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-   -   Totally Tubular (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=154679)

Chombi 10-24-13 01:33 PM


Originally Posted by Six jours (Post 16186799)
At the risk of being labeled a snob, I really don't see much point in cheap tubulars. They're heavy, wobbly, lumpy, harsh-riding, and flat-prone. I much prefer a decent clincher to a cheap tubular.

Decades ago it was possible to buy mid-range tubulars for training. These were decent, but not great. The Conti Sprinter was a fairly typical example, selling for $25-$30 in the mid-to-late 1980s. Now, as far as I can tell the choice is either bottom-of-the-barrel or top end. That's a real shame - but again, handmade tubulars offer a startlingly nice ride, and can be expected to go for 2000 miles on the back wheel, at which point the tires can be rotated and another 1000 or 1500 miles gotten out of them. (Yes, I know those figures will be met with disbelief by the Vittoria Rally crowd - which is illustrative, if you think about it.)

I dunno, but I think my wheelset with the cheap tubulars (Vittoria Rallies), still ride much plusher than my wheelset with pretty good foldable clinchers on them. If you go through a store's stock on their bins or shelves and try to find the best ones, you can have cheap tubulars with no lumps and straight base tapes......

gomango 10-25-13 03:05 AM


Originally Posted by Six jours (Post 16186799)
At the risk of being labeled a snob, I really don't see much point in cheap tubulars. They're heavy, wobbly, lumpy, harsh-riding, and flat-prone. I much prefer a decent clincher to a cheap tubular.

Decades ago it was possible to buy mid-range tubulars for training. These were decent, but not great. The Conti Sprinter was a fairly typical example, selling for $25-$30 in the mid-to-late 1980s. Now, as far as I can tell the choice is either bottom-of-the-barrel or top end. That's a real shame - but again, handmade tubulars offer a startlingly nice ride, and can be expected to go for 2000 miles on the back wheel, at which point the tires can be rotated and another 1000 or 1500 miles gotten out of them. (Yes, I know those figures will be met with disbelief by the Vittoria Rally crowd - which is illustrative, if you think about it.)

That's not being a snob.

I call it discerning.

But in the end, if someone wants to pay $20 for a tire and they are happy with the performance, I'm ok with that.

Just don't expect me to buy in on that opinion.

....and I would hope others could try a decent tire and go for a nice 35 to 45 mile ride.

They would feel the difference in quality I would hope.

If they don't, then the $20 tire probably is a nice fit for them.

Six jours 10-26-13 10:37 AM


Originally Posted by Chombi (Post 16189075)
I dunno, but I think my wheelset with the cheap tubulars (Vittoria Rallies), still ride much plusher than my wheelset with pretty good foldable clinchers on them. If you go through a store's stock on their bins or shelves and try to find the best ones, you can have cheap tubulars with no lumps and straight base tapes......

WRT clinchers, I'm sure it depends on what you're using. Rallys are certainly more comfortable for me than, say, 19mm clinchers at 180 PSI. But compared to a handmade 25mm clincher at 90 PSI?

At any rate, I'm not talented enough to identify a lumpy tire without mounting and inflating it. Even if my local dealer allowed to me open up all the boxes, I doubt I could tell which ones are lumpy and which ones aren't just by looking. And even then, I usually end up puncturing Rallys within 300-500 miles anyway.

Short version: I miss the "good old days" when decent training tubulars were available - but then, I'm glad I now have the money to not really worry about a thousand dollars a year to keep a few bicycles riding on the best tubulars ever made...

Six jours 10-26-13 10:38 AM


Originally Posted by gomango (Post 16190719)
That's not being a snob.

I call it discerning.

But in the end, if someone wants to pay $20 for a tire and they are happy with the performance, I'm ok with that.

Just don't expect me to buy in on that opinion.

....and I would hope others could try a decent tire and go for a nice 35 to 45 mile ride.

They would feel the difference in quality I would hope.

If they don't, then the $20 tire probably is a nice fit for them.

