La Vie Velominatus: Saleté Sacrée

Sacred Flemish grime covered our bikes.
Sacred Flemish grime covered our bikes on Keepers Tour.

A Velominatus maintains their machine with meticulous care, doting over it daily. A bicycle is a tool, but it is also a work of art, and serves us loyally in pursuit of our craft. We love them as though they were alive; as we grow together, the cracks and lines formed upon both our skins signifies the journey that has passed beneath our wheels.

A clean bicycle with a boastful luster inspires pride; I find myself constantly fighting the urge to carry mine upstairs to sit by the dinner table each time it has been cleaned, the bar tape freshly wrapped, or any old component swapped for a new one. I’m sure a psychiatrist would have a thing or two to say about it; I know the VMH does.

And yet, there are times when it pains me to clean my machine. After our first day on the Cobbles of Roubaix on Keepers Tour 2012, I left my bike dirty for two days because I couldn’t bring myself to rid her frame of the sacred dust that had accumulated after a day’s hard riding over some of the most hallowed roads in the world. A week later, I suffered the same condition the day after riding the route of De Ronde through hail, rain, and wind which left our machines covered in mud, manure, and Merckx knows what else. I think some part of me hoped the Flemish spirit held within all that grit would somehow be absorbed by my bike, that it would somehow help complete her soul.

But this kind of sacred dirt, the kind we don’t want to wash from our steeds, isn’t found only on the holy roads of Northern Europe. I found myself with the same reluctance to clean my Graveur after riding Heck of the North this year; a race held outside a small Northern Minnesota town nearly half a world from Flanders. I also serendipitously found photos Pavé William took of his Rosin after riding the Strade Bianche, documenting the covering of white dust upon its tubes. This condition afflicts us all, it would seem.

Any dirt becomes holy when we’ve suffered through it, when it took something from us in order to find its way onto our bikes and clothing. Sacred Dirt it is created spontaneously after prolonged exposure to The V.

Vive la Vie Velominatus.

Related Posts

169 Replies to “La Vie Velominatus: Saleté Sacrée”

  1. @zeitzmar

    @Mikael Liddy beautiful picture!

    @G’rilla I’m definitely down although we’ll need to talk some logistics. I don’t want my eagerness to belie my relative novicehood. I was definitely dropped on the Casually Deliberate VVhidbey Cogal, and I will need to get serious about mileage if I want to do a gravel jaunt over the mountains. From what I’ve read about the trail, though, it sounds really cool.

    Aren’t Casually Deliberate rides supposed to be ” no drop” ?

  2. @Barracuda nah he just had it in his jersey pocket & held it in his hand when he wanted to take photos, hence the upside of him being a pro. There’s another couple of shots in the photo uploader article.

  3. @cognition

    In my young and wayward days of high school and college I ran cross country. While it’s a heinous set of violations of Rule #42, I have to admit that I still look back on those days fondly. Racing over hills in mud, snow, and melting muck; running a race in shorts and t-shirt at eight degrees C… there’s a familiarity there, right?

    But one of the rules of my cross country team, passed down from upperclassman to underclassmen, was that clean shoes were a sign that you weren’t out training hard enough. Nor could you go out and intentionally get your shoes dirty “” you had to earn the wear and tear, putting in the miles, on the good days and the bad, in the sun and in the shit.

    I think we’re on the same page here. A true velominatus cognoscenti will see a gleaming well-maintained machine and kit but notice the telltale signs of wear, use and tiny bits of crud in those hard-to-reach places. Tires may have a little less tread than they ought to. Very much the same with shoes and clothing: clean and in good nick, but the white  or colored parts (if any) will not be as pristine as they once were.

  4. @Buck Rogers

    @wiscot

    @frank

    It does seem like since they are finishing at Arenberg, they could easily have put a bunch sprint up the trench as the finish. Feels like a missed opportunity.

    Man, I must have missed the bit in the interview with Froome when he said the same thing. Or maybe I didn’t . . . Glad to see some cobbles in there. Pity there’s only one tt and at 54kms it’s still too short. 80+ is what’s needed I say. Twice. In the same race. Fucking mountain monkeys always get too much of their own parcours. I’m lookig forward to the stage already. If Spartacus rides with Abandy, will he neutralize things if the skinny one gets into trouble?

    Awesome post that sums up what I think, or wish that I had thought after seeing your thoughts!

