Specialized S-Works Turbo RapidAir The Beginning of the End for Tubulars?

For the last century, tubulars have been the tire of choice for the pro peloton. They are valued for their lower rolling resistance and for not getting pinch flats. But Specialized thinks it is about to finally end the reign of the tubular tire. The overthrow is at the hands of a tubeless tire called the S-Works Turbo RapidAir. It’s already race proven with Deceuninck-Quickstep this season, having potentially saved a stage four win for Fabio Jakobsen in the Tour of California after a flat self-sealed. And the team used the tires with great success at this year’s Tour de France.


Specialized is not new to the tire game; in fact, a tire was the company’s first product back in 1976. The tubeless Turbo RapidAir has better cornering than the comparable Specialized SW Turbo Allround Tubular in both wet and dry conditions thanks to thicker sidewalls. The new tubeless tire has lower rolling resistance as well thanks to a more-supple crown. To achieve all these benefits, the Turbo RapidAir has just two casing layers instead of the three used in most tire construction.

In addition to being faster and cornering better, the RapidAir brings the proven benefits of tubeless tires: the ability to run at lower tire pressures and reduced flats thanks to sealant. Look for them in stores in the Fall.

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