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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 03-06-11, 04:19 AM   #1
bassjones
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ultra high TPI tires for Clydes?

Anybody here use any of the ultra high TPI tires? I'm thinking specifically of the 320 TPI, Vittoria open corsa. Even the Rubino 150 looks intriguing. One big question on the 320; how do you inflate them when most floor pumps are 160 - 200 max...

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Old 03-06-11, 07:04 AM   #2
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TPI is not a measure of pressure.

If you pump a bicycle tire up to 320 psi, something will explode.
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Old 03-06-11, 08:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bassjones View Post
Anybody here use any of the ultra high TPI tires? I'm thinking specifically of the 320 TPI, Vittoria open corsa. Even the Rubino 150 looks intriguing. One big question on the 320; how do you inflate them when most floor pumps are 160 - 200 max...
TPI stands for threads per inch. Its a sign of a well made tire in the same way higher TPI sheets on the bed feel different than the ones that are found at a discount store. Higher TPI should (all else equal) give you a smoother, less jarring ride. But if you over inflate it that will take away that benefit. I ride at 95 psi (Pounds per square inch) on front (Pro2 tire), and 100 psi on my back tire (GP3000). At 220 lb that works well with my 25mm tires.

I've look at the Open Corsa as a possible purchase. From what I've read, it rides very nice, wears relatively quickly, and may be more susceptible to flats. The definition of an event tire rather than an every day high milage tire. BOth the Pro3 and GP4000 tires have similar lifes pans and high quality rides, but the reviews I read rated them both higher than the Open Corsa for preventing flats. As A Clyde. I'd encourage you to rid at tire who have at least a 25mm size to improve the feel of the road (assuming your bike can fit them).
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Old 03-06-11, 11:41 AM   #4
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There are benefits and drawbacks to high TPI tires, depending on construction.

High TPI means a more flexible casing. To get a higher TPI count, they use thinner and thinner cotton thread. For very expensive tubular racing tires, they even use silk casing for maximum strength and highest thread count while maintaining a very flexible casing at light weight.

However... Thinner thread is easier to cut. A light racing tire with a thin outer tread composition will more easily flat out than a lower TPI tire with a similar outer construction because the casing is more durable. While more durable, it is also less flexible. This means that the tire cannot as easily mold to every nook and cranny in the road surface and the ride will feel harsher.

I prefer a compromise of weight, TPI and tread compound/design for maximizing comfort on my rides without sacrificing durability (both flat protection and overall duration of the tread before wearing out.) I found the Conti Gatorskin to be a reasonable mix of these 3 for a while, at least with a 28mm version, offering decent cushion, excellent flat protection and reasonable wear time. Last year I had some disappointment in the rainy season with the flat protection of the Gatorskin and switched to a slightly heavier tire which I think has a better feel on the road even though it uses a thicker, patterned tread compound: The Panaracer Pasela TG. The sidewall flexibility is greater than the Conti, but the tread is heavier and sheds more road grit than the slick Gatorskins. They're a lower pressure tire for the same size (28mm in each are 115psi max and 105psi max) but don't feel like they're sacrificing ride speed for comfort.

This is just one comparison; the only one I can make from experience. Keep asking around, try out different tires for yourself at different inflation pressures, and see what ends up being your favourite. Tires are a little bit like saddles... I'm sure there's people out there who have vastly different opinions from mine on the same two tires.
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Old 03-06-11, 11:52 AM   #5
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I've used Vittoria Open Pave 290TPI tires. Other than wearing quickly, I couldn't tell much difference between them and any other tire. Granted, I didn't do any back-and-forth testing, which makes it much easier to feel tire differences. Still, I'm not convinced that ultra-high TPI tires are better than any other tire. My favorite performance tire is still the GP3000 w/Black Chili compound.
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Old 03-06-11, 01:22 PM   #6
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boy, don't I feel stupid.... walk of shame...
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Old 03-07-11, 10:33 AM   #7
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Don't feel stupid! There's probably 20 other people out there thinking the same thing. They just got educated too and if you didn't ask... You can't be expected to know everything.
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Old 03-07-11, 10:39 AM   #8
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Good info, I've often wondered what that meant as well.
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