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Thread: Carbon Tubulars

  1. #1
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    Carbon Tubulars

    Carbon Tubular Shootout




    Photo ©: mtbr.com



    Carbon Tubulars

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    Conti Sprinter tires were used in the test

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    Conti glue was used for all tire mounting

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    How light can it get?

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    Tubular rim has no hooks for wire beaded tires

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    The Carbon Tubular - When high-end just isn't good enough
    It has been said that most top pros ride tubular wheels and tires. The only ones that ride clinchers are the ones who are getting paid by sponsors to ride clinchers. However most consumers on the other hand ride clinchers. When you buy a bike, no matter the cost, it will come with clincher wheels and tires. Why such a gap? What benefits do tubulars offer the enthusiast? What are the downsides? This article will attempt to demystify the tubular, more specifically, the carbon tubular.

    What is the big deal?
    Well carbon tubulars are better than clinchers. Tubulars (wheels and tires combined) are lighter, handle better, are more comfortable. And with the advent of deep profile carbon wheels, tubulars are more aerodynamic and thus faster. They also pinch-flat less often. So if they're so good, then how come no production bike comes with tubulars? Well like most things in life, tubulars come with very significant downsides. Carbon tubulars are very expensive, often costing as much as a decent bike. Also, tubular tires can be difficult to mount and changing flat tires on the road is inconvenient.


    So what about you?
    In a recent poll I roadbikereview, we found:

    ------------------------------
    Do you use tubular tires?

    No, not interested at all. 44 %
    No, but I'd like to learn more and try them. 29 %
    Yes, but only in races. 14 %
    Yes, all the time. 13 %

    A very small percentage, 13% use tubulars everyday. A slightly bigger group uses them on race day only where the money investment is preserved for special events and there is either flat tire support or it spells a DNF in the race anyway.

    Interesting that 29% want to learn more about it. Roadbikereview will attempt to demystify the carbon tubular and help you determine if it has a place in your cycling stable.
    -----------------------------



    What is a tubular?
    There are two types of tires/wheels used in bicycles today - tubular and clincher. Sew-up is another term for tubular and refers to the process of repairing a flat tire where the rider needs to cut the tire to get to the tube and sew the tire back up. If you don t know what type of tire you have on your bike, it is a clincher tire. Virtually 100% of all production bikes are shipped with clincher tires and wheels. Tubular tires are only compatible with tubular wheels and clincher tires with clincher wheels.


    Tubular tires look just like a regular clincher tire from afar, but the differences are dramatic in the internal construction. A clincher tire looks much like a car tire off of its rim, in that it is made up of two beads that are formed around a wire hoop or a kevlar strand. These two beads are the foundation for the casing of the tire upon which a tread has been bonded (usually black tread on a brown casing). The two beads rest inside a deep groove at the center of a wheel's rim. The edges of today's grooves have a special seating or "hook" to aid in holding the bead of the tire in place at high pressure. The hook is a recent addition to the straight walls of rims of years past. Clincher tires thus use a separate tube to hold air and rim tape to protect the tube from the rim spoke holes. Clincher tires when inflated exert a lot of force outwards on the rims and thus need very strong sidewalls to hold the tire in.

    A tubular tire includes a tube inside the tire and holds air by itself, even while not attached to the wheel. A tubular tire or tire has an inner tube inside of a casing that has a tread bonded to it also. Instead of having two beads that hook into a rim, the tubular tire has both edges of the casing sewn together to form a continuous donut like shape that houses the inner tube. The thread that has been sewn to hold together the casing edges are about as thick as dental floss and are stitched into the casing about every eighth inch. Covering the threads is a glued down base tape to prevent foreign matter from getting into the casing and puncturing the inner tube.


    The rim for a tubular tire has a groove in it but this groove is only about one eighth of an inch deep. How does the tire stay seated on the rim? It is glued on with special contact cement. The rim hooks are shown above on the clincher rim on the right.


    A little history
    In the beginning, there were solid rubber tires. John Dunlop developed the first pneumatic tire and Edouard Michelin developed the first tire attached to the rim by clamps. This lead to the clincher tire design. Shortly after that, tubular wheels were invented and dominated the scene since they handled better and could take higher pressures.

    Things remained relatively unchanged until the 1980s when Michelin made significant advances to clincher technology. Rims were developed that were lighter and could take higher pressures. The performance gap between clinchers and tubulars was closed and clinchers dominated the production world because of ease of mounting and ease of fixing flat tires. Then kevlar beaded clincher tires were introduced. This made clincher tires lighter and closed the weight gap with tubulars.

    Enter carbon fiber. The magic material of cycling has revolutionized the world of tubular wheels. Carbon fiber turns out to be perfect for tubular rims. They are incredibly light and strong. They ride comfortably and there are many options in rim depth for aerodynamic performance. The lack of a rim bead is ideal for carbon fiber and makes ultralight rims possible. The advances in carbon fiber technology have again fueled the interest in tubular wheels. Plus there seem to be more developments to come in the near future.





    Tubular Advantages:
    - Lighter. Up to 1 lb. lighter than a clincher wheelset.
    - Handle better or corner than clinchers
    - Carbon Aero wheels are faster
    - More comfortable ride
    - less prone to pinch flats
    - Can handle higher pressures. Up to 220 psi.

    Tubular Disadvantages:
    - Higher cost both in initial investment and incremental cost of flat tires.
    - Fixing Flat tires on the road is inconvenient.
    - Mounting tubulars is more difficult
    - carbon tubulars don't brake as well as clinchers
    - carbon tubulars are not good for wet weather riding



    >Advantages:
    Lighter
    Carbon tubulars are lighter than clinchers. An ultralight clincher wheelset will weigh about 1700 grams (1300 gram American Classic wheels, 300 gram Continental Supersonic tires and 100 grams for light tubes and rim tape). An ultralight carbon tubular wheelset will weigh about 1300 grams (1000 grams for the American Carbon tubulars and 300 grams for Tufo Jet Elite tires). Tubular tires have no penalty in weight from beads made of wire or kevlar since they are one continuous tube in a hoop. The rims used for tubular tires are also lighter by virtue of design. The cross section of a tubular tire rim is a box shape with walls that can be made very thin as opposed to the clincher rim cross section that needs to be made much thicker to be strong enough for the loads imposed by the clincher tire. A tubular set of wheels will accelerate and climb hills with less effort than a set of clincher wheels.

    Handle Better
    Tubular tires have a rounder profile than clincher tires. This leads to a more consistent, more predictable cornering behavior. Tubular tires also seem to deliver a better feel for the road surface. This translates to better handling as well.

