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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 09-20-11, 07:10 PM   #1
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Big Off-Road Tires

Hi guys, I'm looking for some tires for my cross bike. The races here are grass, sand, and some loose singletrack. I do a lot of training on the local XC trails, which are rooty and rocky.

I'd like to buy the biggest tires I can get, which seem to be 40s. I've looked at lots of various tires, and read some reviews, but can't quite get a handle on which to get.

Right now I'm riding some Ritchey SpeedMax's in 32c, and at 30psi they do okay, but I'm a bit leery of running them that low, afraid of pinch flats. At 40 I can still ride them, but they're not as much fun over the roots and whatnot, this has me thinking about a larger tire, since my lowly category has no real restrictions.

I have to stay with clinchers for this season, proper race wheels aren't in the budget 'til next year.

I think the current front runners are the Kenda Happy Mediums. They come in a 40, but I'm just not sure about the tread design.

Thoughts? Opinions?

Thanks,
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Old 09-20-11, 10:25 PM   #2
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http://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_ti...ires/smart_sam

These come in 700x40, or you can run them in 29x1.75.
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Old 09-20-11, 10:53 PM   #3
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I was rolling a pair of 37mm WTB All Terrains for a couple super bumpy hardpack races. Those were pretty plush over the terrain that was little better than the rumble strips on the side of the freeway.

Big plus: They're dirt cheap. I got mine on sale for $10/ea at Nashbar.
I think they have the WTB Pathway 38mm for around the same price now. Not as aggressive a tread, but a great hardpack and grasser.
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Old 09-21-11, 05:13 AM   #4
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There's also the Panaracer Firecross 700X45C if they'll fit. http://www.panaracer.com/eng/products/mtb/fr.html#b I'm not sure about the price. They were stock on my bike. You might have a hard time fitting them on your bike unless it was specifically made to fit a tire this big. They do a great job, but on pavement they hum like an angry bee.
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Old 09-21-11, 11:15 AM   #5
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The tread on the Happy Mediums looks good for what you described. You could also try the Continental Cyclocross Speed, though it might be a little sketchy on the singletrack. I'd look for a time with supple casing, but I don't know enough about any of the wider tires to comment on how they do in that regard. My 700x35 Schwalbe Racing Ralphs are pretty good.

I think you should push the lower limit of your tire pressure, at least until you pinch flat in practice. I weigh 200 pounds and have run my 700x30 Michelin Mud2's at 30 psi without problems. I had them at about 32 psi this past weekend on a course with a good bit of singletrack and didn't bottom out at all. Of course, each person's experience will be different. Use good tubes, not too thin, and powder them and you should be fine.
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Old 09-21-11, 12:05 PM   #6
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You can use any 29" MTB tire, so any width you want should be available. The real issue will be the clearance on your frame. Most CX frames struggle to clear tires much bigger than 35mm (about 1 3/8") while still allowing ample mud clearance. See what your frame will handle before you buy anything.
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Old 09-22-11, 07:49 AM   #7
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... Use good tubes, not too thin, and powder them and you should be fine.

I've heard of powdering tubes to prevent pinch flats before, but how does it help?
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Old 09-22-11, 08:25 AM   #8
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I've heard of powdering tubes to prevent pinch flats before, but how does it help?
The idea is that the powder (talc, baby powder) acts as a lubricant to keep the rubber tubes from sticking to inside of the tire or possibly the rim strip (depending on type of rim strip). Some people swear by it but I've read others saying it doesn't matter. I always powder my tubes and even the inside of a new tire. At worst, it doesn't hurt anything. At best, I can't remember the last time I got a non-puncture flat (quickly knocks on big hollow wooden head for good luck).
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Old 09-22-11, 08:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by telebianchi View Post
The idea is that the powder (talc, baby powder) acts as a lubricant to keep the rubber tubes from sticking to inside of the tire or possibly the rim strip (depending on type of rim strip). Some people swear by it but I've read others saying it doesn't matter. I always powder my tubes and even the inside of a new tire. At worst, it doesn't hurt anything. At best, I can't remember the last time I got a non-puncture flat (quickly knocks on big hollow wooden head for good luck).
And cuts down on rolling resistance
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Old 09-23-11, 03:31 PM   #10
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Thanks for the responses guys, I think I'm going to go with the Happy Mediums...I've somehow managed to convince myself that the tread is just perfect for me.

Hopefully this weekend will be the last race on my 32s.
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Old 09-23-11, 10:21 PM   #11
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Continental makes a 42. http://http://www.chainreactioncycle...?ModelID=39396. I use it when I ride the single track that I ride my mtb on. Also have the Michelin http://www.michelinbicycletire.com/m...rldsprint.viewTransworld sport on the front for trails as well. The conti is narrower.
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Old 09-25-11, 06:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telebianchi View Post
The idea is that the powder (talc, baby powder) acts as a lubricant to keep the rubber tubes from sticking to inside of the tire or possibly the rim strip (depending on type of rim strip). Some people swear by it but I've read others saying it doesn't matter. I always powder my tubes and even the inside of a new tire. At worst, it doesn't hurt anything. At best, I can't remember the last time I got a non-puncture flat (quickly knocks on big hollow wooden head for good luck).
It definitely works. When I first put my cross bike together, I pinch flatted every time I bunny hoped it. I powdered the tubes, and I have not pinched once, and I am using half as much pressure now.
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Old 09-25-11, 05:12 PM   #13
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Real grassy course today, and I was actually really impressed by how well my Ritchey SpeedMax tires gripped!

Now I'm a bit torn. I also like the looks of Contis...
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