    Love how everyone was calling the ITT a SUPER LOONNNGG ITT. What the FUCK??? They used to have them over 80 k all the time. Was watching the ’78 tdf on youtube during my lunch roller session and they had one that Hinault won by 4 minutes that was over 80 k. When did a 50 k ITT become soooooo long??? Hell, even my Cat 4 ITT back in the ’80″²s were a minimum of 40 k?

    I know, I know. I was a TT rider in another life. A 25 mile (40kms) TT was one of the two shorter standard distances. 50 milers (80kms) were where the real testing started. That was generally around 2 hours of pure effort. Kids today, they just don’t know how good they’ve got it. Luckily for ASO, Anquetil isn’t around to call bullshit on their “long” TT.

  5. @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @wiscot

    @frank

    It does seem like since they are finishing at Arenberg, they could easily have put a bunch sprint up the trench as the finish. Feels like a missed opportunity.

    Man, I must have missed the bit in the interview with Froome when he said the same thing. Or maybe I didn’t . . . Glad to see some cobbles in there. Pity there’s only one tt and at 54kms it’s still too short. 80+ is what’s needed I say. Twice. In the same race. Fucking mountain monkeys always get too much of their own parcours. I’m lookig forward to the stage already. If Spartacus rides with Abandy, will he neutralize things if the skinny one gets into trouble?

    Awesome post that sums up what I think, or wish that I had thought after seeing your thoughts!

    Love how everyone was calling the ITT a SUPER LOONNNGG ITT. What the FUCK??? They used to have them over 80 k all the time. Was watching the ’78 tdf on youtube during my lunch roller session and they had one that Hinault won by 4 minutes that was over 80 k. When did a 50 k ITT become soooooo long??? Hell, even my Cat 4 ITT back in the ’80″²s were a minimum of 40 k?

    I know, I know. I was a TT rider in another life. A 25 mile (40kms) TT was one of the two shorter standard distances. 50 milers (80kms) were where the real testing started. That was generally around 2 hours of pure effort. Kids today, they just don’t know how good they’ve got it. Luckily for ASO, Anquetil isn’t around to call bullshit on their “long” TT.

    EXACTLY!  Those young whippersnappers have no idea how soft they have it nowadays!

  6. @Nate

    More dirt goodness.

     

    If this photo doesn’t make you want to drop every fucking thing that you are doing at this instant and get on your bike you had better check your pulse or you are on the wrong site.  Brilliant Photo!

  7. @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    Better than running!

    Based on your Facebook page, you’ve been doing a lot of that, while not being chased – as far as I can tell.

    Remediate this as soon as absolutely possible, Pedalwan.

    Hey!  At least I have not been masturbating on this site.  I only talk about it on faceplant.  And I have 34 k’s left to, ahem, do what I have to do by November 16th, in order to reach a 12 month goal and then no more of the … you know what.

  8. @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    Better than running!

    Based on your Facebook page, you’ve been doing a lot of that, while not being chased – as far as I can tell.

    Remediate this as soon as absolutely possible, Pedalwan.

    Hey! At least I have not been masturbating on this site. I only talk about it on faceplant. And I have 34 k’s left to, ahem, do what I have to do by November 16th, in order to reach a 12 month goal and then no more of the … you know what.

    Masturbation?

  9. @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    Better than running!

    Based on your Facebook page, you’ve been doing a lot of that, while not being chased – as far as I can tell.

    Remediate this as soon as absolutely possible, Pedalwan.

    Hey! At least I have not been masturbating on this site. I only talk about it on faceplant. And I have 34 k’s left to, ahem, do what I have to do by November 16th, in order to reach a 12 month goal and then no more of the … you know what.

    Masturbation?

    I believe he meant talking about the act, a la the masturbation principle, not performing the act itself…at least I hope

  10. @Nate

    More dirt goodness.

    Is this a descent? I don’t think I would have the guts to do a descent on gravel/dirt with those tires…

  11. @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    Better than running!

    Based on your Facebook page, you’ve been doing a lot of that, while not being chased – as far as I can tell.

    Remediate this as soon as absolutely possible, Pedalwan.

    Hey! At least I have not been masturbating on this site. I only talk about it on faceplant. And I have 34 k’s left to, ahem, do what I have to do by November 16th, in order to reach a 12 month goal and then no more of the … you know what.

    Masturbation?

    And you call yourself a Velominati???

    See the comment below yours.  Spot on Velovita.

  12. @Buck Rogers

    @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    Better than running!

    Based on your Facebook page, you’ve been doing a lot of that, while not being chased – as far as I can tell.

    Remediate this as soon as absolutely possible, Pedalwan.