    Carbon Aero Wheels are faster
    Aerodynamic wheels are wheels with a deep rim. The rim can be 40mm wide, 60mm or even take up the entire body of the wheel. Carbon tubulars happen to be the perfect material for aero wheels. The wheels are much lighter and the ride more comfortable than aluminum aero wheels. Aero wheels are faster on almost every situation compared to non-areo wheels. The downside of aero wheels is they are a bit heavier and can be difficult to handle in high wind conditions.

    More comfortable ride
    Tubular tires have a wide surface glued on to the rim. Stress and shock are more evenly spread on it's structure than on a clincher tire. This is the primary reason why tubulars offer a more comfortable ride than clinchers.. Also, the materials used to make tubular tires the ride are very smooth and resilient. Most tubular tires use a very thin tube. Often latex is used to save weight. The thin tube is then combined with a rubberized casing made of high quality cotton or even better than that, silk.

    Also, carbon tubular wheels absorb more shock than aluminum clincher wheels. The shock absorbing qualities of carbon fiber take effect as well on carbon rims as it absorbs vibrations and some road shock. The smooth ride of carbon rims is more pronounced on shallow profile rims.

    Less Pinch Flats
    Pinch Flats are caused by the road or a rock pinching the tube against the two high spots of the rim that hook onto a clincher tire. Tubular rims don't have very pronounced high spots like clinchers thus they are less prone to pinch flats. Carbon rims also avoid pinch flats as the carbon fiber absorbs some of the shock of pinched tires.

    Can handle higher pressures
    Tubulars can handle up to 220lbs compared to clinchers at 160 lbs. Tubulars can handle higher pressures since tire can be constructed to handle the pressure by itself. Clinchers have to exert outward pressure onto a rim to achieve high pressure. The high pressure of tubulars can be useful on extremely smooth road courses and track (velodrome) applications.


    Disadvantages:

    Higher cost
    Carbon tubulars are expensive. All the wheels tested in this shootout cost $1000/pair or more just for the wheels. In addition, the tires cost about $70-$130 each and it is normal to throw them away after one flat.

    Fixing Flat tires on the road is inconvenient
    The most significant downside is maintenance aka flat tires. When you get a tubular flat tire on the open road it is not possible to change or patch the tube. Thus, you have to carry a tubular tire and replace the entire tire. This process doesn't take very long once mastered but gluing is not an option while on the road and you usually have to ride conservatively back home. Note: there is a new option called Tufo gluing tape that now makes it possible to glue tires on the road.

    Mounting tires is more difficult
    Installing a clincher tire can be learned and performed in minutes. Installing a tubular tire takes hours to perform and even longer to master. Tubular tires have to be glued properly and tubular tires have to be centered by hand since they sit freely on the rim. This process normally takes hours to complete and it takes a bit of experience to mount a tire firmly and well-centered. And most important, an improperly glued tubular tire can roll off the rim during heavy cornering. This can result in a serious crash .

    Carbon tubulars don't brake as well
    Aluminum rims sometimes sport a machined or grooved surface that is ideal for braking. There are many different brake pad compounds too available for different situations. Braking with a carbon tubular is not as good since the surface is often not optimized for braking. The brake pad for carbon tubulars is mostly cork. It works well but not better than normal pads. Also, the lightest carbon tubulars don't have the stiffest braking sidewalls. This can result in a braking action that seems to pulsate as the pads hit the stiff and the soft parts of the braking surface.

    Carbon tubulars are not ideal for the rain
    Another downside of carbon tubulars is they don t do very well in the rain. All the water and grit kicked into the braking surface can be very damaging to carbon fiber rims. Braking suffers significantly as well.

    Summary:
    With the advantages and disadvantages, it is easy to undersand why top pros use carbon tubulars and consumers use clinchers. Carbon tubulars are lighter and faster and give the competitive advantage. The major disadvantage of cost is covered by the team and sponsors. The mounting is taken care of by the team and finally, flat tires are handled by the team car following the rider. For the consumer on the other hand, anyone of these issues can be a deal-breaker. However, some of these objections are overcome on a 'race-day' set of wheels. Many consumers are now opting for carbon tubulars to squeeze out the last bit of performance for racing use only.

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  2. #2
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    The Wheels

    We were able to test out 10 carbon wheelsets in the last few months. Below is the table of weights and prices. Weights are actual weights measured on our gram scale.




    We were also able to measure spoke tension using an FSA spoke tension meter. We only measured the tension of 5 adjacent spokes on the front wheel and 5 adjacent spokes on the rear wheel, drive side. The numbers below are direct guage readings and are for comparison purposes only. Tension values have to be translated from the guage readings by a table lookup.

    The Std. Deviation is our attempt to summarize how even the tension is on the 5 spokes measured. A perfect score of 0.00 means that the tension on all 5 measured spokes are identical.



    The spoke tension numbers are measuring deflection of the spoke in mm. Thus lower numbers translate to tigher spoke tension.

    For example:
    .30 translates to 129 Kgf of tension
    .35 translates to 107 Kgf of tension
    .40 translates to 91 Kgf of tension

  3. #3
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    Reynolds Cirro KOM

    Reynolds Cirro KOM




    Photo ©: mtbr.com



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    View from the top

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    View from the top

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    Specifications:
    Price: $1900
    Front Weight: 412 grams
    Rear Weight: 640 grams
    System Weight 1052 grams
    Rim Depth: 23 mm

    Roadbikereview.com Impressions:
    The Reynolds Cirro KOMs are in large part the inspiration for this shootout. We first saw this product at Interbike. The carbon rim weighs 200 grams! And the front wheel 410 grams. Inconceivable. Yet, we heard claims of it's confidence-inspiring strength and fantastic handling capabilities. We had to give them a try.

    Out of the box, the build and craftsmanship on these wheels are evident. Everything is perfectly true and there were no rough edges to be found. The hubs, made by White Industries and the spokes by Sapim seem like fine choices for this wheel. Spoke tension was very high and very consistent. The bearings however were very stiff, specially the rear ones. It was apparent that these wheels needed to be broken in to allow them to spin freely.

    Performance - These wheels delivered! They accelerated well and they climbed even better. Accelerating during climbs... well that's heaven. Since these wheels weigh in at just 1052 grams, with very light rims, we definitely felt the wheels climb better than high-end clincher wheels that are at least 1 lb. heavier.

