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  1. #1
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    time for tubies?

    I am having a hard time rapping my head around something and wanted some help.

    Everyone raves about running tubular tires, and talk about the benefits of running lower pressures.

    I want a smoother ride, I really take a pounding because I run pretty high pressures for two reasons. One is pinch flats of course. The other is, I hate squishy/ rollie tires in the corners. I am 205 lbs.

    Will tubular tires allow me to drop the pressure some while not feeling squishy in the corners? Its a big investment to just experiment myself

    So lets say I run 40 psi in my clinchers and they don't roll and they don't pinch flat. Is it safe to say I will be able to run 35 psi in a tubular without rolling and without pinching?

    thanks!

  2. #2
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    If i could drop 5 PSI I would be a happy guy so let me know. Also if anyone has a recomendation on a wheel set let me know. I need a disc/ tubular on the budget end of things.

  3. #3
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    Tubulars, you can run lower pressures, but for everyday riding, they are a PIA. I would recommend running tubeless, tubeless compatible rim with a tubeless ready tire and sealant. You can run lower pressures without the worry of pinch flatting, although I still run mine at around 40-45 psi, I dont like the feeling of a squishy tire either.

  4. #4
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    For sure. My plan was to have a set of pit wheels as clinchers anyway. Also I have a roadbike and a rainbike.

    I really think that if I am going to the effort of running a tubeless, I will just do tubular though. Tubeless works great for my 155lb buddy but at 205 I am really afraid of burping.

  5. #5
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    The 'stiffest' tubulars are going to be Clement made by Tufo, they may not be as supple as the finest cotton casings etc, but they will be less squirmy at a given pressure and at clyde size super compliant is really not important. Both Clement and Tufos are 'tubeless' tubulars and I have found they are much more predictable in sealing after a thorn puncture as opposed to the rest of the tubulars on the market with a super thin latex tube inside. There should be no problem with your weight and tubulars assuming you glue them on correctly. Check out Cyclocrossworld and velonews for tutorials on CX specific gluing. Watch all the videos and do it yourself, no big deal it just takes time. Do not pay attention to roadie methods! You have all spring/summer to collect the gear at reasonable prices. My suggestion is to use carbon rims from Nextie or Light-bicycle in the 35-50mm size, cheap, stiff and strong.

    Tubeless is unfortunately still hit and miss for tire/rim compatibility. Seems every other article on CXMagazine touts the arrival of tubeless for CX, but upon reading the articles they have disclaimers about tires fitting rims and one must test to make sure they stay on and you have to mount them days before and test ride them etc. Truth is, the only way it works is for lighter riders and or higher pressures than tubulars. I really have no idea why that part of the industry has take so long. MTB has been churning along for YEARS with good compatibility between tires and rims at similar pressures around the mid 20s. Maybe it is that there is hardly any CX compared to MTB? Now that 'gravel' is getting some attention, and the increase in volume the rim and tire co's will have to get this figured out. I look forward to the day when I can have a pile of tires I can swap around with nothing more than a jug of sealant! In the meantime it is going to be cheap rims glued up with tubulars.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes View Post
    The 'stiffest' tubulars are going to be Clement made by Tufo, they may not be as supple as the finest cotton casings etc, but they will be less squirmy at a given pressure and at clyde size super compliant is really not important. Both Clement and Tufos are 'tubeless' tubulars and I have found they are much more predictable in sealing after a thorn puncture as opposed to the rest of the tubulars on the market with a super thin latex tube inside. There should be no problem with your weight and tubulars assuming you glue them on correctly. Check out Cyclocrossworld and velonews for tutorials on CX specific gluing. Watch all the videos and do it yourself, no big deal it just takes time. Do not pay attention to roadie methods! You have all spring/summer to collect the gear at reasonable prices. My suggestion is to use carbon rims from Nextie or Light-bicycle in the 35-50mm size, cheap, stiff and strong.

