Are tubular tyres the next big thing?

The ultimate in light and fast wheels is to borrow tubular tyre technology from the roadie world.

They’re made by gluing a tread to a light cotton casing in which an inner tube is inserted, and sewn up. It’s then glued to a tubular-specific rim. As a result the weight of the rim and tyre is much lighter.

We’ve seen a few bikes on the world cup – principally the Scott Bikes team – sporting said tubular wheels. It’s spawned several new deep-section carbon fibre wheels, but there’s very few tyres available. To address this, the tyre company has spent, probably, a small fortune on producing this special effects laden video for its Saguaro tubular tyre.

And in surprisingly cool video that must have cost a small fortune to produce the special effects; they’ve announced them to the world. It’s not often we see a ‘cool’ cross-country flick, so this is a refreshing change.

So what do you think? Tubular tyres the next big thing? Or not?

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  1. Greg Turner

    What’s the expression, ‘like teats on a bull’?

    Anyone who has tried to repair a tub once it’s punctured would never in million years think it was a good idea on a mountain bike!

  2. Mad Pierre

    And how do you fix a puncture? Need to carry a whole spare tyre?

    Looks like a recipe for a long walk home!

  3. unklegsif

    YeP… My bro used to go out with a ready glued tub in his back pocket on road rides… 1 puncture. 1 shot… Any more and it was a Phonecall to dad!!! :-)

    However, I guess with Stan’s these days, that’s irrelevant

    G

  4. Keith

    The future is inevitable – they are lighter and so will definitely be common for racing – racers will remove rotor bolt screws to reduce weight so without a doubt they will go with tubs for the weight saving.

    Guess there will always be some trickle down to casual and trail but with Stans and plugs it would actually be simpler to fix a tub for most smaller holes.

    Gashes that aren’t reparable for tubs probably aren’t fixable in conventional tires either – or maybe someone will come up a some super new method.

    And if anyone has ever had problems sealing/seating tubeless tires – I think they’ll agree tubs, would be simpler!

    1. Steven

      I don’t understand how they are lighter and better than tubeless? Plus you can ride tubeless at lower pressures, they are easy to fit and change. If you are out and it all goes wrong you just stick in a inner tube, for a slash in your tyre put in an old toothpaste tube under the slash fit youe tube and you are good to go.

  5. Nick Evans

    I’m really interested to try some, as I don’t really see the advantages on paper. They’re not really lighter – the lightest alu (ie affordable) rims I’ve seen are c320g, whilst Podium MMX clincher rims are <290g. If you spend silly money you get into AX-Lightness rims at 230g or so, but then there's also Innolite XCC-250 250g clinchers, so that still doesn't really hold.

    Tyres are heavier too, a Tufo XC2 is marketed as 'ultralight' at 450g, slightly more than a (more knobbly) Rocket Ron tubeless ready clincher. A Racing Ralph tub is 540g, about 80g more than the clincher.

    I guess the ride quality must be better, but I'm not sure we're going to see universal acceptance over any time period!

X

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