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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-11-14, 10:55 AM   #1
Thira
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Road Bike Tires for the mountains and desert for mountains?

Looking for best tires for mountains (descending), bad roads at times, and short segments of gravel during a week 400 mile road bike tour. Presently riding Continental 4000S 700 x 23mm clinchers on Zipp 303's, Trek Madone 5.9 and on flat well paved roads.

We will be pleasure touring,no racing.

Have been looking and thinking Continental Gatorskins, 700 x 25mm, might be the choice.

Am also thinking of leaving the ZIPPs at home and riding either Ksyrium SL's or Bontrager Race Lites (came on my bike when new).

Appreciate the advice and thanks in advance for responding.
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Old 05-11-14, 11:08 AM   #2
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I've descended dirt roads on 25mm Schwalbe Duranos. Did ok, but wouldn't want to do 400 miles of it.
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Old 05-11-14, 11:08 AM   #3
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Cruddy wheel set on 25 or 28 if you can fit them. Gator skin or marathon plus tires. Serfas has an awesome sidewall on their top protection tires (armadillo I want to say?)

Personally I'd rather do that ride on a cross, or less expensive, bike, but what ever floats your boat it is what matters. Where is the ride?
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Old 05-11-14, 11:13 AM   #4
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Maxxis Refuse in 700cx25 or Specialized Armadillo Elite.

We live in the high desert. Lots of goatheads and other thorns to watch out for.
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Old 05-11-14, 11:20 AM   #5
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Ride is in Idaho. From what I understand the roads for the most part are good, only short segments of bad road or gravel. The only other bike I have is a 1972 Gitane, steel frome bike with Simplex deraillers, and a standard crank. Don't even know the what's on the cassette.
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Old 05-11-14, 11:46 AM   #6
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Whatever you decide, pack extra tubes & definitely an extra set of tires in case you cut the ones you start with. I'd go as wide as you can fit on your frame but generally, skinny tires are no fun at all on loose terrain. I got lost a couple months ago and rode 10 miles or so on dirt with loose sand on top (no gravel) and it's treacherous going. The sand, I mean.
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Old 05-11-14, 11:48 AM   #7
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In your situation if it's going to be touring I'd take the schwalbe one tubeless 28mm. They are currently a bit hard to get but I've been informed that 26th of this month they will be available at least in Germany.
You can convert any wheelset for tubeless pretty easily. Also the ride quality is better, you have additional puncture protection and have all the possibilities a tubed tire would have.
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Old 05-11-14, 11:57 AM   #8
Thira
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Maxxis Refuse in 700cx25 or Specialized Armadillo Elite.

We live in the high desert. Lots of goatheads and other thorns to watch out for.
We will be in similar terrain, next door in Idaho.
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Old 05-11-14, 01:03 PM   #9
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I would NOT take my Madone on any tour that included long strips of gravel. I would also install the widest tires that would fit, on rough terrain.

* Armadillo Elites or Continental Gatorskins...

Last edited by WestPablo; 05-11-14 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 05-11-14, 01:07 PM   #10
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In your situation if it's going to be touring I'd take the schwalbe one tubeless 28mm. They are currently a bit hard to get but I've been informed that 26th of this month they will be available at least in Germany.
You can convert any wheelset for tubeless pretty easily. Also the ride quality is better, you have additional puncture protection and have all the possibilities a tubed tire would have.
That's a pretty lightweight tire.
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Old 05-11-14, 01:52 PM   #11
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Most of the tour is on highways and paved roads. For bad sections I can always jump in a van. I have no other bike to ride.
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Old 05-11-14, 02:43 PM   #12
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Vittoria Rubino Pro 3 are 28mm (mine measure slightly better than 27) have an iffy micro-knobby tread on the shoulders and is lightweight at 245g. Fatter at lower pressure might help, for example 75 psi front 90 rear. There's a Rubino Pro Tech version with sidewall reinforcement like the Gatorskins but the Pro 3 are fairly good as is. You could put the Tech on back and the regular version on front. Measure the clearance you have with callipers to see how fat you can go. Ribble sells them but the 28 are generally hard to find.

Photo showing micro-tread http://store.fixie-factory.com/2659-...ro-3-black.jpg

Last edited by Clem von Jones; 05-11-14 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 05-12-14, 03:33 AM   #13
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That's a pretty lightweight tire.
Not as such. I believe Schwalbe has beefed up the 28mm model just for the reason that it is a wider multi terrain tire fit for cobbles and such.
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Old 05-12-14, 05:04 AM   #14
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I live on a dirt road and I can +1 the Maxxis ReFuse. They're not light, but they're strong. They don't cut easily. I think they ride a lot better than Gatorskins, too.

Also, your bike is fine. No need to baby it.
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Old 05-12-14, 08:14 AM   #15
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I just bought some Gatorskin Hardshells for my Madone on the recommendation of my LBS. The salesman has raced the Rouge Roubaix (106 miles on gravel/pavement mix) six times on them and never had a flat. He's also done the levee ride from Baton Rouge to New Orleans (about 75 miles), which is mostly gravel. No problems there either.

PM Spectastic here on the forum, he's done the RR as well and may have some suggestions.
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Old 05-13-14, 01:56 PM   #16
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Thanks Velisoped. Originally from New Orleans, and have ridden sections of the levee ride along the Mississippi River. Real enjoyable.
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