How big is too big? How soft is too soft?

The Goldilocks Principle: Deflategate

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The Rider is the best book ever written about Cycling. I don’t mean that figuratively, I literally mean that literally. I say this despite having had my hand in writing our own Book about Cycling. What makes this book great is not just the prose, which is immaculate, but the spirit of the Velominatus that permeates the work. My friend @ErikdR recently sent me a copy in the original Dutch and, to my amazement, the English translation loses very little of the subtext that most translations do. Still, some expressions as they are written in Dutch carry so much meaning that it is impossible to translate into a foreign tongue. This is the essential underlying art, the intangible essence that separates language from communication.

Early in the book, Krabbé rides a short warm-up and upon reaching his turn-around point, climbs off to answer the call of nature. As he remounts, he carefully wipes his tires clean before setting off back towards the start/finish line. I had never noticed that bit of the book before but the Dutch version used a particular turn of phrase that expressed, if not a love, then an unusual degree of care given to an inanimate object.

And I realized, at that moment, that Cyclists today don’t love their tires anymore; clinchers have desensitized us against the miracle of riding on a membrane supported only by air. Tubulars, on the other hand, make you work to appreciate their miracle. You have to huff some glue (technically that counts as a win-win), you have to align the tyre properly, you have to keep the glue off both the braking surface and the sidewall, which seems like a paradox to the uninitiated. Tubulars make you work for it, they help you appreciate that a tire isn’t a bit of disposable kit; it is a commitment towards mutual benefit.

I was raised like every other Merckx-fearing Velominatus: on a strict diet of Rule #5, long hours in the saddle, and 19mm tires pumped to the highest number the sidewall said to pump them to. Which was usually around 10 bar (150 psi). Simple physics: less surface area meant less friction, and everyone knows friction is an asshole.

Until the last few years, I’ve ridden 23mm tires at 8 bar, no questions asked. In the past few years, however, we’ve come to understand that lower pressures and wider tires provide some significant benefits, like being faster and more comfortable, to pick two. I have accepted this transition like a toddler “accepts” his vegetables.

Like Grandpa adjusting to color film in his camera, I have gradually moved towards wider tires at lower pressures. I’ve been experimenting with 25mm, 26mm, and 27mm tires for the last few seasons, pumped up anywhere from 6.5 to 8.5 bar. (On the cobbles in Northern Europe, I ride them at 5 to 5.5 bar, depending on the conditions.) Empirically, the difference in ride quality by tire pressure comes down first to the quality of the tire and its materials, the weight and riding style of the rider, countered by the road conditions.

Mileage may vary based on your weight and tire, but for now I’ve landed on 26mm tires at 7.5 bar. Now I’m just waiting for my order of Gianni’s Digital Lezyne pressure gauge to show up so I can really get down to business.

 

// Accessories and Gear // Musings from the V-Bunker // Technology // The Bikes

  1. Nate – I KNOW! I have been dragging my feet in grad school and riding my bikes just to delay adulthood. Damnit, I think it’s finally here. In actuality, things are really great overall for me/us, so I can’t complain. Plus, I’m still on a bicycle seven days a week, so that is a good way to stay young and young at heart. And thank you. It feels pretty incredible to have a place to settle in. And, I’m looking forward to not moving for years and years. Moving is terrible. Congratulations on your settling down too!

    I need a new wheelset, but that’s really all I want these days. Been on mismatched OP rims on my Casati for five years. Don’t blame me, blame the original owner who had them built up. I’m just trying to set things right!

    McPhee has done a nice job. Yup, lacrosse does have the unfortunate prep school aspect. I played with a lot of them in college. But, in New York State it is a huge sport and all the public schools field girls and boys teams. The only “prep” schools that have it in NY are the Catholic schools. But in MD and NH and MA and NJ the big-time, big $ prep schools take it seriously. Upstate NY is a hotbed and Long Island even more so, with their insane population density. Look at every good college team and they’ll have 25-50% of the team from NYS. Look at the best college player this year, he’s from Onondaga Nation, which is near Syracuse.

