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Tubular vs. Clinchers?
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I should probably post this in the regular forum too, but I am more interested in the women's opinions on this. My coach first pushed for me to get tubulars- because "if I got a flat in a race, my race would be done anyhow." Now he's changed his mind and is pushing for me to buy clinchers. I'm not sure.... Anyone have any opinions on this?

I'm here to race- myself and you.
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [Marathongrl6] [ In reply to ]
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can you give us more info, like how long you have been racing, what distances you are racing, are you FOP/MOP/BOP, etc.?

I did tris for almost 10yrs before I went tubular.... If you have $$$ to burn, go for it, get some tubular race wheels. Otherwise just don't bother. For now.

Details?

AP

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"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [AndyPants] [ In reply to ]
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Sorry, I'm new here!

I have been doing triathlons for over 2 years (January marks my 3rd year) and decided this summer that I would focus on solely triathlon. I have been running marathons for 5 years, have been swimming since I was 7, and well, the bike is my weak link. I hired a coach with a strong biking background to help me out. I would say generally speaking, I'm MOP, and that was on my aluminum road bike. I have only done sprints up to this point, but plan on moving up to several Oly's and a half IM at the end of the summer. My goal is to do IMKY in 2013. I just purchased a new Felt B16 tri bike. My coach says it would be very helpful to me to have race wheels. I plan on buying second-hand, not brand new for my first go-around. I am 5'4" and about 130lbs. My racing weight is generally 125 lbs. Hope that helps.

Amanda

I'm here to race- myself and you.
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [Marathongrl6] [ In reply to ]
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A new bike or new wheels won't help you bike time as much as being fit on your bike and some focused training will do. I'd spend the money on a fit and a camp.

clm
Nashville, TN
https://twitter.com/ironclm | http://ironclm.typepad.com
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [Marathongrl6] [ In reply to ]
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honestly, go for whatever is the better deal you can find. if you ever want to race cross though, go tubular. clinchers are more convenient for when you flat, but if you get tubular race wheels, and only use them for racing, odds of actually flatting during a race aren't really that high. and then there's (hopefully) pitstop for a fix
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [Marathongrl6] [ In reply to ]
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Hey marathongrl-

If you're doing an IM, you should get clinchers, (tho 'cross or crits, tubulars). If you get a flat, your race is over!?!? What??? That's crap. I got some 808 clinchers for IM a few years back specifically for the reason that if I got a flat I would change that sucker in <5 minutes and continue on. You pay $600 for those races, several hundred to a $1000 more to travel and months of your life training- why give it all up because of one flat.

Also side note (that may influence flatting)- many women our size run their psi way too high- check with your coach about racing PSI (depends on clinchers vs. tubulars) and ride at that psi so you can get used to handling on corners in the aero.

Aluminum bike+ deep dish wheels + well fitted aero position + riding in the aero the whole time + solid training = can be a very fast bike.
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [npda] [ In reply to ]
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I agree that it is crap that your race would be over if you get a flat! Especially in an ironman. If it takes you 10 min to change a flat (it can be done WAY faster than this), then that is not the end of your race. In case you can't change a flat, at IM Louisville this year, they had multiple dudes on scooters with 4-6 spare wheels/tires mounted on the back of each scooter.

My 2 cents: go for clinchers for the simple ease of changing tires & tubes. (Remember: the world TT champion this year (Martin?) won on clinchers). This is something that can be practiced (like transitions....you do that right?). You can do it while watching TV. You can get good at it so that it takes you less than 5 minutes.

Good luck at IM Louisville in 2013! 2012 will be my second time at Louisville.

Pink? Maybe. Maybe not. You decide.
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [Marathongrl6] [ In reply to ]
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IMO, if you are FOP elite and are going for the win, then it could make a difference. MOP and going for best time first, good finish second, then clinchers. They are generally easier for people to change (You should be able to do it in less than 3 minutes) and will get you to the end of the race. And really, clinchers are not significantly slower these days. Buy the best tires you can.

Ian
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [Marathongrl6] [ In reply to ]
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I always trained on clinchers and raced on tubulars. I have really high confidence in quickly changing clinchers because I've done it so many times roadside during training. I have very low confidence changing tubulars. I had one flat tubular during 2000 Lake Placid worlds qualifier and managed to change it in a slow 10 minutes; and also one flat tubular during 1994 Ironman Hawaii but since I was only four miles from the bike finish, I rode in on the flat rather than stop.

