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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I used to ride only tubular tires when I raced in my youth (20 years ago). Remember Mavic GP4's?

We'll, I'm now getting back into road cycling (been on the MTB side) and looking for a new set of upgraded wheels for my Cervelo Soloist. (I will keep the stock Easton Vista SL's for the indoor trainer or bad weather). These are my first set of road clinchers (Conti GP4000 tires) and I have to say that so far I hate clinchers! They feel harsh, are a ***** to mount and I'm constantly getting pinch flats using ultra lite tubes. I've been a tubless convert on the mountain bike side for years and I see that it's just starting to appear for road bikes. I have read some good things about them but I just can't understand why it's taken so long to come to market and why they're not more popular?

I never had a problem with road tubulars and rarely flatted (maybe 5 times in 10 years!) Now with the new sealant systems it should be almost impossible to flat.

Budget is not an issue but I would hate to 'invest' into a system that is either dying (tubular) or still born (tubeless), or at the end of it's development potential (clincher). Yes, I have read all the post here, and am aware of the pro's and con's of each system. One thing's for sure, I want to avoid buying an expensive set of clinchers, such as; carbon clincher rims as they make no sense to me.

I guess I am just asking for opinion on what would you do in my situation? BTW, I have no intention to return to racing at this point.

Thanks for your help.
 

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Cpark
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alexl993 said:
Hi,

I used to ride only tubular tires when I raced in my youth (20 years ago). Remember Mavic GP4's?

We'll, I'm now getting back into road cycling (been on the MTB side) and looking for a new set of upgraded wheels for my Cervelo Soloist. (I will keep the stock Easton Vista SL's for the indoor trainer or bad weather). These are my first set of road clinchers (Conti GP4000 tires) and I have to say that so far I hate clinchers! They feel harsh, are a ***** to mount and I'm constantly getting pinch flats using ultra lite tubes. I've been a tubless convert on the mountain bike side for years and I see that it's just starting to appear for road bikes. I have read some good things about them but I just can't understand why it's taken so long to come to market and why they're not more popular?

I never had a problem with road tubulars and rarely flatted (maybe 5 times in 10 years!) Now with the new sealant systems it should be almost impossible to flat.

Budget is not an issue but I would hate to 'invest' into a system that is either dying (tubular) or still born (tubeless), or at the end of it's development potential (clincher). Yes, I have read all the post here, and am aware of the pro's and con's of each system. One thing's for sure, I want to avoid buying an expensive set of clinchers, such as; carbon clincher rims as they make no sense to me.

I guess I am just asking for opinion on what would you do in my situation? BTW, I have no intention to return to racing at this point.

Thanks for your help.
You pretty much answered yourself by saying "They feel harsh, are a ***** to mount and I'm constantly getting pinch flats using ultra lite tubes'.
I used to use tublulars also 20 years ago when I was racing but I pretty much use clinchers with no problems now....I'd suggest search "Tubulars vs. Clincher". There have been a tremendous amount of threads reagrding this subject.

By the way, it's possible that not enough air in your tire is causing the pinch flat.
I use Continental Supersonic tube (50 grams) and never had a pich flat.
 

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Gruntled
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I don't think road tubeless is "stillborn"; I think it has just been slow to get rolling (pardon the pun). But Campy / Fulcrum are coming out with rims next year, and Specialized is coming out with a line of tires, which should pave the way (pardon 2nd pun) for other manfactureres to get involved.

I too used to race on tubulars in the late 80s, but remember there were no really good clincher rims or tires back then - I don't think Conti or Vittoria even made clincher tires. Today we have a wide selection of high quality rims and tires available.

I think if I were you I'd go tubeless - if it dies out and there are no tires available at some point, you can still use them as clinchers (or sell them).

Good luck!

BTW I've been riding clinchers exclusively since 1990, and have never had a pinch flat.
 

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monkey with flamethrower
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The reason tubeless road has been so long coming into the marketplace is that it was difficult to figure out how to prevent the tire from blowing off the rim at higher pressures. It seems that most of the manufactures were happy to let Shimano invest all the money in road tubeless marketing, then jump on the bandwagon when it caught on. Now that Campag and Specialized have jumped on board expect to see more products out there.

Nothing wrong with higher end clincher tires. They work great and many are very supple. But if you are pinch flatting you are either not inflating the tire to the proper pressure or not installing the tire correctly.
 

