tubulars are pretty expensive and hard to repair. the cotton or silk casing often can rot or dry out and become brittle. curious to hear if anyone does anything special to avoid either? in CA it gets dry during the summer. haven't had many issues but want to avoid them. other areas often get damp.
barge cement has been used as a protector...but anyone do something else? keep in wheel bags?
I make sure the tubular is completely clean and dry, then put it in a plastic bag and store it OUT OF THE SUN. If you want your tubulars that are already mounted on your bike to last longer, do keep them clean and out of the sun. By following these precautions, I've been able to keep my Challenge Grifo's alive for multiple years!
I'd think that the solvents in the glue are actually not very good for the sidewall.
I had lunch with Donn from Challenge and he suggested just keeping your tubulars clean and dry, as Christine suggests. He said the worst thing to do is after a race throw them in right away into wheel bags. Instant rot! Scrape the dirt and mud off, dry them, and then store. The sidewall material has an impact too as well. Cotton/Poly blends (Dugast) are likely to rot easier than a synthetic (Challenge). Makes sense if you've every soaked a cotton t-shirt for a long time, as opposed to a synthetic shirt.