    Tubeless is unfortunately still hit and miss for tire/rim compatibility. Seems every other article on CXMagazine touts the arrival of tubeless for CX, but upon reading the articles they have disclaimers about tires fitting rims and one must test to make sure they stay on and you have to mount them days before and test ride them etc. Truth is, the only way it works is for lighter riders and or higher pressures than tubulars. I really have no idea why that part of the industry has take so long. MTB has been churning along for YEARS with good compatibility between tires and rims at similar pressures around the mid 20s. Maybe it is that there is hardly any CX compared to MTB? Now that 'gravel' is getting some attention, and the increase in volume the rim and tire co's will have to get this figured out. I look forward to the day when I can have a pile of tires I can swap around with nothing more than a jug of sealant! In the meantime it is going to be cheap rims glued up with tubulars.
    Perfect. Exactly the information I needed and even answer some questions i haven't thought of yet. Thanks!

  7. #7
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    For actual CX racing, tubulars are nice. If you're riding road, they can actually be more reliable than clinchers (just get something tough like a Vittoria Corsa and use sealant).

    That said, though I still have some CX tubie race wheels, since I've gotten more into gravel **** I've been running Specialized Trigger Pros tubeless. If I were doing it from scratch, I'd do that instead. You can run lower pressure (not quite as low as tubulars), but the real advantage is reliability. I've brushed goat heads out mid ride and had no issues.

    Tubulars have issues too, I use so much glue on mine to prevent roll off, that it can be a trick to get them mounted smoothly. Some tubies (Challenge) never seem to be perfectly round either. It's not a problem in a race where you're just going nuts for forty minutes on varied terrain and are unlikely to notice a hop, but if you're using them anywhere else it can be galling. Do the homework and run tubeless, it's way more versatile.

  8. #8
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    I would never have the guts to ride tubulars anywhere but a CX race course, at least without the sag-van pro treatment!

    In the last few years of running tubies on 5 CX bikes in my family we have bought and mounted a bunch of tires. I really like the Clement as they are MUCH easier to mount round and true. Search around online, I think others have noted the same thing. I think the more robust tubeless casing pulls itself into shape a bit after mounting?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes View Post
    I would never have the guts to ride tubulars anywhere but a CX race course, at least without the sag-van pro treatment!

    In the last few years of running tubies on 5 CX bikes in my family we have bought and mounted a bunch of tires. I really like the Clement as they are MUCH easier to mount round and true. Search around online, I think others have noted the same thing. I think the more robust tubeless casing pulls itself into shape a bit after mounting?
    Well for me it certainly helps that I have been on the PDX for the last two seasons. I am sure it will ride different but I'll have an idea of how they handle. As far as the tubies, they will become my "A" set and for race only. For going to the coffee shop with my wife I'll have the stock alpha 340s that will be here on my new to me superx hi mod. Arriving tomorrow!!!

  10. #10
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by ezweave View Post
    For actual CX racing, tubulars are nice. If you're riding road, they can actually be more reliable than clinchers (just get something tough like a Vittoria Corsa and use sealant).

    That said, though I still have some CX tubie race wheels, since I've gotten more into gravel **** I've been running Specialized Trigger Pros tubeless. If I were doing it from scratch, I'd do that instead. You can run lower pressure (not quite as low as tubulars), but the real advantage is reliability. I've brushed goat heads out mid ride and had no issues.

    Tubulars have issues too, I use so much glue on mine to prevent roll off, that it can be a trick to get them mounted smoothly. Some tubies (Challenge) never seem to be perfectly round either. It's not a problem in a race where you're just going nuts for forty minutes on varied terrain and are unlikely to notice a hop, but if you're using them anywhere else it can be galling. Do the homework and run tubeless, it's way more versatile.
    I have been thinking a bit what said here a bit. I tried tubless. I did a lot of test riding, even race pace at the local park. But the first hard corner in the first race I burped.....I even had the hole shot lol. So I am gunshy and until there is a true proven system I think I will stay away. I just think theres a lot of risk....get up early, drive out to the course, all the gear, entry fee, set up, warm up, flat tire busted day.....You get the point haha. Of course that happens with clinchers or tubular too. But I am not convinced on the tubless for cross yet. Especially for a strong 205 pound guy.

