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Wheels: Clinchers vs. Tubular vs. Tubeless

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Mar 19, 2009
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SlantParallelogram said:
Isn't that what happened to poor old Joseba Beloki and essentially ended his career?

Not exactly a 'gotcha' example. Take a head count of how many pros are still on tubulars regardless of what happened to poor old Beloki. You could also blame his crap bike handling skills too. ;)
 
You are right that all the pros that can get away with it ride sew-ups, including some of the teams that are sponsored by companies that only sell clincher tires. So obviously sew-ups are the preferred tire of the professionals. I also prefer tubulars to clinchers.

However, I still think that a tubeless tire is a superior alternative. They should handle much better than a clincher because they can be built with a completely round cross section like a sew-up, and also like a motorcycle road racing tire. Once they get everything worked out, a tubeless system should offer the performance and feel of a sew-up with even more durability than a clincher.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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I think long term Tubeless will be the way, but for now...
As said above, teams sponsored by Michelin ride around on tubulars, an example where the performance outweighs the sponsorship obligation (though they are Michelin branded, so it meets the need)

Personally, I ride Clinchers because of the cost and race Tubulars, even if it is for only psychological reasons
 
RDV4ROUBAIX said:
.... and most people that are new to sew-ups are put off by the work it takes to mount and repair them. The fact that 99% of the pros are riding them makes no difference either, because they have mechanics to do all the dirty work. I don't mind the scraping, gluing, stretching, mounting, repairing of tubulars. Since I was brought up on sew-ups, I find the extra work put into caring for them to be sort of meditative and calming, but that could be said for any work I do on the bike.

Tubless technology has been trying to get on the road for over ten years now to no avail. If they were so great as some people claim, the whole peloton would be using them. Fact of the matter is that tubeless tires and rims are heavier than clinchers and tubulars, this is why you only see maybe one or two guys testing them in the pro ranks year after year with no gain in numbers. Tubeless technology was originally created for the MTB scene in an effort to alleviate pinch flats, which is a rare occurrence on the road.

IMHO, on the road, nothing beats the convenience and ease of repair of riding clinchers for training, and the unbelievably plush ride quality at high pressures and safety aspects of tubulars for racing.

RDV4 has hit the nail on the head: a set of wheels for training with clinchers and a set of wheels for racing with tubs. This is what I used to do in the 60s and since I had to ride up to 50 k to a road race each week I would carry my race wheels attached by 2 aluminum brackets to the front hub. with old toe straps securing the top of the wheels to the lower handlebars. My tubs lasted all season. (I was still at school and didn't have much money, but heaps of riders did this in those days and NOBODY raced on clinchers)
 
Mar 10, 2009
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St. Elia said:
On a similar topic what about tufos? I mean their tubular clincher. I have used Tubulars in the past and I love them but find it easier to fix all of the flats I get with clinchers. But for a race I might opt for a set of tufos if people like them let me know

I tried a set of the tub/clinchs and I hated them. They were heavy and didn't feel right on the road. After a flat I tossed them. As a type, the only thing I know that they would be good for would be cyclocross, but the tires I had would be worthless for that as well. I run Vottoria tubulars on a set of Cosmic Carbones for racing and I think tubbies are great. I train mostly with Michelin 3s or Rubino Pro clinchers.
 
Apr 7, 2010
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I would say cost of sew-ups are what keeps me from converting. I have rode both and like the feel of the sew-ups but, the cost for the tires are not worth it to me. Even if they were $60 for a pack of three at yellow jersey. I rode on Conti. Competition ($160 a pair) sew-ups and got around 2000 miles out of them before I hand to buy new set, plus cost of glue. I ride Conti. Grand prix 4000s clinchers ($100 a pair) and got 8000+ miles out of a pair before I had to replace them. Now I ride on Hutchinson Fusion 2 Ultra a get around 4000+ miles, but I only paid $40 a pair...just my 2 cents....
 
Jun 28, 2009
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Tubeless question....

I have always used clinchers, so.....

What would you recommend as a set of wheels and tires to start off with in the tubular department? I have campy chorus on my primary bike. Money is an object, but quality is important.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Hmmmmm said:
I have always used clinchers, so.....

What would you recommend as a set of wheels and tires to start off with in the tubular department? I have campy chorus on my primary bike. Money is an object, but quality is important.

Campy hubs, Velocity Escape rims, custom built, choose hole counts and patterns for your particular needs with help from your local wheel builder/shop. Don't let people tell you custom wheels are expensive, it's an urban myth.
 
Jun 28, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Campy hubs, Velocity Escape rims, custom built, choose hole counts and patterns for your particular needs with help from your local wheel builder/shop. Don't let people tell you custom wheels are expensive, it's an urban myth.

Thanks. Just copied your recommendation into my wants/wish list/bike equipment document :)
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Hmmmmm said:
Thanks. Just copied your recommendation into my wants/wish list/bike equipment document :)

Cool! Forgot to mention tires. The cheaper tubulars work just fine, and you don't need to spend $120/per tire to get performance. Look at Continental Sprinters, about $60 or less per tire, best bang for the $. You could even go with Vittoria Rally, which I've used for spares, $25/per tire.
 
Jun 28, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Cool! Forgot to mention tires. The cheaper tubulars work just fine, and you don't need to spend $120/per tire to get performance. Look at Continental Sprinters, about $60 or less per tire, best bang for the $. You could even go with Vittoria Rally, which I've used for spares, $25/per tire.

Thanks again. I used to solely use Conti tires in the past before wanting to try something different. I have not had good success with Vittoria tires - may just be my own personal experience but suffered many flats with them wrapped around my rims. But they were clinchers....