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I am looking at carbon frames right now and will be building up a lighter and more aero bike than my current steed. For hubs I am thinking of either DT240, DT190, or WI H2. The spokes will be either DT Aerolites or Sapim CX-Ray. For rims I am a bit torn. I'm thinking seriously about a set of the Edge Composites 1-68 tubulars or their clincher model. There is about a 150 gram difference in each wheel when you compare the clincher to the tubular.

I ride about 120 miles a week or so and may race this bike at some point. So far I've been riding single and dual centuries. My normal weekend rides are 50-70 miles with lots of climbing if I can. I love to climb hills and want something light if it makes sense. I'm not into doing the weight weenie thing with ti bolts and padless saddles, etc... I hear of the advantages tubulars but have never had the opportunity to ride any. I hear it's a bear to change flats with them, but I don't think I'd be to put out by this. This is really my main hobby at the moment, so I don't mind the cost aspect of the tubulars. Frankly, I'd like to try some tubulars just to know. Maybe I'm just trying to justify it!

My question is: for you guys that have used or use both, will the benefits of tubulars for a rider like me be worth it?
 

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If I had to choose, I would pick tubulars for carbon wheels--- however, only because I would never use them as everyday wheels. You will want fresh rubber if you are racing, and you won't much feel like swapping tires back and forth if you have tubulars. Also, who needs carbon wheels when starting out as a cat 5 (if you ever start racing)? Finally, you will not feel like carrying a tubular spare with you everywhere you go.

There really are no "benefits" to tubulars worth mentioning these days--- other than rim design and weight on a carbon setup. Given your riding profile, I would buy something reasonable and serviceable---- not carbon rims. Also, I would not want to be riding a 68 mm rim if I loved climbing and subsequent descending--- but that is just me. You could easily buy two decent wheelsets for the cost of your rims alone--- or an extra rain bike so you could boost your weekly mileage.

If you really want an ultralight bike, I am not convinced you really love climbing ;) Just as I am convinced Starbucks is for people who hate the taste of coffee.

And don't be disrespecting padless saddles--- the SLR is the most comfortable saddle I own. On the other end of the spectrum, you might consider a Brooks to be "padless." ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
filtersweep said:
If I had to choose, I would pick tubulars for carbon wheels--- however, only because I would never use them as everyday wheels. You will want fresh rubber if you are racing, and you won't much feel like swapping tires back and forth if you have tubulars. Also, who needs carbon wheels when starting out as a cat 5 (if you ever start racing)? Finally, you will not feel like carrying a tubular spare with you everywhere you go.

There really are no "benefits" to tubulars worth mentioning these days--- other than rim design and weight on a carbon setup. Given your riding profile, I would buy something reasonable and serviceable---- not carbon rims. Also, I would not want to be riding a 68 mm rim if I loved climbing and subsequent descending--- but that is just me. You could easily buy two decent wheelsets for the cost of your rims alone--- or an extra rain bike so you could boost your weekly mileage.

If you really want an ultralight bike, I am not convinced you really love climbing ;) Just as I am convinced Starbucks is for people who hate the taste of coffee.

And don't be disrespecting padless saddles--- the SLR is the most comfortable saddle I own. On the other end of the spectrum, you might consider a Brooks to be "padless." ;)
Ha! Touche! So you really think tubulars are that obsolete these days?

I love your take on the love of climbing. Point taken :)

I'm not putting down Brokks saddles. was only talking about folks who do everything they can to lighten their bike... I have a Selle Anatomica coming on my new mountain bike. I sat on one at the handmade bike show and my butt has never been happier. I have a Toupe right now but have been wanting to try an SLR one of these days. Maybe on this next bike?.

Thanks for your insight. :)
 

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I would go carbon tubular for a race wheel. I own a couple of different sets, however i would never ride my carbons as an everyday wheels. I do not believe in the benefits of carbon clinchers the lack of sidewall blowout strength is a major downfall for me. I have seen a few sets in for repair (relaceing). hubs either of the dts and cx-rays for spokes have served me well in the past.
 

