Re: [CR] Air-free , Air-less , Tires , Tyres - was - Tubular tire!

Example: History:Ted Ernst
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 07:52:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Daniel Swords" <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Air-free , Air-less , Tires , Tyres - was - Tubular tire!
To: Raoul Delmare <>
In-Reply-To: <00ee01c38d01$a79a5920$e64efea9@oemcomputer>


Yes, I am sorry - I did mean Air Free tires at My commuter bike is a mid-70's Peugeot PX (or PY?) -10. I'm not sure of the year because I bought it as a wreck but the Mavic Racer brake levers are gold anodized and drilled and the Stronglight chainrings are also drilled. The Simplex derailleurs are SLJ 5500 alloy but have plastic bushings and are not quite as nice as the first (1972?) LJ derailleurs. The frame was slightly bent from a header when I bought it for $ 25.00 so I have no guilt using it as a beater bike. Everything on the bike is original except that it had no wheels. The wheels I am using are Sunshine large flange hubs off of an early 70's Fuji "Special Record Racer" - I think this makes them mid-level hubs? The rims I am using are Mavic 36 spoke Open Pro's. Not vintage but all the rims in my inventory were tubular (I have been using Tufo tubulars with sealant for several years on my tubular rims - BTW I quit using the Tufo tape because I find it impossible to change a tire on the road because the tape is too strong, am I doing something wrong?). The Open Pro's with Air Free Daytona tires look fantastic! The tires are simply black - no colored sidewalls, no colorful labels, no visible markings - just a nice solid black tire on a silver rim. And the tires are no wider than the rim so the bike looks like it is on rails, it even looks fast leaning against a wall. By comparison, Tufo's look like balloon tires (OK, a slight exaggeration but you should get the picture).

I have over 10,000 miles on my air free tires. These are hard miles because I ride over and through a considerable amount of debris on my daily commute (I never got more than 6 weeks of use out of a rear Tufo tubular with sealant on this route!). I cross rumble strips several times each day at 17 to 20 mph. I have never had any wheel or headset problems. My back tire is worn to the point that I am considering replacing it but that is more due to looks than to riding problems. I went with the 125 "psi" hardness tires because I thought that would minimize my rolling resistance and because I ride my tubular tires at ~ 110 psi. But I put 90 "psi" Daytona's on my daughter's bike and I rode those tires a few times and I think when I replace my current set with new Air Free tires I will go with the 90 "psi" tires. Are the Air Free tires as fast as tubulars? I think I have to say no, though I have not devised any objective/scientific tests. But here is the important point - they don't feel any slower. Riding my Air Free tires is just as much fun to me as riding my Tufo tires - in fact it is more fun because I never have that nagging "will I get a flat" feeling in the back of my mind. Of all the nagging mechanical problems that come up when you use a 30 year old bike on a daily basis, tires are NEVER one of my concerns.

As far as appropriate for this list I would say yes it is. My bike is certainly appropriate and I think that ride-ability issues associated with keeping a vintage bike in daily use are appropriate. And tubular tires are a lot for some people to deal with. But, I can appreciate that others will disagree so no worry, I will keep any of my future comments on this subject off-line.

Daniel S. Swords New Orleans. LA

Raoul Delmare <> wrote: O.K. , so I'm a "retro-grouch" . I love Tradition ( capitol T , as spoken by Tevya in "Fiddler" ) . I read things such as "Classic Rendezvous Mailing List" , "Vintage Bicycle Quarterly" , "Rivendell Reader" , etc .

I believe old-old things which have somehow miraculously managed to survive , should remain original . "A thing is only original once ." And if you absolutely must replace a small part of some historic machine , try to remain faithful to the original .


I do respect and recognize true advancements . The next time I set up a pair of tubular wheels , I won't use regular old glue , with regular old sew-up tires . I'll use Tufo tape , Tufo tubular tires ( not sewn , actually really tubular ! ) , and Tufo tire sealant .

After decades of nasty failure , and semi-success , it seems that tire sealant for high-pressure bicycle tires might finally WORK !!

So , despite years of explaining to casual cyclists just exactly why the DON'T want "foam-tires" , "puncture-proof-tires" , etc . . .

I am ready to admit that there might have been some significant advances made , in the past several decades . And I admit that this is especially true in the fields of plastics and synthetic rubbers .

So Daniel , when you wrote "" , did you mean "" ?

Google couldn't find "airless tires" . Also , Air Free Tires does make a Daytona TT . It is interesting reading . Those tires actually seem tempting to me , for a commuter bicycle . Maybe more appropriate for "BOB List" that "C. R. List" ??

I still recall with some horror , seeing the ruined remains of cheap hubs , after thoughtless "casual" riders had fitted hard tires onto their "casual" bicycles . Please don't beat to death any vintage hubs!!!! They don't make those nice old hubs , nor those nice old headsets , anymore!!!! But maybe this idea has finally been done successfully ??

Positive experiences anyone ?

( scroll down for "airless" )

( you can not deny physics )

Raoul Delmare
Marysville Kansas

----- Original Message -----
From: "Daniel Swords"
To: <>


Sent: Monday, October 06, 2003 11:15 PM Subject: Re: [CR]Tubular tire!
> I'll say again though few will listen - check out Airless Daytona time trial tires ( No pump, no patches, no spares, no flats, no worries. Tires used to be my biggest maintenance problem commuting 40 miles a day, now they are the last thing I ever worry about. I use Tufos and sealant on my weekend rider (country roads and I can't afford to change my tubular rims so I can't switch to Airless tires - yet) but switching to Airless tires has given me a whole new feeling of freedom when I ride. I will never go back. Putting air in tires? What a dumb idea!
> Daniel S. Swords
> New Orleans, LA
> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I've managed to suffer six flats in the last five rides each time
> removing a tiny thorn that looks like a miniature roofing nail. Each tire has been
> brand new and my question for the list is: How does one remove the base tape
> on tubulars so that one can begin the futile task of patching and
> re-stitching? It will make me feel like I took action over these thorns if I can make a
> stab, take a shot, cut through this tubular tire repair issue.
> Thanks in advance.
> (Old tubulars make fun dog toys! They grab on and you can spin them
> around! I have six available for immediate sale! Delight your canines!)
> Scott Smith
> The peaceful village of Van Nuys, Ca-lee-fornia!