Honomanu photo:Blue Hawaii Helicopters

Terroir of the Bike

Terroir of the Bike

by / / 74 posts

This winter Shimano showed up on Maui with a flotilla of Colnago C-59s set up with disc brakes. The lucky Shimano people tested the bikes on some of the nicest routes on the island, including some descending down the Haleakala volcano. Unbelievably they didn’t invite me along (!?). If they had I would have suggested a different place to ride, one that is usually wet and full of descending corners. Any brake system and any tire works well on dry roads, maybe Shimano was here for the riding, not the testing.

Haleakala’s windward coast road is a sinuous mostly two lane magic carpet ride through rainforest. The road gains and looses elevation as it dives in to cross a river then climbs up out around the next headland, again and again. And it is often wet. If you want to find out if you trust your tires, this is the place.

I already know caliper brakes on machined aluminum rims are nearly worthless when it’s raining on this route. I have a theory that brake pads here get hardened by heat on steep dry descents and then they become hard grit holders, not good for braking when wet. Shimano should have done this ride in the rain.

There is a 10km section of this route that is mostly all down, 3-4% grade and there are many corners, a few a little off-camber. Two of us have lost it in different corners here. Both were the result of wet brakes, too much speed and a little inattention. The point is, caliper brakes suck in wet twisting descents.

To remedy this, the grand master of this ride, @mauibike, put on an ENVE road disc front fork on his Madone. His bike deserves its own article but suffice it to say his bike has some north shore Maui terroir. He is the only old school racer I know who never switched to clincher tires after his racing license expired. He is also now all carbone wheels, all the time. He has a bike that has been adapted to the terrain and it’s very cool.

I’m thinking about this because I would like to go all carbone wheel, all the time too. If Cancellara can race Milan-Sanremo, the Ronde and Paris-Roubaix all on the same carbon wheelset, I’m already persuaded. But carbon clinchers on Maui seem like a bad idea. There are a few steep descents with ninety-degree corners where one can’t help but get on the brakes long and hard. I foresee bad things happening to my front wheel and my beautiful face. I’ve used sew-up tires for years so I don’t fear them but I do like the simplicity of tire patching not involving sutures and a field operating theater. I think carbon tubulars are better for Maui but road disc seem much smarter. Why involve the carbon fiber rim in the braking at all? Steel seems like the material we want, it won’t wear and it conducts heat beautifully. Rain would only cool it down and improve its braking.

As a rider of SMP saddles and now Bont shoes, I’m clearly going for function over form and I don’t think I have large aesthetic issues with disc brakes. I do have a problem if they violate any principles of silence. No one needs to hear that screech on a road ride.

In my continuing series of “endorsing things I’ve haven’t used yet” (see tubeless tires). I’m liking the idea of a terroir bike, a bike that speaks to the roads it rolls on, and for Maui, that could include a front disc brake.

// The Bikes

  1. Don’t know how long a descent and at what grade you need to start melting quality rims but my Roval CL60’s (clincers) were nothing short of perfect for the recent Scody 3 Peaks Challenge. I cautiously tested the heat of the braking track at the base of Falls Creek (front) and found it to be cool. Ambient was in the teens (°C) but it was something like 20km of endless corners, 55km/hr average down about 5-6% grade. I have heard of many carbone rims delaminating but each time I ask the same thing “were they cheapies?”  and  “Did you use good braking technique”. Each time it was “yes” and “maybe”.

    This Article is about wet road decending so carbone failures due to heat is OT (but hey, this is post #24). How do they go in the Wet? Pretty good actually… better than a disc? Unlikely. As good as an alloy brake track? Very close, just a little slower to dry out. Since we are talking wet road descending, you sure the tyre (tire!) grip isn’t the real limiting factor here? Personally I like to dab the brakes before coming to corners to dry them out before I need them. Something I learned riding motorcycles, which despite having two discs up front, still do suffer from wet pads/discs.

  2. @Gianni

    @Tobin

    your inclusion of the abomination more akin to the head of a red flamingo than a seat

    Homer and I are pissing like race horses, thanks you very much. That f’ing saddle rules! And yes, it it one messed up looking thing too.

