I had a bad experience with a Taiwanese Gita tubulars of recent manufactor. Though these are impressed with the word "Clement" in the sidewall rubber, I guess they aren't like the old Clements (cheaper, too, though). The one I got from a friend's shop locally was recommended as a reliable inexpensive tubular, but after less than 200 miles, I'd guess, I noticed this afternoon that the tread was separating in several places along the herringbone edges, in one inch or longer slits, and the underlying ply cords were splitting so the tire was bulging. Didn't silk ply tubulars act like that when ridden in the rain (but these are cheap cotton ply) ?
This tire was used on the back of my fixed gear lugged steel Miyata and was not subject to any unusual conditions the few times I rode it. Perhaps it was over-inflated at some point - there were no recommended pressures on the tire, but I kept it around 105psi ? The tire was a Gita "Pronto" recommended for road use on my fixed gear by the local shop folks. The ply cord tore, in several different places along one side edge where the tread was curving, and the black rubber split as the tire bulged out above the splits. Good thing I caught it, eh ? :-)
Glenn Jordan - Durham, NC