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KarmaComa
Posted: 23 Jul 10


Posts: 298
Location: Canada
I'm not looking to start a huge debate of clinchers over tubulars, but here we go. I'm just looking for some real world experience from the crew here since we're all pretty down to earth (mostly Flapper )

I'm pondering going to tubulars for my new wheelset. Tubular carbon wheelsets have really come down in price (especially the Asian stuff) as have the tires, hence the temptation. Also considering them for a half iron distance next season and a couple of shorter tri distances.

Does anyone here ride on tubs? Do you find it to be a huge pain when changing out a flat on the road? Do you ride them in races (or would you? I've read mixed thoughts on the time it takes to change these out).

Thanks

"Triathlon is just the equation that allows us to reap the passion of life in proportion to the work we put in" - Mitch Thrower
dw152
Posted: 23 Jul 10


Posts: 134
Location: Virginia, USA
I've often thought about switching to tubulars, but whenever I get serious, I come to my senses and decide to stick with clinchers. Tubulars has two advantages -- lighter weight, and (supposedly) a better ride. But they come with disadvantages, namely a major hassle to install and change, and they're more expensive, because if you flat you usually have to throw out the tire. And if you get a flat, you don't just change the inner tube, but the entire tire, which is a bit of a hassle to do on the side of the road. Because of these factors, I would never use them for training. For racing, I used to race road bikes and still never used them (maybe that's why my results remained mediocre?). For me, the only time I've ever seriously considered using them is for cyclocross, where they have one more advantage -- the capability to operate at lower pressure. Plus, 'cross races allow wheel pits, so getting a flat wouldn't be that big of a deal.
KarmaComa
Posted: 26 Jul 10


Posts: 298
Location: Canada
dw152 wrote:
I've often thought about switching to tubulars, but whenever I get serious, I come to my senses and decide to stick with clinchers. Tubulars has two advantages -- lighter weight, and (supposedly) a better ride. But they come with disadvantages, namely a major hassle to install and change, and they're more expensive, because if you flat you usually have to throw out the tire. And if you get a flat, you don't just change the inner tube, but the entire tire, which is a bit of a hassle to do on the side of the road. Because of these factors, I would never use them for training. For racing, I used to race road bikes and still never used them (maybe that's why my results remained mediocre?). For me, the only time I've ever seriously considered using them is for cyclocross, where they have one more advantage -- the capability to operate at lower pressure. Plus, 'cross races allow wheel pits, so getting a flat wouldn't be that big of a deal.


After thinking about it a little more, I decided against them. I can't imagine changing out a tubular tire during a race.

I'm now considering a set of 40mm clinchers (alloy, not carbon). They're a little heavier but will also be more durable.

Reynolds also has a nice 30mm set at a decent price point (online)

"Triathlon is just the equation that allows us to reap the passion of life in proportion to the work we put in" - Mitch Thrower
Zeus
Posted: 26 Jul 10


Posts: 102
Location: United Kingdom
I am sure that's the best decision KC. I have witnessed many triathletes (by definition, with no team car/spare wheel/spare bike/pit stop facility) just giving up when a tub goes flat. Shame after all the training and prep to get you there, and then dnf for the sake of the comparatively few seconds to reinflate or even change the inner tube. Roadside fixings of tubs are notoriously slow and unreliable. Let's face it, just how much advantage would the average club rider/triathlete realistically expect to gain by using tubs in preference to clinchers - half of bu**er all! There would be plenty of other 'improvements' that could be made to improve performance, before the choice of tyre made any impact.
KarmaComa
Posted: 27 Jul 10


Posts: 298
Location: Canada
True enough, what got me thinking about tubs was that I was offered a really good deal on a pair of 50mm carbon wheels. But I think if I work on strength over the off-season I will be able to offset the weight of alloy clinchers.

And you're right, in the end it wont make much difference, it's once athletes start competing at the top level that a few seconds start making a difference.

Anyhow, that's money I can put aside for a masters swim clinic anyhow, wink wink nudge nudge
There is a local masters group. I meet the requirements (req: 100 meters in 2:30, I can do 1:50 now) and have to be able to swim for 30 minutes without rest.

I just have to find the time, my shifts at work are all over the place.


"Triathlon is just the equation that allows us to reap the passion of life in proportion to the work we put in" - Mitch Thrower
hammerite
Posted: 27 Jul 10


Posts: 859
Location: United Kingdom
I think there are some more advantages (knowledge from reading about tubs, rather than using them).... apparently they puncture less easily - not sure how, but so I've read. Allegedly they're a bit faster, and handle better. The other advantage, which I think you allude to is that you can use full carbon wheels - full carbon clinchers can lead to all sorts of problems with overheating and tyre bulge.

I've seen people use this to repair flats to tubs during races Pit Stop

Personally I went the same route as you when considering new wheels. I stuck with clinchers as I just didn't fancy the maintenance required when getting a puncture. I went for Mavic Cosmic Carbone wheels - 50mm carbon wheel with alloy rims. They're not the lightest of wheels but are aero. Worked well for me this season.

