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Veloflex Tubular Tires: Rolling Resistance
About 70,000 miles riding tubular tires of various kinds leads to some impressions from long use.
WIND has long felt that all the Veloflex tubular tires are very comfortable and fast, but with the Veloflex Record feeling like it has something extra special both in speed and comfort. The Veloflex Sprinter is next in line for that feeling.
Inquiring at Veloflex, WIND received this response:
Record is our tubular with the lower rolling resistance because of the following factors:
- Lighter inner tube
- 350 TPI casing
- Single layer of rubber
- No protection belt
- Satin tread design
This means that the general thickness of the layers (inner tube, casing and rubber) is way more lower than all the other products and this mean that less energy is dissipated in the deformation of these layers and there’s more elastic return.
Thicker the layers and higher the energy dissipated for their deformation under the weight of the rider.
Other than this there’s to say that the lower section permits to inflate the tubular at higher pressures that reduces a bit the deformation under the weight of the rider.
It would be ideal to build a tubular with a completely flat design of the tread, but no one would buy them because people don’t feel comfortable without engraved tread.
These are the main reasons, but also consider the other side of the medal… this also mean that it’s way more prone to puncturing, so what’s better? A high performance tubular with a virtually limited life expectative or a tubular that’s made to resist more and is created to be an all-round conditions always pointing to good performance? ;-)
WIND: Certainly flats are an issue, and some riders have conditions (go with the Roubaix), but on quality pavement all but free of glass, a Veloflex Record on the front wheel has seen up to 2000 miles of use. It finally gave out from a failure in its ultra-thin sidewall, perhaps in part from UV damage in the mountains. WIND does not advise riding the Record more than 1500 miles in any case (even if the tread looks fine), and on the rear it will last only about 500 miles, so it’s not very practical on the rear. But on the front—all time favorite.
Bottom line: most fine punctures seal up great with Stan’s NoTubes with no further drama, but nails, screws, and significant glass cuts terminate any tire. The main difference is an intermediate class of nicks and cuts such as small pieces of glass that may only cut into the (thicker) rubber on the Roubaix or Criterium, but may slice into the casing on the ultra-thin Record.