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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Best Tires for Rain?

    Took a spill the other day while riding my folder in a rainstorm. I lost control of my front wheel on a painted brick path. I'd like to switch my Marathon Supreme front tire for something that grips better on wet surfaces. I'll switch back to the Supreme, which I like for its flat resistance, in the summer.

    Any suggestions?
    Last edited by Ekdog; 11-22-10 at 02:37 PM. Reason: Added a missing relative pronoun.

  2. #2
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    My rain bike for several years was equipped with Greenspeed Scorchers and I have never had an issue with traction in the rain. I just completed a short 110km overnight tour on my NWT that I thought was going to be mostly paved...turns out only 10kms was paved the rest was dirt, rocky and gravel...and it rained a ton! I wasn't expecting the Scorchers to handle that very well, but they surprised me and did great. No loss of traction pedaling up steep hills or braking down the other side.

    Having said that there are some surfaces [painted lines, metal man hole covers, etc...] that are uber slippery for any tire in the rain and you have to be careful when encountering them. Your accident might have happened even with another tire. I've run Schwalbe Marathon Supremes and XRs in the rain without any issues.
    Last edited by vik; 11-22-10 at 08:42 AM.
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  3. #3
    Non sibi sed patriae thestoutdog's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    Somewhere on the web there is an article that shows the best tire for road use is a slick. Only when riding on dirt, ice, or at speeds over fifty-five miles per hour will treads become beneficial. It is at that high speed that a tire can begin to hydroplane. At slower speeds the tire can push the water out of the way, thus a slick maintains maximum road contact.

    Riding on wet painted strips or metal is just dangerous no matter which tire you have. I don't think your tire was at fault.
    Smallwheels

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  5. #5
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
    Somewhere on the web there is an article that shows the best tire for road use is a slick. Only when riding on dirt, ice, or at speeds over fifty-five miles per hour will treads become beneficial. It is at that high speed that a tire can begin to hydroplane. At slower speeds the tire can push the water out of the way, thus a slick maintains maximum road contact.

    Riding on wet painted strips or metal is just dangerous no matter which tire you have. I don't think your tire was at fault.
    A bicycle tire will never hydroplane - even bombing down a mountain pass at car like speeds because the contact patch is oval and water can't build up in front of the tire like it can on a wide square/rectangular contact patch of a car tire.
    Last edited by vik; 11-22-10 at 12:31 PM.
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    Bike tires can't hydroplane. Tire grip in rain, on hard surfaces (roads), is largely a function of (1) how much rubber is touching the ground and (2) the grippiness of the rubber compound. Tires with tread are just reducing the amount of rubber touching the ground. That's why fraud like this really bugs me.

    What you want is a grippy compound, fat, slick tire. My choice there is the Greenspeed Scorcher TR (kevlar belt). Possibly a Schwalbe Kojak or a slick Primo Comet might work too.

    Painted surfaces, metal, etc., will cause any tire to slip in the rainno matter how good.

  7. #7
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
    Riding on wet painted strips or metal is just dangerous no matter which tire you have. I don't think your tire was at fault.
    +1

    Changing the tire will likely do nothing to help this.

  8. #8
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    again the combined wisdom is pretty awesome

    rubber compound is the key .... not any profile ..... you have a contact patch size of a penny ...

    deep snow, sand, mud and stuff is the only reason not to have a slick tire ...:-)

    thor

  9. #9
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    Bike tires can't hydroplane. Tire grip in rain, on hard surfaces (roads), is largely a function of (1) how much rubber is touching the ground and (2) the grippiness of the rubber compound. Tires with tread are just reducing the amount of rubber touching the ground. That's why fraud like this really bugs me.

    What you want is a grippy compound, fat, slick tire. My choice there is the Greenspeed Scorcher TR (kevlar belt). Possibly a Schwalbe Kojak or a slick Primo Comet might work too.

    Painted surfaces, metal, etc., will cause any tire to slip in the rainno matter how good.
    Nope, hydroplaning is more of a direct correlation between air pressure and speed.
    Even with automobiles, actual hydroplaning is very rare. It is a much more real problem for aircraft landing on wet runways. The aviation industry has studied this problem very carefully, and has come up with a general guideline as to when hydroplaning is a risk. The formula used in the aviation industry is:

    Speed (in knots) = 9 X the square root of the tire pressure (in psi.)
    Here's a table calculated from this formula:
    Tire Pressure Speed
    Miles per hour Speed
    Kilometers per hour
    P.S.I. Bars
    120 8.3 113 183
    100 6.9 104 167
    80 5.5 93 149
    60 4.1 80 129
    40 2.8 66 105
    An ill-founded fear of hydroplaning often leads people to buy bicycle tires with inefficient tread patterns, when they would be better off with slicks.
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  10. #10
    AEO
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    On the becel ride for heart charity ride that uses closed off freeways, if I want to go faster, I ride the white line, because it's really smooth.