    Handling and comfort on these wheels was the best of the bunch. Carbon wheels ride better. Just like in carbon frames, vibrations are muted by these rims. So the ride is very smooth yet the wheels are perfectly stiff so they handle beautifully. Higher profile wheels like most of the wheels in this shootout seem to ride a little stiffer/harsher as the rim depth is increased. Thus, the Cirro KOMs had the distinct advantage in comfort, having such a low profile rim. These wheels will work well with any frame but will be the perfect compliment to a stiff frame since the wheels take some of the shock.

    Braking performance is excellent. These wheels seem to have a treated braking surface and the rim is very rigid laterally. This translates in braking that is powerful and consistent.

    On flats and rollers, these wheels were not as good as the other high profile rims in the test. One thing we quickly realized as we tested plenty of carbon wheels is that deep profile wheels are fast wheels on the flats and rollers. They slice through the wind and they keep speed and momentum nicely on rolling hills. The Cirro KOMs are low profile rims so they don't have this advantage. Since a lot of riding and racing is done on flats and slight climbs, most racers opt for deeper profile rims like the Stratus DVs. Therefore, the Cirro KOMs are perfect for the extreme climber and/or someone looking for the most comfortable riding wheels.


    ----------------------
    Description from the Manufacturer:
    Cirro SV KOMs are ultra-light wheels for road races or time trials. Pros choose to ride them when flight or explosive acceleration is their goal. More than a hundred grams lighter than the Cirro SV's. KOMs are genuine racing wheels, not merely kind of light "all-purpose" wheels.

    Because of Reynolds Composites superior reputation, even the KOMs just over 200-gram rims remain strong and resilient. They have to be, to pass Reynolds torture tests. They're easy to keep in service, with standard spokes and nipples.

    Most importantly they're light matters, out there ar the periphery of the wheel.

    Cirro SV KOMs low-profile rims ignore crosswinds. No struggling to ride straight, wasting concentration and energy. Shallow rims are lighter. You accelerate faster, open gaps easier.

    Why don't you see more low-profile carbon wheels? Only Reynolds can build them.

    Superior engineering means Reynolds doesn't have to spec deep rims to build strong wheels.

    Aero profile rims, low spoke count and hidden spoke nipples make Cirro SVs seem full-aero on the flats. UPhill? Crosswinds? Crits? Cirro SVs work wonders.

    About Reynolds Wheels
    Here's how Reynolds COmposites, famous for forks, succeddfull launceh into the wheel business.

    For 19 years MacLean Quality Composites (MQC), a well-respected composites manufacturer in West Jordon, UT, has produced carbon fiber tubing and molded carbon fiber products for leading bike manufacturers. A couple of years ago MQC bought the assets and savvy of a small outfit known for cutting edge carbon fiber wheels with key employees coming along.

    MQC, who'd always dealt with manufacturers, improved the wheels in several ways but wasn't equipped to sell them to shops. In 2002, to their mutual benefit, MQC joined Reynolds Composites, merging their technical and financial assets.

    The new Reynolds team represents the finest group of composite talent assembled to focus on cycling wheels, forks and accessories.


    Related Links:

    Manufacturer Site: http://www.reynoldscomposites.com/
    Mtbr.com user reviews: http://www.roadbikereview.com/wheels...1_5845crx.aspx





  4. #4
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    Reynolds Stratus DV UL

    Reynolds Stratus DV UL




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    front-side view

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    Rim Close-up

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    Rear Hub

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    Mounted on a Look 585

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    Specifications:
    Price: $2200
    Front Weight: 479 grams
    Rear Weight: 685 grams
    System Weight: 1164 grams
    Rim Depth: 46 mm

    Roadbikereview.com Impressions:
    The Reynolds Stratus DV ULs were our favorite wheels on this shootout. Considering the company it's in, this is a very, very high compliment. If we could only have one wheelset... this is the one. This wheelset does everything well. from climbing to flats, handling, braking and comfort.

    This version, the UL is the Ultralight version of the very popular Reynolds Stratus DV. The UL is 120 grams lighter and $400 more expensive. At 1164 grams, the Stratus DV ULs, combine light weight with an aerodynamic 46mm rim profile. This translates to stellar performance in both climbs and flats/rollers. At the end of the day, these wheels are the faster race wheels compared to the Cirro KOMs since the weight difference is small but the aerodynamic advantage is significant in most race courses.

    Performance - Like the Reynolds Cirro KOMs, these wheels came with tight bearings. We broke them in for a couple hundred miles and the bearings, started to spin more freely.

    Climbing, flats, rollers, descents are where these wheels excelled. Is there anything left? Like we said, if you can only have one wheelset, this is the one. The lightweight and aero profile delivered a one-two punch that is hard to match.

    Handling was close to perfect. The wheel was very stiff laterally with the deep carbon rim and bladed Sapim spokes. These wheels seem to have laser-precise tracking.

    Braking performance is very good. It is perhaps a notch less consistent than the Cirro KOMs. But it still ranks very high compared to the other wheels in the test..

    Finally, comfort was excellent as well. It does not match the ride of the Cirro KOMs because of its deeper profile. But it is very comfortable specially compared to clincher wheels.




    ----------------------
    Description from the Manufacturer:
    Now there's no excuse for not earning a PR bike split at an upcoming Ironman triathlon or scoring the win at your next 40k time trial. The Stratus DV UL uses a special modulus composite in the rim to carve out precious grams, all the while keeping its structural integrity intact. Your charioteer to victory awaits...the Stratus DV UL.

    If cutting the cleanest swath through the air is as important to you as wheel stiffness and weight savings, the Stratus DV UL delivers where others simply can't; with weight savings that parallels its aerodynamic wind-cheating capabilities.

    The unidirectional carbon deep-v rim provides unsurpassed lateral stiffness and strength when sprinting, climbing and cornering. With a rim designed to create stability in crosswinds, the 46mm deep-v rim depth nd hidden spoke offers a scalpel-like aerodynamic profile to the wind. Built for the racer who needs a wheel for time trials, crits and breakaway efforts, as well as the triathlete who wants to carve huge chunks off their bike split.

    About Reynolds Wheels
    Here's how Reynolds COmposites, famous for forks, succeddfull launceh into the wheel business.

    For 19 years MacLean Quality Composites (MQC), a well-respected composites manufacturer in West Jordon, UT, has produced carbon fiber tubing and molded carbon fiber products for leading bike manufacturers. A couple of years ago MQC bought the assets and savvy of a small outfit known for cutting edge carbon fiber wheels with key employees coming along.