Amen, and I hope nobody thinks I'm telling them they shouldn't ride inexpensive tubulars if they're happy with them. I'm just explaining why I'm not.

Fred Smedley 10-26-13 11:02 AM


Originally Posted by gomango (Post 16190719)
That's not being a snob.

I call it discerning.

But in the end, if someone wants to pay $20 for a tire and they are happy with the performance, I'm ok with that.

Just don't expect me to buy in on that opinion.

....and I would hope others could try a decent tire and go for a nice 35 to 45 mile ride.

They would feel the difference in quality I would hope.

If they don't, then the $20 tire probably is a nice fit for them.

Perhaps a middle ground
http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/roa...ar/vitttuba782

Lenton58 10-26-13 02:12 PM


Originally Posted by Chombi (Post 16189075)
I dunno, but I think my wheelset with the cheap tubulars (Vittoria Rallies), still ride much plusher than my wheelset with pretty good foldable clinchers on them. -SNIP-

Almost all my experience with tubulars is on stuff like the Rallies. And so I agree with Chombi here. Certainly there are tubulars that are better even way-huge better. But the cheapies I have been riding on are just better than any clinchers I've used for a plusher ride. And a dude who has borrowed a couple of my bikes volunteered the same opinion. I am not the most expert opinion here by a galactic mile, but there is my limited take on it. If the boy's school fees were to be excused for the next six months, I might change my style. And BTW the flats I've had over say three years clinchers = 3; tubs = 1. Which proves nothing ...except maybe that clunky Kevlar layer in the Rally means something at least to me, which again proves nothing.

sced 10-26-13 04:01 PM

They're just tires. Ride whatever it is you want to buy and are willing to deal with.

Gdando 01-24-14 10:45 AM


Originally Posted by RobbieTunes (Post 15929057)
Tape makes tubulars possible for us.

Is there any specific tape that you would recommend? I looked at the Tufo tape however it states that it is only for Tufo tubulars?

Secondly does Stan's sealant actually work? Before I attempt to sweet talk my wife into $250 for two bicycle tires I would like some peace of mind that they would last long enough for me to enjoy them. Sicilian roads are rather rough with some broken glass here and there.

smontanaro 01-24-14 11:00 AM

Tubular glue still works for me, and I've gotten better at applying it. The tape seems pretty thick. Maybe that's why the Tufo's I tried didn't seem to stay put very well. (I think RobbieTunes has them now.) Tape is also, as I understand it, single use, and much more expensive per application than glue, so it does add to your total cost.

Kactus 01-24-14 11:51 AM


Originally Posted by Gdando (Post 16437278)
Is there any specific tape that you would recommend? I looked at the Tufo tape however it states that it is only for Tufo tubulars?

Secondly does Stan's sealant actually work? Before I attempt to sweet talk my wife into $250 for two bicycle tires I would like some peace of mind that they would last long enough for me to enjoy them. Sicilian roads are rather rough with some broken glass here and there.

Glue really isn't that difficult to use. I mask off the rim sidewalls with painters tape prior to putting glue on the wheels and it makes the process pretty mess-free.

You should be able to buy cheaper tires, like Vittoria Rallies for way less than $250/pair.

Gdando 01-24-14 01:25 PM


Originally Posted by Kactus (Post 16437469)
You should be able to buy cheaper tires, like Vittoria Rallies for way less than $250/pair.

As a newbie who is learning I have read most posts that the general consensus is that higher quality tubulars like Strada Bianchi or Paris-Roubaix will last longer while providing nicer ride. If the Stans sealant can actually extend the lifespan then I may be able to justify $117 per tire.

gaucho777 01-24-14 02:24 PM

I've had experience on a range of tubulars from the 3/$50 Yellow Jersey and Ralleys, up to Challenge P-R and Dugast tubulars. The expensive tubulars are indeed much nicer. You get what you pay for, but the ride on cheaper tubulars is certainly acceptable--if you get a good one. For me, though, the rub is the consistency of the cheaper ones. I've had Ralley and YJ tires that are straight and last for well over a thousand miles. But I've also had ones that are lumpy from the start, form bulges through the casing, or prone to flats after less than a few hundred miles. The last time I purchased a 3/$50 YJ set: one was so lumpy I was instantly relegated to spare duty, another formed a bulge in the casing under the rubber after less than 200 miles (this, of course, inevitably leads to a premature puncture). IMHO, unless you are a 1%-er, you should be prepared to repair an high-end tubular if you get a flat before the tread has worn out. Some flats are bound to happen no matter what tires you run, but there's less of a return on repairing a YJ tire.