    It’s still very much a traditional game in the sense that the same high schools and areas have been producing the best players for years and years. And, most of the best players have a father or uncle who played. Syracuse has two players on the team who are the sons of coaches. My uncle played in college and gave me a stick when I was 8. His college teammate started the program in my town. His other college teammate…Bill Tierney, 4 time national champ, and the guy who has made Denver a powerhouse, though their program is quite new. The guy is an excellent coach. And yeller, he’s comical to watch berate the refs and his players. I’ve bumped into the Duke coach walking around town (well, he was walking, I was cycling) and spoken with him. He coached two of my brother’s high school teammates at Hofstra. Very small world in this sport, which is a lot like cycling in a sense.

    It’s a great sport, I just worry it’s going the way of surfing; more about the gear and ‘tude than the soul and passion.

  2. @Nate

    @Ron

    @Bespoke

    @Ron

    The VMH is keen on doing more road riding these days. For her July 4th birthday I’m gonna set her up on some Veloflex Masters in 25 with latex tubes. Will be a nice improvement over the GP4000s with butyl tubes.

    Now I just wonder if she’ll notice the ride quality difference or if I’ll have to tell her how it’s better…

    This is an interesting blind test that I would be interested in learning the outcome of, particularly as I am considering the same switch. Please do report back, post birthday ride.

    You don’t have to wait, my friend. I made this switch a few years ago. Was on the GP 4000s with butyl.

    Now am on: 1) Open Pro rims, Record hubs, Vittoria Corsa SC tires in 25mm with Vredestein latex tubes. What a ride! 2) Mavic SuperLight wheels with 25mm Veloflex Masters with Vredestein tubes. Sure, they’re not tubulars. However, the ride quality is far superior. No question. I’d never go back to other tires.

    Latex tubes take a bit more care in installing, but they’re worth it for me. I also have no problems with tire lifespan or punctures either. No more, and probably less, than when I was riding Continental GPs.

    Ron is right. It’s an interesting blind test on a presumably nonobsessive subject. You, however, are a Velominatus and should heed the call of the Veloflex now.

    Okay. It shall be done. Forthwith!

  3. @RobSandy

    I’m still running the cheapy 23mm clinchers that came with the bike. I reckon by now I might as well run them into the ground before replacing them with something half decent. And 25’s seem to be the way to go, probably Conti Gatorskins as it’s what my LBS recommended and they’re not to pricey.

    I tend to pump mine hard (110-120psi) as I’m a heavy rider and I’m convinced I get more punctures when my tyres are soft (although I’ve not had one on my new bike in over 1,600ks of riding).

    If I may, gator skins are the worst tires I’m presently aware of. Their approach to puncture resistance is to make them very tough, whereas a more supple tire generally can flex around whatever is about to cause a flat.

    9 times out of 10, the rider in the group with a flat is one with the gator skins.

    Try the Conti Four Seasons instead; very good tire and durable.

  4. @freddy

    Thanks for the bandjes banter, Frank…I think we’re starting to like our vegetables, but the bike brands aren’t all on board with their tire clearances. What’s up with that?

    [Btw, I’m currently running 28mm Conti GP 4 Seasons due to post-winter asphalt irregularities and crap still on the roads. I’ll soon switch to my standard GP 4000 SII’s in the 25 width (5-6bar–I’m about 75kg)]

    Sadly, I had to take the 27mm FMBs pictured off as they were rubbing the frame. That said, FMBs are very big; their 25 is more like a 27 and their 27 is really a 29…

    @antihero

    Moving to tubulars was the best thing I’ve every done for my bikes. Hands down, no contest.

    Reasons: a 24mm Pave Evo CG tubular has a ride quality like a big fat 32mm clincher, without all the weight. They don’t puncture, even when ridden repeatedly over shards of glass. I can ride gravel or mild singletrack on them, no problem. Need to bunny hop a pothole onto a broken bottle? I’ve done this more than once, sans problem.

    The mechanical work of mounting the tires brings you closer to your bike. You must understand the machine, understand the interface, and care about it and love it enough to learn how to make it work. Once you’ve glued a few tires, it’s no longer a chore. Ignore the sturm and drang about how gluing a set of tires takes 4 days and requires sacrificing a chicken and whatnot. Once you’ve got the hang of it and a nice base coat on your rims, a tidy and strong glue job can be accomplished with 30 minutes’ work, most of which is spent drinking beer and waiting for the glue to set up a bit.

    I run fast and loose with this too. I have no qualms whatsoever riding tires I glued on minutes previous. Just don’t hang ten in the corners until they’ve sat a day or two.

