Road Tubular Glue


New Member
Feb 27, 2011
Hello all:
I am changing my old clincher wheels to question is,I install my new tubulars with gluing tape,in case of a flat,
how should I glue my new spare tubular on the road,¿with the tape that had been used to install the flat tubular ....or what
OK; I will change the question,,,,Can I use the same gluing tape several times...or maybe twice? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif
GIVEN: When a tubular tire is inflated, it is all but impossible to peel it off the rim ...

With THAT in mind, unlike everyone else, [COLOR= #0000ff]I use what is a minimum amount of glue on my rims[/COLOR] -- a dab between each spoke hole (32h & 36h rims) and then mounting the pre-stretched tire directly on "wet" glue and then the glue is allowed to dry with the tire in place ... basically, just enough glue to keep the tire from rotating from acceleration ...

  • [COLOR= #808080]now that I have re-stated how I glue up my sew-ups, others will undoubtedly chime in ... the TRADITION is to glue the rim, glue the tire, allow to get tacky, press together[/COLOR]

BUT, I'm not racing ...

I never put more than 105PSI in my tires ...

I'm NOT racing ... I don't know how low a PSI will hold an unglued tire on a rim because I was never interested enough to test it.

I've never had a tire peel off rim by itself ... I don't know what the dynamics are of an over-heated rim which consequently causes the glue to melt -- I would think that a heavily glued rim-and-tire would tend to retain the heat (i.e., prevent dissipation) more than lightly glued tire would ... AND, since the tire often peels off the rim when the traditional glue melts during the least opportune time of a race (e.g., in a turn on a descent!), does it matter if there is as much glue as is used?

I'm NOT racing!

When I have had a flat while on the road, I simply peel off the flat tire (usually, in disgust -- I rarely see the road hazard which means that something unseen stuck to the tread and punctured somewhere down-the-road from picking up the debris) and put the DRY, pre-stretched spare on the rim.

Regardless of whether-or-not the tape on your rim is still tacky after you are able to pull the tire from the rim -- AND, particularly, because you will probably not be able to remove the tape that is still on the rim without spending a-lot-of-time-cursing-while-on-the-side-of-the-road -- then, I would say you can continued to use it for your on-the-road repair.

  • From the comments of others who have tested-or-used the TUFO tape, if I were to use it, I would use 1" strips spaced between the spokes ... it would probably be exceedingly tedious to install that way ...

  • [COLOR= #ff0000]Bring a spare roll of the tape + small scissors if you are concerned. DON'T forget your pump.[/COLOR]

BTW. Regardless of whether you choose to use glue-or-tape, and regardless of how much you choose to use (in the case of glue), the most important thing that you need to do is to [COLOR= #0000ff]PRE-STRETCH all the tires before mounting them, particularly the spare that you are planning to carry[/COLOR]!

FYI. You can pre-stretch your sew-ups on 700c clincher rims.

FWIW. My conclusion is that you should save your money & stick with clinchers -- instead, buy some latex tubes & high thread count tires.
+1 on Alfeng's comments on the importance of pre stretching tubulars, it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to mounting them in the field or at home.

I trained on tubulars for years but now I just race on them but here's my take:

- I've never used Tufo tape but have had to clean rims that had bits and pieces of Tufo tape stuck to them and it really sucks. I'm sure just like glue that you can tape over clean rim beds that have some tape residue left but when there a big sections of partially removed and lumpy tape and or the tape is filthy with gravel and dirt you'll want to remove it just like glue residue in similar condition and that's no easy task especially on carbon rims.

- From a pure racing perspective, especially for timed events, Tufo taped tires roll slower over a good conventional glue job. That might not matter for your riding and not something I'd worry a lot about for mass start events but if I'm going to time trial on tubulars I want them to roll fast. According to Al Morrison's rolling resistance tests: a decent high TPI race clincher coupled with a latex tube will roll better than even the best tubulars that have been glued with Tufo tape or with a skimpy glue job.

- Several races a year someone rolls a tubular during hard cornering. Usually they were under glued so if you race or do a lot of hard cornering then definitely err on the conservative in terms of tubular mounting. But I've gotta agree with Alfeng that outside of really hard cornering situations and even for most fast mountain descents where you're not white knuckled in the bends it's really hard to roll a fully inflated even if lightly glued tubular. But if you're diving into tight crit corners at speed or racing track then don't skimp on glueing.

- I personally always carried a pre-glued tubular (or two) for spares on training rides when I trained exclusively on tubulars. But that was because I'd turn my patched tubulars or those with more tread wear into training spares and mount newer tires for racing. It definitely increased confidence if the trip home involved some fast descending but as mentioned above rolling a well inflated tubular even with light glue or on the sticky residue of an old glue job is very unlikely unless you're really cornering hard. Still take it easy on corners if you have to ride home on a partially glued spare. Based only on a couple of friends that train on Tufu taped tubulars it seems that field reuse of Tufo tape to get home is the norm and then they do a full retaping job once they get home. They definitely don't carry rolls of new tape or scissors and don't do a complete roadside remount of new tape, they rip the old tire off (sometimes with great effort and tire irons if they're using the Extreme tape) and just slap the spare right on, pump it up and continue riding albeit somewhat conservatively.

- Based on the stuff above I use Vittoria Mastik tubular glue. I glue at least one complete thin layer on the rim that I allow to dry, another on the tire's base strip that I allow to dry and then a fresh mounting layer on the rim only that I allow to set up only slightly before mounting the new tire. That's for general road racing and crit tires. For TT tires I follow Al's 'Too Much Glue' method described in the Crr pdf linked above for lowest rolling resistance (and almost no chance of a field tire change without tire levers and or blisters). For cyclocross tubulars it's a bit more involved as these really do roll pretty easily with the ridiculously low pressures we run (e.g. 25-30 psi) and the tall tires that provide a lot of tire roll off leverage.

That's my take on it, but I don't really train on tubulars these days so if you're not racing you'll probably lean closer to Alfeng's methods as being easier and quicker. Regardless the idea of a field changed tubular is to continue your ride and or to get home don't start laying an unglued tubular over in tight corners or trying to break descending records on a twisty alpine descent.

BTW, if you are racing on these wheels you should generally have a separate training wheelset. It really sucks to flat on race day because of road debris picked up during weekly training or because your tires are worn from day in, day out riding. If you're not racing on these then it's all about the nice ride quality of tubulars and a lot of the advice above isn't that important.


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