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Old 05-17-05, 04:43 PM   #1
rikwest1
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tire tread for dry concrete path

I'll be riding on a dry concrete bike path that naturally has small but varying amounts of sand in some of the turns. What 26 inch tire tread would be best for this type of needed traction? I've considered slicks and lightly treaded tires. Any specific recommendations too?
Thanks.
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Old 05-17-05, 04:53 PM   #2
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Bicycle tires for on-road use have no need of any sort of tread features; in fact, the best road tires are perfectly smooth, with no tread at all!

Unfortunately, most people assume that a smooth tire will be slippery, so this type of tire is difficult to sell to unsophisticated cyclists. Most tire makers cater to this by putting a very fine pattern on their tires, mainly for cosmetic and marketing reasons. If you examine a section of asphault or concrete, you'll see that the texture of the road itself is much "knobbier" than the tread features of a good quality road tire. Since the tire is flexible, even a slick tire deforms as it comes into contact with the pavement, acquiring the shape of the pavement texture, only while incontact with the road.
I live in Florida, (the whole state is sand) and I've been fine with my Specialized Nimbus EX's I bought them for the puncture resistance as the tread makes no difference on road
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Old 05-17-05, 05:39 PM   #3
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Yeah, what Raiyn said.
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Old 05-18-05, 11:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiyn
Bicycle tires for on-road use have no need of any sort of tread features; in fact, the best road tires are perfectly smooth, with no tread at all!
+2 on that. Exactly correct.
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Old 05-18-05, 11:34 AM   #5
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Love my Nimbus EX's
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Old 05-18-05, 11:52 AM   #6
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the more rubber you got on the ground, the better the traction
but I perfer something with just a little bit of tread that way I get to spend some time picking pebbles out of it when I get home, nothing like quality time with the bike^H^H^H^Hwife
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Old 05-20-05, 02:45 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your input. I'll start looking for some slicks.
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Old 05-20-05, 02:57 PM   #8
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What Raiyn said is commonly suggested and is a nice theoretical argument, but who has done the practical experiments to prove it?

In fact, when motor vehicles like motorcycles and race cars run on slick tires, they use a very soft sticky compound to provide traction. If treadless bicycle tires are made from hard smooth rubber, the argument is rather weakened.

For instance, I rode with some Specialized Armadillos and found they had almost no traction on wet or sandy surfaces. I once rode a corner gingerly at walking pace on a wet patch of road and the bike went from under me before I even knew what was happening. Likewise, on sandy patches of hard paved trail the wheels felt very insecure.

Unless you are a hard core road racer, I think a little bit of tread on bicycle tires is a good thing.
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Old 05-20-05, 07:18 PM   #9
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I use some hybrid tires, Kenda Kross that have smooth tread in the center, but knobs on the edges. Not as good with the flat protection as the Armadillos.
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Old 05-20-05, 07:47 PM   #10
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I'm considering switching my knobbies over to something more road friendly. But how good are those cross tires on single track?
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Old 05-20-05, 09:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanB
What Raiyn said is commonly suggested and is a nice theoretical argument, but who has done the practical experiments to prove it?

In fact, when motor vehicles like motorcycles and race cars run on slick tires, they use a very soft sticky compound to provide traction. If treadless bicycle tires are made from hard smooth rubber, the argument is rather weakened.

For instance, I rode with some Specialized Armadillos and found they had almost no traction on wet or sandy surfaces. I once rode a corner gingerly at walking pace on a wet patch of road and the bike went from under me before I even knew what was happening. Likewise, on sandy patches of hard paved trail the wheels felt very insecure.

Unless you are a hard core road racer, I think a little bit of tread on bicycle tires is a good thing.
Most decent road tires are not nearly as stiff on the casing as the 'dillo's. Those tires are made for boucoup flat protection and extra long wear. That was one of your problems. The another one is the 'dillo's have a harder durometer rubber compound than many road tires do.

There is no practical use or reason for tread on a road bicycle tire. It is mainly put on some tires for marketing, because many people are so used to seeing some kind of tread pattern on any tire (car, bike, ox cart) that they think they'll tip over and die on a slick. That kind of thinking is naive'.

A bike tire is too narrow to hydroplane, and can't reach the speeds necessary for its size to hydroplane - so that's no reason. Pavement is much harder and immovable for a bike tire than say - dirt, sand, or trails for knobbies to dig into like a MTN tire does. A road tire with tread will only deform to one degree or another at the contact patch, and less rubber will be touching the pavement than the same tire with no tread pattern.

Period.
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Old 05-20-05, 09:06 PM   #12
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Here's what Sheldon Brown says about tire tread:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#tread

What he says particularly about tread for on-road use, hydroplaning, and squirm, have also been my experience.
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Old 05-20-05, 09:27 PM   #13
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For instance, I rode with some Specialized Armadillos and found they had almost no traction on wet or sandy surfaces. I once rode a corner gingerly at walking pace on a wet patch of road and the bike went from under me before I even knew what was happening. Likewise, on sandy patches of hard paved trail the wheels felt very insecure.
Lol what a noob. A tire with tread will slip equally well on those same surfaces. In fact the slick tire will give you higher grip than anything with a tread or knobs.
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