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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 04-26-08, 08:47 PM   #1
TommyL
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Cyclocross tires

I want to put some new tires on my fixed commuter for the summer. I want to be able to ride on mostly flat, wide, gravel and dirt trails in town. I will still be riding on roads 80% of the time. Should I get a narrow set of cross tires, or is there something more aimed at road use (a 28 or 30 commuter tire?) that I could use for both?

The goal is to not get a bunch of flats off road, and not be a snail on the road. What do you think?
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Old 04-26-08, 09:04 PM   #2
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WTB Cross Wolf, WTB Allterrainasaurus, and Ritchey Alphabite.
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Old 04-27-08, 01:08 PM   #3
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I like the Ritchey speedmax for a mix of road and trail. I also use the Kenda Kwick because they only cost about 12 bucks a piece and are very narrow, they are marked 30 but more like a 28. The speedmaxs are also pretty cheap too.
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Old 04-27-08, 02:08 PM   #4
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I would recommend you avoid semi-slicks. When you are riding on the road, the side knobs bite when you are half way around a corner. It feels like you are going to keel over. Yuck.

I would recommend a stout commuting or touring tyre instead. They work really well on gravel roads and dirt trails, and are infinitely better on the road. I like the Panaracer Urbanmax atm, but Schwalbe Marathons and Kenda Eurotreks work really well too. I did an mtb tour on Eurotreks. They held up really well.

Basically, you don't need knobbies to ride trails, and they are terrible road tyres.
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Old 04-27-08, 08:07 PM   #5
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I actually get more flats with my cross tires than on my road tires I think it's because my road tires have some sort of flat protection where as my cross tires don't. Though my favorite has been ritchey speed max 35's so far for mix of road and off road, but watch tight corners on the road especially when wet outside.
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Old 04-27-08, 09:06 PM   #6
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If you're set on a cross tire I'd second the WTB Cross Wolf recocmendattion. Though not really meant for road use they're pretty quick on the road and the aggresive yet closely spaced knobs offer a fair bit of flat protection against glass and such. They suck in mud and lke all lightish cross tires wear really fast on pavement.


For the riding you described I would reccomend a touring/comuting tire int he 28-32mm range. Tread is not important for the riding you described, so click is fine. Continental ultragatorskins are quite tough but still roll pretty well.
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Old 05-02-08, 01:50 PM   #7
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I agree with pretty much everyone above.
My CrossCheck came stock with SpeedMaxes. Not much flat protection.
The Michelin Sprints I used after that were the same way. Cross tires are race tires.

I'm running some Vittoria Randonneur Pros in 700 x 35 at the moment. Nice tires but a bit squirrelly in gravel. They're tough, but the tread is suitable only for the road.
Perhaps some Schwalbe Marathons or WTB All Terrainasaurusi are the way to go? They have more tread.
WTB used to make a Tour version of them that had kevlar protection.
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Old 05-02-08, 04:57 PM   #8
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I agree with the ritchey speedmax, i'm using the speedmax pro model and love em. great rolling on them when taking a corner or semi muddy / wet conditions. nice bite on gravel
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Old 05-04-08, 08:59 AM   #9
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I like the speedmax a lot, except for the squirminess cornering hard on pavement. THat's starting to go away as they wear out, but these don't wear out fast. I'm going to be looking into a more round profile tire for my JRA bike, wider to keep me from sinking into sandy bits too badly and smoother for happy road work. My utility bike has Kenda K-Rads that are near perfect in a 26 x 1.95, I'd love to find that profile and tread in a 700 x 38.
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Old 05-04-08, 05:48 PM   #10
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I use the WTB Allterrainasarus and they are great. I can hardly tell a difference between them and my road tires on the road and they work great on dirt roads and singletrack except in very loose sand or dirt. I have plenty of other cross tires that I am going to sell and buy another pair of the WTBs.
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Old 05-05-08, 06:57 AM   #11
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Ritchey SpeedMax's for racing & for every day stuff, Ritchey TrailMix
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Old 05-05-08, 09:18 PM   #12
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artic u and me gotta hang out sometime /ride together, pm me
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Old 05-06-08, 05:05 AM   #13
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artic u and me gotta hang out sometime /ride together, pm me
I will start riding more regularly on the weekends starting... next weekend. Just have to get (ball) hockey out of the way first
I think we have met at Cycles St.Laurent once....
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Old 05-06-08, 09:45 AM   #14
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I will start riding more regularly on the weekends starting... next weekend. Just have to get (ball) hockey out of the way first
I think we have met at Cycles St.Laurent once....
LOL, we totally have dude. More like crossed paths briefly on a friday, I was asking about Catlike helmets, and I was a little crusty because of local prices / last snowfall before bike season officially started...

