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Tire choices - Eroica style bike

Old 12-25-12, 09:04 PM
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Tire choices - Eroica style bike

Looking for some opinions on a 700 X 28c or 32c tires for my latest build that will be primarly an Eroica style bike - mixed pavement, dirt and gravel. I had originally thought about either Panaracer Pasela or Pasela Tourguard. Northbend is running Ruffy Tuffy's and then I spotted some Schwalbe Marathon's which peaked some interest.

Or, would a cyclocross style tire like Vittoria Cross XN be a better option if the course is mostly gravel/dirt? What are some of you running on your gravel grinders? Just entering the middle stages of my research.
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Old 12-25-12, 09:18 PM
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I have both Marathon Supremes and Panaracer Ribmos; I would recommend either, and go with 32 width. I've run gravel with the Supremes which are nearly slicks and they were fine.



That's me in the hi-viz yellow, running 700x35C Marathon Supremes a couple weeks ago.
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Old 12-25-12, 09:20 PM
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I've been very happy with Challenge Parigi-Roubiax clinchers on dirt/gravel/tarmac mixed rides like Dairy Roubaix. If you've got room for 32s, the new Challenge Eroica tire might be even better. I don't have room for them with fenders, so I won't be able to try them.

Next year I think I'll run them about 65 PSI to see if that improves the gravel sections. I've never had a pinch flat in my adult life, but I'm scared of them. I ran 80 PSI on that ride last year and the handling was fine on the gravel roads.

The 38mm Paselas (non-TourGuard) on my partner's 26" road bike feel pretty great on gravel, too. They're not nearly as expensive as Challenge tires. So don't discount the Pasela option, especially if moderate price is a concern.
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Old 12-25-12, 10:17 PM
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Doohickie - what kind of pressures are you running?

I'm obviously not going to be as agressive as I normally am when I hit gravel. Traction is a concern as well as puncture resistance.
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Old 12-25-12, 10:30 PM
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This.

Tanwall any minute.



or the Eroica.



or these.

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Old 12-25-12, 10:58 PM
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Ooh, hard to beat the "spirit" of those Eroicas.
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Old 12-25-12, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by scozim View Post
Looking for some opinions on a 700 X 28c or 32c tires for my latest build that will be primarly an Eroica style bike - mixed pavement, dirt and gravel.
I take it from this statement that you are not actually thinking of doing L'Eroica but just want some versatility in performance from your choice of tire on rougher roads. First, let me say that none of the US brevets or other events that I have done come close to replicating the conditions that I encountered at L'Eroica this year.

At L'Eroica this year I used 32c Panaracer Pasela Tourguards with a Kevlar bead. At the event I witnessed many hundreds of other riders who had flatted during the day. In fact it appeared that most riders were using narrow tubulars, probably 23c or so. I talked to riders who had flatted 4 or 5 times during the day with these racing tires! I found that with these 32c Panaracers, not only did I not flat even once during the ride, but that I was much faster in the rougher dirt road sections (100 km of dirt) than those riders who sported a narrower tubular. I ran 75 and 85 psi in my tires and weigh 190 lbs. My conclusion is that fatter is faster on this type of ride. If I ever return to do L'Eroica again I would probably go to a 35c tire size. My bike (a 1974 Legnano) will easily fit a tire this size or perhaps larger.

After having done the event and having seen the result of other riders choices in tires, I can say with full confidence that a 28c tire is too narrow for "true L'Eroica" type conditions. If the rides you want to do are less rough than L'Eroica then perhaps a different tire could work for you. If however you are truly talking about an "heroic" type route then anything less than a 32c tire will probably slow you down.

Just my 2 cents!
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Old 12-25-12, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldairhead View Post
I take it from this statement that you are not actually thinking of doing L'Eroica but just want some versatility in performance from your choice of tire on rougher roads. First, let me say that none of the US brevets or other events that I have done come close to replicating the conditions that I encountered at L'Eroica this year.

