Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Which tires? (gravel and pavement)

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Which tires? (gravel and pavement)

Old 08-10-11, 03:59 PM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Which tires? (gravel and pavement)

Hi everyone.

I'm new to cycling, and will be using my bicycle to commute to work (which i will order shortly).

My route includes long two-lane roads, with mediocre pavement. However the roads are somewhat narrow, and the shoulders are gravel.

I'm looking into buying these tires in 700x28c

However I'm concerned, how well would they handle occasional driving on the gravel shoulder (for example if a large car tries to pass me and there isn't enough room on the pavement). Do you think these tires could take that use no problem maybe once or twice during my commute?

Otherwise, the come stock with more knobby tires meant for CX (here) at 700x32c.

Notice they do have an inverted tread.


So my questions are

1) Can those road tires handle the gravel shoulder when I need to use it?

2) Is it even worth getting those road tires, or will the stock Ritchey tires be near as good because of their inverted tread?


Thanks!
goingmissing is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 04:10 PM
  #2  
Old. Slow. Happy.
 
MileHighMark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I've found that width contributes more to stability on gravel than tread. If given the choice between a larger tire with minimal tread, or a narrower tire with more aggressive tread, I'll generally take the former.

Of the two tires you mentioned, though, I'd opt for the Ritchey's.
MileHighMark is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 04:24 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
SouthFLpix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 1,230

Bikes: 2007 Giant Cypress DX, Windsor Tourist 2011

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
For gravel I actually like 70x35c tires, perhaps even wider if your bike can accommodate them along with fenders (if you use fenders). I've heard great things about the new Schwalbe Dureme tire, but they are quite pricey.
SouthFLpix is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 05:47 PM
  #4  
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 6,971

Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax, 2016 Giant Talon 4

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 8 Posts
I can't speak to the Ritcheys specifically, but in my experience cyclocross tires aren't a really good bet for road riding.

They're designed for racing on the grass or in the mud. Thus, they have no (or very little) puncture protection, and the compound is very soft, so they wear quickly.

The Gatorskins, OTOH, will wear for 5,000 miles or more, and are known for their puncture resistance.

I ride Continental GrandPrix 4-Seasons in 25mm on the 4 mile dirt and gravel jeep road to my family's summer cottage with no issues. My other bike, with 34mm cyclocross tires, is only a smidge easier to handle on the same road. Mainly I can corner a bit faster and they break loose less often when climbing out of the saddle.
tsl is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 05:48 PM
  #5  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
So then, to answer my question, will the road tires I selected handle a bit of gravel fine?
goingmissing is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 05:54 PM
  #6  
Old. Slow. Happy.
 
MileHighMark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by goingmissing
So then, to answer my question, will the road tires I selected handle a bit of gravel fine?
How much tire clearance does your bike have? Personally, I wouldn't want to ride gravel (or dirt) on 28mm slicks.
MileHighMark is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 05:59 PM
  #7  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,350 Times in 857 Posts
will the road tires I selected handle a bit of gravel fine?
Continental Ultra Gatorskin Road Tire, in 28 width, the sidewall is reinforced, its largely a slick tire,

so It will survive the small stones, of say 1/4 minus gravel , OK for a reasonable amount of time.
Cannot make any guarantees that the handling skill of the rider will go up due to a tire choice.

I would use extra caution in those sections if I were you..
a wheel that goes out from underneath you is not a good thing.
However I'm concerned, how well would they handle occasional driving on the gravel shoulder (for example if a large car tries to pass me and there isn't enough room on the pavement). Do you think these tires could take that use no problem maybe once or twice during my commute?
Its the transition that will be a problem , if you are forced off the road ,
and hit the gravel verge, with a drop off, no skinny tire will help
if the front wheel starts ploughing gravel..
and the steep transition back onto the pavement may steer the front wheel
instead of your hands,
not unlike dropping a wheel in the slot along side the light rail tracks.

So No that tire wont make any difference , nor will many..

consider standing your ground and staying on the pavement ,
another route or a Mountain bike.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-10-11 at 06:12 PM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 06:01 PM
  #8  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Like i said, its not for a long time or anything. It would only be in an emergency when I need to get off the road ASAP, or when a large vehicle tries to pass and I either get on the shoulder or get clipped.

So say 30 seconds twice a ride max. I just don't want to get a flat from it, or fear the shoulder because of flats.
goingmissing is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 06:14 PM
  #9  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,350 Times in 857 Posts
Practice that maneuver a lot , so you survive your avoidance technique.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 06:15 PM
  #10  
Ridin' South Cackalacky
 
dahut's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,918
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Vittoria Randonneurs or Schwalbe Marathons.
dahut is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 06:17 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 129

Bikes: Lotus Legend (1982), Lotus Excelle Mixte (1984), Lotus Classique (1984)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you go with the gatorskins--i know that PBK usually has some good deals (although i don't know about the 28mm ones)..

