Should I make the tubular leap ?

by ChrisO   April 22, 2010  

I'm planning on getting a new bike soon - a very nice bike. Probably a Ridley Noah.

In looking at wheels the question of tubular v clincher has come up.

I've always used clinchers so I've got no idea whether its worth making the switch to tubs.

What are the benefits ? Supposedly extra comfort, less rolling resistance... anything else ? And the downsides... aren't they hard to change and fit ?

And has anyone used the Shimano Tubeless carbon ?

BTW I'm fairly tall and have always been hard on wheels so I won't be getting anything too fancy. Probably something alloy rather than carbon, maybe Eurus or Racing Zero. Though the bike shop is dead keen on FFWD wheels.

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

how about running tubeless clinchers as a third option? they have a great feel and low weight and rolling resistance, and they're easier to fix when you're out and about - just carry a spare tube.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7823 posts]
22nd April 2010 - 11:03

3 Likes

I would love to ride tubulars, but have always ruled them out because if you puncture then you're stuffed (unless you have a team car following you with a fresh wheel). You can't repair them. (Though I think you can send some models back to the factory for repair.) You can carry a spare tyre, which is what the riders have on their shoulders in historic photos from the Tour de France, when the rules didn't allow support vehicles and they had to fix their bikes themselves. But sticking on a tub appears to be something you want to do in a workshop environment, not the roadside. How does it work on the roadside? Is there enough glue residue left on the rim to hold it there and get you home? Tubs supposedly deflate more slowly than clinchers when they puncture, so you may be able to keep pumping it up 'til you get home.

I guess that time trialists are the amateur riders who use tubs the most. They'll use them on their best race day wheels, when they are racing on nice roads and it isn't too far from help if you do puncture.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1429 posts]
22nd April 2010 - 11:10

0 Likes

I looked at tubeless for ages, but was ultimately put off because there is only 1 tyre to choose from, whereas there are loads of tubulars. For example, a quick check of what's in stock on ChainReaction's site shows zero tubeless tyres, but 16 different models of tubular (not counting all the width and colour options).

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1429 posts]
22nd April 2010 - 11:28

1 Like

you can run any old tyre tubeless if you want to, same as you can with mtbs. some work better than others...

purplecup's picture

posted by purplecup [233 posts]
22nd April 2010 - 11:52

1 Like

dave_atkinson wrote:
how about running tubeless clinchers as a third option? they have a great feel and low weight and rolling resistance, and they're easier to fix when you're out and about - just carry a spare tube.

Yes that's definitely another possibility.

Are they good - I wondered whether the lower pressure made them feel a bit soft or affected the handling.

On the other hand I gather the Ridley is quite a stiff bike so that might be a good thing.

posted by ChrisO [11 posts]
22nd April 2010 - 13:04

0 Likes

you don't have to run them at lower pressures, but there's less risk of a pinch flat if you do. even at a standard 100psi there's less material to deform and less rotation weight, so they feel really quick.

http://road.cc/content/review/5490-hutchinson-fusion-2-tubeless-700x23c-...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7823 posts]
22nd April 2010 - 14:01

1 Like

I'll buy the argument that the deforming a tubeless tyre will be more efficient, but I'm not sure about the weight. From Hutchinson's website the Fusion 3 Kevlar ProTech weighs 210 g, the Fusion 3 tubeless weighs 290 g. A Continental Race Light inner tube weighs 70 g.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1429 posts]
22nd April 2010 - 17:44

1 Like