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Tubular Survival Kit

Tubular Survival Kit

by / / 102 posts

There was never any question in my mind that tubulars are more romantic than clinchers, and as a Velominatus I was always convinced that the additional time and care that goes into gluing on a set of tires would make you feel just that much more connected to your bike and the history of the sport itself. I was skeptical, however, that tubs would ride noticeably better – and even if they did – whether they would prove to be too much of a hassle to make riding them worthwhile.

Two and a half years after building my first set of tubular wheels and gluing on a set of handmade tires, I have eliminated clinchers from all my bikes. The ride is better, the gluing is a quick and easy process (once you learn a few tricks), and a tubular can be changed more quickly than a clincher. Plus the glue gives you a little buzz; what’s not to like?

The switch from clinchers to tubulars did require a change to my tool kit, however. This fact wasn’t immediately apparent to me and I went on several rides happily armed with tire levers and a spare inner tube. Gearing up for riding tubulars is a more subtle process than it is with clinchers, a fact which gives me no small amount of pleasure. First comes the approach to folding and carrying the spare tire, should you choose to carry one. Also, with the removal of tire levers, spare tube(s), and patch kits comes the introduction of repair sealant; in the event of a flat, the first tactic is to inject the tire with some goop and see if it seals itself, eliminating the need to replace the tire in the first place. This works splendidly in many cases, and appears to be a long-term solution as well; I have one particularly beloved tire which has been holding fast with sealant since a puncture over a year ago.

After a few iterations, my tubular-friendly survival kit has evolved into a beautifully compact system which takes up less bulk in my jersey than does the clincher version. It consists of a Lezyne Carbon Drive Lite rubber-banded to a tube of Vittoria Pit Stop and a Lezyne V5 mini tool. Nothing to it. On longer rides or rides with others, I will strap my tiny tub to my saddle as extra protection in the event the Pit Stop doesn’t work.

Tubulars ride better, corner better, are easy to mount, quick to change, give you a small buzz, and require a smaller survival kit than do clinchers. You heard it here first: friends don’t let friends ride clinchers.*

*Thanks to @Nate for coining this phrase.

// Accessories and Gear

  1. @frank

    @Charlie

    So, what are these tubular tire mounting tricks?

    The first thing I learned is that as soon as you have a layer of glue on everything already, it really doesn’t matter how much more you put on; I have come home on a spare tire after cornering cautiously for the rest of the ride only to barely be able to take the spare off even after it hasn’t been glued on (it just had a dry layer on it).

    I slap on a layer of glue and I also don’t sweat how long I wait; the conventional wisdom is to wait 10 minutes or so before mounting the tire but I just go for it right away. The glue can be a bit messy that way but you are moving along right away.

    The second trick is to stretch the crap out of it as you first mount it; if you don’t stretch it like crazy, you’ll get a little lump in the tire. It also makes it easier to get the end of the tire on the rim.

    Once it’s mounted and aligned, I pump it up like a mutha and I’m happy to go ride the tire right away; I don’t lay into the corners full speed and the tire will be a bit over-inflated from how I ride it normally, but its perfectly safe to ride.

    All that, plus being mindful that some brands of tire just don’t fit some rims properly. For example, my wife bought me a pair of Conti GP4000 tubulars last Christmas (she’s awesome.) I rapidly discovered that these simply don’t fit my Golden Tickets. I can mount a Vittoria Pave on them in about 15 seconds flat. I spent a hour struggling to stretch a Conti onto one of the rims, and then gave up in disgust and retired to tend to my blistered thumbs.

    I’ve no doubt that the GP4000s are splendid tires (the clinchers were always my go-to) but don’t try to put them on Ambrosio Nemesis rims. I *suspect* that this is function of rim width, but I haven’t done the math.

  2. @Stephen

    @frank I did locate one flaw in this whole approach of yours. Pretty much the entirety of your premise about folding and strapping a spare tub under your seat.

    Should the tub not be rolled into a figure and worn over your shoulders?

    Leducq waering tubular

    This technique, while hardcore, is unaesthetic, and was necessitated by the gargantuan volume of the tires those guys were obliged to use. It also results in unwelcome smears of glue on one’s jersey.

  3. @Nate

    @unversio What model are those?