At L'Eroica this year I used 32c Panaracer Pasela Tourguards with a Kevlar bead. At the event I witnessed many hundreds of other riders who had flatted during the day. In fact it appeared that most riders were using narrow tubulars, probably 23c or so. I talked to riders who had flatted 4 or 5 times during the day with these racing tires! I found that with these 32c Panaracers, not only did I not flat even once during the ride, but that I was much faster in the rougher dirt road sections (100 km of dirt) than those riders who sported a narrower tubular. I ran 75 and 85 psi in my tires and weigh 190 lbs. My conclusion is that fatter is faster on this type of ride. If I ever return to do L'Eroica again I would probably go to a 35c tire size. My bike (a 1974 Legnano) will easily fit a tire this size or perhaps larger.

After having done the event and having seen the result of other riders choices in tires, I can say with full confidence that a 28c tire is too narrow for "true L'Eroica" type conditions. If the rides you want to do are less rough than L'Eroica then perhaps a different tire could work for you. If however you are truly talking about an "heroic" type route then anything less than a 32c tire will probably slow you down.

Just my 2 cents!
My wife and I vacationed in Tuscany three summers ago.

Stayed in Volterra and rode four days to various hill top towns/cities.

How I wished I had a nice, wide tire like the Eroica/Almonzo and enough room in the stays.

Tough riding and the climbs were beastly.

As far as difficult events in the United States, the AGRS may take the cake.

The Almanzo 100 route is very challenging.

We just did over half the hundo before the heavy snow hit here a few weeks ago.

Read up on this little gravel road climb fest here:

https://www.almanzo.com/

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Old 12-25-12, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldairhead View Post
I take it from this statement that you are not actually thinking of doing L'Eroica but just want some versatility in performance from your choice of tire on rougher roads. First, let me say that none of the US brevets or other events that I have done come close to replicating the conditions that I encountered at L'Eroica this year.

At L'Eroica this year I used 32c Panaracer Pasela Tourguards with a Kevlar bead. At the event I witnessed many hundreds of other riders who had flatted during the day. In fact it appeared that most riders were using narrow tubulars, probably 23c or so. I talked to riders who had flatted 4 or 5 times during the day with these racing tires! I found that with these 32c Panaracers, not only did I not flat even once during the ride, but that I was much faster in the rougher dirt road sections (100 km of dirt) than those riders who sported a narrower tubular. I ran 75 and 85 psi in my tires and weigh 190 lbs. My conclusion is that fatter is faster on this type of ride. If I ever return to do L'Eroica again I would probably go to a 35c tire size. My bike (a 1974 Legnano) will easily fit a tire this size or perhaps larger.

After having done the event and having seen the result of other riders choices in tires, I can say with full confidence that a 28c tire is too narrow for "true L'Eroica" type conditions. If the rides you want to do are less rough than L'Eroica then perhaps a different tire could work for you. If however you are truly talking about an "heroic" type route then anything less than a 32c tire will probably slow you down.

Just my 2 cents!
Thanks for the great feedback! You're correct that I'm not planning on the actual L'Eroica. However, I will be doing the Cino Heroica in Montana this next September with Northbend which is 60 miles or more and most of it on gravel roads. I grew up in the hilly farm country of southeastern Washington. I've mapped out a course that is approximately 45 miles and a mix of probably 35% pavement/10 % dirt/ 55% gravel. It's got some good climbs on it and some of the roads have a fair amount of either rutting (the dirt roads) or washboard. Northbend and I are planning on doing that in June or July and maybe we can talk a few other C&V'ers into it as well.

