Outdoor shots from French Alps and one from Glacier National Park

A Tubular Digression

Although the descent proved undaunting (which is saying a lot for a chicken-s%%t descender like myself) I had been having problems with my front tubular tire which I'd glued on just before the trip. I've been using tubulars a pretty long time (my first racing bike was a Windsor Pro with Campy Nuovo Record, five speeds, toe clips and, of course, tubulars) and I know how to do it. But when I tried to mount this tire no matter what I did there were places where there was space between the rim tape and the rim. As I rode it made a snick, snick, snick sound on each wheel rev. Must've been a particularly bad spot.

It was as if the tire cross section was too narrow for the rim. You might expect something like this if you'd never used a particluar tire/rim combination but I have been using this type of tire (Vittoria All-Weather Pro) on this rim (Mavic GL330) for the past two years with no problems. In fact it was the same type tire and rim on the back and there was no problem there. Maybe some sort of manufacturing change? I changed to the clincher wheels when I got back to the hotel after the ride to Valloire before I left for the Mollard and resolved to re-glue after my ride.

After I got back and got cleaned up I went downstairs to do the messy job. On pulling the tire off the rim it was fairly well on there which was reassuring. I did the re-glue and re-mount and wasn't able to affect much change - still the patchy spots of daylight between the tire and rim.

When I returned to the states I asked at the shop and they said they hadn't heard of any complaints of this nature but that not as many people ride tubulars as they used to. The only other thing that could explain this is maybe that the tire's stitching seemed maybe a little high. Oh well.

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