    LTZ II and 30.00 add to cart. Been riding black version and white version. No closure at the wrist which is my preference.

  4. Are people using using cx tubs for dirt/gravel rides?

    IMO tubs are the only way to go for CX racing, and I would love to ride some sweet file-tread cx for crazy dirt and gravel rides. Though I glue+tape (Zanc method) tubs for cx and can’t imagine being able to pry a flatted cx tub by the roadside with injuring my fingers. Maybe I should just get over it, and go for it. What are others doing for these kinds of rides?

  5. @stevep33 I just run my usual 25mm or maybe 27-28mm on dirt and gravel, and run lower pressure. Of course not all gravel is created equal. My understanding is that tape is part of the Cx gluing regimen due to the very low pressures; there is not enough air in the tire to help hold it in place. So if you can put some more air in thetape should be unnecessary. IDK where the break even point is.

  6. @stevep33

    Are people using using cx tubs for dirt/gravel rides?

    IMO tubs are the only way to go for CX racing, and I would love to ride some sweet file-tread cx for crazy dirt and gravel rides. Though I glue+tape (Zanc method) tubs for cx and can’t imagine being able to pry a flatted cx tub by the roadside with injuring my fingers. Maybe I should just get over it, and go for it. What are others doing for these kinds of rides?

    I ride Clement tubs on my CX rig; for Heck of the North I will be riding their LAS file tread.

    Even for CX racing I’m just gluing, no tape. I do an extra layer of glue for both the rim and tire and call it good. I’ve flatted twice on gravel and have gotten the tire off no issue and remounted it. I ride gravel on much more pressure than CX, though – in the 40-60 psi range. If there is a lot of good gravel, I’ll go as high as 70.

    Not all gravel is created equal as @Nate says, and he must be riding some firm gravel if he’s taking his road bike on it and not worrying about needing a knob or two to stop a wheel slip. The forest roads I’m riding in the PNW tend to be very loose and I would never even consider taking my road bike on them – not to mention the width just to keep traction when the roads get steep.

    That said, its amazing what your road bike will handle; we baby those things way more than they need to be.

  7. I have been riding tubs for probably longer than most velominati – as I switched around 1965 when I purchased a pair of Fiamme sprint rims. I use double sided adhesive rim tape, not glue, as the glue is nasty stuff. I don’t accumulate road debris on my tubs because I use tyre savers and have the same pair of savers I fitted probably 30 years’ ago. We all used them back in those days and I don’t understand why these are not widely used today. In nearly 50 years I can count the total number of flats I have had with fewer fingers of one gloved hand.

  8. @Nate

    @stevep33 I just run my usual 25mm or maybe 27-28mm on dirt and gravel, and run lower pressure. Of course not all gravel is created equal. My understanding is that tape is part of the Cx gluing regimen due to the very low pressures; there is not enough air in the tire to help hold it in place. So if you can put some more air in thetape should be unnecessary. IDK where the break even point is.

    @nate, besides your lovely FMBs are there other 27/28mm tubs you like for our gravel riding?

  9. The FMBs are my fatties. Nominally 27 but in reality more like 29? I also have FMB 25s and Veloflex 25s. Those are my go-tos. Finally I have the Schwalbe Ones back in action. I like them but their profile is pretty tall and narrow. I’d rather have a bit more girth on loose surfaces.

  10. @Nate

    The FMBs are my fatties. Nominally 27 but in reality more like 29? I also have FMB 25s and Veloflex 25s. Those are my go-tos. Finally I have the Schwalbe Ones back in action. I like them but their profile is pretty tall and narrow. I’d rather have a bit more girth on loose surfaces.

    What width on the Schwalbes? I see nominal sizes at 22/24/26/28…. dang, I may have to swallow hard and put out the big bucks for a set of 27 FMBs… gulp…. but if the sidewalls were pink it would make the swallowing easier:)

  11. @teleguy57

    One ride on clinchers since this winter when I run wider tires and fenders on the CX bike, and that one was for the Cheesehead Roubaix where I wanted a bit more width than the 24mm Vittoria Paves on my Nemeses. I haven’t flatted on tubulars since, oh, wait, not going there to avoid jinxing myself.