I've got some 32c's mounted on a Peugeot hybrid and will have to check tomorrow to see if they'll fit on my frame. That will probably determine a 28 or 32 direction for tire size.
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Old 12-26-12, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by scozim View Post
Thanks for the great feedback! You're correct that I'm not planning on the actual L'Eroica. However, I will be doing the Cino Heroica in Montana this next September with Northbend which is 60 miles or more and most of it on gravel roads. I grew up in the hilly farm country of southeastern Washington. I've mapped out a course that is approximately 45 miles and a mix of probably 350% pavement/10 % dirt/ 55% gravel. It's got some good climbs on it and some of the roads have a fair amount of either rutting (the dirt roads) or washboard.

I've got some 32c's mounted on a Peugeot hybrid and will have to check tomorrow to see if they'll fit on my frame. That will probably determine a 28 or 32 direction for tire size.
I would love to do the Heroica! Having read about the Heroica and, myself ridden a good deal of gravel, on that ride I would go with a 35mm Ritchey Speedmax at close to maximum pressures. That is, if you have clearance. Not bad on pavement and the little extra traction would be welcome on the gravel climbs.
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Old 12-26-12, 04:18 AM
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The bike initially I planned to take with me to l'eroica had 32mm tires fitted. The bike I took with me only allowed 26mm. I opted for Specialized skinwall tires that prooved to have a good puncture resistance. I have had no flat. Fatter tires would have been more comfortable, but honestly my biggest concern during the ride was my short low cockpit. On steep washboard sections that was more an issue.

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Old 12-26-12, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by scozim View Post
Looking for some opinions on a 700 X 28c or 32c tires for my latest build that will be primarly an Eroica style bike - mixed pavement, dirt and gravel. I had originally thought about either Panaracer Pasela or Pasela Tourguard. Northbend is running Ruffy Tuffy's and then I spotted some Schwalbe Marathon's which peaked some interest.

Or, would a cyclocross style tire like Vittoria Cross XN be a better option if the course is mostly gravel/dirt? What are some of you running on your gravel grinders? Just entering the middle stages of my research.
The Panaracer Tourguard, Schwalbe Marathons, Vittoria Rubino and Conti Gatorskins will provide flat protection layers in the construction of the tire. The tires I listed from Challenge, Clement, Kenda and Grand Bois do not.

If you can fit a larger tire, this is the one of the best;

Clement USH (the 700x35 runs small near 33mm wide): https://clementcycling.com/214/ush
60 and 120 tpi, firm center ridge and diamond-shaped side knobs


Consider these in a 700x32 size;

Grand Bois Cypress (this 700x30 runs small near 32mm wide) : https://www.compasscycle.com/tires_gb_700_32.html
??TPI, Near smooth tread, tan sidewall

Vittoria Cross XN Pro: https://www.vittoria.com/en/product/c...s/#product-118
150tpi, Highly-studded diamond tread

Panaracer Pasela: https://www.panaracer.com/urban.php
66 TPI, touring tread with tan sidewalls, flat protection on the TG Tourguard models.

Clement LAX clincer: https://clementcycling.com/88/las-clincher
120 TPI, file tread, tan sidewall

Challenge Grifo XS 32 Open: https://www.challengetech.it/products...xs-open-020/en
260 TPI, file tread, tan sidewall

Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 700x32: https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_ti...rathon_supreme
??TPI, near smooth tread, flat protection, reflective sidewall

Small block tires for wet and loose conditions;

Kenda Happy Medium: https://www.kendausa.com/en/home/bicy...py-medium.aspx
120 TPI, Highly-studded diamond tread center section with knobby shoulder

Kenda Small Block 8: https://www.kendausa.com/en/home/bicy...ock-eight.aspx
120 TPI, small block tread

Tires in the 700x30 to 700x28 range

Challenge L'Eroica: https://www.challengetech.it/products...ca-open-028/en
260 TPI, textured tread, tan sidewall

Challenge Almanzo: https://www.challengetech.it/products...zo-open-030/en
260 TPI, File tread, tan sidewall

Challenge Parigi-Roubaix (this 700x27 tire runs large near 29mm wide) : https://www.challengetech.it/products...ix-open-016/en
260 TPI, textured tread, tan sidewall

