Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tubulars - Much Easier the 3rd Time Around

One of the things about experience is that you usually have to learn from your mistakes. And so it goes with gluing tubulars.

Both the rear tires on the Nimble's and the Zipp's had multiple pinhole flats. The Zipp was the worse as it wouldn't hold more than 40psi. This had some bad karma with it as it's the same tire that rolled at Ronde (hmm, so why am I trying to salvage it?!?). The Nimble was a bit better; able to hold around 80psi. Without knowing this was loosing air, I rode it over to the Tuesday night crit and won the B race on a half flat rear. Not too bad, but not what I really wanted out of the tire. Plus it was brand new rubber with only about 50 miles on it. Both these tires (Vittoria Corsa CX's) were sent back to Tire Alert in Florida for some love (i.e. replacing the tubes and making them usable again).

I got a smoking deal on some new tires from in the UK which was nice. I only had to wait 5 days for these to arrive at my doorstep from across the pond. Man, every time I order from them they always come through.

While waiting for the new tires to arrive I thought about stripping off the old glue from the rims, but then realized it would be much more work than I wanted to take on. The tires arrived and I did my little pre-glue ritual to them. The CX's have a bit of latex adhesive (I think that's what it is) already on the base tape. I file that stuff off and get down to the soft cotton. This is useful because it really assists in soaking up the coats of glue.

So, with the tires prepped and the rims in a half-glued state, I did my usual. Two coats of glue on the tire with 24 hours between coats; same for the rim. After the second coat on the rim is finished, I mount the tire.

I must say that mounting has become easier with experience. The nice thing with the Zipp's, at least on the 808 rim, is the small channel in the middle of the rim. It allows the tire to seat perfectly on the rim without much necessary adjustments. The Nimble's are a bit more tricky as this channel doesn't exist. This time I put more attention to getting the tire lined up correctly immediately after getting the valve stem inserted. This, combined with putting some brute force on the tire to stretch it out as I mounted it on the rim away from the valve stem hole, made mounting easier.

No sore thumbs, no blisters. That's a good thing. Given how easy this seemed I'm actually thinking of not looking any further down the path of the carbon clinchers. But you never now...


Anonymous said...

Never had a bad experience with pro bike kit. Too bad I can't say the same for some of our local bike shops!

Tall & Manley said...

Sometimes when I've got the itch to buy something I usually check PBK first. And if they're out of stock, it's usually back in stock within a few days.

If their prices on some gear would be matched locally I'd definitely give more business to local shops. But shops don't always carry the things I need and I'm impatient when it comes to my bike purchases.