Training on tubulars - give me your tips

Hi all

Due to a lack of funds it looks like I’ll be using my tubular wheels for road riding this summer.

I’m familiar with the tubs vs clinchers debate so, instead, I’d like to hear from people who use tubulars on the road on a regular basis, and how they prepare for/deal with roadside repairs.

Also, recommendations of particular tyres, tools and sealants would be greatly appreciated.

I trained and raced on tufo tubulars last year which were fine but I always felt unprepared for fixing at the side of the road. This year I’d like to be able to ride without that niggling worry in the back of my mind as well as trying some slightly more performance orientated tyres.


Carry some Vitorria Pit Stop and a cell phone.


Tufos are pretty poor tubs but great for training as you can repair them with ‘bacon strips’ and sealant. I always carried both and never had a problem when I did puncture.

I was never too keen to use sealant unless I punctured since there’s no way to clean it out when it goes hard.


I trained on tubs for about 3 months before selling those wheels and going to clinchers. I couldn’t get good seals on punctures for the life of me. I think part of the problem was the spring time road debris up here in the northeast. I picked up a set of cheap aluminum clinchers on craigslist to use until I sold the tubs and got the money for carbon clinchers.

Well… back in the day we rode tubulars all the time. People learned to glue them and change them and enjoy them. It’s really not the big scary deal people with no sew-up experience make it out to be.

When training on sew-ups I carry:

(1) a small bottle of sealant
(2) a spare tire folded properly carried under the saddle fixed with a leather toe strap
(3) a small air pump
(4) valve core remover

In case of a flat you first try the sealant. If that works you are golden.

If the sealant doesn’t work you peel off the flat and use your spare.

Small air pump because you don’t want to run out of CO2 while fiddling.

Protect your spare tubbie from chafing with a bag or old sock.



Thanks Mark. Any recommendations for a particular sealant?

I just carry a small bottle of Stan’s and hope for the best if I need it. Flat very infrequently and don’t train much on tubulars any more so no good statistics. Used to ride see his 100% but went to the dark side a couple years ago for clinchers.

Do not like pre-filling for training as the sealant will dry up and you won’t know it. Can also “glue” your latex tubes together.

For racing… my TT race wheels are HED Stingers and hill climb wheels are Zipp 202s so still an active sew up user. If I flat in a TT it’s over so just don’t worry about it. For big events I will prefill with some sealant. But don’t think it’s ever saved me.


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