    Aside from the above mentioned surfaces, also watch out for leaves after a rain. Wet and slippery, because the tire will grip the leaf, but the leaf won't grip other leaves or the road too well.

    one paved surface that does well with knobby tires, is gravel on paved road, which can be found near construction sites. Yeah, I wiped out on gravel on paved road with slicks while taking a slight turn at 20km/h.
    Last edited by AEO; 11-22-10 at 07:56 PM.
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  11. #11
    PDR
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    I have mentioned Schwalbe Kojak several times on this section of the forum.....
    I have been using them for about 3 years in all conditions including heavy rain, ice and snow and have never had a problem with them, despite the fact that they are slicks.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDR View Post
    I have mentioned Schwalbe Kojak several times on this section of the forum.....
    I have been using them for about 3 years in all conditions including heavy rain, ice and snow and have never had a problem with them, despite the fact that they are slicks.
    exactly what i am thinking. that is the reason why i changed my TR tires to kojaks. isn't that is why they are called slick ?

  13. #13
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    .. because the tire will grip the leaf, but the leaf won't grip other leaves or the road too well...
    Even if these are rubber tree leaves?

  14. #14
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
    even if these are rubber tree leaves?
    :d
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    jur
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    :d

    stupid forum sw... smiley stopped working.
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  16. #16
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    one paved surface that does well with knobby tires, is gravel on paved road, which can be found near construction sites. Yeah, I wiped out on gravel on paved road with slicks while taking a slight turn at 20km/h.
    This is why I never understood the argument for completely slick tires. AFAIK the roads are not broom swept nightly by fairies in most places.

    Surely a little bit of dirt and pebbles over a hard surface calls for a little bit of tread on a slick tire?

  17. #17
    AEO
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucky View Post
    This is why I never understood the argument for completely slick tires. AFAIK the roads are not broom swept nightly by fairies in most places.

    Surely a little bit of dirt and pebbles over a hard surface calls for a little bit of tread on a slick tire?
    some treading wouldn't have helped at all.
    the they weren't pebbles, this was loose gravel, about 1" diameter jagged rocks, that only an aggressive MTB tire would have worked.

    Quote Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
    Even if these are rubber tree leaves?
    as far as I know, those trees only grow in tropical zones, so they never drop their leaves.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the helpful advice. I'm sold on slicks as I've used them on other bikes and had good results. The Greenspeed Scorchers are out of the question, I believe, because they don't seem to be available here in Europe (at least I haven't been able to track any down), so I suppose I'll give the Kojacks a go.

  19. #19
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    some treading wouldn't have helped at all.
    the they weren't pebbles, this was loose gravel, about 1" diameter jagged rocks, that only an aggressive MTB tire would have worked.



    as far as I know, those trees only grow in tropical zones, so they never drop their leaves
    .
    My MIL has one that she keeps in the sun room, it constantly drips some sticky substance, so I think you would be safe against slipping riding under rubber trees

    Aaron
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  20. #20
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    ...as far as I know, those trees only grow in tropical zones, so they never drop their leaves.
    Did not know that. Must be good news for the monkeys.

    As for tires, I used to have slicks on both wheels, Kojak front, Scorcher rear, and liked it but had traction issues on sand. Now I am using Kojak front, Marahton Racer rear. It seems to give a good all conditions balance.

    In addition, I ride *very* carefully when passing mud, piles of leaves, etc, avoiding as possible tight turns and breaking.

  21. #21
    The Professor akohekohe's Avatar
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    I'll I can say is I'm very happy the Kojaks are available in 369-32, not a lot of choices with that size so it is nice to have a well performing tire and with folding beads no less. The Kojaks are definitely better in the rain than the Stelvios.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by akohekohe View Post
    The Kojaks are definitely better in the rain than the Stelvios.
    how would you rate the stelvios on normal road/weather condition ??? is it better than kojaks ? i googled and had found mixed reviews.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    Took a spill the other day while riding my folder in a rainstorm. I lost control of my front wheel on a painted brick path. I'd like to switch my Marathon Supreme front tire for something that grips better on wet surfaces. I'll switch back to the Supreme, which I like for its flat resistance, in the summer.

    Any suggestions?
    Nothing would help you on painted brick.
    When it is wet, painted surfaces and metal must be avoided like the plague.
    I run Supremes on my *winter* bike.
    I've never had any trouble with wet roads.

  24. #24
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    The best tires for rain is the cyclist's understanding of surfaces and the traction options they present. The model of tire does not matter as much as the cyclist's knowledge and understanding of traction on various surfaces. If you're cycling on slick painted surfaces or metal, no tire is going to prevent a fall. Once you know that, it really doesn't matter if you are running threads or slicks. Both grip fine in the rain.
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  25. #25
    The Professor akohekohe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmaniqui View Post
    how would you rate the stelvios on normal road/weather condition ??? is it better than kojaks ? i googled and had found mixed reviews.
    I think they are about equal on dry roads but where I live the roads are often wet at least for part of my commute and the stelvios were really problematic on any kind of slippery surface.
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