    Only one set of clinchers in the quiver now; the rest (Golden Tickets, the mythical Nucleons, and Aeolus D3 3s) are tubular. @Nate’s post reminds me that I really should get some Veloflexes again, but the Vittoria Corsa Elites in 25 are surprisingly nice on the Nucleons. Also thinking about getting some 27mm tubies for those rims as my uber-crap/gravel road surface wheels.

    My repair kit includes the full-length pump old-school style along the NDS seatstay, and a single pre-glued spare in an Arundel Tubi bag to keep the tire clean. In the side pocket of the Tubi I have a small flat-bladed screwdriver with the sharp edges of the tip ground smooth for tire removal, and well as a Stan’s valve core removal tool to make it easier to put in the small bottle of Stan’s in my back pocket.

    For really long rides I do have a Jannd Dual bag that holds two tubulars, but I haven’t used it since riding in Colorado last summer. Having two spares plus Stan’s is the ultimate belt-and-suspenders approach.

    My only complaint would be that the enormous tube-sac dangling off the back of your saddle significantly affects the overall clean aesthetic of your Hampsten.

    And I’m not even going to start on that saddle (but damn I like that bike of yours)

  12. @teleguy57 nominal 24. Overall a very very nice tire based on a couple hundred Kms of riding. Maybe the 26 or 28 are different.

  13. This topic is timely, but possibly bad news for my bank account. After riding my entire cycling life with clinchers, I’ve been recently considered going with a set of tubs. A couple of questions for the more informed (or just more opinionated)…

    I have a spare set of wheels – Chorus 10spd silver hubs with Open Pros – that have collected dust for the last 10 years. I always figured they would be my daily set for training rides, but once I put my Neutrons on my #1 they never came off. Should I keep as is and buy a new wheelset, or take the hubs and rebuild with tub rims? I hate to tear down a perfectly good set of wheels, but since I’m not using them it seems a waste. If rebuilding, I’m considering some Golden Tickets. Any others to consider?

  14. @Nate

    @teleguy57 nominal 24. Overall a very very nice tire based on a couple hundred Kms of riding. Maybe the 26 or 28 are different.

    @DeKerr

    @teleguy57

    One ride on clinchers since this winter when I run wider tires and fenders on the CX bike, and that one was for the Cheesehead Roubaix where I wanted a bit more width than the 24mm Vittoria Paves on my Nemeses. I haven’t flatted on tubulars since, oh, wait, not going there to avoid jinxing myself.

    Only one set of clinchers in the quiver now; the rest (Golden Tickets, the mythical Nucleons, and Aeolus D3 3s) are tubular. @Nate’s post reminds me that I really should get some Veloflexes again, but the Vittoria Corsa Elites in 25 are surprisingly nice on the Nucleons. Also thinking about getting some 27mm tubies for those rims as my uber-crap/gravel road surface wheels.

    My repair kit includes the full-length pump old-school style along the NDS seatstay, and a single pre-glued spare in an Arundel Tubi bag to keep the tire clean. In the side pocket of the Tubi I have a small flat-bladed screwdriver with the sharp edges of the tip ground smooth for tire removal, and well as a Stan’s valve core removal tool to make it easier to put in the small bottle of Stan’s in my back pocket.

    For really long rides I do have a Jannd Dual bag that holds two tubulars, but I haven’t used it since riding in Colorado last summer. Having two spares plus Stan’s is the ultimate belt-and-suspenders approach.

    My only complaint would be that the enormous tube-sac dangling off the back of your saddle significantly affects the overall clean aesthetic of your Hampsten.

    And I’m not even going to start on that saddle (but damn I like that bike of yours)

    Yup, I like it a whole lot. Hard to tell, but these are actually v1 and v2 vs two photos of the same bike. Steve H built me a second one this winter after we had some discussions about my fit and riding qualities. Someone else is loving the Berthoud-pictured bike after getting a sweet deal in one of Steve’s yard sales.

    And I agree with you; the aesthetic of the two-tubular bag is why it hasn’t gone on the bike this season and I’m going with the Tubi on the bike and Stan’s in the jersey pocket (although with my fat butt on the bike the bag is less distracting that as pictured..

