Cyclocrossists – tell me about tubulars please

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  • Cyclocrossists – tell me about tubulars please
  • iamsporticus


    As part of my mid life crisis Ive got approval to buy a s/h crosser and do a few races

    Surprisingly it looks like a modest amount of cash will get me a bike with tubs which is something I know bugger all about so any advice is welcome

    Firstly what exactly happens when you get a ‘you know what’ in a tubular tyre?
    Im assuming it deflates in a slow controlled manner but what emergency kit do I need to carry if this happens miles away from civilisation?
    Do I need a new tub which AFAIK takes a bit of a faff to fit or do you run them with a bit of sealant and the expectation is that you get home and then fix it?

    Secondly if I want to run the ‘new’ bike as a winter roadie how much hassle is it to swap tubular CX tyres for some road rubber? Or with all of the glue hassles do most people just have a second set for this scenario?

    Many thanks
    I honestly have no idea of what running tubs involves


    I would save the tubs for racing in general. I use a bit of sealant in them and very rarely flat. Make sure you glue them on well! For regular road use I’d recommend a second set of wheels.

    I’ve been using tubs for Cross and road for many years, the answer you’re looking at unfortunately is, it depends.

    Tubs can deflate slowly, they can also just pop and hit the rim, depending on which make and model of tub as some have latex inner tubes stitched inside (Dugast, Challenge, FMB, some Schwalbe etc) some have a vulcanised chamber (Tufo, Clement, some Schwalbe). either way the tub stays stuck to the rim so allows some control of the bike unlike a clincher that can come off the rim with no air in it.

    The former can usually be fixed by unstitching, patching the tube and restitching (not a road side repair) but don’t like Latex solutions, such as Stans as it can ruin the latex tube inside after time. The latter are pretty much wrecked if you slice them but you can use sealant in them to prevent thorn punctures etc.

    Switching between cross and road tubs isn’t a 5 min job if you want either to stay stuck to the rim during use (you DO by the way, it hurts when they come off) but can be done overnight safely enough. In an emergency you can swap a tub at the side of the road/trail if you have one, but spares are bulky and you’d have to ride very carefully back as it won’t be attached very well other than the air pressure.

    I love tubs for racing and wouldn’t use anything else by choice, I’d not leisure ride on them by choice and am always grateful that I’ve had no issues when I just ‘nip around the block’ on my best wheels.

    Thank you Blazin, that just saved me the trouble of replying.



    There’s a guy over in Rotherham called Pete Burgin who will repair good quality tubs to a very high standard. Alternatively you can return FMB and dugasts to the manufacturer for repair.

    What they have all said.

    This year has been my first year racing on tubs and I wish I’d done it sooner. I have been using Dugast tyres and use Effetto Caffe Latex Sealant recommended by them which they say won’t damage the tube unlike Stans.


    Race good. If you puncture in a race you can ride on to the pits where you have spare wheels.
    On the road? well you won’t be wrecking expensive cross tubs so will have another pair of wheels with road tubs. Actually not as bad as non tub riders think. Just when did you get a road puncture. I haven’t in years. If you do ,you slap on the spare you carry.
    3rd scenario is rough stuff riding (which is what 90% of modern CX bikes are used for I bet) Again why wreck good CX tubs.
    Just swap to clinchers, making sure that the rims are similar in shape to your sprints.
    Spare wheels for the road etc are dead easy. 2nd hand sprint rims are nearly given away, often as wheels.Last pair I had were a tenner with tubs. If they were any good yyou can reuse the spokes and use old but good road hubs.


    great advice

    many thanks


    Tubeless would seem to be a real alternative now, especially for ‘cross?


    Can’t really run tubeless as soft as tubs in the slop (which is sort of the point of tubs) without them burping.Well I hav’nt been able to 😳

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