But this site has them a little cheaper:
https://www.o2gearshop.com/catalog/pr...c=1&zmap=34647
edsall78 is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 06:18 PM
  #12  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
like i said, im just wondering about flats. Will a road tire get flats as soon as it goes on gravel?

I'm not concerned with my technique as that can improve. But since this is for commuting i can't have a flat every time i need to move to the shoulder.
goingmissing is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 06:24 PM
  #13  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,350 Times in 857 Posts
It's the 28 part that will have you risking pinch flats, not the tire choice, within that size
other than going to a 37 wide tire then you can get into another Continental The Travel Contact,
also with a Gator skin sidewall feature.

But I'm guessing it's a road bike and 28 is all you can fit.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 06:49 PM
  #14  
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 6,971

Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax, 2016 Giant Talon 4

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by goingmissing
Will a road tire get flats as soon as it goes on gravel?
No.
tsl is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 06:51 PM
  #15  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's a cyclocross, comes with 32 stock.

I'm thinking about this tire now, since it seems very reputable:

https://www.probikekit.com/ca/tyres-t...tyre-32mm.html

and thats in 32 too. Which should reduce pinch flats? Will it work on a bit of gravel?
goingmissing is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 07:25 PM
  #16  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,350 Times in 857 Posts
May be over thinking this ..

go for the wider tires , 35, , throw in heavy thorn resistant tubes.

and worry no more..

[6 month tour with my camping gear, SW Eire, to NE Scotland, no punctures.]

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-10-11 at 07:55 PM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 07:26 PM
  #17  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
how so? I just want to know if road tires can handle gravel at all.
goingmissing is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 07:27 PM
  #18  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tsl
No.
Alright. So i should feel safe going on the shoulder when I need to, as long as I can handle the transition from pavement to gravel?
goingmissing is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 07:29 PM
  #19  
Papaya King
 
waynesworld's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Columbus, Ohio (Grandview area)
Posts: 1,640

Bikes: 2009 Felt X City D, 1985 (?) Trek 400, 1995 (?) Specialized Rockhopper, 1995 Trek 850

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Either your first or second choice should be fine as far as flat resistance (The Contis or Schwalbes). The Schwalbe Marathon Plus is going to be super heavy, but also seems to be the 'gold standard' (if there is such a thing) as far as flat resistance goes. As others have said, wider is better for gravel. How wide you need to be safe is more a function of your bike handling skills. 28 is way better than a 23, but 32 is still better for gravel. 35 even better.

I have Conti City Contact (not sure if they're no longer made, renamed or what, but I can't find them on their site) in 37 on my hybrid. These work great on all road surfaces, as far as flat resistance and handling. I have Vittoria Randonneur Pros in 32 on my Jake. They are not as good on larger gravel, but they're still acceptable. Actually, they're quite good, just not as good as a wider tire.
waynesworld is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 07:42 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,977
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1496 Post(s)
Liked 189 Times in 128 Posts
Schwalbe Marathon Supreme is designed for pavement and gravel. Mine get about 50/50 on each and they are great on both surfaces. 700x35.
alan s is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 08:35 PM
  #21  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thats good to here, I think I'll go with the Marathons. Sure they are a bit heavier, but flats would really screw up my commute. I'm glad to hear they are partially designed for gravel. I'll have some confidence then. Thanks!
goingmissing is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 08:49 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Loose Chain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 2,067

Bikes: 84 Pinarello Trevisio, 86 Guerciotti SLX, 96 Specialized Stumpjumper, 2010 Surly Cross Check, 88 Centurion Prestige, 73 Raleigh Sports, GT Force, Bridgestone MB4

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 278 Post(s)
Liked 69 Times in 54 Posts
If it is a cyclecross why not use cyclecross tires. My Surly has 32s with relatively smooth center and knobby sides. I run them on pavement, I live on a rough gravel road, have a gravel drive and many of the roads I ride on are gravel and some are dirt trails.
Loose Chain is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 09:02 PM
  #23  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I wanted to avoid the cyclecross tires because 99% of the time I'm on pavement. Like I said, the only time gravel comes into play is when I move onto the shoulder for a second to let cars pass.
goingmissing is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 09:31 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 148
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I wonder the same thing because I would like to think I am in a similar situation.
Most of my ride is done over smooth pavement, but there are small portions of it where I ride over what is 'unsmoothen' asphalt. It is like gravel in the sense that it's small pieces of points that could damage ties, but they are not loose like gravel and in fixed positions.

Personally I see a lot of road bikes go over the area without trouble, and I figure gatorskins are fine. They seem to be holding up anyways.
If I was on a CX bike, I'd probably stick the same size tire it comes in stock but find a more city. Marathons look like a good bet.
8Fishes is offline  
Old 08-10-11, 09:40 PM
  #25  
Old. Slow. Happy.
 
MileHighMark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I posted this on my blog last week:

Mixed-Terrain Tire Primer
MileHighMark is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.