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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just finishing the build on my race bike and need to make a final decision on what wheels to get. From our shop sponsor I'm getting the wheels at cost so its a fair discount over the going rate for the deep dish carbon tubulars. Right now the primary contenders are the Cane Creek Aros 58 tubulars, a bit heavy for carbon tubulars (~1450g) but still light when compared to clinchers, Easton Ascent II or Orions (I'm only 135lbs so I think I can get away with the ascents), or maybe even the Ksyrium ES which I hadn't considered until I saw them in the shop. I'm leaning toward the tubulars but I'm still unsure if it's really worth it for the increased cost. I realize that wheels aren't going to win me any races but hey if it'll help me bridge across to a break or even help me descend any faster I think it's probably worth it. Any input is appreciated.

Thanks
wayne
 

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Search. .

. is you friend. Seriously, you'll get a crap load of advise. Quick and dirty:

1. Not a paid pro? . .Get what's cheapest. Clinchers.
2. Clinchers are good enough for everyone on this forum, as no one here won a real race (meaning getting paid six figures).
3. Not a paid pro? You must glue you own tires for a benefit you'll never get in "measurable" terms.

Tubulars are loved by either old dudes, or "other" species who think they are on pro teams. Look at this this way, stages of every real race (pro races) have people in the top 50, I'm sure
who are on clinchers. If they are good enough for them, it's good enough for everyone. Now, if you just want to use them, sure that's cool. My point is performance wise you'll get nothing from it.
 

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I do not totally agree.. maybe it's not the tubular issue that gives you the edge, but (high profile) carbon rims ride very different from low profile clinchers..
After all they are not heavier than the clincher wheels (bit more expensive) but the high profile can give you the advantage you want..
Mostly carbon wheels are stiffer and (high profiled rims) are more aerodynamic. It depends on what you think is most important, the money or the (maybe small) advantage, because it isn't said that you get a LOT of advantage...

Good luck choosing...
 

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For one thing, tubulars have higher rolling resistance, so even though they are lighter, they are still slower. There may be other benefits (handling? feel?)... but personally, I'd stick with clinchers.

Tests have shown that a 25~30mm deep rim, and aero spokes (like CX-rays) give a significant advantage compared to a shallow rim or round spokes; in fact they are almost as good as deeper carbon rims... so I'd get some aluminum rimmed wheels with those features. You can get very nice ones for <$500. For tires, Michelin Pro2s seem to have the best combination of Crr and puncture resistance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tests

I'm not being argumentative but would you have any more information on these aero tests? I've always heard that there's little aero benefit under 40mm deep (of course by a biased "expert" ) and honestly the deeper wheels have me a little concerned about riding in crosswinds. Some more info would be appreciated.

Thanks,
wayne
 

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I agree. . .

IKnowYouRider said:
"I've always heard that there's little aero benefit under 40mm deep (of course by a biased "expert" ). . "
wayne
30mm deep rims and CX-Rays may give a very SMALL advantage (40 is really where gains start) if you are going 25+ miles an hour for a long time. Really, unless your name is on your bike your best bet is some Campy hubs laces 28F, 32R on some good clincher rims. Leave the exotic dimpled, deep-dish, uber-expensive wheel s to the guys who get them for free and paid to race.;)
 

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rruff said:
For one thing, tubulars have higher rolling resistance, so even though they are lighter, they are still slower. There may be other benefits (handling? feel?)... but personally, I'd stick with clinchers.
So why does EVERY Pro Tour team race on tubs? Even Michelin sponsored teams use Service Course tubs that look just like Pro Races!
 

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Zipp data

IKnowYouRider said:
I'm not being argumentative but would you have any more information on these aero tests? I've always heard that there's little aero benefit under 40mm deep (of course by a biased "expert" ) and honestly the deeper wheels have me a little concerned about riding in crosswinds. Some more info would be appreciated.

Thanks,
wayne
The data on Zipp's web site shows that the drag of a 25 mm rim wheel (Mavic Ksyrium) is about half way between a wheel with a shallow 13mm deep box section rim wheel (32 spoke GL330) and a 58mm deep carbon rim wheel (Zipp 404).
 

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rruff said:
For one thing, tubulars have higher rolling resistance, so even though they are lighter, they are still slower.
This is not necessarily true. Depending on the difference in rolling resistance and weight (both of which depend on the tires, tubes, and glue used, in addition to the wheels themselves), there may be a grade where the benefit of lower weight overcomes the disadvantage of higher rolling resistance.
 