    MQC, who'd always dealt with manufacturers, improved the wheels in several ways but wasn't equipped to sell them to shops. In 2002, to their mutual benefit, MQC joined Reynolds Composites, merging their technical and financial assets.

    The new Reynolds team represents the finest group of composite talent assembled to focus on cycling wheels, forks and accessories.


    Related Links:

    Manufacturer Site: http://www.reynoldscomposites.com/
    Mtbr.com user reviews for Stratus DV UL: http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/wh...3_5845crx.aspx

    Mtbr.com user reviews for Stratus DV: http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/wh...2_5845crx.aspx





  5. #5
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    Easton Tempest II Carbon

    Easton Tempest II Carbon




    Photo ©: mtbr.com



    Front-side view

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    Front hub

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    Rear hub

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    Specifications:
    Price: $1799
    Front Weight: 571 grams
    Rear Weight: 761.5 grams
    System Weight 1332.5 grams
    Rim Depth: 56 mm

    Roadbikereview.com Impressions:

    Ahh the Eason Wheels... so pretty! First impression is construction and wheel build is top-notch. Spoke tension is the second highest in this group. Also, it is the wheelset with the most even spoke tension.

    Another stand-out is the bearings. Out of the box, this wheelset had the smoothest, most free spinning bearings in the shootout. Ready-to-race, out of the box. This is explained by Velomax's 'hybrid-location' bearings. There is two seals that minimize dirt contamination and minimize friction.


    Performance
    This wheelset is the best of the bunch for time trials. It had the best speed on flats and it seemed to keep speed very well on rollers. Compared to the Mavic Krysium clincher, it seemed to go 2-3 mph faster with the same effort.

    Impressively, its performance did not stop at Time Trials. For climbing hills, these wheels were great. And acceleration was very, very impressive. Because of the high tension spokes, it seemed to leap out during hard acceleration. Laterally, these wheels are very stiff so handling was very good as well. Braking, one of the best in the group.

    So it's a very impressive wheelset. It had the loudest 'whirring' sound of the bunch while riding. Not annoying but noticeable.

    Also, since it had the deepest rim profile, it was the wheelset most affected by high wind conditions. High crosswind conditions affect deeper rim profiles more. It feels like someone is tugging at your front wheel. It's disconcerting at first but you get used to it like most things. We had a few windy days in Norcal and the wind didn't really bother us with 40mm rims during descents. On the tempest IIs 54 mm rims though, we had to be more cautious on windy descents.

    Comfort was ok. It rides similar to a Mavic Krysium. It's a deep wheel with very high spoke tension so it is a stiff ride.

    So there. This is a great time trial wheel and a very competent all-around race wheel.

    ----------------------
    Description from the Manufacturer:

    Time trials have proven that aero equipment is a must, and deep dish wheels are a mandatory part of your arsenal. Problem was, deep dish wheels were also heavy, so when the road went uphill, you either put your expensive specialty wheels in the bag, or things got real tough.

    With Tempest II Carbon, all that has changed. With super light carbon fiber construction you get the light weight you need for all conditions, and a deep dish aero profile for all out speed. The 56mm profile of the Tempest II Carbon slices through the wind like a hot knife through butter, but at a scant 1265 grams for the pair, doesn't leave you hanging on the hills. A stage racer's delight, these wheels serve double duty whether you're racing against the clock or the peloton.


    Features:
    Twin Thread Technology
    Spokes almost always break at the head. Velomax's patented design threads the spoke on both ends resulting in a conventional spoke that is significantly stronger.

    R3 Hubs
    The all new R3 hub is a mechanical masterpiece. It features our patented T3 threaded spoke attachment for higher spoke tension and longer spoke life. We've pulled out all the stops to make the best hub possible, and couldn't be more pleased with the result. Everything has been upgraded to produce the finest precision hub. The previous R2 was no slouch, yet the all new R3 is lighter, stronger, and even easier to service.

    Hub shell: The hub shell continues the Velomax tradition of combining art and science for an intelligently
    engineered and aesthetically distinct product. The new Anthrocite gray anodized color has won rave reviews. The laser etched logo lends a touch of class. With economically replaceable components, these parts can last a lifetime.

    Bearings: The hubs spin on upgraded high precision double sealed cartridge bearings. Lubricants have been optimized for cycling specific application. Hybrid location-specific seals, a Velomax exclusive, combine the best combination of contamination prevention and seal drag reduction. This gives you longer bearing life and friction free performance. Other new features include precise micro-adjustable bearing preload adjustment.

    Axle: R3 features an all new, oversize, tapered 7000 series alloy axle that is precision ground to within 2/10,000ths of an inch. The surface is turned to a super fine finish to eliminate any life shortening stress risers. Clear anodizing protects against corrosion.

    Cassette body and pawl system: The new all alloy cassette body is made from aircraft grade 7000 series alloy that is heat treated, stress relieved and then hard anodized to give you the lightest, strongest part possible. A machined collar has been incorporated into the design to provide a further shield against water or other contaminants entering the hub. This is then backed by a seal that fits so well that you actually have to "burp" excess air out of it during initial cassette installation! Who else produces an air tight hub?


    Related Links:

    Manufacturer Site: http://www.eastonbike.com/
    Mtbr.com user reviews: http://www.roadbikereview.com/wheels...3_5845crx.aspx





  6. #6
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    American Classic Carbon Tubular

    American Classic Carbon Tubular




    Photo ©: mtbr.com



    Front-side view

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    Front hub

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    Rear hub

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    Rim close-up

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    Wheel packaging

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    Rim hole close-up

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    Specifications:
    Price: $1200
    Front Weight: 420 grams
    Rear Weight: 595.5 grams
    System Weight 1015.5 grams
    Rim Depth: 38 mm

    Roadbikereview.com Impressions:

    Ahh the American Classic Carbons... so trick. With a medium depth rim of 38 mm, these wheels are incredibly light at 1015 grams. These are the lightest wheels in the test.

    How did they do it? Well American Classic hubs are legendary for their light weight, specially the front hub. the rear hub features four bearings and an alloy cassette body. The spokes used in these wheelset are the Sapim bladed spokes. In our opinion, these are some of the lightest, best performing spokes in the market today. Finally, it features an insanely light carbon rim. This is the same rim used in the Zipp 303 wheelset.

    Performance

    We tested these wheels with two tires, the Tufo Jet Elite 160 and the Continental Sprinters. The Tufo 160s weigh in at 300 grams a pair! Thus, we had an ultralight setup, wheels and tires at 1315 grams. This is truly remarkable compared to the Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels that weigh in at 1550 grams for the wheels alone.

