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  1. #1
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    38s on cross bike

    Wondering if running wider tires on cross bikes is popular here or more unusual.

    I decided to go from the default 700x32 to 700x38 for my Tricross. I'm mostly on hardpack gravel bike paths and find they give better overall traction, cornering, and a lot less jolting ride. The bike also feels less rigidly jarring and more forgiving of holes, ridges, and rough spots. Much more comfortable on long rides and easier on the bike I think.

    Although a little heavier, I don't notice any less rolling resistance and my pedaling speed seems unaffected. I went with Hemisphere Armadillos. Since I don't race, I'm convinced that slightly wider tires on gravel work best (at least for me).
    Last edited by Richard8655; 08-21-14 at 09:49 AM.

  2. #2
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    Most cross bikes won't allow that size tire so I think it's more unusual. Largest mine will take is a 34. That's plenty large enough for me. If I wanted something larger, I'd have to go with 650b wheels.
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  3. #3
    Living 'n Dying in ¾-Time JBHoren's Avatar
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    I ride Bontrager Satellite Hardcase Elites front 'n rear, in 700x38, on my 1990 Bianchi Volpe. Yes, they're "slicks" -- all of my riding is on-road, never off-road. Great ride, and never a "pinch flat". 2000 miles on this pair, and going strong.

  4. #4
    more coffee please
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    I've been riding 38s the past few weeks on my commuter. My particular tires are a little on the heavy side, but yeah the ride is real smooth and sturdy. I'm sold.

  5. #5
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    Thanks all. Glad to hear many of you also enjoy the ride of 38s as I do. Knobster, from way back on this forum I thought you also were a Tricross owner.
    Last edited by Richard8655; 08-21-14 at 05:36 PM.

  6. #6
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    Most CX bikes will take up to 35. If you want fat tires, your only options are either a monstercross or a 29er.

  7. #7
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    Specialized Tricross takes 'em, if not even larger. I wouldn't say 38 is fat, more like in the 40s is fat in my opinion.

  8. #8
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    I tried Clement MSO 700x40 on my old Poprad and they didn't fit

    I'm running the USH 700x35 and they are nice. I would love to try a 38 some time.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bmthom.gis's Avatar
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    My Volpe has 38s on her. I love 'em. I don't do gravel per se, but it is my commuter and I have been known to try some shortcuts
    "All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard8655 View Post
    Thanks all. Glad to hear many of you also enjoy the ride of 38s as I do. Knobster, from way back on this forum I thought you also were a Tricross owner.
    Yeah, I've owned many Tricross bikes.. I actually really like them. My favorite was a 2006 Comp model. Very versatile bike. Wish I hadn't sold it. Got a Moots now but it's more of a race bike than the Tricross.
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  11. #11
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Clement MSO 40s fit my carbon Crux with enough clearance for dry conditions, but could get tight in real mud. I love them for gravel roads.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  12. #12
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I'll install 700x38 Schwalbe Marathon CX tires if the gravel is of the tire shredding variety. Otherwise, 700x32 are lighter and faster.
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  13. #13
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    I don't notice any difference in speed going from 32 to 38 (640g vs 790g for armadillos). 5 ounces is a few sips out of the the water bottle.

  14. #14
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I use supple 700x32 tires that weigh less than 400 grams. Even my tough and durable touring tire is under 400 grams:

    http://www.wiggle.com/vittoria-voyag...-touring-tire/
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 08-22-14 at 02:26 PM.
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
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  15. #15
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    Makes sense for a nice light tire like that... not criticizing. I'm willing to go with a little more weight for flat protection, durability, longevity, and comfort. And for me a few hundred grams isn't that noticeable.
    Last edited by Richard8655; 08-22-14 at 05:01 PM.

  16. #16
    Wherever I may roam....
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    The vitorrid hyper voyager are great tires. I've been using the older hyper Randos on a few of my bikes and love them. Fast, light and comfy.

    I have them in 38s on my Volpe
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard8655 View Post
    I don't notice any difference in speed going from 32 to 38 (640g vs 790g for armadillos). 5 ounces is a few sips out of the the water bottle.
    Damn, as much as I hate flats, I love lightweight tires with higher air volume. Less than 300g on my 700x33 tires, and for their width they have an amazing profile, much more volume than your average 32.

    On topic, my tcx should fit 42s under it. Was tempted to put some 40 wtb nano tires on it. But suffered my second broken knee at the start of summer and I think I'm sticking to strictly on road activities for the extended future. But I think I'll go up in size for my next set, maybe little big Bens? Although I'll miss the light weight

  18. #18
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    If you want a low-cost tire that rides nicely, take a look at the Panaracer Pasela. It's available in several widths, and works well on paved and unpaved surfaces.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  19. #19
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Asylum Cycles has had somebody racing their Meuse at the local races this year with a 700x40 Clement MSO and it looked like their was still a decent amount of clearance.

    I run 700x35 Marathon Supremes with fenders on my Kona Jake. I'm pretty confident that I could use wider tires (700x38 for sure, maybe 700x40) but I'd have problems getting fenders properly fit over them, particularly at the seat tube.

    Those Little Big Bens look nice.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlTheKiller View Post
    Damn, as much as I hate flats, I love lightweight tires with higher air volume. Less than 300g on my 700x33 tires, and for their width they have an amazing profile, much more volume than your average 32.

    On topic, my tcx should fit 42s under it. Was tempted to put some 40 wtb nano tires on it. But suffered my second broken knee at the start of summer and I think I'm sticking to strictly on road activities for the extended future. But I think I'll go up in size for my next set, maybe little big Bens? Although I'll miss the light weight
    Yeah, it's a balance of what feels good, works best for the surface, and wanting to avoid flats while not slowing you down (or much at least). My Armadillo 38's are an experiment for a while. I'll ride them for another couple seasons and maybe step back down to 32's. So far the 38's are comfortable on gravel, get much better traction, and give more confidence in flat avoidance without noticeable speed loss.

    Your 33's sound like a good compromise in giving a nice ride without the added volume. See how they work out. Milehighmark and RobE30 look like they have good recommendations based on their experiences too.

  21. #21
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    Running 42 Conti Crossrides now.

    Did 30 mi of fire road last weekend and 96 mi of pavement the weekend before as well as the daily commute.

    No difference to speak of in rolling resistance, or time on the 96mi route over 24mm slicks (@90 psi) when inflated to road pressure, (65-70 lb)

    What I have noticed is increased sensitivity to crosswind gusts. Seems like they knock me around quite a bit more than on the skinny tires.

  22. #22
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    WTB pathway 38's Kevlar folding bead 750g. Been a great tyre so far, would love to half the weight though, rotating mass is different from water in your bottle though
    Love my bikes, all N+1 of them.

  23. #23
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    Maybe true, but it was just a comparison. I guess I'm not too compulsive in analyzing it like that as I accept a few hundred grams for the benefit.

  24. #24
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    Anyone ever try these?

    Forté Gotham ST Road and Mountain Tires, 700 x 32, 700 x 35, 26 x 1.75

    Only 700 x 35, and pretty cheap at $16 each. Thinking of putting them on a Fuji Cross 4.0 I'm looking at. I don't like the look of the knobbies that come on the bike. Look like they would be horrible on the road, where I will probably do 60-70% of my riding.

    About how much do you guys spend on the various 38s you're running?

  25. #25
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Continental travel contact is their Touring past the end of the paved road , tire. ie, gravel roads..

    Continental Bicycle -Travel CONTACT

    I've used the 26-1.75" , the 622-37 should be fine ..

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