    Dan tries to sell me one every time I go to Café Roubaix…one of these days I may crack…

  3. Was talking to someone more knowledgeable than I who suggested the UCI might make disc breaks mandatory on all bikes in the pro-tour  in the near future. This is due to differential breaking rates among all the different rims these days causing too many crashes in the peloton. Other than it being against tradition I think it’s a great idea in terms of function Gianni –  mountain bikes never looked back aftermaking the switch, smooth and powerful breaking in the dry and only minimal brake fade in the wet is hard to argue with. Also the ability to feather them for much finer control

  4. What set-up would you choose?

    you can buy Shimano R785 levers separately and an XTR brake caliper  – if it’s good enough for Sven (on his Boone, prior to that it was always Spooky carbons)- it might be good enough for you!

    go for it and post the results!

  5. @Barracuda

    @EricW

    What is this “brake” you speak of and what function does it serve?

    In all seriousness, @Nate and I saw too many melted Carbone wheels at Eggtimer’s Gran Fondo last year that I’m convinced discs are the future. I, however, plan on not being part of that future as long as possible.

    You say , melted, Not having ridden full Carbone before, do the carbon specific pads make a difference to long descents and the possibility of “melting” said rims?

    The carbon specific pads are mostly about not trashing your rim every time you brake – a brake pad compound made for alloy rims is like going after carbon fiber with a sandblaster.

    Rim-braked carbon clinchers have no place in mountainous terrain.  Many Gran Fondo organizers go so far as to ban them entirely.  Discs are the future, no doubt about it.  Pity they’re so ugly.

    Carbon clinchers are silly under any circumstances – if you’re going to blow a few grand on an aero wheelset, why fuck around?  Get a set of tubs and be done with it.

    If you’re worried about punctures, puts some Vittoria Pavé tires on – I’ve been commuting on a set of these for the last two years and have had exactly 1 puncture.  Note that said puncture occurred during an emergency stop where I skidded over a nail, resulting in said nail sticking out the side of my tire.  I pulled it out, put some superglue on the holes, sealed the tire with some Pit Stop, and went on with my ride.  Repair took less than 3 minutes.  Pavés aren’t cheap, but seriously, you’re blowing $2k+ on fucking wheels – spring for some top class rubber while you’re at it.

  6. I don’t buy the whole “Carbon wears out faster”. My aluminium rims are all worn at the braking surface, some more and some less, after two to three years of loyal service. My mum’s carbon clinchers, fancy (at the time) ENVEs that are now 5 years old, still look and feel as good as new, even though she rides twice my weekly mileage, races more and longer, and is a far worse descender than I am (read: brakes more than necessary).

    Sure, braking on them in the wet is a bit of a gamble, but the newer generation of carbon wheels pretty much has it figured out. My mates on Zipps and Bontragers ride them day in day out, rain sun and sandstorm – I’ve yet to find a time when my aluminium wheels were superior.

    @antihero

    Carbon clinchers are silly under any circumstances – if you’re going to blow a few grand on an aero wheelset, why fuck around? Get a set of tubs and be done with it.

    Err, speed is a good enough reason. If you’re going to blow that money on marginal aero gains, you might as well go the whole hog and maximize rolling resistance. Discounting velodrome tyres, you can’t go faster than a Conti Supersonic TT clincher with latex tubes. If you’re not exactly Tony Martin, then the Conti GP4000s and Vittoria Corsa Evo clinchers are nearly as fast but with a hint of protection.

  7. @Gianni Heresy, blasphemy!!

    Are you deliberately trying to get sacked as a keeper so you can enter the VSP and have a crack at the prizes? (or are you already entered as @island  Bike?)

    In all seriousness, go for it, we need a Guinea Pig. I can see discs becoming mainstream pretty quickly once the UCI allows the pros to race on them. The noise is only an issue if they’re poorly set up and looked after which shouldn’t be a problem for any self respecting Velominatus.  The downside will be that lightweight, low spoke count wheels will be trickier to build in such a way that they don’t collapse when the hub stops going round.

  8. @tessar

    @antihero

    Carbon clinchers are silly under any circumstances – if you’re going to blow a few grand on an aero wheelset, why fuck around? Get a set of tubs and be done with it.

