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Which tubs?

Which tubs? How about a tub upgrade? I know...I know....why haven't we included the really fast tubs in with the package? Believe me I've been trying guys - Planet X have, until now, been heavily influenced by triathlete's input and triathletes don't ride up and down dual carriageways like we do.....so bear with me...I'm doing what I can! In the meantime then, what are the top 5 tubs from the Cammish viewpoint? In fifth place I'd rate the Conti Sprinter. Conti used to do a Sprinter 175 which was as good as their Sonderklasse 165 and 175 but about £30 cheaper - unfortunately they ceased production of this little beauty 5 or 6 years ago. The Sprinter in its present guise is a really good, reliable tub which can be pumped up rock hard and will last forever. It's ideal for triathlons and for keeping the price down in Planet X wheel packages. One step up, for me would be the Conti Podium. This is a nice slick treaded tub with miles and miles of wear in it. The only problem for me is that it only comes in a narrow version and I like fatter tyres because I feel they "roll" better. If you use Podiums, they'll perish before they wear out....if that's what you're after ok...but for faster times move on... In third position (I'm getting excited now because we're getting to what I consider to be "proper" racing tubs!) I'd group together the Conti Tempo 23 (remember I like fat!) and the Tufo S3Pro. I know the Tufos don't seem to get good press when it comes to rolling resistance reports but I honestly wonder which Tufo it is they've been testing. The S3Pros are VERY good, no doubt about it - I've used them during the winter for fast (for me) 50 mile training rides up and down the A1 and they seem to last ages. I've also been using them on some of my rear racing wheels over the last couple of seasons - simply because my number two choice (is the tension mounting?) don't seem to wear too well (not surprising because of their weight!!). I've done anything from 19 minute "10s" to 3-36 "100s" on S3Pros.....AND...just look at the bloody price of them!!! If you're racing on a budget and want something fast, try these - you won't be disappointed. Right then....in runner up position I've grouped together the Tufo S3 Lite135 and Conti Sonderklasse. I've used both and probably found the Conti to be the better wearing of the two...no, not probably....definitely, but then it's at least 40gms heavier. The Tufo 135 weighs 135gms at most - that's a surprise isn't it? Having said that, I haven't yet found a Conti Sonderklasse 165 that comes in as low as the weight being claimed. If it's out and out speed you want, go for the 135 - but be warned.....you'll only get a few hundred miles out of a rear one if you're as fat / heavy as me! A little story here (go and make yourself "comfortable", have a cup of tea and come back when I've finished rambling!) ....a friend of mine was asking for tub recommendations. I highly recommended the S3Lite 135s. The budget wouldn't quite extend to 135s, which were track tyres according to the chap who took her order (ok so it's a track tyre but do you want to go fast or don't you?) - so she went for the S3Pro. Absolutely "made up" she was with her 11th place in the women's national 10. After the event I mailed her and asked whether or not she'd been using S3Lite 135s.....she hadn't! 4 secs faster would have moved her up to 8th. If she was that happy with 11th place I asked what she'd have felt like with 8th..... she brought some 135s! No doubt at all that they'd have made (at least...and we're being VERY conservative here!!!) the 4 seconds difference. Right...are you back now...and sitting comfortably ready to hear what I reckon is the bee's knees as far as tubs are concerned? Remember, I've been around for a very long time! Even the guys in the warehouse can't remember Clement 1s, Wolber Record Pistes or Pneus Dourdoignes. Dave did admit to having heard of Soyos although Julian thought this was something you put on chicken noodles - bless him! So....THE tub in number one spot as far as I'm concerned has to be the Dugast! I actually managed to touch some during the week and I'm still on a high! I couldn't actually persuade Dave to let me walk out of the warehouse with a pair because he seems to be getting quite attached to them so if you get some sadistic kick out of seeing a grown man cry (yep that's you Dave!), do me a favour guys and buy some! You won't be disappointed because they are one heck of a tub. FYI Andre Dugast used to work for Pneus Dourdoigne and anyone who was as sad as I was to see the demise of that fabulous company will be pleased to know that the Dugast tub is something very similar to those they used to produce.....even better this time around though due to the technological improvements that have taken place over the years. I simply can't rate them highly enough! Hutchinson used Dugast in the National 10 this year...Dawson used Dugast in one of his superfast 100s (and I mean superfast....like sub 3-25) a couple of years ago....they can't be wrong can they? So if you've got the dosh, that's what I think.....don't blame me if you puncture though. My lady friend who brought those S3Lite 135s has since ridden the National 50. There were 3 DNFs in the event due to punctures......I haven't heard from her since and I haven't got the balls to mail her to ask how she got on!

6 July 2007

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