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Which tubulars?

earthearth Posts: 934
edited April 2013 in Road buying advice
I'm considering tubular wheels and the question I can't answer myself is which tyres.

I'm particularly concerned with punctures. I envisage fixing a tubular on the road to be difficult and I'm worried that a new tyre on the rim would roll off.

So I want good puncture protection but I'd hate to loose out on rolling resistance,w eight, grip etc..


I have experience of some clincher versions of tubs like Vittoria Open Corsa CX and I read Michellin have come out with a tubular recently.

The Michellin appears to me to be a different tyre altogether to the Pro Race series and the few user reviews I have read are not favorable so although I like the Pro Race clinchers I think I will leave that one for a few generations.

I tried an open corsa CX clincher and it was a good tyre but I got a few punctures after about 500 miles. Not sure about those.

Then I have read about veloflex. The carbon for instance and read many good user reviews. But they are currently twice the price of Corsa CX.

I'm aware of Tufo but read the only decent one they do is the s33 special.

Then there is continental who do a range of tubulars. I would probably avoid the GP4000 tubular as I have had bad experiences of the clinchers.



Back to punctures. What about using tyre sealant like Stans No Tubes? Is it possible to put this in prior to a puncture? If so how long will it stay liquid in for in a inner tube - especially if it is a latex inner tube that leaks are and therefore solvent vapor?
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  • itsnotaraceitsnotarace Posts: 516
    earth wrote:
    Back to punctures. What about using tyre sealant like Stans No Tubes? Is it possible to put this in prior to a puncture?

    Not recommended at all with tubulars that use latex inner tubes, otherwise when the tyre deflates the inner tube will stick to itself and then tear when you pump it back up again.

    Tufo's are like sections of garden hose, can't recommend them at all unless you're only interested in weight

    I run Veloflex Carbon myself (Summer use only), haven't tried any others you mentioned. If you are really concerned about punctures go for Veloflex Arenbergs
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Surely adding sealant will add to rolling resistance ? Unless you're a full on racer - I'd avoid tubs.
  • earthearth Posts: 934
    earth wrote:
    Back to punctures. What about using tyre sealant like Stans No Tubes? Is it possible to put this in prior to a puncture?

    Not recommended at all with tubulars that use latex inner tubes, otherwise when the tyre deflates the inner tube will stick to itself and then tear when you pump it back up again.

    Tufo's are like sections of garden hose, can't recommend them at all unless you're only interested in weight

    I run Veloflex Carbon myself (Summer use only), haven't tried any others you mentioned. If you are really concerned about punctures go for Veloflex Arenbergs


    Is any sealant useable? How are the Veloflex carbons puncture wise?
  • itsnotaraceitsnotarace Posts: 516
    earth wrote:
    Is any sealant useable?

    Do you mean before, or after the event of a puncture?

    If you mean before, then no, I don't know any that will not congeal into a big lump somewhere in the tyre (under the force of gravity)

    If you mean after, then yes you can use it, but with a latex innertube don't then let it then deflate - that means pumping the tyre back up every 2 or 3 days due to natural air leakage through the walls of the tube
    earth wrote:
    How are the Veloflex carbons puncture wise?

    None to date in 18 months, but as I said, I use them for summer only.
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,621
    earth wrote:
    Is any sealant useable? How are the Veloflex carbons puncture wise?

    Vittoria Pit Stop. It comes in a small pressurised can so you can put it in your jersey pocket.

    Tubular tyres are predominantly designed for racing, but that doesn’t mean a non racing cyclist can’t use them. You just need to understand that if and when you get a puncture you’ll need to deal with the situation a bit differently. It doesn’t mean that your ride is ruined and you’ll need to throw away an expensive tyre.
  • earthearth Posts: 934
    I guess a sealant could be used after the puncture and the innertube could be changed after the ride to avoid having to keep pumping up the tyre every two days. I use latex inner tubes already in clinchers so I know the air leaks out but realistically I think pumping them up every two days to stop them sticking together is not going to work.