    Err, speed is a good enough reason. If you’re going to blow that money on marginal aero gains, you might as well go the whole hog and maximize rolling resistance. Discounting velodrome tyres, you can’t go faster than a Conti Supersonic TT clincher with latex tubes.

    Why is it then that the pro peloton eschews clinchers?  If they offered an actual speed advantage, the kings of marginal gains would be all over them, and yet they are still rolling tubs.  There is also the issue of high speed cornering:  a tub is going to corner better and more safely than a clincher every single time.

    Besides, with those gossamer clinchers, the chances of a flat on anything but a manicured course approaches 100%.  So much for any advantage they might provide when a teensy shard of some asshole’s beer bottle takes you out.  I’ve rolled my Pavés over entire liquor bottles’ worth of smashed glass, picked the big bits out of the rubber, and kept rolling.  Try that on a TT clincher.

  9. I think the disk will win in the long run, manufacturers can make lighter wheels, braking is better, less brake fade on long descents, more freedom with fork crown/seatstay design no de-laminating on carbon wheels  and in the future there will probably not be much of a weight penalty.

  10. @antihero

    Carbon clinchers are silly under any circumstances – if you’re going to blow a few grand on an aero wheelset, why fuck around? Get a set of tubs and be done with it.

    Because if you’re blowing a few grand on a carbon wheelset which you want to use as much as possible (i.e. not keep for race only) then clinchers are the better option for day to day use.

    @Gianni and anyone… just interested in the rationale behind going for front disc if you were going for one only. Wouldn’t it run the risk of putting far too much stopping power compared to the rear with the result of heading over the bars.

    I understand it on a car and maybe a motorbike where stopping as quickly as possible is the prime function. But on a bike I would have thought a rear disc would be safer and easier to modulate.

    I ask this as one who hasn’t used them at all so it’s genuine puzzlement.

  11. @ChrisO

    @antihero

    Carbon clinchers are silly under any circumstances – if you’re going to blow a few grand on an aero wheelset, why fuck around? Get a set of tubs and be done with it.

    Because if you’re blowing a few grand on a carbon wheelset which you want to use as much as possible (i.e. not keep for race only) then clinchers are the better option for day to day use.

    @Gianni and anyone… just interested in the rationale behind going for front disc if you were going for one only. Wouldn’t it run the risk of putting far too much stopping power compared to the rear with the result of heading over the bars.

    I understand it on a car and maybe a motorbike where stopping as quickly as possible is the prime function. But on a bike I would have thought a rear disc would be safer and easier to modulate.

    I ask this as one who hasn’t used them at all so it’s genuine puzzlement.

    I suspect the logic of this is with the retro fit in fitting a disc fork in an existing frame – bar the tapered steerer issue that is mentioned.  Otherwise I would agree with your logic.

  12. This setup of disc front, caliper rear is vaguely reminiscent of the mid 90’s with a DT shifter for the FD, and a STI for the RD. As far as switching to full disk brakes, I’ll not be doing that until I absolutely have to. I live in a place where there’s almost no way to ride without having some steep fast descents. To date, that hasn’t caused me to melt carbon rims, or tear up Al rims faster than normal wear n tear. Matter of fact, I have a set of Mavic SUP Al rims that are tip top some 20 years after I bought them, and who know’s how many 1000’s of Km’s I have on them (on my wet weather bike, which means water n grit).

  13. Currently having a steel bike built by an excellent and reputable builder.

    Di2, disc, all internal.

    Some function is good sometimes.

  14. The Eggtimer Fondo has a few crazy steep descents of 12-14 % where you are basically falling off a ridge and into a creek or the ocean.  That’s where the carbon rims were getting cooked.  The problem is that carbon doesn’t efficiently conduct heat, unlike aluminum, so it builds up rather than dissipates if you have to stay on the brakes.

  15. @Teocalli

    @ChrisO

    @antihero

    Carbon clinchers are silly under any circumstances – if you’re going to blow a few grand on an aero wheelset, why fuck around? Get a set of tubs and be done with it.

    Because if you’re blowing a few grand on a carbon wheelset which you want to use as much as possible (i.e. not keep for race only) then clinchers are the better option for day to day use.

