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  1. #1
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    Tires - 700c for rough trails?

    I'm about done with my 622x38's, stock conti's that came on my Surly Disk Trucker. I've done close to 70 miles the past two days on a trail we have around here and it is rough - real rough. I've been throwing around the idea of softer springs for my Brooks Flyer seat, but haven't come across the right springs yet. Thing is, no matter what the springs are in the seat it isn't going to help the frame and racks from a day long beating every time I go out.

    My neighbor has a mountain bike with some pretty fat tires on it, aired down further than I'd think. We got to talking today and the reason hes running that is because of the terrain around here. He rides almost all roads and trails, but they're in crappy condition.

    Just thinking here.. maybe if I put some thicker tires on with less pressure I'll be better off. I have my tires at 65psi right now and with my rack loaded up today I could see the rear tire bulging just under the weight, let alone hitting a bump.

    It doesn't look like there are a whole lot of tire offerings in the 700c class that are much wider/thicker than 38-40. I'm also not looking for an off-road style tire, something with more street tread is what I'm after vs. mountain bike knobys.

  2. #2
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    I have the Clement XPlor MSO's in 700x40 and really love them, they roll great and still grip good enough for some easier singletrack. Continental tends to run smaller than advertised, my Clements are actually pretty spot on at around 40mm. X'PLOR MSO | Clement Cycling, Cyclocross Tires, Adventure Tires, Mountain Bike Tires, Road Bike Tires

    A couple other options are the new Surly Knard in 700x41, that tread rolls pretty well but is slightly more expensive than my Clements. Wheels | Parts and Accessories | Surly Bikes

    The "Little Big Ben" from Schwalbe is another nice high volume tire without much tread so it would roll quick. On their site it is listed at 28x1.5 but it is actually the same as a 700x40, different countries label things differently but it is the same exact size. Big Ben | Schwalbe North America

  3. #3
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    i had 700x44 cross tires on my hybrid that i used for light touring.
    it's been a while, so don't recall the brand right now.

    did pretty well on logging roads and tank trails........profile was
    okay on the roads. just gotta check the space between your chainstays.
    if too close and you pick up some grit in the rain, you can sand holes on
    the insides of the stays.
    Last edited by saddlesores; 04-06-14 at 09:29 PM. Reason: the voices!!!!!!

  4. #4
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    I measured my chainstays and fork and I am around 2-1/8" clearance, or a hair over 53mm - at the edge of the tire. It is wider towards the rim/fattest part of the tire.

    Going off of that, I'd say a 50mm would give me enough clearance. Any thoughts? The specs say up to a 45mm will fit, but I don't know how they come up with that number?

  5. #5
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
    I measured my chainstays and fork and I am around 2-1/8" clearance, or a hair over 53mm - at the edge of the tire. It is wider towards the rim/fattest part of the tire.

    Going off of that, I'd say a 50mm would give me enough clearance. Any thoughts? The specs say up to a 45mm will fit, but I don't know how they come up with that number?
    probably not a good idea......you have 53mm space. put in a nominal 50mm tire, and that
    leaves only 1.5mm per side............assuming your wheel is perfectly trued and your tire
    is perfectly round and the tire is perfectly inflated and the tread on the sides is perfectly
    formed and the road is perfectly clean.............

    if the specs say 45, there's a reason. or reasons. (of course, with lawyers involved the
    specs will be conservative. 46mm would probably be safe tho....)

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Conti travel contact is their adventure .. tour past the end of the paved road, tire .. [The 26-1.75 I've had experience with]


    with a touring load lower PSI really becomes a drag turning a thorn resistant inner-tube in my tires

    But the punctures dont happen ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-07-14 at 12:40 AM.

  7. #7
    oren_hershco
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    There's no way around this: on rough surfaces, you need REAL off road tires. That means:
    1. They're knobby (not touring-tires-with-deep-grooves! really knobby)
    2. They're fat
    3. You run them with low air pressure. How low? As low as you can, without getting snake-bites when you hit a rock.

    Running touring tires with 65PSI (even with 40PSI) off road is a huge mistake. Not only it's uncomfortable, but the tires hardly grip the ground. The exact air pressure depends on your weight, how much the bike is loaded, the terrain and your riding skill.

    I would look for 29" off road tires. They should fit your touring rims, and you have a big variety to choose from.

  8. #8
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    KC8QVO, Do you ride light when off road? By this I mean are you out of the saddle when things become rough? With a rigid bicycle there is little that can be done to float over rough areas. Lower air pressure in the tires and increasing tire size can marginally soften some blows. So can slowing down and picking the best available path. No matter what, bolts can still loosen after a couple of rough sections.

