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  1. #1
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    Anybody out there running tubular MTB wheels?

    I've seen a few rigs out there sporting them, but they seem terribly impractical. Could the ride quality be that much better than current tubeless set ups? How many options are there for tubular knobbies?

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    Are you asking if people still run tubes??

    I've been riding with tubes for my whole life and have never had a problem with tire selection or with running tubes. I can change tires just as fast on the trail (if not faster) than folks with tubeless setups.

    I'm giving tubless a try with my next wheelbuild, but mostly out of sheer curiosity. I'm NOT looking forward to dealing with sealant, boogers, burping, leaking and everything else that I DON'T have to deal with when running tubes.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

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    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post
    Are you asking if people still run tubes??

    I've been riding with tubes for my whole life and have never had a problem with tire selection or with running tubes. I can change tires just as fast on the trail (if not faster) than folks with tubeless setups.

    I'm giving tubless a try with my next wheelbuild, but mostly out of sheer curiosity. I'm NOT looking forward to dealing with sealant, boogers, burping, leaking and everything else that I DON'T have to deal with when running tubes.
    No, no. I said "tubular." Like these.

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    Oooh . . . nm.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Wing View Post
    I've seen a few rigs out there sporting them, but they seem terribly impractical. Could the ride quality be that much better than current tubeless set ups? How many options are there for tubular knobbies?
    I have a set of Velocity 29er tubular wheels with Geax Saguaro tires. The ride is nice but it is the traction that is the real difference, especially on off cambers.

    I am reluctant to use them for long trail rides. An unrepairable flat or cut casing would mean a long walk out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    I have a set of Velocity 29er tubular wheels with Geax Saguaro tires. The ride is nice but it is the traction that is the real difference, especially on off cambers.

    I am reluctant to use them for long trail rides. An unrepairable flat or cut casing would mean a long walk out.
    What PSI do you run in them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Wing View Post
    What PSI do you run in them?
    Mid-upper 20s
    2.00" tire
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Wing View Post
    I've seen a few rigs out there sporting them, but they seem terribly impractical. Could the ride quality be that much better than current tubeless set ups? How many options are there for tubular knobbies?
    When i lived in the prairies I would totally have ridden tubular tires. I probably would have had them dry out before I tore them. Now that I live in the desert I wouldn't touch them with 10' pole. We have torn tires on first rides. That would be an expensive ride on a tubular. Guess you got pay to play.
    Try this: HTFU

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    So are these the only three manufacturers that make them, or are there more out there?

    Tufo
    Geax
    Dugast

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Wing View Post
    So are these the only three manufacturers that make them, or are there more out there?

    Tufo
    Geax
    Dugast
    Schwalbe.
    Clement has them coming.

    Doing marketing research for your company?
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Schwalbe.
    Clement has them coming.

    Doing marketing research for your company?
    Nay. Just thinking about how to spend my next paycheck.

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    I have been tossing this idea around for over a year now. I would love to try some for a race wheelset, but do not see riding them for long fun rides. Ebay has a guy that sells complete Tufo sets with tires, on aluminum rims, for $600 shipped. There is also a carbon pair that would be nice to try, but very expensive.

  13. #13
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    I can see them for racing. On a relatively small loop, and in a short enough event that a flat takes me out of it no matter what the tire is.

    I wouldn't want to be miles away from my car and flat a tubular. Roadies who use tubulars carry a complete spare tire, and have to ride it tentatively until they can reglue it properly. I'm happy enough to have tubes I can swap out easily, and tires I can usually boot if it comes up.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    After being completely enamored by the difference tubular made for my cross bike I decided to buy a set for my mountain bike with the intent to race them on shorter courses without a lot of exposed rock.

    I've got about 100 miles on them, at first I didn't like them a lot, they were narrow and didn't feel any faster off road, but after riding them more, and switching back and forth to my tubeless set, I'm really starting to like them.