    Does the pitstop stuff stick latex inner tubes together if they go flat? How big is the can?
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Conti Sprinter will give you a good balance of speed and puncture resistance(for a race tyre) If you really want a tougher tub then I ran Conti Giros for three seasons with no problems, other than them not being very fast.
  • petemadocpetemadoc Posts: 2,667
    I've done loads of research on this and have settled on this set up

    Veloflex criterium tyres. Carry a small bottle of tufo extreme sealant and also a spare tyre.

    if I puncture I have two options, pull the tyre off and repair the punctured one when I get home, or just put some sealant in which apparently holds for about 3 months. 1st option is preferable bit the tufo bottle is so small I carry it as a back up.

    the veloflex tyres are awesome. I did a crit at the weekend in the pissing rain leaning into tight bends and they gave me full confidence, they feel smooth on rough roads too.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 15,237
    ^^^this

    imho if you are going to run tubs you may as well use a decent tyre, otherwise there'll be higher crr and they'll ride like a clincher (but a lightweight tufo is a good option to carry for a spare)

    training in london i've had one puncture in about 1500 miles (veloflex carbon), i ride year round, it was a wet day on dirty road, i'm surprised to find they seem to cut less than conti gp4000s or force

    i had no luck with vittoria pitstop, but after reading up it seemed tufo exttreme was a better option for sealing punctures on the road, so i carry that now

    if you do hole one, you can diy repair or send it to...

    http://www.tubular-repairs.com/

    ...some tubs are harder/impossible to repair due to construction, veloflex are ok

    some crr info, mostly clinchers but some tubs too, it's a bit old now, maybe some newer tyres/compound updates would change things...
    Tyre Crr, 7bar, 30km/h
    Deda Tre Giro d'Italia 0.00380
    Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX 0.00390
    Michelin Pro 2 Race 0.00420
    Vittoria Diamante Pro Rain 0.00440
    Michelin Megamium 2 0.00470
    Pariba Revolution 0.00480
    Veloflex Carbon (Tubular) 0.00490
    Michelin Carbon 0.00500
    Gommitalia Route du Nord (Tubular) 0.00500
    Panaracer Stradius Pro 0.00510
    Schwalbe Stelvio Plus 0.00520
    Gommitalia Platinum (Tubular) 0.00530
    Vittoria Corsa Evo CX (Tubular) 0.00540
    Schwalbe Stelvio Evolution Front 0.00560
    Continental GP Force (rear specific) 0.00570
    Hutchinson Fusion 0.00570
    Schwalbe Stelvio Evolution Rear 0.00570
    Vittoria Corsa Evo KS (Tubular) 0.00570
    Continental Ultra GatorSkin 0.00580
    Ritchey Pro Race Slick WCS 0.00580
    Schwalbe Stelvio 0.00590
    Continental Competition (Tubular) 0.00590
    Veloflex Roubaix (Tubular) 0.00590
    Continental Podium (Tubular) 0.00600
    Specialized S-Works Mondo 0.00610
    Continental GP 3000 0.00670
    Hutchinson Top Speed 0.00690
    Schwalbe Stelvio (Tubular) 0.00690
    Continental GP Attack (front specific) 0.00730
    Tufo Elite Jet (Tubular) 0.00730
    Schwalbe Montello 300 (Tubular) 0.00750
    Tufo Hi-Composite Carbon (Tubular) 0.00770
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • earthearth Posts: 934
    Does anyone have anything to say about the Vittoria Corsa CX's?
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,621
    Open or closed Corsa's are my choice of tyre.
  • on-yer-bikeon-yer-bike Posts: 2,974
    earth wrote:
    Does anyone have anything to say about the Vittoria Corsa CX's?

    Yes they are too delicate for everyday riding on our roads IMO. I wouldn't road race on them for the same reason, (I did and I punctured). They are OK for crits on dedicated circuits like Cyclo Park.

    I have switched to Conti Competitions which are more robust but not as tub like to ride on.
    Both these tyres are repairable though.
    Pegoretti
    Colnago
    Cervelo
    Campagnolo
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I've had Corsas on my race wheels for 4 seasons with no punctures - smacked them hard enough to break 2 carbon rims though! There are quite a few sealants available - just be careful not to use one with ammonia in a tyre with a latex inner. Caffe Latex for one. I've had good results with Tufo Extreme in the past too.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • meesterbondmeesterbond Posts: 1,240
    Conti Comp tubs have to be the hardest tyre I've ever had to fit to any rim in the world ever... and that includes UST tubeless mountain bike tyres on Stans rims. They just don't seem to stretch at all.

