I viewed some pictures in tire literature at Interbike and found out why some cheap tubulars resist flatting so poorly.
Most good tires have one hi-density ply folding around at the ends of the casing, creating a two-ply sidewall with the plies then overlapping under the tread to add 2nd and 3rd plies under the tread. Belt plies can bring the total to 5 or so plies under the tread, like a Conti Competition, iir.
The cheaper tires usually are made from two-ply, low-density, thick fabric that only doubles over at the edges of the casing where the stitching is. Result is two flimsy plies under the tread and the added weight of 4 plies against the rim.
My own experience with cheap Giro tires and the like is that I flat on every 3rd ride (vs. every 15 or 20 rides on medium-priced clinchers) and often get a half-pea-shaped blister under the tread, a certain death knell. These blister failres seem to be caused by the coarse, loose weave of the low-density fabric allowing the tube to escape confinement. Those same fabric qualities also do little to resist puncture.
Being still loathe to repair tubulars, I buy at swap meets, and will chance an old, kinda-worn, good tubular over a clean cheap one every time. FWIW, I use about 105/110psi and my rider+bike weight is about 190lb (86kg).
Auburn, CA USA
> This is probably a FAQ, but I am getting nothing searching the archives
> many variations of: tubular gum sidewall advice recommend
> So I will ask here: What's a good, affordable tubular tire that has a tan
> sidewall and would look appropriate on a mid-70s road bike?
> I know about Veloflex Criteriums. I have a pair stashed for next season's
> road races. But I don't want to spend $150+ on a pair of wheels I might
> ride five times a year. I bought a pair of Clement Futurox tires at a
> shop, but the basetape is peeling and the rim strip is so covered in latex
> that the glue won't soak in. They looked right tho, and they were
> Any other tires you can recommend? This will be an occasional rider.