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Track Cycling: Velodrome Racing and Training Area Looking to enter into the realm of track racing? Want to share your experiences and tactics for riding on a velodrome? The Track Cycling forums is for you! Come in and discuss training/racing, equipment, and current track cycling events.

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Old 04-27-11, 05:13 AM   #1
idiq
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Best clincher tire for the track?

Ok, ok. I know using "best" is already flawed. But I am on a budget, have clincher rims, and hoping to do some racing at T-Town this year.

I've been looking at:
  • Vittoria Corsa EVO CX
  • Michelin Pro 3
  • Mavic Yksion K10
I believe the Corsa EVO is 320 tpi, the Mavic 290 tpi. The only one I've ridden before is the Michelin Pro 3.

Also open to suggestions / thoughts / etc...

Thanks
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Old 04-27-11, 06:58 AM   #2
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i've always made good experiences with the vittoria. you also might want to look at tufo tires (http://www.tufo.com/). they sell clincher tubulars. i have some of these on a wheelset and they roll excellent

i have never ridden on michelin or mavic tires.
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Old 04-27-11, 07:00 AM   #3
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i've always made good experiences with the vittoria. you also might want to look at tufo tires (http://www.tufo.com/). they sell clincher tubulars. i have some of these on a wheelset and they roll excellent

i have never ridden on michelin or mavic tires.
Great, thanks for the reply. Also I just saw Zipp has a clincher version of their Tangente tire. Curious if anyone has ridden that as well...
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Old 04-27-11, 10:32 AM   #4
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Conti Grand Pris Supersonic is one of the best clinchers. At 150-160 grams, its about as light as you are going to get. Max pressure is 145 or 170 psi. Don't expect it to handle running over potholes, glass, and garbage - its a track tire, with minimal puncture protection.
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Old 04-27-11, 07:03 PM   #5
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+1 on the supersonics, also veloflex corsa or records.

i've raced heavily on all of these, on banked, non-banked, and wood. and all are great. indoors on the wood, i prefer the corsa front and back, outside i like the supersonics 23 on the back, 19 on the front.
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Old 04-27-11, 11:01 PM   #6
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Yeah, I like the Conti Supersonic, too. I love the high pressure that they can take.

I've found that open tubulars really do feel like tubulars. I like the Specialized Mondo 23mm. I think the Zipp Tangente Open Tubular is only available in 21mm. I've used it, but I prefer 22-23mm tires for track (I'm a big guy).
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Old 04-28-11, 10:29 AM   #7
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I was thinking of using a 19mm Supersonic on the front (on a Mavic Ellipse). Conti's testing seems to show a noticable aero advantage by using a tire around 20mm on the front.

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+1 on the supersonics, also veloflex corsa or records.

i've raced heavily on all of these, on banked, non-banked, and wood. and all are great. indoors on the wood, i prefer the corsa front and back, outside i like the supersonics 23 on the back, 19 on the front.
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Old 04-28-11, 02:28 PM   #8
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You have to have good adhesion on the track, and a 19mm (I actually think it's labeled a 20mm) is getting pretty skinny, especially on some tracks. Use the Supersonic 23mm tire on both front and rear.

Also consider the Veloflex Record. Very sticky yet supple and lightweight.

Many rental bikes at tracks tend to use Vittoria Rubinos or the like. They do fine and should do fine for you too.
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Old 04-28-11, 02:56 PM   #9
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I was thinking of using a 19mm Supersonic on the front (on a Mavic Ellipse). Conti's testing seems to show a noticable aero advantage by using a tire around 20mm on the front.
All that aero testing is done on flat ground for road TT riders. You have to remember that on the track, you ride on the side of the tire. 19mm tires don't give you much side to work with. It doesn't matter how aero a tire is if you slide off the track.

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You have to have good adhesion on the track, and a 19mm (I actually think it's labeled a 20mm) is getting pretty skinny, especially on some tracks. Use the Supersonic 23mm tire on both front and rear.
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Old 04-28-11, 03:04 PM   #10
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I was thinking of using a 19mm Supersonic on the front (on a Mavic Ellipse). Conti's testing seems to show a noticable aero advantage by using a tire around 20mm on the front.
Also, unless you are chasing 1/10ths of a second over some long efforts (3K/4K) "aero" tires won't make much difference...especially on a training wheel like the Mavic Ellipse. It's an outstanding training wheel, don't get me wrong.

