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Old 06-11-12, 09:47 PM   #1
milkbaby
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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!
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Old 06-11-12, 10:18 PM   #2
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Doubt it.
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Old 06-11-12, 10:38 PM   #3
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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.

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Old 06-11-12, 10:52 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 06-11-12, 11:33 PM   #5
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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!
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Old 06-12-12, 12:17 AM   #6
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The solution is simple: put fenders on all of your bikes.
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Old 06-12-12, 01:18 AM   #7
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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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Old 06-12-12, 01:42 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 06-12-12, 06:12 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 06-12-12, 06:14 AM   #10
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No Knobbies. Just lower your air pressure on your tires.
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Old 06-12-12, 09:19 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 06-12-12, 09:20 AM   #12
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Dude! Wide slicks.
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Old 06-12-12, 09:22 AM   #13
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Fenders are fantastically faithful to fulfilling their functions for Freds.
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Old 06-12-12, 09:52 AM   #14
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fenders are your friend.

my rain bike has 35mm slicks and fenders. it works for me.
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Old 06-12-12, 11:21 AM   #15
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Wide slicks with grippy tread compound and full coverage fenders with mud flaps FTW.
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Old 06-12-12, 11:27 AM   #16
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At Davis they used to refer to it as the Freshman Stripe.
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Old 06-12-12, 11:41 AM   #17
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They are also AKA 'mudguards' for a reason..
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Old 06-12-12, 11:58 AM   #18
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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.
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Old 06-12-12, 05:16 PM   #19
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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???
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Old 06-13-12, 12:19 AM   #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.
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Old 06-13-12, 12:20 AM   #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
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Old 06-13-12, 04:47 AM   #22
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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?
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Old 06-13-12, 06:07 AM   #23
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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.
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Old 06-13-12, 09:00 AM   #24
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Wide, smooth tires and fenders.

That's how I roll, anyway.
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Old 06-13-12, 01:13 PM   #25
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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
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