Handmade

22Dec10

Handmade tubular tires that is …

Tubular tires represent a huge expense, long hours of preparation and gluing and in general, the hard way. There is no way around it, you have to glue them on the rim with multiple layers of nasty glue and pry them off when the tire is flat or worn out.

All that work is worth it though, nothing rides better. Nothing.

If you race cross, you know racing without a tubular tire is a dangerous endeavor. You just can’t run a standard tire and tube combo at low enough pressures without pinch flatting. Without low pressure, you have no grip. As a matter of fact, I attribute my slide out and serious injury this fall on riding clinchers with way too much air.

If you’re a roadie, you know that nothing rides better. If it’s a rainy race, you can’t drop a clincher down to 60-70 psi for added grip without a serious risk of a pinch flat, but you can with a tubular. Additionally, if it’s a rough course, say Boulder-Roubaix or Snake Alley, nothing will handle better.

If you race, tubular tires are where it’s at for road and cross. End of discussion. It’s the best way to make your bike ride smother and offers a ride that I’m even toying with starting to ride them in training on the road (cheaper ones of course). If you want the best, the handmade variety from FMB and Dugast seem to be the ticket, although some top of the line Vittoria’s are pretty damn smooth too. That holds true for ‘cross and road.

Curious how handmade tubular tires are made? Here is the master Dugast, the hands down leader in cross tires at work:

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