RobbieTunes 01-24-14 06:01 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by smontanaro (Post 16437336)
Tubular glue still works for me, and I've gotten better at applying it. The tape seems pretty thick. Maybe that's why the Tufo's I tried didn't seem to stay put very well. (I think RobbieTunes has them now.) Tape is also, as I understand it, single use, and much more expensive per application than glue, so it does add to your total cost.

I've never had a problem with the Tufo tape. Skip is right, the tape is $12-$14 per tire, and for the most part, single use. (I've gotten away with re-mounting, but the tire has to come off very clean, and I helped with a little glue in spots.) I also made a newbie mistake by mounting the clinching tubulars onto tubular rims, with the tape. I rode 400 miles on them before I realized my error, and always had the impression something was "moving" down below. A local triathlon specialty shop near here doesn't sell Tufo tires, but they change hundreds of tubular tires a year and use the tape 90% of the time. Their customers pay for speed, and generally don't touch their bikes except to ride, so $25/wheel to mount a tubular isn't an issue for them.

I don't think Tufo tape has to be used for Tufo tires, as I'm having a heck of a time right now getting two orange Continental Sprinters off of some rims, applied with tape.

I've never used the cheap tubulars, but pick up one here and there with wheels/trades, etc, and hold them for spares. I've never used the expensive tubulars, but definitely believe that most of the $100 tubulars are likely worth the money. I use Tufo tires, both the clinching tubulars and the regular tubulars, and for the money, I've not had better. When they came from the Czech Republic, they were expensive, but there are now dealers in the US selling them for about half what they used to go for. My last purchase was 3 S33 Pro's and 3 rolls of tape for $203, delivered. I've paid as low as $103, delivered, for two of the clinching C S33 Pro's, and I'll put them up vs. about any $50 clincher/tube combo out there. I wish they were a little wider, and their cyclocross tires are very popular around here.

As you may surmise from the photo, I don't relegate tubulars to C&V bikes, and I don't discriminate when buying wheels between tubular or clincher. A good wheel is a good wheel, and I don't let the tire requirement make much of a difference.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=367540

gaucho777 03-04-14 10:35 PM

If you roll a tubular (which often lodges between the rim and the chain stay if it's the rear) and manage to stay upright, this is what can happen:

http://i850.photobucket.com/albums/a...psc7128cf8.jpg

delicious 03-05-14 12:03 AM

Yipes. Did you roll one?

gaucho777 03-05-14 12:38 AM

Not recently, but yes. I've had these rims since the mid-80s. Hot summer day in the hills. Guess I was riding the brakes too hard. I rolled the rear tire and flattened out the edge of the rim sliding across the pavement with the rear locked up.

I was debating bringing these rims out of retirement if they check out as round. Though they are tad on the heavy side at ~850g for the pair (with glue residue and some tape). It was so long ago I just can't recall how bad they were when I retired them. I don't lik the idea of spending time/$ building wheels that will never stay true. I don't know, what do you think, everything else notwithstanding, would you build rims with this sort of damage? The rims are kind of cool and I like the breaking surface, esp. on ano'd rims is a plus. I bought these as a teenager in France, so they also have some nostalgic attachment. How bad could sudden wheel failure be? Don't answer that.

http://i850.photobucket.com/albums/a...ps8714ed7c.jpg

RobbieTunes 03-06-14 06:33 PM

I'm not sure I'd build them. You may be asking the glue to do something the rim is supposed to do.

