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View Full Version : What is your favorite tubular wheel+tire combo?


Climb01742
08-12-2014, 06:06 PM
I may soon collect my pennies and get as nice of a tubular wheel+tire pair as my pennies can muster. So I was curious: what's your favorite combo?

Alloy or carbon? For fast rides or rough roads? Tire width and rim width/depth?

I've only had one set of tubbies. More knowledge would sure be useful. Thank you in advance.

FlashUNC
08-12-2014, 06:35 PM
Really enjoyed my set of Nemesis with Conti Competitions. Though my next set of tires will probably be FMBs just to see what the fuss is about.

mike p
08-12-2014, 06:42 PM
Lots of nice wheels out there. I've never owned really high end wheels like lightweights so can't speak on wheels of that caliber, but I've have owned quite a few nice wheelsets. My favorites right now are DA C-35's and C-50's. They're a great combo of lightweight, durability, and a great road feel. Favorite tires, conti comp's 25. You can get a little better road feel with Vittoria's but durability suffers compared to conti's and that's extremely important to me.
Carbones are great tubulars, very durable and they feel like they really keep a head of steam going when your up to speed, but they're somewhat heavy and you feel it when you take off.

Mike

thwart
08-12-2014, 06:51 PM
Best I've ridden is my set of Campy Hyperons, currently with Vittoria Corsa CX 25's mounted.

A little stiff IMO for some frames (yes, Parlee Z4, I'm talking about you…), but adds a lively zip to the ride of pretty much every bike I've used them on.

saab2000
08-12-2014, 06:54 PM
Campagnolo Nucleons shod with Veloflex tubulars are my best wheels still, ten years after getting my first ones. I have little experience with others but it's hard to imagine they'd be much better than this combo. I ride the standard 22 (now 23) mm tubulars.

gomango
08-12-2014, 07:14 PM
Campagnolo Nucleons shod with Veloflex tubulars are my best wheels still, ten years after getting my first ones. I have little experience with others but it's hard to imagine they'd be much better than this combo. I ride the standard 22 (now 23) mm tubulars.

Same wheelset for me, except I have two sets. I use Veloflex Roubaixs on one and Challenge Paris Roubaixs on the other. Both sets are used on my older Chris Kvale.

saab2000
08-12-2014, 07:38 PM
Same wheelset for me, except I have two sets. I use Veloflex Roubaixs on one and Challenge Paris Roubaixs on the other. Both sets are used on my older Chris Kvale.

Well, I certainly have more than one set now myself. Some are practically like new. The original ones I bought were sold off after a blow that would have destroyed most wheels left a rear wheel with a big dent in the rim. (The buyer knew about it). I was able to hammer out most of the dent with a hammer and some a block of wood to flatten the braking surface. Try that with a carbon rim......

I probably ought to have kept them though just because of their cool factor.

The Bora 35s definitely have my attention, though I'm not sure what to think of the wider ones. This trend of wide rims is maybe useful for clinchers but I truly question it for tubulars. The mechanics of the tires are very different.

We shall see. I could be possibly swayed by some of Campagnolo's newer wheels, possibly even some of the 2015 wider ones. They're truly hard to beat. And Veloflex is simply the king of tubulars, with one or two exceptions, like FMB. But for daily use it's really, really hard to match, let alone exceed, the ride quality of Veloflex cemented to a Campagnolo Nucleon wheel.

oldpotatoe
08-13-2014, 06:29 AM
I may soon collect my pennies and get as nice of a tubular wheel+tire pair as my pennies can muster. So I was curious: what's your favorite combo?

Alloy or carbon? For fast rides or rough roads? Tire width and rim width/depth?

I've only had one set of tubbies. More knowledge would sure be useful. Thank you in advance.

Various Campagnolo tubular rims laced to a variety of Campagnolo hubs, with Vittoria Corsa or Corsa Elite tires(25mm) glued, not taped, on...

