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  1. #1
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    Choosing the right tire...

    I'm building a bike solely for the track. I'm not looking at being super competitive but I'd like to do the best I can. The guy at my local shop hooked me up with some Conti Competitions 700x22 tubulars. I've been looking online and Conti also makes a track Pista model that comes in 19 or in 23. Why would someone prefer the wider tires? Wouldn't they have more rolling resistance? Also I'm riding outside at Hellyer and I'm a big guy (250). So what are some of the things to look for?
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  2. #2
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    If you're big (and you are) get the bigger tires. They will roll better for you. I'm small by track standards at 170 lbs (77kg), and tracks in Japan are smooooooooooth so I can get away with 19's. But even for me, the benefit of the 19's is dubious. I simply bought them cuz they were on special, and now I'm kinda stuck with them. Go bigger.

  3. #3
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Well first of all being that you weigh 250 lbs, you absolutely want to stay away from 19mm tires, at least in the rear. I personally like a wider tire in the rear than the front because the rear tire carries more weight and needs a wider contact patch to provide good traction when you get on the gas. The front needs to steer, and a narrower tire steers easier. Since you don't have a front brake, you don't need to worry a wide contact patch in the front. As to the Contis, there is no such thing as a "Pista" model that I know of. The four track models are Podium, Tempo, Sonderklasse and Olympic. I have used all 4. You need not consider the Tempo, because it is crap or the Olympic because it is very narrow and absurdly expensive. I would recommend the Podium for the front, which is a 19mm with a slick tread, and the Sonderklasse 175 for the rear, which is a 23mm with a fine diamond point tread. The Sonderklasse is a little pricey at over $100 a pop, but well worth it in terms of quality, roundness and longevity. Although the 175 might suggest that it weighs 175 grams, its actual weight is more like 250 grams, practically the same as the Competition. As far as your question regarding rolling resistance, its more a function of inflation pressure and rider weight than tire width. The narrower the tire, the higher the pressure needed to support a given weight. In your case, were you to use a narrow 19mm tire in the rear, you would probably need at least 180 psi just to get the tire to assume its shape and not act as if it were going flat. That would exceed the maximum inflation pressure of the Podium, and you would have to go to a tire with a higher pressure rating. Having said all this, I might originally try the competitions, and see if you like them, before you drop a couple of C notes on a new set of track tires. Many racers at my track use ordinary road tires like Conti Sprinters with good results.
    Last edited by TejanoTrackie; 07-29-09 at 07:49 PM.

  4. #4
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    Sorry, that's Vittoria that has the Pista track model.
    http://www.totalcycling.com/index.ph...RIA_PISTA.html
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    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louderthangod View Post
    Sorry, that's Vittoria that has the Pista track model.
    http://www.totalcycling.com/index.ph...RIA_PISTA.html
    The Vittoria EVO CL and CS Pista tires are very light and very delicate high performance tires that can be inflated to very high pressure of well over 200 psi. They will not last very long, especially in the rear, and any scuff of the sidewall will ruin them. Definitely NOT recommended for general use. Also, they have latex tubes that do not hold air very long, whereas the Contis have butyl tubes that will hold air for days. I have used the Vittorias on occasion for special events, such as national championships, but not for day to day use. Also, let me recommend this local US source for all tires, their prices are good and they are real pros:

    http://www.worldclasscycles.com/tubu..._only_cart.htm

  6. #6
    not actually Nickatina andre nickatina's Avatar
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    FWIW I'm not terribly impressed with the Tempos I have. I ride them at about 140. Going above that mark has caused the rear tire to skip in the past. Next tire I get for track will be a Steher.

  7. #7
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    I should add that the Veloflex record is a REALLY nice tire. I've got one on the rear of my spoked wheelset and I'm really impressed with the longevity so far and the feel. It says 20mm but seems more like 22, so may be suitable for heavier riders. Will take high pressure. I've even ridden this thing on the road a few times with no ill effects. Expensive, but highly recommended. Will soon be my regular.

    Second what was said about the Vitt EVO's- very fast, but short lived.