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ultimobici said:
So why does EVERY Pro Tour team race on tubs? Even Michelin sponsored teams use Service Course tubs that look just like Pro Races!
What makes you think that rolling resistance is the only factor in deciding which tires to use? (And what makes you think that all equipment decisions, even by pro teams, is derived by cold logic and reason applied to known performance data?)
 

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Not so?

ultimobici said:
So why does EVERY Pro Tour team race on tubs? Even Michelin sponsored teams use Service Course tubs that look just like Pro Races!
Last I heard, roughly 25% of the pros were racing on clinchers. I guess that doesn't differentiate between ProTour teams and all the rest, but it is a sponsorship issue as much as a performance issue.
 

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Clinched

IKnowYouRider said:
I'm just finishing the build on my race bike and need to make a final decision on what wheels to get. From our shop sponsor I'm getting the wheels at cost so its a fair discount over the going rate for the deep dish carbon tubulars. Right now the primary contenders are the Cane Creek Aros 58 tubulars, a bit heavy for carbon tubulars (~1450g) but still light when compared to clinchers, Easton Ascent II or Orions (I'm only 135lbs so I think I can get away with the ascents), or maybe even the Ksyrium ES which I hadn't considered until I saw them in the shop. I'm leaning toward the tubulars but I'm still unsure if it's really worth it for the increased cost. I realize that wheels aren't going to win me any races but hey if it'll help me bridge across to a break or even help me descend any faster I think it's probably worth it. Any input is appreciated.
Here is my $.02, take it for what it is. I have been road racing for the past 15 years. Apart from a brief foray into tubulars in my early years, I have raced exclusively on clinchers. At no time have I ever considered that my choice to do so has limited me or caused me to lose a race, from my first races as a total novice to the current season (race category status not published because I don't want to be accused of boasting). In fact, the extra sleep and rest I have had over the years from not having to prep rims, glue tires, worry about tires rolling, etc, etc has probably made me a better racer than using tubulars :D.

I am not going to dispute the data about aerodynamics and carbon tubies. They are fast wheels and there is no getting around that. However, for the amateur racer who 1) buys his own stuff, 2) repairs his own stuff, and 3) glues his own tires I really feel that exotic carbon wheelsets are a bust. They are fragile, and just as there is no doubting the aero benefits of a Zipp 404, there is also no doubting that they are fragile rims. The tires are expensive, even at pro-deal pricing and one flat and they are toast unless you are an A-1 seamstress and like excercises in maximum tediousness. There is also the issue of less-than-stellar braking on the carbon rim surfaces.

So, the deep-section carbon tubular wheels are fast. End of story. But when I consider how fast they are compared to an average racing wheel, and then consider "am I doing everything physically possible to make ME faster" I can 100% of the time justify that I could probably train harder/smarter, lose 3-5 lbs extra, or drink one less beer before I plunk down on an ultra-exotic wheelset. Wait, I did that! Last year I bought a pair of Reynolds Stratus Carbon clinchers. Reasonably light, aero and clincher they seemed to be perfect for me. Well, a couple of rides on them was all it took for me to see that I would never trust the braking enough to consider racing them on wet roads. That, coupled with the fact that a local pro team was breaking spokes on a weekly basis on the same wheels had me putting them up on eBay pretty quick.

Long story, but here's my short answer. Get a good set of racing clinchers like the Velomax Ascent II or Mavic Ksyrium SSC SL or ES. Put some good clincher tires on them (insert your choice here) and then race.
 

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IKnowYouRider said:
I'm not being argumentative but would you have any more information on these aero tests? I've always heard that there's little aero benefit under 40mm deep (of course by a biased "expert" ) and honestly the deeper wheels have me a little concerned about riding in crosswinds. Some more info would be appreciated.
Check out this thread for more info:
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?p=550582#poststop
 

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Mark McM said:
The data on Zipp's web site shows that the drag of a 25 mm rim wheel (Mavic Ksyrium) is about half way between a wheel with a shallow 13mm deep box section rim wheel (32 spoke GL330) and a 58mm deep carbon rim wheel (Zipp 404).
Ksyriums aren't very aero though. A better comparison would be Zipp 202s... a 25mm rim with CX-rays.
 

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rruff said:
For one thing, tubulars have higher rolling resistance, so even though they are lighter, they are still slower. There may be other benefits (handling? feel?)... but personally, I'd stick with clinchers.

