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  1. #1
    the actual el guapo atomship47's Avatar
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    gravel road tires for my build

    i've almost got everything for my build. it's a steel roadie that can handle up to 35mm tires. i want a set of wheels that i can ride on loose gravel roads as well as the occasional rough paved road.

    2 questions;

    a) should i go with 32's or 35's?

    b) which of the following would you recommend?

    -ritchey speedmax cross 32mm
    -irc mythos cx 35mm
    -ritchey speedmax delta 35mm



    all cost the same. speedmax get great reviews but i like that the mythos' have a max psi of 90
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  2. #2
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomship47 View Post
    i've almost got everything for my build. it's a steel roadie that can handle up to 35mm tires. i want a set of wheels that i can ride on loose gravel roads as well as the occasional rough paved road.

    2 questions;

    a) should i go with 32's or 35's?

    b) which of the following would you recommend?

    -ritchey speedmax cross 32mm
    -irc mythos cx 35mm
    -ritchey speedmax delta 35mm



    all cost the same. speedmax get great reviews but i like that the mythos' have a max psi of 90
    It's not going to be hugely different either way. I'd go with the 35mm for a little more cushion and a little better capability in sand but the difference would be subtle.
    Stuart Black
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Just what do you mean by gravel roads?

    If you're talking about crushed limestone as is common on rail/trail conversions, that's the next thing to blacktop and I'd go with the 32's.

    If you're talking about 1" gravel as is common on rural roads, wider is better.

  4. #4
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    Keep in mind some 35s measure ~30 wide, some 32s measure ~29 wide, etc...but not all brands are like this, I've just learned that the rim width seems to matter as well. Wide rims (25?) might not make the tire go narrower than spec. Anyway, I'd go with the widest that would fit but leave some space in case you break a spoke and the wheel goes out of true while you're on the road. Otherwise it'll rub the frame, unless you can re-true the wheel out in the wild.

  5. #5
    the actual el guapo atomship47's Avatar
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    "unless you can re-true the wheel out in the wild"

    heck, i can't re-true at home on a stand!

    by gravel roads i mean gravel roads, not rails to trails.

    speaking of truing wheels, i got a set of open pros on ultegra hubs at performance for $200. if they aren't true, is it reasonable to ask peformance to true them?

    one other question, i bought an oem cannondale chrome finished stem on ebay for $11. i can't find any distinguishing marks, codes, numbers, etc. other than "cannondale" etched on the side. any idea who cannondale uses to make their "branded" stems?




    i can't wait to get everything together. i have everything except for tires, tubes and a matching seatpost (i'm going with a silver thomson elite). i got pretty awesome deals on just about everything that i had to buy. i didn't have to buy too much. i pirated a bunch of parts off of my z35. next project will be to upgrade my cf. i already have the bars (newtons), dr's (force), brifters (rival) and saddle (terry falcon). haven't decided on a crankset yet.
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    Your exact opposite is the Televangelist.

    Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Capitalist Pig, the Smartass, and the Sociopath.

  6. #6
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    I have Continental Contact 32's on my bike. They have tread like a car tire, works great on pavement, fine on the few loose roads I've been down.

  7. #7
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    Be careful using 35c tires on narrow road rims (like 15mm): http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html#width

    Also, check out the bottom of: http://www.schwalbetires.com/tech_info/tire_dimensions

    It's generally okay to use wider tires than the charts say (very common on today's mountain bikes), but it's recommended to not fill the tires to the max PSI. This works for mountain bikes, but not so much for road bikes if you're going for speed on smooth roads.

    Anyway, depending on your rim width and the pressure you want your tires to be at, you may have a limited tire size.

  8. #8
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    So I'd want to know what percentage of time spent on each type of surface. I had decided I spend 90% of my time on paved roads, but occasionally encounter gravel or fire road surfaces. I waffle between 25 and 28 for my ideal tires. 25's can be a little squirrelly on large gravel, but I might tolerate the rare cases in order to get much better efficiency on pavement. If I think there *might* be gravel on a particular trip, I go with 28. If I'm pretty sure there won't be, I go with 25. And I've never opted for the 32's on my tourers. (however my SS beater has 32's and I love that bike).
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  9. #9
    dbg
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    forgot to mention; I mostly do light touring. Loaded is a whole nother deal.

  10. #10
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    Slicks like the Conti mentioned above would work well. I like riding Schwalbe Marathon tyres offroad. The similar Kenda Eurotrek was good enough to cross the French Alps on mtb trails I usually ride 23mm on gravel though

  11. #11
    the actual el guapo atomship47's Avatar
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    according to the specs, the 35's should work on my rims.

    this set up is going to be for riding by galena, il. if you know the area, it's very hilly with poorly paved roads and quite a few gravel roads. on a 25 mile ride, i may ride 5-10 miles on loose gravel.

    i found some steel bead ritchey speedmax cx tires online for $11.88. they're 35. if i decide i want to go to 32, it won't be that big of a loss.
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    Your exact opposite is the Televangelist.

    Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Capitalist Pig, the Smartass, and the Sociopath.

  12. #12
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Where did you find the ritcheys for $11.88? That sounds like a really good deal.

  13. #13
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    i really liked my speed max's but they are really not good on wet pavement, otherwise very good for mixed surfaces

  14. #14
    the actual el guapo atomship47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    Where did you find the ritcheys for $11.88? That sounds like a really good deal.
    niagara bicycle works

    again, they're wire bead. the kevlar bead is about double that price.
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    Your exact opposite is the Televangelist.

    Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Capitalist Pig, the Smartass, and the Sociopath.

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