If you’re an avid cyclist, you may have heard about the ongoing debate between clincher and tubular tyres. While clincher tyres are the most common choice for most road cyclists, tubular tyres offer a range of benefits that may have you considering a switch. In this article, we’ll explore how to convert your bicycle from clincher to tubular tyres, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of making the switch.


What are Clincher and Tubular Tyres?


Before we dive into the conversion process, let’s briefly explain the differences between clincher and tubular tyres.


Clincher Tyres:Clincher tyres are the most common type of tyre used on bicycles today. They consist of a separate inner tube, which holds the air, and an outer tyre. The two components are attached to the rim using a bead that hooks onto the rim’s edge. Clincher tyres are relatively easy to install and repair, making them popular among cyclists of all levels.


Tubular Tyres:Tubular tyres, on the other hand, are a bit more complex. They do not have inner tubes but are rather constructed as a single unit. The tyre casing is sewn shut around an inner tube, creating a circular shape. Tubular tyres are then glued onto the rim, providing a more secure bond. This construction method offers a range of benefits but requires more expertise to install and maintain.


Converting from Clincher to Tubular Tyres


Converting your bicycle from clincher to tubular tyres involves a few key steps:


  1. Gather the necessary equipment:


  Tubular tyres of your desired type and size.

  Tubular-compatible rims.

  Tubular tyre glue or adhesive tape.

  Tyre levers.

  Sandpaper and cleaning supplies.


  1. Remove the existing clincher tyres and tubes:


Use tyre levers to gently pry off the clincher tyres from the rims. Carefully remove the inner tubes as well.


  1. Clean the rims and prepare them for tubular tyres:


Thoroughly clean the rims using soap and water or a solvent. Remove any residue or debris, as this will affect the adhesion of the new tubular tyres.


  1. Glue the tubular tyres to the rims:


Using tubular tyre glue or adhesive tape, adhere the tubular tyre to the rim. Apply the glue or tape evenly and carefully position the tyre onto the rim, ensuring it is centered. Inflate the tyre slightly and let it dry for the recommended time.


  1. Mount the tubular tyres on your bicycle:


Carefully mount the tubular tyres onto your bicycle’s rims, ensuring they are correctly aligned with the wheel. Inflate the tyres according to the recommended pressure.


Benefits of Tubular Tyres


Now that you know how to convert your bicycle to tubular tyres, let’s explore the benefits that come with making the switch:


  1. Lower Rolling Resistance:Tubular tyres offer lower rolling resistance than clincher tyres. This means you can go faster with the same amount of effort.


  1. Better Handling and Cornering:Tubular tyres provide better grip and cornering capabilities, allowing you to maneuver your bicycle more confidently on corners and descents.


  1. Reduced Risk of Pinch Flats:Without an inner tube, tubular tyres are less prone to pinch flats. This can be particularly beneficial when riding over rough terrain.


  1. Smooth Ride Quality:The construction of tubular tyres allows for a more supple and comfortable ride, absorbing road imperfections and reducing vibrations.


Drawbacks of Tubular Tyres


While there are certainly benefits to using tubular tyres, it is important to consider the drawbacks as well:


  1. More Challenging Installation and Maintenance:Tubular tyres require more expertise and time to install and maintain compared to clincher tyres. Repairing a puncture or replacing a tubular tyre on the roadside can be a challenging task.


  1. Limited Variety and Availability:The range of tubular tyre options, especially in terms of brands and models, is more limited compared to clincher tyres. Additionally, finding tubular tyres in local shops may prove to be more difficult.


  1. Cost:Tubular tyres tend to be more expensive than clincher tyres. Additionally, the required adhesive or glue can further increase the overall cost.




Switching from clincher to tubular tyres is a decision that should be made after careful consideration of the benefits and drawbacks. While tubular tyres offer improved performance and ride quality, they come with more challenges in installation and maintenance, as well as a higher price tag. Ultimately, the choice between clincher and tubular tyres will depend on your priorities as a cyclist.