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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How much of a difference is there between a clincher and tubular when riding up a hill. I'm refering to a zipp 404 clincher and tubular. I know about the ride quality and cornering between the two from reading other threads but I see so many people riding both clinchers and tubulars in RR's, TT, and Crits and I cannot see a difference in results especially when I talk to people who love what they ride in races. I don't want to know which feels better in corners or bumps I would like to know why do clincher aero wheels that weigh 1700 - 1800 get ripped but many people ride them and are still competitive even in races that have lots of hills.

Your opinion and feedback would be much appreciated.
 

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Kabooby said:
How much of a difference is there between a clincher and tubular when riding up a hill. I'm refering to a zipp 404 clincher and tubular. I know about the ride quality and cornering between the two from reading other threads but I see so many people riding both clinchers and tubulars in RR's, TT, and Crits and I cannot see a difference in results especially when I talk to people who love what they ride in races. I don't want to know which feels better in corners or bumps I would like to know why do clincher aero wheels that weigh 1700 - 1800 get ripped but many people ride them and are still competitive even in races that have lots of hills.

Your opinion and feedback would be much appreciated.
The difference between a tubular and a clincher will be the same, regardless of whether you are riding up a hill, down a hill, or riding on flat land. They weigh less. That's all.
 

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Kabooby said:
So since I have never used Tubs before I would probably be better off with the 404 clinchers and use them in races and even train on them.
Zipp claims a difference of nearly a pound, don't they? That would make the tubulars better climbing wheels, all else equal. Not better enough to turn a lousy climber into a strong one, not by a long shot, but better. Whether the "all else" stuff pushes you one way or another would raise arguments that have been beaten to death on this board. If it were me, I'd go with the lighter carbon tubbies if I were going with carbon at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have never used either set of wheels but would I get dropped by someone riding tubs 404 compared to me riding clinchers 404 on a hill.( I am using zipp 404's as a guide) and hypothetically speaking both rider are of equal riding skill and bike. Just want to know how much of a diff is there with min. weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Has anyone out there raced on a set of deep aero clinchers (404's, Alps, etc.) I would like to hear your say in what these wheels felt like racing. Did you feel you were in a disadvantage at all.

I like the idea of the lighter carbon tubular 404 but also the idea of riding, training and racing on the same 404 but clincher version. I am not a pro or paid racer but am enjoying biking and had my first crit race last week and got hooked and want to continue and hope to be good at it.

So I know clinchers make sense to have but I will buy 404 tubs if they are a huge difference in racing. Especially races with hills in them, not talking about huge inclines that go for hours.
 

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Kabooby said:
I have never used either set of wheels but would I get dropped by someone riding tubs 404 compared to me riding clinchers 404 on a hill.( I am using zipp 404's as a guide) and hypothetically speaking both rider are of equal riding skill and bike. Just want to know how much of a diff is there with min. weight.

Kabooby said:
Has anyone out there raced on a set of deep aero clinchers (404's, Alps, etc.) I would like to hear your say in what these wheels felt like racing. Did you feel you were in a disadvantage at all.

I like the idea of the lighter carbon tubular 404 but also the idea of riding, training and racing on the same 404 but clincher version. I am not a pro or paid racer but am enjoying biking and had my first crit race last week and got hooked and want to continue and hope to be good at it.

So I know clinchers make sense to have but I will buy 404 tubs if they are a huge difference in racing. Especially races with hills in them, not talking about huge inclines that go for hours.
The difference between two riders of identical blah, blah, blah and one is riding clincher 404s and the other is riding tubular 404s almost no difference at all. The difference of 1 meter per kilometer or whatever the numerical difference is, is nothing compared to the carrot of someone who is 10m up the road. You will ride so much more faster in that situation than any piece of equipment can make you ride. Then there is the fact that if someone was 0.1km/hr faster than you becaue of their wheels, you'd slip into their draft and save energy anyway.