Work weekends but can book up to 2 hours off like once maybe twice a month...
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Old 05-13-08, 10:26 AM   #15
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Anyone have any experience using the Specialized Infinity Reflect Tire?
I am about ready to pull the trigger on them, but have not found anyone thats used them before.
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Old 05-13-08, 02:43 PM   #16
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if you are going to be doin commuting why not just buy city slicks?

just by the looks of it / tread pattern looks like a set of tires for riny weather, like car tires...
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Old 05-14-08, 11:08 AM   #17
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if you are going to be doin commuting why not just buy city slicks?

just by the looks of it / tread pattern looks like a set of tires for riny weather, like car tires...
Because 85% of my commute is on road, and 15% is on a dirt trail. Not sure why slicks on dirt scare me.
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Old 05-14-08, 02:12 PM   #18
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Because 85% of my commute is on road, and 15% is on a dirt trail. Not sure why slicks on dirt scare me.
umm fear of less control, higher puncture probability?

you can always have one of each on your bike... one slick one knobby. Even Mr. Sheldon 'R.I.P' Brown suggested doing so to vary traction and make the bike more multi use.

I rode my slicks on gravel/dirt and let me tell you having those tires pumped to almost max psi was a slip and slide until i got used to posting and maneuvering with the dirt and gravel. Mind you it's no easy task but it can be done.
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Old 05-14-08, 04:09 PM   #19
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umm fear of less control, higher puncture probability?

you can always have one of each on your bike... one slick one knobby. Even Mr. Sheldon 'R.I.P' Brown suggested doing so to vary traction and make the bike more multi use.

I rode my slicks on gravel/dirt and let me tell you having those tires pumped to almost max psi was a slip and slide until i got used to posting and maneuvering with the dirt and gravel. Mind you it's no easy task but it can be done.
D. All the Above
Yeah, im sure it will just take some time and getting used to, but i would rather a tire that has *some* traction for dirt/gravel, yet will still corner well on pavement. So for a mix of knobby and slick, im trying to picture which goes where...but i am having a hard time. would it be slick in front and knobby in the rear?
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Old 05-14-08, 08:01 PM   #20
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there was a really nice mix of exactly what you are talking about i think its made by IRC...

edit: IRC MYTHOS
http://cyclocrossworld.stores.yahoo.net/ircmycxcl70.html
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Old 05-15-08, 11:20 AM   #21
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Try looking at Vittoria's line of City/Trekking tires, Randonneur Cross ...
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Old 05-15-08, 02:14 PM   #22
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Try looking at Vittoria's line of City/Trekking tires, Randonneur Cross ...
http://www.vittoria.com/index3.asp?p...3D45&lingua=en

looks interesting
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Old 05-15-08, 04:13 PM   #23
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I had a pair of Randonneur Cross a few years back, pretty darn good on the road & even managed a few duathlons with them. Gravel roads & groomed trails are ok but once it starts to get messy, game over.
1 big complaint, had a heck of a time getting them on & off the rim (Shimano WH6500's)
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Old 07-21-08, 08:00 PM   #24
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Michelin Cyclocross Jet S
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Old 07-23-08, 06:25 AM   #25
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I ride Panaracer Paselas in mixed conditions all the time. The key point, to me, is to NOT inflate to max pressure. Inflate to max pressure and you'll be fine on really smooth pavement. Rough pavement will jar you around. And you'll wash out really easy on gravel and dirt. So drop the pressure. If you're riding a 700 x 35 for example, you can go as low as 45-50 up front and 60-70 in back (for me, at 180 lbs.) and do pretty good in a mix of both. Softer would be great on gravel and dirt, but almost at the pinch-flat point for potholes, etc. Typically I go with 65 lbs in front and 80 lbs in back and it does not hurt my road speed at all - in fact I can descend a bit faster on rougher pavement because my tire isn't bouncing around, it's conforming to the imperfections in the road and gripping well.

I would try that first, but next stop, all the above recommendations are good ones. I like the Kenda's but as above posters mentioned, for *serious* cornering on pavement you get that tread squirm and it's an ill feeling.
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