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Old 06-12-07, 03:31 PM   #1
VT Biker
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Light Weight Road Tubes

Question for those experienced with racing. I am taking part in my first race, so please forgive the ignorance here. The race is the a 63 mile road race, with an expected temperature of around the mid-90's (in the shade, so it will feel hotter in the sun an out on the road.

I am running Michelin Pro 2 Light tires, which are 700 x 23 sized tires. My current tubes are 700 20/25. However, I purchased some ligher weight racing tubes, but they are sized for 700 18/23. Now, I know that technically, the race tube is sized tto fit a 700x23 tire. But my concern is durability in the race. I have no extra wheel set, so if I flat, I am done. My question for you guys is this.

(a) Should I even use a race tire, or due to the lack of a quick wheel change, should I stick with Continental Gatorskins?
(b) Do I run a greater risk of flatting because the race tube just barely is sized to fit my Michelin Pro 2 tires?
(c) Should I use the more robust tube, for durability, especially given the extreme heat of the race?
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Old 06-12-07, 03:35 PM   #2
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a) Yes - run the good tires
b) No - tires, not tubes, prevent flats
c) No

How is your first race 63miles? Very long for a lower cat race..
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Old 06-12-07, 03:54 PM   #3
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the weight of your tires isnt going to affect the outcome of FIRST race so just use what you are already comfortable with
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Old 06-12-07, 04:15 PM   #4
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I always feel a lot more comfortable on armadillos/gator skins during road races, flats hurt your day a lot more than a heavier, harder riding tire.. there is a new "racing" armadillo I just got.. i like them a lot so far.
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Old 06-12-07, 05:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enthalpic
a) Yes - run the good tires
b) No - tires, not tubes, prevent flats
c) No

How is your first race 63miles? Very long for a lower cat race..
http://www.cyclingevents.com/HugoRR/

Hugo is the longest Road Race in Colorado.

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Old 06-12-07, 06:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmotoguy
there is a new "racing" armadillo I just got
really? i never liked descending on armadillos since they have that ridge that can make them jumpy when you lean way over in a turn. but i'll have to check out these new ones since you cant beat the puncture resistance or tread life.
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Old 06-13-07, 09:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmotoguy
I always feel a lot more comfortable on armadillos/gator skins during road races, flats hurt your day a lot more than a heavier, harder riding tire.. there is a new "racing" armadillo I just got.. i like them a lot so far.

After giving it some thought, I am going to ditch the race tires and put the Gatorskins on them. I am adding an extra 120 grams going from the Pro2 Lights. However, I flatted (and gouged a hole in the top of the tire) on the second ride and only 110 miles into using the tire. I guess if this were a TT or Hill Climb, I might be more tempted to use the Michelin tires. But since regardless of the tire, I am going to hang with the main group until the final couple of miles, I am more in line with dmtotguy: better to ride the entire race than to flat 25 miles into the race.
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Old 06-13-07, 09:12 AM   #8
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The Gatorskins might be overkill.

I raced in an RR with 6 miles of dirt road on a pair of Specialized Mondo S-Works--no problems.

Get some Conti GP4000's or some other light/fast clincher with decent flat protection (the Pro2Race isn't bad either) and you'll be fine. Either way, though, the tires won't significantly impact the outcome of your first race, as others have said.

Good luck at the race, and know that I don't envy you for starting your racing career in CO. I'm sure there are plenty of newbie cat 5's out there who could smoke me.
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Old 06-13-07, 09:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPete
The Gatorskins might be overkill.

I raced in an RR with 6 miles of dirt road on a pair of Specialized Mondo S-Works--no problems.

Get some Conti GP4000's or some other light/fast clincher with decent flat protection (the Pro2Race isn't bad either) and you'll be fine. Either way, though, the tires won't significantly impact the outcome of your first race, as others have said.

Good luck at the race, and know that I don't envy you for starting your racing career in CO. I'm sure there are plenty of newbie cat 5's out there who could smoke me.

Thanks for the tip Dr. Pete. When I originally purchased the Pro2 Lights, I did not realize just how fragile they were, and that they really are more ideal for shorter TT and Hill Climb rides where the odds of flatting are less, and where you are pushing it every mile (and thus, rolling resistance has more of an impact than on a long road race). I will look at the Continental GP4000's. I seem to have had really good luck Continentals.

Another guy I ride with on the weekends is entering this same race. He has riden another Newbie race and said there are always a few Triathletes who have the conditioning to be CAT 3 or 2 racers, but since they are just starting out, start out as CAT 4 (ACA is the racing organization in Colorado, so we start out with CAT 4 for some reason). As such, my goal is to hang with the main group, and try to come in the top three of the main bunch. I am sure 4 - 5 guys will pull away immediately and leave all of us in the back.