    Hey! At least I have not been masturbating on this site. I only talk about it on faceplant. And I have 34 k’s left to, ahem, do what I have to do by November 16th, in order to reach a 12 month goal and then no more of the … you know what.

    Masturbation?

    And you call yourself a Velominati???

    See the comment below yours. Spot on Velovita.

    Had emoticons been allowed, I would have inserted one after the remark!

  13. @Buck Rogers

    @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    Better than running!

    Based on your Facebook page, you’ve been doing a lot of that, while not being chased – as far as I can tell.

    Remediate this as soon as absolutely possible, Pedalwan.

    Hey! At least I have not been masturbating on this site. I only talk about it on faceplant. And I have 34 k’s left to, ahem, do what I have to do by November 16th, in order to reach a 12 month goal and then no more of the … you know what.

    Masturbation?

    And you call yourself a Velominati???

    See the comment below yours. Spot on Velovita.

    Thanks for clearing that up. I was hoping you wasn’t taking bike porn the wrong way…

  14. @Steve-o

    @Buck Rogers

    @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    @Buck Rogers

    Better than running!

    Based on your Facebook page, you’ve been doing a lot of that, while not being chased – as far as I can tell.

    Remediate this as soon as absolutely possible, Pedalwan.

    Hey! At least I have not been masturbating on this site. I only talk about it on faceplant. And I have 34 k’s left to, ahem, do what I have to do by November 16th, in order to reach a 12 month goal and then no more of the … you know what.

    Masturbation?

    And you call yourself a Velominati???

    See the comment below yours. Spot on Velovita.

    Thanks for clearing that up. I was hoping you wasn’t taking bike porn the wrong way…

    cyclophilia?

  15. @Buck Rogers Thanks, how I feel too.  Only problem is after a massive ride like that my everyday roads are feeling a little ordinary.

    @RedRanger Thanks dude.

    @DCR It is near the top of the climb, at this point a bit more than a false flat after some very tough climbing.  I was on fumes at this point and I shudder to think what would have happened if I had tried to descend on gravel.

  16. @gaswepass

    @frank

    kickin and screaming the whole way. s’ok. sometimes better to not look the part when u can’t represent.

    when u gonna come down and race in the dirt with the men? @scaler911 still shy about gettin that dirty, needs a little stab in the ass to make that happen.

    have to give u credit- seeing that picture inspired to go reprise that ride tomorrow

    If @scaler needs “a little stab in the ass”, I’ll leave that to you and your little prick.

    @Nate

    More dirt goodness.

    You posted that somewhere else, and it was just as awesome. Top marks. And I assume those are the FMB Roubaix tires?

  17. @frank Think I put that up in the Rides but it seemed a propos here after M. Liddy’s post. It’s from the Eggtimer Gran Fondo.  I ran 24 mm Vittoria Open Paves on the day as only about 10% of the ride was on dirt, there was neutral support for clinchers, a hell of a lot of climbing, and the FMBs don’t fit on this bike.  The tire choice worked out; at one point I wiped the rear tire to remove debris and there was something embedded I could not remove.  A minute later there was a rest stop; I pulled over and found a staple in the tread, but it didn’t get through the kevlar.

  18. Talking about KT and cobbles, found this little snippet about the cobbles in the 2014 TdF;

    Whatever your position, think about this: cycling over cobblestones is an art. It is arguably as much of a discipline in road cycling as is sprinting, climbing, descending and time trialling. And with all those disciplines, some riders are good at them, while some are bad. In the discipline of their expertise, some riders become victims to the inherent risks through no fault of their own.

    We had no cobble races here in Oz, Melburn-Roobaix wasn’t around in the 80’s/90’s. It was a great riding experience riding over the cobbled back lanes of Melbourne. As well as taking to the gravel roads in the Dandenongs and Warrandyte regions. Might still have a rim with dents in the sides in the man cave.

  19. @Nate yeah I was similarly shod with 25mm Conti GP4 Seasons as we had 150k to cover with about 15k of gravel. They were being eyed off with some jealousy by a few of the others in my team who were running their standard 23’s.

  20. @Mikael Liddy

    @Nate yeah I was similarly shod with 25mm Conti GP4 Seasons as we had 150k to cover with about 15k of gravel. They were being eyed off with some jealousy by a few of the others in my team who were running their standard 23″²s.

    Im running 23mm Conti GP4000s up front and 25mm Conti GP4000s out back.