For training wheels, you want durable, sticky, and non-squirmy tires. Notice that I didn't mention anything about weight.

Fancy tires go on fancy wheels for fancy dancing at fancy events.

Last edited by carleton; 04-28-11 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 04-28-11, 06:10 PM   #11
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I've got to be honest, I've got supersonics on a set of semi-training/racing 50mm carbon clinchers. 19 front/23 back, and i've never had or noticed any issues in terms of sticking to the track, even at pretty slow speeds on slow down laps where i've been caught a bit high. they are pretty sticky tires.

I'd have to guess how many laps i've ridden on that setup, but .... probably between 5,000 and 10,000 in any given season.
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Old 04-28-11, 08:28 PM   #12
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When using clinchers on the track, I use and have found the Vittoria Diamante Pro Light tyres on both the concrete and timber...
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Old 04-29-11, 07:08 AM   #13
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Wonderful information, thanks everyone!

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Also, unless you are chasing 1/10ths of a second over some long efforts (3K/4K) "aero" tires won't make much difference...especially on a training wheel like the Mavic Ellipse. It's an outstanding training wheel, don't get me wrong.

For training wheels, you want durable, sticky, and non-squirmy tires. Notice that I didn't mention anything about weight.

Fancy tires go on fancy wheels for fancy dancing at fancy events.
FWIW and since I want to get my "feet wet" I'll be riding a T1 (red) with Ominum cranks and Am Classic track wheels. If I read that correctly, I should avoid the supersonics for these wheels? I'll also be doing cbcBraden's Go Fast Turn Left this summer (concrete, outdoor) with the same setup.
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Old 04-29-11, 07:51 AM   #14
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Wonderful information, thanks everyone!



FWIW and since I want to get my "feet wet" I'll be riding a T1 (red) with Ominum cranks and Am Classic track wheels. If I read that correctly, I should avoid the supersonics for these wheels? I'll also be doing cbcBraden's Go Fast Turn Left this summer (concrete, outdoor) with the same setup.
Sorry to be confusing. There is a difference between the "best tire" and "a list of suitable tires". The list of suitable tires will be very long and will probably include any tire from a name brand manufacturer. "Best" is going to be a personal thing. In cycling there are some things that are clearly the top 5 or best. Others not so much.

I say go for the Supersonics (because I've tried them), Gatorskins, GP4000s, or some of the other high quality tires mentioned in this thread. But, weight and/or aerodynamics shouldn't be one of your criteria for deciding for a tire for training wheels. A narrow 19mm tire will be just fine for lots of tracks, but having ridden a couple of tracks and also ridden 19mm tires, I prefer to have 22 or 23mm tires because they sit out wider. This wideness makes them less aero...but helps with gripping when going up and down track on steep tracks a low speeds as in match sprints or whatnot.

Also, don't over think it!

I know people waaay faster than me that train on Conti Gatorskin clinchers and have won masters national championships and masters world championships on Conti Sprinters (a thick and heavy training tubular).

Last edited by carleton; 04-29-11 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 05-01-11, 07:12 PM   #15
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Also, don't over think it!

I know people waaay faster than me that train on Conti Gatorskin clinchers and have won masters national championships and masters world championships on Conti Sprinters (a thick and heavy training tubular).
Good advice. So many people get caught up in the tiniest details, when they could be umm riding. At the end of the day, there are lots of things out there that *might* make you a tiny bit faster, but the only certainty to make yourself better/faster is train/race/ride more.

I got blown to pieces last weekend in a two man breakaway in a road race, I had my nice shiny 50mm carbon race wheels, the other guy had 36 spoke tanks and a set of gatorskins on.
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Old 05-02-11, 12:23 PM   #16
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Used to use Pr3s, but tried out some VeloFlex Pave/Master 22 this year and they are awesome. I find a latex tube the key for any clincher race setup.
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Old 05-02-11, 03:01 PM   #17
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+ 1 on the Conti Supersonics. I have the 20mm back and front. My weight is about 72kg (160lbs) and I only ride a smooth wooden indoor track.
I also use the very light inner tyres that go with it. Not overly expensive. Feels very fragile, like if the smallest piece of stone could pierce trough it.
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Old 05-02-11, 04:28 PM   #18
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Used to use Pr3s, but tried out some VeloFlex Pave/Master 22 this year and they are awesome. I find a latex tube the key for any clincher race setup.