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Tubulars...

alexl993 said:
Hi,

I used to ride only tubular tires when I raced in my youth (20 years ago). Remember Mavic GP4's?

We'll, I'm now getting back into road cycling (been on the MTB side) and looking for a new set of upgraded wheels for my Cervelo Soloist. (I will keep the stock Easton Vista SL's for the indoor trainer or bad weather). These are my first set of road clinchers (Conti GP4000 tires) and I have to say that so far I hate clinchers! They feel harsh, are a ***** to mount and I'm constantly getting pinch flats using ultra lite tubes. I've been a tubless convert on the mountain bike side for years and I see that it's just starting to appear for road bikes. I have read some good things about them but I just can't understand why it's taken so long to come to market and why they're not more popular?

I never had a problem with road tubulars and rarely flatted (maybe 5 times in 10 years!) Now with the new sealant systems it should be almost impossible to flat.

Budget is not an issue but I would hate to 'invest' into a system that is either dying (tubular) or still born (tubeless), or at the end of it's development potential (clincher). Yes, I have read all the post here, and am aware of the pro's and con's of each system. One thing's for sure, I want to avoid buying an expensive set of clinchers, such as; carbon clincher rims as they make no sense to me.

I guess I am just asking for opinion on what would you do in my situation? BTW, I have no intention to return to racing at this point.

Thanks for your help.

I have been riding for over 6 years now and in over 30K of riding on the road I have NEVER had one pinch flat. I only ride clinchers. This is riding roads in California, Florida, Maryland and Virginia. What are you doing wrong?

Clinchers are faster than tubulars and the tires are less expensive. I cannot figure how anyone would choose tubulars for wheels that they are going to train on. That does not make any sense at all. I would not want to have to change a tubular during a training ride and that would get a bit expensive. Frankly, clinchers are a better choice for racing as well because the rolling resistance is better = faster. There are plenty of sites out there with rolling resistance test results....Google it.

Oh, as for the new sealant systems....good luck with that. I found that the only thing they did for me was spray green goop all over my bike when I flatted.

Seriously, I would consider clinchers if you are going to train on them as well.
 

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rolling resistance between tubies and clinchers is almost a moot point, as there are tests and data showing either is better than the other.

on the tubular side, i ride Conti Sprinter Gatorskins. while not the greatest feeling tubular, they're durable. very durable. much more durable than my Hutchison Fusion 2 tubeless tires. hard to judge how "fast" they are due to very different build.

the new Specialized tire is, of course, made by Hutchison, and that's almost a bummer. i built my 2nd wheelset up with intentions to run it tubeless. the ride is phenomenal. nothing will compare to the feel of a tubeless tire setup.

so, with no intention to return to racing, i'd go with tubeless.

http://www.pbase.com/inbred/image/88459845/large

http://www.pbase.com/inbred/image/98976455/large
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorry, but I did not intend for this thread to turn in to yet another clincher vs tubular debate.

Let me clarify...

My main concern is over quality of ride, long term compatability and performance. Despite my first post, I'm not to concern about the 'hassles" of one system over another. At the end of the day they all have pro's and con's. My first choice is tubulars but I'm wanting to know if tubeless will ultimately (and quickly) replace tubulars and/or clinchers.

Pinch flats - yes my fault as they happened whenever I changed tires. However, I find the tires so tight that I have to use a tire wrench to install, which leads to a pinch flat.

I live in southern Germany (for now as I'm and expat). Roads are generally quite good and hilly!

Changing a tubular (on the road) is so easy! If you used kevlar reinforced tubulars, they are almost impossible to flat unless they get severely cut (i.e. you ride through some broken glass). I agree that they are a bit of a hassle to install at home when you have glue but I still found it easier than clinchers.

Performance of tubular vs clinchers is a debate that I don't want to get into. Anyone can interpret test bench or lab data to suit their needs. Just count how many pro's use tubulars vs clinchers and the debate ends. Having said that, some pro's have started to use tubeless systems with good results.

Generally, if used properly, sealant systems are great. I switched to UST tubeless on my MTB and have yet to flat in over a year. Before, I used to get flats on almost every ride.
 