    25 is the new “black”

  21. @Barracuda

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Nate yeah I was similarly shod with 25mm Conti GP4 Seasons as we had 150k to cover with about 15k of gravel. They were being eyed off with some jealousy by a few of the others in my team who were running their standard 23″²s.

    Im running 23mm Conti GP4000s up front and 25mm Conti GP4000s out back.

    25 is the new “black”

    I have been running 25mm tires and can’t say I notice a very big difference from the 23mm I had on the last bike. I never did a side by side comparison but I feel like the differences are minimal.

  22. @DCR

    @Barracuda

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Nate yeah I was similarly shod with 25mm Conti GP4 Seasons as we had 150k to cover with about 15k of gravel. They were being eyed off with some jealousy by a few of the others in my team who were running their standard 23″²s.

    Im running 23mm Conti GP4000s up front and 25mm Conti GP4000s out back.

    25 is the new “black”

    I have been running 25mm tires and can’t say I notice a very big difference from the 23mm I had on the last bike. I never did a side by side comparison but I feel like the differences are minimal.

    Sshhhh, don’t tell anyone, but not sure I can either !

    Having said that I do think the 25 out back gives me a softer ride, not sure about the differences in rolling resistance between front and back though!

    Had this set up for a while and the jury is still out !

  23. @DCR @Barracuda biggest difference I’ve noticed is it feels much surer handling wise. Doubt Cuda would be getting that though given he’s still got a 23 up front, get many splinters from sitting on that fence?

  24. @frank

    @gaswepass

    @frank

    kickin and screaming the whole way. s’ok. sometimes better to not look the part when u can’t represent.

    when u gonna come down and race in the dirt with the men? @scaler911 still shy about gettin that dirty, needs a little stab in the ass to make that happen.

    have to give u credit- seeing that picture inspired to go reprise that ride tomorrow

    If @scaler needs “a little stab in the ass”, I’ll leave that to you and your little prick.

    @Nate

    More dirt goodness.

    You posted that somewhere else, and it was just as awesome. Top marks. And I assume those are the FMB Roubaix tires?

    That climb was absolutely nuts.  That photographer got some absolutely stunning shots.  Craziest part is that this wasn’t even the prettiest scenery we saw, not by a long shot.  Here’s mine:

  25. @Mikael Liddy

    @DCR @Barracuda biggest difference I’ve noticed is it feels much surer handling wise. Doubt Cuda would be getting that though given he’s still got a 23 up front, get many splinters from sitting on that fence?

    Plenty of splinters this end !!   Fronts due for a change and just happen to have a crisp new Conti 25 in a box.

    May have to put it on front, will that stop the “clutch” going in when attempting Nettle Hill down these parts though ? ( insert the banned smiley face )

  26. @DCR

    @Barracuda

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Nate yeah I was similarly shod with 25mm Conti GP4 Seasons as we had 150k to cover with about 15k of gravel. They were being eyed off with some jealousy by a few of the others in my team who were running their standard 23″²s.

    Im running 23mm Conti GP4000s up front and 25mm Conti GP4000s out back.

    25 is the new “black”

    I have been running 25mm tires and can’t say I notice a very big difference from the 23mm I had on the last bike. I never did a side by side comparison but I feel like the differences are minimal.

    I’ve got bikes with both sizes – all but one have 700x25s, the remaining one is being used to burn through my last 700x23s, after which it’ll be running 25s as well.  There’s a discernable difference in how well they absorb bad road; the 25s do a much better job of it.

    The last two years I used 700x28s for Rouge-Roubaix (170 km with lots of bad road and ~40 km of gravel).  I’m going back to 25s for that race, since the bike I’m using next year won’t fit the 28s.

  27. @revchuck

    @DCR

    @Barracuda

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Nate yeah I was similarly shod with 25mm Conti GP4 Seasons as we had 150k to cover with about 15k of gravel. They were being eyed off with some jealousy by a few of the others in my team who were running their standard 23″²s.

    Im running 23mm Conti GP4000s up front and 25mm Conti GP4000s out back.

    25 is the new “black”

    I have been running 25mm tires and can’t say I notice a very big difference from the 23mm I had on the last bike. I never did a side by side comparison but I feel like the differences are minimal.

    I’ve got bikes with both sizes – all but one have 700x25s, the remaining one is being used to burn through my last 700x23s, after which it’ll be running 25s as well. There’s a discernable difference in how well they absorb bad road; the 25s do a much better job of it.

