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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I Really Dislike Tubulars!!!!!!!!!! edited.... now that I have regained some hope

Now I know why everyone that I told about my new to me wheelset rolled their eyes when I told them that they were tubulars...... I can not believe anyone would knowingly go through this much hassle, pain, frustration, and suicidal thoughts.

I think that if all cyclists had to use tubulars, bicycles would go the way of the dinosaur in no time.

I truly can't believe that they make these things when clinchers are available!!!

LESSON LEARNED, the hard way.....

So, if anyone out there for some ungodly reason thinks that getting a set of tubulars would be cool, take my advice and stay the hell away from them. It is actually worse than you could imagine.
 

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Well-read hooligan
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what's the problem, Rob?

Started this reply as a flame, but decided to be helpful instead (old age gettin' to me and all). Most new tubular riders feel some pain unless you have good counsel. I've recently become the pied piper of tubies among my pals that race - one currently sponsored by Starbucks. Yes, current clinchers are wonderful. No, they still aren't as good as good tubulars. I'm relatively financially unconstrained but don't ride bling (check my profile), so if you make a few small mistakes it can get expensive.

So that being said, I know what I'm talking about. here's my history:
I've been riding tubulars for over 25 years now - got my first set at 15 (ambrosio rims on nuvo record hubs, 36x3, clement super condors). Now riding tufo elite roads on mavic reflex, still on campy hubs (chorus tho). Still 36x3. Only substantive change: gone to the tufo tape as opposed to glue (was a tubasti guy until last year). I don't race, just love the feel of tubulars. Yes, I have good clinchers - hugi 240's, RR1.1, still 36x3, currently conti 4000's. Yes, there is a difference. Strangely, my clinchers cost more than my tubies (Hugi stuff is yummy tho).

So I put all this pre-amble crap in because I hear people giving opinions on tubulars who've been on them for a whole year and quit, or had a friend who tried them and got glue on himself and now hates them, or someone who never really felt the difference. I'm still young enough to ride hard, old enough to not race, and lucid enough not to wax poetic about retro-cool.

So what's the problem? Why the pain? Why did you try tubulars in the first place? What kind did you try?

We're here to help bro ...

~EG
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
First try too little glue and left "spaces" on the edge of the rim....

Second try too much glue and now I have pink fingertips from the glue "freshening" my skin layer, I have glue all on my braking surface and anything else anywhere close, and the tire wouldn't fit on the rim. I think the glue held too much of the tire in place so that only the unglued part would stretch. Every bit of air has been let out of my sails.... I was so excited about my new wheelset and now I am miserable.. :mad:
 

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Well-read hooligan
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Ack! glue hell.

Yup, that first time glue up can be a beoch.

which tires and rim did you choose?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
EvilGilligan said:
So what's the problem? Why the pain? Why did you try tubulars in the first place? What kind did you try?

We're here to help bro ...

~EG
See above for the problems and the pain, but I tried them because I got a super deal on a real light wheelset as well as wanted to give something new a try. The wheelset is AC Hubs on Velocity Escape rims.... weighing in a just under 1400g and I got them for $167. I got some Conti Sprinters and Vittoria Matik one glue
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
EvilGilligan said:
Yup, that first time glue up can be a beoch.

which tires and rim did you choose?

I didn't read about what this crap can do to your thumbs when you are trying to get the tires on the rim....
 

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Well-read hooligan
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I can see a couple of problems ...

