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I need help on tire choices for Trek 720

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I need help on tire choices for Trek 720

Old 08-10-22, 08:06 AM
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I need help on tire choices for Trek 720

The tread is separating on one of the pretty new Specialized tires on my 1983 Trek 720 so I知 in the market. I guess the area I had them stored for a few years was too hot. I知 not overly upset since they are 700 x 28 and I wanted 35痴 on the bike but hey I had the tires

Anyway here is the order for my decision making:
1. Soft comfortable ride
2. Sturdy - puncture resistant
3. Light weight

I use another bike for touring so I use this bike mainly for longer day rides mostly on pavement but want to be able to handle gravel without to coarse of tread.

I like Schwalbe Marathons but they fail at #3.

I知 thinking about GravelKing SS but not familiar with them other than the tread looks fine enough and I like the dark tan sidewalls.

I知 willing to go wider than 35痴 if the 720 will handle them. I have vintage rims so tubeless capable doesn稚 matter.
Thanks for any suggestions and/or more info on the GravelKings.
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Old 08-10-22, 08:50 AM
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Soft, sturdy, lightweight. If you can manufacture that tire you will be a millionaire, that's the unicorn of tires, it doesn't exist. You have to pick from those what matters most to you. The SS would be a fine choice.
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Old 08-10-22, 08:57 AM
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I have gravel king+ on my 720 in 35s. They fit with fenders. They are pretty light and fairly supple and honestly I use them on two bikes now. Btw mine are the slicks.

35s

35s on a repainted 720.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:10 AM
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I've put a fair number of miles on 32 and 38mm slick gravel kings. They're fine tires, didn't flat more than anything else I've run, and have held up well. They're not as plush as Compass/RH, but they do cost a lot less.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:46 AM
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Schwalbe KOJAK - light weight , supple ride, not overly expensive,...

They sell similar versions that have a tread, too.
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Old 08-10-22, 10:26 AM
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The gravelkings are so popular they're certainly worth a try. I have no experience.

But if you haven't tried them yet, Continental GP5000s in 32 mm run true to size and roll fantastically. No flat in ~2000 miles and they give me more than one additional mph vs. 35 mm Schwalbe Marathons, pumped up well. I have a standard route where I put in some effort and use Strava to keep track. I was amazed by how repeatable this is. The GPs are my favorite tire and I try to do all long rides on them.

They're fine on the gravel roads around here. It's pretty flat.

If there's glass to worry about, Schwalbe every time, and pedal harder.
cheers -mathias

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Old 08-10-22, 11:23 AM
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putting in my $0.02 for the "Supreme" variant of Schwalbe Marathons. Totally different animal - not quite as bulletproof, but noticeably lighter, faster, suppler. Farking expensive is the only drawback i can think of...
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Old 08-10-22, 11:58 AM
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I have 35mm slick GravelKings on my Mercian, and I've enjoyed them on the few gravel/paved rides I've done on this bike. The Hayward Shoreline trail was almost all like the terrain below, and the GK's were great. Same for the trail around Bay Farm Island near Alameda. No complaints.

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Old 08-10-22, 02:02 PM
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Big Gravel King fan here. I’ve run26’s, 32’s and 38’s a bunch, no complaints. Great riding tire, not flat prone, good tread life.
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Old 08-10-22, 08:00 PM
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Thanks to all for the input and it doesn稚 sound like any bad reports on the GravelKings so I値l have to start shopping. I take it they run pretty true to size?
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Old 08-10-22, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by badger_biker View Post
Thanks to all for the input and it doesn稚 sound like any bad reports on the GravelKings so I値l have to start shopping. I take it they run pretty true to size?
In my experience they do. I prefer the + version for the extra protection and it doesn't impact the suppleness very much. 35s with fenders fit my 720. You might get 38s without.
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Old 08-10-22, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by steine13 View Post
The gravelkings are so popular they're certainly worth a try. I have no experience.

But if you haven't tried them yet, Continental GP5000s in 32 mm run true to size and roll fantastically. No flat in ~2000 miles and they give me more than one additional mph vs. 35 mm Schwalbe Marathons, pumped up well. I have a standard route where I put in some effort and use Strava to keep track. I was amazed by how repeatable this is. The GPs are my favorite tire and I try to do all long rides on them.

They're fine on the gravel roads around here. It's pretty flat.

