Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Montréal (Québec)
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On asphalt, high pressure slicks have much less friction, hence allow you to go faster. On hard packed gravel, it depends.
I have ridden a few with my usual touring tires: 700x32 or 700x37 slicks (Top Touring 2000)
- With a very hard packed trail, it may be almost as easy as on asphalt. On Le petit train du Nord, I might loose 1-2 km/h (i.e. 18 instead of 20 km/h average).
Wetness has a more drastic effect on packed gravel than on asphalt, however.
- It doesn't take much smoothness to slow down the rider by an extra 2-3 km/h.
- On medium-hard gravel, wide slick tires (700x37) allow a decent speed, whereas narrow tires (700x28 or less) dig their way in.
One aspect where asphalt may be problematic : when there is a poor base and the asphalt has lifted, cracked, etc., cracks in the asphalt may slow you down more than ondulations on hard packed gravel dust.