Continental Gatorskin (the 700x32 runs small near 30mm wide): https://www.conti-online.com/generato...orskin_en.html
180 TPI, smooth tread, flat protection,

Schwalbe Marathon Racer 700x30: https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_ti...thon_racer_429
??TPI, near smooth tread, flat protection

Vittoria Rubino Pro Tech 700x28: https://www.vittoria.com/product/rubino/
150TPI, smooth center & textures shoulders tread, flat protection layer
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Old 12-26-12, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldairhead View Post
At L'Eroica this year I used 32c Panaracer Pasela Tourguards with a Kevlar bead. At the event I witnessed many hundreds of other riders who had flatted during the day. In fact it appeared that most riders were using narrow tubulars, probably 23c or so. I talked to riders who had flatted 4 or 5 times during the day with these racing tires! I found that with these 32c Panaracers, not only did I not flat even once during the ride, but that I was much faster in the rougher dirt road sections (100 km of dirt) than those riders who sported a narrower tubular. I ran 75 and 85 psi in my tires and weigh 190 lbs. My conclusion is that fatter is faster on this type of ride. If I ever return to do L'Eroica again I would probably go to a 35c tire size. My bike (a 1974 Legnano) will easily fit a tire this size or perhaps larger.

After having done the event and having seen the result of other riders choices in tires, I can say with full confidence that a 28c tire is too narrow for "true L'Eroica" type conditions. If the rides you want to do are less rough than L'Eroica then perhaps a different tire could work for you. If however you are truly talking about an "heroic" type route then anything less than a 32c tire will probably slow you down.

Just my 2 cents!
Oldairhead and others running 32, 35, etc. - are you changing your rims out to accommodate these wider tires or using the same rims you run your narrower tires on? 30 is the widest I've run on road wheels (32 and 38 on CR-18 rims) but I'm really curious to hear others experiences running the fat stuff on narrow road rims. I think this is still in the spirit of the original post question, and apologize if it has veered too far off topic.
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Old 12-26-12, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by AZORCH View Post
Oldairhead and others running 32, 35, etc. - are you changing your rims out to accommodate these wider tires or using the same rims you run your narrower tires on? 30 is the widest I've run on road wheels (32 and 38 on CR-18 rims) but I'm really curious to hear others experiences running the fat stuff on narrow road rims. I think this is still in the spirit of the original post question, and apologize if it has veered too far off topic.
I've run 700x32 on 19mm wide Mavic rims. Cyclocross racers are often using this combination. However, I've installed 22.5mm wide Sun CR-18 rims and like this rim for 700x25 to 700x38 sized tires.
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Old 12-26-12, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by AZORCH View Post
Oldairhead and others running 32, 35, etc. - are you changing your rims out to accommodate these wider tires or using the same rims you run your narrower tires on? 30 is the widest I've run on road wheels (32 and 38 on CR-18 rims) but I'm really curious to hear others experiences running the fat stuff on narrow road rims. I think this is still in the spirit of the original post question, and apologize if it has veered too far off topic.
Nope.

Standard Open Pros with Grifos and Small Block 8s. Both of these are decent in gravel/light snow/muck and the only limitation is the width of stays and crowns.

I ran Speed Maxs on Open Pros as well and they were fine. This a decent cheap tire that gets overlooked sometimes. I've ridden it on all sorts of roads and it hangs in there well. Somewhat limited adhesion in the corners in slurry/mud. When they slide in a corner, they give very little warning, but overall decent for budget minded gravel riders.

Here they are on my Axis.



Again, this "Almonzo" tire from Challenge looks like a major win. Check out this tread pattern. Sweet or what.