Look I'm a wheel builder and it is in my best interest to tell you how much faster one set of wheels is than another. The bottom line is, the differences are much smaller than other factors in a race. Your nutrition routine, amount of sleep and warm up schedule, and fit on the bike will make much more of a difference than 32 spoke clinchers vs. Zipp 808 tubluars (or any other comparo for that matter). If you are the type of racer that puts time into other racers with long solo breaks than, yes, you should have every advantage available (plus a car alongside you to fix mechanicals). If you time trial and the difference between you and the next guy on the road was a few seconds, then yes you should have the most aero wheels and the fastest tires out there.

I'm still not totally won that clinchers are faster. The Crr is lower on a perfectly smooth drum with consistant pressure on it. In the real world, the roads are not smooth and we are constantly changing the pressure applied to the tires via pedaling. I'd like to see more empirical evidance on actual roads that proves which type of tire is faster.

If you are pack fodder in most races, get what's durable, reliable, and the least hassle.

-Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So Eric, in your opinion would a clincher 404 be good enough for RR, TT, and the odd training ride. I guess to me the 404 clinchers sound much more heavier than K sl's and would be more beneficial to go tubular 404's. I am new to this and have read and asked many people for advice, I just want to be sure I am doing the right thing. I always wanted aero wheels such as zipps.

Much appreciate your help.
 

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Kabooby said:
So Eric, in your opinion would a clincher 404 be good enough for RR, TT, and the odd training ride. I guess to me the 404 clinchers sound much more heavier than K sl's and would be more beneficial to go tubular 404's. I am new to this and have read and asked many people for advice, I just want to be sure I am doing the right thing. I always wanted aero wheels such as zipps.

Much appreciate your help.
The aerodynamic benefits of 404s in either clincher or tubular compared to 32 spoke box rims is greater that the difference between 404 clinchers and 404 tubular. In fact tire choice in more important according to some studies. The weight difference will not be a disadvantage unless you are repeatedly accelerating and deccelerating like in a critirium. In road race and TT conditions, the weight is not a matter. In that case, clinchers make more sence because the tires cost less. If that is not a concern, than I recommend Veloflex tubulars with the Zipps for what is my OPINION the nicest tire I've ridden. The fact is that there is no real world imperical evidance as to whether the best tubulars or the best clinchers are faster. The tests done on a drum that is smoother than a baby's bottom moght not give the same results as results on, let's say, a conveyor belt of asphalt and chip-seal.

What I tried to say in the previous post is that you sould try to squeeze out as much speed with what you already have and not to think that the equipment will make a huge difference. Since you are new to this, consider putting money towards a coach or a power meter and some training materials. Money spent that way will make the most gains in your riding (I assume you are racing). $1600 Zipp (or whatever they cost today) could buy you some very valuable training advantages. If you have already done this, then I'm sorry I'm being redundant.

-Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for taking the time to give me your input. I am only using the zipp 404 as a guide and don't think I would spend that much money at my lavel. I am in a position to buy Ritcheys (old zipp wheels with ritchey hubs) I'm sure you already know about these wheels, at a great price and a friend of mine will sell me his zipps at the end of the season for a very good price. I just would like to know why a lot of people trash aero clinchers when it comes to RR with a few hills.
 

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Huge inclines

Kabooby said:
not talking about huge inclines that go for hours.
That's too bad, because a 1 lb weight savings would give you an added 0.05 mph on a 6% grade, and that translates to gaining 264 feet per hour on your competition, or about 20 seconds gained per hour on the lighter wheels (or if you weighed 1 lb less). As others have noted, the aero advantages vastly outweigh the 1 lb weight savings. BTW, you can relatively easily build a 1500 gm clincher wheel set, so the Zipps would have to weigh 1050 to save a lb.
 

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I've owned, raced on, and trained on both 404s and 303s. I've also owned and built GL330 wheels with and without Ti spokes.

My favorite track wheels were some Zipp 404s with Superbe Pro hubs in em. VERY nice.

If you're going fast, go aero. Going uphill, light weight. If you're racing crits, get something cheep.

I'll say it again: make friends with you're local triathletes. They're allatime replacing perfectly good wheels with whatever the new 'flavor of the year' is. I got a pair of road Zipps for $450 a few years back from one. Rode em for a few years and sold em for what I paid for em.