    I love that it’s not easy to get a run on straight and without bulges. You have to work at it, massage it.

    A well glued-on tire is something to be proud of.

    @KogaLover

    @the Engine

    I love the quote “his 22 was still clean”. I think about that when I go uphill and did not need to use the lowest gear. Although must admit that it’s not the 22 that’s still clean then…

    Totally.

  5. @unversio

    @Nate

    You people running Contis need to branch out. There is much more to a good tire than puncture resistance.

    What’s your best recommendation that won’t cost more than $60.00 per tyre — tire ??

    Gommitalia Calypsos are great, and come in at $80 for a pair.

    http://www.excelsports.com/main.asp?page=8&description=Calypso+K+Tire+Pair&vendorCode=GOMMI&major=1&minor=27

    @Bruce Lee

    Spot the fuck on, mate.

  6. @Nate

    @frank

    Did you manage to source a set of the latex tubed Ones? I have some 24s on my Shamals, they are a very nice tire. However I am given to understand that Schwalbe are now producing them with butyl tubes, which defeats its own purpose even more than a burned steak.

    Based on the air seepage, yet indeed.

    @Nate

    @Gianni

    @fignons barber

    @unversio

    Compelled to buy Veloflex Arenberg 25c Tubular and Corsa 25c Open Tubular — soon. Hand Made in Italy.

    All I needed was one good idea to “branch out” from the usual — Contis.

    You may want to hold out for the new Veloflex Vlaanderen 27mm!

    Veloflex is now my go-to brand. I’ve used only Veloflex or Vittoria since the mid 1990’s. The thing I didn’t like about Veloflex was that they only made a 22mm, which was actually a 21mm. Then they made the pave marked 23mm,that was really 22mm. Now they have the corsa/master in 25mm, that is a 24mm. perfect. It’s been my experience that the corsa/master lasts at least 3x as long as the Vittoria corsa sc open, and the veloflex gets 1/4 the number of les crevaisons.

    I’ve been on the same pair of Veloflex Arenbergs since I set up a pair of tubulars, over a year ago. They measure at 25mm, I ride them around 6.9 bar (100 psi) and I’m a huge slow bastard, 90 kg. More tire pressure than that seems harsh. Also, climbing on wet roads and having the rear wheel slip a bit freaks me out thinking the tires will slip much worse coming back downhill, so I like to not put in too much pressure.

    Gianni, i am not as fat as you but I bet your Arenbergs would be perfectly happy at 90 if not 85 for more traction in the damp. You should try it out.

    This talk of 90kg and 85psi for regular road riding gives me the heebie-jeebies.

  7. @frank

    9 times out of 10, the rider in the group with a flat is one with the gator skins.

    Not to mention that they corner like utter shit.

  8. @frank

    @Nate

    @frank

    Did you manage to source a set of the latex tubed Ones? I have some 24s on my Shamals, they are a very nice tire. However I am given to understand that Schwalbe are now producing them with butyl tubes, which defeats its own purpose even more than a burned steak.

    Based on the air seepage, yet indeed.

    @Nate

    @Gianni

    @fignons barber

    @unversio

    Compelled to buy Veloflex Arenberg 25c Tubular and Corsa 25c Open Tubular — soon. Hand Made in Italy.

    All I needed was one good idea to “branch out” from the usual — Contis.

    You may want to hold out for the new Veloflex Vlaanderen 27mm!

    Veloflex is now my go-to brand. I’ve used only Veloflex or Vittoria since the mid 1990’s. The thing I didn’t like about Veloflex was that they only made a 22mm, which was actually a 21mm. Then they made the pave marked 23mm,that was really 22mm. Now they have the corsa/master in 25mm, that is a 24mm. perfect. It’s been my experience that the corsa/master lasts at least 3x as long as the Vittoria corsa sc open, and the veloflex gets 1/4 the number of les crevaisons.

    I’ve been on the same pair of Veloflex Arenbergs since I set up a pair of tubulars, over a year ago. They measure at 25mm, I ride them around 6.9 bar (100 psi) and I’m a huge slow bastard, 90 kg. More tire pressure than that seems harsh. Also, climbing on wet roads and having the rear wheel slip a bit freaks me out thinking the tires will slip much worse coming back downhill, so I like to not put in too much pressure.