I am going to ride them on Open Pros, but I also want to build a set of wheels using Velocity A23s and a set of Campy 32 hole Centaur hubs I have on hand.
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Old 12-26-12, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by AZORCH View Post
Oldairhead and others running 32, 35, etc. - are you changing your rims out to accommodate these wider tires or using the same rims you run your narrower tires on? 30 is the widest I've run on road wheels (32 and 38 on CR-18 rims) but I'm really curious to hear others experiences running the fat stuff on narrow road rims. I think this is still in the spirit of the original post question, and apologize if it has veered too far off topic.
I used 19 mm wide Araya rims that were original to my 1962 Legnano. This 1974 Legnano that I rode in L'Eroica originally had Fiamme tubular rims which I changed over. The Legnano Gran Premio frame has great clearance and I could probably go with up to 38c tires with no problem. I chose the 32's because they allowed me to also fit fenders, which I took with me. If the weather had looked threatening I would have put these on. As you all know, brake clearance is the other limiting factor. The original Universal brakes allowed clearance for the fenders or a larger tire, which was their only redeeming quality!

To your question, if I used wider than a 32c tire I would probably use a wider rim also. I think that handling is perhaps compromised when the tire cross-section gets very rounded by using a narrow rim and a fatter tire.

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Old 12-26-12, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by gomango View Post
My wife and I vacationed in Tuscany three summers ago.
Stayed in Volterra and rode four days to various hill top towns/cities.
How I wished I had a nice, wide tire like the Eroica/Almonzo and enough room in the stays.
Tough riding and the climbs were beastly.
Such a beautiful area! You know how hilly Tuscany is then.

Originally Posted by gomango View Post
The Almanzo 100 route is very challenging.
We just did over half the hundo before the heavy snow hit here a few weeks ago.
Read up on this little gravel road climb fest here:
https://www.almanzo.com/
That looks like a great ride! I'm pleased to see a few of these type of rides popping up here in the states. There website does not look like it being updated, maybe it's just the season.
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Old 12-26-12, 10:21 AM
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Enjoying the experiences and it's helping alot. One more ignorant question on my part since I've never really paid attention to it. What's the value in the tpi - I notice the Pasela TG is at 66 and the Schwalbe Marathon is 67 tpi. The Vittoria Cross XN tire is 150tpi. I'm assuming the higher the number the heavier the tire and the less flat protection there is.
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Old 12-26-12, 10:25 AM
  #19  
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Usually the higher the thread count (tpi) in the casing equates to more suppleness in the tire.
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Old 12-26-12, 10:26 AM
  #20  
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TPI is Threads per inch. The higher the TPI, the more supple the tire. This provides for a smoother ride, faster rolling and permits higher PSI for a given load. A higher TPI tire is usually not heavier, these tires use a finer thread.

Here is a more detailed explaination: https://www.livestrong.com/article/27...bicycle-tires/

"You may look at your bicycle tires as something you are fully happy with as long as they don't go flat. But important components of their construction enable tires to contact the road safely, hold their shape and protect the inner tube. Underneath the rubber tread design of your bicycle tire is a structure called a casing, made of nylon threads. These threads are measured in tpi, which stands for threads per inch.

Significance

Rubber is the least important component of your tire, bicycling editor and racer Jayme **** notes. The bead, the edge of the tire that tucks into the rim, and the casing, woven between the two beads, are the nuts and bolts of the tire, she states. Generations ago, casings were made of cotton canvas, but in the 1960s, manufacturers switched to nylon, which has superior tensile strength. High-end tires feature Kevlar, a strong, light fiber. The casing uses layers of threads, measured in tpi, laid side by side and placed in layers perpendicular to each other.

Function

A larger thread equates to a lower tpi and a stiffer casing, notes former professional cyclist Ian Dille writing in Mountain Bike magazine. A standard downhill mountain bike tire might use a 60 tpi casing, while a performance cross-country tire or road bike tire might be 120 tpi. A smaller thread size, he notes, makes for higher tpi and less rubber packed between the threads, making the tire lighter and more supple on the road. Cross-country tires have a single sheet of casing bonded under the center of the tread, Dille writes, while all-mountain tires use a two-ply casing.

