[CR]Tubular help (since we are talking about them...)

(Example: Framebuilders:Pino Morroni)

From: "Paul Woloshansky" <bikwalla@telus.net>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR]Tubular help (since we are talking about them...)
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 10:12:03 -0700
cc: "\"Doug Van Cleve\"" <dvancleve@cox.net>

>Also, do you folks who run tubulars just have a big stockpile of tires
>or do
>you somehow manage to not get flats? I have read and been told that
>are more flat resistant, but I get SO many flats that even factoring
>that in
>I will end up with a bunch of flats per year. I am getting ready to put
>together several bikes that will only have tubular wheelsets, so I am
>to have to stop avoiding the tubulars soon. Thanks!

I wouldn't count on tubs being much more flat resistant, especially if they're small-section, even though there are some pretty good decently-priced ones out there (keeping in mind you still get what you pay for). When I was a club rider, 10 of us would throw in $100 each to buy a bundle of Clement Condors; not a great tire, but I think the rationale then was "safety in numbers": we'd get 10 each and they'd last us a season-and-a-bit, depending on our luck and whether we were early enough to the shop after they'd arrived to sort through and pick out the ones from the middle of the bundle, that didn't have abraded sidewalls from the bundle being dragged around during shipping (always a good thing to work at/live close to your local!). At the time, the mess-and-bother of using tubs was a 'given' for a competition or sportif bike, which is certainly not the case now.

I would steer clear of the cheapos and stay with at least middle-quality tubs, if I had a number of bikes to kit out, as what you save dollar-wise, you'll make up for in replacement- and repair-time, and they'll ride like crap. I think this is a fair generalization. Price figures less than it used to into a decision whether to use tubs or wired-ons, there being some very good, moderate-to-expensive versions of the latter out there now. Rather, if the extra work involved is such a negative factor in your enjoyment of a tub-equipped bike, I'd say make a transition.

I'm not sure where you're coming from in your post: if you're a shop-owner or mechanic dreading a raft of laborious, time-consuming work headed your way, then relax; I don't know of any shop nowadays that patches tubs, that's a chore for the rider, and $15-$18 (plus cement) to mount a tub properly as opposed to $5 for a wired-on should be fair compensation for the extra time involved.

Paul Woloshansky