Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

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Russell160
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Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

Postby Russell160 » 13 Apr 2010, 9:45pm

I have recently acquired a couple of wheels as part of an ebay purchase of an old Ernie Clements Falcon, they are lovely smooth campagnolo hubs on mavic monthlery route rims, spokes in poor condition. Seem true to the eye. With tubular tyres. One of these seems ok for its age, but the other is gashed and uninflatable. I know very little about tubulars, apart from looking at one in the lbs and being shocked at how expensive it was (£60).
I am weighing up whether to keep tubulars for period look/general interest, or whether to rescue hubs and reincarnate in another form. My questions are:
i)What are general advantages/disadvantages of tubulars?
ii)How do you mend a puncture on them (on the road, not on this one).
iii)Is £60 normal or can you get them for less?
iv) Can you 'cement' new ones yourself (medium level of mechanical knowledge) or is it a shop job?

v)Am I right to assume that the rims are unique to tubulars and it is not possible to fit 'clinchers/inner tubes' to them?

Advice appreciated as alway.

thirdcrank
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Re: Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

Postby thirdcrank » 13 Apr 2010, 10:18pm

Edited to add: I forgot to see what SB had to say. I'll put it at the top - it may save you reading my rambling.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_tp-z.html#tubular

i) In their day, tubs were pretty much the only tyres for racing. There were some lightweight high pressure tyres (as people used to call lightweight wired-ons) such as the Michelin 25 but I think they were only used because in the immediate post-war period, decent tubs were hard to get. The advantages are that they are light, can be pumped to high pressures and in emergency they can be changed - not repaired - during a race. There is something about riding decent tubs that doesn't seem to be there with wired-on tyres but it may be all in the mind. There was a time when race vehicles were fewer than now and even TdeF riders carried a pump and a spare tub. It is also possible to ride some distance on a flat tub but not ideal. The disadvantages are that they are not easy to repair (rather than replace) when punctured and they have always tended to be pricey.

It used to be normal for UK time trial riders to ride to the start of an event on their bike using HP tyres, and carrying their sprints (race wheels) mounted on 'sprint carriers' either side of the front wheel. They'd leave their saddlebag, non-racing togs, wheels, mudguards etc wiith the helpers at the start / finish and after the race change the stuff back.

I think clinchers largely replaced tubs because they got a whole lot better and tubs were always a faff.

ii) Road racing tubs are stuck on using non-drying cement or special double-sided sticky tape. A punctured tub can be pulled off, thrown away in anger or carefully preserved for later repair, and a replacement quickly fitted and inflated. repairing a punctured tub is a bit of a faff. You have to locate the puncture, then if the outer is not too badly damaged, open the casing by removing a short section of base tape, slitting a bit of the stitching, pulling out a bit of the inner tube, repairing it with as light a patch as poss., then carefully resewing the casing together with a special needle and thread - obviously avoiding making another puncture, but ensuring that the new stitching would withstand high pressure. There used to be various people who repareid tubs as a commercial service. (I used to repair my own so if I can....)

iii) No idea about current prices

iv) Like most jobs in the heyday of tubs, DIY was the norm. In the comfort of your own home, rather than roadside in a race, the idea is to get them as straight as poss. Incidentally, there was often a lot more rigmarole with track tubs - outside my experience - which were sometimes stuck on with layers of shellac.

v) Yes
Last edited by thirdcrank on 13 Apr 2010, 11:00pm, edited 1 time in total.

gilesjuk
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Re: Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

Postby gilesjuk » 13 Apr 2010, 10:44pm

Tubs have a better ride quality and you don't get all the problems like pinch flats, snakebike flats etc.

Obviously if you're using them professionally in a race you'd just swap the wheel over.

Do you really want to be gluing a tub to the wheel and waiting for it to dry in the pouring rain? :)

tatanab
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Re: Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

Postby tatanab » 14 Apr 2010, 7:38am

Russell160 wrote:i)What are general advantages/disadvantages of tubulars?