General wheelsets for all types of riding..even rode a dirt path yesterday..I guess I gots a 'gravel grinder'...

jumpjube
08-13-2014, 06:41 AM
I've had good experience with several combinations, although none are intended for rough roads & I've not owned any of the highest end tubular wheelsets. My CF rims below all cost more than the alloy set. If I had to pick my favorite, it would be the Hyperon, with the Crono in close second place.

In addition to rim-tire combos, you may be well advised to consider the frame to which you plan to mate the combo, along with your weight. My own weight never exceeds 150 lb.

On one steel frame/ steel fork bike, I use Campy Hyperon (version 1) CF rims / Vittoria Corsa Evo CX 21. Smooth handling. And very comfortable. Even though this tubular wheelset is probably the stiffest of the bunch, it rides like a dream. Of the tubular tires I've tried (haven't tried Conti or FMB), Vittoria is tops.

On a bamboo frame/ CF fork bike, I use Ambrosio Crono F20 alloy rims / Challenge Vulcano 23. Also love these rims. The Cronos were built up for me by an excellent wheelsmith; I've not had any problem with tensioning. If a heavier rider, you could consider the Nemesis, which has a strong following.

On two other steel bikes with CF tubular wheelsets (older Reynolds Cirro SV & MV models), tires are Tufo 23 & Vittoria Corsa Evo CX 21, respectively. Like the Hyperon rims, I try to ride these in dry conditions. Both the Reynolds wheels have (minor) issues in cross-winds that I don't notice with either the Hyperons or the Cronos. Nothing positive to say about Tufo, except they last . . . and last.

zap
08-13-2014, 08:18 AM
This will probably surprise some.

Bontrager XXX with Tufo S3 <215 that I have on the Klein.

The wheelset is old…over 6 years……xx,xxx miles….never touched the DT based hubs, never needed truing.

Tufo tires…….off road worthy-they are that tough. Ride is what I would imagine what a cheap chinese gardenhose would feel like but the tires are light but incredibly hard to kill.

The Bontrager XXX wheels are not the fastest but certainly better than the Mavic K SLR I have on the Crumpton. The ride…I guess it's not that high on the list of priorities for me. Hey, I ride a carbon saddle with o padding and don't wear gloves.

It freaks out the cat4/5 go fast kids on clinchers that I ride carbon rims through minor potholes and gravel without slowing down.

Now, the Crumpton deserves better than Mavic. Current model Bora 35 is on my purchase list.

uber
08-13-2014, 09:06 AM
Enve 6.7 with FMB tires.
Like the 3.4's too.

teleguy57
08-13-2014, 09:13 AM
If I was buying one all-arounder tubular wheelset today it would probably be the Campag Shamal and ride them with Veloflex Roubaixs. I would go alloy vs carbon just for those rainy day rides.

Having said that, my current everyday(!) wheelset is now the Bontrager D3 3 with Vittoria Paves (will migrate to Veloflex Roubaix or Vittoria SCs for the tan sidewalls when these wear out). Sturdy, light, looks cool and I can tell the difference accelerating and holding speed on group rides. Think my Nucleon tubs with Vittoria Corsa Elite 25s and my Nemesis with Vittoria Pave 24s are going to see much less use.

The Campag Boras with the new braking surface also intrigue me, but too similar to the D3s to buy a set now. It's possible they could be an everday wheel, even in the wet.

Oh, wait, maybe I should just say "do what Saab and OldPotatoe recommend" as they're both spot on with just about any comment they have.

Lionel
08-13-2014, 09:26 AM
Campa Bora ultra 2 with veloflex carbon. Pure bliss.

christian
08-13-2014, 09:35 AM
Hyperon with Veloflex Arenberg

- Happycampyer


:)

saab2000
08-13-2014, 09:37 AM
If I was buying one all-arounder tubular wheelset today it would probably be the Campag Shamal and ride them with Veloflex Roubaixs. I would go alloy vs carbon just for those rainy day rides.

