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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
anyone tried the Tufo tubular clinchers? The tire changes, higher pressures, potential for fewer flats and use of the same wheels sounds appealling.
 

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yes

pluses:

*will stay on rim if you flat
*can use Tufo sealant
*can use very higher pressures

minuses:

*very heavy
*hard to mount
*must carry full spare like tubular (>1 flat and you're screwed)
*not great riding
*sealant does not always work
*cannot repair

I gave up on them after they stranded me with 2 flats. They just don't make sense, except in some very special applications. Crossers like them, as they don't pinch flat. You must carry a whole spare, just for one flat, which is much heavier than a couple of tubes and a patch kit, and it takes a while to mount one. They run over 300 grams, heavier than most racing tires plus a tube.

I'm considering them for a long distance fixed gear event which will require a lot of braking down mountains -- no need to worry about blowouts from over pressurizing or rolling a tubular. However, I'll have a support car, so I don't have to worry about having enough of them or carrying a spare.

Doug
 

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The Edge
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I had a great experience with them.

I ran the Special C33s for 2000 miles without a single flat. Excellent traction in the wet and cornering. I put in half a tube of selant into each wheel during the summer and never had a flat. When I finally rode the rear tire in half last week I had accumulated dozens of deep cuts on the front and rear treads, but no leaks. I switched to a carbon rear tire and had a flat from glass in less than 50 miles. If glass is your main concern, I don't think you can beat Tufos.

Downside:
I did notice a supple ride with the Michelin Carbons, so I guess my Tufos weren't that smooth. The Tufos had much higher cornering confidense though. Except for Glory Cycles and World Class Cycling, you don't have a lot of choices on US distributors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
tufo tubular clinchers

niteschaos said:
I ran the Special C33s for 2000 miles without a single flat. Excellent traction in the wet and cornering. I put in half a tube of selant into each wheel during the summer and never had a flat. When I finally rode the rear tire in half last week I had accumulated dozens of deep cuts on the front and rear treads, but no leaks. I switched to a carbon rear tire and had a flat from glass in less than 50 miles. If glass is your main concern, I don't think you can beat Tufos.

Downside:
I did notice a supple ride with the Michelin Carbons, so I guess my Tufos weren't that smooth. The Tufos had much higher cornering confidense though. Except for Glory Cycles and World Class Cycling, you don't have a lot of choices on US distributors.
Thanks. By the way, bicycletires.com and wisecyclebuys.com carry them
 

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The word from Uncle Al - NO!

From the Road Bike Rider newsletter:

Dear Uncle Al: What do you think of Tufo tubeless tires, specifically the clinchers? -- Douglas R.

Uncle Al Fires Back: I'm convinced there's a conspiracy out there for the sole purpose of making me feel uncomfortable. You guys ask hard questions, and this is one. Tufo (www.tufo.com) is a unique product in several ways. The tubulars seem normal enough, albeit without tubes as we know them. But the "tubular clinchers" are one of the weirdest (and cleverest) designs I've seen. Hailing from the Czech Republic, where the winters are l-o-n-g and the nights are c-o-l-d, what else is there to do but reinvent the wheel? I mean tire. Like its tubulars, Tufo's clinchers have no tube. That's where the similarities end.

Built onto the bottom of the clincher is a channeled rubber band (as Tufo calls it) that takes the place of the bead on a regular clincher tire. It locks the Tufo to the rim. You don't need rim tape when mounting a Tufo. You do need Herculean hand strength. Both Ed and Fred tried and failed to install our test pair of Tufo Hi-Composite Carbon tubular clinchers (about $50 each). So I was given the task. Guess they figured my Sicilian blood, strong hands (no, not from choking people, although I've often been sorely tempted) and stubborn nature would be the right mix to get those babies onto wheels.

Well, I did succeed, though not without summoning the grace of the Madonna. I had sore thumbs for days. They were the toughest-to-mount tires of any type that I've encountered. Then I loaned the wheels to Duncan, a wonderful friend, to test. Duncan is a fast recreational rider whose son is a junior world MTB champion and an up-and-coming road phenom. Duncan liked the Tufos' general road feel, calling it "silky." He liked how well they held pressure between rides. But he said they seemed sluggish cornering and accelerating compared to real tubulars. Tufos contain a puncture sealant, which Duncan termed "a comforting addition, as was the feeling that no matter what happened, these tires would stay put and could be ridden flat." Still, he felt more confident carrying a conventional tire, tube and rim strip -- not a small bundle -- in case of a puncture.

Duncan wondered, as we all do at RBR, why do these tires exist? He felt they didn't ride as nice as good tubulars and no better than good clinchers. He had the same titanic struggle when mounting them on his own rims (and that's after 30 years of rock climbing, which builds strong hands 12 ways). I did some work with the scale, just to verify a couple of things. The Tufo model we tried tipped at 385 grams (with sealant) although the claimed weight is 335. A Michelin Pro Race clincher with a light tube and rim strip totaled 320 grams. You do the math. Do we really need another tire system? And are these particular tires worth the installation hassle if they weigh more than good clinchers and perform no better?
 

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I have heard the Tufo Tubular-Clincher called the worst of both worlds! It is heavier and harder to mount than a clincher and not repairable. It is heavier, much harder to mount, doesn't ride like a tubular, and is really not repairable. They don't fold up enough to even be able to carry a spare.
 

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The Edge
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The easiest tire I've ever mounted to my bike was a Tufo. Way easier than a Conti Sprinter to my tubular wheels. Depends on who you ask. You also don't have to remove the tire to repair a flat. From personal experience with the product, if you rip or gash the sidewall on a Tufo, you'd have trashed every other tire out there. And who carries a spare clincher with them in case they rip the sidewall on thier Michelins? No one I know. They are way tougher against glass and rocks than the Michelin Carbon I have right now. Going to replace it after only 120 miles riding in Atlanta.
 
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