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Old 08-31-11, 05:26 AM   #1
JonathanGennick 
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Lame tire question

I'm doing the bike portion of the Grand Marais Triathlon next weekend, and am trying to decide which tires to go with. I'm not a serious tri-person. I'm in a team of three who run the race more as a fun thing to do. That said, I like to be as competitive as I can be with the equipment that I have on hand.

I'll be riding a Salsa Fargo. I need to choose between the following two tire options:

1) Bontrager XR1 29er Team tires. These are listed at 495 grams each. They have tread. Its a tight tread pattern, with lots of closely-spaced knobs. Link: http://bontrager.com/model/07798

2) Halo Twin Rail 29er tires. These are listed at 890 grams each. They are reverse-tread with the twin rails to essentially negate the tread when going straight. Link: http://www.halorims.com/products-details.php?id=TYHAT92

So my choice here is between a lightweight tire with tread and a heavyweight tire with essentially no tread. Last year I went with the treaded tire. This year I'm thinking I should go the other way. Thoughts? Does low weight trump no tread, or does no tread trump low weight.

Sorry that my choices are as lame as they are. Those are the tires that I happen to own. I don't have time or money to run out and buy anything new this week.
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Old 08-31-11, 11:58 AM   #2
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I checked the course description and it is only 13 miles of asphalt. I'd go with the least rolling resistance tire. The extra ~2 lbs shouldn't hurt.
Have fun!
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Old 08-31-11, 12:04 PM   #3
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I checked the course description and it is only 13 miles of asphalt. I'd go with the least rolling resistance tire. The extra ~2 lbs shouldn't hurt.
Have fun!
Thanks. Appreciate the opinion. I guess as triathlons go, 13 miles is pretty short, isn't it? I had fun last year though. The team I was on even managed to place high enough for a medal. I believe we were #3 in whatever category we ended up being placed in. I have a medal here somewhere. I need to defend it!

It's the only race I do. I've steadfastly refused to race for many years. This Grand Marais Triathlon is the only exception I've ever made.
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Old 08-31-11, 12:13 PM   #4
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I also have a set of Big Apples. I was thinking to give those a miss, because they are heavy. Perhaps I should consider them.
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Old 09-01-11, 06:40 AM   #5
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Big Apples? What are those balloon tires? FWIW, sprint tri's are all over the map as far as swim and bike distances. I've seen races with 300, 500, 600, up to a 1/2 mile swim. Bike distances anywhere from 10 to 18 miles. It really depends on the terrain. Have fun!
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Old 09-01-11, 07:13 AM   #6
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I'm going w/the Big Apples. I did some test-rolls last night on rolling resistance. There's a five-block downhill coast from my house that I did three times for each of my three tire choices. Here are the results:

Bontrager XR-1: 1:41, 1:40, 1:45
Halo Twin Rail: 1:45, 1:39, 1:46
Schwalbe Big Apple: 1:35, 1:33, 1:32

My method may be flawed, and I realize there is more than just rolling resistance to consider, but I'm going to go with the Big Apples this year.

If I have a chance to get in to a bike shop today or tomorrow and buy a narrower, more suitable tire, I will. But right now, given what I have, I'm choosing the Big Apple. I know it's totally wrong, but there are actually very few "correct" bikes at this particular Triathlon. There was quite a high percentage of "run what ya brung" riders last year, including myself.

It's a 13.6 mile sprint, btw.
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Old 09-02-11, 07:48 PM   #7
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I think I've seen everything except a folder in sprint tri's. Whatever gets you out and moving.
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Old 09-03-11, 06:21 AM   #8
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Whatever gets you out and moving.
It is the sheriff. He wants me on his team. I dunno, he might throw me in the slammer if I don't get out there.

It was fun last year just to look at all the different bikes on scene. The race strikes me as a sort of an "everyman" race. There were a few, high-zoot tri-specific bikes. But there were also a lot of regular road bikes, hybrid bikes, mountain-bikes (some having slick tires and some just running their knobbies), and just in general a lot of "run what ya brung" spirit.
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