Tubular Tires for Training

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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.

The perfect setup, a Shimano C24 carbon tubular and Vittoria CX.

The perfect setup, a Shimano C24 carbon tubular and Vittoria CX.

I haven't used this, but I've heard great things about it.  It doesn't corrode a scandium rim like Stans does.

I haven’t used this, but I’ve heard great things about it. It doesn’t corrode a scandium rim like Stans does.

37 thoughts on “Tubular Tires for Training

  1. DavRacer

    AWESOME post. I love when I see real world reviews on products. You never sugar coat it which I appreciate also.

    As far as guys riding Carbon Clinchers… I see it on every club/training ride. I think people just like having cool stuff- they look cool, they sound cool, etc and I think thats awesome. It keeps them interested in the sport in more ways then just going out and riding, they like the bling too! I personally ride Alloy Clinchers in training. No worries and not wearing out my race stuff.

  2. Mark

    I’d love to hear what you all have to say about sealant in latex tubes. I haven’t had much success sealing a Vittoria CX tires in the past. Maybe I didn’t wait long enough to get a good seal… I use Vittoria Pit Stop in my Continental tires and they seal up very quickly! Due to the price of the ‘Pit Stop’ I’ve recently taken to carrying a small bottle of Stans sealant and a valve stem tool and it seems to be working well. I had a year of way to many flats both in clinchers and tubulars this year so I’m getting a chance to mess around with solutions. I hope I can end this experiment soon!!

  3. Kris Walker

    I agree on the tubeless issue. I got some Hutchinson 28mm tires and the ride is very much like a soid rubber tire plus the tires themselves are quite porous. I’ve had to add Stans 3 times and the sidewalls still are leaking air. Plus they are really no bigger than my 24mm specialized tires which are much better riding. I think I am going back to those, as I don’t really flat all that often.

  4. Mark Kerlin

    I completely agree about tubeless tires. I tried them and the tire is harsh, smaller than labeled, and untrustworthy when cornering, with terrible feedback.

    I also agree about carbon clinchers. I just don’t get it. The carbon braking issue, especially in the rain, is not going away, I’m riding Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLRs and I think it is the best training wheel. I’ve had a set for a year and a half and they’ve never needed to be trued. They weigh 1600 grams, which is light enough to race on. They have the exalith braking surface and braking is predictable and fantastic even in the wet. The only issue is that the rims are so stiff that you can make them flex at the hub and they’ll rub the brakes if you set your pads up too close. If set up correctly though there are no issues.

    About tires, you absolutely must try the new Specialized Turbo Tires. I’ve raced all sorts of tubular tires over the years and right now I’m just racing and training on these Turbos. The grip you get at a high lean angle is fantastic. The feel and comfort is superb.

    1. AT

      Mark,

      I also love the Cosmic Carbone SLRs. Also notice the issue with hub flex but it’s easy to mitigate. I like them with the Vittoria Pave EVO CGs. I still have a set when they were producing 24mm versions, but I am sure 25s are great too.

  5. Rod

    I love tubies and have been riding them on road and cross bikes for the last 40 years for training and racing.

    The best compromise I’ve found are Tufo Elite Ride tubulars. They come in 23 and 25, I always use the 25. The best thing about the Tufos is that they seal really well with sealant, either Tufo, Stan’s, whatever. Since the Vittoria’s have tubes inside the tire they’re not made for sealing with sealant since some of the sealant stays in the tube, and some leaks out from the puncture in the tube and gets between the tube and the casing, and ends up in the base tape through the seam…it can be a mess. The Tufos have no tube and are designed for use with a sealant in case of a puncture. The 25s come in at about 260g despite being advertised at 290g so they’re pretty light.

    The downside is that Tufos have the reputation of not being the best handling tubular out there, but they’e fine for training and a lot of people race on them as well.

  6. Tony Austini

    I’ve used both the Intensive and the Fusion 3 tubeless tires from Hutchinson. The Intensives were kind of narrow for a 25c and they did not offer a great ride.

