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  1. #1
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    Looking for FAST tires

    I read an article that claims the rolling residence of your tires makes a HUGE difference in speed, upwards of 20%. On 300K and up, that is a LOT of time. So...

    1. What 700x28 do you recommend that are really fast rolling tires?
    2. What do you put in them to seal flats?

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    So where was this article? The 20% number sounds EXTREMELY high (like by a factor of at least 10). It's generally accepted that wind resistance accounts for over 90% of the power required at normal cycling speeds, so even if you could find a tire with zero rolling resistance your speed might increase by ~5%. Probably less.

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    Senior Member Steamer's Avatar
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    Run the numbers.

    Example: 165 lb rider on an 18lb bike, .32 m^2 CdA, 150 watts (2w/kg - about right for LD riding) zero slope, zero wind, 1.226 kg/m^3 air density, and using either .0050 Crr (fast tires) or .0085 (slow tires).

    The fast tires yields a speed of 29.83 kph.
    Slow tires yield 27.93 kph.

    A difference of 6.8%.

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    are those rolling resistance number credible numbers, or are they Altoona numbers? How are these average speeds affected by punctures?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rando_couche View Post
    So where was this article?
    This is it:

    Getting Your Bike Ready for Randonneuring
    Bicycle Quarterly’s tests of tire resistance found that the slowest tires rolled a full 15-20% slower at average randonneuring speeds than the fastest ones. Where you’d go 25 km/h on the slowest tires, you’d roll at 29 km/h on the fastest, with the same power output. During a 300 km brevet, this would take more than 2 hours off your time
    I must admit, it does seem a bit too good to be true, but one never knows. After 3800 km on my Surly Pacer, the rear Panaracer T-SERV PT is starting to show real signs of ware. Starting randonneuring come January 1, I thought it might be a good time to looking for some faster tires.

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    Senior Member Steamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    are those rolling resistance number credible numbers, or are they Altoona numbers? How are these average speeds affected by punctures?
    Heh.

    They are based on any number of virtual elevation type field tests different folks have run from which I have seen the results.

    Outside of a wood track or something similar, it's hard to get too much below .0050. That's damn good.

    I personally have tested out Schwalbe Duranos at about .0075. But that was on somewhat rough pavement.

    One of the challenges of transferring Crr results from one person to another is that the surface you are testing on can have a significant effect. Same goes for the Crr figures that people find when testing in a lab on a smooth roller or using a pendulum test, etc. I believe those tests tend to understate the magnitude of the Crr results, even if they get the relative performance of the various tires tested correct.

  7. #7
    Carries Too Much Stuff! Capt Overpacker's Avatar
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    Hello,

    I cannot speak to what the OP read, but this article is what compelled me to try a more supple tire. I'm a skeptic. Regardless, switching from a Bontrager "All-Weather" tire (60-tpi) to a Continental Gran Prix 4-Season tire (330-tpi) yielded outstanding results. I shared my experience here.

    For the OP, the 4-Seasons are pretty tough. I don't put anything in the tubes to seal them up. I ride a 28mm tire and replace it when it gets a flat spot instead of when it's "worn out." I cannot recall the last time I had a flat tire. It's been over 10 years, which makes the fact that I carry a large, Topeak Turbo Morph pump a bit ironic!

    Good Luck,

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    Carries Too Much Stuff! Capt Overpacker's Avatar
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    Looks like the OP shared his source while I was drafting my response. Good stuff in both his and my posts. It can be a challenge for me to read Jan's blog entries without feeling he's just trying to sell his tires. But my own results made me a believer. No more cheap tires for me!
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    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Overpacker View Post
    Hello,

    I cannot speak to what the OP read, but this article is what compelled me to try a more supple tire.
    Interesting article. Intriguing, even.

    Some thoughts on it, though. It would be expected that at very low speeds, air resistance would just about disappear and a lot of the rolling resistance of a bicycle might be in the tires. At higher speed, air resistance would be the main thing (edited). If the testing was done primarily at slow speeds, it would exaggerate the effect of improved rolling resistance. That is, if the bike gradually rolls up to a "typical" speed, then much of that "rollup" time is at slower speeds. The effect would be that you might be able to show conclusively that Tire A was faster than Tire B, but the 20% increase at one speed wouldn't necessarily apply at any other speed, and could potentially be a lot less. Also, wider tires would presumably have more wind resistance, so testing wider tires against narrower, the results would depend on the speed at which they were tested.

    Secondly, it would be equally helpful to start a survey of number of flats. That would be a matter of riders keeping track of flats, not testing. I remember hearing of one of the local riders who was using some new fancy schmancy tire that was supposed to be oh so supple and he had like 6 flats in one ride with the things. So it is possible to make a tire that is "better" in one way but has faults that completely outweigh the benefit. I have an occasional flat, but they are infrequent enough for me alone to do any statistical work with it.

