Attack of the Affordable Cross Tubular

tubular

Cross riders looking to get more out of their hoops often think of turning to tubulars, but the price tag is usually too high for most to justify for performance that’s not as great as, say, buying a new frame. Specialized is rolling out a new set of tubular cross-specific wheels with a 290TPI count (that’s great) at a $100 price point (that’s fantastic). If you’re looking for a new set of tubulars to go with your disc-brake ‘cross bike this season, these are your new best friends.



5 Comments

“tubular cross-specific wheels with a 290TPI count (that’s great) at a $100 price point (that’s fantastic)”

Wait, do you mean wheels or tires?

From the pic, my guess is tires.  I wish I could get $100 tubular wheels.

“the price tag is usually too high for most to justify for performance that’s not as great as, say, buying a new frame”

I’d actually disagree with that statement. You can buy some fairly inexpensive ‘cross frames that are every bit as good as frames cost 2-5 times as much. Case in point, Erwin Vervecken won a World Championship on a decidedly unimpressive Empella frame. Other riders have won scores of races on inexpensive Alan, Kona and Bianchi frames. I personally owned a Colnago ‘cross bike that used to belong to the Rabobank team and it was no better than my off the shelf Kona.

OTOH, the difference between clinchers and tubulars is more pronounced. You can run air pressures on tubulars that simply are not possible with clinchers. On top of that saving weight on your wheels is more of an advantage than saving weight on your frame. If you had $500-1500 to drop on ‘cross you’d be much better off getting a set of tubular wheels instead of a new frame.

This post is about Specialized Tubulars. They cost ?$100.00.

@chris

Best upgrade you can do in Cross is tires and wheels.

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