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View Full Version : "fewer flats" with tubulars than with clinchers


dave1215
04-11-2008, 10:51 AM
people keep saying they get fewer flats with tubulars.

why is this the case?

(i) less chance, if any, of pinch flats?
(ii) can ride with lower pressures so riding over debris momentarily deforms, rathers than punctures, tire?
(iii) anything else?

please help those of us who are looking for that last little push to try tubs...

...why do you get fewer flats with tubulars than with clinchers?

Dave B
04-11-2008, 10:53 AM
I think those are good reasons. Someone also joked once you try to avoid more stuff so you don't spend more money on tires.

J.Greene
04-11-2008, 10:55 AM
It seems like every few years I'll have a rim strip issue that I don't get on tubs.

JG

ThasFACE
04-11-2008, 11:12 AM
I think those are good reasons. Someone also joked once you try to avoid more stuff so you don't spend more money on tires.
I just switched full-time to zooty carbon tubular jobbies, and I have definitely noticed myself riding a little more gingerly through some of the more miserably-paved sections of this great city of Nouveau York.

Too Tall
04-11-2008, 11:21 AM
All the above. you might be more careful, I'm not and I ride thru all kinds of garbage not on purpose that's where I ride...dirt, gravel and city streets.

If you are smart and riding quality tubulars than it is likely they are better tyres than the clinchers you formerly used. Face it, tyre technology is of late incrementally better across the board. Heck, I was recently FORCED to ride Veredestine SE clinchers (ewww gross) and was pretty darn pleased with the grip in wet conditions....actually VERY pleased. Hated the ride but loved the grip and got no flats over the course of 300+ miles with lots of wet roads.

Brother, ride those tubulars because they are the fine ride not for less flats...THAT is like "Grace"....it just comes ;)

Hardlyrob
04-11-2008, 11:35 AM
I think that the inability of tubulars to get pinch flats is a big deal. I also probably ride around some of the worst pavement more as a habit with tubulars. But they are not delicate - I'm riding Veloflex Servizio Course 19mm little skinny tires at 120psi. They have about 1500 miles on them including the wonderful potholed roads here in New England and some gravel and bike paths - not a single problem.

To be honest, I think the last flat I had with a tubular was about five years ago. I don't ride as much as many here, but that's still close to 10,000 miles without a flat.

The one problem I see with tubulars that doesn't seem to be as much of a problem with clinchers is lumpy or out of round tires. I have a Conti Sprinter Gatorskin tubular on my winter bike that is lumpy - you bring your own bumps with you!

Cheers!

Rob

djg
04-11-2008, 11:48 AM
Got a flat yesterday on the fixie -- I had a vittoria evo pave on there for an eternity (more than a year) and it was time.

It's all ad hoc stuff and all the reasons cited make some sense to me and I dunno, but, I really think I get fewer flats -- way fewer flats -- on tubular tires. I'm down to one set of clinchers on backup/go-wherever wheels.

Vancouverdave
04-11-2008, 11:57 AM
The secret is......Paint a pentagram on your garage floor. Every solstice you stack all of your wheels inside of it and then burn black candles at each point of the pentagram. Your tubulars won't flat this way.

Polyglot
04-11-2008, 11:58 AM
I think one of the greatest reasons why anybody would have less flats with a tubular is that you spend far less time riding them at the end of or beyond the usable life of the treads. While I have ridden some tubulars right to the threads, most suffer at least one puncture prior to reaching that juncture. With clinchers on the other hand, I regularly push them to the threads. Looking at others bikes out on the road, I am not alone in this.

RPS
04-11-2008, 11:59 AM
(iii) anything else?Maybe fewer miles?
More experienced riders?

bostondrunk
04-11-2008, 12:22 PM
No pinch flats, and I honestly find it easier to replace a tubie on the road than I do a clincher, but thats just me. And it is very rare that I have to change one anyway, rarely get a flat tire.
Any time on a group ride that someone gets a clincher flat, it seems like we spend 15 minutes on the side of the road while he/she wrestles with getting the tire on or off, ruining their new tube in the process, starting over with someone elses tube, etc etc.
I know, there are those that can change a clincher quickly, but the above just seems to be what I witness most often..
:beer:

MilanoTom
04-11-2008, 12:28 PM
I dunno. I ride both clinchers and tubulars and it's sort of a crap shoot atmo. The only flat I've gotten on a tubular was on the first ride of a Tufo that supposedly had a gazillion plies plus an anti-puncture belt. I was near the shore, and a tiny piece of clam shell caught the tire just right and sliced it like a razor blade. I've ridden on the same stretch of shell-littered road (and I know I've ridden over shell pieces) with Conti and Veloflex tubulars, as well as Conti, Veloflex, Vittoria and Michelin clinchers with no problems.

If it's gonna flat, it's gonna flat atmo.

