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Rec.Bicycles Frequently Asked Questions Posting Part 3/5
Section - 8b.17 Clinchers vs. Tubulars

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Top Document: Rec.Bicycles Frequently Asked Questions Posting Part 3/5
Previous Document: 8b.15 Wiping Tires
Next Document: 8b.18 Tubular Fables
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D.H.Davis@gdt.bath.ac.uk gave some useful hints on mounting clinchers,
mostly involving the use of copious quantities of baby powder, and
trying to convince me that clinchers aren't difficult to mount, so ease of 
mounting isn't a valid reason for preferring tubulars.

wernerj@lafcol.lafayette.edu wrote that although average tubulars ride
'nicer' than average clinchers, there are some clinchers around that ride
just as 'nice'.   He also said that ease of change isn't a good reason for
preferring tubulars as if you flat in a race, you're either going to swap
a wheel or drop out.   He pointed out that tubulars end up costing $20 -
$80 per flat.

ershc@cunyvm.cuny.edu gave some of the historic reasons that tubulars were
preferred: higher pressures, lower weight, stronger, lighter rims.   Said
that only a few of these still hold true (rim strength/weight, total weight),
but he still prefers the 'feel' of tubulars.

leka@uhifa.ifa.hawaii.edu started this thread with his observations on 
clinchers seperated from their rims in the aftermath of a race crash.

stek@alcvax.pfc.mit.edu comments on improperly-glued tubulars posing a threat 
to other racers by rolling off, and noted that this couldn't happen with 
clinchers.

jobst.brandt@stanfordalumni.org agreed with stek, with the additional note that 
it is inadequate inflation that often allows tubulars to roll.

Kevin at Buffalo agreed with stek and jobst about tubulars (improperly or
freshly glued) sometimes rolling.

ruhtra@turing.toronto.edu says he uses clinchers for cost and convenience.
Clinchers let him carry around a tiny patch kit and some tyre irons, costing
60c, whereas tubulars would require him to carry a whole tyre, and would 
cost more.    

CONCLUSIONS: THE CLINCHER VS. TUBULAR WAR
Tubulars - used to be capable of taking higher pressures, had lower weight 
           and mounted onto stronger, lighter rims than clinchers.   Clinchers
           have now largely caught up, but many cyclists thinking hasn't.   
           Tubular tyre + rim combination still lighter and stronger.
         - are easier to change than clinchers.   This matters more to some 
           people than others - triathletes, mechanical morons and those 
           riding in unsupported races.
         - cost megabucks if you replace them every time you puncture.   
           ***However*** (and none of the North Americans mentioned this)
           down here in Kiwiland, we ***always*** repair our punctured
           tubulars (unless the casing is cut to ribbons).   The process
           doesn't take much imagination, you just unstitch the case, repair 
           the tube in the normal manner using the thinnest patches you can 
           buy, stitch it back up again and (the secret to success) put a
           drop of Superglue over the hole in the tread.
         - can roll off if improperly glued or inflated.   In this case, you
           probably deserve what you get.   Unfortunately, the riders behind
           you don't.

Clinchers - can be difficult to change (for mechanical morons) and are always
            slower to change than tubulars.   Most people still carry a spare
            tube and do their repairs when they get home.    
          - are cheaper to run: if you puncture a lot clinchers will probably 
            still save you money over tubulars, even if you repair your 
            tubulars whenever possible.   Tubulars are only repairable most 
            of the time, you virtually never write off a clincher casing due 
            to a puncture. 
          - have improved immensely in recent years; top models now inflate
            to high pressures, and are lighter and stronger than they used
            to be.   Likewise clincher rims.   Some debate over whether
            tubulars are still lighter and tubular rims stronger.   Probably
            depends on quality you select.   No doubt that high quality 
            clinchers/rims stronger, lighter and mor dependable than cheap
            tubular/rim combination.

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Top Document: Rec.Bicycles Frequently Asked Questions Posting Part 3/5
Previous Document: 8b.15 Wiping Tires
Next Document: 8b.18 Tubular Fables

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