Tests have shown that a 25~30mm deep rim, and aero spokes (like CX-rays) give a significant advantage compared to a shallow rim or round spokes; in fact they are almost as good as deeper carbon rims... so I'd get some aluminum rimmed wheels with those features. You can get very nice ones for <$500. For tires, Michelin Pro2s seem to have the best combination of Crr and puncture resistance.
The low-end tubulars have a lower rolling resistance than the good clincher tires. The good tubular tires like Veloflex tires have about the same rolling resistance. Here is a post with a list of tires and rolling resistance.

“You keep touting the higher rolling resistance of tubulars, but the difference between a good clincher, and a good tubular are almost nothing. I would say that the difference between, say, a pro2race tire, and the Veloflex carbon, is pretty miniscule.... .0042 vs. .0049. Of course if you compare a good clincher to a crappy tubular like tufo, then your spot on.

Tire CRR
Deda Tre Giro d'Italia 0.0038
Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX 0.0039
Michelin Pro 2 Race 0.0042
Vittoria Diamante Pro Rain 0.0044
Michelin Megamium 2 0.0047
Pariba Revolution 0.0048
Veloflex Carbon (Tubular) 0.0049
Michelin Carbon 0.0050
Gommitalia Route du Nord (Tubular) 0.0050
Panaracer Stradius Pro 0.0051
Schwalbe Stelvio Plus 0.0052
Gommitalia Platinum (Tubular) 0.0053
Vittoria Corsa Evo CX (Tubular) 0.0054
Schwalbe Stelvio Evolution Front 0.0056
Continental GP Force (rear specific) 0.0057
Hutchinson Fusion 0.0057
Schwalbe Stelvio Evolution Rear 0.0057
Vittoria Corsa Evo KS (Tubular) 0.0057
Continental Ultra GatorSkin 0.0058
Ritchey Pro Race Slick WCS 0.0058
Schwalbe Stelvio 0.0059
Continental Competition (Tubular) 0.0059
Veloflex Roubaix (Tubular) 0.0059
Continental Podium (Tubular) 0.0060
Specialized S-Works Mondo 0.0061
Continental GP 3000 0.0067
Hutchinson Top Speed 0.0069
Schwalbe Stelvio (Tubular) 0.0069
Continental GP Attack (front specific) 0.0073
Tufo Elite Jet (Tubular) 0.0073
Schwalbe Montello 300 (Tubular) 0.0075
Tufo Hi-Composite Carbon (Tubular) 0.0077

Average Clincher: 0.0054
Average Tubular: 0.0061"
Thank you to FTF for making this list.

This list doesn't include all tires but in general the good tubulars are very close to the best clinchers. But once again with carbon tubular wheels you have the lightweight tires and the deep aero rims.

I use tubular tires for training and racing and have never had a problem. I have only gotten one flat in the two years and that was in a race that I still finished 2nd in. The tires are glued in place so you can keep going when you get a puncture. If and when you do puncture the air leaks a lot slower than clinchers.
 

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SEK82089 said:
You keep touting the higher rolling resistance of tubulars, but the difference between a good clincher, and a good tubular are almost nothing. I would say that the difference between, say, a pro2race tire, and the Veloflex carbon, is pretty miniscule.... .0042 vs. .0049.
Even that little bit translates to ~1% speed difference on the flats or climbing hills... equivalent to about a 2lb weight difference on a steep hill. And you'd better hope that the aero drag is a lot lower on the flats if you want to give up that much in Crr.
 

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SEK82089 said:
The low-end tubulars have a lower rolling resistance than the good clincher tires. The good tubular tires like Veloflex tires have about the same rolling resistance. Here is a post with a list of tires and rolling resistance.

“You keep touting the higher rolling resistance of tubulars, but the difference between a good clincher, and a good tubular are almost nothing. I would say that the difference between, say, a pro2race tire, and the Veloflex carbon, is pretty miniscule.... .0042 vs. .0049. Of course if you compare a good clincher to a crappy tubular like tufo, then your spot on.