Why is that?
How would you describe the difference?


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+ 1 on the Conti Supersonics. I have the 20mm back and front. My weight is about 72kg (160lbs) and I only ride a smooth wooden indoor track.
I also use the very light inner tyres that go with it. Not overly expensive. Feels very fragile, like if the smallest piece of stone could pierce trough it.

I would be surprised if someone with your weight had problems with 20mm tires. I see plenty of people using 20mm tires on the track. You are probably right about being easy to pierce though.



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Good advice. So many people get caught up in the tiniest details, when they could be umm riding. At the end of the day, there are lots of things out there that *might* make you a tiny bit faster, but the only certainty to make yourself better/faster is train/race/ride more.
Yeah, with biking there is always the pleasure of beating someone who has a fancy bike, but on the other hand if I train several times a week and ride well over 1000 miles a month there comes a time where mediocre equipment will be holding me back.

At 35mph I'm doing about 50ft per second, so yeah, I'll happily take a couple of tenths of seconds in a tight race.
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Old 05-03-11, 04:13 PM   #19
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Why is that?
How would you describe the difference?
Tons of opinions & posts on the supposed lower rolling resistance of latex tubes and I won't bother arguing that point one way another. My reason is 100% anecdotal, but they 'feel' better...almost like quality tubulars. I figure for the track where patching isn't an issue, why not spend an extra $7 on a nicer (imho) tube.
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Old 05-09-11, 08:27 PM   #20
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Yeah, with biking there is always the pleasure of beating someone who has a fancy bike, but on the other hand if I train several times a week and ride well over 1000 miles a month there comes a time where mediocre equipment will be holding me back.

At 35mph I'm doing about 50ft per second, so yeah, I'll happily take a couple of tenths of seconds in a tight race.
I'm not advocating let's call it the 'steel is real' mindset. Only real men ride big heavy blah blah. I'm saying overanalysing to the nth degree is pretty much a waste of time. Are those supersonics really worth any 1/10's of a second over any other comparable clincher, say veloflex corsa's? Is that Zipp 900 disc worth more or less 1/10's than a comete? Is a dura ace NJS chain ring worth any 1/10's over well any other chain ring? Probably not. Sure a BT with comete/io good aero position bars is going to help you ride a faster pursuit than a steel bike, with 36 hole rims, on drops.

I ride infrequently with a guy, who spends hours and hours on the internet obsessing over the tiniest detail. At the track you get blah blah blah for hours about how he feels so much faster on X than on Y with no empirical data to back it up. At the end of the day he's a very ordinary rider and more often than not I see him going off the back of races. Is he better off looking at those 1/10's in a sprint finish, or trying to get into good enough shape to finish races and compete in the sprint? Cause I'm thinking it's the latter.
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Old 05-10-11, 11:28 PM   #21
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I've got to be honest, I've got supersonics on a set of semi-training/racing 50mm carbon clinchers. 19 front/23 back, and i've never had or noticed any issues in terms of sticking to the track, even at pretty slow speeds on slow down laps where i've been caught a bit high. they are pretty sticky tires.

I'd have to guess how many laps i've ridden on that setup, but .... probably between 5,000 and 10,000 in any given season.
It's very dependent on the track. On one track you can ride anything and never slip; on another only a few tires will keep you from slipping. Rather than exploring the subject here online, go to the track you'll be racing and ask people what they ride. The track culture is very social and helpful and everybody will give you plenty of advice and quite likely let you try out a few wheels to see for yourself.

Don't sweat the rolling resistance issues. To get a stable ride you'll be riding higher pressures than on the road -- a 20 mm Conti Supersonic that you might pump to 105 psi on the road will probably get 130-135 psi on the track. At those higher pressures, you vitiate almost all arguments about rolling resistance. And remember that you're sideways on a slope much of the time; it isn't like on the road where you can usually steer to a stop if you puncture or blow a tire. On the track, you tend to slide downtrack and can easily take out a whole paceline of riders. It ain't pretty. Make sure the tires are safe and sturdy enough so you and everyone around you are safe.
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