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tubular tyres

u05harrisbu05harrisb Posts: 531
edited November 2010 in Road beginners
sorry guys and girls really stupid question im guessing, what are tubular tyres? and how do they differ from standard tube and beaded tyres? do you need fancy rims to ride with them?

many thanks!

Posts

  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    They need different rims and are glued to them.
    See http://sheldonbrown.com/tyres.html#tubular
  • balthazarbalthazar Posts: 1,565
    They're an old-fashioned design, in which the inner tube is sewn inside the tyre casing, which forms a complete torus of hose: it's retained on the (concave) rim primarily by inflation pressure, but also by glue.

    Tubular rims can be a near-perfect rectangular cross section, without the sidewall extension to clinch a normal tyre bead, consequently a little lighter; and tubulars are safe at very high pressures, making them popular for track use, where bumpy roads are not a problem.

    At equivalent-to-clincher pressures, however (100psi), their rolling resistance is no better (probably worse). They have both theoretical advantages and disadvantages in terms of descending mountain roads safely, which is an arbitrary concern to most UK cyclists. Punctures are a pain to deal with, because the casing must be split and re-sewn to access the inner tube. Many people are attracted to them for the mystique– because they are old technology, only a few people use them, and they are sometimes spoken of in hushed tones, as if a secret. Beware: the non-adept tend to get covered in glue.
  • Smokin JoeSmokin Joe Posts: 2,706
    balthazar wrote:
    . Many people are attracted to them for the mystique– because they are old technology, only a few people use them, and they are sometimes spoken of in hushed tones, as if a secret. Beware: the non-adept tend to get covered in glue.
    Old technology?

    Many decades newer than clinchers, dear boy.
  • At equivalent-to-clincher pressures, however (100psi), their rolling resistance is no better (probably worse).
    what a bizarre comparison. christ, who would run a road tub at 100psi? One of the great advantages of tubs over clinchers is that you can crank 'em up to 160 or so.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    And bounce around all over the road too...

    Greater PSI isnt ALWAYS better....

    Tubs do ride better usually - but they are more expensive, bit messier to change and from my recent experience - just more prone to flats.

    I'd only reccomend them if you're serious about your racing.
  • And bounce around all over the road too...

    Greater PSI isnt ALWAYS better....


    not always, no. Agreed there. But I've never had a problem with bouncing all over the road on tubs at 160psi. Have you been trying to ride on a trampoline? ;)
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    It did feel like that at times ! ;-)

    I was probably lighter in those days too.
  • mattsccmmattsccm Posts: 408
    Personal experiences of course but based on using Tubs since 1981 on my day to day bikes.(I'm too tight to but new wheels) and clinchers for about 3 years I would say that the tubs are way better when it comes to avoiding puntures. I have every tub I have ever bought except 1 I think. Most are bald but few have ever punctured. I seriously reckon the near 30 years of tub riding have given me less than a handful of puntures where as 3 years on clinchers gives me 1 a month. The main reason I use clinchers is that nowadays no one uses tubs so I have to carry all my spares, whereas in the old days we all carried 1 each and within a group that was plenty.
    Tubs are far safer when you get an instant puncture, especially at speed. Not repairable on the roadside but no great hassle in front of the fire with a glass of whisky. Find an old pair of wheels and try some.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I think I've been getting matts share of tubular punctures then ! Two contis on the last 50 miler I did. That was an expensive mornings ride. The clincher versions of them have never let me down tho. Weird !
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Save the tubs for racing in particular with carbon rims - carbon clinchers are heavier, generally more expensive and more prone to damage.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • balthazarbalthazar Posts: 1,565
    @cougie and mattsccm: Not weird, I think – just the nature of random events like punctures: we try to find a pattern where there is none. All good tyres are made the same way, with a two-ply casing and rubber tread. There are variations in quality and design, but no inherent difference between tubular or clincher, in any matter other than how they mount to the wheel.

    Tubs use latex inner tubes, but those are available for clinchers too, and have no consequence one way or the other for punctures.

    The only caveat to this is that tubular tyres are not susceptible to pinch-punctures, because there is no high rim wall to cause them. This is partly why they're popular in cyclo-cross, where low inflation pressure can be used for more grip. That's a technical case which has no bearing on ordinary road use, however.
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    I think the gap between clinchers and tubs is closing rapidly due to the investment made in R&D but tubs still have a few inherant advantages. The resistance to pinch punctures as Balthazar has said and more importantly with the proliferation of carbon rims their ability to stay on the rim in an emergency blowout. From an entirely subjective point of view I do like the 'feel' of riding on tubs.
  • sherersherer Posts: 2,455
    don't most of the pros ride in tubulars now ?

    Although they have the advantage of not paying and a spare wheel at the ready if they need it
  • sherer wrote:
    don't most of the pros ride in tubulars now ?

    Time was when they only used tubs. Nowadays I would suggest that tyres are used significanly more than tubs. I mean, if you were a mechnic you would just die for using tyres only. mechanics these days can now spend their time routing internal cables rather than sticking on tubs.
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    sherer wrote:
    don't most of the pros ride in tubulars now ?

    Although they have the advantage of not paying and a spare wheel at the ready if they need it


    The pro's keep on riding tubs because if they puncture and the team car isn't at hand they can keep on riding whereas with clinchers they would have to stop.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    sherer wrote:
    don't most of the pros ride in tubulars now ?

    Time was when they only used tubs. Nowadays I would suggest that tyres are used significanly more than tubs. I mean, if you were a mechnic you would just die for using tyres only. mechanics these days can now spend their time routing internal cables rather than sticking on tubs.

    You would suggest wrong. Tubs are almost exclusively used in the Pro peloton.
  • mattsccmmattsccm Posts: 408
    Most of my puncture are pinch ones.maybe its my local roads of the fact that my clinchers rarely see 100psi whereas tubs go 150+
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Pros were riding Michelin Hi Lites a few years back. This may have been a sponsorship deal with the team though.

    Tubs do ride better and pros get wheel changes prettty quickly from their service cars, so even if they were more fragile than standard tyres - it wouldnt matter too much,

    Punctures for me are so rare on my normal tyres - so my spate of tub punctures could just be an unlucky blip - but it doesnt make me want to ride them as much.
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