singles

Workshop tales, trials and disasters.
Maintenance tips, techniques and myths.
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singles

Postby winona_rider » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:30 pm

i have suddenly aquired a set of tubular rims with this new bike. they are beautiful ultra-light shiny double butted 80s mavics and although my head says replace them with clinchers - my heart says no.

so i have got the tyres and the cement and got the old singles off. but there's lots of old cement still stuck to the inside of the rim. do i need to remove that? and if so - how? (i tried a light rub with a kitchen scourer - but that showtime is stuck there well and good!)

aside...am i crazy? should i just sell the tyres and rims and get clinchers? (it's just gonna be a recovery ride/second commuter kinda bike)
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by BNA » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:41 pm

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Postby mikesbytes » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:41 pm

It's really important that you don't use those singles and immediately replace them with hooked rim wheels.

For environmental reasons, post the wheels to me and I will ensure that they don't end up as land fill.
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Postby singletracking » Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:57 pm

Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

You fool!

But really - singles are the single (ha!) most high-maintenance bicycle component you could even own. No question.

However, it's always good to have a crack at things. Once. I did and I'll happily say that I don't think I'd do it again, but it was good to try.

All the manuals say that you should leave some of the old glue on the rims, However, I'd say not to if you have shellac on there and you plan to glue the new tyres with road cement.

If you are an artisan and have about 6 weeks to glue your tyres with shellac, use shellac. if not, use road glue.

So, if it's road glue on the rim, make sure it's a reasonably even cover. If the glue is all globby, it's likely that you might even feel some of those globs when riding along, so it's best to try and rub it back to an even cover or remove at altogether.

Then follow the Park Tool instructions. They have the full process documented there.

My only advice is to find some robust gloves - disposable latex gloves are not tough enough and tear if you get glue on them... Do your glueing somewhere where it doesn't matter if you get some globs on the floor. That glue is a real pain to clean off the kitchen tiles (I was living in a 1BR apartment at the time I had my tubular experience...).

You should be able to get some pretty cheap road tubs for about $30 each if you sniff around the right places.

Good luck - and while you're at it - tell us more about this bike!
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Postby Bnej » Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:59 pm

If you don't mind the difficulty dealing with a flat on the road, the risk of glue melting and the tyre rolling off, the hassle of mounting and removing the tyre in the first place, the expense of the rims and the tyres, and the extra time spent dealing with all of the above, then tubulars are an excellent way to save a few grams on a wheel/tyre. ;)

Keep them but don't get caught out on a long ride with them!
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Postby tallywhacker » Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:05 pm

generally you shouldn't need to clean the old glue off the rim all you need to do is even out the old glue surface removing any dried lumps of glue but if the rim has been around for a while and the old glue isn't in too good a nick (flaking or powdery) you should be able ro remove it with acetone, paint thinner or alcohol (not the drinking variety although it may be injested in conjunction with the removal process). If you opt to remove the old glue fully make sure that whatever you use doesn't leave a film that may stop the new glue from sticking to the rim properly.
Personally, unless these rims are going on a track bike or your race bike I would stick with clinchers. Hard to repair a puncture in a tubular on the side of the road, the 24 hour plus wait while the glue dries is a killer
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Postby winona_rider » Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:21 pm

Image

Image

the rims are from the mercier - i posted more pics in the retro section...

i degreased and cleaned them up tonight. wow. they sparkle.

but i think the horror stories are waying on my mind. ugh. what to do????
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Postby Kid_Carbine » Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:43 am

I rode Wolber Invulnerable [singles] for many hundreds of miles without a problem but I don't know if they are still made. These were a little heavier & allegedly had a woven stainless steel band around them but were a good road tyre.

If riding out of sight of home, then cary a spare tyre, ... if riding out of a major metro area, ... cary two.
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Postby mikesbytes » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:44 am

On second thoughts, you can keep those wheels.

They may suit someone who is into old bike restoration.
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Postby winona_rider » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:43 pm

they have normandy hubs too! yeah - i'll give em a go...

is there a good way to test that you've installed the tyre correctly?
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Postby rustychisel » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:55 pm

ride it? fall off?
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Postby winona_rider » Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:09 pm

rustychisel wrote:ride it? fall off?


arghh...it's freaking me out!
already fallen off my bike once cause of a flat...
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Postby rustychisel » Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:06 pm

yeeeeeeees, I believe it is freaky. Everyone has had a spill because of an underinflated front tyre at some time or another.

WRT singles... there's an arcane art to replacing them mid-ride and keeping just enough glue on the rim to bond with a pre-glued replacement tyre (and a special way to roll it and store it), but it's a secret. Why? It's a secret and I don't know it because I'm not a hoary Belgian flahout (hard man) who believes in the redemptive powers of cold potato soup. Nor for that matter do I believe there is any logical reason that tubs or singles are better than clinchers or wire-ons. It simply is a pointless argument advanced by equipment wonderful people and grouches. (*unless perhaps there's a reason for using them at the velodrome, which I doubt there is, but in any case then remove all references to Belgian hard men from your deductions).
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Postby winona_rider » Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:32 pm

i think you have convinced me to get rid of them - that and lfully reading zinn's guide to installing them this evening. woah! what an ordeal! all that glueing and scraping and leaving over night...
they are not *that* pretty....
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Postby Bnej » Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:44 pm

winona_rider wrote:they are not *that* pretty....


