The Seduction of Symbols

Two golden tickets to Hell

There was a time when bicycles were lovingly handmade by artisans who themselves loved the sport more than those for whom they built the machines. Lugs were filed to become Luggs; chain and seat stays were beautifully chromed for durability despite the grams it added to the frame’s final weight; spokes were chosen for their purpose and laced to hubs and rims in a pattern that suited the specific purpose the wheel was intended to serve. Throughout the process – from building the frame to manufacturing of the components – extra care was taken to make every element of the bicycle beautiful; these bicycles, when you are in their presence, radiate La Vie Velominatus.

As was customary at the time, components would be pantographed and frames repainted and rebranded, leaving behind little evidence of their origin. But hidden in the components and frames were symbols that the manufacturers stamped into their wares to preserve their identity; Colnago their Fiore, Cinelli their C, and Campa their Shield. These symbols have come to hold great meaning within the sport and we of a certain ilk scour the photos of our heroes’ bikes for evidence of their existence.

For a variety of reasons including cost, proprietary tube-shapes, and repeatability of production, these practices have largely died away in mainstream bicycle manufacturing; in fact, nearly every element in the art of bicycle building that requires attention and skill is slowing being eliminated from the craft. Ahead-set stems have replaced the need for a carefully adjusted headset and stem, sealed-bearing bottom brackets and hubs have eliminated the subtle touch required to hold a race in place with one hand while tightening the assembly with the other. By and large, the machines and riders are stronger than the terrain they race over, leaving little practical need for the attention to detail and customization that once came as a matter of course.

There is, however, one magical week of racing where the terrain is still stronger than the riders: the cobbled classics of de Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix. This is the one week during which the Pros still require highly customized machines and we, as fans, can scour the photos of our heroes’ kit, looking for the symbols tucked away in the components to discern their origins. One such symbol is the brass badge affixed to the valve-hole on Ambrosio rims.

These rims are chosen by the Specialists for their strength on the stones regardless of what wheel sponsorship obligations might exist within the team. Their mystique is further deepened for those of us living in the States because they aren’t available here. It follows, then, that the Golden Ticket, as I call it, is something I’ve coveted for as long as I can remember (which, admittedly, isn’t very long and, upsettingly, keeps getting less long) but have never had a good enough reason to justify procuring from Europe. But Keepers Tour, Cobbled Classics 2012 provided the perfect justification to go about finding a set and I wasted no time in doing so. Upon arrival, the rims spent the better part of two weeks sitting in my living room or next to my bed, patiently waiting for me to pick them up and rub my thumb over the badge, just to reassure myself they were still there.

Not long after the rims arrived, I excitedly loaded a picture of Boonen in the 2010 Ronde and turned the laptop to show my VMH.

Frank: Hey, what do you see.

VMH: Boonen. Goddamn, he’s a stud. Don’t let me too close to him; I can’t be responsible for my actions.

Frank: What about his wheels.

VMH: What?

Frank: Don’t you see? He’s got my rims.

VMH: You can’t possibly know that.

Frank: Openly shows his exasperation by groaning audibly and rolling his eyes. Yes, I do. Check it. You can see the Golden Ticket on his back wheel. Its obvious as shit. What’s wrong with you?

VMH: Sighs, pours another glass of wine. Exits stage left. Hopefully not for good.

*Coincidentally, on the same day that this article was being written, Inrng published a similar (better) article on a related subject of hand-built wheels. Well worth the read: The Dying Art of Wheelbuilding

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486 Replies to “The Seduction of Symbols”

  1. @Buck Rogers
    Thank you. We have quite a few gravel roads where I live and I have been anxious to find a “do it all” road tire that could take the punishment, but still perform well on pavement. Perhaps I will give the Pave a try. 27mm, hmm, got to measure, I am not sure they will fit! Thanks again.

  2. @Oli

    OEM spec’d fork was a Time Equipe carbon with steel steer tube (threaded, one inch). I think that was the last year Bianchi USA was the Time pedal and fork distributor in the USA.

  3. @Oli

    Just noticed the fork in the picture is the lesser Time Spirit or Sprint straight bladed model. I remember everyone on the team having the Equipe model on their Bianchi frames. Great fork for it’s time. I think we got them for around $175 with the team discount.

  4. @Anjin-san
    They also come in 24. I’ve been riding the clincher versions in winter for a couple years with good results, including in some off piste situations.

  5. @Belgian Cobblestones

    @marko

    @Belgian CobblestonesFirstly, awesome. How nice it must be to be able to ride those roads that frequently. Secondly, how wide are your contis? 23″²s?

    yep regular 23″²s straight off the rack

    As a kid in the 80’s/90’s in Melbourne and after watching PR on Wide World of Sports, we’d be inspired to ride the pave around the back streets of Caulfield.

    View Larger Map Street view and spin 180′.
    Hours of fun! It was in the early 90’s when skinny was in and rode 18’s. The 18’s found the gaps in the stones and in one case wedged a mates front wheel, fell down and busted a wrist!
    Miniumum 23’s, 25’s if it fits the brakes.

    And now for something conpletely different….

    But it might be hard to ride the squares on the crown…

  6. @Dr C

    Locked and loaded

    Some green on my machine

    Looking good, sir, looking good!

    My nemeses are at the wheel builders being re-laced and will be ready on Thursday. A couple of heady sessions with the glue and it’ll be test ride time. Must go and read Tommy Tubolaire’s missives on the rituals of stretching and layering.

  7. @Dr C
    The Paves. Thy’re hanging up in the garage waiting for the wheels. And an Evo CX to go under the seat as a spare.

    My Paves are the slightly older 290tpi version with a black centre strip and green on either side. Just to be different.

  8. @Chris
    @Tommy’s advice is top notch and I believe has been further endorsed by @Oli. Not sure how much gluing you’ve done but as a relative novice I found it very helpful. At the risk of providing unsolicited advice, three things for what they are worth — (1) find Tommy’s tip about pre-marking the tire while it stretches to help line it up when the glue is on. (2) consider deflating the tires while coats of glue dry. Inflating them causes them to turn inside out which is helpful for gluing. I left mine like this for a few days and worry their shape is slightly changed as a result. (3) If you use the Vittoria glue you can ignore most of the instructions on the package in favor of Tommy’s or what you might find in books, but I found the Vittoria instruction of mounting the tires about 3 minutes after application of the final coat to be spot on; elsewhere I read up to 10 minutes by which time the glue was drier than I would have liked.

    Then go ride the piss out of them!

  9. @Nate

    @Chris
    Not sure how much gluing you’ve done…

    Model planes and bits of coloured tissue paper, loads. Tyres, none.

    But you’ve got to start somewhere and 180km across northern France seems like as good a place as any.

    Whilst I might be out of my depth here, @Tommy’s advice comes across as being authentic and any thing with @Oli’s seal of approval is good enough for me. Thanks for your advice also.

  10. @Nate
    How do you find durability/mileage? I’ve been looking at the Veloflex Masters but have been slightly put off by an estimate of longevity at 2500km for the rear. How do the Paves compare? Do they count as ‘open tubulars’?

  11. @Anjin-san

    @Marko


    Ahh yes, the cobbled configuration. When I get my ass handed to me in Belgium at least my bike will look cool.

    Beauty in the form of a bike. How do the Pave tires ride? Are they appropriate to use as training tires?

    Big fat Carbone right there! Super nice. My next upgrade!

  12. @gravity bob

    @Oli, @Frank, This was my holy grail of Bianchi frames from the ’90s; the Ti Mega Tube.

    I found this for sale in a cycling forum and picked it up around 2004. The celeste decals were pretty beat up so I spent hours hand repainting them. Amazingly Bianchi USA had touch up paint that matched the decal color almost perfectly; from a few feet away you couldn’t see the minor difference in shade. I built it up and rode it; Record/Chorus 10spd gruppo, Ouzo Pro fork, and Nucleon tubulars… what a ride! Ultimately I could never get comfortable on the frame. It’s a size 55 and I need 57 for Bianchi. I sold it a few years ago and would grab another in my size if I could find one.
    Another unique thing about this frame is that it’s 1 of 100 produced. In 1997 Bianchi could not supply the demand for Ti Mega Tube frames in the US. So Bianchi Italy authorized Bianchi USA to go to Litespeed and have them make 100 Ti Mega Tube frames. That’s why it has a natural ti finish with celeste decals, not the standard celeste paint with dark blue decals. My team at the time was sponsored by Bianchi USA (and the president of Bianchi USA was a member) so we had several of these in our ranks. When these came out I was “stuck” with my EL/OS as a replacement for my Minimax. I never heard of or saw any problems with this version of the Ti Mega Tube.
    Probably the Bianchi frame Oli and I should have been using rather than torturing lightweight nivacrom steel frames with our svelte statures…

    Amazingly cool. My second Cycling Sensei, Dan Casebeer at Grand Performance in St. Paul, had one of those in celeste (so not from your limited production, but from the actual product line, if I’m not confused on this) – unfortunately I believe they were prone to cracking as many Bianchi’s were in those days, and his cracked. But it lasted him long enough to wait to upgrade to an XLEV2 with the fatter 1 1/8 in steerer. I watched him solo away from the field over and over and over again on that bike, loaded with Zipp 404 tubbies. He made it look so easy, in my first race, I just went to the front like him and pushed on the pedals, expecting the same effect he had, which was that he ended up solo. Unfortunately for me, I just wound up towing the bunch along slightly faster than they were going previously.

    I digress, that was one hottttttt bike.

  13. @Nate
    Gracias. 24s might be a good compromise, but the idea of riding some fat (comfy) 27s has a certain allure. Decision, decisions.

  14. @Chris
    That’s the sort of gluing background I have as well. More thin coats better than few thick coats — like many glues. It’s a lot like rubber cement. There are good instructions and info in this link as well.

    @James
    They fit my definition of “open tubulars,” i.e., the Open Pave is basically the same 320 tpi casing in a clincher format instead of a tubular as the Pave tubular. By comparison they are not quite a supple as the Open Corsa/Corsa but are more durable. I’ve ridden them through 2 California winters (such as they are) and they still have plenty of life left. But I probably haven’t put all that many kms on them in any event.

  15. Another question: the Open Paves have an extremely high thread count but weigh in quite heavy (hence their durability/puncture resistance?) but a tire like the Diamante Radiale Pro has a lower thread count and also weighs less. I understand that a high thread count can mean smoother ride (and lower rolling resistance?) but at what point would the smoothness be offset by weight or does that just depend on one’s priorities? Sorry to get bogged down in these details…

  16. @Nate

    @Chris
    That’s the sort of gluing background I have as well. More thin coats better than few thick coats “” like many glues. It’s a lot like rubber cement. There are good instructions and info in this link as well.
    @James
    They fit my definition of “open tubulars,” i.e., the Open Pave is basically the same 320 tpi casing in a clincher format instead of a tubular as the Pave tubular. By comparison they are not quite a supple as the Open Corsa/Corsa but are more durable. I’ve ridden them through 2 California winters (such as they are) and they still have plenty of life left. But I probably haven’t put all that many kms on them in any event.

    I’ll be hung out to dry by Oli and a few others around here but I’m a big fan of 3M Fast Tack automotive trim adhesive. I’ve never had a tubbie roll off and it’s less expensive.

  17. @scaler911

    @Nate

    @Chris
    That’s the sort of gluing background I have as well. More thin coats better than few thick coats “” like many glues. It’s a lot like rubber cement. There are good instructions and info in this link as well.
    @James
    They fit my definition of “open tubulars,” i.e., the Open Pave is basically the same 320 tpi casing in a clincher format instead of a tubular as the Pave tubular. By comparison they are not quite a supple as the Open Corsa/Corsa but are more durable. I’ve ridden them through 2 California winters (such as they are) and they still have plenty of life left. But I probably haven’t put all that many kms on them in any event.

    I’ll be hung out to dry by Oli and a few others around here but I’m a big fan of 3M Fast Tack automotive trim adhesive. I’ve never had a tubbie roll off and it’s less expensive.

    Never tried that one, but I have now done 4 or 5 tubular tires with Vittoria’s Mastik product and am a very happy camper. I have settled on three thin coats on the wheel and four on the tire (the last applied 10 or 15 minutes prior to mounting) making sure I cover the whole wheel surface and mounting strip on the tire. I usually let each coat dry 3 or 4 hours before applying the next (not sure if that is too much or too little time, but it has worked so far).

    When I first thought of mounting a tub myself I was pretty apprehensive, but after getting my Sensei to talk me through the first one I realized its a piece of cake- but technique definitely counts!

  18. @Anjin-san

    @scaler911

    @Nate

    @Chris
    That’s the sort of gluing background I have as well. More thin coats better than few thick coats “” like many glues. It’s a lot like rubber cement. There are good instructions and info in this link as well.
    @James
    They fit my definition of “open tubulars,” i.e., the Open Pave is basically the same 320 tpi casing in a clincher format instead of a tubular as the Pave tubular. By comparison they are not quite a supple as the Open Corsa/Corsa but are more durable. I’ve ridden them through 2 California winters (such as they are) and they still have plenty of life left. But I probably haven’t put all that many kms on them in any event.

    I’ll be hung out to dry by Oli and a few others around here but I’m a big fan of 3M Fast Tack automotive trim adhesive. I’ve never had a tubbie roll off and it’s less expensive.

    Never tried that one, but I have now done 4 or 5 tubular tires with Vittoria’s Mastik product and am a very happy camper. I have settled on three thin coats on the wheel and four on the tire (the last applied 10 or 15 minutes prior to mounting) making sure I cover the whole wheel surface and mounting strip on the tire. I usually let each coat dry 3 or 4 hours before applying the next (not sure if that is too much or too little time, but it has worked so far).
    When I first thought of mounting a tub myself I was pretty apprehensive, but after getting my Sensei to talk me through the first one I realized its a piece of cake- but technique definitely counts!

    I’ve not tried another product, but use the same method. The first time I glued up a set under the watchful eye of my Dutch Sensei Hans (who I could only understand about every third word he said), I was super nervous about riding them. First corner l got all freaked, worried about how well carbon would adhere to pavement when they rolled off. Never happened. But, gluing is a exercise in patience for me, something that I sorely lack.

  19. @frank

    Thanks – I wish I could find a 57cm in good shape.

    What made this version so desirable was that it was made from titanium sourced by Litespeed and made by Litespeed in their Tennessee factory to Bianchi’s spec. Litespeed did a top notch job on these and they were trouble free. The real Reparto Corsa Ti Mega tubes were sourced (if I remember correctly) with Sandvik titanium from Russia. Yes, the bane of those glorious ’90s Reparto Corsa frames was their notoriety for cracking.

    Once my EL/OS gave way at the seat tube/bottom bracket lug I upgraded to the just released 1998 Shot Pin XL Mega Tube which was only offered in the celeste/yellow Pantani replica finish (albeit with a painted to match Profile BRC fork and not a Time Equipe fork like Il Pirata sported). That frame was the precursor to the EV2. Awesome frame but there was a manufacturing defect with the cable stops on the down tube. Pretty much every Shot Pin XL Mega Tube cracked, or will crack, on the bottom of the down tube below or behind the cable stops. I sold my Shot Pin XL before it cracked, the new owner called me a few months later; it cracked. Props to Bianchi USA for giving him a replacement frame even though he was the second owner and didn’t have the original receipt.

    I stayed away from Bianchi for a few years because I was tired of having to warranty my frame every 2 years… In 2002 I went back (read DEEP team discount price) for an EV2 Olympic model: Again this one retired prematurely; when I pulled it out of the box and unwrapped the head tube, the top headset bearing race had been improperly installed at the factory causing a spiral fracture half way down the head tube. Insta-warranty yielded me a Carbon XL; the first generation with inexplicably and purposely blurred graphics and was the mold for the silver/white L’una model:

    This turned out to be my last Bianchi frame. I held on to the Carbon XL for maybe two years before selling it. The seat tube inside diameter was slightly over the spec’d 27.2mm which was a shimming nightmare and I was always chasing creaks and pops. Plus, the frame looked much more spectacular than it rode; I imagine I know what it feels like to ride a frame made of bamboo…

    Of course due to the seduction of symbols and pull of nostalgia I would gladly own and ride a Bianchi Reparto Corsa steel frame again. Their geometry works well for me and I like the classic look of their ’90s era frames. The ride on my EL/OS was sublime and the natural Ti Mega Tube remains a personal grail bicycle frame.

    Locally the natural finish Ti Mega Tube model was dubbed the “Bob Wong Bianchi.” Bob was a standout masters racer and contemporary of Pineapple Bob. Bob Wong was a mentor and huge role model for me in cycling. I watched in awe as he ruled the Masters 45+ field in crits, often against the USPS Masters Team, many times on his trademark bike; a natural finish Ti Mega Tube with Spinergy Rev-X wheels. He too made it look easy, way too easy. Especially as I fell off the back of his wheel during sprints on team training rides.

  20. @gravity bob

    @frank
    Thanks – I wish I could find a 57cm in good shape.
    What made this version so desirable was that it was made from titanium sourced by Litespeed and made by Litespeed in their Tennessee factory to Bianchi’s spec. Litespeed did a top notch job on these and they were trouble free. The real Reparto Corsa Ti Mega tubes were sourced (if I remember correctly) with Sandvik titanium from Russia. Yes, the bane of those glorious ’90s Reparto Corsa frames was their notoriety for cracking.
    Once my EL/OS gave way at the seat tube/bottom bracket lug I upgraded to the just released 1998 Shot Pin XL Mega Tube which was only offered in the celeste/yellow Pantani replica finish (albeit with a painted to match Profile BRC fork and not a Time Equipe fork like Il Pirata sported). That frame was the precursor to the EV2. Awesome frame but there was a manufacturing defect with the cable stops on the down tube. Pretty much every Shot Pin XL Mega Tube cracked, or will crack, on the bottom of the down tube below or behind the cable stops. I sold my Shot Pin XL before it cracked, the new owner called me a few months later; it cracked. Props to Bianchi USA for giving him a replacement frame even though he was the second owner and didn’t have the original receipt.
    I stayed away from Bianchi for a few years because I was tired of having to warranty my frame every 2 years… In 2002 I went back (read DEEP team discount price) for an EV2 Olympic model: Again this one retired prematurely; when I pulled it out of the box and unwrapped the head tube, the top headset bearing race had been improperly installed at the factory causing a spiral fracture half way down the head tube. Insta-warranty yielded me a Carbon XL; the first generation with inexplicably and purposely blurred graphics and was the mold for the silver/white L’una model:

    This turned out to be my last Bianchi frame. I held on to the Carbon XL for maybe two years before selling it. The seat tube inside diameter was slightly over the spec’d 27.2mm which was a shimming nightmare and I was always chasing creaks and pops. Plus, the frame looked much more spectacular than it rode; I imagine I know what it feels like to ride a frame made of bamboo…
    Of course due to the seduction of symbols and pull of nostalgia I would gladly own and ride a Bianchi Reparto Corsa steel frame again. Their geometry works well for me and I like the classic look of their ’90s era frames. The ride on my EL/OS was sublime and the natural Ti Mega Tube remains a personal grail bicycle frame.
    Locally the natural finish Ti Mega Tube model was dubbed the “Bob Wong Bianchi.” Bob was a standout masters racer and contemporary of Pineapple Bob. Bob Wong was a mentor and huge role model for me in cycling. I watched in awe as he ruled the Masters 45+ field in crits, often against the USPS Masters Team, many times on his trademark bike; a natural finish Ti Mega Tube with Spinergy Rev-X wheels. He too made it look easy, way too easy. Especially as I fell off the back of his wheel during sprints on team training rides.

    See; Now that should have been an article right there. I’ve had a Bianchi or 3 over the years, and they were all steel frames. I figured out that they never really fit me just right, so I didn’t get into the trend of getting a Ti or later, carbon frame set. Never had a problem with cracks (but then I weighed all of 67K soaking wet). But, still, when I came back to riding I really thought about getting one. It’s Italian, it’s Celeste, it’s a frackin’ Bianchi.

  21. @James
    The weight on the Paves might make the wheel a tad slower to spin up. Haven’t ridden the Diamantes; in nice weather I ride Corsas which are also 320 tpi, supple as hell, lighter, and roll and corner beautifully.

    @scaler911
    @Rob also swears by the FastTack. I did some research online because I like to have skin on my body, I’m not a tiny grimpeur and I like bombing twisty descents. Some engineering types at KU did some research into tubular adhesives and found that the Vittoria glue is best, followed a bit by Conti. The Fast Tack was quite a bit worse, although mitigated a lot if you used it in a manner similar to other tubular glues.

  22. @Chris
    Chris I’d only add that you shouldn’t really wait after you’re done with your final coat of glue on the rim,especially if it’s the first time you’re doing it.The reason is that when you begin to spread the glue starting at the valve,by the time you make your way back to the valve,the glue will be sticky enough to immediately stretch the tire over the rim.That goes especially if you’re working in a well ventilated area or outside.That will leave you some more time to align the tire perfectly.Once the tube is on the rim I’d say you have probably good 5 mins.to align the tire so keep that in mind.It’s not super glue however once the tire is on concentrate and work fast.The longer you wait,the harder it becomes to move the tire around.Once you’re happy with the alignment pump-up a bit more(90-100 PSI)and roll the tire against the clean floor few times,especially the valve area.That way you will make sure the tubular sits well.After that pump-up to max.or just below(I always do around 150 PSI)and let it cure for 20-24 hours.You can probably ride a bit earlier than that but I’d recommend to be patient.

    Before you begin your final coat of glue on the rim make sure you’ve got everything ready when needed.By this I mean pre-stretched,pre-glued,slightly inflated tubular,good pump,cloth or rag,acetone,apron or old clothing(you don’t wanna end up with a mastik one residue on your best jeans),something to place on the floor while stretching the tire(your kitchen floor tiles will do,by the way awesome kitchen),anything that will keep the rim clean when placed on the ground will do,open beer to admire your work immediately after you’re done.Prepare well and the job will go smooth.

  23. @James
    James it is really hard to say how fast any tire would wear as it all depends on many factors like your weight,the tire pressure you ride on,the quality of the roads etc.In terms of Vittorias you may find some answers here

    http://www.vittoria.com/tech/faq/

    Also don’t be fooled by open tubular name.It sounds better than clincher I guess however it’s just another clincher tire.

  24. @Chris

    @Nate

    @Chris
    Not sure how much gluing you’ve done…

    Model planes and bits of coloured tissue paper, loads. Tyres, none.
    But you’ve got to start somewhere and 180km across northern France seems like as good a place as any.
    Whilst I might be out of my depth here, @Tommy’s advice comes across as being authentic and any thing with @Oli’s seal of approval is good enough for me. Thanks for your advice also.

    Here’s some pretty solid guidance for gluing tubulars (except maybe using Benzene instead of Acetone for cleaning up glue). The mechanic makes it look ridiculously simple; and if you do it incorrectly, he will show up at your door…

  25. @TommyTubolare, @gravity bob

    Thanks for all the info and tips. I get the wheels back from the builder today so hopefully I’ll get the old glue off tonight and a first layer of clue on.

    @TommyTubolare

    Prepare well and the job will go smooth.

    The words of a wise man.

    @TommyTubolare

    Before you begin your final coat of glue on the rim make sure you’ve got everything ready… …open beer to admire your work immediately after you’re done.

    Even wiser words, as a younger man I would have started with a beer.

  26. @Chris
    Are you concerned that you’ll have to put your A&E skills into practice when I roll a tub at full gas on the cobbles?

    Of course I’m going to try them out before the Tour. It’s the rugby club sportsman’s diner on Saturday (should be very entertaining, all you can drink, Dean Richards is the guest speaker and Roger Dakin is the MC – very funny un-PC ex England hockey player), but after I’ve recovered from that I’ll start training for the Keepers Tour.

  27. @Dr C
    That last comment was aimed at you not me, what an ‘rse I am.

    @Dr C

    Locked and loaded

    Some green on my machine

    Bit keen isn’t it, setting up your own personal cobbled section?

  28. Tried gluing my Paves onto the Nemeses with mixed success. Did the front first and when I’d got the tub onto the rim I went to give it a bit more air and the valve core came out when I unscrewed the pump head. By the time I’d got it back in securely, the glue was getting to solid to be able to adjust the way in which it was sat on the rim which wasn’t terribly even. Fucking ‘rse!

    I blame Michael Jackson. The TV was on in the other room and some docudrama about him came on. You can’t do zen shit like that to Michael Jackson. Properly fucking fucked with my shit that did. What’s the best way forward, a bit more glue and pop it on now or wait 12 hours and try it again?

    The rear went on well though.

  29. @Chris
    Sod. Looking at it in the cold light of morning, whilst the rear went on OK, it’s on the wrong way round, the label is not on the drive side!

  30. @Chris
    The best way now is to refresh the rim by doing one thin coat and stretching the pre glued tire again.Make sure the tubular doesn’t have thick patches and pieces of glue on it.If it does remove them just by scraping it off,do not use solvent like acetone to clean the tubular base.
    If you care to take off the tube for the rear wheel do the same as for the front.Remember that this >>>>>>>>>>>>>> is forward.By having label of Vittoria tubular on the drive side you take care of the direction.
    Just take it easy,remount it and enjoy riding.

  31. @Chris
    Oh yeah by stretching I mean mount it directly on the rim again after you’re done with fresh thin coat of glue.Don’t wait,stretch the tubular over the rim and immediately begin aligning process.

  32. @TommyTubolare
    Just tried again as per your instructions, went on a treat. Thanks.

    I’m going to leave the rear as is for the moment but flip it round next weekend.

  33. @TommyTubolare
    Yeah, the Pave’ tubulars do NOT have directional arrows like their other models. Trust me, I have looked super close. @Chris

    @Chris
    Sod. Looking at it in the cold light of morning, whilst the rear went on OK, it’s on the wrong way round, the label is not on the drive side!

    I did the EXACT same thing!!! Fortunately I realized it super quick and justpulled it off and switched it around. Not really sure how much difference it would make anyways?

  34. @Buck Rogers

    @TommyTubolare

    @Buck RogersFirst of all here: ‘That way you will avoid glue entering the valve holes’ in my previous post I meant spoke holes.You don’t want the glue there.Couldn’t edit,sorry mate.
    In terms of pressure when curing your glued tires max. is not needed.I think 110-120 PSI will be plenty.

    Also, for anyone that is as much of a dumbass as me, make sure that you have the tread going in the correct direction when you glue on the tire on your rear wheel. I realized after getting the rear tire all glued on an hour ago that I had glued it on in the wrong direction. Fortunately, I also had a bit of an up-and-down radial wobble so I pulled the tire back off and am now waiting to remount it in the correct direction and with, hopefully, equal radial stretch!

    Front wheel was glued yesterday and looks perfect, if I do say so myself! Hopefully the rear one will turn out as well tonight before I am done!

    See Chris, here’s the evidence in a post a month or so ago right on this thread!

  35. @Buck Rogers
    Yes Buck agreed.Corsa Evo CX does for example.That’s not a problem.That is why I mentioned that as long as Vittoria label is on the drive side you don’t need to look for no arrow.And by this >>>>>>>>>> I mean forward direction of the tire threads.

  36. @Buck Rogers, @TommyTubolare
    The annoying bit about it was that I’d read both of your posts about the tyre’s direction, I’d worked out that there were no specific arrows (a la Evo CXs) but that regardless of whether the design was directional or not any Velominati worth his electrolytes would want the labels on the drive side.

    Regrettably, though, the whole bad karma brought on by unwanted Michael Jackson tunes and the errant valve core proved too distracting.

  37. First ride on them tonight, a 2 x 20 session on the rollers, fuck me, what a difference! Previously, I was dying at the end of each interval, 100 – 105rpm in 50 x 16 was the best I’d managed but tonight, in the same gearing, I was in pretty good shape and feeling comfortable enough to go for a few smaller cogs over the last few minutes of the second effort.

    I’ve not ridden seriously for two weeks due to work and family so it wasn’t me. The tubs were pumped up to 130psi rather than 120psi for the clinchers on the old wheels. How much difference the super smooth feeling Dura-Ace hubs make, I don’t know but the whole set up felt awesome.

    I can’t wait to get out on the road now. I’ll try and drag myself out of bed at 5am tomorrow morning for a quick 32km.

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