    The Fusion 3 however, rides and performs fantastically. I use them with Stan’s wheels and I use sealant in the tires. Flats are almost a thing of the past, which is a huge benefit in real world conditions. Stop and think about how many tubes you’ve bought over the years and about how many times you’ve stopped to fix flats. TOTALLY impressed with this setup. It has transformed the ride of my bike in a positive way and I would never go back to clinchers. And yes, I have used (and have a set) of tubulars. They perform great. I usually use the tubulars for racing because they are on carbon aero wheels. But, I would not hesitate at all to race with the tubeless. If you use the tubeless setup and inflate them to your normal clincher pressure, then you will be disappointed. The trick is to ride a lower pressure than with a clincher. If all else fails, consult someone who knows what they are doing and you will not be disappointed. C’mon, it’s 2014…

    Yeah, tubulars ride great. Are they loads better than the tubeless? No. Are they more puncture resistant than tubeless? No. Do they cost less than tubeless? No. The internet is your friend, my friends. Can you glue the tubies on yourself? If so, get your acetone, your glue, your gloves and a boatload of time and sweat and get to it. If not, then call your bike shop and have them install the tires you just bought from Wiggle. Last time I checked, the shop charges for this task… Oh yeah, you ever change a tubie out on the road? Hmmm good times haha. Remember that in order to change a tubular on your local club ride, you have to have an extra tire with you, too. The tubeless tires are also a chore to install first time, but if you can’t do it, maybe golf would be a better choice for you. Tubeless are the way of the future.

    Carbon clinchers when training? To each his own, but let’s face it, cycling today is way overpriced and is ridiculous for what historically is a blue collar sport. When middle of the line racing bikes are costing $5000, there is something wrong. Same can be said for tubular/tubeless/clincher/cross/mtb tire costs. How about the cost of top of the line bikes? Forget about it..

    To the guy who has a problem with 28c Intensives- There is no 28c tubeless Intensive. Only 25c. Check and make sure you are working with a tubeless tire. If you do have a tubeless tire, then just take your time with the installation and you will get it right.

    1. Doug P

      With all due respect, you can’t compare a clincher to a sew-up. Tubulars do and always have provided a superior ride. Think of a circle “O”-vs- an upside down “U” shape. Are Sew-ups hard to install? No more than a Stan’s Tubless set-up. You put them in the closet, stretched to an old hoop and they are very easy install. In fact, if you use Tubular Tape, I’ve found it to be easier with a properly stretched tire. As far as changing one on the road goes; Pull the old one off, put the new one on (from your seat bag) and don’t worry about gluing it on until you get home. This isn’t a race. If so, you’ll have a Support Vehicle. I’ve only been at this for 40-years, been with the US National Team at many National & International events. But, I’ve changed 100’s if not 1,000’s of tires so I pretty much know what I’m talking about. A lower end Continental Clincher is around $50 + Tube is $60. A Mid-Range Continental Tubular is about $63 + $5 for Tape is $68.. For the extra $8, there’s no comparison. As far as Carbon wheels on a training ride goes, I’m not about to risk a $1,500 wheel set on a training ride, but that’s just me.

      1. The Cyclist

        The only problem I ever had with sew-ups was on the day I managed to flat the rear and then the front 10 miles from home. This was before the clinchers and before cell phones. The walk back home in wooden sole Duegi clogs with cleats was the worst walk I ever had. I think my back’s still hurting 30 years later. Apart from that no probs at all. Happy Easter!

  7. peter k

    AWESOME POST STEVE! I have been riding , racing and selling tubulars for 40+ years. I sell more of them each year than clinchers. Nothing matches the quality of the ride you get with a good tubular. For sealing them I use the Caffe Latex from Velimpex in Coloroado. Much better stuff than the Vittoria, Stans, Slime, or the Tufo sealants. Goes in as a liquid and turns to a vapor coating the insie of the tire when spun.

    For training I use a Tufo S33 in the rear and a Tufo Elite in the front. for racing its Vittoria CX Pro TT 320TPI Core Spun tubulars with Caffe latex. Nothing else even comes close.

  8. Taylor George

    This is an excellent topic. I have a couple tubular wheel sets that I would love to use for road cycling training, but Tony Austini raises good questions: install hassle and repair-ability when getting flats. I can get past the install hassle. My BIG question is does the sealant actually work? We have a dude on our cycling club who is always getting left behind because the chap can’t get his flats figured out in the middle of no where. I had to give him my coat while he cell phoned his GF not to long ago. Bottom line for me is this: can I fix my shit when I’m 50 miles from home? I would love some honest answers.

