I obviously travel a ton and ride with a lot of different people throughout the year. It continually amazes me how nice of equipment that people ride in other parts of the country. Not that in Kansas, the guys I ride with ride shit, but they aren’t training on carbon clinchers, etc.
I’ve been riding some Hutchinson Intense tubeless tires on Shimano clincher wheels and let me tell you, they aren’t up to what everyone raves about.
First of all, they are labeled as 25mm, but they don’t have the volume or height of a 25mm tire. They look and ride more like a 23.
2nd, they ride like solid rubber. Even at 80 psi, they are harsh. Descending the crummy roads off Mt. Soladad in La Jolla, they sent such a shock to my handlebars, it made controlling the bike very unpleasant.
The one advantage this new tubeless setup has going for it is that it does reduce having punctures. I’ll give them that. But the horrible ride quality offsets any advantage of less flats.
I have been riding with a bunch of people that are training on carbon clinchers. I don’t get it. They weigh just about the same as aluminum ones, but cost a ton more and you have the carbon braking issue. Plus, they have to wear out a ton quicker than scandium or aluminum rims.
So these guys are riding expensive carbon clincher wheels with expensive tubeless clinchers. It doesn’t make sense.
If you’re going to all this trouble and expense, I’d suggest you just ride carbon tubular wheels with Vittoria CX sewup tires. This is the best setup that you can have on a road bicycle at the present time. The lightest wheels with the best handling tires.
If you used just a small amount of sealant in the tires, I’d bet most people could get half a season out of a tire. You can buy the Vittoria at Wiggle.com for less than $50 with free shipping. That is a 1000 times better deal than an Hutchinson Intensive for $70.
Anyway, I’m considering going back to tubualar tires for training. Especially in the mountains. The clincher tires do not handle anywhere near as well as a tubular and they aremuch more dangerous, if you flat, when you’re descending fast or cornering.