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Old 05-16-08, 06:05 AM   #1
neilfein
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Tires for crushed limestone touring, part II

Things have changed since I last posted about this thread about MTB knobbies or slicks on the Pittsburgh to DC trails. The general consensus is that 26" semi slicks would do fine on the crushed limestone and gravel.

The mountain bike lost an argument with a car, and I picked up a Novara Randonee with 700/32 tires. I'm thinking that the differenc in tire width will change matters a little bit.

So: Cross tires with a mild tread? Something along these lines:

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Old 05-16-08, 06:13 AM   #2
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My guess is that the stock tire (Vittoria Randonneur 700x32) on the Novara Randonee should be fine for the GAP and C&O.
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Old 05-16-08, 07:07 AM   #3
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I don't know what that tire you pictured is, but it looks a lot like the Conti TravelContact, which has slick in the middle and knobs on the sides. I did fine with that on packed dirt and packed gravel. I rode some of the C&O a few years ago with the stock tires from my 50 which had a light inverse tread, no knobs. You should be fine with what you posted above or similar. I would go wider if you're going to swap tires.

edit, i mean wider than the stock 32s for the towpath. the contis are 35s
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Old 05-16-08, 08:08 AM   #4
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You're obsessing about tires unnecessarily. You'll be fine with what came on the Randonnee.
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Old 05-16-08, 09:19 AM   #5
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You're obsessing about tires unnecessarily. You'll be fine with what came on the Randonnee.
Agreed. If the world of marketing only offered one or two bicycle tires to us, the net effect on touring would be unmeasurable. Almost any other component decision is more important -- the color of your cable housing, for example.
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Old 05-16-08, 09:22 AM   #6
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Obsessing about tires may be obsessive, but it's fun!
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Old 05-16-08, 09:30 AM   #7
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You're obsessing about tires unnecessarily. You'll be fine with what came on the Randonnee.
I ride the same size tires as Neil F., and I was wobbly on gravel with them. If any tire improves traction, I'm for it.
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Old 05-16-08, 10:46 AM   #8
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I know that no one has talked about the Continental Town/Country in this thread yet, but I feel a need to post about them. A few months ago I loved them and posted good things about them on similar forums. I said that they were rugged and solid on all types of trails, but I am on my TransAm ride right now and I have ditched my Contis. I recommend others to steer clear of them.

The problem I have had is weak sidewalls. I had one tire blowout (while the bike was unloaded and not rolling!) and the other tire started to bubble even with patches on the inside and outside. Even when you take them off of the bike the sides feel flimsy and not to be trusted. They don't feel like they would be a good touring tire at all!

The Serfas Drifter is a similar tire that has felt very solid, and I'm using Michelin City tires on my Novara Safari right now. Both of them have been great, and they do well on crushed limestone and gravel. They are too big for the Rand, I think, but I want to throw out my couple of pennies anyway. Don't go Conti. Otherwise, have a great time on the GAP and C&O...great trails!

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Links for the tires...these are REI links, but you can buy them lots of places.

Drifter- http://www.rei.com/product/724622
Michelin City- http://www.rei.com/product/768732
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Old 05-16-08, 10:59 AM   #9
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I know that no one has talked about the Continental Town/Country in this thread yet, but I feel a need to post about them. A few months ago I loved them and posted good things about them on similar forums. I said that they were rugged and solid on all types of trails, but I am on my TransAm ride right now and I have ditched my Contis. I recommend others to steer clear of them.

The problem I have had is weak sidewalls. I had one tire blowout (while the bike was unloaded and not rolling!) and the other tire started to bubble even with patches on the inside and outside. Even when you take them off of the bike the sides feel flimsy and not to be trusted. They don't feel like they would be a good touring tire at all!
I'd agree. The T&C are hard to get into the rim evenly; even a local biek shop that's good with repairs had trouble. And I had a blowout with these as well, after a sidewall was worn down by a badly placed rear brake pad. (I replaced the entire brake system a week before the bike got trashed.)
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Old 05-16-08, 12:26 PM   #10
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These...


Specialized Crossroads Armadillo

I was running Conti Town & Country tires for the longest time but they have gotten crappier so I asked my LBS for a recommendation. They hooked me up with the Crossroads for $65/pair and these things will ride over anything. There is a lot of glass and shrapnel on my commute and the Armadillo casing combined with the beefy tread handles it all. And they are a fast, fast tire; especially for something with that much tread.
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Old 05-16-08, 03:38 PM   #11
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http://www.downtheroad.org/Equipment...ring_Tires.htm seems to say that Contintental isn't bad, just their Town & Country tire. I have some Travel Contacts. They seem durable so far. However, since the tread is only on the edge, they feel like a road tire when I'm trying to climb a dirt or gravel road going uphill, and a knobby tire when I'm trying to corner on a paved road.
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Old 05-16-08, 06:03 PM   #12
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limestone?

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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
My guess is that the stock tire (Vittoria Randonneur 700x32) on the Novara Randonee should be fine for the GAP and C&O.
Ok, if the 700 x 32 will work, do you think 700 x 28 will work?

I think that is the largest tire I can put on my OCR2 for this up and coming adventure.

Bill
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Old 05-16-08, 06:18 PM   #13
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My partner, teenage son and I did the Erie canal tour last summer with a lot of limestone trail-
that dust just seemed to penetrate everything. We each had Schwalbe marathon tires- they had
50x559, I had 42x622. The tires were great, no problems, good traction and wear.
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Old 05-16-08, 06:42 PM   #14
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32 mm wide tires can be run fine. On the firetrails up in Michigan, on the UP, I just aired down to 80 PSI for a little better flotation on soft, sandy, gravelly surfaces. Once I was back on pavement, I just aired back up to 100 PSI.
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