Clincher/Tubular

Aug 27, 2012
581
234
73
London, UK
www.macrophotofly.com
#1
I have some admissions to make,
I have only ever rode on clinchers
I can sew
I don't like glueing things (okay except Airfix kits as a kid)
And I'm fast approaching an age milestone that requires my to buy a present for myself (at least that's what I told the wife)

Anyway the point is one of the bikes I have my eye on has tubs and I want to know if it's possible to change a tyre on the go if it punctures? The guys at Planet X are making a big song and dance about it being very quick to change a tubular tyre by using the specific double sided tape they sell (instead of glueing). What's the reality? Can you rip off the old tyre, put on the tape, attach the new tyre and be on your way in a few minutes?
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#2
Paging GSAstuto.... Tim pick up the white courtesy phone..... :D

I know that tubs are a lot more user friendly than they used to be for sure.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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Yokohama
#3
You might want to call Mike Sims rather than Tim as he is more suited to answer the question as he is just an ordinary guy who had the same question and decided to pull the trigger on tubular.

As for me:

Tubular for racing, Clincher for training and social riding - been saying it from a professional view point for years

I've been out training with the Asian U23 Road Race Champ and also the National CX Champ here and they also feel the same, for practical use the clincher reigns king especailly when you don't have a support car full of wheels following you about.

Also you might want to take a look at tubless tires, especailly the new Mavic range, best of both worlds?
 

m o b

Speeding Up
Jun 22, 2008
341
23
38
Bremen
cyclitis.wordpress.com
#4
I tend to agree with James.

Today with Tufos double sided tape it is much easier to exchange a tubular tire but its is still much more hassle compared to the change of a tube. And you need to carry an extra tire with you which is heavier and bulkier than a spare tube.

And its is still very cumbersome to repair a tubular at home then. OK, you can use Schwalbe Blue Doc or similar, but still.... And it is much more costly...and if the tubulars are glued on carbon rims there is a good chance to ruin the carbon surface....

So if you are not looking for 100% performance but rather convenience and cost clinchers are the way to go.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
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tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#6
I wonder why they (PlanetX) are trying to push off tubular wheels on you? Obviously the tubed tire is more convenient when it comes to repeated on the road repairs. If you're looking for convenience or expect multiple punctures on a ride and of course something easily repairable by the local mama-chari shop then tubed is preferred. But if you are seeking the ultimate in smoothness and supple handling then tubular is considered a better option. I also agree the new tubeless tires are getting right up there. In fact all my new alloy wheels are tubeless compatible for just this reason. Reducing the compliance losses in the tire to wheel connection will always give you a faster and more responsive ride. (Which is why some riders use latex tubes in their clinchers)

Myth - Tubulars are expensive. I stock darn decent (Japanese/Thai) tubulars under 2000 yen. They are better quality than ANY 5000 yen+ Tubed tire. And , of course the tube is included. Great training tires and the sting is not so great if you have to trash one.

Myth - Tubulars are hard to mount. False. With the newer dual tapes (Miyata in particular) 'Gluing' A tubular is nothing more than laying a strip of double backed tape, fitting the tire and then pulling the 'rip strip'. The tape also releases easier than glue, so the tire may be removed easily from a rim after mounting.

@Mob - TUFO tape is a strong bond, but hard to mount due the rip-strip breaking. Try Miyata and you'll never touch TUFO again. Also, I glue onto carbon rims alot and don't have issues if I'm using 'clear' glues like SOYO or PANARACER. I've seen some wheels glued up with traditional MASTIK and the riders had attempted to remove the tire and managed to delaminate the rim! I only use MASTIK on Alloy rims and stick to the Miyata + Soyo for the carbons. For CX I use a Japanese floor tile contact cement and Miyata Tape together. It still only adds about 15min to the total process.

The other reason to consider tubular is just the 'classic' appeal. If you have an older bike or a newer one that resembles an older one, the esthetics of tubular match very well. And there are still alot of great wheel and rim choices available. Even wood! I have a gorgeous set of Cibata Italian rims laced up to Gokiso hubs with Hoshi 15/16 NJS spokes. The lust factor of these wheels is near to 11.
 
May 22, 2007
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Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#7
Having a tubular tire fail on a recreational ride - especially with a group - is a great way to ruin your day. (I hadn't even got as far as the beer :( )

I was 'sold' on tales of superior handling and reliability. So far I've never experienced any different in ride comfort or handling. And my impression of reliability is very jaded.

If you want to race, I have no doubt that they make a huge difference. For me, they have been an expensive lesson about kit that I don't need.

If I hadn't spent so much time and labour pimping them up I would sell them to a more deserving rider without hesitation. It probably wouldn't take much to persuade me...
 

