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Old 11-22-10, 07:44 AM   #1
Ekdog
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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 03:37 PM. Reason: Added a missing relative pronoun.
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Old 11-22-10, 09:18 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 11-22-10, 09:51 AM   #3
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Old 11-22-10, 01:06 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 11-22-10, 01:20 PM   #5
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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.
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.
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Old 11-22-10, 01:28 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 11-22-10, 01:57 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 11-22-10, 03:40 PM   #8
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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 ...:-)

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Old 11-22-10, 05:03 PM   #9
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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.
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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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Old 11-22-10, 08:53 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 11-24-10, 03:11 AM   #11
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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.

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Old 11-24-10, 10:30 AM   #12
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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.
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 ?
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Old 11-24-10, 01:13 PM   #13
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.. 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?
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Old 11-24-10, 02:28 PM   #14
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even if these are rubber tree leaves?
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Old 11-24-10, 02:29 PM   #15
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:d

stupid forum sw... smiley stopped working.
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Old 11-24-10, 05:41 PM   #16
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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?
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Old 11-24-10, 06:19 PM   #17
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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.

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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.
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Old 11-25-10, 02:44 AM   #18
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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.
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Old 11-25-10, 06:46 AM   #19
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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

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Old 11-25-10, 12:31 PM   #20
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...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.
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Old 11-25-10, 12:51 PM   #21
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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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Old 11-25-10, 03:40 PM   #22
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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.
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Old 11-25-10, 05:37 PM   #23
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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.
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Old 11-25-10, 05:49 PM   #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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Old 12-03-10, 03:10 AM   #25
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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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