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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 10-30-13, 07:21 PM   #1
Planemaker
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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.
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Old 10-30-13, 08:22 PM   #2
Simon Cowbell
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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/
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Old 10-30-13, 08:54 PM   #3
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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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Old 10-31-13, 07:05 AM   #4
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Clement X'plor line of tires
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Old 10-31-13, 10:43 AM   #5
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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
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Old 10-31-13, 04:52 PM   #6
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Schwalbe Smart Sam 700 x 40
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Old 10-31-13, 06:22 PM   #7
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What tires did people ride before the roads were paved, in the first place?
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Old 10-31-13, 06:30 PM   #8
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Clement X'plor line of tires
Clement X'plor MSO or go home.
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Old 11-01-13, 03:13 PM   #9
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I am happy with the new Continental SpeedRIDE 700 x 42c; puncture protecting, folding bead, 420 grams, and $30.
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Old 11-01-13, 03:18 PM   #10
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Huh. I have been riding Specialized Armadillos in 28mm on levee roads and rail-trails. They've been great.
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Old 11-01-13, 05:17 PM   #11
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What tires did people ride before the roads were paved, in the first place?
Balloon tires on their Schwinn Spitfires.
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Old 11-02-13, 02:46 PM   #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?
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Old 11-05-13, 12:08 PM   #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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Old 11-05-13, 07:06 PM   #14
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I ride all sorts of things with 28 Gatorskins.
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Old 11-06-13, 12:27 AM   #15
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I ride all sorts of things with 28 Gatorskins.
Quote:
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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.
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Old 11-06-13, 08:42 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 12-10-13, 11:51 AM   #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.
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Old 12-10-13, 01:59 PM   #18
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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.
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Old 12-13-13, 10:52 AM   #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.
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Old 01-13-14, 08:49 AM   #20
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Quote:
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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.

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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).
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Old 02-01-14, 01:48 PM   #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.
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Old 03-14-14, 07:54 PM   #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.



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Old 03-14-14, 08:58 PM   #23
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Challenge has jumped on the GG bandwagon with a GG tire.. Bike radar showed it from Taipei trade show coverage..
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Old 03-14-14, 10:08 PM   #24
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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.
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Old 03-15-14, 04:53 AM   #25
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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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