    Gianni, i am not as fat as you but I bet your Arenbergs would be perfectly happy at 90 if not 85 for more traction in the damp. You should try it out.

    This talk of 90kg and 85psi for regular road riding gives me the heebie-jeebies.

    Sounds like you got the good Ones.

    90kg/85 psi might be a bit low but I would still encourage Gianni to let his pressure down into the 90s.

  9. @Mikael Liddy

    This.

    @all y’all’s

    Pontificating on PSI and/or recommending pressures without knowing the riders weight is like judging a riders bike fit from a photo of the bike leaning against a wall.

    In other words, it is insanity.

  10. @unversio

    @tessar

    Sounds like the properties of the rubber compound itself would be the largest factor with “grip” and transferring kinetic energy. And then how much surface area of the rubber compound is acting on the road — and the surface conditions of the road itself — and then how much “belief” is there that demands that any given tire is awesome — or that the tire simply sucks — and then there is the color of the tire too.

    Excellent, except that Gatorskins do actually suck. That’s not a “belief”. @Steampunk, you are wrong about the Gators, Pedalwan.

  11. I only have one thing to add to this. Clement LGG tubeless tubs. the concept is so mind-blowing that I had to try them on my first stint on tubulars. I can’t see a reason why they should work flawlessly.

  12. @frank

    @unversio

    @tessar

    Sounds like the properties of the rubber compound itself would be the largest factor with “grip” and transferring kinetic energy. And then how much surface area of the rubber compound is acting on the road — and the surface conditions of the road itself — and then how much “belief” is there that demands that any given tire is awesome — or that the tire simply sucks — and then there is the color of the tire too.

    Excellent, except that Gatorskins do actually suck. That’s not a “belief”. @Steampunk, you are wrong about the Gators, Pedalwan.

    But Emperor, I’ve already turned. You’re too late. I’ll trust in Veloflex like my father before me. [Deep inner voice ] “How the hell did Frank know I had Gatorskins on my Open Pros. Dang!”

  13. @RedRanger

    I only have one thing to add to this. Clement LGG tubeless tubs. the concept is so mind-blowing that I had to try them on my first stint on tubulars. I can’t see a reason why they should work flawlessly.

    I ride their tubeless tubs on my graveur; love them!

  14. @frank

    Veloflex Corsa 25c 205g — Gatorskin 25c 310g

  15. @Nate

    To commit quickly, just purchased Veloflex Corsa 25 Open Tubular pair at 52% off — probikekit. And still interested in their upcoming 27mm.

  16. [ Father Sarducci voice ] “So… I’mma gonna need some latex tubas ??? Not like a brass hor’rna.”

  17. @unversio

    @Nate

    To commit quickly, just purchased Veloflex Corsa 25 Open Tubular pair at 52% off — probikekit. And still interested in their upcoming 27mm.

    You realize than “open tubular” is a euphemism for “clincher” I hope.

  18. @frank

    @RedRanger

    I only have one thing to add to this. Clement LGG tubeless tubs. the concept is so mind-blowing that I had to try them on my first stint on tubulars. I can’t see a reason why they should work flawlessly.

    I ride their tubeless tubs on my graveur; love them!

    Tubeless tubulars? Does not compute. Either that, or I must unlearn what I have learned.

  19. @Nate

    @frank

    @RedRanger

    I only have one thing to add to this. Clement LGG tubeless tubs. the concept is so mind-blowing that I had to try them on my first stint on tubulars. I can’t see a reason why they should work flawlessly.

    I ride their tubeless tubs on my graveur; love them!

    Tubeless tubulars? Does not compute. Either that, or I must unlearn what I have learned.

    Its exactly what it sounds like. Its a tubular that gets glued to the rim. its a sealed rubber tub. I added a bit of stans sealant through the valve stem for some extra protection.

  20. @RedRanger

    @Nate

    @frank

    @RedRanger

    I only have one thing to add to this. Clement LGG tubeless tubs. the concept is so mind-blowing that I had to try them on my first stint on tubulars. I can’t see a reason why they should work flawlessly.

    I ride their tubeless tubs on my graveur; love them!

    Tubeless tubulars? Does not compute. Either that, or I must unlearn what I have learned.

    Its exactly what it sounds like. Its a tubular that gets glued to the rim. its a sealed rubber tub. I added a bit of stans sealant through the valve stem for some extra protection.

