Monday, April 28, 2008

Tubular Gluing - Part Deux

After the fun that wasn't Wente RR, I decided to trash my Continental Competition tubulars in favor of something else. Sure, I was throwing away a perfectly good tubular from my front wheel, but when it comes to tires, I'm a fully-fledged believer from the church of fresh rubber. I've had my rear tire get trashed twice on this wheelset with the Conti's and now it was time for something different.

On my Zipp 606's I've been running the Vittoria CX's (21mm on the front, 23mm rear). The 21mm's are easy to find, they're practically in every bike shop in the area if they are selling tubulars. The 23mm I had to hunt down; so why did I go w/ the 23mm on the Zipp's? Don't exactly remember, but it hasn't been an issue as these are some damn fast wheels nonetheless. After finding a pair of 21mm's from my local team shop I continued on my merry way with a handful of glue packs and a pep in my step.

My first experience gluing the Conti's onto my Nimble Fly's was an adventure. I stretched the tires but apparently these don't take too well to stretching. I remember mounting them and walking away with hands of fire. You know, that feeling where all your fingers are flamed and red, and to top it off there's glue all over them. Thankfully the Vittoria's mount much easier and make gluing a whole different (which is good) experience.

One little tip I learned with the Vittoria's was to remove the adhesive from the base tape. For some reason these tires have an adhesive on the tape and I don't know what purpose it really serves. But this time I drove up to Home Depot, bought a file and proceeded to remove all the tape. Sure it took a bit more time to prep the tires, but man, these tires sure sucked up the glue when I lathered it on. Being lazy I left the old glue on the rim and prepped these with another layer of glue.

Like hair, I did the repeat routine then eventually mounted the tires. Much better experience...and it also helps that I had received some timely advice on doing this from one guy who drinks a lot of wine (and can open cans of whoop-ass on fellow riders). This time it was actually fun and less demanding to get the tires mounted.

My allocation for flats during races this season has been met, so here's to some crossed-fingers and good-luck superstitions to hold air in my tires for the rest of the season.

8 comments:

CyclistRick said...

Used to be that all tubulars had that nice latex coating on the base tape. File works well, but I think it is Forester, in Effective Cycling who suggests using a butter knife as an alternative.

Same experience with stretching Conti's vs Vittoria. Try mounting a Conti with a broken thumb (as I did last night). The trick with Contis is to insert the valve then start stretching from there as you pull the tire onto the rim; much easier then as you get around to the part opposite the valve.

Tall & Manley said...

Ah yes, mounting the valve last would be an issue! I did try a butter knife too, it did work well, but it wasn't getting kudos from the wife. Plus, I needed a file anyways, so it never hurts to have more tools around the house...just like it never hurts to have more bikes.

Sarah said...

Bummer about flatting at Wente. And not even a full lap into the race :( Here's hoping the new tires work mucho better!

Tall & Manley said...

Yeah, 2 out of my last 3 races have involved some sort of tire issue. And on all occasions I have felt pretty good otherwise. I think I've got the problem from Ronde crit 100% fixed; ironically I know exactly where the flat happened, down to the exact corner on the Wente RR course.

Coming down Flynn on the first descent you some past the hale-bale corner, up over a small rise, and then into a fast wide-like hairpin that almost doubles back on itself. It's a fast corner that's just a tad off-camber, and coming through that corner my rear wheel was hoping around a bit. If I look at where my puncture was on the tubular it lines up perfectly to where the contact of the wheel was as I was going through that corner.

I think as I was bumping around the corner the rear wheel slammed into something just a tad too sharp. So much for the smooth line through that corner.

ScudMan said...

After a couple wasted efforts of mounting a tubular, I luckily found a great instructional video on www.tufo.com. Shows you exactly how to use their glue tape and how to apply it. The tape makes applying a tubular so much easier than with glue. It worked for me, hope it will for you.

Dave said...

I was wondering what happened to you as I was hoping to stick close to you for as long as I could. I didn't see you in the group on the flat section near the start and figured you must have flatted. What happened to Matt? Anyway, I had a similar experience with a Conti Comp last year and cyclistrick is right - pre stretch and then constantly pull down as you mount. I trashed my thumbs and a tire learning that one!

Dave (tall Now Direct guy)

Tall & Manley said...

Dave, good to hear from you. As for Matt, he (...and I'm sure this happened to quite a few others) got beaten down by the heat and hills combination; some cramping slowed him down.

Coating For Packers said...

The fundamental principles that implement to sticking and sticky connection implement to tubular increasing. Generally, there should be enough sticky to connection the wheel and rim but not extreme quantities of adhesive. Excessive quantities of adhesive can become especially vulnerable to failure from heat.