    I left them a week on a rim, inflated to try and stretch them but it was a horrible, sticky, gluey nightmare trying to get the damn things seated.
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,621
    I have to say that after 5 days of stretching my Corsas went on really easily and compared to their Open cousins which are a night mare to fit, these were the easiest tyres I’ve ever put on a rim!
  • on-yer-bikeon-yer-bike Posts: 2,974
    Monty Dog wrote:
    I've had Corsas on my race wheels for 4 seasons with no punctures - smacked them hard enough to break 2 carbon rims though! There are quite a few sealants available - just be careful not to use one with ammonia in a tyre with a latex inner. Caffe Latex for one. I've had good results with Tufo Extreme in the past too.
    What pressure do you ride them at? I hit a pothole that put 5 holes in the tyre and the carbon Bora was fine. Do you only race with them?
    Pegoretti
    Colnago
    Cervelo
    Campagnolo
  • on-yer-bikeon-yer-bike Posts: 2,974
    Conti Comp tubs have to be the hardest tyre I've ever had to fit to any rim in the world ever... and that includes UST tubeless mountain bike tyres on Stans rims. They just don't seem to stretch at all.

    I left them a week on a rim, inflated to try and stretch them but it was a horrible, sticky, gluey nightmare trying to get the damn things seated.
    Yes they are difficult but that makes them more likely to stay on. The last one I put on I stretched for 3 days but then didnt fit for a few months and it was a nightmare. The others havent been that bad.
    Pegoretti
    Colnago
    Cervelo
    Campagnolo
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    What pressure do you ride them at? I hit a pothole that put 5 holes in the tyre and the carbon Bora was fine. Do you only race with them?

    Yes, I only use my carbon wheels for racing. I generally run 100 in the front and 110 in the back - but I'm only 62kg. But in both cases they were both sharp-edge pot-holes and didn't realise I'd damaged the wheels until after. One rim was a old Ambrosio, so didn't owe me anything, however the other was a brand new Corima (who make Campagnolo carbon rims) - impact cause the fairing part to delaminate from the rim.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • meesterbondmeesterbond Posts: 1,240
    Conti Comp tubs have to be the hardest tyre I've ever had to fit to any rim in the world ever... and that includes UST tubeless mountain bike tyres on Stans rims. They just don't seem to stretch at all.

    I left them a week on a rim, inflated to try and stretch them but it was a horrible, sticky, gluey nightmare trying to get the damn things seated.
    Yes they are difficult but that makes them more likely to stay on. The last one I put on I stretched for 3 days but then didnt fit for a few months and it was a nightmare. The others havent been that bad.

    They sure are hell aren't ever going to roll off the rim! Just not looking forward to the day they need replacing!
  • earthearth Posts: 934
    Monty Dog wrote:
    I've had Corsas on my race wheels for 4 seasons with no punctures - smacked them hard enough to break 2 carbon rims though! There are quite a few sealants available - just be careful not to use one with ammonia in a tyre with a latex inner. Caffe Latex for one. I've had good results with Tufo Extreme in the past too.

    What about the roads you ride on. Do you affix a broom to the handlebars to sweep the road clean before you get to it?
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    You sound like you want it all with one tire. Not gonna happen.

    You talk about fixing a tubular on the road? Forget that. While there are people who can patch up a punctured tubbie alongside the road, it's not the way to go. Carry a spare, slap it on and you're back riding, just be careful on corners. Your RACE, however, is over(if you happen to be racing). You could, if you're so inclined, carry a ribbon of Tufo tape along with you and tape on the spare tire, although I would imagine that this is fairly time consuming and not all that easy alongside the road. I mount tires with tape(at home) and have no complaints.

    I use Tufo sealant in Tufo tires only. Works pretty good, except that it gums up the valve a bit. I only use it AFTER that first flat, and then only if the hole looks small enough. There are limits to sealants abilities and it's apparent, at least to me, that the claims of what size hole they will fix are, shall we say, somewhat exaggeratted. Haven't tried other sealants in tires(I use Tufo's a lot).

    If I were to recommend tires I would say yes to Tufo,as I have had very good luck with them, in both the tubular and tubular clincher models.
    Continental Sprinters are also a tire I have more than a bit of faith in. Price is resonable and the have been sturdy and dependable for me.

    I would caution you about buying lightweight / racing tires and then expecting miracles from them(i.e. no flats, long wear). Doesn't work that way, despite what the ad's say.
  • earthearth Posts: 934
    Yes I am asking a lot, I know, and you are no doubt right.

    At this point though I have to raise the banner for Michelin Pro Race 3 and 4. They satisfy my high expectations very well.

    The compromise I have not bothered about so far is wear. Increased wear just means more expensive and even top line clinchers can be found at discount prices so it has not bothered me so far. Wear may become more important because the top line tubs are twice the price of clinchers. The only exception to that is the Vittoria Corsa which I can find for about the same price as the open Corsa. But I see wear rate and puncture resistance as different things and my experience of too many punctures with the open Corsa puts me off.