    I would not normally do that, but it is a good idea for this year’s Heck of the North.

    http://clementcycling.com/las-tubular

  21. @Teocalli

    @fenlander

    I tried tubeless for a while before going back to running tubes in the rims (Campag Shamal). It seems to be very flinty where I ride and I kept getting punctures that would not seal so in the end I gave up on running tubeless. I think the current sealants struggle at road tyre pressures. I also ran Schwalbe Ones for a while. Loved the ride but they did seem quite puncture prone and I ended up switching to Ultremo DD though currently running Open Pave.

    One thing about tubeless tyres I did find is that fitting and removing is an absolute bitch compared to clincher tyres. So if you do puncture putting a tube in is not as easy as with a clincher tyre. The Open Pave are a doddle in comparison.

    Agree. And I sold my tubeless wheel set and tires. Tubeless on road bikes? Nonsense. Mtn Bikes? Perfect.

  22. @Steampunk

    @Mikael Liddy

    HEDs invoking Neal Stephenson: you want to talk contact patches? I’m in touch with the road. Start like a bad day and stop on a peseta.

    Disagree on the Gatorskins: bullet-proof and grippy.

    Also: if you do clinchers (and I do), latex tubes. They’re like frilly knickers no one sees, but they make you feel good. But maybe I’m revealing too much…

    This post alone will have me finally trying latex. That’s funny. And of the bazillion or so wheel set/tire combos I’ve tried I’ve never bothered with latex figuring that seriously, an extra couple of bucks for a tube? That loses air? BUT, for frilly knickers ?!? And in pink too yes? As in pink frilly knickers? I have to try ’em now.

  23. I’m convinced that my pump consistently reads 15+psi lower than actual given the difference between the tire pressures @all y’all reference and what I use. And I say that w/no idea how much @all y’all weigh. Cheers y’all.

  24. @RedRanger

    @Nate

    @frank

    @RedRanger

    I only have one thing to add to this. Clement LGG tubeless tubs. the concept is so mind-blowing that I had to try them on my first stint on tubulars. I can’t see a reason why they should work flawlessly.

    I ride their tubeless tubs on my graveur; love them!

    Tubeless tubulars? Does not compute. Either that, or I must unlearn what I have learned.

    Its exactly what it sounds like. Its a tubular that gets glued to the rim. its a sealed rubber tub. I added a bit of stans sealant through the valve stem for some extra protection.

    Sounds like the worst of both worlds. Sealed rubber tub = Rolling resistance nightmare. Might as well run sealed rubber clinchers, that way you don’t have to throw the thing away after a puncture.

  25. @wilburrox

    Agree. And I sold my tubeless wheel set and tires. Tubeless on road bikes? Nonsense. Mtn Bikes? Perfect.

    A couple of things though about tubeless rims with tubes 1) When you do puncture they deflate slower as the only way the air gets out is through the puncture 2) When deflated the tyre seems to be more secure than clincher as it stay seated on the shoulder profile. Net even though I run tubes now I would still stick with the tubeless rims as I’m much less fearful of high speed punctures.

  26. @tessar

    Rolling resistance is not an issue. The ride is extremely supple and I can ride at insanely low pressure(I have gone as low as 80 psi in the back) which makes for a beautiful feeling ride. If @frank is on board then I think it’s at least worth a try to anyone riding tubs. I am a huge fan of tubeless in all its forms for all forms of riding.

  27. @Teocalli

    @wilburrox

    Agree. And I sold my tubeless wheel set and tires. Tubeless on road bikes? Nonsense. Mtn Bikes? Perfect.

    A couple of things though about tubeless rims with tubes 1) When you do puncture they deflate slower as the only way the air gets out is through the puncture 2) When deflated the tyre seems to be more secure than clincher as it stay seated on the shoulder profile. Net even though I run tubes now I would still stick with the tubeless rims as I’m much less fearful of high speed punctures.

    I can appreciate that thinking. And it would seem that most rims, or at least a lot, are considered “tubeless” compatible nowadays. At least my HEDs are. Maybe the DuraAce’s too?

    When I’d originally picked up my CAAD 10 a few years back one of the attractive components was the Ultegra tubeless ready wheel set included. I’d been converted over to tubeless on my mtn bike and was thinking oh yea… I found like you, mounting tires was a b***. And when I did get a flat (I’d never refreshed/added new sealant in the tires), mounting the tires with the tube on the side of the road? Was flat out embarrassing. Sold ’em. But was in part also when I converted to 11 sp.

