Tubular Tires and Rims

We no longer can get Dugast. All we have left is one Cross Typhoon tire. I'm looking into other sources of tubulars. Dec, 2010.

Ya, I know I said there would be no hype on the web site. But I love tubulars, so I need a bit of leeway here. Of course, when I say I love tubulars, I don't mean those horrible $15 jobs with the lumps and the sidewalls that explode when you pump them up over 80 lbs. I mean the old Clement silks and Paris Roubais, Italian made Vittoria Corsa CX's, etc. Tires that are fast and comfortable and weigh less than any clincher plus tube and rim strip of the same size.

Tubulars give a more comfortable ride for the same size as a clincher. They are less likely to pinch flat than a clincher of the same size and the same air pressure.

While the choices in tubulars rims are smaller these days (Clement is gone, Vittoria flew the coop for Thailand), the availability of high quality tubular tires is almost as good as ever. I stock tires from Continental, and Veloflex. Continental is made in Germany, and Veloflex is made in Italy.

Andre Dugast makes the tires that are most popular amongst the European Pro racers. We stock the cotton road tires. They make some beautiful large tubulars, 25 and 29mm wide. We have those in stock now. Dugast calls the 25mm tire a 24, and the 29mm tire a 27. But they actually do measure 25mm and 29mm respectively. The larger tire (shown below) measures 28.5mm from the top of the rim to the top of the tire.

This is the Dugast cotton 29mm tubular. It's hard to imagine any tire riding more comfortably than this one.

Veloflex was formed when Vittoria moved their production from Italy to Thailand. I ride the Criteriums myself, and they never fail to put a smile on my face. The Servizio Corsa is a bit narrower for time trialling. I try to keep a few on hand.

The Continental Sprinter 250 is now a much improved tire. Where they used to have rather uneven casings, the current production tires have very round, even casings. They're still just as durable as ever, and now represent a good value. I have plenty of Sprinter 250s in stock, and a few Competition 25s. The Comp 25s are a true 25mm wide for more comfort and better handling on poor roads.

I sometimes don't keep these stock listings up to date. Send me an email to confirm current availability.

Notice!!!

Peter White Cycles no longer installs tubular tires onto rims. This is simply due to liability concerns. Even though I know how to do it properly, I'm not willing to put myself at the mercy of a court if someone crashes on tires I installed.

Tubular tires require careful installation on the rim. The tire must be properly glued to the rim. If it's not properly glued, the tire can easily roll off the rim, you will crash, and perhaps be severely injured, or even die. Please keep this in mind when buying these tires. If you aren't prepared to learn to properly glue your tires to the rims, and then put into practice that which you have learned, don't buy these tires. It's bad enough reading about dead cyclists in the newspaper. It's even worse to read about dead customers.

Tubulars do have a safety advantage over clinchers. If the tires are properly glued, and you have a flat or blow-out, you'll have a better chance of retaining control of the bike with tubulars, than with clincher tires. The reason is that with a clincher, the rim is likely to directly contact the ground, and an aluminum rim can easily slide across pavement. With a tubular, the glued tire is always between the rim and the road, providing traction. So after a flat, tubulars are generally safer, as long as the tire doesn't roll off. And if it's properly glued, that's unlikely to happen.

Also, it's easy to damage tubular tires when mounting them. If you have any doubts as to your ability to mount these tires without damaging them, please do not buy them. Tires that are damaged during installation will not be accepted back for exchange or refund, no matter how vigorously you insist that you did no damage while installing the tire, or that the damage to the tire was due to the faulty construction of the tire, or that the person who made the tire was drunk, or a child molester. Believe me, I've heard it all! People with no or little experience with high quality racing tubulars frequently buy and damage them, blaming not their own inexperience, but the quality of the tire. While I've done it myself, and I understand the frustration of having a tire be damaged before it's even been ridden, I will not accept responsibilty for damage done to tires during installation, unless I'm the one installing the tire. And these days I only install my own.

For example, if the tire is stretched too tightly onto a glued rim the base tape can tear, resulting in a narrow section in the tire casing above the torn base tape. I've had people buy tubular tires, tear the base tape during installation, and then blame me or the quality of the tire for the problem, and then insist that I refund their money. I never take back tubular tires once they have had glue placed on the base tape. You must determine to your satisfaction, before applying glue to the tire, whether or not the tire is defective. That can only be done with the tire inflated on a clean rim. Once glue is applied to the base tape, the tire is yours until the end of time, or the year 3278, whichever comes first. Light weight tubular tires have a wonderful ride, but are very easy to damage during installation. It's a fact of life, and there's no way around it.

I do not sell cheap tires. For example, the Andre Dugast tubulars I sell are the most popular tubular tires used by professional bike racers in Europe. These are very expensive, and very well made tires. They are also very lightweight. The casings are designed to be very fast rolling and reliable. But you can apply far greater stress to the tire casing when stretching the tire onto a glued rim than the tire will ever receive when ridden. So you must be very careful when installing these tires, lest you damage them.

I've been using and selling tubular tires since 1974. I've damaged several over the years while installing them. These things happen. It's not the fault of the tire, it's the fault of the installer. If you are not willing to accept the fact that it is possible to damage a tubular tire while mounting it onto a rim, please do not buy them. I have no desire to argue with people who have damaged a tire, possibly without any realization that they have done so, but who insist that they couldn't have damaged it, and that the damage now done to the tire was the result of manufacturing error. That's just not a conversation I want to have. So if you don't believe me, if you think that anybody should be able to just smear some glue on a rim and on a tire and put the tire on without any concern for proper technique and the tire should just work perfectly regardless, I'd suggest you not use tubulars, but instead use clincher tires. Clinchers are easy to install without causing damage.

If you're willing to learn to mount tires properly, and willing to accept the possibility of failure, and accept responsibility for the results, I'm sure you can find articles on the web describing proper mounting technique, and I'm happy to give my best advice on proper technique to all of my customers.

We have added several silk casing road tubulars and cotton cyclo-cross tubulars from Dugast. Plenty in stock.

I have weights for some tires, butnot for others. I have no gram scale. The 25mm Dugast tires should weigh about 260 grams. The 27mm should weigh about 275 grams. These are my estimates. But don't worry about the weight. these tires are fast and comfortable riding. The larger the tire, the lower the rollling resistance and the better the tire will handle rough pavement.

 

Brand Model Casing Material Width Weight Availability
Price
Andre Dugast Cross Typhoon Cotton 32mm   In Stock
$ 140.00
Schwalbe Stelvio Nylon 19mm ? In Stock
$ 60.00
Schwalbe Stelvio Nylon 22mm ? In Stock
$ 60.00
Schwalbe Stelvio Nylon 25mm ? In Stock
$ 60.00
Veloflex Criterium Cotton 21mm 240 gr In Stock
$ 110.00
Veloflex Servizio Corsa Cotton 19mm 220gr In stock
$ 90.00

Tubular Rims

See the Velocity rim page for tubular Velocity rims

Brand Model Width Weight Color Availability Price
Mavic Reflex 22mm 370gr Silver In stock $60.00
Mavic Reflex CD 22mm 370gr Grey In stock $75.00

 

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This page updated: Thursday, September 8, 2011

Peter White Cycles
24 Hall Rd.
Hillsborough, NH 03244
USA
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