    My setups-

    Tubeless:
    ENVE XC 29er Clincher-1435g
    Schwalbe Racing Ralph Snakeskin 29x2.25"-620g each

    Tubular:
    ENVE Tubular 29er-1240g
    Schwalbe Racing Ralph Tubular 29x 1.9"-600g each

    Random thoughts:

    -At first the tubulars seemed way too narrow and measured 1.8" wide, but after being inflated for a week, they grew to just over 2.0" wide.

    -The tubulars feel really skittish compared to a set of 2.35" wide Racing Ralphs I had been riding, but about the same as my 2.25" snakeskins.

    -I picked up a goat head in each of my tubulars this week, I put 1/2 scoop of Stans in and they sealed right up without issue:
    ---This went a long way to building my confidence in running these tires with sealant in longer races, I think they will be Less flat prone than the tubeless setup as the sidewalls have the help of a tube to resist tearing, and they are less likely to flat when bottomed out on a rock.

    -I notice the tubulars are much better at climbing out of ruts in the trail, they just don't roll around on the rim at all. They also have very positive feedback at higher corning loads.

    -Even though they don't feel any faster to me, my times on local sections of trail improved dramatically; maybe they really are faster.

    So I'm growing to like them, I'm pretty confident in their flat resistance and they seem to be fast as hell. But they're expensive, and I still wouldn't use them for big adventure rides. If you're buying a race day wheelset, they're probably the way to go, but if it's going to be your only wheelset, I'd stick with tubeless.
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  15. #15
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    Issues with wheels remaining true?

    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    After being completely enamored by the difference tubular made for my cross bike I decided to buy a set for my mountain bike with the intent to race them on shorter courses without a lot of exposed rock.

    I've got about 100 miles on them, at first I didn't like them a lot, they were narrow and didn't feel any faster off road, but after riding them more, and switching back and forth to my tubeless set, I'm really starting to like them.

    My setups-

    Tubeless:
    ENVE XC 29er Clincher-1435g
    Schwalbe Racing Ralph Snakeskin 29x2.25"-620g each

    Tubular:
    ENVE Tubular 29er-1240g
    Schwalbe Racing Ralph Tubular 29x 1.9"-600g each

    Random thoughts:

    -At first the tubulars seemed way too narrow and measured 1.8" wide, but after being inflated for a week, they grew to just over 2.0" wide.

    -The tubulars feel really skittish compared to a set of 2.35" wide Racing Ralphs I had been riding, but about the same as my 2.25" snakeskins.

    -I picked up a goat head in each of my tubulars this week, I put 1/2 scoop of Stans in and they sealed right up without issue:
    ---This went a long way to building my confidence in running these tires with sealant in longer races, I think they will be Less flat prone than the tubeless setup as the sidewalls have the help of a tube to resist tearing, and they are less likely to flat when bottomed out on a rock.

    -I notice the tubulars are much better at climbing out of ruts in the trail, they just don't roll around on the rim at all. They also have very positive feedback at higher corning loads.

    -Even though they don't feel any faster to me, my times on local sections of trail improved dramatically; maybe they really are faster.

    So I'm growing to like them, I'm pretty confident in their flat resistance and they seem to be fast as hell. But they're expensive, and I still wouldn't use them for big adventure rides. If you're buying a race day wheelset, they're probably the way to go, but if it's going to be your only wheelset, I'd stick with tubeless.
    One concern I have with this wheelset is the fact that the spokes are NOT accessible externally. This is typically fine on road bikes where you might true your wheels once a season if you don't have any mishaps at the same time you are puttin on fresh tubulars but with mountain biking your wheels go through a lot more abuse and could potentially need truing.

    Have you had to true your Enve Tubulars at all and if so was it a huge pain in the ass to remove the tubular and then put it back on?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsmit View Post
    One concern I have with this wheelset is the fact that the spokes are NOT accessible externally. This is typically fine on road bikes where you might true your wheels once a season if you don't have any mishaps at the same time you are puttin on fresh tubulars but with mountain biking your wheels go through a lot more abuse and could potentially need truing.