    The last two years I used 700x28s for Rouge-Roubaix (170 km with lots of bad road and ~40 km of gravel). I’m going back to 25s for that race, since the bike I’m using next year won’t fit the 28s.

    It could be that the vibrations are more tame with the 25mm tire. I attributed the difference to the change from a carbon frame to a titanium. I will have to do a side by side comparison with the next bike.

  28. @revchuck

    @DCR

    @Barracuda

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Nate yeah I was similarly shod with 25mm Conti GP4 Seasons as we had 150k to cover with about 15k of gravel. They were being eyed off with some jealousy by a few of the others in my team who were running their standard 23″²s.

    Im running 23mm Conti GP4000s up front and 25mm Conti GP4000s out back.

    25 is the new “black”

    I have been running 25mm tires and can’t say I notice a very big difference from the 23mm I had on the last bike. I never did a side by side comparison but I feel like the differences are minimal.

    I’ve got bikes with both sizes – all but one have 700x25s, the remaining one is being used to burn through my last 700x23s, after which it’ll be running 25s as well. There’s a discernable difference in how well they absorb bad road; the 25s do a much better job of it.

    I had the same experience as @DCR and feel the biggest difference in ride quality comes from the quality of the tire itself moreso than the width.

    That said, one think I noticed is there was zero noticeable difference between GP4000 in 23 vs 25 at the same pressure; when I dropped the pressure a bit in the 25 (5 PSI), I noticed an improvement in vibration dampening. Turns out a wider tire at the same pressure is relatively harder than a narrow tire at low pressure, though I am not sure I understand the physics behind that.

  29. @EricW

    @frank

    @gaswepass

    @frank

    kickin and screaming the whole way. s’ok. sometimes better to not look the part when u can’t represent.

    when u gonna come down and race in the dirt with the men? @scaler911 still shy about gettin that dirty, needs a little stab in the ass to make that happen.

    have to give u credit- seeing that picture inspired to go reprise that ride tomorrow

    If @scaler needs “a little stab in the ass”, I’ll leave that to you and your little prick.

    @Nate

    More dirt goodness.

    You posted that somewhere else, and it was just as awesome. Top marks. And I assume those are the FMB Roubaix tires?

    That climb was absolutely nuts. That photographer got some absolutely stunning shots. Craziest part is that this wasn’t even the prettiest scenery we saw, not by a long shot. Here’s mine:

    Very nice. Same thing I said to @nate but with the added advise of getting a V kit.

  30. @frank

    @revchuck

    @DCR

    @Barracuda

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Nate yeah I was similarly shod with 25mm Conti GP4 Seasons as we had 150k to cover with about 15k of gravel. They were being eyed off with some jealousy by a few of the others in my team who were running their standard 23″²s.

    Im running 23mm Conti GP4000s up front and 25mm Conti GP4000s out back.

    25 is the new “black”

    I have been running 25mm tires and can’t say I notice a very big difference from the 23mm I had on the last bike. I never did a side by side comparison but I feel like the differences are minimal.

    I’ve got bikes with both sizes – all but one have 700x25s, the remaining one is being used to burn through my last 700x23s, after which it’ll be running 25s as well. There’s a discernable difference in how well they absorb bad road; the 25s do a much better job of it.

    I had the same experience as @DCR and feel the biggest difference in ride quality comes from the quality of the tire itself moreso than the width.

    That said, one think I noticed is there was zero noticeable difference between GP4000 in 23 vs 25 at the same pressure; when I dropped the pressure a bit in the 25 (5 PSI), I noticed an improvement in vibration dampening. Turns out a wider tire at the same pressure is relatively harder than a narrow tire at low pressure, though I am not sure I understand the physics behind that.

    The GP4000s I have in 25 mounted up on the H+Son Archetypes measure out to about 27mm due to the wide rim (23mm I think).  Super comfortable and excellent grip.

    I find I can comfortably run about 10 pounds less in them than when they were mounted up on a set of Ksyriums.  Like the others, I did not notice a huge difference between GP4000s 23 and 25 on the Ksyriums.

  31. Only downside I could see with lower pressure in a larger tire is the increased contact patch. May equal more grip but also more rolling resistance.

  32. I feel like 25s at slightly lower pressure roll faster on rough roads than 23s.  Even if they didn’t I am happy to have a bit larger contact patch for technical descents on less than perfect roads.

  33. @Nate

    I feel like 25s at slightly lower pressure roll faster on rough roads than 23s. Even if they didn’t I am happy to have a bit larger contact patch for technical descents on less than perfect roads.

