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  1. #1
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    Tires For Riding Gravel

    Our group is going to start gravel grinding next week. I currently have 28mm tires on my Trek Fitness 7.4 and those tires just won't do. So, I am needing some recommendations for a good gravel tire.

    FYI - I think I can have a fairly wide tire and I don't want to break the bank.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Simon Cowbell's Avatar
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    If you can fit the 42mm Continental Cross Rides, then the price is certainly right.
    http://www.wiggle.com/continental-cr...ing-city-tire/

  3. #3
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    A well made tire with a higher thread count and some protection from sharper flint-like stones is ideal. This includes some of the more durable Cyclocross tires and some of the performance oriented touring tires. Moderate sized tires in the 30 to 38 range will do the job. Large-block knobby tires are overkill. Slicks work very well on dry gravel and can be finessed on wet gravel with a little bike handling skill. Semi-slicks are a good option for wetter climates.

    Vittoria Cross XN Pro: http://www.vittoria.com/en/product/c...s/#product-118
    150tpi, file tread

    Vittoria Voyager Hyper: http://www.vittoria.com/product/touring/
    120tpi, high performance flat protection, Slick tread

    Panaracer Pasela: http://www.panaracer.com/urban.php
    66 TPI, touring tread with tan sidewalls

    Kenda Happy Medium: http://www.kendausa.com/en/home/bicy...py-medium.aspx
    120 TPI, diamond center section with knobby shoulder

    Kenda Small Block 8: http://www.kendausa.com/en/home/bicy...ock-eight.aspx
    120 TPI, small block tread

    Clement LAX clincer: http://clementcycling.com/88/las-clincher
    120 TPI, file tread

    Challenge Grifo XS 32 Open: http://www.challengetech.it/products...xs-open-020/en
    260 TPI, file tread

    Challenge Strada Biancha: http://www.challengetech.it/products...-bianca-040/en
    260 TPI, textured tread

    Challenge Paris-Roubaix: http://www.challengetech.it/products...roubaix-016/en
    300 TPI, Slick tread, comes in a 700x27 (29mm wide actual size) for road bikes with limited clearance

    Grand Bois Cyprès http://www.compasscycle.com/tires_gb_700_32.html
    Unknown TPI, textured tread

    Ritchey Speedmax Cross Comp http://www.cxmagazine.com/ritchey-sp...ss-tire-review
    60 TPI, small block tread

    Schwalbe CX Comp: http://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_ti...s/%252Fcx_comp
    Unknown TPI, flat protection. semi-slick tread, comes in a 700x30 size for sports bikes with limited clearance
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    Clement X'plor line of tires

  5. #5
    Senior Member Simon Cowbell's Avatar
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    More of a dual-purpose tire, but for the money Resist Nomads are great. The 45s float like pontoons in deep gravel.
    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=4682

  6. #6
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Schwalbe Smart Sam 700 x 40
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    What tires did people ride before the roads were paved, in the first place?

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    Sprinter linus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle View Post
    Clement X'plor line of tires
    Clement X'plor MSO or go home.

  9. #9
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    I am happy with the new Continental SpeedRIDE 700 x 42c; puncture protecting, folding bead, 420 grams, and $30.

  10. #10
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Huh. I have been riding Specialized Armadillos in 28mm on levee roads and rail-trails. They've been great.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  11. #11
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    What tires did people ride before the roads were paved, in the first place?
    Balloon tires on their Schwinn Spitfires.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  12. #12
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    I'm following this thread with interest because I'd like to explore some of the gravel roads near me on my touring bike. I think I can go up to about 45c width - maybe even a 29er tire with the fenders removed. No worries about cuts from sharp flints, it's all smooth river gravel that can be like riding on ball bearings. Anyone have a suggestion for riding on limestone ball bearings?

  13. #13
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    Any decent 28mm - 35mm tire will work. Barrettscv 's tire list above is pretty comprehensive. I have done 50+ miles on gnarly gravel and dirt fire roads on 26mm road tires and my Bianchi steel road bike without issue. I also use my cyclocross bike for similar rides. Usually a larger tire will fit up front than in the back, so just get the greatest volume tire that you can fit for the front; that way it is built in shock absorption for added comfort.

