Old 02-14-18, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Are clinchers still considered "unsafe" for track riding/racing?

I've heard that "tubulars are safer" and "you'll roll a clincher" (knock wood) since I started in the sport. But I've never seen or heard of a clincher rolling off of rim. I've seen video of a few tubulars rolling off (likely due to user error). I've seen punctures with both styles of tires and riders handled them no differently.

Clinchers are used at the highest levels of the sport. There are countless photos of top tier elites training on Mavic Ellipse clincher wheels, unless there is a tubular variant that I'm not aware of.

So, is the advice against clinchers still valid? Maybe clinchers used to be worse but not so much anymore?

On a related note: It seems that the Campy Pista wheels could be considered a tubular version of the Ellipse. Similar rim depth, bladed spokes, spoke count, etc... but yet they are not nearly as popular. They are about 50% more expensive. I can't say that I've ever seen any elites riding them (in person or photos) and I've only seen 1 set in the wild in general.
The only hazard/warning I've heard re. clincher safety is to take the valve nut off as if you roll a tyre, it canruin your rim.
Practically everyone I ride with trains on clinchers, either Ellipse or Miche Pistard and I haven't seen or heard anything negative. Anecdotal, but I punctured my rear clincher on an outdoor/concrete velodrome halfway through an effort and still managed to stay upright, so it didn't seem any different to a tub puncturing. When I was in Japan, I saw the national team and Perkins/Dmitriev training on clinchers as well, so I'm guessing if it's good enough for them...

Another alternative to the Campy Pista is the Miche Pistard tubular variant. Not quite as aero as the Ellipse/Pista but bomb proof and a very solid training wheel. Super affordable as well.
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