Gunjira

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Oct 2, 2009
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Tokyo
#8
Also you might want to take a look at tubless tires, especailly the new Mavic range, best of both worlds?
Do you have any more info on this? I recently switched to tubeless for CX and want to put a wider road tubeless on after cross season is over. Not a lot of options, never saw any from Mavic. Currently swayed between Hutchinson intensive and Irc roadlite, both 25c
 

m o b

Speeding Up
Jun 22, 2008
341
23
38
Bremen
cyclitis.wordpress.com
#9
Myth - Tubulars are expensive. I stock darn decent (Japanese/Thai) tubulars under 2000 yen. They are better quality than ANY 5000 yen+ Tubed tire. And , of course the tube is included. Great training tires and the sting is not so great if you have to trash one.

Myth - Tubulars are hard to mount. False. With the newer dual tapes (Miyata in particular) 'Gluing' A tubular is nothing more than laying a strip of double backed tape, fitting the tire and then pulling the 'rip strip'. The tape also releases easier than glue, so the tire may be removed easily from a rim after mounting.
I checked the tire pricing for 700C racing bikes at Bike 24, a big German online retailler.

They offer 85 different types of tubular tires, out of this 8 types are priced below 30 Euro and all of them have the word "training" or "beginner" in their description. Average prices are within 40 to 70 Euro (57 types). Most expensive one is 295 Euro.

As for clinchers, they offer 150 types out of which 116 types are priced below 30 Euros. Most expensive one is 85 Euros. So I would say it is fair to say that tubulars are more expensive than clinchers. Yes, there are also tubulars that are cheaper than clinchers, but would they offer the same quality?

The pricing for the Continental GP4000 clincher is 29 Euro, whereas the same tire as tubular is 70 Euro. It would make sense that tubular tires that are more labour intensive to produce in smaller numbers would be more expensive than mass produced clincher tires.

So my conclusion would be that tubulars are generally more expensive.

As for the mounting of tubular tires I would agree that they are not hard to mount with tape. Using rim cement was really much harder. But still, I would prefer to exchange a tube on a training ride rather than to mount a new tubular.

For the tubeless tires I think David from Positivo has some experiences with Fulcrum.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
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tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#10
I've never spent more than 2000 yen on any 'training tubular'. These are made in mass qty in Thailand by alot of mfg's. SOYO, Continental, Vittoria and other 'no brand'. All the same - the old Clement fabs that are still churning them out. Same tread, carcass and tube as many of the more expensive tubulars (and open tubular clinchers). Conti Giro is a good example. Try one and I think you may find it pretty much as good as a Conti GPS4000 (clincher) in terms of handling, CRR and overall performance.

The big jump is when you get into an event tire - then the weight goes down, suppleness goes up (increased TPI or better materials) , reduced compliance and more sophisitcated tread compound. But mainly it's weight and carcass consistency. In event tires, the tubulars will be slightly more expensive than their 'open' clincher brethren. And of course there are specialty tires that far exceed the cost of the clinchers.

I think it's interesting that in this year's Tour of California the United Healthcare team rode on carbon clinchers. Now, the ToC is mainly long grinding uphills followed by fast, smooth descents or crits in the city on smooth roads , but they did a great job, and I'm following this pretty closely.

Obviously the mfg make ALOT more money on clinchers than tubs due the higher labor costs and more involved process - so they are sinking more R&D into this technology.

I also agree that tubless is where the future really lies. But in some ways is being held back because the vast investment in tooling and established market of non-tubeless clinchers. BTW, if anyone thinks a tubular is hard to repair or replace, you should watch someone try to reair a tubeless tire in -10 weather!

I ripped the sidewall of my tire 2 days ago after a small incident involving an Immelman practice using the tail support of a moving mamachari as the launching point. After said 'farming run' , I gathered myself and the rig and just rode back home on the flat. Stripped it and replaced with a new tire in about 5min. Soyo Spurt Racer - 1700 yen. I'll use the old tire after fixing the rip and patching the tube (butyl). Yes, tubulars can be repaired - even cheap ones.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#11
I pick up some new tubular carbon babies today, as it happens. Will see how they stand up to the silly things I do to my bikes.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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www.roadfixie.com
#12
BTW - if anyone wants to try out some tubs just let me know. I have alot mounted up on various wheels both carbon and alloy. And if you're really nice I might let you take a spin some Soyo Road CR's (26,000 yen each) or a Gokiso / Upstream combo (260,000 yen hub and 12,000 yen tire)
 

Gunjira

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Oct 2, 2009
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Tokyo
#13
BTW - if anyone wants to try out some tubs just let me know. I have alot mounted up on various wheels both carbon and alloy. And if you're really nice I might let you take a spin some Soyo Road CR's (26,000 yen each) or a Gokiso / Upstream combo (260,000 yen hub and 12,000 yen tire)
Tim, I would love to finally test out the gokisos when riding tokyo enduro March 16th!