    And now, with the wider rim beds available? And really, seriously good choice of clincher tires? And higher volumes/lower pressures? What benefit is gained from tubeless? None. Further, I can swap tires in minutes on the new wheel sets off/on so easy peasy and am changing ’em out all the time depending on my mood or the day’s route or even weather.

  28. @RedRanger

    @tessar

    Rolling resistance is not an issue. The ride is extremely supple and I can ride at insanely low pressure(I have gone as low as 80 psi in the back) which makes for a beautiful feeling ride. If @frank is on board then I think it’s at least worth a try to anyone riding tubs. I am a huge fan of tubeless in all its forms for all forms of riding.

    I regularly ride less than 80 psi on my rear 25c and 28c tires with tubes and I’m at 77ish kg. Tubeless tires are ridiculously pricey compared with the high quality/high thread count clinchers available.

  29. @wilburrox

    Conventional clinchers (Vittoria Pave and Corsa) go on and off as easy as a clincher rim. It’s just the tubeless that seem to be a bitch used Bontrager and Schwalbe.

  30. @Nate

    @frank

    @RedRanger

    I only have one thing to add to this. Clement LGG tubeless tubs. the concept is so mind-blowing that I had to try them on my first stint on tubulars. I can’t see a reason why they should work flawlessly.

    I ride their tubeless tubs on my graveur; love them!

    Tubeless tubulars? Does not compute. Either that, or I must unlearn what I have learned.

    The Clements are made by Tufo, using the same process as their own “tubeless” tubulars — a butyl layer bonded to the inside of the casing for airtightness. This has generally kept Tufos at the bottom of rolling resistance tests, but maybe they’ve improved it? The construction is excellent: round and straight. Seam under the tread means a smooth, flat base tape for consistent gluing.

  31. @pistard

    @Nate

    @frank

    @RedRanger

    I only have one thing to add to this. Clement LGG tubeless tubs. the concept is so mind-blowing that I had to try them on my first stint on tubulars. I can’t see a reason why they should work flawlessly.

    I ride their tubeless tubs on my graveur; love them!

    Tubeless tubulars? Does not compute. Either that, or I must unlearn what I have learned.

    The Clements are made by Tufo, using the same process as their own “tubeless” tubulars — a butyl layer bonded to the inside of the casing for airtightness. This has generally kept Tufos at the bottom of rolling resistance tests, but maybe they’ve improved it? The construction is excellent: round and straight. Seam under the tread means a smooth, flat base tape for consistent gluing.

    I wouldn’t got anywhere near them on the road, but on gravel they seem to be a great balance between ride quality and durability; they last a lot longer than Dougasts and crucially are resistant to blowouts on sharp rocks which happens a lot on the cascade forest roads I ride.

    Also, the tread on the LAS is perfect for that kind of riding; a nice file tread in the middle with big enough nobbies on the side to stop a slip in the corners. They are great on grass for CX as well.

    The Dougast tires I’ve had definitely have a better ride, however.

  32. @Teocalli

    @wilburrox

    Agree. And I sold my tubeless wheel set and tires. Tubeless on road bikes? Nonsense. Mtn Bikes? Perfect.

    A couple of things though about tubeless rims with tubes 1) When you do puncture they deflate slower as the only way the air gets out is through the puncture 2) When deflated the tyre seems to be more secure than clincher as it stay seated on the shoulder profile. Net even though I run tubes now I would still stick with the tubeless rims as I’m much less fearful of high speed punctures.

    I beg your pardon, but under what circumstances would the air escape out of anything other than the puncture?

  33. @frank

    @Teocalli

    @wilburrox

    Agree. And I sold my tubeless wheel set and tires. Tubeless on road bikes? Nonsense. Mtn Bikes? Perfect.

    A couple of things though about tubeless rims with tubes 1) When you do puncture they deflate slower as the only way the air gets out is through the puncture 2) When deflated the tyre seems to be more secure than clincher as it stay seated on the shoulder profile. Net even though I run tubes now I would still stick with the tubeless rims as I’m much less fearful of high speed punctures.

    I beg your pardon, but under what circumstances would the air escape out of anything other than the puncture?

