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Classic tire suggestions please

Old 09-26-20, 11:15 AM
  #1  
Tomm Willians
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Classic tire suggestions please

After the helpful discussion concerning my worn rims on my ‘85 Wilier Ramata I found a set of Mavic Open Pros (Clinchers) with Campy hubs for their replacement.
Now I would appreciate suggestions on a classic looking tire to go on these wheels that doesn’t look out of place on such a bike.

Cheers !
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Old 09-26-20, 01:49 PM
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This guy has some vintage-ish looking Michelins in the FSOT thread: Trio of Michelin Pro 4 Service Course tires

Personally, the Vittoria Open Corsa series of folding clinchers are my favorites - and not only because they look the business; performance is outstanding.

My cat is also a fan:



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Old 09-26-20, 02:25 PM
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What size?
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Old 09-26-20, 02:35 PM
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I have Mavic Open 4 CD Ceramics and currently have 20c Michelin Dynamic Classic tires which are great. Before these I had Continental Grand Prix Classics in 25c which, while awesome- riding, seemed to set up a little wide on my rims. Also, I had to deflate the rear tire if I wanted to remove it as othetwise it would hit the back of the seat tube; clearance was a little tight.
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Old 09-26-20, 02:38 PM
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Challenge tires are some of my favorite looking for 700c clinchers on a vintage bike.


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Old 09-26-20, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
What size?
700x25
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Old 09-26-20, 04:31 PM
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Right now there's a limited edition Conti GP5000 available with tan sidewalls that look reasonable on a vintage bike and are great tires. Aside from those I would second the recommendation for Challenge tires (love the Parigi-Roubaix in 27mm), and also recommend Rene Herse tires for another high end supple option that's similar. For something slightly less expensive there's also the Veloflex Master.
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Old 09-26-20, 04:56 PM
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I soured on Challenge clinchers after shelling out real money, then finding them extremely hard to sit evenly on Open Pro and Velocity Aero rims. Blew one off and destroyed a tube (aftrer spending more time than I ever have trying to mount it absolutely evenly. Decided after that I could never trust them on a fast descent down roads I didn't know. Went back to the lesser but far less exciting (less exciting in a totally good way!) Vittoria tires, Been using Vittoria Corsa G+ and G2.0 the last three years and love them, Completely traditional thread' the ribbed thread so many training cotton sewups had 45 years ago. Got reminded why I like that tread so much. It is the best for climbing back onto the road pavement and climbing out of ruts and cracks. In other words, sparing me of crashes.

A story to that point: My first year on those tires, riding a two lane country road, Car speed 50 or more. Line of cars coming toward me, Last car, a hot Camaro or something, pulls out and passes. At that moment I came to a dirt farm road on my right. Pavement widened 2' at the farm road. Moved over. Camaro went by, then "oh s***! I'm headed for the ditch paralleling the road!" At the end of the pavement, now a few feet away was a pile of gravel. Well, no choice. I gotta get back on the road or at least try. So I cut hard at the gravel, Bike simple turned onto the pavement; no big deal. "Whew1 That was excessively interesting!" And I've been sold on those tires since.

I've ridden a few of those tires to nearly through the tread. They do start getting too many flats at that point but it takes real mileage to get there. Closest ride I've seen to really good sewups on a tire I trust completely.

Ben
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Old 09-26-20, 05:22 PM
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For 25s id go with Veloflex Master 25 or Vittoria Corsa


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Old 09-26-20, 09:00 PM
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Veloflex Masters and the Grand Prix Classics have served me well over the years. I've also tried the Challange Strada Bianchi. They ride nicely but I've got more flats on them than any other tires I've used.

I just put the Veloflex Masters on my Colnago.


700 x 27

Continental Grand Prix Classic on the Opus


700 x 25

Close-up to show how dark these are.


Challenge 700 x 30
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Old 09-26-20, 09:34 PM
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It might be overpressure when I started out, or bad luck with city streets but I had dreadful luck with flatting on Corsas. Going to try Pirelli 4s tires for the winter though those are hardly vintage looking.
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Old 09-26-20, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by sheddle View Post
Challenge tires are some of my favorite looking for 700c clinchers on a vintage bike.


just what i was going to suggest! sexy they are
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Old 09-26-20, 11:27 PM
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If "classic looking tire" simply means skin-/tan-wall, you've already gotten most of the great suggestions. The one missing that I like a lot are the Soma Supple Vitesse tires, either regular or SL. This is another high-end Panaracer tire done as a private label deal.

