The European Posterior Tubular, tied on by a toe strap. This ain't no EPMS.

European Posterior Tubular (EPTB)

European Posterior Tubular (EPTB)

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The divisive nature of Rule #29 is not to be underestimated. It is but a humble satchel, but our rejection of its use sends people completely out of their minds. One fine gentleman even threatened my editor at Cyclist Magazine with cancellation of his subscription on the basis that they published an article wherein I espoused the virtues of going EPMS-less. If I recall correctly, the reader felt my writing was, “a black eye on an otherwise flawless magazine.” Some people, it appears, really love their saddle bags.

Nevertheless, the truth remains: they are ugly and there is no need for one if you choose your tools carefully and maintain your bicycle appropriately. Granted, if you prefer an al fresco lunch mid-ride and therefore require room for a baguette, some brie, and a nice bottle of Burgundy, you may require more than a jersey pocket. Similarly, if you are of the mechanical inclination that requires you carry a press for on-the-road headset replacements, you might also require some additional storage. That said, if your mechanical skills are at a level that your bicycle is in such a state, I might argue that carrying a cell phone and an emergency contact list is really all you need because the tools are unlikely to help.

But I digress. Ugly though the EPMS may be, it is obviously perfectly acceptable to tie a spare tubular tire under your saddle. This is for the obvious and irrefutable reason that riding tubs is for the more cultured Velominatus and strapping a tire under the saddle is the traditional way the Europeans have handled carrying a spare tire ever since they stopped carrying them strapped over their shoulders. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by the fact that a European Posterior Tubular is often mistaken for an saddlebag. One is a nod to our heritage, the other an abomination sense and style. Trust me on this.

But carrying a spare tub does pose a challenge: how do you roll it up into a small enough package that it (a) doesn’t sway (b) doesn’t rub the insides of your pistoning guns and (c) doesn’t fall off and get tangled up in your wheel.

The first two are a matter of what style of tire to carry. The natural inclination is to carry a spare tire identical to the ones you are riding on your wheels, but that is likely to be a 23 or 25 mm tire and will be rather bulky when rolled up. Instead, the spare should be considered an emergency tire intended to get you safely through the rest of your ride; you’ll be pulling it off and gluing it on properly when you get home, so it can be chosen for its folding size and weight rather than to match it to the tires you normally ride. Then comes the question of how to roll it up into a tiny package which can be neatly strapped under the saddle (see photos). Finally – and I learned this the hard way – if the tire does come loose over some unusually rough roads (say, washboards on a high speed gravel descent), you will want it to stay in the small bundle rather than unwinding and getting tangled in your back wheel.

European Posterior Tubular Guidelines:

  1. Find a light, 19mm tubular tire. I use one by TUFO; it has no inner tube so it is skinny and light and rolls up tight.
  2. Pre-glue the tire and follow the below procedure to roll it up (photos).
  3. Wrap an industrial strength rubber band around the tire. This will keep it in its rolled up bundle with or without a toe strap, meaning it will stay in said bundle even as it tumbles from your saddle.
  4. Us a leather toe-clip strap and a leather toe-clip strap only to affix said tire to saddle. No pouches, not fabric straps. Make sure it is tight and secure the loose end of the strap.
  5. Respond to all accusations of violating Rule #29 with a defiant but tempered disgust which subtly hints that the accuser is an unsophisticated clincher rider who doesn’t understand the greater nuances of our sport.
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// Accessories and Gear // Etiquette // Nostalgia // The Rules // Tradition

  1. @therealpeel My steel ride is quite modern and has been on the road for less than a year–it’s rad but I don’t think preservation applies.  Chapeaux to all those keeping the older frames on the road, however.

  2. @Chris – yes I do get that bit, indeed that line of thinking has helped me along The Path, as I used to use a bottle cage tool holder then forced myself to rationalise and invest in more compact tyre levers and multi-tools. Religious maintenance has always been a given. Maybe part of my decision not to run tubs is down to ‘the spare’ problem, although most of it is the ‘two punctures and out’ problem!

    @universio – I wasn’t defending anything. I was merely stating my choice, and my opinion that it still looks ugly, and out of keeping with a modern steed. In fact @frank admitted himself that he could probably get the spare in his jersey.

  3. @piwakawaka

    So what’s goin’ on here? The world champ, racing with No.1 on the frame changing a tub? Is he so far up the road that not even neutral service can reach him? Cracking shot, sweat, veins popping, the Guns…

    He’s on a training ride during the second rest day of the 1990 Tour.

