I've seen several manufacturers, like challenge, offering what they call an 'Open Tubular' tire. How is this different from a standard clincher tire?

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    So--still confused--what holds the air? A tube or the tire itself? when you flat, do you replace the entire tire?
    – Laura KP
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 19:07

1 Answer 1


An "open tubular" is basically a tubular tire with clincher beads instead of being sewn. They use the same materials as the sewups, so in theory should offer some of the same advantages as tubular tires.

However, most of the pro's of a tubular (lighter weight, less rolling resistance, tire will stay on when flat) are voided because they've turned a tubular into a clincher. Plus, there are many modern clincher tires that have just as little or even less rolling resistance than a tubular (in some specific cases).

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    Maybe you should mention that you can mount these on clincher-type rims instead of flat-bedded tubular rims.
    – arne
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 7:28
  • I'm guesing if you flat, you need an entire replacement open-tubular not just a tube ?
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 6:08
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    It's a marketing term for clinchers that are meant to be as light and supple/easy rolling as clinchers. Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 23:51
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    @VladimirF can you provide an example of an “open tubular” with an integrated tube? Because that’s not at all how I’ve seen the term used. I’ve always understood it to mean essentially a handmade clincher tire — you know the ones with an exposed yellowish fabric casing, 320 TPI thread count or thereabouts, and whereas most clinchers are molded in the shape of a (mounted) tire, these come out of the box more like a flat strip of sidewall/casing fabric, with a bead on each side and tread glued onto the middle; latex tubes sold separately.
    – Pisco
    Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 0:50
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    @Pisco I was indeed confused in my English terminology. I had tubular clinchers as made by Tufo road.cc/content/review/… in mind and open tubulars are what you described. My confusion was reinforced by Criggie's comment above. Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 6:24

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