    Another consideration is if you ride with groups, the dynamics of flats-vs-fast-tires changes considerably. If the whole group stops every time someone has a flat, then the loss of speed due to flats is magnified accordingly. If you can use more-flatproof tires and stay with the group, then the speed benefit of a faster tire is reduced accordingly. So a tire that made great sense for solo riders might be a bad choice if any group riding was anticipated. Variations in how fast riders can fix flats would enter in as well.

    It is unlikely but possible that there is some variation in tire performance for tires that are being driven vs tires that are coasting, and that would be a more difficult test to perform.
    Last edited by StephenH; 12-22-14 at 10:45 PM.
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  10. #10
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarleton View Post
    I read an article that claims the rolling residence of your tires makes a HUGE difference in speed, upwards of 20%. On 300K and up, that is a LOT of time. So...
    Not "upwards of 20%", rather the study referenced found a 20% spread between the absolute best and worst tires evaluated. Unless you are on the heaviest, thickest, stiffest tires you can find, you're not likely to achieve that much improvement. That said, (unaffiliated) people do like the Grand Bois tires and I'm reasonably assured that they sell products they already like to use themselves. I'm considering a set of the green-label Cerfs for my "go-fast" bike next season.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    Unless you are on the heaviest, thickest, stiffest tires you can find ...
    Note that per one of the articles above, "the Continental Ultra Gatorskins were among the slower tires."- and that is a fairly common randonneuring tire locally, specifically for flat resistance. The question is, is the "preferred tire" one of the fastest, or just a little bit faster or what.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

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    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    Note that per one of the articles above, "the Continental Ultra Gatorskins were among the slower tires."- and that is a fairly common randonneuring tire locally, specifically for flat resistance. The question is, is the "preferred tire" one of the fastest, or just a little bit faster or what.
    Yep. The clock's ticking, whether you're riding or fixing (yet another) flat.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  13. #13
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    Hay folks, I'm the OP. I want to thank everyone for replying, I am learning a lot of great they behind faster tire. Myself being an information junky, I love this type of info, but I would like to bring everyone back to the original question:

    It is time to replace the original set of Panaracer T-SERV PT that is on my Surly Pacer. I am looking for the fastest rolling tires I can find. Here are some possible options I have found:


    I am sure there are many more. As I said originally, I am looking for 700c x28, that is the widest tire my Surly Pacer will take with fenders. While I never want to get a flat, I am willing it sacrifice puncture resistance for increased rolling residence and simply put in some of that ¿stuff? to seal flats. What ¿stuff? do you recommend?

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    I use the Continental Grand Prix 4-Season on all my bikes that have 700c x 28 tires. I'm happy with them they seem to roll good. They have good flat protection so I don't use anything in them and almost never have a flat.

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    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    It seems to me that putting a viscous/liquid substance into your tires would invalidate any roll-resistance comparisons that were made.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

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    Quote Originally Posted by scarleton View Post
    Hay folks, I'm the OP. I want to thank everyone for replying, I am learning a lot of great they behind faster tire. Myself being an information junky, I love this type of info, but I would like to bring everyone back to the original question:

    It is time to replace the original set of Panaracer T-SERV PT that is on my Surly Pacer. I am looking for the fastest rolling tires I can find. Here are some possible options I have found:


    I am sure there are many more. As I said originally, I am looking for 700c x28, that is the widest tire my Surly Pacer will take with fenders. While I never want to get a flat, I am willing it sacrifice puncture resistance for increased rolling residence and simply put in some of that ¿stuff? to seal flats. What ¿stuff? do you recommend?
    I have no experience with the Gravel King or the Conti GP. The Roll-y Pol-y is one of the slowest tires I have ever used on the road. It was the difference between hanging with the local group ride and getting dropped by the local group ride.

    The T-Serv isn't meant to be a fast tire. I haven't ridden it, but it's obviously not a go-fast tire.

    I suspect that the fastest wide-ish road clincher I have used is the Challenge Paris-Roubaix. A lot of people have complained that it is flat-prone. That hasn't been my experience, but enough other people have talked about it that it's worth worrying about. It also won't last very long - I get 2000-2500 miles out of one on the back wheel. It also runs a bit large and may not fit your bike.

    The Grand Bois tires are a very close second, in my experience. I have had a lot of flats with them, though, so no longer rely on them much, at least in 700c. They have largely been replaced with the Compass brand (Jan Heine sells both brands.) I have no experience with the Compass brand but expect them to be slightly lighter, slightly faster, and slightly less flat resistant.