Having said that, my current everyday(!) wheelset is now the Bontrager D3 3 with Vittoria Paves (will migrate to Veloflex Roubaix or Vittoria SCs for the tan sidewalls when these wear out). Sturdy, light, looks cool and I can tell the difference accelerating and holding speed on group rides. Think my Nucleon tubs with Vittoria Corsa Elite 25s and my Nemesis with Vittoria Pave 24s are going to see much less use.

The Campag Boras with the new braking surface also intrigue me, but too similar to the D3s to buy a set now. It's possible they could be an everday wheel, even in the wet.

Oh, wait, maybe I should just say "do what Saab and OldPotatoe recommend" as they're both spot on with just about any comment they have.

I love my Nucleon/Veloflex combo. Love to hear more about these Bontragers. One of the locals here is a Trek dealer and rides those in the clincher version. Not sure about the aesthetics but they do OK on his Trek at least.

Love to hear your opinion of these compared to the Nukes, even if offline.

primov8
08-13-2014, 09:41 AM
Bora Ones & Schwalbe Ultremo HT tubulars. Looking forward to a set of the newer, wider Boras.

happycampyer
08-13-2014, 09:54 AM
Hyperon with Veloflex Arenberg

- Happycampyer


:)Yes, but I have a set of current-model Bora 35's waiting for tires to be glued up. We'll see how they compare to the Hyperons. And I have to say that the CCU's with Arenbergs have been a pleasant surprise—getting those wheels for $800 was easily one of my best purchases.

saab2000
08-13-2014, 09:57 AM
Bora Ones & Schwalbe Ultremo HT tubulars. Looking forward to a set of the newer, wider Boras.

I'm still trying to figure out what wider tubulars bring to the table. The mechanics of the tire/rim connection is completely different and I'm not sure I see what benefits wider tubulars bring.

Love to hear opinions on this. I can't see going wider than a 25 for most road riding and those work fine on traditional rims.

El Chaba
08-13-2014, 10:13 AM
I'm still trying to figure out what wider tubulars bring to the table. The mechanics of the tire/rim connection is completely different and I'm not sure I see what benefits wider tubulars bring.

Love to hear opinions on this. I can't see going wider than a 25 for most road riding and those work fine on traditional rims.

Agreed, 100%. The only advantage that I can see is fashion, and that does sell product. There are few advantages of being a veteran in the game, and one of them is to stand back and watch a fad come and go without participating....

Lionel
08-13-2014, 10:33 AM
Other benefit could be lower prices on the existing 20.5 rims going on sale.

christian
08-13-2014, 10:38 AM
20-21mm tubular rims seem pretty perfect to me.

teleguy57
08-13-2014, 10:40 AM
I love my Nucleon/Veloflex combo. Love to hear more about these Bontragers. One of the locals here is a Trek dealer and rides those in the clincher version. Not sure about the aesthetics but they do OK on his Trek at least.

Love to hear your opinion of these compared to the Nukes, even if offline.

Come to WI and ride mine:)

Quick version: D3s feel (operative word) like they accelerate faster and hold speed better. I haven't done an A/B comparison with the same tires as the same pressure, but my gut feel is that the Bontragers take the edge off road noise a bit more while still giving a good sense of what's underneath me. Haven't had enough A/B with crosswinds to have a firm opinion, but the Bontragers handle them quite well.

FWIW I did ride a set of the D3 7 clinchers last season. As expected, with the taller profile and more weight they were a bit more to spin up, but held high end speed a bit better. The 35mm 3s feel smoother, but you have both profile and clincher/tubular differences there.

I supposed I should try a 23mm Veloflex, but at my size the 25mm Roubaixs just seem like a smarter choice. And a 25mm tubular profile matches the Bontrager rim profile nicely.

Bontrager did a limited run of Classics D3s; my understanding is that they "optimized" the rim bed for a larger 27mm tire profile. Haven't heard of anyone on them other than the Trek Factory Racing boys.

zap
08-13-2014, 10:45 AM
Other benefit could be lower prices on the existing 20.5 rims going on sale.

This…..the only benefit I can think of.