Tire CRR
Deda Tre Giro d'Italia 0.0038
Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX 0.0039
Michelin Pro 2 Race 0.0042
Vittoria Diamante Pro Rain 0.0044
Michelin Megamium 2 0.0047
Pariba Revolution 0.0048
Veloflex Carbon (Tubular) 0.0049
Michelin Carbon 0.0050
Gommitalia Route du Nord (Tubular) 0.0050
Panaracer Stradius Pro 0.0051
Schwalbe Stelvio Plus 0.0052
Gommitalia Platinum (Tubular) 0.0053
Vittoria Corsa Evo CX (Tubular) 0.0054
Schwalbe Stelvio Evolution Front 0.0056
Continental GP Force (rear specific) 0.0057
Hutchinson Fusion 0.0057
Schwalbe Stelvio Evolution Rear 0.0057
Vittoria Corsa Evo KS (Tubular) 0.0057
Continental Ultra GatorSkin 0.0058
Ritchey Pro Race Slick WCS 0.0058
Schwalbe Stelvio 0.0059
Continental Competition (Tubular) 0.0059
Veloflex Roubaix (Tubular) 0.0059
Continental Podium (Tubular) 0.0060
Specialized S-Works Mondo 0.0061
Continental GP 3000 0.0067
Hutchinson Top Speed 0.0069
Schwalbe Stelvio (Tubular) 0.0069
Continental GP Attack (front specific) 0.0073
Tufo Elite Jet (Tubular) 0.0073
Schwalbe Montello 300 (Tubular) 0.0075
Tufo Hi-Composite Carbon (Tubular) 0.0077

Average Clincher: 0.0054
Average Tubular: 0.0061"
Thank you to FTF for making this list.

This list doesn't include all tires but in general the good tubulars are very close to the best clinchers. But once again with carbon tubular wheels you have the lightweight tires and the deep aero rims.

I use tubular tires for training and racing and have never had a problem. I have only gotten one flat in the two years and that was in a race that I still finished 2nd in. The tires are glued in place so you can keep going when you get a puncture. If and when you do puncture the air leaks a lot slower than clinchers.

Where is this list from? Could you provide some background into the test? It's nice to see some real numbers. I'm not sure what the number means. Something measured to the thousandths is pretty small. I don't think we are talking about differences in speed of 1% as stated below. These numbers look undetectable by all but the most sensitive equipment.

-Eric
 

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ergott said:
Where is this list from? Could you provide some background into the test? It's nice to see some real numbers. I'm not sure what the number means. Something measured to the thousandths is pretty small. I don't think we are talking about differences in speed of 1% as stated below. These numbers look undetectable by all but the most sensitive equipment.
Tour test Oct 05. Just because they are small numbers doesn't mean anything... that is why I took the trouble to translate it into speed... so it would mean something. If you have ever looked at the equations of motion that govern a cyclist, you'd know what Crr is...the coefficient of rolling resistance. That is what the numbers are.

Look here for a calculator and more info:
http://www.analyticcycling.com/ForcesTires_Page.html
 

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rruff said:
Tour test Oct 95. Just because they are small numbers doesn't mean anything... that is why I took the trouble to translate it into speed... so it would mean something. If you have ever looked at the equations of motion that govern a cyclist, you'd know what Crr is...the coefficient of rolling resistance. That is what the numbers are.

Look here for a calculator and more info:
http://www.analyticcycling.com/ForcesTires_Page.html
Yeah, but what numbers is he using for his "premium tubular" vs. his "premium clincher"? You can select the Crr of the road surface, but not the Crr of the tires you want to run in the model. As shown in the list above, all "premium" tires (clincher or tubular) are not created equal.

-Eric
 

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Question

Eric,

Point well taken about the rain. Braking with carbon rims in the wet does sound daunting.

But, in a dry Race or TT situation (not a day to day training situation), wouldn't you prefer a set of Zipp 404s with Vittoria EVOs to a set of Mavic Kysrium SLor Es's? I mean, the Zipps are not so fragile that they can't be given race-only duty are they?

Indeed, if you don't have race support and you flat, neither the tubie or the clincher is going to help much, except that the tubie might bring you to a safer stop and end of your race. And, the cost of puntured tubies from races shouldn't be that much for an amatuer racer -- it not like you'd be doing 50+ races a year. On the other hand, if you do have race support . . . congratulations, you can afford carbon rims and tubies!

And, if it rains, just pop in your Mavic training wheels, which are of course already mounted with Vittoria Open Pave clinchers (24mm) -- perfect for a rainy-day races and every-day training (which can be in the rain, over gravelly sections, etc.

Of course, owing a wheel set dedicated solely to dry races is more expensive than owning one, all-round whell set. But, if you've got the money . . . . Heck, these days, I see a lot recreational racers own a race bike and a TT bike and a training bike and a climbing bike . . . . So, why not a couple of wheel sets if you can pay the rent?

Still, I agree that for day-in, day-out riding, Mavic clinchers can't be beat! Krysirum SLs on an old-school steel Bianchi are my work horses. A Cervelo Soloist Carbon with Zipp 404s are only my current race set-up dream.
 
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