Tubular vs Clincher – Complete Guide on 8 Major Differences


In this post we will explore the comparison between Tubular vs Clincher. When we talk about bike tires these are your choices. So, it is a common question among the bikers and especially if you are new to the world of road bikes that why there are two types of tires. As both tires, Tubular and clincher are the same in their appearance but work they perform in a very different way. So, each of them involved its features.

Tubular tires:

Let us start with tubular tires.  Tubular tires are completely enclosed tires glued on the rim of the wheel because without binding they can move around the wheel. So, it’s dangerous to ride on an unglued tubular because the tire can come off from the rim in this condition and they can move around. 

They are completely round in shape and there is no open part of the tire that needs to be clinched. They are too expensive and need more effort to repair a puncture because firstly a tire needs to be removed from the rim, sewn up back, and then glued back to the rim.

They look the same as the clincher but the work they performed differently. They don’t need any exchangeable tube because all the air inside an inner tube is built into the tire itself. They are more adjusted towards performance than all-purpose riding.

They are light in weight so professional bikers are more likely to use them. As they feel light so they can provide overall comfort to bikers while riding. So, they are ideal for racing crowds especially if you are a bike racer and looking for a lightweight tire for racing then it could be fit for you.

Tubular vs clincher
Tubular vs clincher


Clincher tires are a common and popular kind of tire and they are mostly present in bikes nowadays. Clinchers are available in more formal patterns.

It is usually constructed with a bead that is placed into the wheel with a rim. In clincher tires, the tire and tube are separated and clinched with the rim through the wire-reinforced line of the tire over the metallic beads over the rim. 

A clincher rim usually has a side structure that grasps the external lining in place, along with the main tube used to expand the tire.  They are cheaper and need less effort for repairing and maintenance than other tier types.

 Difference between Clincher and Tubular:

  • Well, the tubular wheels look like clinchers by appearance, but the work they do is very different.
  • Clincher tires are two-piece tires, on the contrary, the tubular tiers are one-piece tiers.
  • Clinchers tiers are mostly found in the formal design and tubes are apart from one another.
  • On the other side, tubular wheels are one-piece construction, and their ends are sewed with each other on the central parts and they are tied to the rim by glue.
  • Tubular tires are more difficult to repair than a clincher.
  • Tubular tires are more expensive than clincher tires. But they are good in performance and give a smooth and quality ride to the rider.
  • Clinchers are heavier than tubular tires because they have heavier rolling resistance than tubular tires and they are easy to fix.
What's an open tubular
What’s an open tubular

Pros and Cons of tubular tires:


The body of tubular tires is sewn together making the tire/tube a whole that is glued to its rim. So most of the time a tubular tire is lighter in weight. 

If glued properly then the tier will stay longer on the rim.

 one of the great advantages of tubular tires is that they have great immunity against to pinch flats.

Tubular tires make your bike feel very comfortable and smoother.


Good tubular tires are partly hand made so they are costly.

They need to be glued to the rim. To fix the punctured tubular tires you need the removal of rim tape, then cut the sewing, pulling the tube out to the patch, then stitch it back up and again attaching the rim tape. So, it takes a lot of time.

Mostly bikers bought new sew-ups rather than patching them again.

Generally, tubular tires have more rolling resistance than clinchers tires. So tubular tires are racing tires, and they are not convenient for street riding.

Pros and cons of clincher tiers:


The clincher tires are easier to mount and they can easily fix a flat.  You can easily take off the tube and either patch it or replace it.  So, they are less expensive wheels.

These tiers are a good choice for many riders because tiers and tubes are ubiquitous.

The clincher tiers can easily be maintained and are repaired with a simple process.

These tiers are less expensive and easy to fix.

They are more commonly used in bikes because they are easier to patch on the road.


For clincher tires, if you are flat, you can’t ride on it.

The clincher tires are usually heavier in weight.

More difficult to change a fiat.


Conclusion on Tubular vs clincher:

Normally, both kinds of tiers, whether they are a tubular tier or a clincher, have their advantages and disadvantages. The Tubular wheels are light, efficient, and give a smoother ride. They give puncture-resistant more than clincher tires.

On another side, Clincher tires are available in formal design and they are less expensive, easier to fix, and do not need a lot of glue to connect them over the wheel. Generally, the clincher wheels can move faster than tubular wheels.

The top-quality part about tubular wheels is that they can give you the chance to run at a very low-pressure level through which they can give you a fast and smoother ride. They are usually harder to maintain and repair. They also take a lot of time while changing tires.

So, they are less commonly used tiers on the other side, clinchers are more commonly used for riding on bikes as a general standard because Tubular Tires link to the rim by the glue, whereas clinchers connect by the external wheel clinching. But the tubular wheels are still used all around as they can provide you with a quality and smoother ride with cornering performance.

We hope we were able to sub up the Tubular vs clincher debate concisely and efficiently. please head over to our blog for more exciting content about biking.

Mark Webster is bike enthusiast and researcher in bike industry from last 15 years. Mark had been working in different bike manufacturing companies for research and development of new models. Mark has mission to make bike design safest for bikers. The dream of Mark is to make bikes too mainstream that we can reduce global carbon emissions.

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