    With the Tufo tires, these wheels accelerate and climb exceptionally well. This is really one wheelset you can improve your hillclimb records on. The Sapim spokes and the wheel build are exceptional so handling is quite good. However, we got much better handling with the Continental Sprinters than with the Tufo Jet Elites. Unlike the Conti's, the Tufos are noisy, ride rough and don't seem to give much road feel and offer great grip. They make a lot of scrubbing noises and that left us a bit timid on the corners.

    Braking with this wheelset is it's downfall. Braking is not very powerful and not consistent. There seems to be a 'pulsing' effect under braking. Thus, it's not very easy to control or modulate. There is no textured braking surface on this wheel and the the braking surface is not very rigid. Because the rim is so light, the rim seems to flex in under braking. A simple test can be peformed by pressing the rim surface with your fingers. Some spots are stiff and some spots flex in.

    Perforamance on flats and rollers is quite good. The bearings are smooth and free spinning. Also, the mid-profile rim seems to have good aerodynamic qualities under high speed.

    So all in all, a good ultralight carbon wheelset, not a great one. It's truly a race-day wheelset for those races with lots of climbing and rolling hills.

    ----------------------
    Description from the Manufacturer:

    Front Wheel:
    38mm Carbon (mid V) tubular rim, 16, 18, 20 or 24 spokes laced radially to the American Classic Micro 58 hub. Spokes are DT Revolution with American Classic aluminum nipples.

    Rear Wheel:
    38mm Carbon (mid V) tubular rim, 20, 24 or 28 spokes laced two (20 and 24 hole only) or three cross both sides to the American Classic Ultralight RD 205 Cassette hub. Spokes are DT Revolution Non-Drive, DT Competition Drive with American Classic aluminum nipples. Campy or Shimano cassette body.

    Included with Wheelset :
    American Classic Cro-moly Quick Releases. Titanium Quick Releases available as an upgrade.


    Related Links:

    Manufacturer Site: http://amclassic.com
    Mtbr.com user reviews: http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/wh...2_5845crx.aspx





  7. #7
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    Cane Creek Aros 48 Team Ti

    Cane Creek Aros 48 Team Ti




    Photo ©: mtbr.com



    Front-side view

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    Front hub

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    Rear hub

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    Skewers/font>

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    Accessories

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    Specifications:
    Price: $1500
    Front Weight: 559 grams
    Rear Weight: 806 grams
    System Weight 1365 grams
    Rim Depth: 48 mm

    Roadbikereview.com Impressions:
    The Aros 48 Team Ti's... oh what a beautiful wheelset. It features a solid 48 mm carbon rim with Sapim blue titanium spokes. In the Cane Creek tradition, these spokes are straight pull with no j-bend and is thus stronger. The nipple is also positioned in the hub for less outside rotating weight and better aerodynamics. Finally, the hub is a machined work of art featuring high flanges and a drive side structure for the spokes.

    The wheel build is exceptional. The spoke tension is extremely high and even. The bearings are very smooth and free-spinning as well right out of the box.

    Performance
    Performance was brilliant. They climbed nicely. The accelerated well, descended and cornered exceptionally well and were fast in the flats. Braking was among the best in the bunch too.

    The only thing it wasn't top notch at was climbing. It seemed to accelerate well because of it's high spoke tension. However climbing was not as perky perhaps due to it's 1365 gram weight.

    Overall, a great wheelset. This one instills confidence. We suspect it would perform well for heavier riders. Also, it's one that can be ridden all the time, not just race day.



    ----------------------
    Description from the Manufacturer:

    The Aros 46 provides the perfect combination of wheel stiffness, light weight, and aerodynamics for high level racing. The 46mm Carbon mid section rim provides solid lateral stiffness and strength when sprinting, climbing and cornering- all while remaining extremely stable in crosswinds. The Aros 46 is available in both tubular and clincher versions.

    Who rides it: Elite racers who need a multi-purpose, premium carbon racing wheelset for criteriums, road races, and time trials; in addition to triathletes and anyone searching for the ultimate ride.

    Related Links:

    Manufacturer Site: http://www.canecreek.com/
    Mtbr.com user reviews: http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/wh...4_5845crx.aspx





  8. #8
    ultralord
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    Cane Creek Aros Superlight Team Ti

    Cane Creek Aros Superlight Team Ti




    Photo ©: mtbr.com



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    Rim Close-up

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    Accessories

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    Specifications:
    Price: $1500
    Front Weight: 519 grams
    Rear Weight: 729 grams
    System Weight 1248 grams
    Rim Depth: 22 mm

    Roadbikereview.com Impressions:
    Again, another beautiful wheelset from Cane Creek. It features a lower profile rim and non-bladed titanium spokes.

    Bearings, wheel-build quality are exceptional too. Spoke tension is very high and very even.

    Performance
    Performance is great again. It excels in climbing unlike the Aros 48. It spins up fast and climbs, climbs, climbs. Dowhill, cornering and braking are exceptional too.

    Unlike the Aros 48, this wheel does not dominate the flats and the rollers. Because of it's low profile rim and non-aero spokes, it doesn't exhibit the wind cheating qualities of it's aerodynamic brother.

    Ride quality is smooth as butter. This wheel along with the Reynolds Cirro Kom are very comfortable to ride on. This seems to be an advantage of a non-aero carbon rim. It maximizes the shock absorbing qualities of carbon fiber and delivers a smooth ride. It is the perfect complement to a stiff, fast accelerating frame.


    ----------------------
    Description from the Manufacturer:

    SuperLight means super-quick. Because when you combine Cane Creek Crono Technology with a featherweight (but ultra-strong) carbon fiber tubular rim, you’ve got what well may be the fastest- accelerating wheel you can ride--and ride long and hard.

    Who rides it: Serious racers and uncompromising enthusiasts. Its quickness is simply addictive.
    Related Links:

    Manufacturer Site: http://www.canecreek.com/
    Mtbr.com user reviews: http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/wh...9_5845crx.aspx





  9. #9
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    Zipp 202

    Zipp 202




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    Front-side view

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    Rear hub

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    Rim Close-up

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    Packaging

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    Specifications:
    Price: $1600
    Front Weight: 568 grams
    Rear Weight: 638.5 grams
    System Weight 1154.5 grams
    Rim Depth: 25 mm

    Roadbikereview.com Impressions:
    This wheelset has a couple of nice touches with the red tint on the rims and the hub cover plates are cut out of carbon fiber.