    Through the spoke holes on a non sealed rim. Hence on a mtb if you do not have a tubeless ready rim you have to seal the spoke holes.

  34. @frank also not forgetting the impact of Rule #60

  35. @frank

    That’s “Dugast” there, champ.

  36. I switched to 28s two years ago. The ride quality seemed perceptibly better and they were fast, or at least equal to the 25s they replaced. Last year when I picked up my newest bike it was suggested that I inflate my tires to no more than 7 bar. I took that advice and whether I am riding 25s or 28s the ride quality is wonderful. Evenually all of my rides will be fitted with 28s, but not before all of my 25s are gone (I do try to be frugal).

    I will stick with clinchers. I am too lazy to do tubulars (I did ride thm when I was younger) and I just cannot get on board with road tubeless (I am not an early adopter).

  37. @Oli

    @frank

    That’s “Dugast” there, champ.

    That’s a lesson for us all:

    Never post from your phone while driving, kids. Autocorrect and holding your coffee and steering with your knees is a recipe for making an ass of yourself while also, less importantly, endangering lives.

  38. @Nate

    @unversio

    @Nate

    To commit quickly, just purchased Veloflex Corsa 25 Open Tubular pair at 52% off — probikekit. And still interested in their upcoming 27mm.

    You realize than “open tubular” is a euphemism for “clincher” I hope.

    Hence the need for some latex “tubas” (mentioned above).

  39. @wilburrox

    @Teocalli

    @wilburrox

    Agree. And I sold my tubeless wheel set and tires. Tubeless on road bikes? Nonsense. Mtn Bikes? Perfect.

    A couple of things though about tubeless rims with tubes 1) When you do puncture they deflate slower as the only way the air gets out is through the puncture 2) When deflated the tyre seems to be more secure than clincher as it stay seated on the shoulder profile. Net even though I run tubes now I would still stick with the tubeless rims as I’m much less fearful of high speed punctures.

    I can appreciate that thinking. And it would seem that most rims, or at least a lot, are considered “tubeless” compatible nowadays. At least my HEDs are. Maybe the DuraAce’s too?

    When I’d originally picked up my CAAD 10 a few years back one of the attractive components was the Ultegra tubeless ready wheel set included. I’d been converted over to tubeless on my mtn bike and was thinking oh yea… I found like you, mounting tires was a b***. And when I did get a flat (I’d never refreshed/added new sealant in the tires), mounting the tires with the tube on the side of the road? Was flat out embarrassing. Sold ’em. But was in part also when I converted to 11 sp.

    And now, with the wider rim beds available? And really, seriously good choice of clincher tires? And higher volumes/lower pressures? What benefit is gained from tubeless? None. Further, I can swap tires in minutes on the new wheel sets off/on so easy peasy and am changing ’em out all the time depending on my mood or the day’s route or even weather.

    I had the same Ultegra wheels. Retired them two months ago when I overcooked a turn and went flying into a rock garden – the fuckers are so solid the front barely came out of true. While both tyres exploded, the bead was still in place. PS: This is your best friend – Conti 4Seasons come off (and on!) in seconds.

  40. @RedRanger

    @tessar

    Rolling resistance is not an issue. The ride is extremely supple and I can ride at insanely low pressure(I have gone as low as 80 psi in the back) which makes for a beautiful feeling ride. If @frank is on board then I think it’s at least worth a try to anyone riding tubs. I am a huge fan of tubeless in all its forms for all forms of riding.

    Frank is on board for Heck of the North. That’s not exactly a regular riding scenario.

    For anything else, why castrate your tyre? In either case a puncture means a new tyre. On tubulars you anyway don’t have the same pressure minimums (just note the pros at P-R), so why not a real tubular as god and Merckx intended? Rolling resistance is one hell of an issue if you’re interested in going fast, and there’s a pretty good correlation (and causal relation) between casing suppleness and rolling resistance – and a butyl-lined tyre will never be as supple as an identical latex, cotton or silk-cased one.

    Tubeless makes sense for ‘cross, probably for gravel. But as a road tyre, a tubeless tubular is just… odd. Anyone remember Tufo’s old clincher-tubulars?

  41. @frank @robsandy

    2 years, 10,000 miles on gatorskins here in goathead country. One flat. I’m a believer.

