Mountain Biking - Do people still ride "semi-slicks" ?
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07-16-09, 12:06 PM
You know, the kind that are almost smooth in the center, maybe a little cross-hatching, and have some knobs on the sides? I've got a pair of them stashed away, just wondered if they have been rejected as a thoroughly bad idea?
07-16-09, 01:31 PM
They're unbelievably good for paved surfaces compared to knobby trail tires. But I would never use them on anything beyond a smooth dirt road.
When they came out, I was under the impression that they were made as a XC race-specific tire. You put it on, it's fast rolling, hop on the podium, then discard it not much long after and replace with another one for the next race. Come to think of it, I hardly see those tires nowadays.
Probably not a bad idea for the XC tracks of old, but things have changed since the sport was included in the Olympics. XC race loops these days seem to have evolved toward higher grades of difficulty with really steep DH descends where full-knobbies are a must. I think the TV networks had a lot to do with this trend to make the sport more appealing to spectators...
07-16-09, 04:28 PM
Skip them on the DH runs though.
Just put some on today actually, Continental Travel Contacts. We're doing a week-long trip beginning on Saturday, mostly roads but with some light trails. They should be ideal. I've already noticed a big difference on roads, the smooth center is so much faster than my previous XC tyres. They should stand up to the strain too, Kevlar beaded. I'll let you know how it goes.
Skip them on the DH runs though.But keep 'em handy for the rails-to-trails runs on the DH bike :)
I'll probably throw on my 2.5 Short Trackers (http://www.kendausa.com/bicycle/mountain.html) next time I go riding the paved paths with my wife on the Blindside.
07-16-09, 06:34 PM
There's no doubt they run better on roads than knobby tyres, but I'm curious if they're much better off-road than slicks? I always assumed the tread on a semi-slick was a bit of a gimmick. My normal tyres are essentially slicks (Specialized Borough CX), and I find them fine off road as long as it's not muddy. The biggest problem is not cornering, it's getting up steep, gravelly or dusty climbs, and semi-slicks aren't going to help there anyway.
Those tires were intended for hard pack XC race courses, and they worked pretty well for that, but they pretty much sucked everywhere else. They're a one trick pony.
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