    Softer springs for the saddle will just allow the saddle to become closer to the mounting rails and will possibly collapse to the end of their travel onto the rail with a thud, springs are not shock absorbers.

    Brad

  9. #9
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    I'm game to try some Clement Xplor tires next go round on my Indy Fab (dirt roads, fire roads, class iv, etc...). I can fit 32 with fenders... but for rough stuff I'd be losing the fenders. Can go to a 45.

    On the Fargo I've run Conti Race Kings and WTB Vulpines (RIP!).


    I think it really depends on the type of 'rough'.
    Single track with root and rock gardens and nasty sharp stuff? Wet and slimy?
    Buff single track? Cross tires might work.

    How much road / dirt road to get to the rough stuff?
    How much of that over the entire trip?

  10. #10
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    I ride a 700 x 37 WTB All Terain

    ML
    2013 Custom Coconino One Speed
    1996 Giant ATX 870 converted to single speed,

  11. #11
    Senior Member Pukeskywalker's Avatar
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    Here are two cyclocross tires to consider:

    Continental Cyclocross Speed
    https://www.conti-online.com/www/bic..._speed_en.html

    Kenda Happy Medium Pro
    Happy Medium Pro

  12. #12
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Schwalbe Big Apples and Marathon Supremes are both great tires that come is wider sizes.

  13. #13
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    And the suggestions keep rolling in. (pun intended!)... The Bruce Gordon Rock'n Roads may do the job. I have an old set of 700x40's that I've ridden single track sections of the Great Divide Trail on and also local trails here in NH. The current version is listed at 700x43 and relatively light at 540 grams. They would be just under the upper size limit specified for your bike.

    Rock 'n Road 700c All Terrain Tire| Bruce Gordon Cycles

  14. #14
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    Will I notice much difference going from what I have now (37 wide, not 38 i believe) to a 43-47? Tire pressure is going to be tricky because I am needing to stay on the low end but knowing how low and keeping pinch flats from happening sounds like a pretty fine line. Then if I air up I am defeating the purpose of the bigger tire in the first place.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    Schwalbe Big Apples and Marathon Supremes are both great tires that come is wider sizes.
    Add Schwallable Mondails too,,,for the fire roads, light single track,,and touring
    As Tony the Tiger says "They're GREAT"

    Plenty of sizes,,so far close to 800 miles no flats,,mine are 622-47 (29x 1 3/4)

    For the Brooks,,well I got a Cane Creek Thudbuster seatpost, rather then replace the springs.

    Check Surly web site,,but thought was up to 45 without fenders,,kinda one reason I got an Ogre instead.
    Last edited by flash63; 04-07-14 at 06:37 PM.

  16. #16
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    I saw that this was alluded to, but not directly mentioned, so just to make sure you're aware, "29er" tires are just 700c tires with a hype name. You can find lots of "29ers" in higher volume sizes, even with almost slick tread. Look into those too. I'd suggest going to a bike shop with your bike so that it can be plainly seen by them, and asking what size 700c MTB tire(29er) you can fit. They're gonna be in 'Murican sizes, so I'm not sure how that would translate to 700x??c. One other thing to consider is your rim width. I'm thinking if your wheels are stock for the LHT then they should be on the wider end of things, but make sure before you stick big tires on there and roll a bead running really low pressure. And I'd recommend running as low as possible as previously mentioned. Just as an example, I run my MTB tires ~30psi. Keep a frame pump mounted and you can quickly air up when you need to if you take to the road or smooth packed trail.
    90 Miyata 914 with full Dura-Ace
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyclops View Post
    Oh yeah, sure, what if everyone thought that way? Then internet forums would merely be places where rational people exchange useful information and ideas - instead of the chaotic, emotionally-charged circuses that they are.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    KC8QVO, Do you ride light when off road? By this I mean are you out of the saddle when things become rough? With a rigid bicycle there is little that can be done to float over rough areas. Lower air pressure in the tires and increasing tire size can marginally soften some blows. So can slowing down and picking the best available path. No matter what, bolts can still loosen after a couple of rough sections.

    Softer springs for the saddle will just allow the saddle to become closer to the mounting rails and will possibly collapse to the end of their travel onto the rail with a thud, springs are not shock absorbers.
    I just saw this post. I'm not sure how I missed it... but in any event - when I am riding in rough spots I stay off the seat, yes. The trail I have been riding on, though, gets ruts and foot prints cemented in place after it is wet and dries out. That makes it hard to ride any distance without sitting.