Types

Tire manufacturer Vittoria has the highest tpi in the industry, with a tire at 320 tpi; the company also makes road tires down to 26 tpi, with an average of 120 tpi. Michelin North America notes on its website that it offers 33 tpi for entry-level tires or for abusive situations like downhill racing or freeriding, 60 tip for intermediate range tires and 127 tip for top-range tires. Taiwan-based Maxxis notes online that most of its tires are 60 tpi except for its 120 tpi racing tires.
Considerations

A beginning racer should find a tire that provides the best value based on lightness, tpi count and the smoothness of the ride, writes Robert Panzera in "Cycling Fast." The price differential is about $50 between the highest tpi and the lowest.

Expert Insight

Cycling author Natascha Grief notes in "Bicycling" magazine that a higher tpi becomes most noticeable when cornering, as the tire better conforms to the road's surface. While lower thread count tires do not offer the ride quality of a 120-tpi tire, they are more resistant to cuts and flats. If you want a high-mileage tire, go for a lower tpi; if you want a high-performance tire that will roll faster and corner better, select a higher tpi, she advises".


Read more: https://www.livestrong.com/article/27...#ixzz2GB0HLdhS
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Old 12-26-12, 10:26 AM
  #21  
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For this year's D2R2 in the hills and largely dirt roads of western MA, I went with a pair of Continental Speed Cross tires, which Rivendell was blowing out for relatively low $ over the summer. They're listed as 42mm wide, but in reality were about 37mm wide on V-O PBP rims. I liked them a lot as that course is mostly off pavement, some of which is single track.
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Old 12-26-12, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by scozim View Post
Enjoying the experiences and it's helping alot. One more ignorant question on my part since I've never really paid attention to it. What's the value in the tpi - I notice the Pasela TG is at 66 and the Schwalbe Marathon is 67 tpi. The Vittoria Cross XN tire is 150tpi. I'm assuming the higher the number the heavier the tire and the less flat protection there is.
Higher the number usually means a nicer ride quality, flat protection has nothing to do with the threads per inch in the sidewall. It all depends if the tire maker desided to build a flat protection layer into the casing.
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Old 12-26-12, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by RFC View Post
I would love to do the Heroica! Having read about the Heroica and, myself ridden a good deal of gravel, on that ride I would go with a 35mm Ritchey Speedmax at close to maximum pressures. That is, if you have clearance. Not bad on pavement and the little extra traction would be welcome on the gravel climbs.
Definitely come join us! I missed the chance this last year because of coaching my girls soccer team. But, I'm determined to do it this year and am already planning my hill training and gravel training rides for it.
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Old 12-26-12, 10:42 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Oldairhead View Post
Such a beautiful area! You know how hilly Tuscany is then.



That looks like a great ride! I'm pleased to see a few of these type of rides popping up here in the states. There website does not look like it being updated, maybe it's just the season.
Weird.

They tend to update often.

Try this again:

https://www.almanzo.com/

One of the most challenging areas to ride in I have ever tried.

They are setting up a 400 mile route for this summer!
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Old 12-26-12, 10:42 AM
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I use 32c Panaracer Pasela Tourguards with a Kevlar bead, and have mounted them on two different rims settling on the wider 22.x mm ones. Great tires for fending off cactus thorns and "goats-head" barbs as well has smoothing out the gravel at @85-90psi. I do have Slime in the rear tire. I initially bought a set of 28c Panaracer Pasela Tourguards with a Steel bead for that bike but felt they were a little narrow for the sandy sections of trail I sometimes ride on, so they went on another bike I use for bumpy pavement and they work fine for that.

Never a flat with either, and I don't miss the "off-road" bumps that I used to use on this cross bike. Those type were dangerous in the rain on pavement, and especially riding over the oily A/C puddles from cars at intersections in the summertime.
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