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If you could only have one tubular tire......

cyclingsheepcyclingsheep Posts: 640
edited November 2015 in Cyclocross
For racing CX in the UK what would you choose? I'm tossing up between Dugast Rhinos or FMB Super Muds. From what I've read the Rhinos have a better tread pattern for muddy conditions (although we've not seen much yet this season you know it's coming) but the side walls need a lot of care to keep them in good nick where as the FMBs have better lasting side walls but not as good tread. Bearing in mind these would strictly be for racing and nothing else how do those that have raced them feel? I guess the Challenge Limus is in the mix too to be fair and it's a slightly know quantity as I'm racing the clincher version at the moment.

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  • rozzer32rozzer32 Posts: 3,385
    Why not tick both your boxes by having Rhino tread fitted on a FMB tyre. Get in contact with FMB to see if it's possible.

    I got my Rhinos from empella and they sell FMB tyres too so might be worth getting in contact with them to see if it's possible.
    ***** Pro Tour Pundit Champion 2018, 2017 & 2011 *****
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    Tricky - if I was really only allowed one tubular tyre, I might be tempted to get an FMB slalom and mount it on the front with something like a Vittoria XM clincher on the rear :-)

    Oh yeah, they're called tyres in the UK, not tires...

    Assuming you actually meant one set, is the driving factor cost or just wanting to limit the number of wheels you carry around? FMBs and Dugasts are both fairly high maintenance, and even if you look after them they don't last forever; I've killed 3 FMBs as a result of fairly minor mistreatment. Not sure about Challenge; they *might* be a bit more robust, but check with someone who's used them. As an alternative, might be worth looking at the Specialized range? It looks like they have a more robust sidewall, which would give you most of the benefit whilst saving you most of the hassle. I haven't tried them myself, but there are plenty of people using them to go a lot faster than me. They'll still let you run stupidly low pressures, it's just that the sidewalls are slightly less supple.

    As for which tread, definitely muds, as you already seem to have concluded. It's in the muddy conditions that tubs make the most difference, it's much easier to get away with clinchers in drier stuff.

    One other thing: Unless you have a tub sponsor and someone to glue them for you, never ever use tubs at Herne Hill. That place kills way too many tyres...

    Edit: I'm sure VamP will be along here shortly. Couple of years ago I saw him with a Supermud on one wheel and a Rhino on the other; earlier this season he seemed to be using Limus (albeit everyone else was on intermediates). He'll probably tell us they're all pretty similar.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • devhadsdevhads Posts: 236
    (although we've not seen much yet this season you know it's coming)

    You may see some this weekend, rained for the last three days, on and off and a bit heavy at times. At training yesterday the ground was cutting up with only 7 of us going round. That's in the next town to where you'll be racing BTW.

    I have some tubulars coming and will be gluing Limus on to them. Mainly because I have raced the clincher version for a couple of years and like them but also based on price. Was tempted by FMB super muds but put off by the high maintenance. Seeing as all Challenge's open tubulars are made using the same carcass as the tubulars you can judge their longevity by your clinchers. Mine have lasted ok, I do have some of the tread de-laminating though but the sidewalls are fine.
  • [/quote]I do have some of the tread de-laminating though but the sidewalls are fine.[/quote]
    My first set did that after one ride but Wiggle were happy to swap for a new set
  • VamPVamP Posts: 674
    You know me too well TGOTB. A tub thread always proves irresistible.

    @OP - I have tried cross tubs from most manufacturers by now, the notable exceptions being Specialized, Schwalbe and Continental. They are very much a minority group in the cross field, though that does not mean they don't work. I know strong riders using tubs from all three. Perhaps, as TGOTB is hinting, the tyres don't make as much difference as we think.

    Of the manufacturers I have tried, I would eliminate Vittoria and Dugast from your list. Vittoria make great road tubs, but their cross offering does not perform at low pressures. Dugast are just too frail. Quality of manufacture is quite poor as well.

    So what's left:

    FMB - great tubs. I used to consider them too expensive when there were just a few grey imports retailing at £85, but with euro fx bringing them to £55 when you buy direct from Francois they are incredible value. Deliciously supple sidewalls that bring out incredible performance at well under 20 psi, and a huge range of tread patterns. The Supermud is easily a match for the Rhino, I can't think of a single type of terrain the Rhino is better at. Yes they are still fragile due to the cotton carcass, but much better quality than Dugast, and crucially, factory applied sidewall coating. You still need to look after them really well, but you're realistically looking at two seasons rather than half a season, which is what I got with my last set of Dugasts. Most importantly of all, you can get them with service course stenciled on the sidewalls.

