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Old 11-12-04, 01:09 AM   #1
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Plastic or natural rubber?

I've been trying to find 26x1.20 to 26x1.35 slicks, with natural rubber. Four shops later, I have only found tyres with "plastic" rubber. Natural rubber is soft and moves with your finger if you rub it, while the fingers just slide over the plastic kind of rubber.
Only the off-road tyres seem to have proper rubber in them.

Should I give up? I just feel that the plastic kind of rubber will give me less traction, as it can't reshape itself to the road surface.
Do you ride with the plastic kind of rubber, and if so, what do you think of them?
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Old 11-12-04, 01:12 AM   #2
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You haven't heard of rubber durometer have you.
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Old 11-12-04, 02:10 AM   #3
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No, why?
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Old 11-12-04, 02:16 AM   #4
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The hardness of Rubber depends on the Durometer, the higher the number of the durometer, the harder the rubber is. Slick tires usually use a hard rubber durometer.
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Old 11-12-04, 02:35 AM   #5
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Well, what's that got to do with anything?
I want real rubber. I don't care that it wears out faster.
The question is, is that so rare that I should give up my search and just accept the plastic?
I've tried online stores as well, but for obvious reasons, I can't feel the rubber there...
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Old 11-12-04, 05:53 AM   #6
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This article by Sheldon Brown may help you... http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tyres.html

The whole page is chock-a-block with information, but I found this to be particularly intersting from your point of view:

"Butyl vs Latex

"Before World War 2, tyres and tubes were made from natural latex rubber, harvested from tropical trees. When the supply of natural latex was insecure during the war, a substitute, "butyl" was invented. Butyl turned out to be a very successful substitute, better, in fact, than latex for this application. All modern tyres and most inner tubes use butyl rubber.

"Some riders prefer latex inner tubes, because they can be a bit lighter than butyl ones. Some riders believe that latex tubes have less rolling resistance than butyl.

"Latex tubes are commonly a bit more porous than butyl ones, and need to have their pressure topped off more often."
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Old 11-12-04, 10:26 AM   #7
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All tires are made of rubber, but not latex based rubber. The durometer of the rubber is different for different applications. It sounds like you are looking for tires with a stickier tread. Off road tires feel softer because they have thicker tread, not neccessarily of a softer durometer. As for traction, the contact patch of bike tires is so small that it would be hard to find a truly bad tire.
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Old 11-12-04, 03:28 PM   #8
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My Michelin ride great which is what really matters. I doubt you will find an all natural rubber tire on this planet that was manufactured after 1960. The Pro Race uses two new low rolling resistance Siliciumô tread compounds that have been refined by Michelin engineers for better resistance to small cuts and enhanced grip.
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Old 11-12-04, 03:32 PM   #9
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He could make some out of a batch of lutefisk mixed with some lefse. I bet those would be some long wearing tires, a bit smelly though.
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Old 11-13-04, 10:51 PM   #10
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Well, the tyres I have on now (they came with the bike) are really soft and rubbery, while all slicks I've found in stores have had a really slippery plastic feel to them.
My dad's old road bike has narrow slicks, and they're rubbery as well.
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Old 11-14-04, 10:35 AM   #11
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You know, the plastic feeling wears off in about 5 miles.
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Old 11-14-04, 04:08 PM   #12
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That's a good point. probably has to do with the pavement imparting more texture to the tread.

Carbon black is added to the rubber in all modern tires to enhance durability. Also the informative Mr. Brown tells us that rubber is the _least_ important part of bike tires. Just a coating to protect the cloth body and wire/kevlar bead.

Last edited by Alphie; 11-14-04 at 04:31 PM. Reason: spelling errors. Attributed to 30 mile hilly ride today. Not the Belgian trippel ale. Yet.
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Old 11-20-04, 02:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiyn
He could make some out of a batch of lutefisk mixed with some lefse. I bet those would be some long wearing tires, a bit smelly though.
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Old 11-20-04, 01:34 PM   #14
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Maybe try IRC, my knobbed Red wall Notos and Mythos are very 'rubbery' they also need mofo air pressure. Not sure on thier slicks though.

I also read somewere salmon wall Japanese factory tire were better than the mailand factories that produced blacks (road).

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/?ProductID=5360013167 >1.0
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/?ProductID=5360013167 >1.5
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/?ProductID=5360013167 >1.95

Last edited by jeff williams; 11-20-04 at 01:42 PM.
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