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Entries in tubulars (10)

Stretchy strechy

So as geekdified as it sounds, I set this calendar reminder once a week to head on out into the car hole and go and fill my tubulars up to keep a wee bit inflated during the off season. Especially those that have Stans in them and they get a little turn on the skewer to mix the stuff up a bit...lest the Stans cause the latex tubes to get all stick together whiel sittle idle.

The rack you see here is super trick for wheel storage and inexpensive to throw together. A bunch of hardware store grade hooks staggered in two roes alternating one high and one low (so the skewers don't bump). I drill those into a piece of pine then attach that piece of pine to the studs in the wall. Insta-storage.

I'm going to run a mix of toobies next year. Some Dugast, some Challenge, some clincher...whatever the day brings. I have settled on one fact though that I am in LOVE with 34's....especially on the Colorado crap we have to endure out here. 

6 more months till 'cross.

Tubeless Tires and Cyclocross

So, I've been reading these articles in CX Mag online about the merits of tubeless tires and 'cross. I'm not sold. At least not yet. Over the last season, I had been able to get some ride time on the Hutchinson Bulldog mounted to Dura Ace wheels designed for tubeless applications. I'm a big fan of Hutchinson tires. Their tread patterns are super fast and I've had great success with them on the MTB, but cross is another animal all together. So, some observations...

  • Tubeless tires ARE NOT tubular tires. Do not confuse the two being the same.
  • Tubeless tires do not allow for the same level of suppleness that a tubular is inherently designed with vis-a-vis its materials in use on their sidewalls (cotton, silk, etc).
  • Now, per above, what does 'suppleness' mean? It's the ability for the tire to bend and allow its tread pattern to stay 'glued' to the earth while you and the bike bend into the apex of the turn you're making. Tubeless tire casings are inherently different due to the materials in use on their sidewalls. They are stiffer to support the nature of the tubeless application itself...e.g. keeping the bead tightly sealed to the rim when running 'reasonably' lower pressures. Tubular tires can achieve their bend because of two main factors: 1) the glue keeping the  center line of the tire in place and 2) the material of the casing which allows for varying levels of flexibility allowing for the bend. This ranges from cotton to silk to synthetics...with varying levels of 'bend-ability'.
  • So with the above said, Tubeless tires when run with low(er) PSIs, therefore have an incredible burping problem in 'cross. I've seen it time and time and time again in races. This is mainly due to the issues above (e.g. stiffer sidewalls + lower air to support the casing in the bead of the rim= burp) and the somewhat naiveté of the rider thinking they can get away with 'tubular like performance' and only filling with ~25 PSI. I just don't think the casings are there yet to support this....

So, these are my opinions for what they're worth. I want to see tubeless systems 'progress' as they will be infinitely easier to work with. It's my opinion though that tubeless does not equal tubular yet and riders should serioulsy consider this.

Mixing the tubular gene pool

Now here is something you don't see every day! My dear friend Michel, an old friend of Dubba's whom I was introduced to last year on our trip to za Motherland, sent me some spy photos. Yummy. Now, if any of you have seen Transitions 2, you know Michel is a master mechanic (especially when he tweeeeeaks Kashi's rear derailleur hanger in his garage by hand...creeeeek. Remember that! Ha!) but our boy Michel knows his equipment. He blew me away with his knowledge and advice during our mini campaign last January. He let us try some very rare custom made FMBs for the beach sand at Worlds last year and now, working with FMB, has come up with another sweet concoction: Challenge Fango's glued to FMB casings. Boing!

The Challenge casings are good out of the box...but FMB's are not unlike Dugasts.....suppleness on the extreme side. This pattern and those casings are likely 'ta die faw'. Reports on the Fangos this weekend here on the super slippery CO courses were great. I'm still waiting to try 'em out! But Michel, I'll promise to come back soon to try 'em out on the sweet Belgian peat I long to kiss again...

Enjoy these pictures with your coffee this AM:

And lastly, here is Michel himself railing it this past weekend in Limburg. Michel is a guy, readers, who I have on video mixing it up with Sven Nys and the rest of the Flahutes. Give 'em hell Michel!

Long live mud.

FM Boyaux takes on the pave....

Wow. FMB got a HUGE win carrying Tommeke's ginormous carcass over the pave and on into the velodrome yesterday. All you gear-hounds already saw all this I'm certain on CyclingNews but is a great story of a small company.

The tires are like buttah and I can attest after Michel was gracious enough to let us use a set of custom FMB's racing in Belgium this year.

Dugast in za house

I'm going for more all around tread pattern this year with a sets of 32's and 34's in the Typhoon pattern. These mofo's will sit and stretch for months down in the basement on their hoops.

It's April. I am already getting hungry.

Parlez vous buttah?

If you speak a bit of the Frenchie, then navigate yer browsers to this little clip, sent to me by a closet blogger ~ slash local pro hard man ~ slash ├╝ber cross geek. Ahem. You know who you are. HA! It is about the little new sew up tire start up in France, FMB.

Note on the screen capture above where the scene is in relation to the whole video which has a bunch of other ridiculous crappy French news. You'll need to fast forward. Fascinating to know who these things are built. I can not remember my French from college for anything!

Carbon Rim Analysis

Here' s a particularly interesting article Evan sent to me over the weekend. He and I ten to geek out on this stuff. It focuses on Reynolds carbon rims but I think is interesting enough to see the progress being made to bring carbon to the masses (although I need to understand more about this 'world wide shortage of carbon weave....").

Click HERE for the article.

Got my FSA's hooked up this weekend. Nice a squeely for now until I build up a layer of brake gunk. Same as last year. GOD I love those rims.

Working on the Reflex rims....

So I took my lunch break today by going into the garage and working on these Reflex rims of mine with the new tubulars all glued on. I had mad issues with the green compound SwissStop brake pads (meant for ceramic and aluminum) due to unbearable squeaking and chatter in the front and rear. Further, I got some glue on the sidewalls of the braking surface of the Reflex rims. I initially swapped out the SwissStops for standard Shimano wet/dry pads for aluminum rims but I am STILL getting unbearable chatter. I got myself a Mavic Brake Surface Stone (per Nick's instructions!) as seen in the picture in this post and worked the rims to death. The stone is more like a big gritty eraser. $29 bucks!! D'oh! I also used some acetone to work out the bit of glue on the rim surface. While a wee bit better, it's still WAY too grabby. Modulation is nonexistent and the choppiness and stutter returns under hard braking. I wonder if it just needs some grit and surface grinding. The Shimano pads work SWEET with my Ceramic Mavic clincher rims.

Any experts out there with advice??

The tubulars are done....

...and been curing in my dark cold basement since last week. Gonna fill 'em up and take them to Elk's tomorrow AM to do some hot laps on 'em. Gots to make sure all the stuff id dialed before Breck kicks off the season.

If'n yer in Boulder, meet me at Elks at 7:40!

FM Boyaux Tubulars

Molly C also has the bead on these toobies Brandon D has talked up and I posted on previously. One of these days I'll learn the story here but I hear it is some former Dugast dudes. Could be totally wrong here. I'm liking the tread pattern here which is totally Rhino like.

Today's training was nuts. Lots of elevation and attacking...uphill. Got a 1409 watts on the meter today after sprinting a bit with Taro and John in the Canyon. Fun. Wonder what the output will be when I really sprint. Power is interesting. Going to sharpen it and learn more. Already learned TONS.

Tomorrow, more pain and suffering slogging the carcass up the big passes. Looking forward to speed in the coming months.