    Don’t start on the saddle, because if you started riding one you might realize it works and be willing to deal with the semi-funkiness of the look. The aesthetics of the saddle are actually growing on me. Part of the issue is that the camera angle is really critical to whether it looks decent or strange, just like micro saddle tilt adjustments make it feel great or horrible. I am seeing more of them as people figure out they really can make a difference — particularly for those of us who have gone through a lot of other models searching for the right fit.

    But we all love tubulars!

  15. @MangoDave

    If rebuilding, I’m considering some Golden Tickets. Any others to consider?

    No.

    Does that tick the more opinionated box?

    @frank

    That said, its amazing what your road bike will handle; we baby those things way more than they need to be.

    There was some fairly hard packed gravel on the Monsal Trail section of yesterday’s Manchester to London ride. 27mm Open Paves dealt with it as easily as they did with the really shitty rough tarmac in the hills behind Perpignan the week before last.

  16. @MangoDave

    This topic is timely, but possibly bad news for my bank account. After riding my entire cycling life with clinchers, I’ve been recently considered going with a set of tubs. A couple of questions for the more informed (or just more opinionated)…

    I have a spare set of wheels – Chorus 10spd silver hubs with Open Pros – that have collected dust for the last 10 years. I always figured they would be my daily set for training rides, but once I put my Neutrons on my #1 they never came off. Should I keep as is and buy a new wheelset, or take the hubs and rebuild with tub rims? I hate to tear down a perfectly good set of wheels, but since I’m not using them it seems a waste. If rebuilding, I’m considering some Golden Tickets. Any others to consider?

    There are not a lot of choices — nemesis, Hed Belgium. Not sure if there is even anything else except rare NOS Mavic stuff.

  17. @teleguy57 LBS suggested I demo an SMP. Right now I am trying out an Aliante. I like it. It violates that rule about padding, however.

  18. @Chris

    @MangoDave

    If rebuilding, I’m considering some Golden Tickets. Any others to consider?

    No.

    Does that tick the more opinionated box?

    Ha! That might fit under the More Knowledgeable/Universal Truth box. My only reason to consider something else would be for the weight factor. Something like the Mavic Reflex is a fair amount lighter, and I don’t anticipate flying over the cobbles of P-R anytime soon. I’m not too terribly heavy, at ~70kg, and tend not to destroy equipment.

  19. @MangoDave a lot of the light older rims are too light to build a viable rear wheel spaced for 10 or 11 speed. Not sure the details but probably worth some research before you get too far.

  20. @MangoDave

    H Plus Son tb14s, Mavic reflex, are both popular tubular rims as well.

  21. @MangoDave Another modern option is the Kinlin TB-25. Same weight as the Nemesis, but half the price. The 25mm V shape is pretty stiff, so you can get away with 10/11 dish and fewer spokes (it comes in 20/24/28/32).

  22. @Nate

    @MangoDave a lot of the light older rims are too light to build a viable rear wheel spaced for 10 or 11 speed. Not sure the details but probably worth some research before you get too far.

    Thanks Nate. I don’t think I’ll look for older rims, I’ll stick to current models. Plus, for some reason I keep thinking my hubs are a new model, but reality sets in and I realize they are 14 years old already. I’m not getting older, must be some kind of a time warp.

    @pistard Not too familar with the Kinlins. So far, my “research” has been a quick google search while pretending to work. The only thing that has turned up is that some people have complained about cracking the Mavic Reflex.

    It must be a sign from Merckx, so far no one has threatened to hit me with a frame pump for considering destroying a perfectly acceptable set of Open Pros in order to build tubulars.

  23. @minion

    @MangoDave

    H Plus Son tb14s, Mavic reflex, are both popular tubular rims as well.

    According to their own website, the H Plus Son TB14s are clinchers designed to resemble a tubular. Maybe I’m missing something.

  24. Spa

    Spare tire neatly folded under seat. I tried the figure 8 around my back ONCE. Ruined a wool jersey with glue.

  25. @MangoDave

    @minion

    @MangoDave

    H Plus Son tb14s, Mavic reflex, are both popular tubular rims as well.

    According to their own website, the H Plus Son TB14s are clinchers designed to resemble a tubular. Maybe I’m missing something.

    Yes, they are clinchers. For a while there were rumors that H Plus Son might do a tubular equivalent or their Archetype (also a clincher), but no dice so far.

