Subject: Folding a Tubular Tire
From: Jobst Brandt
Date: August 8, 1996
Although there are many arcane folds that people devise, it boils down to pragmatism. Most spares are used tubulars because those who use them typically ride together and for a new rider someone offers a spare that gets returned or not at some later time. Therefore, we are talking about a previously glued tubular and the point is to prevent the whole tire from getting goo all over the tread and sidewalls, so you flatten the tire against itself lengthwise with the sticky base tape stuck to the sticky base tape. Now you have about a 40 inch long flat tire that when folded in half twice makes the typical wad that riders carry under their saddles secured by a footstrap.
Footstraps being nearly extinct, I don't know what people use today, but whatever it is, it must be tight and secure. If it isn't, the tire will jiggle enough to abrade the sidewalls to become a pre-packaged blowout, to be installed when you get a flat on the road. Don't do it. Most spare bags sold today are not good places to put a tubular tire because they will allow the tire to vibrate too much.
It's bad news to ride alone with one spare anyway, so you ought to ride with other tubular riders when you go any significant distance from appropriate tire service. It's not like carrying a tube and patch kit that can go until you run out of patches (you can cut patches in half too). The advantage of using tubulars is so marginal that the little weight saved is best applied to track and criterium racing where its minuscule reduction in rotational inertia can at least be argued to have some significance.
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