Thread: Tire dilemma
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Old 03-06-18, 04:04 PM   #1
herzogone's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Worcester, MA
Bikes: 1984 Bridgestone 400, 1992 Trek 820, 1997 Gary Fisher Marlin, 2012 Tern Link D8, 2016 Mongoose Dolomite, Takara Kabuto
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Tire dilemma

I'm looking for some guidance regarding tires for attempting my first 200k brevet, the NER Narragansett Bays and Bridges 200k.

For background, I weigh roughly 225 lbs/102 kg though I try to ride light. My bike is a 1992 Trek 820 drop-bar conversion, currently equipped with 1.5"/38mm Tioga City Slickers. I've ridden these tires a few hundred miles commuting and only had one flat that I can recall, puncture from a large glass shard. Ride quality is ok, but I think slightly rougher than even the 2" smooth-center-tread knobbies I've run in the past (aside from cornering). Past frustration with frequent flats, both pinch and puncture, even with 32mm tires on my previous road bike has completely sold me on wider tires. Reading Jan Heine's blog and the glowing reviews of Compass tires here and elsewhere has me intrigued by wide tires with supple casings. I have my eyes on the extralight Compass Rat Trap Pass. The problem is, in case it's not obvious from my choice of ride, I'm cheap and lack a lot of disposable income. Further complicating the choice is the fact that I don't anticipate racking up serious mileage for the foreseeable future. My goals for this year are the upcoming 200k and optimistically a century or two in addition to the handful of shorter recreational rides I have done in the past. Before I spend more on tires than my bike is worth I wanted to get some perspective from the experienced group here.

Should I:

a. Buy the Compass tires. They are life-changing tires that totally live up to the hype
b. Keep my existing. Should be good enough for my limited goals and Compass tires on a Trek 820 would be like drag slicks on a stock '71 Pinto.
c. Something else? Perhaps some less-supple wider tires from my LBS for cheaper...
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