Today if I was buying race wheels I'd buy clinchers. They are really easy to change and that removes the apprehension factor of tubulars. And they are practically speaking just as fast a tire as tubulars.

BrokenSpoke
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [trackie clm] [ In reply to ]
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I did get the tri fit, and the bike fits great. It's actually why I ended up going with this particular model. I also have the coach, and we do one-on-one training rides, in addition to my weekly mileage on a trainer. I use spinervals and a couple of other training programs and ride at least 5 hours a week on the trainer. I agree that the time on the bike is the best way to improve, and I am not expecting the wheels to be the thing that gets me to the podium. However, my goal is the podium, and I think I would be better served with buying the wheelset. Just trying to decide which route is better... for me.

I'm here to race- myself and you.
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [Marathongrl6] [ In reply to ]
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I ride tubulars on my race wheels. I got a good deal on the wheels, and like you said...if I flat, I'm done.

My theory when buying race wheels is "best deal I can get". For most of the time, that has been tubulars...although one set was half and half. ;-)

ETA: I am a short course racer, so like Ghia said...3 minutes is a lot of time in an Oly or shorter. Not so much for a LC race.


mmm-mmm-Momo Charms
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Last edited by: mmrocker13: Nov 17, 11 5:38
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [Marathongrl6] [ In reply to ]
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I ride tubulars for my race wheels. Mostly because when I bought my first set of race wheels it's what was the best deal. But they are super fast to change. I ride the adamo saddle and can get an entire tubular under the saddle held on my zip ties that come off quickly if necessary. I've only flatted 1 x in a race on tubulars, but I was able to change the tire w/in 3 minutes and be back in the race. Plenty fast enough for long races. Might take you out of the picture for Oly races depending on the field.

Here's a picture of it under the seat. Not the best photo, but I lost all my closeups of the saddle/tire when I upgraded phones.


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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [Marathongrl6] [ In reply to ]
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I'll chime in as well with a vote for clinchers.

They're WAY faster to change if you flat.


http://aclockworkmango.com
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [Marathongrl6] [ In reply to ]
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Another thing to think about.... When I started the wheels that came on on my bike were clincher. I stuck with clincher when buying a used set of race wheels. Much to my surprise, I have an incredibly difficult time changing tires on the 650c Zipp 404s that I ended up with.

I just can't seem to get the wire bead over the 404 rim (never had this problem with my training wheels). I've broken tire levers trying to get a tire off the 404. Last time I got a flat I had to take it to the LBS, and it took the mechanic there almost 20 minutes to do the job, and he really struggled with it. I carry three levers in my flat kit in case I'm stuck trying to change on the road.

No coasting in running and no crying in baseball
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [Tri3] [ In reply to ]
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If you're having trouble with a certain tire and getting it on or off your rim, you should try a different manufacturer's tire. Not all 650 tires were created equal. Some have much tighter beads than others.

BrokenSpoke
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [LuvMyCrappyBike] [ In reply to ]
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I disagree with the perception that they're faster to change than clinchers. A pre-stretched tube and some practice, you can change those suckers in a minute or so (if you're really good, I'm not haha). Check out some of the videos out there of folks changing tubulars.

I personally like tubulars for racing, I love the feel of the ride, it's completely different - although it could be a lot of the wheel and the rubber choice (Reynolds Carbon 66DVs with Conti4000s). But I use clinchers for all other rides.

If you're going for FOP, then keep your eyes peeled for a good used set here on the ST classifieds, there's always lots of good deals to be had.

AP

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"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [Tri3] [ In reply to ]
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You're not the only one that can't change 650c 404 clinchers.. I can't either (and neither can my friend who also rides them)! Even when I take them to the bike shop, there is only one mechanic there that can do it without pinch flatting them and his forearm is bigger around than my bicep. Because of this issue, I rent 404 tubulars for Ironman and pray to god that I don't flat because I've never changed a tubular, but figure it's easier than the clinchers! Had I known this.. I would have bought tubulars instead.

---
IM Coeur D'Alene 2011
IM Wisconsin 2011
http://alexaharding.blogspot.com
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [brokenspoke] [ In reply to ]
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From my research, the problem is the diameter of the rim, not what tires we are choosing. I have tried to mount tires that I can get on and off my training wheelset with my bare hands and no tire levers onto the Zipp wheels - no dice.