    Have you had to true your Enve Tubulars at all and if so was it a huge pain in the ass to remove the tubular and then put it back on?
    I can not remember the last time I needed to true one of my mtb wheels. Excluding the clincher rim (4+ years old) that had an eyelet ripped out by a huge branch through the wheel, It may have been 5-6 years since I needed to touch the spokes of a wheel after I built it.

    If your Enve tubular wheel does need trueing, just have your team mechanic do it.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsmit View Post
    One concern I have with this wheelset is the fact that the spokes are NOT accessible externally. This is typically fine on road bikes where you might true your wheels once a season if you don't have any mishaps at the same time you are puttin on fresh tubulars but with mountain biking your wheels go through a lot more abuse and could potentially need truing.

    Have you had to true your Enve Tubulars at all and if so was it a huge pain in the ass to remove the tubular and then put it back on?
    Never had to true any my the wheels, about 4,000 off road miles on my XC set. But only about 300mi on the tubulars. I did tape the Tubulars rather than glue them to make removal and installation easier in case I did need to, but they've been solid, and I'm actually really happy with how the tape is performing (Tufo Extreme tape).

    Like shiggy said, if they do, I'll have my team mechanic do it.
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  18. #18
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    Tubular explained

    I searched and found very little info. I'm left wondering what tubular is all about. Why tubular? All I find is it's not a sound choice for epics. My main question is what is tubular?

    I do know you need glue! WT-heck?

    This from a guy who drills out his rims to fit Schraders. I'm miffed by presta.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbowho View Post
    I searched and found very little info. I'm left wondering what tubular is all about. Why tubular? All I find is it's not a sound choice for epics. My main question is what is tubular?

    I do know you need glue! WT-heck?

    This from a guy who drills out his rims to fit Schraders. I'm miffed by presta.
    Modern day clincher tires have made a lot of stride in catching up to tubular benefits, especially on the road side. The biggest plus for a tubular tire is still going to be how it conforms to the surface it is rolling over. A clincher tire has a stiff bead needed to hold the tire onto the rim. This area of the tire needs to be stiff. A tubular tires can be very supple because it is all one piece, hence the reason for having to glue them.

    Tubulars can be a pain if you flat in the middle of nowehere and sealant cannot fix the puncture. At least with a clincher you can use a boot on big gashes and put a new tube in to limp out of the woods. That is the main reason people are worried about long adventures with them.

    The other big plus for tubulars on mtn bikes is that because most people run disc brakes now the rim manufacturers have the ability to make extremely strong rims with no need to worry about a braking surface. My guess is that over the next couple years we are going to see some crazy strong carbon rims come out for public sale.....Now we just need road bikes to go to disc brakes as well.

    To add, this is general rule of thumb comments above and no the end all be all.

  20. #20
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    As soon as I have the cash I'm going to build up some tubular tires for racing use only. Best way to save weight and increase ride / handling at the same time.
    "Shut up legs!"- Jens Voigt

  21. #21
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    Were are aluminum 29er tubular rims available? I have found Remerx stuff on Ebay and Cambria has the Geox ones in 26", not sure about 29", but what other places? I do not have the cash for carbon rims so no need to list where those are available, unless others want the information.

  22. #22
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    Velocity Major Tom. When I talked to Velocity USA in the past they said they were running the Geax 29er tubies on Major Toms with no problem.

  23. #23
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    FRM/BOR XMD 309T tubular rims. Alloy, wide, light.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ne_dan View Post
    Velocity Major Tom. When I talked to Velocity USA in the past they said they were running the Geax 29er tubies on Major Toms with no problem.
    I am running the Major Tom/Geax combo. Works fine
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    I am running the Major Tom/Geax combo. Works fine
    Will these rims stand up to the forces of disc brakes and rocky/rooty trails?

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