    @Gianni and anyone… just interested in the rationale behind going for front disc if you were going for one only. Wouldn’t it run the risk of putting far too much stopping power compared to the rear with the result of heading over the bars.

    I understand it on a car and maybe a motorbike where stopping as quickly as possible is the prime function. But on a bike I would have thought a rear disc would be safer and easier to modulate.

    I ask this as one who hasn’t used them at all so it’s genuine puzzlement.

    I suspect the logic of this is with the retro fit in fitting a disc fork in an existing frame – bar the tapered steerer issue that is mentioned. Otherwise I would agree with your logic.

    My feeling about this is the front brake is still the prime brake for a bike. You should be wearing out your front brake pads before your rear pads. That would be why Campagnolo front brake has a dual pivot for more power and the rear is a single pivot. And as far as a retro-fit, the only one possible to adapt to a preexisting frame.

  16. @ChrisO

    @antihero

    Carbon clinchers are silly under any circumstances – if you’re going to blow a few grand on an aero wheelset, why fuck around? Get a set of tubs and be done with it.

    Because if you’re blowing a few grand on a carbon wheelset which you want to use as much as possible (i.e. not keep for race only) then clinchers are the better option for day to day use.

    @Gianni and anyone… just interested in the rationale behind going for front disc if you were going for one only. Wouldn’t it run the risk of putting far too much stopping power compared to the rear with the result of heading over the bars.

    I understand it on a car and maybe a motorbike where stopping as quickly as possible is the prime function. But on a bike I would have thought a rear disc would be safer and easier to modulate.

    I ask this as one who hasn’t used them at all so it’s genuine puzzlement.

    Also, yes the rotor gives one a huge leap in stopping power and potential over the handle bar flying but it’s like mtb riding now, one finger on the lever is all one needs. Brake levers on mtb bikes are shorter so you can’t get a fist full of lever, two fingers max. And once you launch yourself, you remember to ease up.

  17. @ChrisO , when stopping, the front wheel generates most of the braking force as it is the leading friction point of the machine. It is also the most important to feather (which is why, I believe, Campa has the dual pivot front – not for force, but for buttery smooth control) because it’s the same wheel that decides which way the bike is going to go. If the front locks up too easy the options are A.) cartwheel over the hoods, or B.) linear travel in a direction no longer desired (see Hinault v. Bastille).

    One can lock/slide a rear wheel and retain a semblance of control in a corner (not like this guy) but given that we’re connected to the road by a friction patch smaller than the smartphone most of us have stuffed into the pocket, anything helps.

    But some of it looks really ugly.

  18. I now ride with an SMP saddle thanks to reading a review of it on this site. It’s been a significant plus for my cycling (relief of LBP), so many thanks.  Disc brakes?  If you’re riding a lot in the wet, a real option.  Otherwise, nothing compelling about ’em.

  19. @antihero

    Why is it then that the pro peloton eschews clinchers? If they offered an actual speed advantage, the kings of marginal gains would be all over them, and yet they are still rolling tubs. There is also the issue of high speed cornering: a tub is going to corner better and more safely than a clincher every single time.

    Besides, with those gossamer clinchers, the chances of a flat on anything but a manicured course approaches 100%. So much for any advantage they might provide when a teensy shard of some asshole’s beer bottle takes you out. I’ve rolled my Pavés over entire liquor bottles’ worth of smashed glass, picked the big bits out of the rubber, and kept rolling. Try that on a TT clincher.

    Well, point by point from the last to the first:

    1) The Supersonic TT is available in tubular as well, and the Pave as clincher. So you can opt for fragility or sturdiness regardless of mounting mechanism. You can TT with a ThickSlick as far as I’m concerned. I’ve ridden the Corsa Evo for nearly two years now on my race wheels – that’s a solid 2000km of racing and about half that for a few key training sessions – and am yet to puncture.

    2) ProTour TTs are held on swept roads, and yes, the pros still puncture. To them, the trade-off is worth it since it’s the absolute fastest setup there is. And no, I wouldn’t ride around every day on a special purpose tyre. I train on Conti 4Seasons or Schwalbe Duranos.

