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  1. #1
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    XC Race Tubular Tire Setup Dilemma

    Hi! I need some advice on what tire to setup on my 26-inch wheelsets for XC racing.

    The wheels I have:

    1) Extralite Tubotreme
    - tubular
    - 885 g before stickers were removed and bearings changed to hybrid ceramics
    - interchangeable freewheel assemblies for either XX1 or 2 x 9 setup

    2) Extralite Hyperhubs laced to AX-lightness tubular rims with CX-rays on rear, Superspokes up front
    - 955 g
    - now setup with Tufo XC2 Plus F/R
    - interchangeable freewheel assemblies for either XX1 or 2 x 9 setup

    3) Extralite Hyperhubs laced to MMX rims with CX-rays
    - 1130 g
    - intended as my versatile/race/backup wheels, when tires needs to be changed so oftenly (tubeless if there's time, Eclipse tubes if time is limited)
    - interchangeable freewheel assemblies for either XX1 or 2 x 9 setup

    4) Tune Dezibel and Princess Skyline laced to Innolite XCC-FR clincher rims with Superspokes
    - 927 g (with yellow tape and AC valves)
    - not XX1 compatible
    - intended for hill climb races or for show/weighing

    The tires I have:

    1) Tufo XC2 Plus - 4 pcs.

    2) Tufo XC4 - 2 pcs.

    3) Schwalbe Racing Ralphs - 2 pcs.

    4) A pair for each size of Race Kings (2 pairs or maybe more for 2.2), X-Kings, a pair of the older Speed Kings 2.1, a pair of Maxxlite 285s (for show/weighing or maybe there's a race I can use this with tubeless setup?), and a pair of Schwalbe Kojak (1.35) for road use.

    Other info:

    1) I have three WW XC S-sized bikes: A '08 Scott Spark 10 (XX1 setup with 36T chainring), a '12 Scott Scale RC (XX1 setup with 38T chainring), and a full rigid '08 Scott Scale Ltd. (2x9 with 40/27 x 11-32T)

    2) All bikes will be setup with Formula R1 brakes with organic pads

    3) I will be using SiCCC SFL 160/160 rotors on all wheelsets

    4) I am 62-63 Kg but planning to reduce back to my 58-60 racing weight

    5) I have 2 other wheelsets, that I bought some time ago before lighter ones came out, that I plan to train on, an Extralite Ultradisk TNT (Kojak tires, rim allows for higher pressures) and an NT7 (for off-road training with any of my clincher tires depending on terrain), but might sell them thinking I have too much wheelsets and I need money to pay the MMX wheels. If I use these wheelsets for training, they will be on my previous Scrub rotors.

    6) I have a rear Powertap SL + hub laced on a Crest rim with Ti Spokes setup with a Continental Hometrainer tire for training on a Kinetic Rock and Roll trainer. The rotor not attached so that I don't have to change caliper position. It will be my first time training with Power.

    7) I used to race XC in the elite level and this will be the 4th year if I don't come back. I got too busy with grad school, then job-hunting, and now commuting to work, preparing for work, and riding on the train takes most of my extra time. But I really want to go back to racing this time, and have slowly bought all I think I would need to race and to not find an excuse not to train, even at home, while I was away from racing.

    8) I am planning to use wheelset 1 as main for Scale RC, wheelset 2 for Spark, 3/4 for Scale Ltd.

    9) Either wheelsets 1,2, and 3 can be used as back-up for the others (hubs are all the same, so freehub bodies can be interchanged for XX1 or 2x9 setup) and interchanged as the race course dictates.

    My questions:

    1) Since it will be difficult to keep on changing tires on the tubulars and I need backup wheels for races just in case I have trouble with my tubulars (but will have sealant and CO2 pumps just in case, do I setup them with the same tires both front and back (all XC2 Plus), or front XC4/RaRa and rear XC2 Plus for both wheels so that I can make one set as backup for the other?

    2) Or, is it better to set them up with different tires, like XC2 Plus F&R on one set and XC4 or maybe RaRa F&R on the other then use wheelset 3 (or 4 if 2x9) with any of the clincher tires I have that would closely match either tubular wheelset that I will be choosing to use for a specific course?

    Please help me make a decision
    Last edited by skyfire1202; 04-24-2013 at 09:52 PM. Reason: Edited weight of Innolite Wheels

  2. #2
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    I would set up the wheels with different tires. That way you can switch them up, mix and match for different conditions. If you have a problem in a race and you have to swap out a wheel, you may not have an ideal replacement, but, you'll still be able to finish.

  3. #3
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    1. Keep the Racing Ralphs.

    2. Sell the Tufos.

    3. Buy some Fast Birds.

    I'm not a fan of Extralight hubs... but to each their own.

  4. #4
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    Thank you very much for the replies. Good idea on being able to mix and match by setting up different tires. Maybe I should have got myself Fast Birds, I got turned off by the longevity of the treads, the color of the sidewalls and the maintenance needed with aquaseal.

    Regarding the Extralite Hubs, I like them because I haven't had any trouble with any of my wheels except for a broken spoke on my previous EltraTerra TNT wheelset when I was still using V-brakes. I had been racing that wheelset and when I stopped racing, I used around the city to commute. I like that I can open the hubs without special tools needed for maintenance, and easily adjustable bearing preload system. I pack the seals with grease on normal days and replace them with thick oil before a race to reduce drag. Each part can also be ordered direct from the manufacturer, like spokes and axle ends. I changed my non-drive side axle end changed after I accidentally kicked my rear wheel while I had it, axle end, on a rough cement and didn't like how it looked after. Extralite admits that the new Hyperhubs have shorter longevity regarding the ratchet mechanism ("Wear and tear of freewheel parts is also higher than conventional pawl systems, however the wearable parts can be easily replaced." - quoted from their website) because it is only made of hard anodized aluminum, but to use the wheels for races only and with regular maintenance, and with the older model hubs with Ti ratchet mechanism (30 POE, HyperRear has 36 POE, only 6 less. Tune Prince has 24?) for training, I would risk that for the weight benefits thinking any broken part can be replaced.

  5. #5
    Formerly of Kent
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    What route did you end up going with your tires, particularly the tubulars?

    I have some DT Swiss XRC 950Ts and I'm debating between the Tufo XC2 Plus and the XC4.

    Will be racing in very rocky terrain.

  6. #6
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    Le Duke, I seemed to have missed replying to this. I'm very sorry. I got injured last year on a basketball game, sprained my right ankle badly when I landed on my friends foot after a rebound jump just 2 weeks before the first race last year and wasn't able to race the whole year. I had one tubular wheelset with XC2 plus, but haven't insatalled the XC4s and Ralphs. I might take Briscoelab's advice, or install XC4s on one wheelset and Ralphs on the other set and go 2x9 on my non-xx1 compatible clincher wheelset with tubeless setup on a range of Continental tires I have if the course demands treads that the XC4 and RaRa won' be good at.

  7. #7
    Formerly of Kent
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    I have the XC4s on my DT XRC 950Ts. Love them. Super fast, grip well, absorb trail chatter.

    I've used them on a couple of 90% efforts in UT and VA while visiting friends/family to get a feeling for what works, and these work very well in a wide variety of conditions. KOM on every Strava segment I've attempted while using them.

  8. #8
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    I'm still on 26" wheels, but the larger volume of the XC4s should be good enough for me to try to race on them this year. Thanks for the review.

  9. #9
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    Most super techy post I've ever seen here. Get a 29er already
    Keep trying to do the awesomest thing you've ever done.

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