Tubular Tires vs. clinchers

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by kranz, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. kranz

    kranz New Member

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    I've just bought a used vintage Raleigh Professional from probably around 1980. This is an upgrade for me from the '78 Raleigh Supercourse that I've been riding this season. The bike has tubular tires, Ambrosio rims and campy hubs. I have NO prior experience with tubular tires. I primarily ride "rails to trails" bike paths and don't compete, but I do like to ride fast.

    I'm debating about whether or not to keep the sew-ups that came with it, or switching to clinchers. The major issue I see, given the kind of riding I do, is the need to fix a flat many miles from home. My impression is this is a bigger deal with tubulars (need to have a pre-glued spare tire). So I'd appreciate any advice on this topic. If I switch to clinchers, what would I be sacrificing? Or if I try tubulars will I ever want to go back?

    thanks,

    kranz
     
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  2. e_guevara

    e_guevara New Member

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    Tire technology today has progressed a lot since the 80's. And right now, there is very little difference between tubulars and clinchers, albeit a small weight difference.

    You said it yourself, you may need to change a flat on the road - something that CAN'T BE DONE with tubulars. The glue on sew-ups need to set on the rim and 'pre-gluing' before you ride them is kinda stupid, IMHO.

    On the other hand, bringing a spare tube or a patch kit and a set of tire levers is helpful in the event of a flat - just pry it open and change (or patch) the tube.

    But do remember, tubulars and clinchers use different rims. One doesn't work with the other.

    Cheers

    e_guevara
     
  3. j_erhardt

    j_erhardt New Member

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    Bull-crap! You rip the old tire off, and place a new one on. It won't be glued on there as well, but it will get you home.

    I say buy a cheap tire as a spare and try it out.

    JohnE
     
  4. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    First off, congratulations for having excellent taste and a sense of style by selecting this venerable classic. I occasionally ride an early 70's vintage Falcon San Remo 76 - pretty much the same bike as the Professional. Sweet ride, and you can't beat the classic British frames for their combination of smooth ride and tight handling.

    I did switch the rims from tubular to clincher, though. Not worth the hassle. I agree with j_erhart in that tubulars are actually easier to change out on the road: peel off the flat, work the spare on, there will be enough adhesive to hold it in place to get home, though I wouldnt' be doing any fast mountain descents.

    The trouble comes when you get home and patch the flat. I'm of the opinion that you aren't really a cyclist until you've successfully repaired a tubular, but it is a pain to do. Not worth it unless you need that little extra. Don't get me wrong - I still lust over a set of Zipp 404 wheels in tubular, but for personal riding, the clincher doesn't take away much performance, if any, and it's a whole lot easer to patch.
     
  5. kgruscho

    kgruscho New Member

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    I recently switched to tubulars because I got a cheap deal on the tires and rims. (Mavic Reflex and Tufo s33pro) They are not hands down better than my conti gp3ks. They are different, my riding style and terrain makes the risk of getting a flat negligible. I don't carry a spare, just a tube of the tufo glue and a frame pump. Good enough to get me home, if not cell phone
     
  6. e_guevara

    e_guevara New Member

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    Thanks for noticing JohnE.

    Sorry, shouldn't have written "CAN'T BE DONE" and not add "WITHOUT SACRIFICING PERFORMANCE". Improperly glued sew-ups can roll off the rim (esp. during fast runs & cornering), much more on an unglued one. Just take care riding it on the way home.

    On clinchers however, you can continue riding the way you did before the flat without worrying about the tire coming off.

    e_guevara
     
  7. kranz

    kranz New Member

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    Thanks guys, for great info on both Tubs and clinchers. Another issue comes to mind in this debate. That is the issue of "hooked" vs "non-hooked" clinchers. I get the impression that one reason clinchers can now compete performance wise with sew-ups is that hooked rims allow for greater tire pressure.

    Am I correct in saying that if I wanted to use vintage clincher rims like the Weinmann concave rims, then I would be limited to lower tire pressures? And if I wanted performance comparable to sewups, I need to shop for modern rims?

    thanks,

    kranz
     
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