If there's glass to worry about, Schwalbe every time, and pedal harder.
cheers -mathias
I have GP4000s on a bike and am amazed at the nice ride even at 25 width and agree they seem fast. I知 probably going with the GK痴 however just because I致e heard a lot of good buzz about them and I do like the dark tan look on a vintage bike☺️
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Old 08-11-22, 06:19 AM
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2 and 3 seem to be a trade-off of one for the other. That said, I have not tried fitting Jack Brown tires to my 720 to verify that they fit, but assume they would. I've been using them on a number of bikes and really like them. I cannot recall which is Green vs Blue, but I go with the one that is slightly puncture resistant.
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Old 08-11-22, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by badger_biker View Post
I have GP4000s on a bike and am amazed at the nice ride even at 25 width and agree they seem fast. I知 probably going with the GK痴 however just because I致e heard a lot of good buzz about them and I do like the dark tan look on a vintage bike☺️
I'd highly recommend the SS or SK over the Slick. I've had nothing but punctures with the Slicks using tubes. Tubeless has been fine, but it's been flat city with tubes.
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Old 08-11-22, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I'd highly recommend the SS or SK over the Slick. I've had nothing but punctures with the Slicks using tubes. Tubeless has been fine, but it's been flat city with tubes.
With the + model slicks I've had no flats. With 650bx38 slicks non+ I had flats.
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Old 08-12-22, 02:06 PM
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Tube size

Maybe a dumb question but the stretch can vary by tire profile - any experience or issues using 28-32 tubes with the 35 width GK tire? I have some tubes of that size but I知 out of 35痴
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Old 08-13-22, 09:45 AM
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We need pix of said 720!!!
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Old 08-13-22, 11:38 AM
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I second the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme. Fits your needs and will outwear any panaracer, so cost per mile is about even.
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Old 08-13-22, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by badger_biker View Post
Maybe a dumb question but the stretch can vary by tire profile - any experience or issues using 28-32 tubes with the 35 width GK tire? I have some tubes of that size but I’m out of 35’s
No problem using a tube one size smaller in width. Pretty common approach.
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Old 08-13-22, 12:03 PM
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What rims are you running on that 720? I ask as rim width drives the ultimate width of a given tire. "True to size" on a 23mm external rim (Super Champion, modern DT Swiss et al) will mean ~1.5-2.0mm smaller on a Mavic MA20/MA40/Open Pro etc (20mm external +/-). And of course, one company's 35mm tire is not the same size as another's 35mm tire. I have built up a pretty decent chart of tire widths when on various rim widths, and upon measuring the width between the bead of a tire (pressing the tire flat, like when they come in their box), can get a pretty darn accurate idea of what the inflated width will be.

As a Seattle rider, I get to be exposed to tons of crap on the roads in addition to the imperfect road conditions themselves. Thankfully my flat rate has been very, very low with larger tires using normal and latex tubes. The two that I run are Soma's Supple Vitesse EX and Compass Bon Jon Pass (standard casing). The Somas I've had in various sizes, but love the 42s for their comfort and speed over broken up roads. They measure nearly 40mm wide on 23mm external rims (DT Swiss R460 in this case) or 38mm wide on a 'standard' rim (MA2, on my 1982 Trek 720 for a bit). Pressures at 34/39 or 40/44 PSI front/rear work really well. I have the Somas on the DT rims with Vittoria 30/38 latex tubes. Works really well and I don't get flats. They also mount "true" to a given rim

I'm running the Compass BJP's (bought very well used) on my 720 right now, using a normal tube on MA2 rims. 50-52/56 PSI front/rear. They measure 34mm wide on the MA2s at those pressures. The bigger Somas at lower pressures were a cloud, but out of the saddle was a tad mushy, as to be expected. The Compass tires are almost as cloud-like, but have better response, also as to be expected. No flats in these well used tires--just had an old tube go down IIRC.

You can't lose with either tire. The Somas are cheaper that the Compass/Rene Herse, though they do have some hum as you increase speed thanks to their tread profile. The BJPs roll pretty quietly, which is perfect for the demeanor of my 720 (the 7400 freehub is essentially silent when pedaling or coasting).

My 720 is my Accidental Grail Bike and I love riding it. Beautiful craftmanship, lightweight frame, beautiful ride and handling, and fast on the flats with great climbing manners. And as such a bike, it is worthy of spending good money on (at least for me), and that includes tires. I've put quality components (proven on other bikes, combined onto this one) on my 720, including re-spoking the wheels (DT Revolution mostly, Competition on the drive side rear) and replacing a cracking rear rim, and plan to keep it going for as long as I can.