    Finally, WRT fast vs. slow tires: I am an absolute believer. I have proven to myself over and over again that the speed difference between a fast tire and a slow tire is real, and would make a difference of several hours in a 24+ hour event - assuming you don't spend to much time fixing flats. I also find that I enjoy the road feel of a light supple tire so much that I can't stand to ride an "average" tire on the road anymore. Those Roll-y Poly-s make me feel like I'm riding through mud, and now that I've experienced faster tires, I don't enjoy anything else.

    <Edit> I'm pretty sure StephenH is right - if you're going to put goop in your tires, you might as well not bother looking for fast tires to begin with. If you want truly light, fast tires, you're going to have to ride carefully and get good at fixing flats in a hurry. If you're going to go the goop route, just get whatever tires are on sale.
    Last edited by Six jours; 12-23-14 at 12:02 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Dfrost's Avatar
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    I use Grand Bois Cerf (28mm) on my most ridden bike, the Marinoni; GB Cypres (32mm) on the Rivendell (plenty of miles before the Marinoni arrived); and just using up the last of my old Rolly-Poly's on the Miyata. None of them seem any more flat-prone than other tires (mostly older Continental Grand Prix) I've used in the last 20 years, and tread life is also not much different, although the 32's may be a bit better thanks to the using the lowest pressure of all these. I far prefer the ride and rolling feel of the GB's over any other tires. FWIW, I use 75/90 psi in 28's, 65/80 in 32's, and I wish I'd been smarter about tire pressure back in the Conti days.

    I briefly tried a Panaracer Pasela folding PT (very similar to the T-Serv that we purchased in an emergency for my wife's Erickson) on the Marinoni and it didn't like it as much. My wife doesn't seem sensitive to tires and likes black sidewalls, plus her bike only takes 26mm maximum, so we're using that T-Serv on her rear wheel and a Gravel King in front.

    My next tires will be the Compass Extra Leger equivalent of the GB, and I go back and forth between 28's and 32's for the Marinoni. The Miyata will get whatever my son wants if he takes it over this spring, but I'll be encouraging GB/Compass, maybe as a gift to him. I wouldn't bother with any more RP's. While the percentage differences in both BQ tire comparisons can be argued, the relative standings of the tires tested are quite relevant.

    As some other BF said "Life's too short to ride on cheap tires."
    Last edited by Dfrost; 12-23-14 at 12:29 PM.

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    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I don't KNOW that putting goop in tires makes them slower- but it's very possible, and if you're relying on tests done without goop to prove they're faster than other more flat-proof tires, who knows what the results are? Be a good experiment.
    Another issue would be to try tubeless tires- I assume any tire would be faster and lighter if used tubelessly, but haven't experimented that way myself.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarleton View Post
    Hay folks, I'm the OP. I want to thank everyone for replying, I am learning a lot of great they behind faster tire. Myself being an information junky, I love this type of info, but I would like to bring everyone back to the original question:

    It is time to replace the original set of Panaracer T-SERV PT that is on my Surly Pacer. I am looking for the fastest rolling tires I can find. Here are some possible options I have found:


    I am sure there are many more. As I said originally, I am looking for 700c x28, that is the widest tire my Surly Pacer will take with fenders. While I never want to get a flat, I am willing it sacrifice puncture resistance for increased rolling residence and simply put in some of that ¿stuff? to seal flats. What ¿stuff? do you recommend?
    The T-Servs are the worst, most sluggish tires I've ever ridden on in my life.

    I ride about 8000 miles a year, roughly 5000 commute miles on 700x32 Panaracer Pasela's (no tourguard) and the rest on 650B Grand Bois Hetre's. I get one or two flats a year on the Pasela's, usually from a wooden bridge that's on my commute and the splinters give me flats when the tires start wearing thin.

    Unless you live somewhere with goat's head thorns, or you can't avoid riding through piles of detritus on the shoulders, flatproof technology just slows you down a lot on every ride, as a trade-off for slightly fewer flats (maybe). I get about the same amount of flats whether I'm riding on "flatproof" tires or not.

    Nick

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    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    A quote from a friend, for what it is worth- I haven't tried the tires in question- he's speaking of tandem tires, specifically- "If I were setting up a wheelset for racing, I would use Vittoria Diamante tires instead of Gatorskins. Gator's are supposed to have slightly better flat protection, although . Vittoria's are noticeably faster & have a livelier more responsive feel to them. You will get more mileage out of Gator's, but then again, lifespan usually isn't the primary factor when selecting race tires."
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  21. #21
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    I had been using GP 4 Seasons and was pretty happy. But I tried the Compass 700x32 Stampede Pass and they are in a whole other level of comfort and speed. Very impressed...