    3) High-speed cornering on a properly-glued tub and a properly-mounted clincher is 100% on both wheels, and any perceived advantage is a placebo. Friction is a pretty simple mechanical quantity, and I suggest trying a double-blind test of a Corsa Evo Open and a Corsa Evo tub before you say they corner “better”. FWIW, I’ve seen more tubulars rolled than I’ve ever seen a clincher dislodge.

    4) The pro peloton has this issue of puncturing in the midst of 200 other guys going +50km/h. That means rolling out of the peloton safely on a tubular is important, and I give you that, that’s the tubular tyre’s advantage. However, since the three-time world TT champion rode clinchers for the past three years (as did some of his teammates), I wouldn’t exactly say they’ve ignored the facts.

    5) Pros also don’t pay for tyres and don’t have to glue the fuckers, which is why you’ll find Ted King riding tubulars in Europe, but not when he’s training at home.

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the pros think. They have all sorts of superstitions, habits and traditions that slow them down. Try finding a faster road setup than a Zipp Super9/808 or HED Jet Disc/9 combo with latex tubes and a GP4000s.

  20. @Gianni

    @EricW

    What is this “brake” you speak of and what function does it serve?

    In all seriousness, @Nate and I saw too many melted Carbone wheels at Eggtimer’s Gran Fondo last year that I’m convinced discs are the future. I, however, plan on not being part of that future as long as possible.

    I think what got @mauibike thinking along these lines originally was when his front tubular tire (on carbon ENVE rim) crept around the rim when the glue got so hot things started to move. The valve stem was at a wicked angle, so he put the front wheel in the other way, went down the same hill until the valve stem was plumb again. That gives a man pause. It makes him think there might be a better way.

    @antihero hit it on the head, the carbon compounds are basically for keeping the resin surface fresh.  Since I run carbone Bontragers, I know very well about crappy braking surfaces with subpar resin.  I just love Bontrager’s solution of cork pads.  Here’s a conversation I had:

    EricW: “Why cork?”

    Bontrager Rep: “It doesn’t have as much friction so it doesn’t get as hot.”

    E: “…sooooo your solution to keeping the wheels cooler is to…brake less…?”

    (pause)

    B: “There is less friction between the pad and wheel”

  21. I haven’t read the (surely fucked up) commentary on this thread yet, due to my job’s apparent obtuseness to the fact that Velominati is much more important than anything happening at the client.

    Anyhooooooo…Gianni, you are on probation.

    Seriously, though, I see a kind of beauty in these frankenmonster bikes that are highly tuned for their intended purpose. That’s what I love about Gravel, there are so many ideas coming out of as people try to sort out what works best for their use of the bike. That’s really what its all about in the end – I mean, it better fucking Look Fantastic, but really we just want the best bike for the best purpose. That’s how every cool innovation in Cycling has come about.

    @mauibike’s rad mochean is an abomination so horrible its cool – although I hear tell he abandoned his terraced cassette. Purely designed to do what he needs it to. To that, I say “hat”.

  22. Gianni, regarding your wheel conundrum.

    FIRST RULE OF CARBON WHEELS: No fucking carbon clinchers for you, my friend, not unless its a disc brake. Think that one through: thin carbon wall under high lateral pressure to stop (too much) moving mass on a steep incline. A mate who works at HED, after riding with me in Seattle, said: “Don’t you ever buy a carbon clincher – not mine, not anyone’s.” That is just asking for a failure.

    SECOND RULE OF CARBON WHEELS: Tubulars are sooooooooooo nice. Keep the alus for Clincher tarmac, get a cheap light 19mm tubular as a spare (I got a Tufo for $70) under the saddle to get home and buy three tires to start with. When you flat, send it off to a company that fixes them for $5, like the one here in Seattle. Add postage and everyone wins.

    Next, next time I’m in Hawaii, you ride my wheels for a few days. The carbon rims are actually my preferred material for rain based on how well they stop – much better than alu. Granted, you burn through brake pads – my record is two in a wet season – but I’ll gladly pay $20 for new pads halfway through a season if it means my bike stops and it doesn’t look like a motorcycle.

  23. @EricW

    EricW: “Why cork?”

    Bontrager Rep: “It doesn’t have as much friction so it doesn’t get as hot.”