    If you can find them, the Ambrosio Montreals in hard ano are similar to Nemesis but less expensive and slightly lighter. If you’re going to run a 25mm tire you could also consider the Bike Hub Store TB415w, a 23 mm tubular rim similar to the Major Tom. Haven’t used it, but have read good things about it. @nate has some Hed Belgium tubulars; they’re supposed to be pretty sweet too for a modern 23mm rim.

  26. @Nate

    @teleguy57 LBS suggested I demo an SMP. Right now I am trying out an Aliante. I like it. It violates that rule about padding, however.

    Nice when you can find something that fits well. I tried both the Antares (a full season) and the Aliante (still on my CX/rain bike but not really digging it. If you can demo an SMP it’s a good option. Steve Hogg has a comprehensive post on all the different SMP models and another from a reader about the impact of the SMP for him. Not trying to be an evangelist here; looking to share what info I’ve found.

  27. @teleguy57

    Yup, I like it a whole lot. Hard to tell, but these are actually v1 and v2 vs two photos of the same bike. Steve H built me a second one this winter after we had some discussions about my fit and riding qualities. Someone else is loving the Berthoud-pictured bike after getting a sweet deal in one of Steve’s yard sales.

    Those Hampstens are sweet-ass looking bikes and its a dream to have one. To hear he helped you out getting the fit right is just all the more awesome.

    I was going to point out the different stem/fork in the second shot. Very nice looking steed!

    Don’t start on the saddle, because if you started riding one you might realize it works and be willing to deal with the semi-funkiness of the look.

    Gianni swears by that saddle and that is good enough for me, although I’d rather have my groin amputated than ride one. But that’s just me.

    But we all love tubulars!

    Yeah baby!

  28. @Chris

    @MangoDave

    If rebuilding, I’m considering some Golden Tickets. Any others to consider?

    No.

    Does that tick the more opinionated box?

    @frank

    That said, its amazing what your road bike will handle; we baby those things way more than they need to be.

    There was some fairly hard packed gravel on the Monsal Trail section of yesterday’s Manchester to London ride. 27mm Open Paves dealt with it as easily as they did with the really shitty rough tarmac in the hills behind Perpignan the week before last.

    That photo would be much more meaningful without the landscape and with some fucking gravel, git!

  29. @MangoDave

    @Chris

    @MangoDave

    If rebuilding, I’m considering some Golden Tickets. Any others to consider?

    No.

    Does that tick the more opinionated box?

    Ha! That might fit under the More Knowledgeable/Universal Truth box. My only reason to consider something else would be for the weight factor. Something like the Mavic Reflex is a fair amount lighter, and I don’t anticipate flying over the cobbles of P-R anytime soon. I’m not too terribly heavy, at ~70kg, and tend not to destroy equipment.

    Just an observation; weight has less to do with destroying your gear so much as having some finesse on the bike. People much lighter than me destroy things much more quickly than I do.

  30. @MangoDave

    I’ve not ridden the Kinlins, just built a set for a friend for cross and he’s very happy with them. A little heavy, but they build up nicely.

    Reflex have changed several times over the years and I’m hoping the newest are better. Last ones I built and rode, maybe 6-8 years ago, were definitely different than the current model (profile, weight–more like 425g than the 360g Mavic lists for new ones). Said previous generation were a bit sketchy even compared to the older and lighter Mavic tubulars I still ride (and build with when I can find them NOS at a reasonable price) like GL-280/330, CX-18 and GP-4.
  31. It must be a sign.

    I was taking the racing wheels off yesterday and putting the training wheels back on. I race on Carbon Tubbies, and train on carbon/alloy clinchers and was annoyed at the fact I have to keep changing pads. A solution is to train AND race on carbon tubbies! I could train on carbon clinchers but I’ve not yet fully warmed to the idea. Now, who’s got a set of carbon tubbies they want to sell me?

  32. @frank

    @Chris

    @MangoDave

    If rebuilding, I’m considering some Golden Tickets. Any others to consider?

    No.

    Does that tick the more opinionated box?

    @frank

    That said, its amazing what your road bike will handle; we baby those things way more than they need to be.

    There was some fairly hard packed gravel on the Monsal Trail section of yesterday’s Manchester to London ride. 27mm Open Paves dealt with it as easily as they did with the really shitty rough tarmac in the hills behind Perpignan the week before last.