I'm happy with 22 +/- tires on our fairly smooth roads.

saab2000
08-13-2014, 10:54 AM
Other benefit could be lower prices on the existing 20.5 rims going on sale.

This seems like the best benefit! I'll be looking for Shamal and Bora 35s, thank you very much.

R2D2
08-13-2014, 10:56 AM
Really enjoyed my set of Nemesis with Conti Competitions. Though my next set of tires will probably be FMBs just to see what the fuss is about.

+1 on the Comps.
Fast enough and very rugged and reliable.

saab2000
08-13-2014, 10:58 AM
Come to WI and ride mine:)

Quick version: D3s feel (operative word) like they accelerate faster and hold speed better. I haven't done an A/B comparison with the same tires as the same pressure, but my gut feel is that the Bontragers take the edge off road noise a bit more while still giving a good sense of what's underneath me. Haven't had enough A/B with crosswinds to have a firm opinion, but the Bontragers handle them quite well.

FWIW I did ride a set of the D3 7 clinchers last season. As expected, with the taller profile and more weight they were a bit more to spin up, but held high end speed a bit better. The 35mm 3s feel smoother, but you have both profile and clincher/tubular differences there.

I supposed I should try a 23mm Veloflex, but at my size the 25mm Roubaixs just seem like a smarter choice. And a 25mm tubular profile matches the Bontrager rim profile nicely.

Bontrager did a limited run of Classics D3s; my understanding is that they "optimized" the rim bed for a larger 27mm tire profile. Haven't heard of anyone on them other than the Trek Factory Racing boys.

I can't seem to wear out my 22mm Veloflexes and I have a couple years's supply in the garage. They're fine for most riding. Around Appleton I'd be totally comfortable on them.

I do have a set of 27 Vittorias that I bought for Ballers and never used there but they're glued up and I ride them now on regular roads. They barely clear my Ouzo Pro fork on the Pacenti but clear it they do, even if only by a couple millimeters. They are super smooth riding. I pump them up to about 90-95 PSI and they just roll over everything like it's not even there.

Anyway..... Sorry for the tangents.

Climb01742
08-13-2014, 11:01 AM
part of my curiosity is, can i improve on what i have? i have ambrosio nemesis rims with challenge P-Rs. i like them yet honestly, they don't feel demonstrably better/smoother than some of my clincher combos. for a smoother ride is the potential answer different tires (FMB, Veloflex or Vittoria Corsas?) or different rims (say carbon)? it's been kinda of a bummer/mystery i haven't been more wowed by the nememis wheels. after all, our roads sure feel like Paris Roubaix.;)

El Chaba
08-13-2014, 11:19 AM
part of my curiosity is, can i improve on what i have? i have ambrosio nemesis rims with challenge P-Rs. i like them yet honestly, they don't feel demonstrably better/smoother than some of my clincher combos. for a smoother ride is the potential answer different tires (FMB, Veloflex or Vittoria Corsas?) or different rims (say carbon)? it's been kinda of a bummer/mystery i haven't been more wowed by the nememis wheels. after all, our roads sure feel like Paris Roubaix.;)

I would try those wheels with Veloflex Criterium or Carbons. Unless there is a need for something fat like pave or gravel, I have never seen the need. The magic of a fine tubular is the combination of great handling/great ride/speed/pinch flat insurance. The evolution of tubular width sort of settled around 22mm for pavement long ago to optimize these qualities. I personally feel that much of the magic is lost with an excessively fat tire.

rnhood
08-13-2014, 11:19 AM
Well, my DA C24 clinchers are smoother than my Bontrager tubulars. The tubular tire has a nice feel to it but the overall I prefer the wheel of the Shimano. It has a lively feel yet seems to ride smoother than other wheels I'v had, the tubular Bontrager included (which is still a nice wheel). Therefore, although I do not own them, the C24 or C35 tubular....or possibly the Zipp 202 tub would be my choice in tubulars.