    E: “…sooooo your solution to keeping the wheels cooler is to…brake less…?”

    (pause)

    B: “There is less friction between the pad and wheel”

    If he was a Velominatus, his answer would be, “Yes, Isn’t yours? Why brake more?

    I will look up the name of my pads – they are great and stop the bike very well and I’ve had no issue with the rims heating up too much (i.e. to where the tire might roll) but like I said above they do wear quickly.

  24. I don’t get why people think disk road bikes are ugly.

    They are’t traditional, but nor are carbon aero wheels.

  25. @tessar

    @antihero

    Why is it then that the pro peloton eschews clinchers? If they offered an actual speed advantage, the kings of marginal gains would be all over them, and yet they are still rolling tubs. There is also the issue of high speed cornering: a tub is going to corner better and more safely than a clincher every single time.

    Besides, with those gossamer clinchers, the chances of a flat on anything but a manicured course approaches 100%. So much for any advantage they might provide when a teensy shard of some asshole’s beer bottle takes you out. I’ve rolled my Pavés over entire liquor bottles’ worth of smashed glass, picked the big bits out of the rubber, and kept rolling. Try that on a TT clincher.

    Well, point by point from the last to the first:

    1) The Supersonic TT is available in tubular as well, and the Pave as clincher. So you can opt for fragility or sturdiness regardless of mounting mechanism. You can TT with a ThickSlick as far as I’m concerned. I’ve ridden the Corsa Evo for nearly two years now on my race wheels – that’s a solid 2000km of racing and about half that for a few key training sessions – and am yet to puncture.

    2) ProTour TTs are held on swept roads, and yes, the pros still puncture. To them, the trade-off is worth it since it’s the absolute fastest setup there is. And no, I wouldn’t ride around every day on a special purpose tyre. I train on Conti 4Seasons or Schwalbe Duranos.

    3) High-speed cornering on a properly-glued tub and a properly-mounted clincher is 100% on both wheels, and any perceived advantage is a placebo. Friction is a pretty simple mechanical quantity, and I suggest trying a double-blind test of a Corsa Evo Open and a Corsa Evo tub before you say they corner “better”. FWIW, I’ve seen more tubulars rolled than I’ve ever seen a clincher dislodge.

    4) The pro peloton has this issue of puncturing in the midst of 200 other guys going +50km/h. That means rolling out of the peloton safely on a tubular is important, and I give you that, that’s the tubular tyre’s advantage. However, since the three-time world TT champion rode clinchers for the past three years (as did some of his teammates), I wouldn’t exactly say they’ve ignored the facts.

    5) Pros also don’t pay for tyres and don’t have to glue the fuckers, which is why you’ll find Ted King riding tubulars in Europe, but not when he’s training at home.

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the pros think. They have all sorts of superstitions, habits and traditions that slow them down. Try finding a faster road setup than a Zipp Super9/808 or HED Jet Disc/9 combo with latex tubes and a GP4000s.

    Word! I agree to all those things. You are wise.

    @frank

    Anyhooooooo…Gianni, you are on probation.

    I thought I was already on probation for earlier posts regarding EPMS, SMP saddles, or generally not toeing the line around here. I like probation, it’s part of my brand.

    And yes, I agree, better to wear down brake pads, they are cheap. And like I said in the POST, carbone clinchers are not for me and Maui.

     

  26. @The Grande Fondue

    I don’t get why people think disk road bikes are ugly.

    They are’t traditional, but nor are carbon aero wheels.

    I could work with that!

  27. This is the first time that anyone has made an argument for disc brakes that is actually logic and not full of marketing speak and fanboy-ism.

  28. @Gianni

    @The Grande Fondue

    I don’t get why people think disk road bikes are ugly.

    They are’t traditional, but nor are carbon aero wheels.

    I could work with that!

    At the very least you could sell it for a real bike.

  29. @DerHoggz plus fucking one!

  30. From the photo the riding looks magical! Jealous

  31. @Stephen

    This is the first time that anyone has made an argument for disc brakes that is actually logic and not full of marketing speak and fanboy-ism.

    And for that I apologize on everyone’s behalf.

    @DerHoggz

    At the very least you could sell it for a real bike.