    In the event of a puncture I don't expect to be undoing the tub by the roadside and patching the inner tube. I don't mind carrying a small bottle of sealant - preferably small enough to go in the saddle bag where the tyre levers and puncture kit would be if on clinchers. The main question with the sealant is whether it can be used pre-puncture. If not, no problem.


    I keep thinking about the Michelins. It would be perfect if there was a tub version of the Pro Race 4 but the one they have made does not appear to be. Despite this I have heard rumours that they make tubs frequently but don't sell them to the public except every few years. Is there any truth to this rumour? If so it suggests that they are experienced at this and therefore the tyre they have just released may be ok.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    earth wrote:
    In the event of a puncture I don't expect to be undoing the tub by the roadside and patching the inner tube. I don't mind carrying a small bottle of sealant - preferably small enough to go in the saddle bag where the tyre levers and puncture kit would be if on clinchers. The main question with the sealant is whether it can be used pre-puncture. If not, no problem.


    I keep thinking about the Michelins. It would be perfect if there was a tub version of the Pro Race 4 but the one they have made does not appear to be. Despite this I have heard rumours that they make tubs frequently but don't sell them to the public except every few years. Is there any truth to this rumour? If so it suggests that they are experienced at this and therefore the tyre they have just released may be ok.

    In my limited experience(with Tufo sealant), it can be used pre-puncture. A bit of valve clogging is what you can expect, but not a big deal. Have only used Tufo sealant on Tufo tire. Don't know how well it would work on tubulars with tubes in them(Tufo's are tubeless and other than the sealant they are not repairable).

    Sorry, no experience with Michelin tubs, but they make nice clinchers(depending on who you talk to, of course) so I don't see any reason to not give their tubs a try, if in fact you can find them.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 15,237
    you can inject sealant in advance, but it will eventually harden - maybe faster in the latex tube common in plusher tubs

    i'd wait until needed before using it

    if sealant fails for an on the road spare i carry a preglued tufo elite jet tub rolled tight and wrapped in a freezer bag, it's very light/compact not much bigger than a standard weight inner tubes

    to use, peel off the tyre, mount the tufo, pump up to as high a pressure as the minipump can manage (the tej is skinny and has a very high max pressure), there'll be enough tack in the glue to ride ok just take it easy on the corners
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • petemadocpetemadoc Posts: 2,667
    sungod wrote:
    if sealant fails for an on the road spare i carry a preglued tufo elite jet tub rolled tight and wrapped in a freezer bag, it's very light/compact not much bigger than a standard weight inner tubes

    ^The Tufo elite Jet 160 is extremely light and small and makes the perfect spare tub. I just can't bring myself to fork out £50 for a spare though :(

    I stupidly sold two of these recently must keep an eye out for a spare :roll:
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    If you're on tubs and without service - you need to carry a spare tub.

    I've had something slice through my Tufo tub with sealant and it was too big to repair.

    I don't fancy walking 50 miles home.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    cougie wrote:
    If you're on tubs and without service - you need to carry a spare tub.

    I've had something slice through my Tufo tub with sealant and it was too big to repair.

    I don't fancy walking 50 miles home.

    +1 on the walking. Add to that the fact that you're most likely wearing shoes with cleats AND pushing a bike with a flat tire. ALWAYS carry a spare tubular. I would carry a spare even when I used to race, simply to avoid walking any distance.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    One of my clubmate's flatted his rear wheel with 2 miles to go in a 25. He pushed on knowing that the tub would stay on - and he was on for a good time. Trashed his £800 carbon disk. I think first prize (which he didnt get) was about £35 worth...
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    cougie wrote:
    One of my clubmate's flatted his rear wheel with 2 miles to go in a 25. He pushed on knowing that the tub would stay on - and he was on for a good time. Trashed his £800 carbon disk. I think first prize (which he didnt get) was about £35 worth...

    How did he feel after? Knowing that he had trashed a mega dollar wheel? I do believe I would have backed it down and pushed(literally) in. :wink:
  • earthearth Posts: 934
    You can have trouble with clinchers as well. I have also done a few TTs. On a 25 of my own I punctured after about 13. I'm sure I was doing well before that. I fixed the puncture but while pumping the tyre up the valve broke off and had to start walking back to the finish. As I had set off last the organisers started to wonder where I was and came looking.

    It does sound like the best thing to do is to carry a light spare in the jersey.
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