And our next debate will be Shimano v Campag v Sram Blink BigGrin
KarmaComa
Posted: 27 Jul 10


Posts: 298
Location: Canada
hammerite wrote:
I think there are some more advantages (knowledge from reading about tubs, rather than using them).... apparently they puncture less easily - not sure how, but so I've read. Allegedly they're a bit faster, and handle better. The other advantage, which I think you allude to is that you can use full carbon wheels - full carbon clinchers can lead to all sorts of problems with overheating and tyre bulge.

I've seen people use this to repair flats to tubs during races Pit Stop

Personally I went the same route as you when considering new wheels. I stuck with clinchers as I just didn't fancy the maintenance required when getting a puncture. I went for Mavic Cosmic Carbone wheels - 50mm carbon wheel with alloy rims. They're not the lightest of wheels but are aero. Worked well for me this season.

And our next debate will be Shimano v Campag v Sram Blink BigGrin


I've heard horror stories about "pit stop" getting stuck inside valves, I would be too worried that the tire would flat out on me again.
The Cosmics are a little out of my range, but it's a very good wheelset. I'm now looking at some semi custom stuff online, if the price is right and the weight is in the same range as the Mavics (under 1800) then I'll be happy.

As far as the Shimano v Campag v Sram goes, I'm a Shimano guy, only because I know I can just pop online and get replacement parts easily and for a decent price (because it is so plentiful). I do love the Sram shifters though. If I was a dentist I would pick up a Sram Red grouppo and a set of Zipps to go with that ThumbsUp

But...with that said, I'm going with Microshift bar end shifters for the new build, indexed/lighter/cheaper/better looking than the other options.






"Triathlon is just the equation that allows us to reap the passion of life in proportion to the work we put in" - Mitch Thrower
hammerite
Posted: 28 Jul 10


Posts: 859
Location: United Kingdom
Not sure which cosmics you are looking at, I got the SLs reasnably priced £750, as opposed to the SLRs which I think are £1,250-1,500.

But I know what you mean about custom made wheels, not long after buying the Mavics and after doing a fair amount of searching! I found a few different options for carbon clincher wheels with alloy rims, and the pricing was very keen indeed £5-600.

I have no preference between Shimano and Campag really. Don't know enough about Sram. My now winter bike (previously my good bike) is Shimano, my good bike is Campag - but this wasn't a conscious decision. The new TT bike which is due in the next couple of days is Campag, but purely so I can share the Cosmics between the good bike and the TT bike.
KarmaComa
Posted: 28 Jul 10


Posts: 298
Location: Canada
Well, I'm curious as to whether deeper rims will help me hold a steady speed for longer periods. I finally decided to bring my Garmin on my last ride and I noticed I was having issues keeping my speed on flats at a constant rate (in the 30km/h range).

What I mean is, there was a sudden substantial drop off when I stopped pedaling or brought my cadence down, there wasn't much wind at the time. I'm still using the wheels the Cannondale came with (box rim, low end Shimano). Regardless, the purchase is a must, unless I develop levitation powers and am able to will my new frame along a course.

I "may" have found a set of sub 1800 gram, 40mm alloy clinchers in the $600 US range which would leave me with some funds for a good saddle (I like the Adamo) we shall see, I'm in no hurry.

Would love to see the TT bike once it arrives

"Triathlon is just the equation that allows us to reap the passion of life in proportion to the work we put in" - Mitch Thrower
hammerite
Posted: 29 Jul 10


Posts: 859
Location: United Kingdom
KarmaComa wrote:
Well, I'm curious as to whether deeper rims will help me hold a steady speed for longer periods. I finally decided to bring my Garmin on my last ride and I noticed I was having issues keeping my speed on flats at a constant rate (in the 30km/h range).

What I mean is, there was a sudden substantial drop off when I stopped pedaling or brought my cadence down, there wasn't much wind at the time. I'm still using the wheels the Cannondale came with (box rim, low end Shimano). Regardless, the purchase is a must, unless I develop levitation powers and am able to will my new frame along a course.

I "may" have found a set of sub 1800 gram, 40mm alloy clinchers in the $600 US range which would leave me with some funds for a good saddle (I like the Adamo) we shall see, I'm in no hurry.

Would love to see the TT bike once it arrives


I can't wait to see it too! Having day off work on Monday to go and collect, I didn't fancy them sending it by courier, but the shop is 3hrs drive away!

I can't say I've tried cruising without pedalling as I usually just use these wheels on time trials etc... so I'm pedalling constantly. I can hold a pace for longer though when I am pedalling. The big difference though is when there's a strong cross wind - had a couple of ocassions where the front wheel has lifted off and I've nearly come a cropper!
magnacarter
Posted: 29 Jul 10


Posts: 277
Location: United Kingdom
Ooooo... what TT bike have you gone for?

Is this part of your cunning plan to beat me in the 26's?

ThumbsUp Woot

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hammerite
Posted: 30 Jul 10


Posts: 859
Location: United Kingdom
magnacarter wrote:
Ooooo... what TT bike have you gone for?

Is this part of your cunning plan to beat me in the 26's?

ThumbsUp Woot


Ribble Aero TT. Not part of the plan as our last evening league 10 was this week Sad . But I might try and find another local 10, all of which will be on a faster course than our EL.

When does yours finish?
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