    Performance
    These wheels are very light at 1154 grams. Thus these wheels climb and accelerate very nicely. They are very comfortable as well with the low profile rim absorbing a lot of the road vibrations.

    Handling was ok, not great. It seemed like spoke tension was not very high and even.

    Braking was very good. Although in the beginning, we had some deep concerns as braking was very inconsistent and grabby. It turns out that the Zipp stickers got in the way of the brake pads (Zero Gravity). They were placed a little to close to the braking surface. After we sorted that out, braking was much improved.

    ----------------------
    Description from the Manufacturer:

    Specialty: Steep climbing, all day comfort, and unequaled aerodynamics with traditional appeal.

    At an unbelievable 1090 grams average total weight for the set, the only thing lighter is it�s Z2 cousin. The 202 has a 25mm deep rim developed over two years of computer simulation, prototype testing and real world abuse by the Advanced Technology Group at Zipp. A classic rim and hub profile with seriously un-conventional performance lead to a wheelset that will leave the competition wondering how you just rode away from them.

    * 25mm deep Quick-V 202 rims meticulously hand-crafted from six types of carbon/graphite fiber using Zipp�s most advanced proprietary ICT process to optimize stiffness, while road buzz is eliminated by Zipp�s exclusive VCLC technology.
    * Revolutionary ZTG resin system not only adds a beautiful reddish tint to the rims, but allows the 202 rims to handle higher temperatures than any resin previously used. Since lighter rims will become hotter under extreme braking, only ZTG resin allows rims to be built this light, without sacrificing structural performance under severe braking.
    * Average rim weight is decreased to an incredible 263 grams (less than the weight of most high quality tires) while strength and stiffness are improved to a level above that of traditional rims weighing more than two times what the 202 rims weigh.
    * Extensive computer flow simulation and wind tunnel refinement have led to a 25mm deep rim with aerodynamic performance superior to any sub 38mm depth rims, and equal in performance to the 38mm deep Zipp 340 and 303 rims made only 5 years ago.
    * Confident braking performance rain or shine with exclusive Silica-Ceramic braking surface and controlled cooling technology to ensure perfect rim flatness.
    * Paired with custom-formulated Zipp brake pads, the 202 sets a new standard for carbon rim braking performance and even out-performs traditional alloy rims.
    * Matched to the classic good looks of the 202 rim are the new Zipp traditional flanged hubs. From 50-200 grams lighter than similar hubs, the new 220/95 hub system utilizes new alloys and Zipp�s aerospace derived spoke hole coining technology to deliver a hub of unprecedented reliability and stunning good looks, at a weight previously not thought possible.
    * 24 spokes 20 front

    Related Links:

    Manufacturer Site: http://zipp.com/
    Mtbr.com user reviews: http://www.roadbikereview.com/wheels...9_5845crx.aspx





  10. #10
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    Zipp 303

    Zipp 303




    Photo ©: mtbr.com



    Front-side view

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    Rim Close-up

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    Zipp Ti Skewers

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    Specifications:
    Price: $1600
    Front Weight: 446.5 grams
    Rear Weight: 578.5 grams
    System Weight 1025 grams
    Rim Depth: 25 mm

    Roadbikereview.com Impressions:


    Performance


    ----------------------
    Description from the Manufacturer:

    Ultra-light, with a ride that snaps tight. The 303 Tubular wheelset weighs about as much as 10 pairs of socks (999g on the 650s, and 1124g on the 700s), while offering lateral and vertical stiffness that’s more than double that of a traditional rim. This wheelset is the worldwide secret weapon of champions who compete in severe racing conditions dominated by steep climbs, wicked winds, the need for immediate acceleration, and the minimum possible muscular road fatigue.

    The legendary 303 tubular wheelsets continue to be a rider favorite! The superior aerodynamic properties of 303 rims have been refined through new shapes and tooling through the years resulting in continuously improved aerodynamics and cross wind stability. These improvements combined with ICT and VcLc technology offer a light weight wheelset whose lateral and vertical stiffness is more than double that of a traditional rim, with dramatically reduced road noise and enhanced rider control and road feel through improved tire contact patch consistency.

    * Zipp knows that true aerodynamic performance isn't always about going in a straight line, so we designed the 303 to heel over into and out of the corners like no other aerodynamic wheelset in the world. We achieve this by superior lateral rim stiffness and by minimizing the pressure differential from one side of the rim to the other while maximizing head-on aerodynamic performance. The resulting regenerative airfoil makes the rim appear deeper when slicing into headwinds, while improving cornering control by appearing shallower to side winds. Multiple patents and unmatched manufacturing prowess make this aerodynamic technology a Zipp exclusive. T
    * The 303 wheelset is fast, incredibly light and stiff, handles great and accelerates like a rocket. It is ideal for criteriums and excels in steep or technical road racing. Multisport athletes looking for a great wheel for draft-legal or technical courses (especially under exceptionally hilly or windy conditions) will love the performance of the 303, and may consider mixing with a model 404 rear. The 303 makes a great alternative wheel for extreme conditions like those often found at Kona in October or Belgium in March.

    Related Links:

    Manufacturer Site: http://zipp.com/
    Mtbr.com user reviews: http://www.roadbikereview.com/wheels...8_5845crx.aspx





  11. #11
    ultralord
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    Fsa Rd-800

    FSA RD-800




    Photo ©: mtbr.com



    Front-side view

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    Rim Close-up

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    Rear Wheel

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    Specifications:
    Price: $1199
    Front Weight: 663 grams
    Rear Weight: 838 grams
    System Weight 1501 grams
    Rim Depth: 38 mm

    Roadbikereview.com Impressions:
    A very interesting design! There is a flange in the middle of the hubs with 8 spokes attached to the rim. The purpose of this design is to provide a more aerodynamic wheel and have a stiffer wheel that accelerates better.

    Aesthetically, it's very well executed. Weight of the wheelset was heaviest in this group at 1501 grams. Spoke tension however was best in the group in terms of highest and most consistent tension

    Performance

    At 1500 grams, this was not the easiest climbing wheelset of the group. However because the spoke tension was so high and perhaps due to the center flange, it accelerated very well on climbs, specially during out of saddle efforts.

    Handling and cornering on this wheelset were excellent. Performance on flats and rollers was great as well. One of it's key strengths was accelerating form 20 to 25mph. It's great for sprints and closing gaps in a group ride.

    Braking performance was average. The braking surface seems solid enough but the lack of a reinforced or textured surface hurt it a little bit.