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I would say aluminum tubulars are one short hop away from being extinct (and I even own a set).



tyro said:
Ha! Touche! So you really think tubulars are that obsolete these days?

I love your take on the love of climbing. Point taken :)

I'm not putting down Brokks saddles. was only talking about folks who do everything they can to lighten their bike... I have a Selle Anatomica coming on my new mountain bike. I sat on one at the handmade bike show and my butt has never been happier. I have a Toupe right now but have been wanting to try an SLR one of these days. Maybe on this next bike?.

Thanks for your insight. :)
 

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I don't see anything wrong with carbon tubulars as everyday wheels.I use Reynolds DV46T carbons with tubulars as my everyday wheels and had never any problems.Changing the tire out when having a flat is even much faster then clinchers.I was worried the first time when I decieded to go tubular but know love it and will purchase a second set tubular carbons again for my everyday ride. ( Bora Ultra's ) I have a set of Fulcrum racing zero clinchers as well but love my carbon rims with tubulars much better since it gives me a total different feel that you just don't get with alumnium clincher rims
And the look factor is so much nicer with the carbon rims and if you get the looks with performance that should make the decision even easier.But hey, that's just me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Frankie13 said:
I don't see anything wrong with carbon tubulars as everyday wheels.I use Reynolds DV46T carbons with tubulars as my everyday wheels and had never any problems.Changing the tire out when having a flat is even much faster then clinchers.I was worried the first time when I decieded to go tubular but know love it and will purchase a second set tubular carbons again for my everyday ride. ( Bora Ultra's ) I have a set of Fulcrum racing zero clinchers as well but love my carbon rims with tubulars much better since it gives me a total different feel that you just don't get with alumnium clincher rims
And the look factor is so much nicer with the carbon rims and if you get the looks with performance that should make the decision even easier.But hey, that's just me.
Do you use Tufo tape to change the tires on the road?

At this point, I'm thinking that I may get a set of tubulars as well as a set of clinchers. That way, I have both and can choose the right wheels for the ride.
 

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No, I haven't had a flat tire yet but I know from when my friend had a flat tire that changing tubular on the road was much faster then a tube for clinchers and with the glue left on the rim the new tire had enough hold that we could finish the ride without slowing down. Since I ride road bikes,I only had one flat tire so far, so I hope it stays like that.
 

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Fwiw

I bought a set of carbon tubulars this spring. Why? Just to try it and to see if it was better than a set of clinchers. Are they? Definitely.....maybe.....I think so.....not really. To be honest, I think they may be slightly better, but I think I'm just trying to convince myself they are since I bought them. I've been using them only up until a month ago, now I go back and forth with my bike fitted with clinchers. As far as flats, I've got 1000 miles on them so far and have yet to have a flat on the road, so I can't comment about swapping one on the road. I will say this much.....the Tufo tape makes it nearly impossible to take the tire off. I switched out a tire (for my own reasons) and the tire was extremely difficult to remove. I fitted my replacement tire with glue, and have had no issues since.

My vote goes for there being no difference between tubulars and clinchers as far as ride quality......but that's based on the setup of both wheels and tires I have.
 

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Have both carbon tubulars and clinchers.
They are very different wheelsets. I keep the tubies for racing and the clinchers for the fast club rides, training and some races (depending on course profile).
You will get significant weight advantage going with the tubular rims, but tubulars have the hassle factor of glue and should you ever be out on a distant ride, the possibility of a couple of consecutive flats and no one else riding tubulars can be a turn-off.

Based on your profile and love of climbing, strongly recommend you not get such deep dish rims, go with the 38 tubies and go for the deeper dish wheels as clinchers for those days when you are on the flats.

I have changed out many a tubie on the road. It is faster then a clincher, that is if you are using glue and can get under the tire and start lifting it off the rim. Once you get a good grip on the tire, can pull it right off and slap on the spare, pump up and your off. May want to consider tufo sealant, pitstop or Stan's to automatically take care of the smaller holes.
 