---
IM Coeur D'Alene 2011
IM Wisconsin 2011
http://alexaharding.blogspot.com
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [brokenspoke] [ In reply to ]
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I'm with BrokenSpoke. The only reason I have tubulars is because there wasn't much choice with carbon clinchers when I bought my race wheels. I never train with them and have a low confidence factor when it comes to changing them. The next time I buy wheels I am going with carbon clinchers.
And for IM distance races, you can flat and do just fine. I flatted twice a few years ago at an IM and still won my AG.

Spaero Elite Team
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [Marathongrl6] [ In reply to ]
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Carbon clinchers are my choice. Have gone back and forth but clinchers are great because you can train on them and not worry as much. I have learned how to change a tublar as quickly as a clincher but it is always a pain carrying an extra tubular vs a much smaller tube.
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [Marathongrl6] [ In reply to ]
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When I bought my first set of race wheels tubular was the way to go. Now clinchers are considered just as good and it comes down to what you prefer.

This summer I decided to upgrade my race wheels and the question was should I switch to clinchers.

In the end I based my decision on what I'd rather have during the race and for me the hands down answer is tubular.

There are a couple key points if you go with tubular.

It's really worth learning how to glue your tubes yourself. I really don't find it that messy or time consuming, but I do need a man to help me pull a new tube on the rims. I'm not a weakling and it pains me to say this but I just can't seem to do it myself.

Your race spare needs to be well stretched so that you can easily get it over the rim. Have a value extender on the spare so that you don't have to do a transfer.

Carry one of those little razor blades in your spare kit just in case you need to cut the tube off. I haven't had to use this and don't really find it all that hard to get the tube off myself if I use a lever. A lever helps to get in between the tube and rim to break up the glue.

If your coach would be willing to let you practice changing a tube before you buy that would give you a sense of what it's like. First time I tried to get a tube off my hands were killing me and it was serious work (I didn't know to use a lever).

If you learn to glue than you can practice changing a flat. I find it a lot faster to change a tubular than a clincher.

I got a flat about 5km in during a half iron. I heard it go, but couldn't feel a difference so thought it was my imagination and just kept riding. Race photos showed it was flat (or very close to it) as did checking it out post race. As it turns out I can ride on 30psi and not even feel the road (I'm about the same size as you). I've been told that I only lost a couple minutes by riding on it like that. For me that's a confidence booster. When I flat on a clincher I really know it and would have to stop to change it as my speed would be greatly impacted.

For me the big downside to tubulars is that they are expensive so I really don't like to ride my race wheels outside of races. I do weekly time trials and would love to use them but don't want to wear out the tube.

Also worth considering is getting a wheel cover for your race wheels. $90 from wheelbuilder.com. I just use electrical tape to attach them, which only takes 1 minute to do. You will need to remove your cassette but that's a very easy job.

I'm not an expert...

Let us know what you decide.
Last edited by: bluepoint: Dec 4, 11 16:35
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [bluepoint] [ In reply to ]
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I carry Vitoria Pitt Stop or Hutchinson Fast Air to repair my tubular flats in about a minute and keep going. It saved my race at IMCA 70.3 2 years ago.

There is no similar product for clinchers however. Tubulars for racing, period.

DFL > DNF > DNS
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [SallyShortyPnts] [ In reply to ]
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The funny thing is that I was carrying pitstop on that race that I flatted. It's the only time I've carried it and if I had just taken the two seconds to stop and verify that I did have a flat I would have used it and likely saved a minute or two on my ride time.

Just saving one minute on that race would have made a big difference to my finishing place!

Do you carry a spare as well as the pitstop? I'm kind of torn on that one since pitstop won't solve all flats.
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [bluepoint] [ In reply to ]
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I do not carry anything else when racing. If the tire is shredded, then a fix-a-flat product isn't going to help a large gash. In my experience, however, that type of tire trouble is quite rare.

With tubulars, I have flatted less and also been able to go on with low pressure and a slow leak. That would be impossible on clinchers.

DFL > DNF > DNS
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Re: Tubular vs. Clinchers? [SallyShortyPnts] [ In reply to ]
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Clinchers all the way. I've had tubulars as well but never liked fiddling around with the glue. Practice with clinchers and it gets to be a super fast tube change.
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