We know that more than physiological and mental preparations, our bike should be in its best shape. We’ve already discussed about carbon and aluminium bikes, chainrings, and cassettes. Now, we’ll talk about wheels.
As a newbie, I still haven’t been brave enough to shift over to the ride quality of tubulars. But the question remains… tubulars or clinchers? maybe tubeless.
So which one should you choose?
Clinchers are popular not only because they are cheaper, but they are also easier to use. Since it is extremely versatile, it makes them a go-to choice for most cyclists. You can use it for any type of terrain and activity. Flexibility means that clinchers are great when it comes to training.
Another thing is aerodynamics. As Ian Buchanan, co-owner of Fit Werx, shares, “[i]n general, clinchers on the newer wider rim profiles offer the smoothest transitions as they don’t have the interference of a tubulars base tape” If aerodynamics is on top of your priority, then clincher is the way to go.
A disadvantage though is the weight of the tire and smoothness of ride. Even the lightest clincher can be a couple hundred grams heavier than tubulars. When it comes to smoothness of rides, lot of pros feel like it doesn’t go as smooth as tubulars. However, the new tubeless clinchers prove that they help with the ride quality that is at par with tubulars.
This popularity of clinchers means there’s a lot of development around it for the past years. This advancement in technology will give you a lot of choice when choosing your tire.
As we’ve said earlier, tubulars offer an irresistible ride quality. This is why a lot of pros choose tubular for racing.
Due to their round shape, tubulars are also in advantage since it is more resistant to pinch punctures. This adds more of the peace of mind you need while racing.
Another huge advantage of tubular is its weight. Since it is so much lighter than clinchers, pros choose these wheels especially during high profile races as their bikes are so much easier to ride and manipulate.
However, compared to clinchers, tubulars could be much more expensive. Great quality tubulars could cost you up to $50 more than best clinchers.
Indeed, cyclists will tell you the same line: clinchers for training, tubulars for racing. And while this may be true based on the differences of these wheels, as usual, you choose what feels most comfortable for you.