    That photo would be much more meaningful without the landscape and with some fucking gravel, git!

    Monsal gravel……cue @frank “The gravel would be more meaningful with some bikes on the gravel, git”.

  33. @Sowtondevil

    I have been riding tubs for probably longer than most velominati – as I switched around 1965 when I purchased a pair of Fiamme sprint rims. I use double sided adhesive rim tape, not glue, as the glue is nasty stuff. I don’t accumulate road debris on my tubs because I use tyre savers and have the same pair of savers I fitted probably 30 years’ ago. We all used them back in those days and I don’t understand why these are not widely used today. In nearly 50 years I can count the total number of flats I have had with fewer fingers of one gloved hand.

    Are you still riding those Fiamme? I have them on The Butler with a spare set too.

  34. @EBruner

    Spa

    Spare tire neatly folded under seat. I tried the figure 8 around my back ONCE. Ruined a wool jersey with glue.

    Wow, my first view of a new LeMond in the wild. The Campagnolo is the icing on the cake. Well done! I liked my steel/carbon spine LeMond a lot.

  35. @frank

    @teleguy57

    Yup, I like it a whole lot. Hard to tell, but these are actually v1 and v2 vs two photos of the same bike. Steve H built me a second one this winter after we had some discussions about my fit and riding qualities. Someone else is loving the Berthoud-pictured bike after getting a sweet deal in one of Steve’s yard sales.

    Those Hampstens are sweet-ass looking bikes and its a dream to have one. To hear he helped you out getting the fit right is just all the more awesome.

    Steve is one class act. Tuning the fit was pretty incremental and secondary to tuning the ride, but we worked together on both.

    You do know he’s in Seattle, right? I would think you’d pay him a visit, just in the name of great experiences and research in your leadership role for this band o brothers (and sisters).

    I was going to point out the different stem/fork in the second shot. Very nice looking steed!

    Thanks. Both are Enve road forks. Stems have come and gone as I’ve tweaked position. Neither stem pictured is on the current bike:)

    Don’t start on the saddle, because if you started riding one you might realize it works and be willing to deal with the semi-funkiness of the look.

    Gianni swears by that saddle and that is good enough for me, although I’d rather have my groin amputated than ride one. But that’s just me.

    But we all love tubulars!

    Yeah baby!

  36. @EBruner

    Spa

    Spare tire neatly folded under seat. I tried the figure 8 around my back ONCE. Ruined a wool jersey with glue.

    What an incredible bike! WOW! Nice job folding the tub nice and small.

  37. @teleguy57 frank really ought to get himself a Hampsten shouldn’t he?

  38. @EBruner echoing frank and teleguy: awesome. More pix please!

  39. @Teocalli I still have the Fiamme Sprints on my 1954 Claud Butler. I am a little reluctant to break hard and wear these wonderful wheels out so I ride cautiously as a rule and avoid Rule #9 conditions with this bike.

  40. @Sowtondevil

    @Teocalli I still have the Fiamme Sprints on my 1954 Claud Butler. I am a little reluctant to break hard and wear these wonderful wheels out so I ride cautiously as a rule and avoid Rule #9 conditions with this bike.

    Nice! Photos needed here?

    Re braking – there is soo little rim on them anyway that stopping is a challenge in itself! The other week I was out with a mate and part way down a hill he braked and took a left turn. All he heard as I went by straight on down the hill was “Oh bollocks”.

    In fact after I had done a few rides without riding a modern steed, when I finally went out on modern brakes I near went over the handlebars when I applied the brakes.

    Yup I hear you re Rule #9. Mine are strictly for the dry too.

  41. @Sowtondevil Just remembered you did post some way back. No harm in reposting such a vintage beauty though!

  42. @Nate

    @teleguy57 frank really ought to get himself a Hampsten shouldn’t he?

    @nate, indeed he should. And @frank, you can write an article about the process and the Hampsten vibe. Oh, and tell Steve I sent you:)

  43. This stuff is just the ticket

    Ridden my Veloflex Roubaix with puncture resistant layer…..