from looking at your wheel I can see a few problems:
1. how did you clean the rim prior to applying the glue? Acetone is the correct method, and lots of it. Then wipe until you are sure it is very dry and very clean. It looks like you have patches where glue didn't stick at all.
2. how many layers of glue did you put on the rim? At least 3 is recommended for the first glueup, with two lite coats on the tire itself. On the rim let the first coat dry for 4 hrs, then the second for 4, then the third for 4. What works: come home from work, clean and glue, get some beer and spend time with the family, put second coat on before bed and third coat before work.
3. What kind of glue did you use? Clement or the 3m stuff? (it's not tubasti red from what I see). Don't use that 3M stuff at all - too brittle.
4. Did you stretch the tire before mounting? On a old rim for a few days (or stored on one for months!) OR you can put your body through the tire, you shin inside the tire and PUSH. Not too hard, but you can feel a little stretch. IT helps. a lot.
5. Did you have a little air in the tire when you mounted it? Just enough to round it out a bit and be managable but not too much 'cause you need to stretch and squish a bit.
6. did you have a friend with a helping hand the first time? Biggest pain in the butt when getting started is that mount at the stem then progress around rest of rim with stem part pushed into your gut. The diagrams always made it seem sooooooo easy, the bastards.
7. what the glue on both the rim and tire tacky (dry), not wet? Wet is bad- Messsssy.
8. Clean your paws with acetone - the craps gonna get on you, even a little. It looks like yo uused a belt sander to clean your fingers off!

Hope this helps.

~EG
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
EvilGilligan said:
from looking at your wheel I can see a few problems:
1. how did you clean the rim prior to applying the glue? Acetone is the correct method, and lots of it. Then wipe until you are sure it is very dry and very clean. It looks like you have patches where glue didn't stick at all.

Used rubbing alcohol

2. how many layers of glue did you put on the rim? At least 3 is recommended for the first glueup, with two lite coats on the tire itself. On the rim let the first coat dry for 4 hrs, then the second for 4, then the third for 4. What works: come home from work, clean and glue, get some beer and spend time with the family, put second coat on before bed and third coat before work.

1 layer on rim, then 1 layer on tire, then 1 layer on rim

3. What kind of glue did you use? Clement or the 3m stuff? (it's not tubasti red from what I see). Don't use that 3M stuff at all - too brittle.

Mastik One

4. Did you stretch the tire before mounting? On a old rim for a few days (or stored on one for months!) OR you can put your body through the tire, you shin inside the tire and PUSH. Not too hard, but you can feel a little stretch. IT helps. a lot.

I did stretch it and pre-mounted it on the rim, but only for a few hours.

5. Did you have a little air in the tire when you mounted it? Just enough to round it out a bit and be managable but not too much 'cause you need to stretch and squish a bit.

Didn't do this, makes sense that it would make it easier

6. did you have a friend with a helping hand the first time? Biggest pain in the butt when getting started is that mount at the stem then progress around rest of rim with stem part pushed into your gut. The diagrams always made it seem sooooooo easy, the bastards.

My only friends were my knees and my misery

7. what the glue on both the rim and tire tacky (dry), not wet? Wet is bad- Messsssy.

The tire glue was barely tacky (mostly dry) and the rim glue I thought was tacky until I was putting on the tire and then it seemed wet.

8. Clean your paws with acetone - the craps gonna get on you, even a little. It looks like yo uused a belt sander to clean your fingers off!

I think a belt sander would have felt better than this glue

Hope this helps. - We will see, I think I am ready to chuck the glue and just try the Tufo strips.
~EG
posted my answers
 

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Juanmoretime
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Rob, the pre-stretch is a big part of it. My replacement set of tubulars have been on old rims for almost a month now. The glue does get a bit messy but either a set of rubber gloves or work gloves helps. After your done the residual glue on the wheels and braking surfaces can easily be cleaned up with acetone. I recommend rubber gloves and an extremely well ventilated area when working with acetone and even in a well ventilated area I still get a contact hign from the stuff. A side benefit?

Now go give your wheels a hug and tell them your sorry.
 

