I decided to take the plunge on tubulars for cross this spring. Took me til summer to pull the trigger. Williams came out with an affordable alloy tubular and it was cheap enough to leave money for tires-something that carbon tubulars were not gonna do. And seriously, a super rookie on carbon hoops? Sounds like a middle-age crisis to me.
I figured, I would be rolling on Challenges or Vittorias, but thanks to the interweb, got my hands on some FMBs. FMBs!!!! Talk about pearls before swine, but how can you say no. It was only about 3 years ago that I saw FMBs for the first time(had no idea what was up with the tires and the funky screen job on the sidewall.) and there is one person responsible for singing their praises and making this purchase happen(stealth shot of him in action early am december 08)
Who wouldn't take this guys advice seriously?
So 2 weeks after the frenzy of internet purchases, I have a mini Xmas in the garage. Boxes arrived
and were unpacked
This is when the joy of consumerism ended and the cold, hard reality of a rite of passage began. The plan was to do it myself. I have read all the conflicting methods. Asked all the relevant experts. Now was the time to make it happen. There are many milestones you need to pass in life and gluing tubulars is one to be taken seriously.
First comes stretching the tire on the rim. How hard can that be? Having never done it-way harder than I guessed. I alternated between fear of ripping the tire and fear of being to feeble to actually be able to stretch it. Youtube videos made it look simple-even for triatheletes. Frustration caused me to stop one night and I actually let them sit while I went on vacation. First night back, despite working up an embarrassing sweat, I was able to get it done.
If stretching them was this hard, I can't wait for gluing. I'll save that for part two...... For now just fear my quiver of ancient rubber.........