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Prè glued spare tire and it takes less time to change a tubie than a tube.

Having a flat in high speed with (carbon) clinchers is more likely to
damage the rim. The glued tubular will protect the rim even when flat.
For a $400+ rim that's a good argument.

Double layer of rim-tape can help avoid clincher from falling off
(when flated)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Johnnysmooth said:
Have both carbon tubulars and clinchers.
They are very different wheelsets. I keep the tubies for racing and the clinchers for the fast club rides, training and some races (depending on course profile).
You will get significant weight advantage going with the tubular rims, but tubulars have the hassle factor of glue and should you ever be out on a distant ride, the possibility of a couple of consecutive flats and no one else riding tubulars can be a turn-off.

Based on your profile and love of climbing, strongly recommend you not get such deep dish rims, go with the 38 tubies and go for the deeper dish wheels as clinchers for those days when you are on the flats.

I have changed out many a tubie on the road. It is faster then a clincher, that is if you are using glue and can get under the tire and start lifting it off the rim. Once you get a good grip on the tire, can pull it right off and slap on the spare, pump up and your off. May want to consider tufo sealant, pitstop or Stan's to automatically take care of the smaller holes.
Good idea Johnny. I think this is the plan. I have a good set of aluminum rim wheels now (Nio 27's on White Ind. hubs with CX-Rays) and I'd like to add a set of wheels based around the Edge Composite 38mm tubular as well as maybe another set using the Zipp 404 clincher rim. It sounds like a lot, but right now I've only got one bike and this will be two bikes with three sets of wheels.
 

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I really don't see how you guys can quickly change a flat on a tubular. it takes me at least 10mins to peel off a tire, and that's on a good day with a so-so glue job that leaves a void at an edge. if i flat while on my tubies, i'm screwed.

if i were in your shoes, rather than looking at a tubie or clincher, i would consider tubeless. yeah, i know, another opinion. it's worth a look, though. the ride quality difference of a tubeless setup is unlike another other tire/ tube combo available. period. D/A 7850 SLs - light and quick. not stupid stiff like an Edge 68, but fun. plus the wind won't jack you around.

my 1st wheelset is a set wheels i built using DT RR1.1s setup as tubeless. my 2nd wheelset is a set of King/ Edge 38 tubies.
 

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the Inbred said:
I really don't see how you guys can quickly change a flat on a tubular. it takes me at least 10mins to peel off a tire, and that's on a good day with a so-so glue job that leaves a void at an edge. if i flat while on my tubies, i'm screwed.

if i were in your shoes, rather than looking at a tubie or clincher, i would consider tubeless. yeah, i know, another opinion. it's worth a look, though. the ride quality difference of a tubeless setup is unlike another other tire/ tube combo available. period. D/A 7850 SLs - light and quick. not stupid stiff like an Edge 68, but fun. plus the wind won't jack you around.

my 1st wheelset is a set wheels i built using DT RR1.1s setup as tubeless. my 2nd wheelset is a set of King/ Edge 38 tubies.
How do you find the tubeless ride compared to the Edge 83 tubular? I really like the idea of tubeless, but wonder if carbon rims will get me more advantage.
 

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Tyro, I see you have changed from the Edge/Enve 1.68 to 38mm rim in your post. The current Enve web site only shows 25,45,& 68 mm rims. They used to make 38s but I haven't seen them advertised for a couple of years now. I have a pair of the 45 mm Edge rims on my Felt and would question using a pair of 68s unless there was VERY little wind. I could see myself riding a 45 front with a 68 rear but not in windy conditions. I use an old Sun Mistral M14 rim with a 19mm Podium tire on the front with the Edge 45 rear when it is windy.

I leave a 2 inch gap in the glue opposite the valve stem to create a space to lever in a tire iron to start the removal of a flat tire. That makes all the difference in the world in starting the removal since a well glued tire won't let the tire iron even start to slip under the tire.
 
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