    Piece of glass gashed rear during a circuit race, unstitched etc and inner patched – now my spare

    Then slow flat on front – getting pissed off – couldn’t find cause – sprayed this in, spun it a few times, and it held full pressure ever since

    Sunday ride, spiked on a thorn and flatted the new rear tyre – sprayed can #2 into the rear – got to the coffee stop – found the hole – added more zefal, spun it, pumped it up and after an ejeculation of white spurt through the hole, boom – held full pressure since

    Will be interesting to see if it seals itself now when I next spike it?

  44. @Sowtondevil My hero!

  45. @antihero

    @frank

    All that, plus being mindful that some brands of tire just don’t fit some rims properly. For example, my wife bought me a pair of Conti GP4000 tubulars last Christmas (she’s awesome.) I rapidly discovered that these simply don’t fit my Golden Tickets. I can mount a Vittoria Pave on them in about 15 seconds flat. I spent a hour struggling to stretch a Conti onto one of the rims, and then gave up in disgust and retired to tend to my blistered thumbs.

    I’ve no doubt that the GP4000s are splendid tires (the clinchers were always my go-to) but don’t try to put them on Ambrosio Nemesis rims. I *suspect* that this is function of rim width, but I haven’t done the math.

    Oh god, glad I’m not the only one. I have never had more problems getting tires on a rim, and these were unglued, I just wanted to get them on to stretch.

    Yeah, about 15 minutes a tire and my hands were toast. Next time I’ll try pumping them up before even trying to put them on a rim, maybe crank ’em up to 160 PSI and let them sit for a week.

  46. @MangoDave

    This topic is timely, but possibly bad news for my bank account. After riding my entire cycling life with clinchers, I’ve been recently considered going with a set of tubs. A couple of questions for the more informed (or just more opinionated)…

    I have a spare set of wheels – Chorus 10spd silver hubs with Open Pros – that have collected dust for the last 10 years. I always figured they would be my daily set for training rides, but once I put my Neutrons on my #1 they never came off. Should I keep as is and buy a new wheelset, or take the hubs and rebuild with tub rims? I hate to tear down a perfectly good set of wheels, but since I’m not using them it seems a waste. If rebuilding, I’m considering some Golden Tickets. Any others to consider?

    If the Open Pro rims are still good, I’d keep the wheels as an emergency spare and just look for a used hubset to build my tubular wheels up with. As far as rims go, I tried Mavic Reflex but had a problem with cracked eyelets and broken spokes (Sapim CX Ray). I went with HED Belgium rims and haven’t had any problems at all, still using the CX spokes. I weigh between 170-180 lbs, if you’re lighter maybe the Reflex will work for you but they’re not aero if that matters to you.

  47. @kenl

    @antihero

    @frank

    All that, plus being mindful that some brands of tire just don’t fit some rims properly. For example, my wife bought me a pair of Conti GP4000 tubulars last Christmas (she’s awesome.) I rapidly discovered that these simply don’t fit my Golden Tickets. I can mount a Vittoria Pave on them in about 15 seconds flat. I spent a hour struggling to stretch a Conti onto one of the rims, and then gave up in disgust and retired to tend to my blistered thumbs.

    I’ve no doubt that the GP4000s are splendid tires (the clinchers were always my go-to) but don’t try to put them on Ambrosio Nemesis rims. I *suspect* that this is function of rim width, but I haven’t done the math.

    Oh god, glad I’m not the only one. I have never had more problems getting tires on a rim, and these were unglued, I just wanted to get them on to stretch.

    Yeah, about 15 minutes a tire and my hands were toast. Next time I’ll try pumping them up before even trying to put them on a rim, maybe crank ’em up to 160 PSI and let them sit for a week.

    I’ve heard recommendations to wet the base tape on conti tubs before initial stretching. Might also help to stretch after the last coat of glue dries and before mounting. Don’t run conti myself so I can’t vouch for the method but it may be worth trying.

  48. @kenl

    @MangoDave

    This topic is timely, but possibly bad news for my bank account. After riding my entire cycling life with clinchers, I’ve been recently considered going with a set of tubs. A couple of questions for the more informed (or just more opinionated)…

    I have a spare set of wheels – Chorus 10spd silver hubs with Open Pros – that have collected dust for the last 10 years. I always figured they would be my daily set for training rides, but once I put my Neutrons on my #1 they never came off. Should I keep as is and buy a new wheelset, or take the hubs and rebuild with tub rims? I hate to tear down a perfectly good set of wheels, but since I’m not using them it seems a waste. If rebuilding, I’m considering some Golden Tickets. Any others to consider?