  8. #8
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andre nickatina View Post
    FWIW I'm not terribly impressed with the Tempos I have. I ride them at about 140. Going above that mark has caused the rear tire to skip in the past. Next tire I get for track will be a Steher.
    See my post above. The Tempos are total crap. They wear out quickly, have poor traction and are not always round. I've had the base tape separate from the casing, and in one case with an orange tread, the tread began disintegrating into little slippery strings, which caused me to slip down in the turns. I had one new spare which I sold and will never use them again. I agree that the Steher is a great tire as is the more expensive Sonderklasse. They both wear like iron but still have great traction. They are not particularly light, however, unless you are doing record attempts, it really doesn't matter.

  9. #9
    Run What 'Ya Brung bonechilling's Avatar
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    I've seen so many Continental tires with the base tape separating from the tire that I don't think I'd buy another, or even recommend them in good conscience. This spans the whole line, from the high end ones to the Giro.
    Quote Originally Posted by doofo View Post
    the main cause of fit problems is riding your bike

    you should have just stopped riding so you could focus on color coordination

  10. #10
    not actually Nickatina andre nickatina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
    See my post above. The Tempos are total crap. They wear out quickly, have poor traction and are not always round. I've had the base tape separate from the casing, and in one case with an orange tread, the tread began disintegrating into little slippery strings, which caused me to slip down in the turns. I had one new spare which I sold and will never use them again. I agree that the Steher is a great tire as is the more expensive Sonderklasse. They both wear like iron but still have great traction. They are not particularly light, however, unless you are doing record attempts, it really doesn't matter.
    Yeah in the case of the Steher I'd much prefer the added width for traction in slow roll outs on match sprints at Alpenrose, and to soften up some of the bumps on the longer points races. Weight don't matter much at all... hey, it's still a tubular and therefore even if it's "heavy", a clincher+tube will still be in the same vicinity.

  11. #11
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
    I should add that the Veloflex record is a REALLY nice tire. I've got one on the rear of my spoked wheelset and I'm really impressed with the longevity so far and the feel. It says 20mm but seems more like 22, so may be suitable for heavier riders. Will take high pressure. I've even ridden this thing on the road a few times with no ill effects. Expensive, but highly recommended. Will soon be my regular.
    Veloflex tires are awesome! They are so well made, perfectly round and straight, the stitching seam is completely flat and the tire fits perfectly on the rim. The heavier road ones like the Carbon and Roubaix give a deliciously comfy ride yet roll easily on even the roughest sufaces. If I were a millionaire, that's all I would use.

    I've found that many of the lightweight road TT tires make for excellent track tires. For example, I have a Vittoria Crono Evo CS 20 on my front carbon race wheel, and it has great traction yet steers easily and has shown little wear over a full season of racing. I should point out that I race on a 250m outdoor wooden track with 44 degree banking in the turns and a very abrasive paint on the wood surface. Tires wear out very quickly on this surface, and the only other tire that I've found that lasts this long is the Sonderklasse.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
    The Vittoria EVO CL and CS Pista tires are very light and very delicate high performance tires that can be inflated to very high pressure of well over 200 psi. They will not last very long, especially in the rear, and any scuff of the sidewall will ruin them. Definitely NOT recommended for general use.
    I spent a couple seasons using them for both training and racing in socal and found that they hold up pretty well. Most of the training was in Carson (on wood) so that went pretty easy on them, but I was also racing pretty regularly at Encino (rough concrete) and occasionally San Diego (painted concrete). They held up pretty well, and I'd go through about 6 tires/season. I tried the non-evo pistas and didn't like them--Steher's cost about the same and are a much nicer tire. Pretty much everything else you've posted in this thread is consistent with my experience though.

    Lately I'm using Stehers for madison (stickier than the EVO Pistas), occasionally EVO pistas (less since they're hard to find for less than $70. Used to be you could get them for around $50 with shipping), and just got some Tufo S3 Pros after riding some on borrowed wheels. You have to be careful with the Tufo S3, because there are about a hundred different models called the S3. The S3 Pro tubular seems popular around here and is pretty inexpensive, and the S3 Lite 145 gram is also popular, but also costs about the same as EVO pistas. Some of the heavier S3 Lite models don't stick to the track very well, and tread colors other than black tend to be a little slippery at the Home Depot Center track.
    Last edited by bitingduck; 07-29-09 at 07:46 PM.
    Track - the other off-road
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  13. #13
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    competition track tyres start and finish with the Sonderklasse.

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