Subject: Re: [CR] tubulars today

Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 14:18:05 -0800
From: Kristopher Green <>
Subject: Subject: Re: [CR] tubulars today

I ride sewups on three of my second, third, and fourth most-often used bikes. Our roads around here are probably better than those in most of the United States. Nevertheless, two experiments last year ended badly, with tons of flats.

Experiment one was to buy 10 Vittorias Rallyes ($12, heavily discounted). These lasted about as well as legend led me to believe--perhaps 800 miles o n average before punctures ended their lives. I've since heard a rumor that Vittoria sells off their seconds and I wonder if that's what I ended up with.

Experiment two was to buy (far too many times, but I'm bad at planning ahea d and they're the only sewups available in town) Continental Sprinters at my local bike shop ($38). These were ridiculously fragile: it wasn't unusual t o get fewer than 100 miles out of them, and I don't think a single one held air beyond about 1000 miles. One of them wasn't punctured at all--it developed a bubble under its tread (this, of course, at the point farthest from home).

I've just mounted my second set of Tufo S22s ($37). They offer a dreadful ride but seem to be very, very durable. A friend wore his down to the threads--and there's a lot of rubber to get through before you get there. I f durability is the only consideration, I feel like I can recommend these.

The best compromise between durability, ride, and intiial cost I've found i s the Vittoria CX/CG ($90--beyond what my wife likes me to spend), but I don' t think I've bought any since the changeover from Italian to Thai production. I'm told that, if anything, the quality has improved.

I'd love to try a fat, fat tire but two of these bikes wear fenders and the third has Delta brakes, so clearance prohibits.

Kris Green
Olympia WA