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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 03-03-09, 04:49 PM   #1
RFC
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Tires for combined road / off road use?

I am primarily a road biker. I have just purchased a used cyclocross bike that I want to use for combined road, path, canel trail, fire road, etc., use. So, I am looking for tires that run smoothly on the road while having sufficient traction for light, nontechnical, offroad use. Puncture resistance is also a plus.

What do you suggest?

Also, what about tire size -- 28, 32, 35?

Many thanks

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Old 03-03-09, 05:20 PM   #2
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ritchey speedmax's are fast on the road and handle great in all sorts of off road conditions. i'd go with 32's.
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Old 03-03-09, 05:26 PM   #3
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I'll second the Ritchey speedmax tires for on and off road use. Slightly better off road than on, imo. Another good thing is that they're relatively cheap.
Another good tire for on and off road use is the Specialized Borough CX. I'd give these the nod over the Ritcheys on the road but the Ritchey's are better off road.
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Old 03-03-09, 05:30 PM   #4
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Im sugesting a second set of wheelsthat way you can keep 2 different sets of rubber mounted and then just switch out for what kind of ride you will be doing that day . Speedmax's are ok, but for off road and road on the same ride I like a set of the that are about half wore out. Michelin Jets run pretty good also but they seem to wear a little faster. Kenda Kwicks arent bad I have used them as winter road tires.
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Old 03-03-09, 05:31 PM   #5
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I don't think you can beat the Specialized Borough tires. I've got the Elite version with Armadillo protection. Not very heavy either, roll well. Only downside is the price.
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Old 03-03-09, 05:54 PM   #6
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I recently picked up a set of Kenda Small Block 8's in 35mm and really like them on my Cross Check.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:56 PM   #7
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easily the best tire I have mounted on my cx bike yet, the schwalbe marathon cx, its cheap, durable, rolls faster than the speedmax's but still has enough grip to do some light mountain biking (it was even a little muddy out that day, just dropped the pressure)

http://www.schwalbetires.com/node/1326

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Old 03-03-09, 11:21 PM   #8
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I commute on ritchey speedmax. It's good on the road when I commute to school and work. They also provide good grip when I cut across the giant muddy grass areas of the campus.
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Old 03-04-09, 06:38 AM   #9
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Fat slicks ftw. "All-terrain" tires have tread exactly where it screws up cornering on pavement.
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Old 03-04-09, 08:08 AM   #10
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Vittoria Randonneur 28c and Vittoria XN 32c are two tires I use for these conditions. The XN rolls a bit faster because it's filetread as opposed to the inverted tread of the Randonneurs.
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Old 03-04-09, 12:01 PM   #11
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You won't need anything with side knobs for what you are doing. Standard tyres like Panaracer Paselas are just fine. I also like the Schwalbe Marathon range.
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Old 03-04-09, 12:19 PM   #12
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Big Michelin Transworld City fan here.http://www.outsideoutfitters.com/p-4...700c-tire.aspx
I use them onroad most of the time and they hold just fine on pretty serious off roads as long as you are not bombing downhill at speeds beyond the tire's capabilities.

They are pretty fast on th road (way way way faster than my Ritchey speedmax tires).
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Old 03-04-09, 12:38 PM   #13
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Continental CityContact X 42. Smooth thread all around tire. Knobs are good in theory but suck in practice by slowing you down. Unless you encounter a lot of mud or loose dirt conditions off road, smooth thread will still do the job.

Last edited by NormanF; 03-04-09 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 03-04-09, 01:11 PM   #14
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You don't need to have matching tires. A narrower slick in back and something with tread that's a little wider up front can work.
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Old 03-05-09, 09:24 AM   #15
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Non-Matching Tires

Ditto on the non-matching treads......according to Sheldon Brown. That does make logical sense.
The slickest tire you dare use on the rear (where most of the weight lies) will considerably reduce your rolling resistance; while a treaded tire on the front will make for better handling.

Also, the width does matter: Best to try 37-42mm on the front and 35mm on the rear.
As to the standard advice for not exceeding the +/-2x inner rim width limitations, my LBS mechanic says that it doesn't really matter so long as you keep the tire pressure up as high as possible so that the tires won't tend to roll off in turns. The higher pressure will also enhance your handling capabilities.

I've used the Ritchey Speedmax Cross (32mm) with success on various surfaces except for serious mud; they're not exactly great on wet hardpack. Although I'm not too thrilled with their buzzing on dry pavement, I've have grown accustomed to it.

Last edited by Cfd; 03-09-09 at 08:42 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 03-05-09, 11:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wirehead View Post
You don't need to have matching tires. A narrower slick in back and something with tread that's a little wider up front can work.
Good point. My tricross, sitting next to me in my cube, currently has a ritchey speedmax on the front and a specialized borough on the back.
I rode to work on the road and will probably ride home mostly on the dirt. :-)
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Old 03-05-09, 12:00 PM   #17
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exactly! I did a ride weekend before last with a group that mostly ran these tires and were doing singletrack with no problems... (this was the wider sections...)



Quote:
Originally Posted by flargle View Post
Fat slicks ftw. "All-terrain" tires have tread exactly where it screws up cornering on pavement.
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