An undefinable feel to them. The sound of a hard tub on a smoooth road. Having something different for a race bike.
ii)How do you mend a puncture on them (on the road, not on this one)?

You do not, you simply rip off the punctured one and fit a replacement. At home you unstitch the punctured one, repair the inner tube and sew it back up. Or you mail it to individuals who advertise a repair service.
iii)Is £60 normal or can you get them for less?

£60 is fairly expensive and would be a good racing tub. For more general purpose or lower aspirational racers you can get them under £20. I like Tufo tubulars which are not repairable as described above. See https://www.soniccycles.co.uk/tufo.php ignore the picture showing clincher tubulars, that will just confuse you. Even St John Street keep tubs. http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/category-TUB ... ES-205.htm
iv) Can you 'cement' new ones yourself (medium level of mechanical knowledge) or is it a shop job?

DIY. I used to use tub cement but now use tub tape which is a very sticky double sided tape. I use Tufo extreme, see link above which has a little video demo of how to fit it.
v)Am I right to assume that the rims are unique to tubulars and it is not possible to fit 'clinchers/inner tubes' to them?

Tubular rims (again ignore the Tufo clincher tubulars) have no way of gripping a bead so you can only use tubular tyres.

In case you did not get gilesjuk joke - you do not wait for tub cement to dry, that is the last thing you want it to do. Tubs are primarily held on by the air pressure in the tyre.

I have one machine I keep on tubs simply because it is in keeping with the period and the rest of the machine. I would not use them ordinarily these days, even if I was still racing, since lightweight wired on tyres (clinchers) are more convenient.

Big T
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Re: Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

Postby Big T » 14 Apr 2010, 12:07pm

I wouldn't bother - tubs are more trouble than they are worth, unless you're an elite time triallist, road racer or cyclo-crosser, or have a mechanic to stick them on for you.

Problems include getting them on straight, getting covered in glue, having to wait 24 hours before you can ride them if you use cement. Tub tape is better but still more of a faff than a clincher.

If you puncture while you're out , you can use a pre-used spare tub. It will have some residual glue on which will stick to the rim well enough to get you home.
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GavinC
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Re: Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

Postby GavinC » 14 Apr 2010, 1:41pm

I'm njot sure I can give you too much advice as my experience with tubulars is fairly limited - I also acquired my first set of sprint wheels recently and I haven't actually ridden on them.

However, I can say that replacing the tyres isn't rocket science - there's loads of info about it on the net. As a novice I found it to be very messy. Maybe you get better with experience!

WIth regard to the cost of the tyres, I bought a couple of Vittoria Rally 700x21c tubs from Decathlon for £9.99. I'm sure they don't compare to £60 tubs (or even high end clinchers), but at that price you can't complain!

Gavin

thirdcrank
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Re: Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Apr 2010, 4:37pm

Russell160 wrote:..., spokes in poor condition. ...


Forgot to mention this. These may well be so-called 'rustless' spokes - treated with a rather crude galvanising process, I think. You may well find that by now the nipples are seized on the spokes so any future truing needed will be difficult or impossible.

Incidentally, you didn't specifically ask about practicality. I'd suggest not to waste your time with tubs. If the hubs are in decent order - and if you are happy with the number of gears - I'd say have the hubs built into new wheels. At least as the bike is set up for tubs - which have always been the same size as 700C - you would not be faffing with the conversion from 27" which is often the starting point with renovating an older bike.

If the rims are sound you may get a customer for them separately.