  4. @Nate

    @piwakawaka

    @Nate

    @piwakawaka Lemond punctured on the Marie Blanque on Stage 17 of the 1990 Tour.

    Yep , I got the puncture part! Just not why he is changing his own tub.

    I think his team car was a couple minutes back, so he took a stab at changing it himself.

    He flatted during the race when Chiappucci attacked, but that was his back wheel, not front. The photo is commonly interpreted as the race day incident but that’s not quite right…

  5. @frank Ah, I was wondering.

  6. All this talk of steel bikes. Gotta snap a few updated photos of my Casati, as I finally decided my position on it was set and chopped the fork.

    Also had the chance to meet Mr. Casati Jr. at the handmade bike show earlier this month. Pretty amazing to shake hands with the son of the guy who built so many lovely bicycles.

  7. @Nate

    Most road wheelset makers warn strenuously against doing tubeless conversions on clincher rims. Conversion works ok on the dirty (MTB) side of things due to the higher volumes and lower pressures. Unless you don’t like your teeth/face, don’t convert a clincher only road rim to tubeless.

    I like my face and teeth a whole bunch. I actually have great teeth as well. Costanza wanted to be a hand model, I think I could be a tooth model. And I never had any fix up work, such as braces.

    My face is pretty good too. And, I already have enough scars, one from crashing on my bike, one from taking a hockey puck to the eyebrow. That might have hurt more than breaking my leg.

  8. @Nate I was up to the barn last December.  I just took delivery of this beauty last week.  I have wanted a Tom Kellogg frame since 1980 or thereabout.  It just took this long for me to finally get one.  Ironically the barn is only a 30-minute drive from my home.

  9. @Jay well done, and enjoy!

  10. @Beers

    Finally, I fucking love the sound of a tub on a deep section rim. I don;t have any, but in races they just rumble like a jet engine in the bunch. In a race the other week, I even noticed I could hear the tubs of the chap next to me squeaking! I presumed it was the latex tube inside rubbing on the inside of the sewup..

    You and me both.

  11. @Nate If you have been to the barn, then you know what the experience is like.  If you haven’t, I highly recommend it.  The day that I went for my fitting was the most fun that that I have ever had on a bike while not actually riding it.  Aside from the business at hand, we talked shop, discussed local rides that we liked, and just generally “chewed the fat”.  Tom is very personable while Jeff is more reserved.  I was able to watch them working on a steel tandem frame that they were building (because Jeff needed another set of hands and its just the two of them).  If you are looking for a nice steel or Ti frame they can certainly meet your needs, plus they are just genuinely nice guys to work with.

  12. @Jay I have never been but hear great things about it, as well as Tom and Jeff.  A Spectrum would be on the short list, if I hadn’t taken delivery of a Kirk in the last year.

  13. @Nate

    @Jay I have never been but hear great things about it, as well as Tom and Jeff. A Spectrum would be on the short list, if I hadn’t taken delivery of a Kirk in the last year.

    Wait…would be on the short list, or is on the short list..after all…Rule 12…

  14. @Ha

    @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Jay I have never been but hear great things about it, as well as Tom and Jeff. A Spectrum would be on the short list, if I hadn’t taken delivery of a Kirk in the last year.

    Wait…would be on the short list, or is on the short list..after all…Rule 12…

    Alas the finance committee has other priorities.

  15. @Nate

    @Ha

    @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Jay I have never been but hear great things about it, as well as Tom and Jeff. A Spectrum would be on the short list, if I hadn’t taken delivery of a Kirk in the last year.

    Wait…would be on the short list, or is on the short list..after all…Rule 12…

    Alas the finance committee has other priorities.

    That doesn’t mean the list can’t still exist! :)  Despite the future arrival of the Peg and Sachs..I have my eyes on an IndyFab, or a FireFly..and since I have never owned a carbon bike…

  16. @Haldy

    I wish I could explain how his eyes lit up when he was scribbling down Special Pink next to my fit numbers.

    Ha, you will definitely have to post a pic of that frame when you receive it/ have built it up – would love to see what he is going to do with it!

  17. @ClydesdaleChris

    OHHH

    I could Hide a tube and levers in an old tyre, fold it up and bob’s your uncle, Masturbation Principle.

    Thought crossed my mind as well. Shhhh…don’t tell anyone.

  18. @sthilzy

    @ClydesdaleChris

    OHHH

    I could Hide a tube and levers in an old tyre, fold it up and bob’s your uncle, Masturbation Principle.