HTH,

M
 

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ergott said:
The fact is that there is no real world imperical evidance as to whether the best tubulars or the best clinchers are faster. The tests done on a drum that is smoother than a baby's bottom moght not give the same results as results on, let's say, a conveyor belt of asphalt and chip-seal.
You're right, the absolute Crr numbers will be different, but surface roughness will not change the rank order of tires tested. All it will do is raise the Crr of each tire. If a tire is tested to be faster on a smooth drum, it will be faster on a rougher surface as well. The physical mechanisms in the tire (namely tire deflection and material hysteresis) that cause rolling resistance on a smooth surface are the same ones that cause the same effects on a rougher surface.

BTW, clever riders have performed "field testing" that confirms the drum test results...info easily found with a simple net search.
 

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Kabooby said:
How much of a difference is there between a clincher and tubular when riding up a hill. I'm refering to a zipp 404 clincher and tubular. I know about the ride quality and cornering between the two from reading other threads but I see so many people riding both clinchers and tubulars in RR's, TT, and Crits and I cannot see a difference in results especially when I talk to people who love what they ride in races. I don't want to know which feels better in corners or bumps I would like to know why do clincher aero wheels that weigh 1700 - 1800 get ripped but many people ride them and are still competitive even in races that have lots of hills.

Your opinion and feedback would be much appreciated.
I've run the numbers comparing those wheels assuming that they are shod with an "apples to apples" tire choice. Namely, I assumed Vittoria Corsa tubulars and Open Corsas. Although the "all up" weight of the clincher set is ~1lb heavier, they also enjoy much lower rolling resistance.

So...if most of your racing is done on the flats, it's a no-brainer to choose the clinchers due to the lower rolling resistance. But, if you're climbing hills, that 1 lb difference is going to be significant, right? Well, obviously, there's going to be a certain steepness of hill where the lighter weight of the tubular wheels overcomes the rolling resistance advantage of the clinchers, right? Care to hazard a guess at what % grade that would be?

Well...in this case, which actually compares one of the better rolling tubulars against a top notch clincher, you need to be climbing a grade of OVER 9% before the tubulars draw even with the clinchers.

That's right...at all grades below 9%, the lower rolling resistance of the clinchers is an advantage over the tubulars. If the tubular tire chosen is more "average" (like, let's say, a Conti) that "break even" grade will be even steeper. Of course the converse is true as well...if you insist on running poor rolling clinchers, the "break even" grade will be shallower..but not by much.

The difference in rotational inertia is a non-issue for cycling events. The accelerations are just too slow...

So...I hope that answers your question.:thumbsup:
 

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ergott said:
I'm still not totally won that clinchers are faster. The Crr is lower on a perfectly smooth drum with consistant pressure on it. In the real world, the roads are not smooth and we are constantly changing the pressure applied to the tires via pedaling.
Sorry Eric, I hope it doesn't seem like I'm picking on you...but I couldn't let that last statement stand. The change in air pressure in a tire due to tire deflection is a miniscule to virtually unmeasurable. The volume of air in the entire tire is just too great compared to the amount of deflection. You can easily check this for yourself by calculating the volume of air in an tire, the amount of volume reduced due to tire deflection and then the simple equation P1*V1 = P2*V2.
 

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kpcw said:
Buy some Campy Neutrons Clinchers and be done with it :)


Funny read here:

http://www.valleybicycle.com/sprocketman silly_bike_ideas.htm
Why not neutron tubbies? They don't fit the criteria of the original post (any more than the clinchers do), but they are excellent all around wheels. I guess that the US retail is about 800 or so, but if he looks around they can be found for a good bit less (and less still if he's willing to go used). I have some Nucleon tubbies (the immediate predecessors to the neutrons) and they are great all around wheels.

To answer the question about the pound: unless racing against the clock, or operating at your physiological and/or psychological threshold, I doubt you'll see a marked difference. Still, taking a pound off the wheels will make them feel lighter and sometimes the feeling gives you a boost. With all the fuss about 50 or 60 grams here or there, I thought it worth mentioning that, with some models of deep section wheels, there's a much bigger weight savings than one might guess in switching from the clincher version to the tubular version. As to what one should get ... I dunno, but Ergott's advice makes sense to me.
 
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