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Veloflex Roubaix / Arenberg Tubular Tire

Last updated 2014-03-18 - Send Feedback
Related: gear, Road Bikes, tubular
Veloflex Roubaix 700 X 25C tubular tire

See the official Veloflex web site for the full range of tires.

The Veloflex Roubaix is essentially a wider version of the Veloflex Criterium with a bit more rubber and a bit thicker sidewall. The tire carcass is quite supple as are all Veloflex tires—your author has found Veloflex to be the most comfortable and best riding tubulars on the market over a decade of riding tubulars for ~70,000 miles as of mid 2015.

Comfort

The Roubaix has a 320 TPI cotton casing compared to a 350 TPI casing for the Veloflex Sprinter. That is a small difference in thread count, but still far superior to most tubulars.

In spite of its 25C volume, the Roubaix is not neccessarily more comfortable than a 22C Record or Sprinter, since those tires are so beautifully compliant from their ultra-supple casings. But comfort of the Roubaix is nonetheless at a high level, and it can take “hits” on very rough pavement better—three back-to-back double centuries attest to its fine ride qualities. The Roubaix can be more comfortable on the really rough stuff and a bit less compliant on higher frequency roughness.

The Roubaix has a gum-colored sidewall, but the Arenberg is the same tire with a black sidewall, so take your pick.

Construction of the Roubaix is the same as the other Veloflex tubulars, which are all remarkably puncture resistant and yet amazingly supple, fast riding and comfortable.

Veloflex tire construction

Excellent performer with good comfort, albeit not as quick a feel as its racier siblings. Robust, excellent winter tire and/or crummy road conditions.

Punctures

Like all its siblings, there is a removable valve core*, so that valve extenders can be used, and ’s NoTubes tire sealant can be used for roadside repair.

There is much more rubber on a Roubaix so it is not as supple as a Record or Sprinter, but it is also far more puncture resistant (glass in particular) and with more rubber on the pavement for less friendly conditions.

The Roubaix is a robust tire that accepts most small glass cuts without cutting the casing; the rubber is thick enough that it prevents damage to the casing, the small bits of glass embed themselves and can be removed after a ride—no harm done. In about 5000 miles, no glass cuts have flatted a Roubaix. By comparison, the Sprinter and Record often have the casing penetrated by similar glass cuts, not having thick enough rubber to protect the casing.

In the Solvang Spring Double and the Joshua Tree Double, there are sections with major road hazards: glass, wires, gravel, bits of shredded tires, bolts, screws etc. In conditions where rider after rider could be seen fixing flats, your author rode through on the Roubaix, unscathed (but having flatted two years in a row on the Sprinter).

Pinhole leaks can occur. Often, these are due to small sharp wires. Pulling the wire out leaves a pinhole, but in most all cases, Stan’s NoTubes tire sealant seals up such leaks, resulting in good as new. Other pinhole leaks seal up as well. During the 2015 Southern Inyo Double Century, the rear Roubaix picked up two stiff stainless steel wires almost syringe like in their penetration. These were pulled out, one 2 oz tube of Stan’s NoTubes was inserted and the tire was as good as new, used subsequently for two more double centuries and considerable additional training.

Because the Roubaix uses somewhat lower pressure, the Stan’s NoTubes tire sealant is even more effective than with 22C tires used at 115-120 PSI (the sealant tends to blow out over about 105 PSI).

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Wear

A Roubaix on the rear wore out from tread wear at about 3000 miles: it wears faster with climbing/ascending and heavier/stronger riders like your author, due to much more torque at rubber/pavement. On the front wheel, little treadwear is seen after 3000 miles. Usually bad luck inserts itself before a front would wear out, e.g., a nail or screw or severe glass cut.

Tire pressure

As a 25C tire, the use of ~105 - ~110 PSI for the 25C Roubaix is appropriate as compared with your author’s use of 120 PSI for a Veloflex Record, which is a 22C tire.

Quoted tire pressures are on a particular pump and might or might not be entirely accurate; road feel should render the final judgment. Appropriate pressures should reflect weight: body weight of your author ranges from 170-180 pounds, total riding weight 190 to 205 pounds, depending on season, clothing, lights, water, etc.

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Tire weight

There is always variation and different batches can be slightly lighter or heavier. WIND weighed three Veloflex Roubaix tires as follows (nominal weight 290g):

  • 287g, 280g, 292g

Nominal tire weight of 290 grams is quite accurate relative to the above, as tubular weights go.

Specifications

Per Veloflex.

All-purpose tubular ideal for rough terrains like setts or cobblestones paved roads, its tread guarantees the best grip for this kind of races on both dry or wet surfaces, the larger (24mm) and more resistant structure will reduce the risk of flats, all these qualities in a contained weight of only 290gr.

Roubaix comes with gum colored sidewalls for a more old-fashioned look but still giving you the best available materials and production technologies.

Use road racing
Size 28" - 25mm (700 X 25C)
Weight 290 grams ± 10%
TPI 320 Threads Per Inch (120/cm)
Pressure 6/9 bar (85/130 psi)
Protection belt Calicot puncture resistant layer
Casing Compressed Pes/Co corespun
Rubber tread Natural rubber exclusive compound
Inner tube Latex low rolling resistance
Valve Presta 42mm with changeable core
Mileage Front 6.000 km - Rear 3,000 km

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