There's also the classic Panaracer tires, the Pasela and the newer Gravel Kings.

If classic looking means skin-/tan-wall but doesn't mean long/giant/loud logos, then you should look at Rene Herse and Grand Bois, both of which have annoyingly small labels as far as my aging eyes go. Unless your eyesight is 200/200 you're not going to be able to read them from 10' away, unlike most of the others mentioned/pictured here.

Pricey, but discrete.

I believe in two truths regarding tires:

1. YMWV: Your Mileage WILL Vary, meaning everyone has a favorite that never flats and goes 1k miles without wear, and that same tire is somebody else's flat magnet that wears down to casing in 200mi. I'm exaggerating, but you get the point. I don't know of another bicycle component in this league. There's love/hate with saddles and handlebars and pedals, but most of those components interface heavily with rider structure/biology. Tires don't care how wide your sit bones are, or how wide your shoulders, or the kinesiology of your hip/knee/ankle joints. So why the stark love/hate differences amongst tires?

2. Everybody's high-end tires these days are really, really nice-riding rubber. I think we're living in a golden age of lightweight tires with supple casings, and I'm amazed at the abundant choices we have.

3. Yeah, I said two truths, but I gotta say that as much as I love how Challenge tires look and ride, they're named Challenge because it's so damn challenging to wrestle them onto anybody's rim. It is My Truth, though it's shared with many, many others. But it's probably not a universal truth, there may be some folks out there with Schwarzenegger arms who can pop 'em right on any rim, but every time I try to install one I have to ask myself repeatedly why did I decide to put myself through this again? And after much swearing and very sore thumbs/palms, I pump 'em up, and if they don't blow off the rim right away, they look just swell.

4. Another violation. So sue me. "Open tubular" tire designs, that come out of the box completely flat, are usually kinda/maybe a little harder to install than your usual vulcanized tire, which has a familiar rounded profile. Challenge is the worst open tubular, Vittoria isn't bad at all. I don't think I've tried any Veloflex open tubulars yet.

Discrete Grand Bois Cypres 32-584/650b tire/label on '71 Raleigh/Carlton Professional Track; this is getting Campy hub/restomod wheels soon:


Somewhat louder Vittoria Corsa Graphene 2.0 28-622/700c tire/label on '81 Merckx Road:


Even longer label on Soma Supple Vitesse SL 33-622/700c on '81 JP Weigle Sportif:


Relative restrained Compass (Rene Herse) 35-622/700c Bon Jon Pass tire, on '72 Hetchins Italia, which also has newly-built wheels on the way:


Challenge Strada Bianca Pro Series PPS2 Yadda Yadda Yadda 36-622/700c tires. Did you know they had 260tpi casings? That they're Hand Made? I'm sorry Mr. Tire, I can't hear you, could you please SPEAK LOUDER?
Challenge Strada Bianca 36-622 - 01 by pcb_rf, on Flickr
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Old 09-27-20, 12:14 AM
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I have no idea what happened with 79pmooney but for the last ten years or more, I have ridden Challenge Paris-Roubaix and Criterium tires on MAVIC MA-2 rims with ZERO problems. They mount and center easily. They run smoothly and solidly. They are about as close to tubulars as possible.

I take down hill, off camber corners at speed with great confidence on these tires. Honestly, I am more confident in those turns with these tires than I would be on tubulars.
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Old 09-27-20, 01:06 PM
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Ditto, Soma Supple Vitesse if you don't need much puncture protection. I've ridden a set about 200 miles on some harsh chipseal. They're tough, cut resistant and as comfortable as possible for 700x23 on chipseal. I like 'em so well I plan to get a set of the EX next. The SL -- super lights -- are great go-fast tires for rides when I want to tackle a PR (KOMs are beyond my engine's capability).

Conti GP Classics in 700x25 may be a bit more practical. Wider, thicker tread and a thin but effective puncture resistant layer, tough and long lasting. Great ride on rough roads. The raised center tread barely clears my rear brake bridge, but I'll swap the slightly worn front to the rear, and put on a new front in a few months after the original rear wears past the wear marker dimples.
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Old 09-27-20, 03:07 PM
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There's also the Panaracer Race Cs, but I've not seen a shop stock the Panaracer racing tires yet- you'd probably have to get them to special order them for you. They do have a nice look, though.

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Old 09-27-20, 04:18 PM
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Panaracers pasela on a budget or vittoria corsa if you want to spend some dough.
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