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  1. #1
    blah blah blah milkbaby's Avatar
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    Skinny slicks or wide knobbies in the rain?

    In the rain, is there any difference between skinny slick tires versus wide knobby tires when it comes to how much of a dirt stripe I'll get up my backside and backpack? I don't have a dedicated commuter but ride whatever bike I feel like each day, so no fenders.

    If knobbies don't spit up as much dirt water, I'd choose the MTB for rainy days, but if not no biggie. Thanks for your advice!

  2. #2
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    Doubt it.
    Quote Originally Posted by slopvehicle View Post
    Not wearing a helmet makes me more aware of my surroundings. I find myself anticipating the hardness of concrete 50 or 100 feet in front of me, it's almost a zen-like connection between my face and the pavement.

  3. #3
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    I recall it's virtually impossible for slicks to hydroplane, but: If rain means contaminents on the road, like gravel, leaves, oil, waste debris, etc., I'd be riding wide treaded tires. I've ridden fast tires in the rain, (Schwalbe Ultremos), on nice clean roads and had zero issues...other than a slightly messy bike afterwards....but nothing as messy as big treaded MTB tires, they kick up a storm, spare nothing.
    Last edited by FrenchFit; 06-11-12 at 10:42 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ira B's Avatar
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    You do not want knobbies for wet road use.
    The first time you are leaned over in a turn and hit a wet manhole cover or freshly painted road line you will know why.
    Yep, THAT Ira

  5. #5
    blah blah blah milkbaby's Avatar
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    Thanks all! I'm more cautious in the rain after lowsiding when I was in a hurry a couple years back, but definitely good to be reminded about the poor traction of knobbies on smooth wet pavement!

  6. #6
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    The solution is simple: put fenders on all of your bikes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

  7. #7
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Wider tires have more surface area and will throw up more water. Adhesion is more a function of tire compound than tread style. Cheap tires slide, racing compounds still perform well in the wet. Slick surfaces are an issue for both - wet or dry.

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    The solution isnt narrow tyres or fat knobbles. If the problem is a stip of emulsified deiesel/oil/rubber particles/dog-poo on your clothing, the solution is fenders.

  9. #9
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Ride slicks in the rain, knobbies get much poorer traction unless riding on dirt. Who cares about the rooster tail? You should be more concerned about your safety.

  10. #10
    Sprinter linus's Avatar
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    No Knobbies. Just lower your air pressure on your tires.

  11. #11
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Don't know which one throws up the least amount of junk. Just get fenders and it won't matter. As to which one gives better traction in the rain, I like the classic Sheldon Brown article.

  12. #12
    GATC
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    Dude! Wide slicks.

  13. #13
    12mph+ commuter
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    Fenders are fantastically faithful to fulfilling their functions for Freds.

  14. #14
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    fenders are your friend.

    my rain bike has 35mm slicks and fenders. it works for me.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  15. #15
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Wide slicks with grippy tread compound and full coverage fenders with mud flaps FTW.

  16. #16
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    At Davis they used to refer to it as the Freshman Stripe.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    They are also AKA 'mudguards' for a reason..

  18. #18
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    I've got quick-clip rear fender and a downtube quick attach front fender for my MTB and CX bike if I feel like riding either one without too much glop spraying up on me and my stuff.

    It was about $30 for both together, and it takes all of 90 seconds to put them on. Worth every penny.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  19. #19
    ouate de phoque dramiscram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    I've got quick-clip rear fender and a downtube quick attach front fender for my MTB and CX bike if I feel like riding either one without too much glop spraying up on me and my stuff.

    It was about $30 for both together, and it takes all of 90 seconds to put them on. Worth every penny.
    And where can we get those???
    Originally Posted by Leebo

    Headwind is like a hill without a soul. Just gear down and suffer.
    Quote Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
    Headwinds are hills dipped in evil!

  20. #20
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    +1 on the idea for some clip-on fenders! Put them on when it's raining, take them off when it's not--easy. You could use them on more than one bike given they are the same tire size too.

  21. #21
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    Here is a page with some options that came up from a quick google search: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...hp?category=79

  22. #22
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milkbaby View Post
    In the rain, is there any difference between skinny slick tires versus wide knobby tires when it comes to how much of a dirt stripe I'll get up my backside and backpack? I don't have a dedicated commuter but ride whatever bike I feel like each day, so no fenders.

    If knobbies don't spit up as much dirt water, I'd choose the MTB for rainy days, but if not no biggie. Thanks for your advice!
    Fenders?

  23. #23
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Several companies make fenders that are easily removable, some of which attach to the seatpost and/or seat tube. There are also mud guards that attach to the down tube that do a fair job of keeping the front tire from spraying your shins and shoes. As for tires, I don't like really skinny tires in sloppy conditions, but my 28mm All Conditions have never failed me. I wouldn't think knobbies would be of any benefit on wet pavement.

    As for fenders looking Fred, fenders look so much less cool than having a big sloppy glob of mud on your arse and a skunk stripe up your back Another vote for removable fenders when you don't have a dedicated commuter, there when you need them, gone when you don't.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  24. #24
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    Wide, smooth tires and fenders.

    That's how I roll, anyway.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Kojak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    Dude! Wide slicks.
    This!

    As for riding in the rain without fenders, your backside is going to get wet and dirty no matter which tires you use. You might want to consider a quick disconnect seatpost fender for wet weather use. It's not adequate for group riding but it keeps the roostertail off your backside and pops off quickly when it's nice outside.

    http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cyclin...ing-fender.jsp
    Guy K. Browne

    Schwalbe North America
    USA | CANADA | Central/South America
    1-888-700-5860 | 250-598-0397 ext.105
    www.schwalbetires.com

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