Posted by: bikenfool | August 14, 2009

Tubular virgin, I think not…

Trying something new…
So having gashed a tubular tire on my Zipp 404’s a couple of weeks ago, I elected to change the tire myself verses having a shop to the tedious job. Getting the old tire off the rim was a little harder than I thought. I gently used a tire lever to pry the tire away from the rim, making sure not to damage the rim surface. The previous glue job was really good and getting the tire off took some work but I got it done in about 10 minutes. Then I spent a little time cleaning up the excess glue and inspecting the rim.

Preping the Zipp 303...

Preping the Zipp 303...

Next, I pre-stretched the tire by holding one end with my foot and pulling the other end, working my way around the tire. I spend a couple of minutes doing this then I stretched the tire over the wheel. This was not overly hard to do. Once on the rim I put about 50lbs in the tire.  Leaving the new tire on the rim for a few days really helped get it stretched out. 

 Sniffing Glue…
Fast forward two days (only because I was busy), the gluing begins. Having read about the process and watching a few uTube videos, I felt pretty confident. I choose Tubasti Glue for the job and used a small faux brush to spread the glue. I was able to spread the glue perfect, doing two coats on both the rim and the tire with a few hours between coats. The shot above is before spreading with the brush. I have elected to use “Stans” tire sealer in the tires prior to mounting in order to ward off potential flats.

Glueing the tire...

Glueing the tire...

Fast forward a day, setting the tire on the rim was a little harder than I thought. Once on the rim it was hard to shift the tire around due to the glue but I did manage to work it out nicely. I put the rim back on the bike and spun it, inspecting it for lumps and making sure it was seated correctly. Finally I inflated the tire to about 130lbs.

Finished product (Zipp 303)

Finished product (Zipp 303)

The end result…
Fast forward another two days, I did a final inspection to ensure things looked good, followed by rechecking the tire pressure and I was good to go. Having just picked up a used set of Zipp 303 tubulars for the Orca, I had the opportunity to try this process all over again. Although many say they can change a tubular quicker that a clincher, I had my doubts. Now that I have done it three times, I would say that on the side of the road not having to glue the wheel, I could probably change the tire in about 10 minutes or less.


New Tubular mounted on Zipp 404...

Well I guess I can check off one more thing on my “Must Do” list.   Here are a few links to sites that helped me:

– Tubular Tire Video
– Tubular Tire Article


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