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Hi guys,

Bit of a dumb newbie question but seriously what are the difference between tubular and clincher tyres, and which make better for racing, puncture repair and speed?

Many thanks



  • JasonBJasonB Posts: 303
    Good question that. Something I want to know also.

    Plus do better tyres actually make you quicker?
  • guv001guv001 Posts: 227
    I was led to believe that tubulars are actually glued to the wheel rim and don't have innertubes they allow greater tyre pressure which leads to less resistance between tyre and road which makes you quicker. I don't know how easy they are to change..
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    This is the racing cyclists perennial favourite, up there with Shimano or Campagnolo. The descriptions of tubulars (tubs) and tyres (clinchers) that Guv001 gave are spot on. As for which is better there is no correct answer, however The general feeling amongst younger cyclists and most triathletes is in favour of clinchers - mainly because of ease of puncture repair, and because modern tyres and wheels are of a much higher standard than they were 10 years ago. Personally I've ordered a set of corima aero clinchers for the new year. A good forum to check out the cyclists debate is the weightweenies starbike forum. All the best.
  • The advantages of tubs are that they are lighter and can be run at a higher pressure, reducing drag and therefore making the bike more efficient. In my opinion, these benefits are outweighed by the facts that tubs are very expensive, you have to carry a bulky spare and they are difficult to change quickly. There are certain models of budget aero wheel (such as Planet X) that only come in tubular versions, but most established wheel brands offer both versions. I stick with clinchers.
  • SetantaSetanta Posts: 42
    I'm the same, i'd stick with clinchers. It's just too much hassle when you are racing to worry about tubs.
  • Cool, clinchers it is then. Thanks for your help just another quick Q. What should I be looking at in new wheels to reduce drag and increase aero dynamics, and is it worth it or should I just work on my fittnes and speed more?

  • If you're a beginner then you'll get far more benefit from getting out and training than you will from worrying too much about your tyres. Choose some with some puncture resistance. They will help you enjoy your cycling a lot more. I use Vittoria Rubino.
  • LeeCookLeeCook Posts: 22
    dont want to go against the general consensus, i would certainly use clinchers for training. However, i would always use tubs for racing with because you can get far more pressure in them than clinchers and therefore reducing the friction/resistance of the tyre against the road. However, at 30 quid a pop for a decent tub you have really want to shave of the seconds!
  • Can I join in the newbie questionning?

    How long do a set of tyres last, assuming no serious punctures or other damage? Thr reason I ask is because my tyres, when brand new last April, hardly made a sound as I sped ([8|]!!!) along the local roads, but now make a slight rubbery/squeaky sound, especially when climbing hills or under more pressure. Could it be that they are getting thin and need changing every 6 months or so? Is there, as for running shoes, a general rule of thumb as to how long they might last?

  • Your rubbery/squeaky sound could be either: 1. Your brake blocks catching your rim as your frame/fork flexes under the increased load of climbing/accelerating, or 2. Not enough pressure in the tyre causing excess contact with the road. I can't think of how tyre wear would cause this sound.

    If you see any cracks in the tyre or if the lining has worn through at any point, they are obvious signs it's time to get new tyres. If you're worried about your tyres for any other reason, I would just replace them anyway. Tyres, even good ones, are cheap and it's better to have peace of mind. If you replace your tyres and the noise persists, then you'll know it wasn't tyre wear!!! If the noise stops, then hey, bingo :-)
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