    1. Devin

      Taylor- I’d say changing tubies on the side of the road is a much bigger deal if you’ve glued them on as well as you ought to. I think anybody who doesn’t dread removing a tubular has not adhered them as well as they should. Maybe the tape is easier to deal with than a properly glued tire, but I’m not about to find out.

      I go with high volume clinchers with a little sealant and a high quality tube; amazing ride quality, they last much longer at the lower pressures you can run with a 28 on a high volume wheel (Rolf Ares 4 in my case) and the descend significantly better than a wooden feeling tubeless setup.

  9. James

    Hutchinson tubeless tires are horrible. Try the Bontrager tubeless 700×25’s. They measure close to 28mm and have a pretty good ride. Durability is way better than the Hutchinson.

    1. JPrumm

      I used the Bontrager tubeless and they rode fantastic but the casing is soft and I cut one big enough that it ruined the tire. Only got about 100 miles on the tire. I went to Maxis and the ride is harsh but the tire is tough.

      I use my race wheels for training more and more. They are tubulars and nothing rides better. I have a set of Conti Sprinters and have over 3000 miles on them. Every now and then I put a little Bontrager sealant in them and haven’t had any flats.

  10. Monty

    The Hutchinson Intensive tubeless tires are pretty harsh, hard compound tires – and they are not a 25c tire – they were built on the 23c casing, but they have different tread and more rubber than the Fusion 3 – so they called them 25c. I think of them as a commute/harsh conditions tire that won’t flat easily. I use them on my commute/winter rain bike. I also mount them to wider rims, like a HED Belgium, which makes them perform a lot better than on a standard 20mm rim. I wouldn’t race ,or do major training on them, if I was looking for good performance.

    The Fusion 3 tubeless tires are much, much better riding tires, and are a great general training tire and an even an OK race tire, especially if you don’t want to worry with tubulars. They come in around 280g, which is comparable to a good 200g clincher and 75g tube. Flats are almost eliminated with a good sealant (20g worth). For me it is so nice to not have to worry about flatting in a race. I have had only 1 catastrophic flat (severely cut tire bead to bead) that ended a ride in 4+ years. I have only had a few slow leaks that all sealed up because of the sealant, I have had a few overnight flats, while the bike was in the garage, or in the car coming back from an event – usually due to a slow leak and having let the sealant dry out. All other leaks sealed on the road with no intervention.

    You can run a lot less pressure with the tubeless – and when you get one of the better tires it does feel really good. I don’t think it is as good as a tubular, but it is closer than anything else. Fewer flats means more riding, less hassles, and I think lower costs.

    The new Hutchinson Atom Galactics tubeless are a really nice race level tubeless tire – they are 23C – even wider on the Stans Alpha 340/400 rims and other wider road rims – and they are fairly light at around 240g. I really like these tires.

    There are some drawbacks to Tubeless – you do need a good rim – I like the Stans Alpha 340 and the HED Belgium rims – Shimano works as well. Depending on the rim choice the tires can be a bit harder to remove, or to put in a tube in the event of a rare flat. The sealant is a drag for some – it does dry out after about 4-6 months. You would probably wear the tires out in that time anyway if you are riding 500 miles a week! It is easier to install the tires with a compressor – which is unique to tubeless (not much different than mtb).

    If you are doing tubeless on your Mountain bikes then it isn’t a big difference. Some tires seal right away, some take a bit more effort to get everything going and sealed. The road tires are similar, sometimes it is bang bang, done – other times it takes a little bit of work, to seat the tire the first time, get it to air up around the valve right, but then it is done…

    There are some other interesting options for tubeless tires like the just released Hutchinson 25c Fusion 3, the Secteur 28c tubeless ready tire, and some of the other brands like Maxxis, IRC, & Schwalbe.

