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And now...Tire Selection

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And now...Tire Selection

Old 05-08-06, 07:30 AM
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Steele-Bike
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And now...Tire Selection

With my new graveled bike commute, I am in the market for some new tires. I currently use 1.5" Specialized Armidillos, but I am thinking maybe they won't handle well on the 8 miles of gravel. So, what I am looking for is a flat-resistant tire with a semi-aggresive thread. I have some kevlar bead 2.0" tires, but I am not sure how flat-resistant they are.

Any ideas?
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Old 05-08-06, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Steele-Bike
With my new graveled bike commute, I am in the market for some new tires. I currently use 1.5" Specialized Armidillos, but I am thinking maybe they won't handle well on the 8 miles of gravel. So, what I am looking for is a flat-resistant tire with a semi-aggresive thread. I have some kevlar bead 2.0" tires, but I am not sure how flat-resistant they are.

Any ideas?
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Old 05-08-06, 08:21 AM
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I use Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires and love them. However, I would not consider the tread as being "agressive" "semi-slick" is a better description. They have worked well in light snow on the few occasions when I was caught without my Nokians on.

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Old 05-08-06, 08:41 AM
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1 1/8" road tires can be used on gravel. 1.5" tires can definitely be used on gravel. Although 2" tires probably give a better ride.
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Old 05-08-06, 08:45 AM
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With a 2" tire you can drop the pressure real low. I almost
never got flats with tires that big. Nice bouncy ride, too.
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Old 05-08-06, 09:42 AM
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Specialized sells the hemisphere which has a thread but no knobs. There's also the borough with a semi-slick center thread and then knobs on the outside around it, best of both worlds for you.
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Old 05-09-06, 02:02 PM
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Michelin Trans-World Cities in 1.5 or 1.95". They should do fine in gravel,have puncture protection,are easy to put on,and have reflective sidewalls. I ran a set this winter in the snow.
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Old 05-10-06, 10:21 AM
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I use specialized Nimbus 26x1.5 tires on gravel. I think these are similar to the Armadillo's you mentioned in terms of tread pattern. They work fine. I do get some rear wheel slippage on steep hills. No handling issues, though.

Lately, I've been riding a different bike with 27x 1 1/4 tires (32mm). This tire feels a little squirly on the gravel at higher speeds. So, I know what you mean about stability and gravel. Anyway, I don't get that skating sideways sensation with the 26x1.5 tires. They seem wider than the 27 x 1 1/4 tires by more than the nominal 1/4 inch that the labels would imply.

I have used 26x1.95 knobbies on the same route. Less slippage on hills. I had a few flats with these. Maybe it was just the specific tire I had, but the tire skin thickness between the knobbies was a little thin compared to the 26x1.5 nimbus tires I use now. The main problem with the big fat knobbies in the summer is that they grab rocks and scrape them allong the fenders. I hate that noise. Kind of like fingernails on a chalkboard.
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Old 05-10-06, 10:26 AM
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Have you tried the nimbus on the gravel yet?
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Old 05-10-06, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by PatrickMcCabe
Have you tried the nimbus on the gravel yet?
I haven't given them a try, yet. The road in question just got a fresh layer of gravel, so it looks pretty loose right now. I suppose I will just keep the 26x1.5" Armadillos on there and see how they do. I have looked at the trip more in depth and it looks like it will be 6 miles gravel and 4 miles paved, so the 1.5" slicks should do the trick.
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Old 05-11-06, 01:18 PM
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I've got a set of Nimbuses on my Giant,which have the same tread pattern as the Armadillos. At CM last Friday,we went down to the Mall and rode a bit through the gravel. The Nimbuses didn't seem too sure-footed in the loose gravel. The tread grooves aren't deep enough.
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Old 05-11-06, 10:27 PM
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I think stability on a loose surface is more proportional to the width of the tire than the tread pattern. Traction on the other hand may be increased by tread pattern, especially if that gravel is wet. I've used 1.5" Nimbus Armadillos during brief off-road stints (like yesterday's shortcut into the Circuit City parking lot) and never had any issues.
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