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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-22-09, 09:11 AM   #1
Push
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What is a safe speed on knobby tires? does my weight make a diference in the answer?

Maybe an overly cautious question but at what speed should one be concerned about traction with knobby tires on paved roads? I ask because I live in a VERY hilly area and my entire ride whenever I go out is up hills and down hills with rarely a flat spot to be found and I am getting stronger on the bike and am challenging myself to bigger hills which of course means the coming back down part is getting greater and greater. as I was pedaling down (at first) a fairly big down hill part I was obviously gaining speed and when I got to about 35 mph I started to get those "what if _____ happened" thoughts and started in on the brakes to keep me around 27mph and now I am thinking about how fast is too fast on paved road with knobby tires and thought I would ask here (I think larger rider changes that "safe" speed so I chose this forum).

I have Kenda Klaw XT tires (these came on the bike) on currently and though the bike did not feel squirrely at all I cannot help but to think that these tires are not the best choice for speeds. I know that I should get some other kind of tire eventually (recommendations are welcomed but remember that I do ride on a short section of grass/dirt/bumpyish road) but for now I want to keep these on for the extra resistance as little as that may or may not be (I am using the bike to lose weight) and am just wondering at what speed should I try not to go over?

any and all responses will be appreciated.

Push
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Old 07-22-09, 10:05 AM   #2
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Uninformed opinion here:

On the straights, I would say no limit.

On curves, it depends on the curve. The knobbies will give you less traction on corners, but unless you are leaning very far, there is probably no issue.

When I rode semi-knobbies (and now) my bigger worry was the brakes, and whether I could stop my larger body safely in a reasonable distance if I had to. This concern keeps me at 30MPH or lower regardless of tire type. Your threshold is obviously different.
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Old 07-22-09, 10:16 AM   #3
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I think that the "squirrelly" feeling of knobbies on pavement doesn't detract as much as one might expect. Sure, it's not quite like gliding on rails with road slicks, but I have found that the increased weight and the knobs provide plenty of traction.


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Old 07-22-09, 10:42 AM   #4
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Hi Push,
First of all let me start by saying I don't know nothingso you probably shouldn't listen to me!! That being said--
RIDE LIKE THE WIND!!!!!

Kate
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Old 07-22-09, 11:48 AM   #5
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I've hit 36 on my road tires (semi road hybrid tires) and I got the same squirrely feeling and the OMFG this is way to fast....400+ lbs should not be going this fast on less then 3insq of surface contact......That being said, it was fun as hell and I do it as often as I can
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Old 07-22-09, 12:01 PM   #6
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All is good unless you turn sharp. I wrecked a lot following my friend who was using slicks while I was on knobbly tires in sharp turns. At a certain lean the tires would let go. Stopping can be a bit slower. I remember one wreck caused by the front tire locking up under heavy braking. I preferred that crash over the endo's I've done when my tire actually gripped when I hit the brakes to hard.

Personally, I never use knobbly tires, slicks/semi slicks work well enough for dry, packed dirt. The improved grip on roads is worth the slightly reduced grip on rail-trails I frequent.

If your Darwin alarms are going off, you're going too fast. People regularly go 40-50mph, which is fine, but you're completely dependent on other people not getting in front of you, and your bike holding together. People rarely pay enough attention to keep you, let alone themselves safe.
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Old 07-22-09, 04:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilitantPotato View Post
If your Darwin alarms are going off, you're going too fast. .
love it Please don't let me win one
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Old 07-22-09, 05:31 PM   #8
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So the consensus is that as long as I am not turning and the bike is stable go for it? I like the way you guys and gals think my Darwin meter was very much starting to go off when I saw the 35mph flash across my bike computer screen and the sign that said "Speed limit 25 MPH" next to the one that said "Dangerous curves ahead" I figured it was time to slow things down a bit lol.

I would like to get a set of roadish tires in the near future, I don't think road tires would suit me because I do ride in some dirt and grass while out but something with less aggressive knobs maybe.

Thanks for the input so far guys

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Old 07-22-09, 06:10 PM   #9
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If you want to stick with knobbies, I have found Kenda Small Block 8's to handle fairly good on pavement. The small knobs don't flex as much on fast corners as a more aggressive tire and they roll almost like a slick, my average speed doesn't change much going from them to Gatorskins. Plus they stick like glue to rocky and hardpacked trails.
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Old 07-22-09, 07:14 PM   #10
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I live where you live, except in the Southern Illinois. Even though IL is known for corn fields, the county I live in, if you stop peddling, you will either slow immediately, or your will speed up to 35mph. Nothing is huge, they are just everywhere. And I can feel your mental anguish with the thought of "If I go down, will I have enough skin or blood left to survive:-(

I have rolled out about 40 a few times and it always scares the hell out of me. I think I agree with the rest. If you are just rolling out, it should not be a problem, beyond what the fillings in your teeth can handle from the vibration of the knobs. As far as the stopping goes, I had a set of Kenda Karma 2.35 knobs on my most recent bike and I really think they had a lot better stopping ability than the Schwalbe Big Apple 2.35 slicks that I put on. The BA's are like I am on ice if I need to stop fast.

btw.....here is the answer to your question about "what if"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv87R...rom=PL&index=8
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Old 07-22-09, 08:17 PM   #11
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if you think it wobbles just going down try crossing the lines at that speed on nobbies.

I recomend Country Rocks by Michelin1.75 wide and 75 psi for road rides drop donw to 50ish depending on your weight and the do very good in everything but sugar sand and mud.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-22-09, 09:52 PM   #12
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I commute in E-bike with knobby and typically do 30-40mph (stock rockhopper tire). And thats been couple of years. Just make sure you pump to recommended PSI.
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