glue so I use Miyata tubular tape. Basically it is a double sided tape that makes the process clean and easy. You can search for installing tubulars with tape.
Flats on the road: I carry a spare “cheap” tubular like a Rally with a roll of tape long enough in a film cannister. I don’t fix tubulars and just throw them away.
Good tubulars: I can only speak of what I have ridden. Vittoria Rallys suck. They are not round and tend to “bulge” around the valve. The cheaper Vittoria Formula Uno’s suck even more. Corsa Evo CX are excellent in ride/roundness/etc. BUT, they only hold air for maybe a day or two. On my way back from work, I can feel less air than what I pumped up before leaving the house. Good cheap tubulars are Panaracer Practice.
Riding habbits: If you are brakeless, mainly skip instead of skidding. When I ride tubulars I rarely skid. Not much meat on the tires.
I used to run tubulars 24/7, but it was not economical for me since I commute by bike also(26km one way with hills). Not being able to skid to adjust speed was stressful and once you get used to the ride of nice tubulars like Evo CXs, you can’t go back to cheaper tubulars. Evo CXs lasted me on my rear tire on average for around 1500km or roughly a month to 2 months. I use tubulars only for my leisure rides now.
Overall I feel that even the cheap tubulars “feel” better than nice clinchers.
Damn that was long…

koteigear, thanks so much. this is for my roadie, so the skidding stuff doesn’t pertain, but everything else is awesome. thanks!

yeah, the cheap tubs aren’t worth it. they will flat easier and ride no better than a nice clincher.

i use glue. it works ok and if you use some kind of disposable glove like you can get at auto parts stores. nitrile gloves or something like that. you can spread the glue on your rim and tire and not worry about cleaning the glue off your fingers.
i order tires from ribblecycles. i weigh 190lbs so i can ride a stiffer tire and it still feels nice and supple. i just sprinters (non gatorskin).
i have one that just lfatted after only about a month. i’ll probably just fix it or i can send it to tire alert to get retubed and sewed up with new basetape for $15 i think. I’ve successfullly repaired like tree or four tires but usually when they flat they are already pretty worn so i usually just toss 'em.

as far as gluing.
if thre isn’t much old glue on your rim you can just spread new glue over the old and not worry about cleaning the rim off. the new glue will activate the old glue and it will all become soft again.
so you want a dried coat of glue on your rim and your tire. most people wait a whole day for it to dry. this is called a basecoat.
then before you mount your tire you spead a thin coat of glue on your rim and tire (tack coat) and let it dry for like 20-30 minutes. you want it to dry just enough so that it isn’t tacky if you touch it.
then you are ready to mount your tire. find somehting online to see how htey are mounted. you start at the valve stem and then just stretch the tire around the rim a little at a time then once you get to the other side it will be hard to get on and you gotta work. continentals are really tight so it’s best to have an old rim or let the tire stretch on your rims. you do this by just mounting the tire with no glue and airing it up.

once you get the tire on when you’re gluing it, air it up just a bit so it takes shape and go around the rim looking at the basetape. you want it all straight and even on the rim so the tire is centered on your rim. spin it and look at it. it should look smooth and straight. find the bad spots and center the tire. once you’re ahppy with it then air it up all the way. it’ll be on real good after the glue dries a day.

with good glue coats you can just carry around a spare that you spread glue on and let dry. when you flat, pull your flatted tire off and just stretch your previsouly glued spare on. you’ll be rolling in about ten minutes. the tire will stay on pretty well but don’t corner super fast…just ride easy until you do a proper glue job.

read moultons blog.
when putting glue on the tire air it up to about 20psi or so and hold the tire squeezed so it makes a figure 8 type shape. ... 304989062/

also read here. i think everyone does it a bit different.

Dumb question: what is the benefit of / reason for tubular tires?

lighter, rounder, faster (because of higher pressure, at the same pressures slightly slower than clinchers), no pinch flats (I managed to get double one day), can be run at really low pressures (important for cross ones), faster to repair/change at roadside (no I will not debate it, JM(not so)HO), can be ridden after flatting, I love them.
And the biggest reason of them all: Dugast doesn’t make clinchers:

if you have a nice wheelset that is tubular. it’s good to know how to use them.
i suspect this is why kowloon is asking, he got that sweet ciocc and it probably has a nice set of super record hubs laced to some montreal or some other tubular rims.
that’s the reason i ride tubulars. plus i got some nice rims for free and laced those to my track hubs.

anyway they ride better than clinchers but are a little more to deal with than clinchers are…

yeah i rode a flat tub about a half mile once at a nice leisurely pace. way better than walking.

Here’s the Brianforum’s C&V thread on tubulars (or tubs, singles or sewups if you prefer)

What about Soyo tubulars? I’ve got a set of those right now, any good?

Sheldon’s take on it:

Tubular Pros:

* Tubulars are a bit lighter than comparable clinchers, due to the absence of the beads. The development of Kevlar® beads has considerably reduced this advantage.

* Tubular rims are lighter than clincher rims, since they don't need the flanges that hold the bead of the tire in place.

* Tubulars are less prone to pinch flats than clinchers, since the rims don't present the sharp edges of the clincher flanges.

* Many riders believe that tubulars provide a more comfortable ride and better traction than clinchers.

* If you get a flat on a tubular, you can install a spare tubular faster than you can change an inner tube in a clincher. 

Tubular Cons:

* Tubulars are considerably more expensive than clinchers of comparable performance.

* Tubulars are very much harder to repair once punctured. Most people just throw them away.

* You need to carry a complete spare tubular in case you get a flat. This negates the weight advantage over clinchers, unless you have a team car following you with spare wheels.

* If you replace a tubular on the road, you cannot corner safely at high speeds until you go home and re-glue the tire. For safe high-speed cornering, the glue needs to dry for at least several hours.

* Tubulars have higher rolling resistance than the best clinchers.

* Tubulars are rarely as true and round as clinchers.

* Improperly glued tubulars can roll off the rim. This almost always causes a serious crash.

I really hate to disagree with SB, but this is an unfair point. The weight advantage of a sew-up is the decrease in rotational weight, having a spare tire under your seat doesn’t make the wheels any heavier.

edit: I love the ride of good tubulars for racing, can’t see training or commuting on them though.

best reason for tubies…sniffin dat glue…tell 'em 'tina!

this thread is great. all the info i needed to know i never want tubulars

A set of tubular race wheels makes a great deal of sense to me. Other uses do not.

After reading all this, I want a set of tubs now. I must be a masochist.

I want a team car to follow me everywhere so i can ride tubulars.