720 on Soma 42s:


720 on the Bon Jovi Pass 35s:
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Old 08-13-22, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
What rims are you running on that 720? I ask as rim width drives the ultimate width of a given tire. "True to size" on a 23mm external rim (Super Champion, modern DT Swiss et al) will mean ~1.5-2.0mm smaller on a Mavic MA20/MA40/Open Pro etc (20mm external +/-). And of course, one company's 35mm tire is not the same size as another's 35mm tire. I have built up a pretty decent chart of tire widths when on various rim widths, and upon measuring the width between the bead of a tire (pressing the tire flat, like when they come in their box), can get a pretty darn accurate idea of what the inflated width will be.

As a Seattle rider, I get to be exposed to tons of crap on the roads in addition to the imperfect road conditions themselves. Thankfully my flat rate has been very, very low with larger tires using normal and latex tubes. The two that I run are Soma's Supple Vitesse EX and Compass Bon Jon Pass (standard casing). The Somas I've had in various sizes, but love the 42s for their comfort and speed over broken up roads. They measure nearly 40mm wide on 23mm external rims (DT Swiss R460 in this case) or 38mm wide on a 'standard' rim (MA2, on my 1982 Trek 720 for a bit). Pressures at 34/39 or 40/44 PSI front/rear work really well. I have the Somas on the DT rims with Vittoria 30/38 latex tubes. Works really well and I don't get flats. They also mount "true" to a given rim

I'm running the Compass BJP's (bought very well used) on my 720 right now, using a normal tube on MA2 rims. 50-52/56 PSI front/rear. They measure 34mm wide on the MA2s at those pressures. The bigger Somas at lower pressures were a cloud, but out of the saddle was a tad mushy, as to be expected. The Compass tires are almost as cloud-like, but have better response, also as to be expected. No flats in these well used tires--just had an old tube go down IIRC.

You can't lose with either tire. The Somas are cheaper that the Compass/Rene Herse, though they do have some hum as you increase speed thanks to their tread profile. The BJPs roll pretty quietly, which is perfect for the demeanor of my 720 (the 7400 freehub is essentially silent when pedaling or coasting).

My 720 is my Accidental Grail Bike and I love riding it. Beautiful craftmanship, lightweight frame, beautiful ride and handling, and fast on the flats with great climbing manners. And as such a bike, it is worthy of spending good money on (at least for me), and that includes tires. I've put quality components (proven on other bikes, combined onto this one) on my 720, including re-spoking the wheels (DT Revolution mostly, Competition on the drive side rear) and replacing a cracking rear rim, and plan to keep it going for as long as I can.

720 on Soma 42s:


720 on the Bon Jovi Pass 35s:
I love accidental grail. 720s are as good as it gets really. Ty for the soma review, I bought a pair for the upcoming 650b project and I can't wait.
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Old 08-13-22, 11:14 PM
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I have Wolber GTX rims on it. You have a beautiful bike and I agree the 720 is lightweight for a bike designed for touring and has a great ride.

Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
What rims are you running on that 720? I ask as rim width drives the ultimate width of a given tire. "True to size" on a 23mm external rim (Super Champion, modern DT Swiss et al) will mean ~1.5-2.0mm smaller on a Mavic MA20/MA40/Open Pro etc (20mm external +/-). And of course, one company's 35mm tire is not the same size as another's 35mm tire. I have built up a pretty decent chart of tire widths when on various rim widths, and upon measuring the width between the bead of a tire (pressing the tire flat, like when they come in their box), can get a pretty darn accurate idea of what the inflated width will be.

My 720 is my Accidental Grail Bike and I love riding it. Beautiful craftmanship, lightweight frame, beautiful ride and handling, and fast on the flats with great climbing manners.
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Old 08-13-22, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
We need pix of said 720!!!
i will post one here when I get the new rubber on it.
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Old 08-19-22, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by badger_biker View Post
i will post one here when I get the new rubber on it.
As promised. The GK痴 have arrived and are mounted.


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Old 08-20-22, 10:42 PM
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My first ride on the GK痴 today included a mile of gravel and I was very impressed with the ride quality and traction. Very happy with them.
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