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A guy from Norway
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mprevost said:
I have been riding for over 6 years now and in over 30K of riding on the road I have NEVER had one pinch flat. I only ride clinchers. This is riding roads in California, Florida, Maryland and Virginia. What are you doing wrong?

Clinchers are faster than tubulars and the tires are less expensive. I cannot figure how anyone would choose tubulars for wheels that they are going to train on. That does not make any sense at all. I would not want to have to change a tubular during a training ride and that would get a bit expensive. Frankly, clinchers are a better choice for racing as well because the rolling resistance is better = faster. There are plenty of sites out there with rolling resistance test results....Google it.

Oh, as for the new sealant systems....good luck with that. I found that the only thing they did for me was spray green goop all over my bike when I flatted.

Seriously, I would consider clinchers if you are going to train on them as well.
....Showing how fast a tire can roll over a steel drum.

A steel wheel would have been unbeateble on a test like that.

Now answer this. What's faster. A car with or without suspension? :skep:

This might come as a surprise, but not all of us ride our bikes on rails :p
 

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p != b
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alexl993 said:
I'm wanting to know if tubeless will ultimately (and quickly) replace tubulars and/or clinchers.
Will tubeless ultimately replace clinchers? Perhaps - look at car tires - they're (virtually) all tubeless now, although some still choose to run tubes in them.
Will tubeless ultimately replace tubulars? In a complete sense - I doubt it. For a majority, maybe. There are still applications where tubulars are unbeatable (cyclocross). Not to mention the amount of superstition/psuedo-science in the peloton (both pro and amateur).

Quickly? probably not, but depends on your scale. Tubeless is very popular for MTB, but still far from completely removing clinchers.
 

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Rubber Lizard said:
The reason tubeless road has been so long coming into the marketplace is that it was difficult to figure out how to prevent the tire from blowing off the rim at higher pressures. It seems that most of the manufactures were happy to let Shimano invest all the money in road tubeless marketing, then jump on the bandwagon when it caught on. Now that Campag and Specialized have jumped on board expect to see more products out there.

Nothing wrong with higher end clincher tires. They work great and many are very supple. But if you are pinch flatting you are either not inflating the tire to the proper pressure or not installing the tire correctly.
... And I suspect Mavic won't be far behind. I personally think that road tubeless has a lot of potential but I wouldn't even consider a set for myself until the market is more competitive and more designs have been introduced (and revised).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Frankly, I'm surprised at the slow introduction of the tubeless systems and the reluctance to adopt? Does Shimano own the patent(s) or is it an "open" system? Why wait -is there anything that the system does not provide? By next season there will be a much bigger selection of tires but is there anything wrong with the Hutchison Fusion2's?

I don't think the rims designs will change. For example, the interface on all UST MTB rims are basically the same due to the tight tolerances -no improvements are needed. Of course the rims could be made from other materials to save weight, etc. but this is the same for all wheel designs. Where there is obvious room for improvement is with the tire designs and selection.
 

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The thing with road tubeless is that it doesn't require a special rim hook. what makes a road tubeless tire work is the bead of the tire. as such, if anyone is owed royalties, it'd be Hutchison.

i'm curious to see these new wheels from Campy that claim to be "2 way". as in, how they differ from current rims...
 

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I have a set of tubulars and there is nothing in the clincher range that has the feeling or speed of tubs at 160psi. Tubulars, in my opinion, will always have a place in road cycling, not just for racing, but,simply for the sheer performance that they provide( why I have my set). I actually like the glueing on proceedure, allowing it time to cure and so forth. I think tubeless will take more time to become mainstream and the choice of tyres will be limited. That's OK if you want to wait but it's not for me. Any system has drawbacks, I have chosen Tubulars and accept them with there unique issues.
 

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+1

Stick with tubulars because you love the way they ride. In a few years, when there are more and better tubeless wheelsets and tires, you can make the switch. There will be advantages to the tubeless system and better prices, when there is more competition.
 

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AFAIK the Hutchinson tires hook up on pretty much any road clincher rim, so it doesn't matter if tubeless is "mainstream" or not. My wife's been running tubeless on her Ksyriums the past month or so, no complaints, installation was trivial. Yes, you need some tape for rims with holes, but you need tape for those rims when you use tubes, as well.

Sealant from various makers is readily available, because mountain bikers don't seem as afraid of change as roadies do.

After running tubeless, tubes start to seem a bit quaint.
 
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