The tire that most of us are familiar with is the clincher tire. The clincher tire consists an inner tube and a tire. The tire has a “bead” on each outer edge of the tire. On most tires, the beads consist of hoops of steel wire. The beads are what hold the tire in place on the rim.


The tubular , or sew up, tire is a one piece system where a tire is sewn together around the inner tube. Tubulars are used on special rims and are held to the rim by glue or two sided tape.


Clincher Pros

  • Easy to change when flatting
  • Easy to repair tube when flatting
  • Less expensive to replace than tubulars
  • Easy to carry spare tube and tools for changing a flat

Clincher Cons

  • Heavier than tubulars
  • Cannot inflate with as much tire pressure increasing roll resistance – some would debate if higher tire pressure makes a difference.
  • Not as comfortable of a ride
  • Pinch flat when putting a new tire and tube on wheel or pinch flat while riding


Tubular Pros

  • Lighter
  • Better rolling resistance due to higher inflation limit
  • Fewer flats because you don’t pinch flat
  • Some say they are easy to change but that is the big debate
  • More comfortable ride
  • Can put a light weight silicon liquid in tire so if you do flat the silicon liquid seals the hole allowing you to ride on

Tubular Cons

  • More expensive than clinchers
  • Hard to change while on the road
  • Hard to repair if punctured. Most people throw them away
  • Need to carry a complete spare tubular which adds weight and is bulky
  • If you replace a tubular on the road, you need to be careful cornering until you are able to re-glue
  • Improperly glued tubulars can roll off the rim causing a crash