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Tubular vs Clincher?

Published on 06/01/2016 00:00

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If you’re spending time on your bicycle, surely you will have thought about whether it is better to use an inner tube + folding tyre or a tubular tyre. The first thing that you will have to know is you cannot mount a tubular tyre mounted on wheel designed for folding tyres and vice versa. From here we are going to present to you the advantages and disadvantages to make your choice easier.


The weight for the combination of a wheel + inner tube + folding tyre is more than just the wheel + tubular tyre combination. The difference in weight is around 300g, according to the range which we are comparing. The tubular tyre allows you to use a wheel made completely from carbon fibre, while the folding wheels need an extra reinforcement in the braking zone.

Nowadays, a tubular tyre will cost twice the price of a folding tyre and if we add the fact that their wheels are usually made of carbon fibre, the price will shoot up considerably.

The technological advances have allowed us to eliminate the performance difference which existed between tubular and folding tyres and currently, if we compare the high-end range, in relation to performance against rolling they are at par.

In this aspect the tubular tyre is unrivalled and due to its circular section, it remains and will remain a point above the inner tube and folding tyre.

It’s more difficult to get a puncture with a tubular tyre than a folding tyre bead, but in the case of punctures, it’s easier and lighter to carry a spare tubular tyre. Besides, if we bust them several times, we will end up using our mobile phone. It is true that there are liquid sealants, but they will only solve the problem only if the cause comes from small punctures.

What effects the tubular, is that it needs a good adhesion to dry for 48 hours and if we need it before that time, we will be able to keep pedalling, but will need to do so with caution. There are other options in the market which expedite this process but the brand only guarantees an optimal comfort, with determined tubular models.

The wheels with tubular tyres are more secure and controllable if we get a puncture at high speeds, as it will give us time to brake and will allow us to cover more kilometres on the unrepaired tyre, without the wheel touching the ground. By contrast, a cover can damage the tyre bead breaking and, with the possible risk of falling that this implies.


Here we leave you with the advantages and disadvantages so that you may value the option which is better to adjust to your needs. The decision will depend on whether you suffer many punctures and with which you like to pedal, the weight, the simplicity to change the cover in front of the tube, the price and some aesthetic aspects.

If you have any doubts, remember that you are have the forum available in order present your problem.

Transalted by Max Wright

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Entrenador nacional de Triatlón, especialista en material deportivo y corredor del equipo Triatló Girona Costabrava. Como verás soy un apasionado del deporte, la naturaleza y la salud. Té animo a conocer un poco más de mí, leyendo mis publicaciones. ¡Sígueme!

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