    Thought crossed my mind as well. Shhhh…don’t tell anyone.

    If you sewed the tube into and old tyre it would be ready to fit too…..oh wait…….

  19. @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Ha

    @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Jay I have never been but hear great things about it, as well as Tom and Jeff. A Spectrum would be on the short list, if I hadn’t taken delivery of a Kirk in the last year.

    Wait…would be on the short list, or is on the short list..after all…Rule 12…

    Alas the finance committee has other priorities.

    That doesn’t mean the list can’t still exist! :) Despite the future arrival of the Peg and Sachs..I have my eyes on an IndyFab, or a FireFly..and since I have never owned a carbon bike…

    You obviously aren’t working at the Velominatus Budgetatus end of the spectrum.  Put me down for a Peg too.  On your tab.

  20. Maybe its just me but all this obsessing about where to carry spares/tools on a bicycle seems more like a religious fetish than anything else.  Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with that – its just not for me. Vive le difference.

  21. @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Ha

    @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Jay I have never been but hear great things about it, as well as Tom and Jeff. A Spectrum would be on the short list, if I hadn’t taken delivery of a Kirk in the last year.

    Wait…would be on the short list, or is on the short list..after all…Rule 12…

    Alas the finance committee has other priorities.

    That doesn’t mean the list can’t still exist! :) Despite the future arrival of the Peg and Sachs..I have my eyes on an IndyFab, or a FireFly..and since I have never owned a carbon bike…

    … a Crumpton.

    As for me, Spectrum, Rock Lobster, Hampaten, maybe a steel Peg.

  22. @PT

    more like a religious fetish

    Isn’t that the point of this place?

    Velominatus is a disciple of the highest order. We spend our days pouring over the very essence of what makes ours such a special sport and how that essence fits into Cycling’s colorful fabric.  This is the Velominati’s raison d’être. This is where the Velominati can be ourselves. This is our agony – our badge of honor – our sin.

  23. @asyax

    @Haldy

    I wish I could explain how his eyes lit up when he was scribbling down Special Pink next to my fit numbers.

    Ha, you will definitely have to post a pic of that frame when you receive it/ have built it up – would love to see what he is going to do with it!

    Will do! I can’t wait either!

  24. @asyax

    @Haldy

    I wish I could explain how his eyes lit up when he was scribbling down Special Pink next to my fit numbers.

    Ha, you will definitely have to post a pic of that frame when you receive it/ have built it up – would love to see what he is going to do with it!

    Will do! I can’t wait either!

    @antihero

    @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Ha

    @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Jay I have never been but hear great things about it, as well as Tom and Jeff. A Spectrum would be on the short list, if I hadn’t taken delivery of a Kirk in the last year.

    Wait…would be on the short list, or is on the short list..after all…Rule 12…

    Alas the finance committee has other priorities.

    That doesn’t mean the list can’t still exist! :) Despite the future arrival of the Peg and Sachs..I have my eyes on an IndyFab, or a FireFly..and since I have never owned a carbon bike…

    You obviously aren’t working at the Velominatus Budgetatus end of the spectrum. Put me down for a Peg too. On your tab.

    I am fortunate enough to be employed within the industry so I have access to beautiful, beautiful bikes..at less than full pop! So I very much embrace Rule #12.

  25. @Nate

    @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Ha

    @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Jay I have never been but hear great things about it, as well as Tom and Jeff. A Spectrum would be on the short list, if I hadn’t taken delivery of a Kirk in the last year.

    Wait…would be on the short list, or is on the short list..after all…Rule 12…

    Alas the finance committee has other priorities.

    That doesn’t mean the list can’t still exist! :) Despite the future arrival of the Peg and Sachs..I have my eyes on an IndyFab, or a FireFly..and since I have never owned a carbon bike…

    … a Crumpton.

    As for me, Spectrum, Rock Lobster, Hampaten, maybe a steel Peg.

    Crumpton would be a good choice for sure. I also have a Parlee on the list. A shop I ran dealt Parlee bikes and I got to take a tour of the Parlee factory and talk with Bob Parlee himself for a day. We did up a worksheet of my dream bike from them while I was there so I could see thier process. All I need to do is call…and spend.. :-)

    Since I have a steel and ti Seven..the 622 carbon bike( with Ti lugs) is also a very tempting choice.