  11. #11
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    The proven tubeless system already exists, it's call a "29er" tubeless wheel. I use them, along with current TLR( tubeless ready) tires that on are the market, never had one fail, although I weigh 170lbs, not 205. Btw, The WTB Cross Boss tires are awesome, semi light, great tread pattern that rolls fast, and stays on the wheel.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    The proven tubeless system already exists, it's call a "29er" tubeless wheel. I use them, along with current TLR( tubeless ready) tires that on are the market, never had one fail, although I weigh 170lbs, not 205. Btw, The WTB Cross Boss tires are awesome, semi light, great tread pattern that rolls fast, and stays on the wheel.
    Unfortunately, thinner tires at low pressures don't work all that well.

    He also mentions a pit bike, implying he's racing. Sorry, but no WTB tire belongs on a CX race bike. No. Just...no.

    To the OP: You can buy chinese carbon tubular rims for cheap on eBay and the like. Check the 29er forum for the retailers that guys are using for their 29er tubeless wheels; most of them have 700c tubular rims and wheels, too.

    If it was my choice, I'd go for a 23mm or wider rim, at 38mm or 50mm, which are the two most common rim depths these days, it seems. You can buy complete wheel sets shipped to your door for <$450, too. If the rear hub sucks, re-lace it to a Hope, DT or something else that fits your budget. My fiancee has been using Chinese carbon 38mm disc clinchers on her road bike for about a year now with no problems, in all weather.

    Death from Below.
    RLTW!

  13. #13
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    The new crop of wide mtb wheels are too wide for narrow 33mm tires, but there are some more XC orientated wheels that work fine and are not much wider, if at all then road or cross wheels. I have no problem racing the WTB tire, although it's not UCI legal being a 35mm tire, but for the rest of us, it is a great tire.
    For racing, and I believe for racing only, a tubular wheel set is the way to go and didn't know until some later posts that the op was using them for racing.

  14. #14
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    Correct, these would be race only.

    The new bike (now being delivered tomorrow according to fedex) comes with stans alpha 340s. These wheels will become my all purpose wheels that really won't get used much. I have a road bike, a fender bike for winter training, an older CX bike that will become the pit bike. And of course a Mt. Bike.

    I was really eyeballing the Boyd selection of wheels.

    And because tubulars will be new to me I am starting the process now if that makes sense. I would rather learn my lessons now then later. Naturally there will be a few park rides after my first glue up.

  15. #15
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    How about latex tubes in clincher tires? Most of the flat resistance offered by tubulars is the latex tube inside, not the different rim shape (note that the profile of tubulars and clinchers is the same, and that pros on tubulars flat all the time). Latex stretches much more than butyl, so it's less likely to pinch or puncture.

    Meanwhile, some clinchers are as supple and grippy as tubulars, but too supple to ever work tubeless. So... what's the advantage of tubeless if you have to use a stiff tire to make it work?

    If you want tubulars, I won't argue. But I'm 180 pounds and can run below 20 psi on most cross courses with 23mm rims and latex tubes. With that same setup I race on gravel at around 30 psi.

  16. #16
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    I hear ya. I did buy some vredtastein (sp) latex tubes. One blew in warm ups the other in the race! Both blew in the same spot, close to the stem.

    Now I am SURE they were just defective but never had a chance to try latex again.

    I can't run them as low as you because of personal preference....I hate squirmy tires in the corners. But I do want to smooth things out a bit if I can. Like I say if I can drop 5 psi without the squirming I would be a happy guy.

    I am *hoping* that a tubular mounted to a nice wide rim would help with this. I want to run 35, not 40.

    Edit: Maybe just a wider clincher rim would do the trick as well. Thinking it will shorten and round out the sidewall a bit. I have been running 20mm wide wheels.

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