    Wise ass.

  32. @Gianni , here’s your answer, get a lighter bike and it will be easier to stop!  Can’t be that expensive can it !?!? (Refer : tongue in cheek)

  33. @tessar

    @antihero

    Why is it then that the pro peloton eschews clinchers? If they offered an actual speed advantage, the kings of marginal gains would be all over them, and yet they are still rolling tubs. There is also the issue of high speed cornering: a tub is going to corner better and more safely than a clincher every single time.

    Besides, with those gossamer clinchers, the chances of a flat on anything but a manicured course approaches 100%. So much for any advantage they might provide when a teensy shard of some asshole’s beer bottle takes you out. I’ve rolled my Pavés over entire liquor bottles’ worth of smashed glass, picked the big bits out of the rubber, and kept rolling. Try that on a TT clincher.

    Well, point by point from the last to the first:

    1) The Supersonic TT is available in tubular as well, and the Pave as clincher. So you can opt for fragility or sturdiness regardless of mounting mechanism. You can TT with a ThickSlick as far as I’m concerned. I’ve ridden the Corsa Evo for nearly two years now on my race wheels – that’s a solid 2000km of racing and about half that for a few key training sessions – and am yet to puncture.

    2) ProTour TTs are held on swept roads, and yes, the pros still puncture. To them, the trade-off is worth it since it’s the absolute fastest setup there is. And no, I wouldn’t ride around every day on a special purpose tyre. I train on Conti 4Seasons or Schwalbe Duranos.

    3) High-speed cornering on a properly-glued tub and a properly-mounted clincher is 100% on both wheels, and any perceived advantage is a placebo. Friction is a pretty simple mechanical quantity, and I suggest trying a double-blind test of a Corsa Evo Open and a Corsa Evo tub before you say they corner “better”. FWIW, I’ve seen more tubulars rolled than I’ve ever seen a clincher dislodge.

    4) The pro peloton has this issue of puncturing in the midst of 200 other guys going +50km/h. That means rolling out of the peloton safely on a tubular is important, and I give you that, that’s the tubular tyre’s advantage. However, since the three-time world TT champion rode clinchers for the past three years (as did some of his teammates), I wouldn’t exactly say they’ve ignored the facts.

    5) Pros also don’t pay for tyres and don’t have to glue the fuckers, which is why you’ll find Ted King riding tubulars in Europe, but not when he’s training at home.

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the pros think. They have all sorts of superstitions, habits and traditions that slow them down. Try finding a faster road setup than a Zipp Super9/808 or HED Jet Disc/9 combo with latex tubes and a GP4000s.

    Dammit @tessar!  How dare you use facts and logic to justify your opinions!   Unacceptable.

    I do take issue with #3:  a tub is always going to corner better than a clincher at the same pressure.  I know without doubt that I can hit a nasty switchback harder on my tubs than I ever would on clinchers.  If people are rolling their tubs, they’re not gluing them properly.

    #4 is the tub’s greatest, and most often ignored benefit. When glued properly, they’re inherently safer than any other form-factor available.

  34. @frank

    @EricW

    EricW: “Why cork?”

    Bontrager Rep: “It doesn’t have as much friction so it doesn’t get as hot.”

    E: “…sooooo your solution to keeping the wheels cooler is to…brake less…?”

    (pause)

    B: “There is less friction between the pad and wheel”

    If he was a Velominatus, his answer would be, “Yes, Isn’t yours? Why brake more?

    I will look up the name of my pads – they are great and stop the bike very well and I’ve had no issue with the rims heating up too much (i.e. to where the tire might roll) but like I said above they do wear quickly.

    Thanks, although I’m not certain I want to switch away from cork as thorough online research (20 minutes or so) seems to suggest that using anything other than cork on Bontragers will cause them to spontaneously combust, the undead to rise from the ground, and the universe to implode.

    The upshot to this is that I’ve learned how much grip a 23c tire has (a lot) and how far you can lean the bike over (very) without sliding.  Definitely helps your sharpen descending skills when slamming on the anchors isn’t an option.  Trail braking all the way to the apex is definitely your friend here.