    +1 I’m becoming a connoisseur of chipseal, and lower-pressure 25s have improved my quality of life a lot.

  34. @PeakInTwoYears

    @Nate

    I feel like 25s at slightly lower pressure roll faster on rough roads than 23s. Even if they didn’t I am happy to have a bit larger contact patch for technical descents on less than perfect roads.

    +1 I’m becoming a connoisseur of chipseal, and lower-pressure 25s have improved my quality of life a lot.

    And apparently a wider rim like a Hed C2 or a Velocity A23 allows you to run a lower pressure than the same size tire on a narrower rim – I believe Hed recommends at least 11% lower pressure than on a 19mm rim.  I went the other way on my C2s and went from 25mm tires to 23mm which I run at the same pressure as I ran with my 25s on my Open Pro rims.  The fact that they are Vittoria Open Corsa SCs with a high tpi count is what adds the improved ride quality, which speaks to Frank’s point about the quality of the tire making the biggest difference.  For my experiences, a wide rim with a supple tire is the best you can get if you’re going to ride clinchers.  I’ve never ridden tubeless though so maybe that’s better, but If I’m going to go to that effort, I’ll just ride tubulars.

  35. @DCR

    Has anyone used the tubeless road wheels? Haven’t really seen much on them. Whats the benefit?

    Yes I use them.  Started with Bontrager and while they were OK and I had some “saves” by using them they did not seem great at holding air and would typically lose 10 psi or so every day after a ride.  Changed to Schwalbe Utremo and they have been great, felt better on the road vs the Bontrager do not lose pressure and gave me a number of “saves” before I got a “terminal” on the Cogal so had to put a tube in.  Not too much hassle.  One theory about them is that when you have a blowout it is not as sudden as a tube – which was born out in my case – though I think @roadslave had a decent spray of latex behind me! I think there is less risk of rolling off the rim than a clincher as they are a darned sight harder to get on/off than any clincher I have used.  So for me the benefit is that I have definitely saved some punctures on rides.  There are also claims that the ride is near that of a tub and better than clincher/tube but as I had them from new on the current bike I can’t really say.

  36. @DCR

    Only downside I could see with lower pressure in a larger tire is the increased contact patch. May equal more grip but also more rolling resistance.

    Counter intuitively, the opposite may be the case (within reason). When I race CX on hard bumpy surfaces and grass with small tussocks, it’s advantageous to run less pressure as you get less ‘rebound’ of the tire against the obstacle. This rebound may be happening on a much smaller scale when dealing with rougher roads and chip seal, and *may* be why it feels smoother/faster with slightly less pressure. The smoother the road/track, the higher pressure may be more advantageous.

  37. @Teocalli

    @DCR

    Has anyone used the tubeless road wheels? Haven’t really seen much on them. Whats the benefit?

    Yes I use them. Started with Bontrager and while they were OK and I had some “saves” by using them they did not seem great at holding air and would typically lose 10 psi or so every day after a ride. Changed to Schwalbe Utremo and they have been great, felt better on the road vs the Bontrager do not lose pressure and gave me a number of “saves” before I got a “terminal” on the Cogal so had to put a tube in. Not too much hassle. One theory about them is that when you have a blowout it is not as sudden as a tube – which was born out in my case – though I think @roadslave had a decent spray of latex behind me! I think there is less risk of rolling off the rim than a clincher as they are a darned sight harder to get on/off than any clincher I have used. So for me the benefit is that I have definitely saved some punctures on rides. There are also claims that the ride is near that of a tub and better than clincher/tube but as I had them from new on the current bike I can’t really say.

    Thanks for the info. I am in the market for a wheelset and was considering the tubeless route. I may have to give them a shot.

  38. @frank Re:  700x23s vs. 700x25s, I can believe that tire quality might be more important than size.  One of these days, I’ll have to replace the 110 tpi Michelins I’m using with some flavor of Vittoria Open Corsas or Veloflex Masters and find out for myself.

  39. @Weldertron

    As far as ride quality, would Open Corsa SC and latex tubes not be pretty close to a tubular?

    Ultimately depends on which tubular; but a good tub will blow your mind. And, tubs are round, and don’t distort the way clinchers do, especially cornering.

    CHANGE. YOUR. LIFE.

  40. Got some grime on the #1 today.  The road I was on went to gravel, became double track, then entered a state forest and became basically a rocky stream bed.  I forged ahead, hiked over the rocks, leaves, snow and sand until I crested and dropped out the other side on a muddy, slippery downhill.  Never go back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.