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Old 06-13-07, 09:39 AM   #10
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VT Biker, I've been meaning to ask - why is your font selection always changing? Good qustion otherwise....
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Old 06-13-07, 09:42 AM   #11
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VT Biker, I've been meaning to ask - why is your font selection always changing? Good qustion otherwise....

To mix it up a bit
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Old 06-13-07, 09:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VT Biker
Question for those experienced with racing. I am taking part in my first race, so please forgive the ignorance here. The race is the a 63 mile road race, with an expected temperature of around the mid-90's (in the shade, so it will feel hotter in the sun an out on the road.

I am running Michelin Pro 2 Light tires, which are 700 x 23 sized tires. My current tubes are 700 20/25. However, I purchased some ligher weight racing tubes, but they are sized for 700 18/23. Now, I know that technically, the race tube is sized tto fit a 700x23 tire. But my concern is durability in the race. I have no extra wheel set, so if I flat, I am done. My question for you guys is this.

(a) Should I even use a race tire, or due to the lack of a quick wheel change, should I stick with Continental Gatorskins?
(b) Do I run a greater risk of flatting because the race tube just barely is sized to fit my Michelin Pro 2 tires?
(c) Should I use the more robust tube, for durability, especially given the extreme heat of the race?
a - I say use your michelins, they're a race tire and this is a race, not because of weight or flatting, but because they handle better than a harder more "winter training or training" tire. If you flat, you flat, that's racing. Since this is a 64 mi. loop as opposed to a circuit, throw a tube/CO2 in your jersey pocket if you have a chance of getting stranded (i.e. support is lacking or doesnt sweep the course).
b - no.
c - no.

also, if you dont have representation in the feed zone, pack 4 bottles, 2 on the bike and one in ea. of your side jersey pockets. I'd be more concerned over hydration/nutrition in a longer race in hot conditions such as this than I would about getting a flat tire.

Race well, that looks like a great event.
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Old 06-13-07, 10:02 AM   #13
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To mix it up a bit1
Can't wait to hear about it on Monday, Good luck! WIth four turns over 63 miles, I think the Gators are a good choice.

BTW, loved that last font.
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Old 06-13-07, 10:26 AM   #14
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Can't wait to hear about it on Monday, Good luck! WIth four turns over 63 miles, I think the Gators are a good choice.

BTW, loved that last font.

It should be a rule that RyanF has to post in this font only. It would only add to his legend.
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Old 06-13-07, 10:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDcatV
a - I say use your michelins, they're a race tire and this is a race, not because of weight or flatting, but because they handle better than a harder more "winter training or training" tire. If you flat, you flat, that's racing. Since this is a 64 mi. loop as opposed to a circuit, throw a tube/CO2 in your jersey pocket if you have a chance of getting stranded (i.e. support is lacking or doesnt sweep the course).
b - no.
c - no.

also, if you dont have representation in the feed zone, pack 4 bottles, 2 on the bike and one in ea. of your side jersey pockets. I'd be more concerned over hydration/nutrition in a longer race in hot conditions such as this than I would about getting a flat tire.

Race well, that looks like a great event.
I concur about hydration, especially given the sun and temperatures this Saturday out in the plains. The flyer states that there is a support vehicle for each group. I am going to call and ask about this. There is a feed zone at Mile 32 as well, but I am not sure exactly what this means. Can I leave water bottles for pick up at the feed zone, take the 10 seconds, drop the empties, and grab the fresh water bottles?

As for the tires, since this may be my only race this season (time is an issue after June), I really want finish it, get the experience, and train to race competitively next season (I need more base riding). After having such a quick flatting experience on the Michelin's already, I am hesitent to use them for such a long race that notes in the flyer there is some rough road.

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Old 06-13-07, 11:34 AM   #16
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couple notes:
1. I have the same tires and flatted them many times in - 3 or 4 in 2 weeks. All due to cuts - had to throw out two tires with perhaps 30-40 hours of riding on them (i.e. plenty of tread) due to cuts and slashes in casing. I normally avoid glass, I wipe my tires, I know how to install tires/tubes correctly, etc.
2. When I ran slightly undersized tubes, I pinch flatted easier. I don't know why but I experienced this with mtb, road, and hybrid tires. Thin, light tubes get punctured easier - both sharpies and pinch flats.
3. To win you have to finish first. To finish, well, you have to finish.

Heat doesn't affect tube durability unless the tire isn't properly seated.

It seems your main goal is to finish and get a good ride in. You seem realistic about your fitness, training, etc. If that's the case, then ditch some of the risky things and go with what will make you feel confident of finishing. That peace of mind will make your day a lot less stressful. Try the race stuff out on a known loop at home or on a group ride and go from there.

good luck at the race,
cdr
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