Tires, well I am not so picky here. I just don't notice them that much when on a fast group ride. I would probably go with the Veloflex Arenberg.

ultratoad
08-13-2014, 11:24 AM
Nemesis with Veloflex Criteriums.... Awesome....

saab2000
08-13-2014, 11:35 AM
I would try those wheels with Veloflex Criterium or Carbons. Unless there is a need for something fat like pave or gravel, I have never seen the need. The magic of a fine tubular is the combination of great handling/great ride/speed/pinch flat insurance. The evolution of tubular width sort of settled around 22mm for pavement long ago to optimize these qualities. I personally feel that much of the magic is lost with an excessively fat tire.

I would agree with the tire suggestion.

You could try some 25s at a slightly lower pressure but I'm going to be frank with you, I think the Nemesis are wildly overrated and overbuilt. They were built for actual cobblestone races with guys like Tom Boonen riding them. I had some and have sold them. They are a heavy and dead feeling rim in my experience. The Nucleon is just as strong and is a much nicer feeling wheel.

They're obviously a high quality rim and super strong but I don't think they're a very comfortable rim. I have some Ambrosio Synthesis which are, to my butt, nicer riding rims. They have a slightly lower profile and I believe, thinner extrusions and are therefore somewhat more compliant. I make a 1/1 comparison here having used the same tires, though they are not on the same bike.

That said, I'm just not sold on them. There was a lot of hype a few years ago and I'm glad some folks love theirs but just as many have quietly gotten rid of theirs.

For me, the thing about a smooth riding rim or wheel isn't to take the jolt out of huge blows from potholes, it's to smooth out smaller bumps like a coarse road surface or even tar strips or smaller bumps of filled in potholes where they simply pour asphalt into existing potholes and sort of tamp it down. But a huge blow is going to be a huge blow regardless of the rim or tire or anything else. If you ride over bad holes and surfaces and don't unload the force on the bike it's gonna hurt, no matter what you ride.

FWIW, I weigh less than 200 lbs, though not by as much as I'd like. I run my tires at 100 PSI or less with no exceptions. I never have pinch flats on clinchers or similar blows with my tubulars, with only a couple rare exception over the years. I don't know what you weigh but anything more than 100 PSI seems to degrade ride quality substantially.

As El Chaba says, the best riding tires on the market in my experience are Veloflex Criteriums or Carbons. Others are further back. Only FMB equals Veloflex but in my experience doesn't necessarily surpass Veloflex.

This is my real world experience having used all the aforementioned products over thousands of miles.

teleguy57
08-13-2014, 12:25 PM
part of my curiosity is, can i improve on what i have? i have ambrosio nemesis rims with challenge P-Rs. i like them yet honestly, they don't feel demonstrably better/smoother than some of my clincher combos. for a smoother ride is the potential answer different tires (FMB, Veloflex or Vittoria Corsas?) or different rims (say carbon)? it's been kinda of a bummer/mystery i haven't been more wowed by the nememis wheels. after all, our roads sure feel like Paris Roubaix.;)

I think different combinations add different benefits to the picture. If you want smoother ride that's different than faster performance. "Better" for me is where everything improves, or else when a combination meets a specific criteria I have. Different isn't always better.

I like my Nemesis/Vittoria Paves for really crappy roads where I don't want to think about reliability. But I'm beginning to feel the same way about my Bontrager D3s...

You mention clinchers vs tubulars. My experience is that I have more reliability with nicer tubulars, so that sways my choices too.

BTW, I have found when I run the Paves on my Nemesis too low for my weight I actually feel like they're a rougher ride on bigger bumps. No wonder the guys riding P-R and de Ronde spend a lot of time dialing in the right pressures!

happycampyer
08-13-2014, 12:37 PM
I also agree that Nemesis rims are best paired with wider tires (27-28mm) to create bomb-proof wheels for crappy roads, winter riding, etc. A nice set of lighter weight, tubular wheels with aluminum rims built for you, or pre-built wheels such as Nucleons, in either case paired with a supple 23-25mm tire such as Veloflex (Criterium, Carbon, Arenberg) or Vittorias should produce a noticeable improvement over your current setup. By improvement, I mean the wheels should feel "snappier," and the ride quality very smooth and confident.

redir
08-13-2014, 12:55 PM
My very favourite combo is Record hubs laced to either Barcelona 92 or Hardox box section rims with Veloflex Criteriums or Carbons or an FMB. Best all round tubular I've ever ridden.

