Tubulars & Sew-ups
Friday October 16th 2009, 9:48 pm
Filed under: Advice & Tips

Tell me, why does the term tubular persist? Especially with the introduction to the bike world of tubeless wheels?

There’s tubular wheels, which are different from clincher wheels, which are mildly different from tubeless wheels. Right? Tubulars gets the glue, clinchers get the tube, and tubeless just gets what they all get: air. So. Am I the only one who’s bothered (not irrate by any means, nor even annoyed really) by the easily misspoken and too similar terms of tubular and tubeless? Clincher is different enough, easy to distinguish. And by all means, this distinguishment—to me—is easy enough visually and mechanically. But conversationally, it’s easy to misspeak and use the term tubeless when you mean tubular and tubular when you mean tubeless. (The latter is probably more common, but that’s splitting hairs.)

Again. So. Why isn’t the easy to distinguish clarifier not more commonly spoken. Instead of calling tubulars tubulars, why not call tubulars sew-ups? So far I’ve attempted to begin changing this nomenclature in the shop I’m now at and am finding that the term tubular is so ingrained in the discussions that it’s difficult even for myself to use “sew-up”. I’m trying though to turn the tide.

Sew-ups.

Sew-ups.

Sew-ups.

“Which sew-ups should I get for my new ‘cross wheels?” Tufo or Challenge? Vittoria of DuGast?

“Why can’t I get Racing Ralph sew-ups right now?” (Because they’re unavailable, Schwalbe has put them in re-development.)

“Why does everyone seem to think these Grifo sew-ups are the cat’s pajamas? Aren’t they just another sew-up?” (Actually, I didn’t know that about the Clement history, so that’s cool. Secondly, that’s a decently convincing review.)

“Why are sew-ups so expensive?” (They’re typically hand-made, that’s one reason why.)

Back to my point. (Maybe there’s something I’m unaware of, but from what I know these two terms are 100% interchangeable, so why don’t we use the less easily confused term to make conversation clearer? Wasn’t that interchange above easy to follow?)


1 Comment so far
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another thing you would love about the BMX world – tubular has never been spoken, always sew-ups.

Comment by jimmy 10.17.09 @ 11:31 am



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