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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    I don't KNOW that putting goop in tires makes them slower- but it's very possible, and if you're relying on tests done without goop to prove they're faster than other more flat-proof tires, who knows what the results are? Be a good experiment.
    Another issue would be to try tubeless tires- I assume any tire would be faster and lighter if used tubelessly, but haven't experimented that way myself.
    Well, I don't KNOW that flapping my arms won't save my life if I fall off a cliff. Let's just say that I'm fairly confident about it.

  23. #23
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I also like fast tires. I do think they make a difference. I've completed many brevets on fast tires without flats. The flats I've had were sidewall cuts from large sharp stones which could happen with many tires. I wouldn't run any of the tires on the OPs list.

    My current favorite is the Michelin PRO4 Endurance. 23mm
    I've had good experiences with Vredestein tires. Either the Senso or Freccia
    Continental GP4000S are good tires.
    I haven't tried the new Schwalbe One, but it has good reviews.
    Any of these would be good brevet tires. A flat on a 400k is not the end of the world, BTW. A 10 minute rest won't hurt your time all that much. We do stop at controls, after all.

    I weigh 150-160 and prefer 23mm tires. Riders over 180 will prefer 25mm tires. Depending on frame damping, lighter riders may also prefer 25mm tires. I ride carbon.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    I weigh 150-160 and prefer 23mm tires. Riders over 180 will prefer 25mm tires. Depending on frame damping, lighter riders may also prefer 25mm tires. I ride carbon.
    Oh, that is a really good point, I never mentioned my weight/size. I am 6'4" and currently 293 lb. I have a feeling that if I ride all the KM I want to ride this year, I might be a bit lighter come Dec 2015 I am running 28mm right now due to my size. My bike, the Surly Pacer can fit 28's with fenders (which is on my wish list) and 32s without fenders. Because of my size, I am thinking that 32s would be more comfortable over the long haul, but I am afraid that if I go with 32s I will like it so much that I won't get fenders come the spring brevets in April when I do expect to see rain, so I am sticking with 28s for now.

    I am ALWAY open to folks opinions on my though process. Am I better off with sticking with 28s and adding fenders or forgoing the fenders for 32s? Your thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Any of these would be good brevet tires. A flat on a 400k is not the end of the world, BTW. A 10 minute rest won't hurt your time all that much. We do stop at controls, after all.
    I simply HATE flats, not because of meeting any type of time, it is just annoying to me, personally, having to stop and change a flat It is sort of funny, the bike shop I work with is owned by a young husband/wife team. The wife says she always welcomes a flat fore it gives them a chance to stop, take a 10 minute break and to socialize a bit. I totally get it and don't think others in the group getting a flat would bother me so much, I think I don't like the greasy fingers. Maybe I should simply carry some of those individual wipes with me
    Last edited by scarleton; 12-24-14 at 09:31 AM. Reason: Had my weight a bit too high, by 100 lb!

  25. #25
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarleton View Post
    Oh, that is a really good point, I never mentioned my weight/size. I am 6'4" and currently 293 lb. I have a feeling that if I ride all the KM I want to ride this year, I might be a bit lighter come Dec 2015 I am running 28mm right now due to my size. My bike, the Surly Pacer can fit 28's with fenders (which is on my wish list) and 32s without fenders. Because of my size, I am thinking that 32s would be more comfortable over the long haul, but I am afraid that if I go with 32s I will like it so much that I won't get fenders come the spring brevets in April when I do expect to see rain, so I am sticking with 28s for now.

    I am ALWAY open to folks opinions on my though process. Am I better off with sticking with 28s and adding fenders or forgoing the fenders for 32s? Your thoughts?

    I simply HATE flats, not because of meeting any type of time, it is just annoying to me, personally, having to stop and change a flat It is sort of funny, the bike shop I work with is owned by a young husband/wife team. The wife says she always welcomes a flat fore it gives them a chance to stop, take a 10 minute break and to socialize a bit. I totally get it and don't think others in the group getting a flat would bother me so much, I think I don't like the greasy fingers. Maybe I should simply carry some of those individual wipes with me
    Latex gloves. I ride tandem with my wife. Our team weight is 288, plus the 36 lb. bike, plus gear and water for both of us. We run PRO4 Endurance in 25mm which will measure almost 28mm after being inflated for a few days. They're the best tires we've ever run on the tandem. Be fine for you. We seldom flat. 28mm and fenders, definitely.

    Depending on your group, you may find that brevets are not like other group rides: everyone is supposed to complete the ride without assistance, or some variation on that thought. Thus I see folks go by and say "Got everything you need?" after they are already 20' past the stopped rider. Mostly, folks around here don't stop.

    We are running 23mm wide rims, also a good idea if you're running wider tires like that. Kinlin 279 rims and CX-Ray spokes for laughs (and endurance).
    Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 12-24-14 at 09:40 AM.

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