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

mkadam68 10-10-13 08:11 PM

Been awhile. Have a question:

Where is a source for tubular base tape?

Meaning, the tape that covers the stitches. I have several tires I'd like to repair. Have the Velox repair kit, but it only has thread, needle & patches. Also have liquid latex solution to "glue" the base tape back down after repairing tube. I'm thinking it might be easier to remove the whole tube, put in a new one, sew it back up, and voila. (Maybe a bit overkill.)

Or is the stitching part a big pain in the butt? If it is, any tips on finding the holes so I can only pull out that section of tube? I've tried submerging the tire in water and listening in quiet room. Sound/air bubbles from all over the tire so I don't know where the puncture is.

16Victor 10-10-13 08:14 PM

I'm a DIYer, but for this, it's tirealert.com

mkadam68 10-10-13 08:35 PM


Originally Posted by 16Victor (Post 16150944)
I'm a DIYer, but for this, it's tirealert.com

Yeah, I know. But at ~$25 per tire, it still adds up. That's why I'm looking to DIY. Plus, like learning new things. :)

Blue Belly 10-10-13 08:46 PM


Originally Posted by mkadam68 (Post 16150938)
Been awhile. Have a question:

Where is a source for tubular base tape?

Meaning, the tape that covers the stitches. I have several tires I'd like to repair. Have the Velox repair kit, but it only has thread, needle & patches. Also have liquid latex solution to "glue" the base tape back down after repairing tube. I'm thinking it might be easier to remove the whole tube, put in a new one, sew it back up, and voila. (Maybe a bit overkill.)

Or is the stitching part a big pain in the butt? If it is, any tips on finding the holes so I can only pull out that section of tube? I've tried submerging the tire in water and listening in quiet room. Sound/air bubbles from all over the tire so I don't know where the puncture is.

how old are they? The latex tube degrade after time & won't hold air for long. Seeing up a whole tire by hand is a big job. I'm sure they have machines that do it at the factory. Pulling the backing off the tire, fixing the tube & putting it all back together isn't too big of a job if you are careful. YouTube has some instructionas

Blue Belly 10-10-13 09:03 PM


Originally Posted by Wildwood (Post 15925499)
I ride tubular on my vintage, clinchers on my "modern" roadies. Cost is the downside that prevents me from going totally tubular.

Thanks folks, this thread brings me back regularly.

god, I can't imagine riding clinchers ever again. There are cheaper, durable sewups. Tufos, not the most popular or the most supple but, can be had at a decent price. The wife's bike is the only thing we have with clinchers. & she doesn't ride.

on a side note....tubular clinchers have always seemed really odd. I rode them one time. Felt like a clincher with weight added to it. Anyone like them?

mkadam68 10-10-13 10:06 PM


Originally Posted by Blue Belly (Post 16151020)
how old are they? The latex tube degrade after time & won't hold air for long. Seeing up a whole tire by hand is a big job. I'm sure they have machines that do it at the factory. Pulling the backing off the tire, fixing the tube & putting it all back together isn't too big of a job if you are careful. YouTube has some instructionas

Maybe: you all are almost convincing me to give up the idea.

Tires are 18-months or younger. Vittoria Corsa EVO-CX II's.

rootboy 10-11-13 06:51 AM

What? Don't give up. While repairing tubulars is a pain in the yazoo, consider it part of the process, dues, as it were, for riding the best.
It's not all that hard. I have to admit I haven't had to repair one in ages but, go for it. It's not all that hard and can be rewarding, if you like to work with your hands.

By the way, I wouldn't use liquid latex solution to glue the base tape back down to the casing. Not very strong. I use contact cement or something similar. Two light coats on the casing after re-stitching. Pay particular attention to the stitching before you cut it and try to make it as smooth as possible when you re-stitch.

mkadam68 10-11-13 08:10 AM


Originally Posted by rootboy (Post 16151667)
What? Don't give up.

No... give up the idea of replacing the whole tube and instead, just repair the hole.

DiabloScott 10-11-13 10:43 AM


Originally Posted by rootboy (Post 16151667)
What? Don't give up. While repairing tubulars is a pain in the yazoo, consider it part of the process, dues, as it were, for riding the best.
It's not all that hard. I have to admit I haven't had to repair one in ages but, go for it. It's not all that hard and can be rewarding, if you like to work with your hands.