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    I ride all sorts of things with 28 Gatorskins.

  15. #15
    Ghost Ryding 24/7 Ghost Ryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrub View Post
    I ride all sorts of things with 28 Gatorskins.
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    Huh. I have been riding Specialized Armadillos in 28mm on levee roads and rail-trails. They've been great.
    I use these & find them to get the job done. I hit gravel, hard pack, grass, & concrete.
    Just use caution in turns in anything loose, there's no side knobs for extra grab.
    Max is Locust are used when I want to take it up a notch, & Kenda's for winter riding. Kendas in 41mm(cheapos)are so damn heavy, only time I lost traction was on black ice. I pedals through, & avoid bailing. I'm tempted to try Kendall small blocks, I liked them on my 29er, but am leaning towards Clements.
    Giant Defy Dura Ace : Rip/Hammer-Specialized Allez Ultegra/105 : Recovery/Spinner-Specialized Allez Red : Trainer-Kona Major(Rad) Jake : Down & Dirty

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    I liked the small block 8s on rail trail but hated them as cross tires. Maxxis Raze did well at both.

  17. #17
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    What does your gravel look like? Here is an example of the same road, but a few miles further up. The county passed a tax increase for more gravel but has yet to lay it all down.
    2013-10-10_09-20-23_320.jpg2013-10-10_09-18-26_724.jpg

  18. #18
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrub View Post
    I ride all sorts of things with 28 Gatorskins.
    Depends on what the gravel is like.

    Fo Dirty Kanza, where the gravel is sharp flint, and there's a lot of minimally maintained road, they recommend 2" tires. I did it on 700x40 Schwalbe Marathons with no flats.

    I saw a lot of people on 32mm cross tires, changing flats.

    At the other extreme, a solid packed dirt road, or small crushed gravel, and you can do it with even 23mm tires.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  19. #19
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    Are you certain your 28mm tires "just won't do"? I've ridden several gravel century "races," and IMHO people overestimate the kind of tire they need. Slicks do just fine, and crazy volume isn't necessary. I'd try your current tires at a lowish pressure and see what you think. After that, if it's just too uncomfortable and squirrelly, Jack Brown 33.3mm tires from Rivendell have always worked for me.

  20. #20
    idc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Ritchey Speedmax Cross Comp http://www.cxmagazine.com/ritchey-sp...ss-tire-review
    60 TPI, small block tread
    I use these for gravel and love them. They're on a fairly wide rim (Stan's Iron Cross) so they measure > 32mm.

    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    Depends on what the gravel is like.

    Fo Dirty Kanza, where the gravel is sharp flint, and there's a lot of minimally maintained road, they recommend 2" tires. I did it on 700x40 Schwalbe Marathons with no flats.

    I saw a lot of people on 32mm cross tires, changing flats.
    I heard the same thing from a friend who rode it last year. He used Clement Xplor, and said the gravel was a lot tougher than the gravel I usually ride (with him).

  21. #21
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    I can vouch for the WTB 'pathway', in 32mm it was puncture free on
    my commute on the I&M canal pathway from Naperville to Joliet.
    Mixture of older flattened and newer gravel path, they were great on all of it and with 60psi were fast rolling on the road too.

  22. #22
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    Clement LAS has been good for me. They have a file type middle with knobby sides. The casings seem a little stiff at first but will get supple like a sew up after 100 miles. On wide profile rims they float real nice. I run mine around 50psi.

    clement LAS.jpg

    60

  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Challenge has jumped on the GG bandwagon with a GG tire.. Bike radar showed it from Taipei trade show coverage..

  24. #24
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linus View Post
    Clement X'plor MSO or go home.
    I just mounted a set of these a couple weeks ago and so far they feel fantastic, they roll very quick, are supple and have a reasonable amount of grip for how well they roll.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by linus View Post
    Clement X'plor MSO or go home.
    I use these tires in the summer on gravel roads. I like them, but getting the pressure right is key. Regardless of pressure though, they often spin out on loose gravel climbs; however, this is where bike skills come into play as gearing choice and weight shifts are important.

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