  11. Brian

    I couldn’t agree with Tony more! I use tubeless on my road bike, my mountain bike and my cross bike. On my road bike, I also use the Fusion 3 tubeless tire along with Stan’s wheels. I trust that combination in any condition and have been totally stoked from day 1. I love the ride, the grip and the freedom from flats. I always say that the only people who are against tubeless bicycle tires are people who haven’t tried it yet. It’s either that or they are selling tubes and/or tubular tires or they are just people who are extremely resistant to change. Tubeless is simply a better technology and that is why cars and high end street motos use tubeless. The key to tubeless nirvana on the road is to use the correct rim and a good tubeless tire along with the correct mounting techniques. Because of higher air pressures, you must use a tubeless road tire because it is engineered and manufactured for the higher pressure. The only times I’ve heard anyone complain about tubeless is when they have used the wrong equipment or when the tires have not been mounted correctly. Tubeless tire models, sizes and brands are rider preference of course. I like the Fusion. I have used many top clinchers and tubulars and overall, I say tubeless is the way to go. The only exception is for racing on the road, where tubulars might be a better call in certain situations. Might be. Clinchers? No way. As for training, tubeless is 100% the way to go.

    Disclaimer- I do not sell any bike or bike related products. I just call it the way I experience it. Been riding and racing for decades. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go hop on my tubeless shod bike and go for a ride, while you clincher riders are driving to the shop to buy a gross of tubes and patch kits and you sewup guys are cleaning the glue off your wheels, your hands and everything else in the garage.

    Let’s ride!

  12. Kenny

    Hi,
    We started distributing Orange Seal this year in addition to our other sealants. We tested it (and even shot a product review vid for it) and I can say that it’s pretty amazing. Coats rims smoothly like paint and isn’t as corrosive as other brands. I can only speak for myself on this, but I’ll be interested to see how the OS works for you.

  13. GK

    I haven’t ridden tubeless so I can’t comment there; but I do train and race on carbon clinchers…

    Why do I train on carbon clinchers? The amount of time I spend training is exponentially greater than the amount of time I spend racing – so why deny myself the pleasure of ridding my best gear for only those times I am in competition? And let’s be honest 99% of us are amateur racers (Cat 3/4), club riders and grand fondo guys, who have a deep passion for the sport and love bikes!

    I get as much pleasure heading our for a long ride in the country on my fancy carbon wheels as I do in a race – actually, probably more, because I can actually consciously think how lucky I am to be able to afford all this cool bike gear and enjoy the ride. I can also think to myself, yes, this wider profile and xyz technology is actually making me faster! But the reality is who cares, it makes me happy.

    Are tubulars better? 100%, but a 25mm conti 4000s on a 27mm-28mm rim is a super comfy ride. I am also too lazy to learn how to master tubulars to the point where I would be comfortable trusting them/me on a long unsupported ride.

    Bottom line – whatever turns your crank is ok w/me!

  14. channel_zero

    Tubeless is:
    Arguably more expensive
    Difficult to setup compared to tubes.
    Seems to require CO2, always a finite supply on-bike.
    Seems to require sealant. Do you guys carry this stuff around?
    Sealant has a finite life. More maintenance for me.

    Clinchers:
    Arguably about the same cost.
    Easy to setup.
    Pump or CO2
    I can choose to run sealant.
    Carrying spare tubes/patch kit is easy.
    Okay ride.

    Tubulars:
    Easy to setup
    Pump or CO2
    finite on-bike supply.
    REEALLLY nice ride.

    A bicycle is not a car or motorcycle. It seems like the industry is rushing consumers into another fad that requires more of my time just to keep a bike on the road, or dirt.

  15. Luke

    Latest and greatest in tubeless road tires is probably Schwalbe. Those “The One” tires come in sizes from 23 to 28 and use a great compound. I wasn’t thrilled with my Hutchinsons when I tried tubeless a few years ago but am considering giving these a shot.

  16. KU

    Road tubeless is a joke. Get real and ride tubulars if you’re going through that kind of expense and installation difficulty.

  17. Mike Rodose

    Tire/wheel choice is clearly a personal thing. Thankfully!

    Don’t poke fun at the old-school tubular fans, or the carbon-clincher guys…all fine. One of the bigger choices we can make on our bikes is wheel/tire setup…so many variables to customize! Bearings, hubs, spokes, nipples, rim, tape, glue, sealants, tire, tread, width, valves, pressure, pads, etc..

    Form that sea of confusion, my preference and current logic is below.

    Training: Gatorskin clincher tires on standard Mavic aluminum wheelset. Durable, ease of changing flats, great spare wheelset for race pits.

    Racing: Gatorskin tubular tires on Mavic carbon or aluminum rims (especially in wet). Heavier tires like gatorskins don’t matter in most races…flats matter. Hence the heavy-duty tires, but always tubular. Inflate road tubulars more than than less. For speed. Not shock absorbtion.

