Thoughts

on a

Front Wheel

Yesterday one of our customers was out in a light rain knocking around on muddy trails with his Raleigh road bike.
After a ride of jumping logs and sinking into the mountain bike trails with his 22mm tubulars, he started home.
The whole bike was good and muddy and the rider was a bit tired when he came upon a pothole.

The heart-shaped SuperChampion Arc-en-Ciel was no more.
A friend dropped the wheel off here along with an extra rim he had saved for it
- - a SuperChampion Record du Monde

nostalgia

Just as I was finishing it up, I realized that many riders are daunted from these wonderfully
tough and light wheels by the aspect of tubular glue.
And reading the printed drivel on the subject would lose even more tubular riders
if it were better disseminated!

If you have even a passing acquaintance with tubulars, look at the FAQ
["frequently asked questions"] from rec.bicycles.tech, an otherwise no-nonsense technical newsgroup

r.b.t. FAQ on gluing tubulars
r.b.t. "alternate" gluing technique

Those texts are replete with used food!

I am indebted to departed friend Mr Sheldon Brown for that colorful phrase. The opinons on this page were not necessarily shared by him, however

Here is the cleaned rim getting a small dab of glue between each spoke nipple socket:

not too messy

Here is that glue spread evenly and thinly from left to right.
Tires roll from the edge and so you want to ensure the edge is just as glued as the center.

doesn't  take too long either

Here's a once-poorly glued tubular getting a thin layer of cement right down the center of the rim tape.
About as much glue as I use on the rim

not too messy

I took a few minutes to clean up the truing stand, sweep the shop floor and wipe down my workbench
so the glue was able to flash. Maybe two minutes to apply the cement, ten minutes to do something else
and a few seconds to mount the tire.

Once the cement is applied evenly to both the rim and tire and after it has been allowed to flash or get tacky for a few minutes, we'll mount our tire.

Set the rim on the floor in front of you, valve hole at the top. Press the valve through the rim and grasp the tire a couple of inches away from the valve on both sides. Pull one side firmly away from the valve and then press that side against the rim with the butt of your hand while still grasping the tire in your fingers. The valve will be crooked, pointing away from the side you just pulled tight.

Now pull the other side of the tire away from the valve until the valve points straight through the rim. Try to keep your tire in the center of the rim. Hold that second side in place and return your attention to the first side. Pull a few more inches of tire firmly , press the tire against the rim, hold it there and repeat on the second side. Your valve should remain pointing straight through the rim. Once you get to about 3/4 finished, lift the wheel (keeping a grasp of the tire on both sides) and stand up straight. I find the axle setting on the edge of a workbench or table is a good working height. Your hands will be at about 10:00 and 2:00 or a little closer to the top.

Working with both hands, lift the tire a bit at a time up and on to the rim. If you roll the tire, the sidewalls will smear the cement. Center the tire as best you can and inflate it. Now spin your wheel and see if the tire runs in a straight line. If not, pick up the tire and set it to one side or the other. Again, you cannot effectively roll it, you must lift and reposition. Once your tire is straight on the rim, inflate hard ( 120psi works for me) and let it set for a few hours or overnight.

If you must ride right away, avoid agressive leaning in corners and avoid panic stops.

not rocket science

If your tire is difficult to get over the rim at the last bit, you will have a lump at the valve because the valve area is too loose. Start over and pull the tire tight on the first half as shown above.


If your new tire is lumpy around the valve, it's because it's loose on that side. Start over and pull the tire tight on the first half as shown above

Query or comment? Send an email !

It just isn't voodoo.

I have never rolled a tubular and I've been riding them exclusively on all my bikes, even daily
commuters, even in Wisconsin winters, consistently since 1972. I have never glued a customer's tubular
which rolled and I have mounted literally over a thousand myself. Plus, there are the other mechanics
and wheelbuilders here who glue more than I do. We've just never botched this job to my
knowledge. We have mounted a lot more tubulars than most shops and we've done it for a good
long while.

So please don't be intimidated.

Why did I bother to write this? Because it just doesn't seem right to me that people who do not ride tubulars, don't
understand tubulars and certainly are not experienced with them, get to frame the parameters of
the discussion. It bothers me that overly fussy voodoo-like written statments about such a simple thing
as mounting a tire can be so bloviated as to appear complex. That sort of thing can keep riders from
enjoying these lighter stronger tires and rims. It's the unfairness that gets to me.

not too heavyvs standard stuff

Curious about tubular repair? That isn't as bad as some riders make it out to be, either. Click our Tubular repair Page.

Yes, bad things happen to good riders- - Tubular Repair

We also carry Tufo tubulars

Some Tubular Supplies and Accessories

And probably the best value in tubulars in America! Our wonderful Servizio Corsa Tubulars pack of three tubulars for $50!

It's always nice to buy something

Click to converse about tubulars or whatever's on your mind today or just send me a joke. Thanks.

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