ANTONISH
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Re: Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

Postby ANTONISH » 14 Apr 2010, 5:31pm

Many years back I used to tour on tubs using cheap and heavy Wolbers and experienced few punctures.
To fit a tub I used cement on the rim first, let that dry a and then applied a sticky brown tape, I think "Jantex". This held the tub and when inflated it was very secure. Over time the adhesion increased so there was some effort to get it off, but I could change a tub several times rapidly - handy when racing- before the tape needed renewing.
Currently " there is a white sticky double sided tape . In the event of a puncture you need to peel off the old tub (with some difficulty), then apply the tape to the rim. On one side of the tape there is a non adhesive paper. You put the tub on the rim over this non sticky tape and then peel it off allowing the tub to come into contact with sticky white stuff. This takes a bit of skill-but I used tubs for preference when I rode the Paris-Robaix randonee for the second time.
They are nicer on the pave and I found the previous occasion using "clinchers" when I punctured it was impossible to hear the hiss of air because of the clatter of the other riders on pave. Because I hadn't found the cause my replacement tube punctured shortly after.
If you can sew, repairing a tub isn't particularly difficult- hopefully you would be doing this at home and not by the roadside, but I find modern cheap tubs aren't really made to repair.
I don't use tubs anymore but still consider them nicer to ride on than "clinchers."

ignatzcatz
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Re: Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

Postby ignatzcatz » 14 Apr 2010, 8:56pm

Hey Russ, cut the spokes out, save the hubs, bin the rest. Sprints and tubs are'nt for novices. They're a b##ch to fit, and a b##ch to repair. You'll get glue everywhere, trying to stretch the tub onto the rim you'll get glue all over the sidewall and glue on the rim.
However, the hiss of tubs at 8 bar creasing down the lanes on an early Sunday morning time trial is something that should be experienced and savoured. A pair of Clement crits on your 28's is a classic piece of cycling kit, and something to be held in reverence.
If you really must continue with these sprints and tubs you will have to pay some fair cycling dues, and with the progress in the clincher field, you will have to pretty hard headed to follow down this road. Actually I commute on tubs because to change a tub in the dark is much easier than to faff about with tubes and tyres that don't want to go back on the rim. I work early hours and my commute is on unlit lanes. Also I still race on tubs because they just feel damn fast.

thirdcrank
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Re: Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Apr 2010, 9:58pm

I was once riding to work in really heavy rain and I'd just got to the main road at the top of the street. There was a chap in a plastic boil-in-the-bag racing cape carrying his bike and tip-toeing along on nylon shoeplates, which rather dates the story. To my offer of help, he sneered something along the lines of "No unless you've got a couple of tubular tyres." I'd have turned back and got the car out but I decided against it.

Russell160
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Re: Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

Postby Russell160 » 14 Apr 2010, 10:24pm

thirdcrank wrote:
Russell160 wrote:..., spokes in poor condition. ...



If the rims are sound you may get a customer for them separately.


Thanks for all the really great advice everyone, and the link to Sheldon. I am leaning towards the clincher route...

Can anyone give a guesstimate of what the rims might be worth on their own...they seem in good condition... (I can then do a sort of cost benefit of rebuilding using the existing hubs. I have never done any wheel building before but have been checking out the threads on here. It seems doable but not a task to be undertaken lightly...I'm a bit daunted by the amount of equipment/tools I might need. )

tatanab
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Re: Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

Postby tatanab » 15 Apr 2010, 7:25am

Russell160 wrote:what the rims might be worth on their own

£20 -£25.
I'm a bit daunted by the amount of equipment/tools I might need.

Don't be. All you need to get started are a screwdriver and a nipple key. Jigs and gauges etc can come later. I built my first 4 or 5 wheel sets before I decided to get a jig.

thirdcrank
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Re: Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Apr 2010, 10:44am

Russell160

I suppose that going right back to your Q & A, whatever the various reasons for riding tubs, buying a pair of secondhand sprints is not in itself a logical reason. If you had posted the question slightly differently, I cannot imagine anybody would have been urging you to switch to tubs. Sprints and tubs have played a big role in the history of cycling, but it's always been quite a specialised role.

Peter Bedingfield
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Re: Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

Postby Peter Bedingfield » 20 Apr 2010, 10:44pm

I might be interested in buying your Mavic sprint rims for my rebuild. How many spoke holes on each?

Peter Bedingfield
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Re: Tubular tyres , mavic rims, - advice for 'tubs' novice

Postby Peter Bedingfield » 21 Apr 2010, 10:07am

..............or even the complete wheels............