  18. walter sobchak

    Francisco Mancebo
    What does The Emir think about using fancy carbon wheels on training rides

  19. Fabio

    Really cool subject.
    Great to hear so many great stories and experience. Just wanted to add my own experience here.

    Tubeless = I don’t know anything about, only what you guys have written here.
    Clinchers and Tubulars. I’ve been riding and racing for many years. One thing I always hated are flats. So to fix that i kinda had to use tire liners. Well, basically I got a set of cheap clincher wheels with 28c tires and liners. Rides super SLOOOOOOOW, heavy but very smooth. During training group rides they are terrible when it comes to high speed or accelerating. But, no flats. On the day I go racing or special kick butt group ride… My set of carbon 50mm tubular ( continentals ) are so so sweet and awesome, it makes all worth riding bad, heavy, cheap wheels. It’s like putting on a turbo on the bike. Basically, I also don’t get it why some people use super expensive wheels to go training. Training is about getting better.

  20. Bill K

    I see lots of “Tuesday Night hero’s” on Carbon clincher wheelsets.
    Myself, I so all my training on 32 hole Open Pros, and moderate priced clinchers. (usually bought on sale)
    I don’t believe that I’m fast enough, so I do my racing on a mix of Vitoria’s and Conti’s glued to retro GL330’s, and Wolber Aubisque’s. I believe that the Wolbers were the same that you raced on, when you raced with Mike F. (Since I bought them from him, when “factory wheels” became a hot item).

  21. carlos flanders

    Been riding and racing on tubeless Schwalbe Ultremo on Kinlin tubeless rims. About 3000 miles so far. need to run them in the ~75 psi range. They have a stiff sidewall so are harsh unless you run them low, then they come into their own. Corner very well, great grip. Valve stem will start to leak if you don’t replenish sealant every two months (in summer). One tire was 30g lighter than the other, need to run it about 5 psi higher to get equivalent ride. They don’t have any puncture protection belt so rolling resistance is very good (but you need sealant) – even used them in TTs and they were just as fast as tubulars.

    The Schwalbe Ones are supposed to be even better, but they may wear out sooner. Will try them soon

    Tubeless still has a ways to go, but at the moment I don’t see myself going back to regular clinchers on any new rims I build up.

  22. john williams

    I gotta get in on this, as I have ridden tubeless set ups on all my bikes for the past 4 years. I agree that the intensive is not a great tire, but I did like the hutchinson atom. I also like the fusion 3, I am currently running those. I will say the schwalbe ultremos are my favorites by far. Great fast, supple tire, just don’t last as long so I wait till the winter has completely gone away to mount them up.
    For me I choose tubeless for the ride quality and speed. On the few occasions I’ve actually flatted to the point of having to throw a tube in, the difference in how easily the tire spins with that tube in it is significant. All that being said I race on tubulars with vittorias

  23. Jim

    I don’t see a reason to switch to tubeless. I have a great set of aluminum clinchers for training – I rarely flat and if I do I patch and go. For racing I have two tubular wheel sets, an aero 50mm carbon wheel set and an aluminum wheel set. Works fine for me. What I don’t get is why anyone would want carbon clinchers – that makes zero sense to me.

  24. Gummee

    If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Pretty well sums up lots of guys wheel selection. They have the crap wheels their bike came with and the upgrade. …so they ride the upgrade.

    Me? I’ve got 3-4 pair of ‘Open Pro’ style wheels to pick when I’m JRA. If I’m doing intervals or fast group rides, I’ll break out the more aero wheelset(s). I’m my case, they’re chinese carbon ‘Zipp toroidal’ copies. I’m rolling on a sub-$500 carbon clincher wheelset. I built em for the specific purpose of racing and fast group rides. If I break em somehow, I’m out a few hundred, not a few thousand dollars.

    Riding gravel? MUCH much prefer my box-section tubulars and some Tufo Dry 32s. Mo bettah without the pinch flats I get with clinchers. The Tufos aren’t the most supple ride, but they wear like iron and don’t flat (knocking on wood.)

    M

  25. Bob

    Get off your wallet’s–Tubulars–Vittorias-the smoothest . Continentals-Competitions almost as smooth and durable as hell. I’ve gone through three sets, no flats. NONE.
    Nobody needs to glue anymore, TUFO Tape. No issues NONE. I’ve ridden down mountain hairpin turns, glue is old school, TAPE, TAPE,TAPE.