    Overall, a fine and interesting wheelset from FSA. It's good looks add a nice touch to one's bike as well.

    ----------------------
    Description from the Manufacturer:

    Carbon Silk™ deep section tubular rim – light, smooth, fast
    3 flange hub shelters 1/3 of spokes from wind and simplifies load transfer
    Giant, 110 mm., fiercely torque efficient center flange
    AL7075/T6 cassette body
    Fedelini™ stainless spokes by Wheelsmith® with unique tear drop shape
    SpokePrep® on spoke threads
    Hidden nipples for wind, weather, weight, and beauty
    Artisan built, entirely by hand, serially numbered
    Includes Scatto™ QR, spoke wrench, and rim tapes
    38mm deep section rim
    O.L.D. (F/R) - 100mm / 130mm
    Cassette - Shimano or Campagnolo
    Spoke (F/R) - 18ºx0 / 24ºx0/x1/x0
    Spoke Gauge - 2.0-(1.3x2.1)-2.0mm
    1.45kg/pair

    Related Links:

    Manufacturer Site: http://www.fullspeedahead.com/default.aspx
    Mtbr.com user reviews:





  12. #12
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    Fsa Rd-488

    FSA RD-488




    Photo ©: mtbr.com



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    Rim Close-up

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    Specifications:
    Price: $1099
    Front Weight: 632 grams
    Rear Weight: 838 grams
    System Weight 1470 grams
    Rim Depth: 43 mm

    Roadbikereview.com Impressions:
    At $1099, this is the most affordable wheelset in this group. It's a pretty good package with a 43 mm rim a nice build quality.


    Performance
    Climbing is not it's forte but it handles quite good. It's 43 mm rims are more affected by high wind conditions compared to some of the lower profile rims here.

    Flats and rollers are this wheel's strength. It's high profile rim cuts through the wind nicely and the heavier wheels maintain speed very well on rollers.

    Braking like the RD-800 is just average. It doesn't have a machined surface for powerful braking performance. The good news is the rim braking structure is solid so braking is consistent.




    ----------------------
    Description from the Manufacturer:


    Related Links:

    Manufacturer Site: http://www.fullspeedahead.com/default.aspx
    Mtbr.com user reviews:





  13. #13
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    How To: Mounting a tubular tire

    Tubular Mounting

    Reprinted with permission from Park Tool

    Typical Tools and Supplies Needed

    • Truing Stand to hold wheel. Use rags to protect stand from glue drips
    • Acid brush or other clean narrow brushes, such as old tooth brush
    • Acetone or other strong solvent
    • Floor Pump PFP-2, or PFP-3
    • Knife or scrapper

    This article will discuss the mounting and gluing of tubular tires. The tubular tire is made from a tire casing that is then sewn around an inner tube. The stitching is covered with a strip of cloth called "base tape". The tubular is then glued to a special rim, called a tubular rim. The tubular system is not interchangeable with the common "clincher" system.

    Stitching under base tape  Tubular Rim

    NOTE
    The tubular tire system, even when mounted properly, is still susceptible to failure during use. Every precaution should be taken when bonding the tubular to the rim. At this time there are no industry standards for tubular mounting.

    The basic principles that apply to gluing and adhesive bonding apply to tubular mounting. Generally, there should be enough adhesive to bond the tire and rim but not excessive amounts of glue. Excessive amounts of glue can become especially susceptible to failure from heat. There will be limits on the strength the bond between rim and tire.

    • The tubular tire shape may not be a good match with the radius of a particular tubular rim. The tubular bond strength comes from the outer edges of the rim more than the center. If the tire is too small for the rim, there will not be good contact at the outer edges. In the cross section image below, there will be poor contact between tire and rim at the outer edges.
      Rim to tire shape mismatch
    • Contact cements tend to soften and loose strength when they are heated. Hard braking during a descent can cause enough rim heat build up to soften tubular glue.
    • Wet conditions tend to weaken the bond. Never glue a tubular out in rain or when the base surfaces are wet. Use care when washing tubular and avoid scrubbing the rim/tire interface.
    • The tire is held on to the rim by glue, tension from the cord, and by air pressure. If a tire flats, the grip to the rim is weakened, and the tire is susceptible to coming off the rim.
    • During use, the wheel and tire are subjected to several different types of stresses. The worst stress for the tubular system is a lateral load or lateral impact. Hitting bumps during a corner, where the wheel comes of the ground and then lands with an impact tends to push the tire sideways. This may cause the tire to come off the rim, either partially or entirely, which may result in a crash of the rider.

    Most bicycle tubular glues are variations on contact cements. Tubular cement must hold the tire to the rim, but yet be somewhat flexible and giving when the tire is impacted laterally. Expoy or hard glue would tend to shatter when impacted rather than yield during a shock. Tubular cements tend to use volatile solvents that must bleed or dry out before the bond is fully secure. While the application technique is critical to maximum bonding strength, glue brands will vary in quality and adhesive strength. For more detail on tubular bonding see a technical article by Dr. Colin Howat at the Kurata Thermodynamics Laboratory and download the aricles on Tubular Tire Adhesive Performance.

    The safety of the rider depends on the best possible gluing procedures. A clean work area is important, as is time and patience. Ideally, it would be best to have three days to bond a tubular to the rim. This would allow for full drying of base coats. It is possible to glue a tire in a shorter amount of time, but it is important to understand that tubular adhesive require time for proper curing. The bond strength increases after the tire is initially mounted.

    Gluing Procedure- new or bare rim

    As with all bonding procedures, clean surfaces are important. Use a clean rag and a solvent that will not leave an oily film, such as acetone or alcohol, to clean the rim surface. An oily surface will tend to reply the adhesive. Allow rim to dry completely before continuing. Wipe with a clean cloth only. Always take precautions when using strong solvents such as acetone. Use protective gloves.




    Carbon gluing surfaces have special considerations. Most manufacturers of carbon rims state that acetone is acceptable for cleaning the gluing surface. Contact manufacturer for their recommendations. Abrading the carbon can be useful for cleaning surface. This is especially true if there is "mold release" on the rim. This is a slick substance that allows the carbon to come out of the mold during manufacturing. Use only a medium grade sand paper or emory cloth (approximately 120 grit). Do not abrade down to the fibers themselves. Clean with an oil-free solvent after any sanding.



    The tubular tire can be a tight fit to the rim. It can help to stretch the tire on a dry rim and inflate it to full pressure. Allow wheel to sit overnight. If time is an issue, the tire can be manually stretched by placing it over your back "bandoleer" style. Place a knee in the tire and stretch, using your back.