  26. A lot of steel talk, so I thought I’d share one of mine.

    My poor photography skills don’t do this understated, but slick, paint job justice. Here is my Casati Laser 75th anniversary steed. Finally decided my position was set and cut the fork steerer. Despite having a few nice bikes, this one is my favorite to ride. Columbus Genius tubeset. Had the good fortune to meet the Casati folks/family at the NAHBS in Charlotte earlier this year. Pretty cool to meet Gianni Casati’s son. Nothing too fancy, but everything is good, solid parts and the ride quality is superb.

    *Yes, the Open Pro rims are mismatched. Not my choice, not my decision. Got a deal on them and despite it formerly having pissed me off, I’ve let it go, found peace with it. Open Pros to Record hubs, not going to pull them apart for a rebuild until I have an issue with them.

  27. @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Ha

    @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Jay I have never been but hear great things about it, as well as Tom and Jeff. A Spectrum would be on the short list, if I hadn’t taken delivery of a Kirk in the last year.

    Wait…would be on the short list, or is on the short list..after all…Rule 12…

    Alas the finance committee has other priorities.

    That doesn’t mean the list can’t still exist! :) Despite the future arrival of the Peg and Sachs..I have my eyes on an IndyFab, or a FireFly..and since I have never owned a carbon bike…

    … a Crumpton.

    As for me, Spectrum, Rock Lobster, Hampaten, maybe a steel Peg.

    Crumpton would be a good choice for sure. I also have a Parlee on the list. A shop I ran dealt Parlee bikes and I got to take a tour of the Parlee factory and talk with Bob Parlee himself for a day. We did up a worksheet of my dream bike from them while I was there so I could see thier process. All I need to do is call…and spend.. :-)

    Since I have a steel and ti Seven..the 622 carbon bike( with Ti lugs) is also a very tempting choice.

    Nice.  The more one thinks about it, the longer the list will get.

  28. @Ron Nice.  Maybe a photo against a less busy background?

  29. Ha, Nate…but I don’t have a garage, nor a garage door! Okay, I’ll see if I can grab one tonight.

  30. I’m a little late to party, but BEST POST EVER! (This may not be the first time I’ve said that)

    And timely too.  The one concern I had about Looking Fantastic during last Saturday’s race was the bulky spare sticking out of my jersey pocket.  Oh, and getting spit out the back of the peloton was slightly concerning too.

  31. @frank

    @piwakawaka

    So what’s goin’ on here? The world champ, racing with No.1 on the frame changing a tub? Is he so far up the road that not even neutral service can reach him? Cracking shot, sweat, veins popping, the Guns…

    He’s on a training ride during the second rest day of the 1990 Tour.

    Ahh, now it makes sense, love his approach to a rest day, great shot.

  32. @piwakawaka

    The thing that really gets me is he laid his bike down drive-side down and has that beautiful frame laying right on the edge of that concrete curb! Oh, and not the rolled up spare laying on the road.

  33. @Teocalli Stans+valve core wrench plus non-CO2 means of inflation+a single spare tubular (of the same damn size as what you’re riding, not some skinny thing) and Bob’s your uncle. I’ll admit I, after finishing the last 180K of a 400K riding a flat tubular (took two spares and a pit-stop) rode clinchers with a huge handlebar bag at PBP. I’ve since discovered that Stans sealant actually works reliably, unlike the Pit-Stop stuff, but you’ve got to be able to carry an ounce or two of it, and be able to pull a valve core to inject it. I’ve found I’m faster injecting a half-ounce of Stans and reinflating with a full-size hand pump than I am changing a clincher flat with CO2.

    Cheers,

    Will

    William M. deRosset

    Fort Collins, CO

  34. @Teocalli

    Back pocket with pump thus……….

    +1. I’ve never completely bought into Rule #29 (so sue me and revoke my Level 2 Velominatus status), especially when the proposed alternative is a tubeless tire secured under the saddle with a leather toe strap, or stuffed into a FedEx bag!? But then, Teocalli (or “Trivially” as my auto-correct insists) presents an efficient and elegant example and I will now happily toss my EPMS and stuff that in a jersey pocket.

  35. This is one rule I break religiously.  I put all my shit in my EPMS, and I leave that thing on my bike.  I know I always have my stuff in it.  I don’t have to empty, then refill my stuff into my pockets every time I take a ride.  I don’t have to worry about flicking out something and losing it when retrieving a banana or gel.  I can put my sticky wet sugary wrappers back in my pockets rather than litter the road with them without worrying about coating my tools in crap.  I can carry stuff like cables which shouldn’t not need servicing as I look after my bike, but you never know when someone will rack up next to you and yank on your gear cables with their pedals and kink or stretch one through no fault of your own, and when I’m enjoying a cafe stop I can actually sit back without puncturing my kidneys, as a mini pump is not *the right tool for that particular job*.