    Any of the top level Carbon Tubular rims made these days can take a ton of abuse. I ride through terrible roads to get out of the city, massive potholes. No issues, NONE. These roads give my clincher tires flats all the time.

  26. britton kusiak

    I think the main point Steve wanted to make is if someone had a big chunk of $$ to spend, why did they spend it on carbon clinchers when in most cases the tubular wheelsets are a bit cheaper, ride much better, and are way lighter. I do believe no one commenting here has claimed carbon clinchers to be faster, lighter, better stopping, or stronger than the other options out there.

    Most people have varying budgets for wheels. For me, a 1400 gram sl23 pacenti 24mm wide clincher alloy wheelset for $400 with corsa cx 25mm open tubular clincher tires and latex tubes would be the best route to go…for a sub $500 budget.

    Last thing is the replacement costs of tubulars. Once they get a bad flat or cut, they are done. I do believe the corsa cx tires are the best for tubulars and clincher for ride quality, not the best for training, I’ll still leave the corsa cx on the front, but will go with a gatorskin on the rear when I am training.

    Usually I can only get about 700 miles out of the rear corsa cx tubulars before they are nearly balled or puncture.

  27. RP

    First, hat’s-off to Steve for dispelling some of the misleading hype surrounding the tubular vs. clincher argument.
    The basic proof is in the design: As you inflate a tubular, pressure against the rim increases, increasing the bond between tire and rim(you can safely ride tubulars without glue up to a point). As you inflate a clincher, the tire tries to get off the rim and has to be held in place flanges. All other points aside, this should be all you need to know if you are concerned about performance and safety.

    Second; a tip for removing a tubular that is properly glued to it’s rim(that is to say that you almost have to break your thumbs to remove it). If you flat and are replacing your tubular with a new one, or are removing your tubular to replace it(and either way will not be using it again), an easy way of breaking the glue bond is to roll/ride on it while deflated, VERY SLOWLY on a PERFECTLY SMOOTH SURFACE(like a well-maintained asphalt parking lot(I say asphalt because it flexes while concrete does not which can easily damage your carbon rims)). Be careful to avoid anything that resembles a bump, pebble, etc. Within 40-50′ of gentle rolling the glue bond will be broken and removing your tubular will be a snap. Throw the tubular away as the laytex tube will probably have been compromised in the process. Doing this with a rear is safer than the front, for obvious reasons. Use your own discretion. I use this method because the mounting process I use includes rolling newly mounted tubulars, once aligned, then deflated, gently but firmly on a 5/8″ dowel rod to maximize the rim/glue/tape base contact area. Then immediately re-inflating of course. The stronger bond reduces tire squirm which gives you more positive cornering feedback and acceleration. It will be very noticeable if you’ve been using tape and subtly more positive than a normal glue job. The downside being that removing the tubular is more difficult but I think the reasoning is obvious. I’ve never rolled a tubular on a technical descent despite 185º rim temps and glistening glue along the tire/rim edge. Supposedly tubular glue will liquify around 240ºF. Also remember that tubular glue is “pressure sensitive” meaning that in order for the adhesion to remain pressure must be maintained. This means keeping your tire pressure constant regardless of use, which means pumping them up every two-three days(laytex tubes don’t hold air the way buytl tubes do but are key to the supple ride and handling whereas buytl tubes are like bouncing balloons). Most “rolled tubulars” are the result of lack of maintenance, not design flaw. If you haven’t worn your tires out after about four months it’s a good idea to pull them off, reapply a thin layer of glue, and remount them, just to keep the adhesion maximized. It’s better than a trip to the ER. Anyway, just a few tubie tips I’ve found that keep me safe and dialed in.

  28. Richard Goodwin

    Ok… Road Tubeless… I’d like to chime in on behalf of Hutchinson

    When people ask me about Road Tubeless my first response is always that there’s only 2 two-wheeled devices that still use tubes; bicycles and wheelbarrows.

    There’s a lot of misinformation in circulation regarding the technology and performance of Road Tubeless tires.

    I’ve been riding Road Tubeless for 8 years now. Many detractors say tubeless on the road solves nothing. Quite the opposite.

