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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 04-18-11, 06:50 PM   #1
DRietz
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28c Knobbies?

Hey all - I know this topic has probably been covered verbatim, but I need a direct answer. Is there such a thing as a 700x28c knobby clincher tire? My road frame only has clearance for 28s, but I ride it off road a lot and found a nice stretch of single track that definitely requires some more traction than what my Conti Grand Prixs offer...

Thanks.
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Old 04-18-11, 08:20 PM   #2
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Just measured my Schwalbe CX Pro Tyres inflated on the rim and they say 30mm, but measure 28mm. Might be worth a shot. They're pretty damn narrow. They appear to be near 28-30mm tall so you could do some measurements first and make sure you have room.
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Old 04-18-11, 08:21 PM   #3
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Even if they did, the 28mm width is usually just the casing, and the knobs require more space around that. Probably your best bet is going to be some kind of treaded commuter tire, like the Panaracer Pasela or Vittoria Randonneur Cross.
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Old 04-18-11, 08:32 PM   #4
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Hey all - I know this topic has probably been covered verbatim, but I need a direct answer. Is there such a thing as a 700x28c knobby clincher tire? My road frame only has clearance for 28s, but I ride it off road a lot and found a nice stretch of single track that definitely requires some more traction than what my Conti Grand Prixs offer...

Thanks.
I have some Vittoria Mastercross knobby clinchers with a claimed width of 27mm which clear my 1996 Litespeed Natchez frame, Look fork, and Campagnolo dual pivot brakes. The brakes need to be adjusted loose or some air let out to pull a wheel even with the releases open although otherwise it works well.

I haven't a clue on actual width (they're in storage) or if they're still made (the Weight Weenies list shows an entry from 2004)

I only used them for winter commuting in Boulder when I wasn't happy with how little snow had melted by noon and didn't put a lot of mileage on them in 10 years.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 04-18-11 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 04-18-11, 09:07 PM   #5
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I'll definitely look into the Schwalbes. Drew, you have a PM.

Anybody else?
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Old 04-19-11, 05:11 AM   #6
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If any store will know of or stock such tyres it will be Rivendell.

You might also contact these people, look through their blogs, etc: http://www.xo-1.org/

I think some people use the 28mm Ultragator off road. That makes sense to me because tread on a 28 probably isn't that useful off road: if you're on stuff soft enough to need tread then those 28s will be cutting into the track like a knife. So a tough tire casing is what you really need - that and the willingness to lower tyre pressure. Lower pressure = bigger contact patch = less sinking in + more traction.

It would probably help a lot if you could go tubeless, that way you'd avoid pinchflats. But that would be a lot hassle and maybe not even possible with a road bike without a rim change.

Also: don't forget to check for rim compatibility!

Last edited by meanwhile; 04-19-11 at 05:29 AM.
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Old 04-19-11, 08:25 AM   #7
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Yeah, tire pressure and tubeless set ups are all things I know very well. I race XC (not CX) on my singlespeed rigid mountain bike.

Thanks for the information though - very helpful!
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Old 04-19-11, 09:55 AM   #8
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Yeah, tire pressure and tubeless set ups are all things I know very well. I race XC (not CX) on my singlespeed rigid mountain bike.

Thanks for the information though - very helpful!
De nada!

For what its worth, bikesdirect.com do crossers from around $500. People seem to like them - might be worth considering as a general purpose trainer/hack/off roader, etc. (I'd buy one if I was in the US.)
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Old 04-19-11, 11:24 AM   #9
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I would just get some tough 28s, maybe paselas and start saving for a frame with more clearance. You could probably find a used frame/fork for 200 dollars, spend 50 on new brakes, and swap parts. Then you have a bike that actually works for what you're doing.

Or buy this new.
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Old 04-19-11, 07:48 PM   #10
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I'm not looking to build a CX rig or race one anytime soon. I just ride my bike offroad sometimes. I mean, riding on dirt roads is fine for my Contis. My mountain bike is in pieces, being overhauled and upgraded, so I can't ride it. What I'm doing is riding my road bike, with a few days of trails a week. Definitely not enough to warrant a new bicycle.
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Old 04-19-11, 08:26 PM   #11
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I think it sounds like fun to whip the road bike off road every so often. Lets hear a report when you find some tyres that do what you want.
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Old 04-20-11, 02:14 PM   #12
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If the weight is not important, Schwalbe offers Marathon & Marathon Plus in the size of 700x28c. They are not as knobby as other, but for sure will survive off-road better than typical race ones. You could also try 30c, as they might be narrower on narrow rims. I have put the Marathon Racer 700x35c on the Mavic CXP33, and the width is around 30mm.
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Old 04-20-11, 05:48 PM   #13
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Brad: it really is pretty awesome to just take a break from the pavement. I ride almost every summer in Colorado, where some of the best rides include really long dirt sections. It's actually really nice riding after the winter salt gets blown away - very very smooth.

Jade: Thanks, I'll look at those as well.

If anybody has a pair of Mastercrosses or Tigrecrosses, I'm incredibly interested. Used, whatever. Doesn't matter - these won't be ridden thousands of miles.
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Old 04-21-11, 07:11 AM   #14
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If the weight is not important, Schwalbe offers Marathon & Marathon Plus in the size of 700x28c. They are not as knobby as other, but for sure will survive off-road better than typical race ones.
I'm not sure that anything will destroy a Marathon Plus. But riding one feels like someone has tied a drag chain to your tyres!
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Old 04-21-11, 11:55 PM   #15
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I was riding on my cross bike with 28 marathons on and decided to go through the local (non sandy) single track park. Let out some air and went for it. Never felt it slip going uphill and took it easy on the downhill and they were perfect. I didn't push it to test the limits, just rode the trail normal. Reverse tread worked fine.
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Old 04-22-11, 11:21 AM   #16
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Brad: it really is pretty awesome to just take a break from the pavement. I ride almost every summer in Colorado, where some of the best rides include really long dirt sections. It's actually really nice riding after the winter salt gets blown away
Thats my favorite way to think of cycling. Hop on your bike of choice abd go where the ride takes you without second thought. Thats how I treat my cross check. I do not hesitate to hit single track when I see it.
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