Climb01742
08-13-2014, 12:57 PM
A nice set of lighter weight, tubular wheels with aluminum rims built for you

HC, are there one or two rims you might suggest I search out, since certain wheel builders carry/work with certain rims? TIA.

Grant McLean
08-13-2014, 01:04 PM
The evolution of tubular width sort of settled around 22mm for pavement long ago to optimize these qualities. I personally feel that much of the magic is lost with an excessively fat tire.

That tire evolution was based on a 21mm box section rim. For the current
deep section carbon wheels, with their 24-27mm width, I think it's been pretty clearly
shown that the 25mm tubular has lower rolling resistance and is a better aero
match with those rims.

-g

El Chaba
08-13-2014, 01:07 PM
HC, are there one or two rims you might suggest I search out, since certain wheel builders carry/work with certain rims? TIA.

I don't find Nemesis rims to be overly harsh, but some obviously do. 400 g is about the limit for a build with a modern rear hub, so there's that...I would avoid Mavic Reflexes as they are garbage (the rears crack at the eyelets in no time...don't get me started). The Ambrosio Montreal is a nice 400 g rim ...OR you could look for something NOS....Mavic GP4's were the gold standard for years, but they generally sell on ebay for more than they are worth....FIR Quasar or ST 120....etc....I would just do the Montreals....

Joachim
08-13-2014, 01:17 PM
I have a brand new set of Ambrosio Montreals in hard anodized finish (same as Nemesis), 32h. I'm not going to use them in the near future. Let me know if they interest you.

happycampyer
08-13-2014, 01:23 PM
HC, are there one or two rims you might suggest I search out, since certain wheel builders carry/work with certain rims? TIA.tbh, I'm not really up to speed on what's currently available—I would speak to a builder like Eric (ergott) for recommendations. For hand-built wheels, I work with Justin from Signature Cycles—he knows what he's doing and it's nice to work with someone local. I mainly ride carbon tubulars.

krismac23
08-13-2014, 01:23 PM
For Road:

Enve 3.4 to CK with Conti's Competition (racing use)

I'm very interested to try the new Specialized FMB tubular. Cotton sidewall is a +

But if you want Alu tub's, the HED Belgium is hard to beat!

For CX:

Hed Belgium to Alchemy Hubs to Challenge Chicane Tubulars
Chicane tire is SO fast and the chunky side knobs bite hard on corners, but you have to commit :)

teleguy57
08-13-2014, 01:54 PM
I have a brand new set of Ambrosio Montreals in hard anodized finish (same as Nemesis), 32h. I'm not going to use them in the near future. Let me know if they interest you.

Shoot, I would buy them back from you :) but I just sold the 32h silver Record hubs that I'd been sitting on for a while....

Just as well as I don't need another set -- but these would be an excellent choice for the OP!

Shin Getter
08-13-2014, 06:59 PM
404 Firecrest with Conti Sprinter Gatorskins with some Stan's in them. My only set of wheels. Had a set of 303 tubs also...traded those for some MTB parts.

climbgdh
08-13-2014, 08:16 PM
Right now my favourite is Nemesis / Record hub wheels and Veloflex Arneberg. Couple those with my Duende and almost any road seems smooth.

fogrider
08-14-2014, 01:28 AM
right now my favs: reynolds 46s with conti continentals. on windy days, I go with the 32s with conti sprinters. for aluminum rims, I like the old mavic 330s for the front wheel and mavic gp4 for the rear. for a smoother ride, vittoria cx used to be my favs but they just don't hold up well on the streets ever since they moved production to Thailand. veloflex tires are nice, but conti's just hold up better. I run slightly lower psi to tune the ride.