    – No pinch flats. None.
    – Wider range of PSI or bars. If you reach a rough or dirt-gravel section of road just drop your pressure until you get back to pavement.
    – Safer, beads stay mounted on the rim when punctured (if used with a proper compatible wheel or rim). And safer especially when used with sealant. You’ll almost never have a puncture where the you’ll have such a rapid drop in PSI that you will loose control of the bicycle and never a situation where the tire comes off the rim and the tube comes out.
    – On average, more efficient than tubed clinchers. Not having the a tube lowers rolling resistance. In the case of the Galactik Road Tubeless, that tire has about 5% lower rolling resistance than a pro-team level tubular. Rolling resistance on bicycle tires is improved by a few different component metrics.
    – Many wheels to choose from now*.
    – Installed using proper methodology, Road Tubeless tires are actually easier to install than tube type clinchers. And you’ll never pinch a tube during installation.

    Methodology means Tubeless compatible wheels, soaped-up beads. I’ve used a floor-pump, hand-pump, compressor and a CO2 inflator to install road tubeless tires. That’s not to say Hutchinson Road Tubeless installations can’t have their frustrating moments, but that’s usually 90% of the time the bead stuck on the valve rubber that’s protruding inside the rim.

    About compatible wheels*: Hutchinson developed Road Tubeless with Shimano as the only wheel option. Now there are many wheel brands and models that are compatible with Hutchinson Road Tubeless tires. The rim is specific in two ways: 1. No nipple entrance hole in the inner rim section. 2. The bead is a specific shape that creates a mechanical air-tight fit between the tire bead and rim.

    Regarding size and ride. Older production Intensive Road Tubeless tires had a synthetic rubber compound in the tread to improve wear and increase tire life. This was removed to improve the Intensive’s wet weather performance (it’s a dual compound tire) and reduce the harsh ride. Speaking frankly, tire widths have been on the anemic side depending on the rim width that’s used, but that’s changing and honestly the first generation tubeless tires were developed when the thinking was still “narrow as possible, PSI as high as possible.” The new Fusion3 25mm is a true 25 and the Sector 28 is a true 28 and the ride is amazing.

    High-end bicycle tires thread a fine line between performance, puncture resistance, longevity, all-weather capabilities while attempting to keep the weight as low as possible AND also deliver reliability. This is a challenging goal. One of the most popular clincher training tires used today has absolutely abysmal performance metrics. It’s challenging for a consumer to make an objective choice in tires when considering all the possible performance options.

    At the beginning of this post I mentioned that I have been riding Road Tubeless for 8 years, now when I ride a tube type clincher the tire feels dead by comparison. I feel safer knowing that if I puncture on a descent the tire won’t deflate instantaneously and I’ll be on the rim fighting for control. At speed, tubeless tires sound like a tubular, with that acoustic hum you know that performance tubulars create at speed. And punctures… any small puncture that self-repairs with sealant goes unnoticed. How do you compare that reliability metric against a tubed tire that flats with any perforation of the tube. Oh, and Road Tubeless tires are repairable. Regarding comfort, I’m 165 lbs and ride my tires between 80 and 85 psi f-r on terrible Marin and Sonoma county roads. I know what comfort feels like and Road Tubeless makes these county roads infinitely more bearable to ride.

    About Road Tubeless tires, there’s two types. Regular RT which has a butyl liner in the casing and doesn’t require sealant (although advised), and Tubeless Ready (Sector 28). Tubeless Ready comes from MTB tire technology. It requires sealant to seal the casing (why you’ll see it coming out of the sidewalls) and keeps weight down to competition levels. The Sector 28 uses this technology and was a tire designed for pro teams at Paris-Roubaix.

    Before you dismiss this technology based upon hearsay or limited use, I only suggest keeping an open mind, and really trying tubeless if the opportunity permits. I’ve never met a tubeless convert that reverted back to tubes.

    I feel I should qualify myself before my comments so readers can understand my background and experience in this realm. Started cycling in 1969 on tubulars. Raced regional NorCal amateur in early seventies. Tour de France mechanic 1984. Formed US Mavic neutral support in 1985 and worked with Mavic as GM and in a neutral support roll at Paris-Roubaix and the Barcelona Olympic Games. I’ve been in the cycling industry for 35 years and a cyclist for 45 years.

    Cheers.

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