Posts Tagged ‘tubular’

Tub Curses.

October 26, 2010

Curse No.1
Jon was over, my pal and I was too busy wrestling his gear cable out of his ergo shifter to remember the auction I had ending at roughly 8 oclock. After a quick panic, some frantic typing and with 50 seconds remaining I tapped my figure in and bid. Or so I thought, I was not logged in. So, that beautiful set of handbuilt lightweight tubular racing wheels that were to be mine, went to someone else, for considerably less than I would have offered. A carefully selected bunch of swear words later and some european style hand gesturing I calmed down and forgot about it, that was until the following morning…

Curse No.2
Out of bed and ready for work I peep out of my window and the weather was OK for my daily commute so I thought I’d take my new, mid 80s time trial bike out, the exact bike that the previous evening’s misbid was for. Yes, it has wheels on it already but they have really seen better days, the rear tub has a bulge at the valve so I feel like I am riding on an egg and the front, well let’s just say it’s a bit crusty. You can see where this is going… Exactly halfway to my destination and it’s raining, not too bad, my jacket will take care of that. Next though, the sound of rotating air exiting a tyre made it’s way up to my ears. Bo**ocks, I havn’t had a flat in so long, I suppose it had to come sooner or later though right? I just wish it didn’t come today! What followed was an hour’s walk to work in the rain wearing carbon soled shoes with cleats attached. Awful.

I figure me missing that bid last night and my puncture this morning is the gods telling me something and I’m listening. Tubular tyres do have a romance that wired tyres do not, they mostly work better in practice and certainly look better but on my walk home tonight, bike being pushed with my right hand I shall care not of any of these things.

All hail the clincher.

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Raleigh Snaps.

May 11, 2010

So, remember last week I mentioned that I planned to fit some tubular tyres onto my newly purchased wheels? Well, I have only gone and done it! I can also report that: Yes, it is a right bast**d fitting them but I can also report that it is a lot less of a pain in the ass than I first thought.

Happy as Larry I am now, happy as Larry.

To Tub or not to Tub.

May 6, 2010

Of late I find myself riding my track bike less and less in favour of a freewheel and 12 gears. Maybe it’s my age and me suddenly worrying about the future of my knees or maybe it’s simply the ease of a freewheel and it’s allure, I don’t know.

So, there sits my track bike, with it’s deep section rims, sealed bearing hubs and clincher tyres – the perfect set up for a commuter and a summer slammer. But as I said I hardly ride it these days so just recently I made the decision ( anal as it is ) to take this 1976 hot rod back to it’s former glory and hook it up with what it has no doubt been yearning for since it’s purchase over a year ago. Low profile tubular rims and tyres laced to cup and cone and easily servicable campagnolo pista hubs.

Such a beautiful sight to behold is a track bike in period correct attire. There is one problem, however. In my haste I did not fully appreciate the rigmorole involved in applying tubular tyres to their rims.

Last night, I spent well over an hour trawling websites and blogs trying to find a definitve answer as to the best method of attaching tyre to rim and, well, by far the funniest explanation and in some ways the most truthful came from the Bike Snob… Totally lulled into thinking he was actually being serious I read on until he began talking about the best method of tyre stretching “The best method is to slip the tire over a street sign and then fasten it to the bumper or ball hitch of your car. Then put the car in gear and slowly accelerate. Once the street sign begins to bend the tire should be sufficiently stretched”. Duped. So I headed over to Jim Langley’s webspot and had a read, until he points out the tools I will need: good tubular tires (this is crucial because crummy tires can be very difficult to install properly, often wear prematurely and develop glitches such as the basetape separating from the tire) ,glue (clear or white glues are easier to use and less messy than red ones; my favorite is Wolber, if you can find it) , plastic baggies ,used sew-up rims or wheels, cone wrench, medium emery cloth, acetone, spoke or piece of wire, flux brushes (available at hardware stores for next to nothing) . Far too complicated for me and in one of his opening paragraphs he speaks of rolling tyres off rims – scary.

The best website I found with a no bullsh*t approach was Park Tools. Straight to the point with factual info on how this task is to be done, for new rims and used, I found this article very helpful, although now I am looking to read more about tub tape… maybe that is an easier, less messy and less fiddly solution?

Tubular tyres on the road it seems is most certainly an acquired taste, but it is a fact that they have their benefits, of which we will not speak of at this point because I think overall, clinchers will always win, simply because of their versatility. That said, my track bike does not need versatility right now, what it does need, though, above all is to look pretty, standing in the corner of my dining room with the wheels that were meant for it.

I am not a ‘fixie’ skidder and I do not plan on riding it that much in the near future so once I have attached these tyres to their rims using either glue or tape I think I’ma be alright, plus overall, the Raleigh will thank me for it.

Tub Fail = Carbon Fail.

March 18, 2010

Game over at 35s.


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