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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 04-23-13, 09:15 AM   #1
ICBiker
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Tire Question and Recommendation

I use my cyclocross mostly on pavement and fairly solid crushed rock.
I realize a cross will not ride as fast as a road bike and that alot goes into how fast a bike is.
I have Stan's NoTubes The Raven Cyclocross 700C x 35mm Tire. http://www.notubes.com/The-Raven-Tire-700x35-P159.aspx These tires hold a max of 45 psi and are great on gravel roads. I have noticed I am slower on pavement and have trouble keeping up with my friends who are on road bikes (I have no trouble keeping up when I am on a road bike).
I am wondering how much of the speed difference is from these tires and if a cross tire that is not knobby (especially on the front) would make much difference when riding on pavement.
If so, what tire would be a good one to consider?
Thanks!

Last edited by ICBiker; 04-23-13 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 04-23-13, 10:26 AM   #2
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File tread tires are chosen by CX racers on hard dry courses.. you can get them in clincher and sew-up types.
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Old 04-23-13, 12:58 PM   #3
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On the commuter forum people typically claim that knobby tires vs. slicks make about a 2 mph difference. That's only taking rolling resistance into account, I think. Once you start riding with roadies and get up to faster speeds, the wider tires and knobs also start having an aerodynamic effect. You also wouldn't want to try to corner on pavement with a knobby tire at the speeds that roadies will corner on a slick tire.

If you are only going to have one set of wheels and tires for everything, you are going to have to compromise somewhere. For pavement, I'd recommend something like a 700x28 Conti GP 4 Seasons, but that might act a bit like a pinball on gravel. A file tread, as fietsbob suggests, will give you a nice compromise, but it will still be slower than a slick tire on pavement.
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Old 04-24-13, 07:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
On the commuter forum people typically claim that knobby tires vs. slicks make about a 2 mph difference. That's only taking rolling resistance into account, I think. Once you start riding with roadies and get up to faster speeds, the wider tires and knobs also start having an aerodynamic effect. You also wouldn't want to try to corner on pavement with a knobby tire at the speeds that roadies will corner on a slick tire.

If you are only going to have one set of wheels and tires for everything, you are going to have to compromise somewhere. For pavement, I'd recommend something like a 700x28 Conti GP 4 Seasons, but that might act a bit like a pinball on gravel. A file tread, as fietsbob suggests, will give you a nice compromise, but it will still be slower than a slick tire on pavement.
I would agree with the 2 mph difference. If I buy an extra rim and switch out one Conti GP 4 Seasons should that be on the rear wheel?
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Old 07-30-13, 06:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
On the commuter forum people typically claim that knobby tires vs. slicks make about a 2 mph difference. That's only taking rolling resistance into account, I think. Once you start riding with roadies and get up to faster speeds, the wider tires and knobs also start having an aerodynamic effect. You also wouldn't want to try to corner on pavement with a knobby tire at the speeds that roadies will corner on a slick tire.

If you are only going to have one set of wheels and tires for everything, you are going to have to compromise somewhere. For pavement, I'd recommend something like a 700x28 Conti GP 4 Seasons, but that might act a bit like a pinball on gravel. A file tread, as fietsbob suggests, will give you a nice compromise, but it will still be slower than a slick tire on pavement.
Andy_K you nailed it. I purchased the Conti GP 4 Seasons for my cross and they are superb on a well packed crushed rock trail and pretty fast and very smooth on the road. I have a Stan's NoTubes The Raven Cyclocross tire to throw on the front for gravel. Thank you for the great recommendation!
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Old 08-06-13, 09:36 AM   #6
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You could go with a wider touring tire that is mostly slick but has more puncture resistance.

Another option would be something like these two Clement lines. I have friends with these tires, and have done gravel and road surfaces with them and raved about the tires. Apparently a bit pricey and hard to get though.
http://clementcycling.com/ush
http://clementcycling.com/xplor-mso

For a file tread - my CX bike has Ritchey tires: http://www.ritcheylogic.com/dyn_prodfamily.php?k=98784 and these are fine for light offroad but I don't corner hard on the road on them.
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