Anyone have first-hand racing experience with these that they'd care to share. I'm seriously considering the Limus version - which is a tubular-clincher (aka 'open tubular') with high TPI casing and the same tred as the regular tubbie.
My deal is that I've had relatively bad luck with Tubulars - and wind up rolling them mid-way through a wet season (like we had here in the North East this past year). I'm a larger rider (6'1 200lbs) which also contributes to the problem. I don't want to run tubless since I feel it's even more sketchy and clinchers either bounce me around the course or wind up pinch-flatting - so I thought the Open tubulars might be a good compromise. Also - I'm a lower CAT 4 racer so I don't need 'best of breed' technology - just something reliable with good performance.
As far as I know only Tufo make the tubular clinchers as you post seems to refer to. All other companies that have "open tubulars" are actually just how they refer to clincher tires. I remember a few people trying to run the tufos years ago and they quickly ditched them as there was a high pressure necessary to keep them on the rim.
On the flipside of this my wife raced on Challenge tubulars while training on the Challenge clinchers and was extremely happy with them. I they did wear faster than other cross clinchers, but that is a trade off you often face with quality tires that use a softer rubber for better grip.
I know it's not what you are asking, but what wheels are you running? I am 6'3 190 and had problems folding (34c) Grifo's on my escapes... switched to major toms, and no problems... the extra gluing surface REALLY helps... especially noted when trying to dismount tires haha
I think it might be a good idea to find a friend that also runs tubulars for 'cross and go through the whole process with him or her on how they glue their tires on. It is definitely more of a process than what I've heard of people that use tubies on the road... Also your glue might be an issue - I've had absolutely fantastic results with Vittoria Mastik and now just buy it by the can. Previously I've used Panacement and Wolber with mixed results. In both cases the glue seems to "dry" out faster than the Mastik.
So anyway, maybe before switching to clinchers again change your glue to Mastik and give it one more round!
And for what it's worth, the only time I ever used an open tubular from Challenge I popped the bead off the rim in a USGP when I was placed very well at the time. I'm also 6'3" and race at about 190-195 lbs, so it isn't like I flirt with crazy low pressures (especially on clichers).
Give Mastik a try.
For what it's worth a friend of my mine is also a big dude and rides Major toms with no problems. Might not be the lightest wheel depending on what hubs you get it with, but they're cheap, they're durable. What else could you want!
it's not light, but you can build up MT's with tiagra hubs ($30 if you shop online), 120 for hoops (ebay), and $75 for spokes/nipples (DT COMP/REV), just shy of 1800g. Still lighter and cheaper than many clincher setups (for example aksiums). Plus, clinchers+tubes usually weigh more than the tubular counterpart. At 200lbs (like me), you won't miss the 200 or so grams.
You 'CAN' build up the MT's with your escape spokes... depending on what spoke length you got for your orig build. It is really close, but with a thread or 2 left, i was able to get the right spoke tension when i had to build up a MT rear when i busted an escape on short notice (LBS had hoop in stock, no spokes)
The above setup on 32 3x is nearly indestructable if you ask me