  35. Saw this from somewhere, somewhile ago;


    me thinks they’ll be like Spinergy wheels, after some meat is cut off someone in a mass pile up – that’s road racing. (Michele Bartoli – Tour of Germany?) As for MTB/gravel, it’s mainly single file.

  36. @frank

    @EricW

    EricW: “Why cork?”

    Bontrager Rep: “It doesn’t have as much friction so it doesn’t get as hot.”

    E: “…sooooo your solution to keeping the wheels cooler is to…brake less…?”

    (pause)

    B: “There is less friction between the pad and wheel”

    If he was a Velominatus, his answer would be, “Yes, Isn’t yours? Why brake more?

    I will look up the name of my pads – they are great and stop the bike very well and I’ve had no issue with the rims heating up too much (i.e. to where the tire might roll) but like I said above they do wear quickly.

    Williams make a great pad (spec’ed to their wheels). They stop well, aren’t fugly (re: cork), and don’t wear that quick…

    Of course, I don’t brake that much, so maybe I’m not the best source on this.

  37. Hmm, a lot to think about here. Very happy to be all set in the wheels department. I’m happily rolling on alloy clinchers on my road bikes, but I don’t have a terroir problem either. These days I just wish I had more time to ride, so instead of mulling over changes or upgrades, I’m just trying to fit in more saddle time.

    The brakes look fine on that Parlee; it’s the bars that look odd.

  38. @Ron

    Hmm, a lot to think about here. Very happy to be all set in the wheels department. I’m happily rolling on alloy clinchers on my road bikes, but I don’t have a terroir problem either.

    Open Bros: fellow (box-aero) alloy clincher zealots for life.

  39. @unversio

    @Ron

    Hmm, a lot to think about here. Very happy to be all set in the wheels department. I’m happily rolling on alloy clinchers on my road bikes, but I don’t have a terroir problem either.

    Open Bros: fellow (box-aero) alloy clincher zealots for life.

    Ha, yes we are indeed. My steel Casati is set up with Record hubs/Open Pro rims with Veloflex tires and latex tubes. An excellent ride.

    I have Ksyrium SLs on my LOOK, only had those 2nd hand for a year or so. Slick looking and a great all around wheel. Also Veloflex with latex tubes. My cross bike is set up tubeless on Ksyrium ESs and Vittoria tires. A nice route for someone (me) who had yet to get involved in tubular gluing.

    I’m not knocking Carbone wheels at all, nor disc brakes. Was just saying that I’m currently happy with what I’m riding, which can be a tough equilibrium to reach, especially when I just was at the NAHBS two weeks ago…

    Pegoretti had a few frames set up with the low profile Campa Hyperion Ultra wheels. The sexiness of low profile with the exoticism of Carbone. My gosh, those were slick looking!

  40. Carbon? Shimano? Disk brakes? 100% the folly of ignorant nouveau dweebs (no doubt Obamatrons) which also includes non traditional geometry – dimension(e.g. ridiculous compact frames), as well anything other than lugged steel and alloy gruppo, white socks, white handlebar tape, black saddles, black shorts, black shoes, facial hair of any kind.  And this website supposedly honors aesthetic and the rest. Ya, right………….. How utterly “now”.  Take up hacky sack you pathetic spinning poseurs…………..

  41. @jon jon Cocaine is no way to live.

  42. Writing nonsense has the important advantage of ensuring that you can’t be wrong. It’s the rhetorical equivalent of the Commuter Grand Prix.

  43. @jon jon Easy dude! most of folks on this site are anything but poseurs, and what does Obama have do with it. This is awesomely weird, universe is right, I suggest to  drink a six pack and relax and don’t call you drug dealer.

  44. @unversio ,Sorry spell check auto corrected you handle

  45. @jon jon

    Why do you even bother to register on the site then? And you are not making any sense.

  46. @jon jon

    I don’t know what to do with that many conjoined ellipses.

  47. @jon jon Wow, how did you know Hacky Sack was my second sport? And I have a black saddle, facial hair and a carbone frame! Do you work for the NSA?

  48. Disk brakes on a road bike. What? Brakes on a road bike are overwhelmingly for checking speed not stopping. Get me off this planet.

  49. @jon jon Wait, what?

  50. gps navigation for iphone 3gs

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar