European Posterior Tubular (EPTB)

The European Posterior Tubular, tied on by a toe strap. This ain't no <a href=
EPMS." width="620" height="465" srcset="https://www.velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/EuropeanPosteriorTubular-620x465.png 620w, https://www.velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/EuropeanPosteriorTubular-1024x768.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 620px) 100vw, 620px" /> The European Posterior Tubular, tied on by a toe strap. This ain’t no EPMS.

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.

[dmalbum path=”/velominati.com/content/Photo Galleries/[email protected]/Folding a Tub/”/]

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199 Replies to “European Posterior Tubular (EPTB)”

  1. @unversio

    @frank

    @Ccos

    @Dr C

    So has anyone actually changed a flatted tub on a ride? I have yet to try to strip a tub of a rim, but looking t the Zipp video, it looks like the sort of thing you can only do after a hearty breakfast on a sunny morning off

    I have three sets of tubulars on the go, and a can of Zefal 100ml – if I flat on a club ride, my plan is to dive headfirst into a hedge and feign a neck injury – I live quite close to the local A+E, so reckon having made a spontaneous recovery en route, the ambulance drivers will drop me off at the house to save the paperwork

    Otherwise I like your tyrigamy @Frank

    Yep, tubulars were all we rode in the 80″²s. We didn’t have EPMS‘s then: all you had was the tubi under the seat and a frame pump. It isn’t as hard as you think to get that sucker off. Of course that was on aluminum rims so you could be as rough as you wanted.

    That said, I have yet to pry the buggers off my cross wheelset and the Belgian tape is causing me some regret.

    I’ve never needed any tool to get my tires off, but that doesn’t appear to be universally true.

    Cement (Schlauchreifenkitt) may have been better back then “” some sort of Golden Era.

    Can you imagine how much more of a climbing badass LeMan would have been had he had the little girl arms of the modern pro?

  2. @Cogfather

    @Nate Very cool. I have several very old friends who live in that area. I’m in Sacto myself. Next time I go down to visit, I’ll msg you & we can see if Gianni’s right about you ripping my legs off!

    For sure.  We may have an East Bay Cogal before too long — stay tuned for details.

  3. @frank

    @Ccos

    @Dr C

    So has anyone actually changed a flatted tub on a ride? I have yet to try to strip a tub of a rim, but looking t the Zipp video, it looks like the sort of thing you can only do after a hearty breakfast on a sunny morning off

    I have three sets of tubulars on the go, and a can of Zefal 100ml – if I flat on a club ride, my plan is to dive headfirst into a hedge and feign a neck injury – I live quite close to the local A+E, so reckon having made a spontaneous recovery en route, the ambulance drivers will drop me off at the house to save the paperwork

    Otherwise I like your tyrigamy @Frank

    Yep, tubulars were all we rode in the 80″²s. We didn’t have EPMS‘s then: all you had was the tubi under the seat and a frame pump. It isn’t as hard as you think to get that sucker off. Of course that was on aluminum rims so you could be as rough as you wanted.

    That said, I have yet to pry the buggers off my cross wheelset and the Belgian tape is causing me some regret.

    I’ve never needed any tool to get my tires off, but that doesn’t appear to be universally true.

    On the other hand though, he didn’t need to worry about carrying a pump around to inflate the new tyre…


    How to Fix a Flat from 9W magazine on Vimeo.

  4. 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…

  5. @wiscot

    @pistard

    @wiscot I think it’s a track bike. Bars look like 3T Sphinx:

    I believe you’re right! Damn weird looking bars though . . .

    They look good when the right person rides them. FU, UCI, who needs Spinachi bars when you have these:

    Though that double curve thing… hmm.

  6. @therealpeel

    @frank, I need to brush up on the difference of looking pro vs looking fantastic. My avid but not so detailed reading of previous post left the impression that they were basically the same thing.

    @haldy @nsm500 and all others still on steel (and other alloys) thanks for preserving beauty.

    You are quite welcome! I just Love, love, love how my steel bike sing to me…I cannot await the arrival of the Pegoretti and Richard Sachs I have on order!

  7. First, I will repeat my position that a wedge pack is not a saddle bag.

    Secondly, I have displaced my Roubaix with a Spectrum lugged steel frame.  I can guarantee you that modern steel is light and performs.  As an aside: I now ride Speedplay pedals after reading a Reverence post and trying them out…  Possibly the best cleat/pedal system ever.

  8. @Jay

    First, I will repeat my position that a wedge pack is not a saddle bag.

    Secondly, I have displaced my Roubaix with a Spectrum lugged steel frame. I can guarantee you that modern steel is light and performs. As an aside: I now ride Speedplay pedals after reading a Reverence post and trying them out… Possibly the best cleat/pedal system ever.

    Awesome did you get to visit The Barn?

  9. How hard is it to glue tubulars, seriously? I’m tempted to take the leap, but don’t want frustration to intrude on my rose-coloured cycling view.

    How sticky is the glue when you carry a spare, pre-glued?

    It’d be nice to be a lighter wheel, physically and rotationally.

  10. @Nate

    @Haldy once you have a bike from one master it sure is tempting to ride the work of another isn’t it?

    Very much so!!..I am blessed in the fact that I have worked within the industry for the past 20 years and have ridden a great many bikes built by the various masters. I was ecstatic the day that Sachs accepted my order since he has pretty much closed his books, and had the pleasure of having Pegoretti do a personal sizing at Interbike 2 years ago. Quite the experience, I had to “convince” him I was worthy of the model frame I wanted as he doesn’t make many of them.

  11. @Steve G it really isn’t that difficult. Thin coats of glue on the rim and base tape at 12-24 hr intervals. Put the tire on, line it up, pump it up, leave it to set up overnight and away you go. The glue on the spare is pretty hard — it is a contact cement — and folded properly does not make a mess.  Choose nice tires.

  12. @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Haldy once you have a bike from one master it sure is tempting to ride the work of another isn’t it?

    Very much so!!..I am blessed in the fact that I have worked within the industry for the past 20 years and have ridden a great many bikes built by the various masters. I was ecstatic the day that Sachs accepted my order since he has pretty much closed his books, and had the pleasure of having Pegoretti do a personal sizing at Interbike 2 years ago. Quite the experience, I had to “convince” him I was worthy of the model frame I wanted as he doesn’t make many of them.

    Very cool. Which peg is that? I have an older aluminum one I bring out for special occasions.

  13. @Nate

    @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Haldy once you have a bike from one master it sure is tempting to ride the work of another isn’t it?

    Very much so!!..I am blessed in the fact that I have worked within the industry for the past 20 years and have ridden a great many bikes built by the various masters. I was ecstatic the day that Sachs accepted my order since he has pretty much closed his books, and had the pleasure of having Pegoretti do a personal sizing at Interbike 2 years ago. Quite the experience, I had to “convince” him I was worthy of the model frame I wanted as he doesn’t make many of them.

    Very cool. Which peg is that? I have an older aluminum one I bring out for special occasions.

    He is building me a Big Leg Emma.

  14. @The Grande Fondue

     

    They look good when the right person rides them. FU, UCI, who needs Spinachi bars when you have these:

    Though that double curve thing… hmm.

    Yeah…Cam Meyer certainly looks a little bit better on them than I do…

  15. @Cogfather I’ve run tubeless ready rim, Ultegra wheel set, with Specialized tubeless Roubaix tires, w/o sealant. I got a flat. Fortunately 1) I was by myself so that no one would have had a laugh watching me try to get the damn tire back on the rim and 2) I was within walking distance of destination because I pinched the tube getting the damn tire on with an iron. I’m not a convert. And am riding my current HED +  wheelsets, though tubeless ready, with tubes. With the wide rim bed at 25mm I can run lower pressures. Plus I  can roll a tire off/on in seconds by hand to change a tube when flat.

    Tubeless on the 29ers on the mtn bike most certainly. No ands, ifs, buts, or doubts. No brainer. Road bike? I don’t see it.

  16. @Nate

    @Haldy sweet. May I encourage you to let Dario go buck wild with the paint?

    When he asked me what color…I stalled trying to run through all the paint scheme’s I’d seen in my head. Seeing me freeze up..he says- “Pink?…how about Pink?…I will do you a special pink”, so now the order form reads- Dario’s Special Pink.

  17. @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Haldy sweet. May I encourage you to let Dario go buck wild with the paint?

    When he asked me what color…I stalled trying to run through all the paint scheme’s I’d seen in my head. Seeing me freeze up..he says- “Pink?…how about Pink?…I will do you a special pink”, so now the order form reads- Dario’s Special Pink.

    oh he’ll yeah. I wish I spoke Italian because english isn’t up to the task of endorsing that plan with sufficient gusto.

  18. @Nate

    @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Haldy sweet. May I encourage you to let Dario go buck wild with the paint?

    When he asked me what color…I stalled trying to run through all the paint scheme’s I’d seen in my head. Seeing me freeze up..he says- “Pink?…how about Pink?…I will do you a special pink”, so now the order form reads- Dario’s Special Pink.

    oh he’ll yeah. I wish I spoke Italian because english isn’t up to the task of endorsing that plan with sufficient gusto.

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

  19. @Cogfather

    Why everyone does not go tubeless defies logic to me.

    Because it’s shit! Besides that, the list is long. It makes sense on low pressure wheels such as MTB where it is popular, but on high pressure road tyres.

  20. @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Haldy

    @Nate

    @Haldy sweet. May I encourage you to let Dario go buck wild with the paint?

    When he asked me what color…I stalled trying to run through all the paint scheme’s I’d seen in my head. Seeing me freeze up..he says- “Pink?…how about Pink?…I will do you a special pink”, so now the order form reads- Dario’s Special Pink.

    oh he’ll yeah. I wish I spoke Italian because english isn’t up to the task of endorsing that plan with sufficient gusto.

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

    Whether or not you can explain it, I can picture it.  Fuck yes.

  21. Meh.
    I think if one argues that an EPMS looks ugly and spoils the look of the bike, and therefore tools and spares have to go in the jersey pocket, then the same applies to a spare tub. The latter is actually uglier, in my opinion.
    It doesn’t really look pro, because pros (when training) probably ride clinchers and use EPMS, and (when racing) have support vehicles and domestiques to provide spare wheels. 
    Does it look fantastic? A matter of opinion, but I don’t think it does. Let’s put it another way – if there was a nice alternative way of carrying the tub out of sight, would you deliberately strap it to the saddle? Is it really aesthetically pleasing to you, or are you just keen to make a ‘look, I ride tubs’ statement?
    It does look retro, so if your machine is period-correct in all other respects, then fair enough. Otherwise, it’s just an EPMS and an excuse. 
    I did the tubs thing years ago before decent clinchers really existed, but these days, I reckon a Vittoria 320tpi tyre and latex tube on a 23mm rim gets so close that I can’t justify the extra commitment.  Chapeau to those who do it, of course, but please chaps, get that spare tyre out of sight. Ta.
  22. @frank

    @Chris

    @Steve H Very tidy. What sort of tubular is it?

    I use a Vittioria Corsa which doesn’t fold down anywhere as neat as @franks or yours but it still fits under the saddle – just needs a strap under the saddle and one round the post.

    So doesn’t your leg rub on it then?

    It’s never been a problem even on those occasions when I slide back a bit further in the saddle looking for a bit of a change from my usual seated position.  It’s no wider than the saddle is above the seat post.

    I used a couple of the rubber bands that came with my Garmin to hold it together so it’s as tight as it can be for a tyre of that size.

    I quite like the idea of something of a slightly heavier duty nature so that if I need it, it’ll have a chance of getting me home on sort of shitty road surface that that seem to be destroying my tyres. A light weight TT tubular would seem to up the risk factor.

  23. @Nate

    @Teocalli

    @Nate

    ….

    A photo to make Gianni proud…………

    I’m feeling a bit dense “” how so?

    Ref Gianni’s article a while back that he was surprise was not referenced by Frank…………

  24. @Geraint Ah, logic and rational thought.  In an argument about the Rules and bicycling aesthetics, that’s almost sweet!

    It does look retro, so if your machine is period-correct in all other respects, then fair enough. Otherwise, it’s just an EPMS and an excuse.
     
    Harsh, but quite possibly fair.
  25. @Geraint My take on the no EPMS argument is that through some careful consideration of what you actually need, you can fit your shit into jersey pockets without them bulging and sagging to the point of ridiculousness. It’s a discipline that forces efficiency both in what you carry but also in your maintenance and it’s valid over almost any distance (excluding sandal wearing beardy audaxing).

    If you can do that then there is no need for an EPMS to sully the lines of your bike.

    Spare tubulars on the other hand are a bit bulkier and threaten to overload a jersey pocket. For me, there isn’t a more efficient way of carrying a spare tubular than under the saddle and I don’t see why I should hide it away in an EPMS as it’s not going to suffer from road spray, it’s going to corrode as my multi tool would.

    As for the ‘look, I ride tubs’ statement – isn’t that what we have articles like this for?

  26. @frank

    @Ccos

    @Dr C

    So has anyone actually changed a flatted tub on a ride? I have yet to try to strip a tub of a rim, but looking t the Zipp video, it looks like the sort of thing you can only do after a hearty breakfast on a sunny morning off

    I have three sets of tubulars on the go, and a can of Zefal 100ml – if I flat on a club ride, my plan is to dive headfirst into a hedge and feign a neck injury – I live quite close to the local A+E, so reckon having made a spontaneous recovery en route, the ambulance drivers will drop me off at the house to save the paperwork

    Otherwise I like your tyrigamy @Frank

    Yep, tubulars were all we rode in the 80″²s. We didn’t have EPMS‘s then: all you had was the tubi under the seat and a frame pump. It isn’t as hard as you think to get that sucker off. Of course that was on aluminum rims so you could be as rough as you wanted.

    That said, I have yet to pry the buggers off my cross wheelset and the Belgian tape is causing me some regret.

    I’ve never needed any tool to get my tires off, but that doesn’t appear to be universally true.

    Out of an abundance of caution, I tend to over-glue my tubs.  Removing them from the rim by hand results in nasty blisters on the thumbs, and often rips the base tape right off.

    As such, I carry a tiny multi-tool that has an equally tiny knife in it.  A couple of quick cuts plus few hard yanks and the tire is off the rim in 30 seconds flat.

  27. @Chris

    @Geraint My take on the no EPMS argument is that through some careful consideration of what you actually need, you can fit your shit into jersey pockets without them bulging and sagging to the point of ridiculousness. It’s a discipline that forces efficiency both in what you carry but also in your maintenance and it’s valid over almost any distance (excluding sandal wearing beardy audaxing).

    If you can do that then there is no need for an EPMS to sully the lines of your bike.

    Spare tubulars on the other hand are a bit bulkier and threaten to overload a jersey pocket. For me, there isn’t a more efficient way of carrying a spare tubular than under the saddle and I don’t see why I should hide it away in an EPMS as it’s not going to suffer from road spray, it’s going to corrode as my multi tool would.

    As for the ‘look, I ride tubs’ statement – isn’t that what we have articles like this for?

    Popping the tub into a water bottle on the seat tube is a good option for rides that don’t require lots of fluids.

  28. @antihero

    Out of an abundance of caution, I tend to over-glue my tubs. Removing them from the rim by hand results in nasty blisters on the thumbs, and often rips the base tape right off.

    As such, I carry a tiny multi-tool that has an equally tiny knife in it. A couple of quick cuts plus few hard yanks and the tire is off the rim in 30 seconds flat.

    I tend towards over-glueing as well. I’d rather struggle with a tubular on the side of the road than come off when the thing parts with the rim. I read somewhere, could have been on here, that if you leave a small unglued or lightly glued section about an inch long you’ll be able to get a tyre lever in to start prising it off. I’ve always gone for a gap non wider than a Pedro’s tyre lever and that’s worked for me but I don’t think I would have been held up for too long if I hadn’t. Once you get it started they tend to come off fairly easily.

    @antihero

    Popping the tub into a water bottle on the seat tube is a good option for rides that don’t require lots of fluids.

    True, but completely useless when you’re already packing a third bottle into your jersey.

  29. @Haldy

    @The Grande Fondue

    They look good when the right person rides them. FU, UCI, who needs Spinachi bars when you have these:

    Though that double curve thing… hmm.

    Yeah…Cam Meyer certainly looks a little bit better on them than I do…

    I think the UCI has banned them, haven’t they? There were a lot of them for sale round here about 12 months ago.

  30. @Geraint

    Meh.
    I think if one argues that an EPMS looks ugly and spoils the look of the bike, and therefore tools and spares have to go in the jersey pocket, then the same applies to a spare tub. The latter is actually uglier, in my opinion.
    It doesn’t really look pro, because pros (when training) probably ride clinchers and use EPMS, and (when racing) have support vehicles and domestiques to provide spare wheels.
    Does it look fantastic? A matter of opinion, but I don’t think it does. Let’s put it another way – if there was a nice alternative way of carrying the tub out of sight, would you deliberately strap it to the saddle? Is it really aesthetically pleasing to you, or are you just keen to make a ‘look, I ride tubs’ statement?
    It does look retro, so if your machine is period-correct in all other respects, then fair enough. Otherwise, it’s just an EPMS and an excuse.
    I did the tubs thing years ago before decent clinchers really existed, but these days, I reckon a Vittoria 320tpi tyre and latex tube on a 23mm rim gets so close that I can’t justify the extra commitment. Chapeau to those who do it, of course, but please chaps, get that spare tyre out of sight. Ta.

    The tubular tyre is a beautiful thing. It is ciclismo and elevates the whole experience to a greater standard. What you are defending is just the daily common place.

  31. @minion

    @Haldy

    @The Grande Fondue

    They look good when the right person rides them. FU, UCI, who needs Spinachi bars when you have these:

    Though that double curve thing… hmm.

    Yeah…Cam Meyer certainly looks a little bit better on them than I do…

    I think the UCI has banned them, haven’t they? There were a lot of them for sale round here about 12 months ago.

    Yup..banned by the UCI, but since my local racing is not UCI I can race them here in our weekly series. The only place where the ban could affect me is when I race at Nationals, but USA Cycling has opted not to enforce that rule at the Masters Nationals level as yet. However just to be safe..I turn up every year with a legal set of bars to swap to if I need too.

  32. @therealpeel

    @frank, I need to brush up on the difference of looking pro vs looking fantastic. My avid but not so detailed reading of previous post left the impression that they were basically the same thing.

    @haldy @nsm500 and all others still on steel (and other alloys) thanks for preserving beauty.

    They can often be interchanged and often are – except when the Pros look like shit. For instance, when they ride with an epms! Or when they wear those scarrfy things.

  33. @therealpeel

    …all others still on steel (Columbus) thanks for preserving beauty.

    Rescuing a valuable Columbus frameset is noteworthy, but continuing the business of taking sprints and staying off the front at times is the real beauty and reward.

  34. @frank

    @therealpeel

    @frank, I need to brush up on the difference of looking pro vs looking fantastic. My avid but not so detailed reading of previous post left the impression that they were basically the same thing.

    @haldy @nsm500 and all others still on steel (and other alloys) thanks for preserving beauty.

    They can often be interchanged and often are – except when the Pros look like shit. For instance, when they ride with an EPMS! Or when they wear those scarrfy things.

    Ahh,the scarfy thing…the instant way of making your Flandrian Best look ridiculous.

  35. @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.

  36. @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.

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