Rob1519
08-14-2014, 08:46 AM
Boyd 50mm carbon tubulars with Vittoria Corsa CX tires. 23mm on the front and 25mm on the rear. Glued with Mastik One.

carpediemracing
08-14-2014, 09:24 AM
I'm still trying to figure out what wider tubulars bring to the table. The mechanics of the tire/rim connection is completely different and I'm not sure I see what benefits wider tubulars bring.

Love to hear opinions on this. I can't see going wider than a 25 for most road riding and those work fine on traditional rims.

Not sure if you're referring to wide tubular rims. You point out that 25mm tires work on regular width rims.

Remember clinchers rely on the rim width/shape for their foundation. Tubulars do not.

Wide tubular rims are only for aero in general situations. You lose the ability to ride moderately well on a flat (because the rim hits the road), the tire itself is its own system so it doesn't rely on a wider bead base etc, and technically it'd be heavier and less aero (before you jump on me keep reading).

Technically the tire really defines what rim you want/need. Zipp I think says that a narrower tire is actually a bit faster on their wide rims. However the wide rims made "normal" tires more aero, i.e. 21-23mm tires.

If you want really aero then you'd get 19mm tires and appropriate rims (TriSpoke/HED3? Mavic 5 spoke thing?).

I went all in with wide tubulars for racing. Only after I got them did I realize that I wouldn't be able to ride a flat tire for any length of time. With a 20-21mm wide rim I could because the rim was sort of protected by the tire. The Stinger (23-24mm wide, depending on where you measure, going up to 28mm before it tapers) I almost wanted to pick up the bike just for a slow leak.

I also worried, needlessly, about hitting the rim in hard corners. The rim stuck out so far it seemed like a plausible scenario. Never happened and now I don't worry about it (it's been 4 seasons).

Going back to the OP's question, if I were racing I'd get some wide tubular carbon wheels and 23mm Vittoria CXs. Specifically I'd get a front ~45mm tall wheel, a 60-90mm tall rear wheel, and if there's budget I'd get a 60-75mm tall front wheel. Short front wheel for gusty wind, tall front wheel for all other situations, and a tall rear wheel for all the time.

If I were buying tubulars for the road I'd get some very light regular width carbon rimmed wheels. Light weight so the wheels feel responsive. Somewhat aero so they're faster once up to speed. Carbon to keep weight down. Narrow so you can ride out a flat.

Maybe the Reynolds KOM (32mm tall?). I really liked the 46mm tall Reynolds (I had DV46 tubular, DV46 clincher, both still under teammate's bikes). Since I generally don't hone my bike for training rides I'd ride a shallow/light front wheel all the time and a slightly taller but still light rear wheel. If that's not in the books and you want a bit more aero then I'd get a set of 66mm Reynolds.

I like Reynolds as they'd been very reliable for me. I used the carbon clinchers on long (35 minute - Palomar Mountain) descents, fast ones (max 50-55 mph, after that the DV46 front is too sketchy in gusty wind), no problems. Flew with them packed in a soft bike case, no problem. Broke a spoke (front spoke in a race - placed in the field sprint almost an hour later with a 15 spoke front wheel, regularly hit 45+ mph on the descent in the course; rear spoke on a training ride, did 2+ hours on a 19 spoke rear wheel).

I'd get Vittoria CXs for tires. Frankly I can't tell the difference between various CXs. Reliable, consistent, predictable. I really didn't like the Conti Sprinters and one other non-GP4k tubular Conti that I used. They were very harsh feeling and lumpy (riding rollers on them was a joke).

DerekB
08-14-2014, 10:23 AM
I just glued up my first pair of FMB's. On Zipp 303's. I was very happy with how easily they mounted and trued on the wheel. They aged in my garage for over one year. After 5 rides the front got a flat. Little sharp rock. Two days later the rear got a flat. Not sure what.
I fixed the front with Stan's but the rear was behond repair. A big bubble on the tread surface.
So I'm not very happy with FMB right now. Have others found them fragile?