Regards.
Tom

fierte_poser
04-11-2008, 12:29 PM
But goatheads and tubulars don't mix, right? (this has nothing to do with pentagrams either)

I've already had 2 flats (clincher) this year alone due to the dreaded goathead. I don't think a tubbie would have prevented either flat. Am I wrong?

paczki
04-11-2008, 12:53 PM
I think that the inability of tubulars to get pinch flats is a big deal. I also probably ride around some of the worst pavement more as a habit with tubulars. But they are not delicate - I'm riding Veloflex Servizio Course 19mm little skinny tires at 120psi. They have about 1500 miles on them including the wonderful potholed roads here in New England and some gravel and bike paths - not a single problem.

Amen. Yesterday riding through Lincoln on PR rims and Veloflex tubulars (100 PSI), through potholes and all sorts of other New England road atrocities. So much nicer than those danged clinchers.

dave1215
04-11-2008, 01:31 PM
hmmmm, thanks guys, it sort of did sound too good to be true :rolleyes:

i guess i should just do it anyway - if i don't, i'll always wish i did.....

Hardlyrob
04-11-2008, 02:23 PM
Go ahead and buy some used wheels here or on the 'bay and see what they're like. If you don't like them, you can always re-sell the wheels. The last set of wheels I bought were DA 8 speed with Mavic GL330 rims for $75. I have more in the tires than the wheels right now.

Rob

MilanoTom
04-11-2008, 02:30 PM
hmmmm, thanks guys, it sort of did sound too good to be true :rolleyes:

i guess i should just do it anyway - if i don't, i'll always wish i did.....

If you don't try tubulars, you're right, you'll always wish you had. You might as well either:

1) get it out of your system, or 2) become a convert,

sooner than later.

Regards.
Tom

Skrawny
04-11-2008, 05:34 PM
I have never tried tubulars.

However, I have noticed that after the first few years, when I became a much more experienced cyclist, I got a fraction of the flats that I used to get.

This makes the scientist in me wonder if there is a confounding variable (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confounding) here. Maybe people start becoming a better cyclist, then try tubulars, and all of a sudden they notice fewer flats. Coincidence without causality.
Just wonderin'
-s

taylorj
04-11-2008, 05:55 PM
Tubulars are just plain sexy. Supple, smooth, very nice. And the subtle details like the way they corner on a long and twisty descent is worth every penny. In my opinion it has nothing to do with flats/no flats. Just one of the nicest upgrades a person can make on their ride. My 4 cents.

paczki
04-11-2008, 05:58 PM
Tubulars are just plain sexy. Supple, smooth, very nice. And the subtle details like the way they corner on a long and twisty descent is worth every penny. In my opinion it has nothing to do with flats/no flats. Just one of the nicest upgrades a person can make on their ride. My 4 cents.

Amen! :banana:

terrytnt
04-11-2008, 09:48 PM
I could agree more with what's been said about tubulars. It's not only sexy to ride but generally those of us who like tubulars tend to be 'craftsmen' with their bikes, tinker, tune-up, almost anal about their bikes (at least I am).

My first bike was a Vitus with a Mavic Pro group (which I still own today). I'm a really poor judge of clinchers BECAUSE I'VE NEVER OWNED ONE.

After riding for 20 years on my Vitus, 2 years ago I upgraded to an Ottrott ST with Record, Neutron and Euro tubulars.

I'm in heaven every day I ride... except of course when I stop to watch my buddies fix their clinchers.... all too often, no kidding. :D

dirtdigger88
04-11-2008, 09:54 PM
This makes the scientist in me wonder if there is a confounding variable (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confounding) here. Maybe people start becoming a better cyclist, then try tubulars, and all of a sudden they notice fewer flats. Coincidence without causality.
Just wonderin'
-s

I dont think so - I get more flats with clincher

I dont change my riding style based on my tires

Jason

Grant McLean
04-11-2008, 09:57 PM
I have noticed that after the first few years, when I became a much more experienced cyclist, I got a fraction of the flats that I used to get.

This makes the scientist in me wonder if there is a confounding variable (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confounding) here.

You could be on to something... I've always considered something is 'wrong'
if you're getting flats beyond the very occasional fluke cut or pinch flat,
yet some people get constant flats.

I used to think it was that this tire or that tire was better, but I've heard all
kinds of riders saying the opposite things about the same equipment. The
variable is the rider...

-g

mschol17
04-11-2008, 10:08 PM
This makes the scientist in me wonder if there is a confounding variable (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confounding) here. Maybe people start becoming a better cyclist, then try tubulars, and all of a sudden they notice fewer flats. Coincidence without causality.
Just wonderin'
-s

I think it's deeper than that... start developing your non-local hidden variable theory. Then we'll perform the TT-11.4-veloflex experiment to measure the inequalities.