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this is interesting reading

I too have been tempted by tubies, never tried a pair but am constantly teased buy the lower cost, and lower weight of tubies. I know Ergott or Ligero could put together a real light wheelset for me, or the ever favorite Reynolds Stratus DV-UL. EG mentioned that in his wisdom he has after many years went to sticky tape instead of glue?
I don't race anymore, (except for cross) so road tubies, what do you guys do when you flat? In the middle of a beaut ride in the high cascades?
I'd def like a pair of tubies for cross, cuz if I flats I jist send me daughter running out with me pit bike, problem solved. I sure as heck wouldn't take a pair of tubies out into the woods to sample some singletrack, what if you flat? Most guys use clinchers for there cross bikes and have a set of tubies just for race day. I here the same for road racing, clinchers to ride and train on, and tubies to race. So what's the point of having two sets of tires? If the tubies are such a hassle that clinchers are needed to train on? why bother? especially if you don't road race?
please fellas, enlighten me some more...........:confused:
 

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Get me to In&Out
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I would also try Tufo glue tape. Much less messy and works very well. Gluing a tubular isn't something that should be done by yourself the first time. Too many techniques that help the process you can't figure out by yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
JaeP said:
Are you thinking of selling your toobies?
I went by my LBS this morning and dropped them off for my mech. to look at.... If you made an offer this morning, I would have probably taken it. I have a cooler head now, and would like to try the Tufo tape before I kick this wheelset to the curb.

If they weren't so light and in such great shape, I wouldn't have any issues selling them.

I will reserve my final answer for after my first ride on them... whenever that will be??????
 

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Wow :D

Your in globular cluster hell.
You know most 1st time tubbie users do just as you did.
That glue tells. Basically you globbed it so you had little puddles
that probably never dry except on the top skin.
Next time.......that is if you have a next time ;)
Use these....


It makes life so easy & neat too. I use them for rims & tires & throw them away after. They cost like 20 cents each.
Hang in there ;)
 

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I have to second the recommendation to use the acid swabs. It allows you spread the glue on the rims & tires easily. As others have mentioned, go to a local hardware or paint store and buy some disposable painters gloves. That way your hands will remain glue-free.

Probably the best advise I can offer is to TAKE YOUR TIME. Mounting the tires is something you do not want to rush. Pre-stretch the tires before, apply thin, even coats of glue, allow the glue to setup before you mount the tire on the rim. And as you have found out, be sure you get glue onto the edge of the rim. This is vitally important.

Don't give up on the whole idea of tubbies. I love my set, the ride is just so nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
spokewrench said:
I have to second the recommendation to use the acid swabs. It allows you spread the glue on the rims & tires easily. As others have mentioned, go to a local hardware or paint store and buy some disposable painters gloves. That way your hands will remain glue-free.

Probably the best advise I can offer is to TAKE YOUR TIME. Mounting the tires is something you do not want to rush. Pre-stretch the tires before, apply thin, even coats of glue, allow the glue to setup before you mount the tire on the rim. And as you have found out, be sure you get glue onto the edge of the rim. This is vitally important.

Don't give up on the whole idea of tubbies. I love my set, the ride is just so nice.
I had used a worn out toothbrush, but those brushes look much better suited.

There is a 100% chance that I will wear gloves if there is a next time...

I took my time the first try when I used too little glue, the second time around I probably tried to do it too fast, but not because I was hurrying, I thought I needed to finish the second coat on the rim quickly so the glue was still good and tacky to mount the tire securely to the rim. So basically I added too much glue (to make sure and have no "gaps") too fast (to make sure it didn't dry too much) and came up with the sticky debacle you see in the pics.

Through how much experience, skill, and precision are you able to get enough glue on the rim and especially the edge without getting it on the braking surface? Seems like it would take surgical precision and carpenters finesse. Both of which I do not have...
 

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Actually using too little is better than too much ;)
As you add layers ( first time new rims only ) You get better at it.
Yes the brushes do well & really drag the mastik in a nice even layer.
As for hurrying...no real need. The rim coats can dry quite well say 12 hours between coats ( again just new rim info ) Same with the tires. Last coat tire only & let it dry an hour. Then there should be no mess really when you mount. Remember the heat will activate & bond it all too. Which is why in the old days ;) they use to warn of dragging the brakes down long descents on tubulars.
Hang in there. You have the wheels already so give them a chance.
Once you get the initial glue up. The future is only a coat or two on tires only. The rim will not really need glue again.
Good Luck

PS: Vittoria Mastik One glue is very easy to work with. Stick with that but get the brushes.
 
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