OperaLover
08-14-2014, 10:31 AM
'98 Campy Electrons with Vittoria Extremes on the Pinarello Opera.

Vintage Matrix aero rims on Superbe Pro track hubs with Yellow Jersey generic tubies on the Miyata Pro fixie.

saab2000
08-14-2014, 10:38 AM
I just glued up my first pair of FMB's. On Zipp 303's. I was very happy with how easily they mounted and trued on the wheel. They aged in my garage for over one year. After 5 rides the front got a flat. Little sharp rock. Two days later the rear got a flat. Not sure what.
I fixed the front with Stan's but the rear was behond repair. A big bubble on the tread surface.
So I'm not very happy with FMB right now. Have others found them fragile?

Sort of, yes. I have a had a number of them but none of them very long. I had some of the Paris-Roubaix 27mm ones for a while and didn't love them because I don't need that kind of volume and found them mushy. They're made for a specific purpose and since I don't ride Paris-Roubaix or even many gravel road rides, their purpose and my riding didn't really work together. But yeah, I was not fond of the dry rotting of the latex on the sidewalls and finally they flatted, for no apparent reason. I don't know if it was a valve or what it was because there was no obvious point of penetration of the tread. Just a mystery flat.

Then I had some of the 25mm Competition CX FMBs and had a slightly better experience, largely because that's a regular road tire and I used them on regular roads. It's hard to say if they're smoother than Veloflex but they are certainly a peer. Then one of them flatted and I think I recall that I had a spare and used it and finally had another 'mystery flat' and one real flat if I recall.

I wanted to love them and the ride was great. And they mounted straight and round. But the dry rot on the sidewalls was not to my liking and they seemed to flat for no reason at all. Don't know if it was bad valves or bad inner tubes or what but your experience is not unlike mine.

I've been tempted on a couple occasions to try them again but since I'm sitting on a good supply of Veloflex at the moment I haven't done anything yet.

The most reliable tubulars I have used have been Veloflex and Continental Competition.

Splash
08-14-2014, 05:19 PM
Not sure if you're referring to wide tubular rims. You point out that 25mm tires work on regular width rims.
.

WOudl you consider 25mm Conti Comp tubulars a wide tubular?

Your thought on the this tire with the ENVE 6.7 tubular rims - in terms of aero, acceleration and maintaining momentum?


SPlash

saab2000
08-14-2014, 08:25 PM
WOudl you consider 25mm Conti Comp tubulars a wide tubular?

Your thought on the this tire with the ENVE 6.7 tubular rims - in terms of aero, acceleration and maintaining momentum?


SPlash

No. 25 mm are standard nowadays but have historically been on the wide side. But the reference to wide tubulars is for the rims, not the tires.

25mm tubulars are fine for most usage but my Veloflex are of the 22mm variety and I don't feel anything negative about them at all. That said, I wouldn't mind trying some of the 25 mm Conti Comps or the wider Veloflex ones.

But any mention of wide tubulars in this context is generally in reference to the newer, wider tubular rims.

scrubadub
08-14-2014, 10:42 PM
Sort of, yes. I have a had a number of them but none of them very long. I had some of the Paris-Roubaix 27mm ones for a while and didn't love them because I don't need that kind of volume and found them mushy. They're made for a specific purpose and since I don't ride Paris-Roubaix or even many gravel road rides, their purpose and my riding didn't really work together. But yeah, I was not fond of the dry rotting of the latex on the sidewalls and finally they flatted, for no apparent reason. I don't know if it was a valve or what it was because there was no obvious point of penetration of the tread. Just a mystery flat.


I've had really good luck with FMB 27s on Nemesis rims. I recently tried the Aquaseal stuff so we'll see if that prevents the dry rot. They do feel a little sluggish for the road. But for mixed terrain ride like D2R2 they are awesome. Once I got over the apprehension of flatting them on dirt, I haven't looked back.