By the way, I wouldn't use liquid latex solution to glue the base tape back down to the casing. Not very strong. I use contact cement or something similar. Two light coats on the casing after re-stitching. Pay particular attention to the stitching before you cut it and try to make it as smooth as possible when you re-stitch.

It's an experience everyone should have... but it's not easy to do a good job.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-B...16%2520023.jpg

RobbieTunes 10-11-13 01:21 PM


Originally Posted by Blue Belly (Post 16151049)
on a side note....tubular clinchers have always seemed really odd. I rode them one time. Felt like a clincher with weight added to it. Anyone like them?

I think a lot of them, and like them. My Tufo C S33 Pro's are light, handle well and wear well. They don't need a lever and change faster than any tubular or clincher, with no levers. Tufo's get "round" at about 120psi, and seem "oval" below that, so I keep them at 125-130. As my clinchers wear out, I move to these. The only downside is having to carry a spare. I don't mind.

Right now, I've got a set on DA 7900/C24 carbon clinchers and Mavic Ksyrium SSC/Heliums. Smooth and durable, quiet and clean.

But I'm ambivalent.

Blue Belly 10-11-13 01:28 PM


Originally Posted by RobbieTunes (Post 16152990)
I think a lot of them, and like them. My Tufo C S33 Pro's are light, handle well and wear well. They don't need a lever and change faster than any tubular or clincher, with no levers. Tufo's get "round" at about 120psi, and seem "oval" below that, so I keep them at 125-130. As my clinchers wear out, I move to these. The only downside is having to carry a spare. I don't mind.

Right now, I've got a set on DA 7900/C24 carbon clinchers and Mavic Ksyrium SSC/Heliums. Smooth and durable, quiet and clean.

But I'm ambivalent.

if ya ride sewups, you carry a spare anyway. I accustomed to that. Maybe I should give them another try.

JJScaliger 10-22-13 06:13 PM

I like Vittoria Rallys. The lumps and all. There, I said it.

sced 10-23-13 05:20 AM


Originally Posted by JJScaliger (Post 16182985)
I like Vittoria Rallys. The lumps and all. There, I said it.

Good for you! I'm a cheap tubular guy too and can't buy all the talk about $100 tires being better than sex. I've had better luck with the Continental Giros which are about the same price as Rallys, but none of them last very long for me. Perhaps I'm too heavy at 195.

JJScaliger 10-23-13 06:46 AM

It's a crap shoot on any tubular, regardless of price, whether you get a flat or not. I've only been riding them for 2 years and I have tried a few different types: Conti sprinter gatorskins, rallys, yellow jersey sc,and vittoria corsa evo . I've even had some old tubulars on wheels I've purchased last around 500 miles (clement and wobler). For me they all seem to last somewhere in the 500-1000 range for the rear wheel (the fronts last considerably longer.) I'm very careful not to ride all the way over on the side of the road where debris accumulates and I try not to ride in the rain when more stuff sticks to the tire.

I'm thinking about getting some flint savers. Maybe they will increase the longevity of my tires. I think vittoria corsa evo is the sweet spot for price and performance, if they lasted longer.

I like the deliberateness of tubulars and the lightness, but I can't afford to spend $100 on a consumable product every 2-3 months.

Grand Bois 10-23-13 07:03 AM

You want tire savers or flint catchers. Definitely not flint savers or tire catchers!

rootboy 10-23-13 07:22 AM

Or, as a woman in Wyoming I sold some to called them ...Sticker Flickers.

smontanaro 10-23-13 08:05 AM


Originally Posted by JJScaliger (Post 16184012)
I like the deliberateness of tubulars and the lightness, but I can't afford to spend $100 on a consumable product every 2-3 months.

If you don't want to repair them yourself, there is Tire Alert. I recently had four repaired and the base tapes replaced on two more. Total price was $129. (I have yet to try any of them out, as I have been busy with this fixed gear Trek that has Paselas.)

Six jours 10-23-13 07:55 PM

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.)

Grand Bois 10-24-13 10:45 AM


Originally Posted by rootboy (Post 16184084)
Or, as a woman in Wyoming I sold some to called them ...Sticker Flickers.

I like that!

rootboy 10-24-13 10:52 AM

Me too. And though I'm from the same general area, I had never heard them called that before. Of course, she ordered some for the Goat head stickers.

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.


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