    Challenge - two options here, the synthetic and the cotton carcass. The synthetic is indestructible (well, you know what I mean) and has a definite low pressure limit below which it does not perform well. This is a bit rider dependent but for me around 19-21psi. The cotton one is without this limitation, but suffers from sidewall rot just like FMB does. Not as bad as Dugast. Limus tread is the Land Rover option. Amazing traction in gloop, but does not corner as well, and especially not on off-camber, as the Rhino/Supermud hook system, which seems to have magical properties in certain conditions.

    Tufo/Clement - Tufo make the Clement tubs, which is why I'm grouping these, although the Clement range has a different set of tread patterns. In terms of performance, these are comparable to the synthetic casing Challenge tubs. They are ultra durable as well, and this makes them particularly suitable for the one arrow quill. Due to their construction, you can pre-load them with sealant, and be virtually puncture proof. I have not tried their intermediate tread, but the mud rolls fast and would be my choice for the one tub only set.

    One final thing to mention. Consider your post race tub care. If you can wash and dry your wheels straight after a race, then store in a dry area you should be able to get along well with the cotton carcass-ed tubs. If you are going to chuck them in a garage wet and muddy, and clean them when you get a chance - which, let's be honest is the case for most weekend warriors - then Challenge or Tufo is the way to go.
  • trek_dantrek_dan Posts: 1,366
    I've been running Tufo Flexus Primus all season (only had the budget for one set of tubs) and have been impressed for most stuff. They are definitely a lot more robust than some of the more niche brands like Dugast and FMB and have the advantage that the tyre can be repaired with sealant rather than needing to get them restitched if you puncture. We had our first 'proper' gloopy mud this weekend and they weren't great for that though. On reflection I think the Flexus Cubus may be a good shout and just use clinchers rest of the time.
  • I have changed from Challenge Limus to Clement Crusade PDX as my one set only on the main bike, with the Limus over on the pit bike now. The level of grip difference is astounding, but my Limus are the cheaper Service course, not the Team Edition.

    I haven't had a proper muddy race yet this year but the PDX certainly doesnt feel like it is much draggier on damp grassy courses than any other patterns I have tried before. I am a big fan for the reasons listed above.
  • The reply I give to everyone who asks this question is FMB Supermud. Rides as well as a Rhino, lasts much longer than a Rhino (I had four seasons out of my last lot thanks to a coating of Seamgrip at the outset) and makes the difference when you really need it. Tubs on a dry day are a marginal gain, on a filthy day they tip the odds vastly in your favour.
    Supermuds also run acceptably quickly on dry days with a bit more pressure in, still far better than any clincher or tubeless setup.
  • VamPVamP Posts: 674
    Four seasons is good going!
  • They're still going strong - one pair has gone to my teammate who's a Trophy winner and the other pair to a local junior who went over to race in Belgium last weekend. Dugasts would've been toast long ago!
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    They're still going strong
    In that case, you might be able to give me some advice. The weak point of my FMBs seems to be the edge of the base tape. The tape is wider than my 25mm rims, and sooner or later the edge of the tape starts to come away from the carcass of the tyre. Doesn't cause any structural issues, but does let water in!

    Gluing this back on with mastik doesn't seem like a good idea (too stiff). I've tried Copydex, which seems to do the job but doesn't last forever.

    Any better suggestions?
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • VamPVamP Posts: 674
    In other tub news:

    Lars Boom has bought 40 cross tyres, planning to race cross again http://sporza.be/cm/sporza/wielrennen/veldrijden/1.2486873




    That's what I call a tub selection!
  • Thanks for all the replies. I know that I'll be going for a full mud tread as I'm feeling perfectly comfortable on my challenges in current conditions but then it's not muddy yet. Thanks especially to VamP for the detailed breakdown. I know I'm only a weekend warrior but I think I may give the nod to the FMBs and if I trash them in a season then I'll have learnt and will go for something sturdier next season. See you all on a course soon (I'll be the one at the back holding you up on a climb) :D
  • In that case, you might be able to give me some advice. The weak point of my FMBs seems to be the edge of the base tape. The tape is wider than my 25mm rims, and sooner or later the edge of the tape starts to come away from the carcass of the tyre. Doesn't cause any structural issues, but does let water in!

    Gluing this back on with mastik doesn't seem like a good idea (too stiff). I've tried Copydex, which seems to do the job but doesn't last forever.

    Any better suggestions?

    That sounds more like the reinforcing section than the actual base tape which you glue to the rim, more like a 'base base tape'! I'd guess it's held on with the same kind of adhesive, in the past I've used carpet glue to stick base tapes on so I'd try that. I've seen other people have that same issue but I've been fortunate, probably due to my belt and braces approach with extra Seamgrip at the outset.
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