I'd pretty much sworn off tubies since I went through two of them in the span of a month last year. Too damned much money to blow. That was on my road bike, but still. When determining what setup I was going to do for my cross bike this year, I decided to just keep running the Ksyrium clinchers like I have for the past few years. Damned reliable wheel that need no maintenance, zero expense so I could spend a little more and get a good clincher setup and STILL be money ahead.
That all changes for next year. At the Lafayette cross race I was duking it out for 7th place when I started to feel a little squishy in corners. Turns out I had a slow leak and I was in the semi-fortunate position to be about 60 seconds away from the wheel pit. I rolled in to the pit, spotted my buddy's spare wheelset, grabbed the rear and threw it on my bike. Maybe it was lower pressure (which is a benefit to riding tubies!), but that tired just hooked up. It felt way better at a lower pressure than my clincher did at that same pressure, and I wasn't bottoming out, either. So now I'm sold.
The other benefit to running tubies is that I'll be building these wheels, which has become somewhat of a joy for me. Granted it seems like I never have enough time to devote to build a wheel and I'm still pretty freaking slow at it, but it's pretty fun and I always love being able to say "yeah, I built that." Craftsmanship is still very much appreciated by me. The devil is in the details, as they say.
This segways nicely into my next thought.
The devil is in the details, for sure. Kinda like passing the brake cable through the integrated seat post on the Speedvagen from Vanilla bicycles (speedvagen.com or vanillabicycles.com):
I'm by no means trying to take credit, but I've always wondered why TT bikes don't do that, even to the point of drilling the post through the seat tube. Seriously, a 3mm hole is not going to compromise a bike. If nothing less, it just cleans up the look so much.
This goes double for the front brake cable routing... look really closely:
Yeah, I like craftsmanship. That's all for now.