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Finally pulled the trigger and bought a CX bike. They come with a pretty nice clincher set up but since I've ridden tubulars on my road bike forever I'm wanting to purchase a tubular set up.

Generally speaking would I be better off building or buying a tubular set up with wider rims than traditional road rim width?

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if you're ridden with tubulars forever, you're probably familiar with the ups and downs of tubies...so go for it, for racing. also, check out tubeless, which could be a good solution if you don't mind playing around. you could prob. use your current wheels and convert them, and might have a good system for training or maybe racing.
I don't think wider rims will make any difference. A disadvantage to a wider rim would be the need to readjust your brakes if you use the clinchers for training. Also, using a standard rim makes a wheel swap with a neutral wheel from the pit an option whereas a wider rim may yield a brake adjustment problem. Make sure you follow the CX gluing procedure with tubies-different than road mounting due to the lower pressures used.
C-Note........

Not aware of a different "CX gluing procedure".

** Please elaborate.

I've always put a good coating on the rim then tacked up the tire-let them sit overnight and glued them on.

Also - its been mentioned to me that some folks are using the TUFO Extreme glue strips in conjunction with regular glue-preferably Vittoria.


You are correct, the downsides of a different rim size overcomplicates the situation.
Check this post I did about gluing cyclocross tires: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=12983926123&topic=6153

I used this set for 2 athletes (3 wheelsets) that competed in the UCI World Cyclocross Championships this year in the Netherlands. You have to use a knife to remove the tires from the rim and you can ride the flat tire all the way to the pit, should you need to ( not that we condone doing that on our Echappe wheels.)

HED is now making 23mm rims as the standard for their wheelsets. The HED Bastogne is a great wheelset for 'cross. The New HED Stingers might be suitable, too however we haven't tried any fat tires on the new wheels. The proto guys at HED did try them this season for 'cross and they claim the wheels are awesome. We'll definitely try to get a set or two ready for 'cross in September.
My SS set up is tubeless Michilen Mud II on salsa delgado cross rims - I tried tubeless on Mavic xp 30's and didn't have as much success with the narrow rim. That said I'm a firm believer in tubular set ups.
Wider rims do make a difference in both how the tire performs and aiding in increased tire contact with the rim.
A wider rim allows for a better anchor so there's less tire roll during hard cornering. Check out a high performance sports car tire mounted on a rim. You'll see less tire overlap over the rim. Under hard cornering there's less tire roll which increases contact performance.

Additionally the problem with standard rims is that they are more concave than the tire is convex leads to less tire gluing contact. Tufo tires suffer from this problem more than others.

Having to readjust the brakes is a very minor detail and in reality it will make you more attentive to brake pad adjustment. As brake pads wear down you may have to readjust the pads for better contact.

Riding a good cyclocross tubular at a course specific tire pressure will lead to a larger performance gain over your road tubulars vs road clinchers.

Another area of increased performance is TPI. Most tubulars have a higher thread count over clinchers which makes for a better performing tire especially at low tire pressures.
Outstanding reply to my question. I've had some folks say you can use the standard width rim but that just didn't make sense to me.

Thanks..............
Alex makes some clincher rims that are a little wider than the norm (22.6). I got a set of Alex ACE-19's on a Singlecross that I purchased. They are quite heavy (500g+), but they ride nicely. I think they are fairly inexpensive.

To me the handling feel was not terribly different, but noticable vs. my other wheelset (build to mavic xp33 rims, which are 19.6 width).

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