Yeah, clinchers are so much more convenient that very few people would be well served by tubulars given the option. Basically racers who have someone following them with a spare wheel ready to go, and people who aren't going to ride outside a velodrome and want to run 160 PSI.
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Postby singletracking » Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:46 pm

winona_rider wrote:i think you have convinced me to get rid of them - that and lfully reading zinn's guide to installing them this evening. woah! what an ordeal! all that glueing and scraping and leaving over night...
they are not *that* pretty....


Chicken! Where's the fun in giving up!??

C'mon - they'll be a great winter project!

winona_rider wrote:
rustychisel wrote:ride it? fall off?


arghh...it's freaking me out!
already fallen off my bike once cause of a flat...


You're actually less likely to crash if a tub goes flat because unlike a clincher, it is solidly attached (glued) to the rim and won't roll off (unless that glue gives way, but that's another story - just glue them well!)
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Postby tallywhacker » Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:26 pm

rustychisel wrote:Nor for that matter do I believe there is any logical reason that tubs or singles are better than clinchers or wire-ons. It simply is a pointless argument advanced by equipment wonderful people and grouches. (*unless perhaps there's a reason for using them at the velodrome, which I doubt there is, but in any case then remove all references to Belgian hard men from your deductions).

From first hand experience I can tell you that under or over inflated clinchers on the velodrome can roll off quite easily with rather painfull results. A well glued tubular won't (or shouldn't) and if for some reason it does puncture it will at least stay on the rim. They also ride so much nicer.
On the road just look what most of the pros use, you'll find more tubulars than clinchers
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Postby Kid_Carbine » Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:12 am

Bnej wrote:
winona_rider wrote:they are not *that* pretty....


Yeah, clinchers are so much more convenient that very few people would be well served by tubulars given the option. Basically racers who have someone following them with a spare wheel ready to go, and people who aren't going to ride outside a velodrome and want to run 160 PSI.


Nahhh, rubbish. Singles can be just fine & many people rode them to work & back for years without despair. I'm told that a practiced rider can strip a punctured tyre from the rim & have a replacement mounted, inflated & be on his way in less time than it takes to repair a flat with a wire-on.
I never had the opportunity to put that one to the test but once the gold SJH is up & running & might just get to find out as it will be running singles as does my SJH. [EDIT, ...I mean, Lennie Rogers]
Last edited by Kid_Carbine on Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bnej » Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:24 am

"strip a punctured tyre from the rim & have a replacement mounted, inflated & be on his way in less time than it takes to repair a flat with a wire-on"

Really. And then only be up for another tyre at $40 or $50? Versus <$10 for a tube? Unstitch and resew the casing to repair? Loads of fun.

You are seriously arguing that a tubular tyre is more convenient for every day riding than a clincher? Because pretty much the whole bike industry thinks otherwise.
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Postby mikesbytes » Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:48 am

There's a guy who commutes on singles in Sydney. Only 1 guy...

However he also knows how to fix punctures in singles.
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Postby tallywhacker » Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:07 pm

and what about letting the glue dry for at least 24 hours or does he use sellys super glue ?
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Postby MountGower » Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:19 pm

Get rid of 'em.

That is all.
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Postby Kid_Carbine » Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:42 am

tallywhacker wrote:and what about letting the glue dry for at least 24 hours or does he use sellys super glue ?
Once a pre glued tyre is reinstalled on a pre glued rim & is fully inflated it does not need a 24 hour drying period if riden with a little care.
If one is racing then a complete wheel can be switched, but for road bikes [different glue] it's not such a drama as the glue is more tacky, not hard.
Road riders have installed spare singles tyres on their machines & riden off since the 1920's & managed to survive, so I can't imagine why it couldn't still be done now.

As for puncture repair, yes it's a pain, but there are those that save up a few tyres then sit down & do them all in one go. Come to think of it, I have three here that need doing.
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Postby tallywhacker » Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:55 pm

suppose Beloki was just damn unlucky
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Postby winona_rider » Mon Mar 10, 2008 3:57 pm

um...
would these suit the mercier if i ran a 9 speed cassette and chain?

:)

(the rear forks are 130mm apart, the shifters are friction)
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Postby Bnej » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:01 pm

tallywhacker wrote:suppose Beloki was just damn unlucky


That video is on a TDF DVD I have and I wince every time I see it, just because of how suddenly it happens, and not caused by his actions at all, just equipment failure. There was an accident last year with a tyre rolling off the rim too wasn't there?
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