  36. @Dan W It will continue too until you make an attempt to stop living this way — make a turn.

  37. @Dan W

    I put all my shit in my EPMS, and I leave that thing on my bike. I know I always have my stuff in it.

    Bike (singular)? As in, you only have one bike?

  38. @WMdeRosset

    @Teocalli Stans+valve core wrench plus non-CO2 means of inflation+a single spare tubular (of the same damn size as what you’re riding, not some skinny thing) and Bob’s your uncle. I’ll admit I, after finishing the last 180K of a 400K riding a flat tubular (took two spares and a pit-stop) rode clinchers with a huge handlebar bag at PBP. I’ve since discovered that Stans sealant actually works reliably, unlike the Pit-Stop stuff, but you’ve got to be able to carry an ounce or two of it, and be able to pull a valve core to inject it. I’ve found I’m faster injecting a half-ounce of Stans and reinflating with a full-size hand pump than I am changing a clincher flat with CO2.

    Cheers,

    Will

    William M. deRosset

    Fort Collins, CO

    Thanks, I was thinking of going in that direction at the moment I have all bases covered with 1 spare tub, a pot of Stans, spare valve cores and a foam can.  Had a trial run on some local tracks today 65K of 50:50 road/trail and the Vitoria Corsas came through OK on some (at times) terrible surface so encouraged by that for the June event where (hopefully) the trail sections will be better than the stuff I rode today.

  39. @Geraint

    @Dan W

    I put all my shit in my EPMS, and I leave that thing on my bike. I know I always have my stuff in it.

    Bike (singular)? As in, you only have one bike?

    We all start somewhere.

  40. @Geraint

    Bike (singular)? As in, you only have one bike?

    Yes. It endures 100% of the V I have to wring out. It suffices, for now.

  41. @Dan W You’re not alone in this.

  42. @andrew

    @Dan W You’re not alone in this.

    Far from it.

  43. Arundel Tubi. Get over yourselves.

  44. @WMdeRosset

    @Teocalli Stans+valve core wrench plus non-CO2 means of inflation+a single spare tubular (of the same damn size as what you’re riding, not some skinny thing) and Bob’s your uncle. I’ll admit I, after finishing the last 180K of a 400K riding a flat tubular (took two spares and a pit-stop) rode clinchers with a huge handlebar bag at PBP. I’ve since discovered that Stans sealant actually works reliably, unlike the Pit-Stop stuff, but you’ve got to be able to carry an ounce or two of it, and be able to pull a valve core to inject it. I’ve found I’m faster injecting a half-ounce of Stans and reinflating with a full-size hand pump than I am changing a clincher flat with CO2.

    Cheers,

    Will

    William M. deRosset

    Fort Collins, CO

    +1 on both the Stans and the full sized frame pump.  Mine goes old school style along the NDS seatstay.  Solid placement, easy access.  Style points.

    The small bottle of Stans in the jersey pocket with valve core remover rubber banded to it as well a small flat-bladed screwdriver with tip rounded off to make quick work of removing the tubular if the Stans doesn’t work.

    @Nof Landrien

    Arundel Tubi. Get over yourselves.

    +1 — on both sentences.

    I do have a Jandd Dual bag for two tubulars when I’m doing long unsupported rides.  But the Tubi stays on the bike 99% of the time.  I’d rather have a clean tubular when I need the glue to stick.

  45. @teleguy57

    This talk of Stans is interesting. I will investigate. Pitstop has worked for me, but it always feels like it just barely works.

    I always carry a valve core tool because I alsu use extenders on all my deep rims so I can carry a tube or tubular with a short valve and always be able to use it no matter what bike I’m on.

  46. @Steve H

    @Steve H, may i ask what brand and type is this tire? Or anyone else can identify it?

    I’m after a some pretty small foldable tubular tire, i need to assemble a spare kit, that i want to carry under my saddle.

  47. Folded Sprinter into thirds.

  48. Frank, you’ve done a great job folding it then attached it upside-down. Universio hasn’t folded his as tight but has it the right way up.

  49. Need some advise on how to fold the tire for this.

  50. @RedRanger

    Need some advise on how to fold the tire for this.

    anyone?

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