    Inspect base tape. If the base tape is covered with latex, attempt to scrape clean with a sharp edge. If scraping does not appear to remove any glue, do not scrape further. If scraping appears to clean and clear the tape, continue until full width of tape is finished.

    Ideally, a bonded joint should have a little glue as possible but without "starving" the joint. It typically takes quite a bit of glue, however, to get a full bond with many tubulars. If you are using the typical tube of glue, you can expect to use one tube per new wheel set. If the rim has a good base coat already, you will need less glue.



    Apply a single coat of glue to the base tape. Inflate tubular until base tape rolls outward. Handle the tire by the sidewalls. Pinch tire in the middle to form a "figure 8". Apply a bead of glue a few centimeters at a time. Use an acid brush or tooth brush to spread the adhesive evenly across the base tape. Continue applying small sections of glue at a time until entire base tape is coated, including the area at valve.


    Fold tire first and apply glue

    Use care not to get glue on sidewall of tire. However, if glue does get on sidewall, do not remove with solvent. Simply allow drying and leave it alone. Hang tire off ground in a dust free environment allow to dry completely. A dry tire will be easier to handle when mounted to the rim.

    Spread glue even across base tape

    It can be useful to hold the wheel in a TS-2 Truing Stand. Place rags to protect the stand from glue. Set the calipers to drag slightly on the rim braking surface. This will keep the rim from rotating while glue is applied to the top.



    If rim has no base coat, apply a first coat. Apply an adhesive bead a short section of rim. Spread evenly the full width of the rim with a clean brush. Allow this first coat to completely dry, ideally overnight. Apply an additional coat and allow this coat to dry as well. The third and perhaps final coat will be used to mount the tire while it is tacky, and not completely dry. If there is a poor fit between tire shape and rim shape, more coats may be required.


    Apply glue to rim    
    Spread glue evenly

    It is important the adhesive be applied fully to the edges of the rim. Most of the holding power will come from the outer edges of the tubular rim. Test edges for glue, as seen in the image below.

    Test edges of rim


    After applying the final coat the rim, allow to only partially dry. This may take literally 60 seconds to only a few minutes, depending upon the glue and atmospheric conditions. Deflate the tubular until it is soft, but leave enough air so the tire holds its shape. This will help keep the sidewalls clean during mounting. Find a clean floor area to work on, such as tile, or even a toolbox lid. Do not mount on carpet, grass, or any surface that may contaminate the rim. Place the wheel vertically and place the valve in the valve hole. Begin to pull outward on the tire, holding the tire approximately 12-inches (30cm) to either side of the valve. Work the tire on a section at a time, while continuing to maintain pressure on the tire. The last section may be especially tight and difficult to get on the rim. Use thumb pressure to force tire onto rim.


    Begin mount at valve

    Continue pressure and installing

    Maintain pressure on tire

    Finish tire

    After the tubular is mounted, IMMEDIATELY begin to true and align the tire on the rim. Sight the base tape on both sides of the rim. Generally, the base tape should appear even and centered. Check that the center of the tire is if fact centered on the rim. Pull and twist the tire as necessary. It can help to deflate the tire further to align, but re-inflate to check final alignment.

    Check proper adhesion at this time. Roll the tire back in several places and inspect the glue at the rim and tire interface. Glue should be apparent at this area, as seen in the two images below.

    Acceptable glue at edge


    A lack of glue will again show up at the edge of the tire and rim. The image below shows evidence of an inadequate amount of glue, referred to as a "starved joint". Remove this tire and apply more glue to the rim.

    Lack of glue

    After the tire is aligned, inflate tire fully. High tire pressure will help press the base tape fully in the radius of the rim. It can also help to roll the tire along the floor while applying downward pressure.



    Clean braking surface of any glue. Use a strong solvent and a rag is the rim is aluminum. For carbon rims, wipe off glue as best possible without solvent.

    Lastly, the tire MUST be allowed to fully cure. This will require time for the glue solvent to bleed out. It is recommended that a tire be allowed to cure for 24-hours. Gluing and using a tire in a short amount of time will not allow proper bonding, and can lead to failure, no matter the brand of glue.

    Last edited by francois; 09-13-2005 at 02:40 PM.

  14. #14
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    Additional Resources

    Additional Resources: For the scientist in you, check out the ultra-comprehensive tubular research from KTL Bicycle Component Fit & Function Archive

    Tubular Tire Adhesive Performance


  15. #15
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    Conclusions:

    Carbon tubulars definitely offer an advantage over normal wheels. The ride is smoother. The aero wheels are faster in rolling hills and flats. And the lightweight wheels climb very well.

    In this group our favorites are:

    Time Trials:
    Easton Tempest II Carbon - The 56mm rims, bladed spokes and super-smooth hub bearings make these wheels extremely fast on flats and rollers.

    All Around Wheels:
    Reynolds Stratus DV ULs and Cane Creek Aros 48 Team Ti are our favorite all-around wheels. Both these wheels are well-built and do everything well. They TT, climb, descend and accelerate very nicely. The Reynolds is better for lightweight riders who specialize in climbing. The Cane Creek is better for the heavier rider on rolling hills.

    Climbing Wheels and best Ride Quality:
    The Reynolds Cirro KOMs are great climbing wheels, specially after the bearings are broken in. In addition, they exhibit the best ride quality in the group as well. Carbon rims are more comfortable in general than aluminum rims. Vibrations are muffled and small hits are dampened. The low profile Cirro KOMs does the best job at this with it's low profile rim. Coupled with a high quality tire with a latex tube and a modes air pressure of 100-120, the ride is absolutely marvelous.

  16. #16
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    Comments and Questions...

    We encourage you to post comments and questions. Please post them here:

    Sneak peak: Carbon Tubular Shootout!!

    francois

  17. #17
    rmgeren
    Guest

    About the Tufos

    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    We tested these wheels with two tires, the Tufo Jet Elite 160 and the Continental Sprinters.... we got much better handling with the Continental Sprinters than with the Tufo Jet Elites. Unlike the Conti's, the Tufos are noisy, ride rough and don't seem to give much road feel and offer great grip. They make a lot of scrubbing noises and that left us a bit timid on the corners.
    I too have noticed that Tufo Jets don't handle as well, but that's because they are designed as race-only tires and predominantly for TT/triathlon applications. I was attracted to them because of the low weight, but have since switched to Tufo's Carbon and Elite Road tires for training/racing respectively. The ride is still a little noisy, but the handling is MUCH better on both counts.

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