    If the Open Pro rims are still good, I’d keep the wheels as an emergency spare and just look for a used hubset to build my tubular wheels up with. As far as rims go, I tried Mavic Reflex but had a problem with cracked eyelets and broken spokes (Sapim CX Ray). I went with HED Belgium rims and haven’t had any problems at all, still using the CX spokes. I weigh between 170-180 lbs, if you’re lighter maybe the Reflex will work for you but they’re not aero if that matters to you.

    That’s the dilemma, since the Open Pros are in excellent condition. The only thing wrong with them is one of the stickers is starting to peel. For some of the more OCD Velominati, that alone might be enough justification to build up a new set of wheels. I’m slightly more practical (Mrs. Mango might disagree), but in the spirit of being practical I may want to use the hubs rather than let them collect more dust as an emergency spare.

    Thanks for telling me your experience with the Reflex rims, makes me want to stay away from them. I’m still leaning toward Golden Tickets, but also considering the Ambrosio Crono if they’ll be strong enough.

    Frank – this article inspired me to buy the Lezyne Carbon Lite pump in the spirit of rule compliance. It’s small and light, and gets me away from an undisclosed carrying method of the old pump.

  49. @MangoDave

    Thanks for telling me your experience with the Reflex rims, makes me want to stay away from them. I’m still leaning toward Golden Tickets, but also considering the Ambrosio Crono if they’ll be strong enough.

    The Nemesis is the Alpha and the Omega. I can ride singletrack on them: they do just fine as long as I’m not riding in a rock garden. I built a set of Cronos up, but even with 36 spokes they’re just barely stiff enough to put up with all 79kg of me atop them. The brake track on the Crono is meh, too.

    I had a bad experience with the Reflex rim that involved a trashed rim and some road rash, but that’s a function of my size. They’re very much like the Crono.

  50. I wanted to upgrade the wheels on my Rodriguez this year and looked into tubeless, but couldn’t swing the cost, plus I wasn’t thrilled by the tire options. I came across a used pair of Nucleons and got a wild hair. However I ruined any frugality by springing for some FMB Paris Roubaix 27s to wrap around them. Sweet sweet ride – wider tires and tubular? My butt and wrists have been thanking me. I run these at ~80 psi and I don’t feel I’m giving anything up performance wise to the narrower clinchers I used to ride. Plus I feel safer on fast descents knowing my tire is glued to the rim. I planned on putting my clinchers back on for winter, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to bring myself to do it.

    The biggest downside of tubulars is changing / fixing flats, but I realized that I rarely flat on the typical suburban routes I use for training and group rides and in events either. I have an old beater I use for my short commute and errands on the mean city streets. So why forgo all the advantages of tubulars for fear of the flats I never get (yep just cursed myself).

    Ok so subject is tubular repair kit. Here’s what I do: I carry a spare tire – I don’t want to get stranded and I don’t want to hold up my riding partners. I don’t carry a spare FMB PR 27, what are you crazy those things cost a fortune! A nice mechanic who inspected my glue job just gave me an old used vittoria 21. Perfect, being used it’s pre-stretched and being 21mm it’s thin and light for packing. Also I was told air pressure is a lot of what holds a tubular on and a 21 can be blasted up to 120psi. I carry a tiny pump to get things started but I also carry CO2. I feel confident that if I need it, this tire will let me finish the ride / get me home. I carry one tire iron to assist in removing the flat. On the advice of an online article I also carry a small 2oz bottle of Stans with one of those tiny valve removal tools taped to it so I could attempt to seal up a small puncture.

    However I’m wondering if I should just skip the sealant. I hear it works, but it eventually hardens and you can’t get it out of a tubular. If I got a small puncture on one of my spendy FMBs I might rather put on the spare and send the FMB to that guy in Florida to repair for $20. But, what if I happen to get two flats (though I rarely get even one) or maybe when the FMBs are more than half worn out, I’ll try the sealant figuring in 4-6 mos the tire will be done anyways.

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