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I'm not trying to start the debate but I'm getting ready to buy a Rear Hed 3 and have been convinced of the benefits of Tubular's. My question is since I'm only buying the rear at this time would it be okay to get the tubular even though my front wheel is a clincher (I'll be buying a front clincher by season's end when more $$$ is available). Would I even notice a difference? Thanks in advance...
I rode half of last season with one clincher and one tubular. The only real issue is that you need to carry a spare tubular and tube. In most races I usually carry only one spare, but in this setup I was forced to carry two. The nice thing is that you will be a bit uncomfortable with this setup (it's a head thing) and it will push you to get a shiny new front wheel sooner!
You won't have any problems (other than maybe wanting to get the other wheel quickly because tubulars ride better and having to carry a spare tire and tube). I did this a few years ago and was riding a front with a tubular for racing and my regular rear clincher for 2 seasons. Depending on what kind of deal you're getting on the rear wheel, I would recommend getting the front one first since this has the greatest benefit for aerodynamics.