What is the hose?
The tubular is in a way the ancestor of the modern tire with its separate inner tube. Everyone has in mind these old images of the Tour de France with a rider climbing a pass with a hose slung over his shoulder.
To put it simply, a tubular consists of an inner tube sewn or glued to an external structure and a tread. It is a kind of tire but all in one. They must be mounted on special tubular rims and glued to the latter with a suitable glue or double-sided adhesive.
The tubular is intended for road cyclists looking for speed and performance thanks to its higher inflation capacity than a tire (11 bars). It is very popular for the time trial type competition or for cycling events on the track.
As for the weight, there is debate. Count around 250g for a tubular and around 300g for a tyre+tube. The difference between the two is tiny, but it is in the weight of the rims that the tubular stands out. Indeed, classic rims are generally reinforced at the bead wires and therefore significantly heavier than tubular rims.
In terms of comfort and driving impression, the tubular is still and very largely above the tire. The latter being glued to the rim over its entire width, it offers better shock absorption and a really clean and comfortable feeling of rolling.
It is also appreciated for its absence of punctures by pinching (of the inner tube).
They are complex to install (or in any case you have to get the hang of it!) The assembly is indeed a little longer than for a tire. You have to clean the old traces of glue (thanks to a special solvent ) on the rim and wait 24 hours for the glue to dry before you can ride. This therefore makes the repair difficult if you are on the side of the road… Note that you need a different glue for carbon rims or aluminum rims.
However, some casings offer a self-adhesive solution.