    The other issue is, although I am a larger percentage of the load on the bike, the weight of gear is still on the frame.

    As to bolts loosening - yea, bolts can be tightened on the road/trail. If a weld cracks loose that's another story. I am using a cheap rack right now as I am going to make my own when I get a chance.

    These should give you an idea of the trails and the current set up:






  18. #18
    psy
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    Marathon Mondials...best all around touring tire made imo. I run them on my fargo and they roll relatively smooth on pavement and transition smoothly to off road riding. I have about 5000 miles on mine and have never had a flat and they still have a ton of life left. So despite the 70-100 dollar price tag..I say they are worth every penny

  19. #19
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
    I just saw this post. I'm not sure how I missed it... but in any event - when I am riding in rough spots I stay off the seat, yes. The trail I have been riding on, though, gets ruts and foot prints cemented in place after it is wet and dries out. That makes it hard to ride any distance without sitting.

    The other issue is, although I am a larger percentage of the load on the bike, the weight of gear is still on the frame.

    As to bolts loosening - yea, bolts can be tightened on the road/trail. If a weld cracks loose that's another story. I am using a cheap rack right now as I am going to make my own when I get a chance.

    These should give you an idea of the trails and the current set up:






    Those trails / paths / dirt roads don't look all that rough. I ride lots of dirt and gravel here on pasela 28s, 35 cross tires, and Conti 4 season Gps.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    Those trails / paths / dirt roads don't look all that rough. I ride lots of dirt and gravel here on pasela 28s, 35 cross tires, and Conti 4 season Gps.
    What he said. I think on that I might run a tiny bit of tread on the front tire just for the occasional time when your front wheel tries to track a tire rut(the tread helps your tire climb back out). I'd probably just run a road touring tire in rear. Probably both in the largest volume I could fit if you're riding those trails a lot. A 700x40c Vittoria Hyper would make a light, comfy, fast rear tire. I don't really have a recommendation for the front. Maybe one of those cross tires that are basically smooth down the center, but have some tread toward the sides.
    90 Miyata 914 with full Dura-Ace
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    80s Cierra Professional 5000, Tange Champion 2 and Shimano 600
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyclops View Post
    Oh yeah, sure, what if everyone thought that way? Then internet forums would merely be places where rational people exchange useful information and ideas - instead of the chaotic, emotionally-charged circuses that they are.

  21. #21
    warriorsociologist rigormootis's Avatar
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    On the paths shown, I'd just run the 32 T-servs I'm used to...in fact, I've somewhat standardized to them.
    - Chris
    '05 Gunnar CrossHairs & '96 Trek 990 SHX

  22. #22
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    KC8QVO, I can understand how the path/road can be rough, especially if the surface is frozen. I liked the Panaracer Crosstown tire when riding off road on my touring bike, but have since replaced them with 32 mm Contis. The Crosstown has a mini knobbie style of side tread. Ride wise I don't think they'd be a major improvement.

    For your home made rack, I really like the countersunk screws used on my Old Man Mountain rack more so than the pan head screws commonly found to support a lighter duty bicycle rack.

    Brad

  23. #23
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    When I took the pictures I was concentrating on the area and scenery, not the trail. I'll see if I can get some close-ups of the surface when I get out there again in the day light, might not be until the weekend after next... we'll see.

    Brad - thanks for the screw suggestion. I am not real picky on the hardware, the main thing is that it is strong, then weight second. I'll start up a thread when I get that project going. All I have right now are rough bike dimensions and geometry. The welder should be ready.. have to check the wire, but I think I have pleny because where it was last it was never used and last time I had it I put a new spool of wire on.

  24. #24
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    I am looking at the Continental Tour RIDE tires in 42x622. Any thoughts? I want to get the ones with the reflex reflective strips on the sidewalls. I can't tell if the offerings on Amazon do. My guess is they dont. I am going to check with the local bike store to see if they can be ordered in.

    I am not real sure if I will notice much of a difference with them. I suppose if anything I will get a little extra fudge factor running the lower pressure in protecting from pinch flats, but until I ride on them and adjust the pressure I won't know.

    I still need to experiment with my current tires more on pressure. I went to 45 rear/40 front before the last ride (down from ~65) and it made a difference. I'd like to do a ride at ~35, and maybe 30, just to see what happens. Any more volume in the tire I can get is that much more cushion to compress before I bottom out the rim.

  25. #25
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    A couple of guys from Sweden had a 42 tire on their bikes they rode from AK thru Canada and WA to here .

    it was November , the LBS inventory was picked over during the summer , and the business drops off the rest of the year

    so they had to grab what spares were on hand.

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