  42. @Justin

    @frank @robsandy

    2 years, 10,000 miles on gatorskins here in goathead country. One flat. I’m a believer.

    Moved to goathead country from cactus thorn country. Went gatorskins front and back a while ago and haven’t gotten a single flat. More rolling resistance = stronger guns, and with skinny pins like mine I’ll take all the help I can get.

  43. @Owen

    @Justin

    @frank @robsandy

    2 years, 10,000 miles on gatorskins here in goathead country. One flat. I’m a believer.

    Moved to goathead country from cactus thorn country. Went gatorskins front and back a while ago and haven’t gotten a single flat. More rolling resistance = stronger guns, and with skinny pins like mine I’ll take all the help I can get.

    Okay, I was going to bitch you two out but then I used “the googles” to figure out what a goathead was.

    Gatorskins still suck, but I can see why you might need them. Those things are nasty.

  44. @Owen

    @Justin

    @frank @robsandy

    2 years, 10,000 miles on gatorskins here in goathead country. One flat. I’m a believer.

    Moved to goathead country from cactus thorn country. Went gatorskins front and back a while ago and haven’t gotten a single flat. More rolling resistance = stronger guns, and with skinny pins like mine I’ll take all the help I can get.

    I live in “everything is sharp and pointy country”. Gatorskins work well, but are way to stiff for the crappy pavement. I have switched to GP 4000s and tubes with some Stan’s. Best of both worlds, decent puncture resistance, good ride quality, and puncture resistance. Clean up sucks, but the ability to just squirt some more air in the tube and continue with my ride is worth it.

  45. I suddenly got curious as to how Stan’s in a latex tube would work, or is that counter productive?

  46. I’ve been using Gatorskins for a few months and I can’t say I’m impressed. I got them as commuting tires (after reading reviews) but I’ve still had quite a few punctures and they feel slow. I have had the same amount of punctures as I did with my older worn tires. When I switched back to some old Conti Grand Prix’s the speed difference was huge and generally I was pushing one gear bigger with the same or less effort. Also I’m not sure about the handling as I don’t feel confident to push them in the wet or on corners.I don’t feel any bite in the tires.

  47. @AJ

    I suddenly got curious as to how Stan’s in a latex tube would work, or is that counter productive?

    It works beautifully, and doesn’t increase rolling resistance by a measurable amount. Latex + GP4000s is a pretty great combo for everything, and sealant adds a nice measure of protection against certain kinds of punctures.

  48. @AJ

    I suddenly got curious as to how Stan’s in a latex tube would work, or is that counter productive?

    I don’t know if Stans gets tacky or not, which may be an issue. I have, however, put Vittoria Pitstop into my lovely FMB tubs upon the unfortunate puncture and ridden them happily for many more months.

    They do seem to lose their “latexness”, however, and stop losing their air, which might make sense. The ride deadens just a bit, I’d say, as well, which you’d probably also expect.

    What I would worry about is if the tire with Stans still loses air and would cause the inner tube to stick to itself and cause it’s own blowout. Only one way to find out! Imperial study!

  49. @frank

    @AJ

    I suddenly got curious as to how Stan’s in a latex tube would work, or is that counter productive?

    I don’t know if Stans gets tacky or not, which may be an issue. I have, however, put Vittoria Pitstop into my lovely FMB tubs upon the unfortunate puncture and ridden them happily for many more months.

    They do seem to lose their “latexness”, however, and stop losing their air, which might make sense. The ride deadens just a bit, I’d say, as well, which you’d probably also expect.

    What I would worry about is if the tire with Stans still loses air and would cause the inner tube to stick to itself and cause it’s own blowout. Only one way to find out! Imperial study!

    Well, as my current set of tires are about to hit the wear marks and one has a slight gash (I assume because the roads here are somehow covered with glass). I will be replacing them here very soon and will start testing. I have been eyeballing a set of GP4000s with tan sidewalls for a while now…

  50. @Nate

    @unversio

    Compelled to buy Veloflex Arenberg 25c Tubular and Corsa 25c Open Tubular — soon. Hand Made in Italy.

    All I needed was one good idea to “branch out” from the usual — Contis.

    I run the Arenberg tubular as my daily tire. It is fantastic, probably my favorite.

    Veloflex Corsa 25s (gr 205) arrived and to look at them compels me to dig my own bunker and stockpile them for the apocalypse.

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