Mounting and Gluing Tubular Tires
by Daniel A. Grunberg -- Kensington, Maryland U.S.A
in a posting to rec.bicycles.tech
Subj: Re: Tubulars vs. Clinchers
Date: Sun Oct 20 16:17:11 MDT 1996
firstname.lastname@example.org (Paul) said:
>I think tubular become a rarity because mounting them is a dying
>art. It's better to have someone show you how to do it. However,
>the local bike store with their MTB is not likely to be very
>helpful, and I have never met anyone who rode tubular.
>In contrast, any knuckle head can eventually figure out how
>to mount a clincher with a degree of safety.
>One main reason I haven't try tubular is because I am afraid
>that I'll screw up the mounting, and have the tire roll off
>when I do a corner at 30 or something.
Mounting tubulars is not hard, if you "season" them first. Get
an old tubular rim, that your LBS is about to discard. (They
were plentiful ten years ago when I got my spare rim.) On a
nail-free and splinter-free floor, in bare or stockinged feet,
stand, on the bottom of the inside of your new, un-inflated,
tubular tire and stretch the tire by pulling upward with your
hands. Mount the tire WITHOUT GLUE on the old rim, then pump the
tire up to full pressure. Leave the inflated tire on the rim,
for a few days. (If you find any leaks, and I don't ever
remember finding one this way, bring the tire back and point out
that you only tested it without gluing it.] Deflate the tire.
Now the tire is ready to be mounted and glued to a rim, or to be
carried on your bike as a spare.
BTW, in more than ten years of riding (rather than racing) on
tubulars, I've never had one come off the rim. My initial set of
tires were glued on by the LBS that sold me the bike. From then
on, whenever I had a flat on the road, I mounted but did not glue
the spare. After I rode home, I would remove the spare, clean
the rim with Bike Lovers glue remover or acetone, spread glue on
the rim per the instructions on the glue's tube, and then mount
Full tubular mounting instructions can be found in "The Complete
Book of Bicycling" by Eugene Sloane; "Effective Cycling" by John
Forrester; and elsewhere. It takes a little practice to do it
without bother, but lack of knowledge isn't a good reason for not
This article was last updated on 14 August 1997.
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