I've not rolled a tubular off. In fact, I bought a bike with tubulars, went on a 40-mile group ride, and returned home. I decided I would get new tires, and went to take the old ones off, and they weren't glued on, just pulled right off.

I did a crit once in about 95-degree weather, and the leader rolled off both tubulars at about the same time. He was using toe clips with 2 straps per foot. If it hadn't been for the hay bales, he's have lost a lot more skin.

Six jours 03-06-14 09:01 PM

I would not use those. They probably will hold up, but "probably" is not the word I'm looking for when it comes to bicycle wheels.

OTOH, I once rolled a tire and slid something like thirty feet on one edge of the rim. It actually wore the edge away to nothing - you could see inside the rim through the hole. Being a broke and idiotic junior, I glued up a new tire and rode the wheel the rest of the season without problem.

So, as a middle-aged fat guy with plenty of money and a serious aversion to any more scars, I wouldn't build up your rims. As a broke and idiotic junior, I would have built them up without a second thought and almost certainly been fine.

HTH! :P

JohnDThompson 03-06-14 10:02 PM


Originally Posted by RobbieTunes (Post 16438463)
I don't think Tufo tape has to be used for Tufo tires, as I'm having a heck of a time right now getting two orange Continental Sprinters off of some rims, applied with tape.

The Tufo tape does work with non-Tufo tires, but I recommend using the "Extreme" version of the Tufo tape in that case. It's much easier to deal with than the standard Tufo tape on a non-Tufo tire. There must be something different about the Tufo base tape that is designed to work with the Tufo mounting tapes.

CV-6 03-06-14 10:22 PM

I am surprised no one has mentioned Miyata tape. I am using it on one set of wheels so far with good results. One roll is about $50 but you get 10 wheels out of the longer roll.

I do not recommend using tape with YJ tubulars. I had basetape separating from the casing after a few rides..

RobbieTunes 03-06-14 10:28 PM


Originally Posted by JohnDThompson (Post 16556086)
The Tufo tape does work with non-Tufo tires, but I recommend using the "Extreme" version of the Tufo tape in that case. It's much easier to deal with than the standard Tufo tape on a non-Tufo tire. There must be something different about the Tufo base tape that is designed to work with the Tufo mounting tapes.

Excellent point that I forgot to mention. The Tufo Extreme tape is a heck of a lot better than the other tape, and I'm using it on a set of full carbon wheels with no issues.


Originally Posted by CV-6 (Post 16556131)
I am surprised no one has mentioned Miyata tape. I am using it on one set of wheels so far with good results. One roll is about $50 but you get 10 wheels out of the longer roll.

Super tip, and I'm going to try it. 10 wheels for $50 is a lot better than 4.

ultraman6970 03-06-14 11:16 PM

Ultra did not know the miyata tape, interesting.

Ex Pres 02-24-15 11:44 AM

PSA - if you like Rallys, Ribble has them for $11.48 - $17.33. that's cheap.

OldsCOOL 06-30-15 07:07 PM

I cant believe I read the entire thread. This weekend I'm being whisked into the classic world of sewups. Thanx for a good headstart, guys.

Lenton58 07-01-15 08:11 AM


Originally Posted by gaucho777 (Post 16549237)
If you roll a tubular (which often lodges between the rim and the chain stay if it's the rear) and manage to stay upright, this is what can happen:

http://i850.photobucket.com/albums/a...psc7128cf8.jpg

As I said just above, I do not claim to be an expert. But, that being said, I would still exclaim, "YIKES! That glue looks like it has hardened in the rim and is no longer capable of "waking up" as the tire and rim heat up. The residue looks like merely crystallized crud. If that is the case, it is not capable of forming a bond to any tire, even though it might be difficult to move off the rim itself.

I have removed glue in this condition using a wire brush attachment on a variable speed power drill. It came of as crystallized dust. Typical solvents were not very effective. IMHO, glue in this state of aging is dangerous.

I am assumming that this is what was there when the tubular rolled.


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