Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - Is there a "buyers guide" for CX tires anywhere? Recommendations for my use?
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02-21-12, 04:59 AM
I was wondering if any knows of a somewhat comprehensive list CX tires.
While would like something like this for my own knowledege here is what I am currently in the market for... mostly general purpose on road commuter use. I would also like the option of riding some dry trails if I choose to. Sweet color options are a plus (got red?). I've been riding 25mm road tires and they work great for commuter use but not so much for anything else.
02-21-12, 06:22 AM
CX Magazine website has a good page about tire reviews, but they're more racing oriented: http://www.cxmagazine.com/category/cyclocross-tech/cyclocross-gear-bike-reviews/cyclocross-components-reviews/cyclocross-tire-reviews-tubular-clincher-tubeless
Cyclocrossworld.com (http://www.cyclocrossworld.com) retails them and has a good selection: http://www.cyclocrossworld.com/clincher-tires
My LBS's owner rides Ritchey Speedmax (file tread) for the same scenario that you described and loves them.
Personally, I tried Kenda Small-Block 8s and found that they hummed alot on pavement, and didn't do well in mud, but dirt/grass riding did great.
I had a lot of success with both Maxxis Mudwrestlers, and am trying Michelin Mud 2s right now. The Maxxis wore pretty quickly onroad, but did great as a GP offroad tire. The Michelin Muds did great yesterday on a bunch of single track, and didn't seem to wear very quickly onroad, but the jury's still out.
02-21-12, 06:58 AM
Consider touring tires for mixed on & off road. The Panaracer T serve PT come in red, but might be hard to find.
Vittoria Randonneur Hyper & Vittoria Randonneur Cross Pro: http://www.vittoria.com/product/city-trekking/
Schwalbe Dureme: http://www.schwalbetires.com/node/2666
Schwalbe Marathon Racer: http://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/road_tires/marathon_racer_429
Continental Top Contact: http://www.conti-online.com/generator/www/de/en/continental/bicycle/themes/city/trekking/topcontact/topcont_en.html
Panaracer Ritmo and T serv PT: http://www.panaracer.com/urban.php
I’ll also add the Performance Forté Metro-K Road: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1070099_-1___
- Ritchey Speedmax Delta
- Continental Cyclocross Plus
- Continental Race King
- Kenda Small Block 8
- Kenda Slant 6
- Kendal Kross Supreme
- Schwalbe Smart Sam
The Ritchey Speedmax is the best for mostly paved use. The continuous center tread rolls really well. It also has good intermediate tread (originally had "knob" here, but it's not technically a knob) so it handles consistently when cornering in the dirt. The Schwalbe Smart Sam would be my second favorite, except it has a big advantage-- you can get it in 40 and 45mm widths. (Ritchey's biggest is 35mm.) If you have the clearance, my opinion is that the 40 and 45mm tire rolls pretty well on pavement and the extra meat is a *big* advantage in the dirt. You can stop reading now, honestly, and just buy one of those two tires. :D Pair them with Mr Tuffy Ultra Light liners if you live in an area with goathead thorns like me.
The Contis wear really fast and have small, very sparse knobs that are terrible on loose-over-hardpack. The Cyclocross Plus is also the heaviest cross tire I've ever used and yet it wasn't all that thornproof. I loved the 26x2.2" Race King but was really underwhelmed by the 700x35 version.
The Kenda Small Block 8 is a good all-around tire but it's very fragile. Expect a lot of thorns and if you get into big rocks expect a sidewall tear eventually. The Slant 6 is better offroad but the tread pattern kinda sucks on a 35mm cross tire. It works well on the 29x2 and larger. I wouldn't recommend the Kenda Kross Supreme in any conditions. It has tall, sparse, soft knobs that really suck on pavement and hardpack... you can feel them squirming and I had no confidence cornering. I hardly ride any mud so maybe that is a niche for it, but I hated this tire and removed it after low miles.
02-23-12, 03:23 PM
Hey thanks for the input everyone, I looked into all of them. It looks like the Ritchey SpeedMax Deltas (file tread) got two experienced votes. There wasn't anything available in a wider tire (wider than 25) that also came in red so I gave up on that. I looked at prices on some of them and the Ritchey's were among the least. Looks like I'm going to try them in 700 x 35. Ican't bring myself to commit to wider at this time so we'll see what happens.
You guys really helped on this one.
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