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Lets Talk Tires!

Old 11-29-15, 12:07 PM
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Inpd
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Lets Talk Tires!

So a few of us in this forum are converting hybrids to gravel bikes that ride on some loose gravel and hard pack dirt and need advice on tires.

a. What are the widest tires that can safely mount on traditional road rims. Wide is important as many hybrids are not steel so will need wide tires to absorb vibration.

b. What is an inexpensive gravel tire we can put on our hybrids to test out gravel riding

c. What does a gravel specific tire get us over 28mm Kenda Kwest style tires. Lets face it. We all have a spare set of those in the garage that came with our first bikes.

Thanks!
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Old 11-29-15, 08:48 PM
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Gravel marketed tires are typically going to be wider and have more pronounced tread than something like a Kenda Kwest. Depending on where and how you ride, this may or may not matter so much. There really isn't a consensus on what a gravel tire should look like.

I don't know what the widest tire that can be mounted on a standard road rim would be, but I've used the WTB Nano's (labeled at 40mm) on standard rims with no issues.
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Old 11-29-15, 09:10 PM
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I've seen people stuff small 29er tires in some hybrids to basically make a light duty mtb. Just depends on what your roads or trails are like. I use 700x30 Challenge Bianca Strada on my Cannondale H400. These originally came with 38mm tires so I can stuff some decent rubber between the stays. Though I like the Challenges and don't really need something aggressive for the stuff I ride on. Heck I've rode my Paramount that can only fit a 25mm tire and survived on back roads with signs that say "Impassable Road".

Alot of hybrids came in steel as when I think of hybrids it's the first material that comes to mind. Only a few companies were using aluminum when bikes termed "hybrids" were made. Honestly the whole "gravel bike" term seems really overused nowadays. I guess they've already used hybrids and gravel or all road seem more with the times.
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Old 11-29-15, 09:26 PM
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There is no "standard" road rim. Rims come in many different widths designed for different uses. So, it's really not possible to answer that part of your question. You'd need to know what rim you are using and check what the manufacturer recommends as the widest tire you can safely spoon into the rim.
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Old 11-29-15, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post
There is no "standard" road rim. Rims come in many different widths designed for different uses. So, it's really not possible to answer that part of your question. You'd need to know what rim you are using and check what the manufacturer recommends as the widest tire you can safely spoon into the rim.
I'm not so sure about that. I now own 3 road bikes (700c rim) and have a further 2 in the family. I exchange tires between them all the time so there must be some uniformity there.

Thanks for the input. The bike I am converting has v-brakes so I can fit in nice big tires. These are the Kenda Kwest's I have the K193 (28mm version) it has some thread on it https://www.amazon.com/Kenda-KWest-K1.../dp/B00IEZI4ME

If I'm riding hard packed dirt and shallow gravel would these suffice or should I get something different in terms of:

i) Thread
ii) Width.
iii) Max PSI (Kwest are 50 recommended 85 max).
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Old 11-29-15, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
I'm not so sure about that. I now own 3 road bikes (700c rim) and have a further 2 in the family. I exchange tires between them all the time so there must be some uniformity there.
No need to take my word for it. Just go to a rim maker's product page and compare. For example go here: Product compare | Mavic . Choose the A319 and compare it to the CXP. Notice the difference in the rim widths and the recommended tires?
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Old 11-30-15, 07:12 AM
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I've ordered Gravelkings in 32mm. Panaracer: Professional Bicycle Tires| Road May be awhile before I can give a review. Not relevant, but I like the 28s on a road bike. Making sure that a bicycle tire will fit the rim Here's the standard link for tire/rim sizing.
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Old 11-30-15, 07:58 AM
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I'm running 32mm Gravel Kings also on some mid 80's Wolber Alpines without issues but it's a wider box rim but there are some road rims I wouldn't mount anything bigger then a 28 on. I don't think it's so much an issue if your not an aggressive rider who doesn't throw their bike around when they ride. You can mount almost any size 700c tire on a matching rim but it's the fear of rolling that tire. You don't really want that hour glass look on your tire/rim combo.

With the current trend of rim manufacturers going wider I don't see much of an issue but it's those narrow rims you see on quality rims from the 80's and 90s. I've got some NOS tubular Matrix ISO rims I wouldn't dare put anything bigger then a 25 because of how narrow they are. But now I'm judging apples to oranges. Lol.
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Old 11-30-15, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
If I'm riding hard packed dirt and shallow gravel would these suffice or should I get something different in terms of...
Ride what you have first and go from there. You'll figure out pretty quickly if the Kenda's are going to work out.
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Old 11-30-15, 09:47 AM
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Continental SpeedRide's are $30 a tire, come in either 700x42 or 700x35 (note that the 35's may be labeled as "Cylcocross Speed" but they are identical to the SpeedRide), and are excellent on gravel, pavement, and hard-packed dry/moist dirt. They would be perfect for a mixed-terrain bike, and are an absolute bargain.

I have mounted them on Shimano RS10 wheels (19 mm outside width, I believe) with no issues, for the 42c version of the tire.
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Old 11-30-15, 03:34 PM
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I'm curious to hear some feedback on the 700x32 Gravel King's when you get some miles on them..
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Old 11-30-15, 05:34 PM
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i may run something like this on my next gravel race.
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Old 11-30-15, 05:39 PM
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or this one in a 28mm.
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Old 11-30-15, 06:00 PM
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i rode a gravel race with the Conti SpeedRide. it was on the rear. IIRC, i had it at ~55 psi (i did NOT want any pinch flats and i wanted to roll quickly on the paved portion of the race). it worked well even through some pretty sticky mud. wasn't great on muddy climbs but what the hell, it's a file tread. on the hard pack and rock gravel it rolled good enough and only in some extreme conditions, did i feel like i was going to lose control or grip.
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Old 12-06-15, 12:17 PM
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Thanks being riding the kwests and they are great on loose gravel with a hard base, grass and packed dirt.Not so good on sand.

On a related note i road a bmx bike on fine dirt with a hard base and noticed the bike hydra planing almost I.e. slipping until the base was hit. Is that a symptom of too wide or too narrow tires.
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Old 12-06-15, 12:49 PM
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Schwalbe Marathon Dureme - light, tough and the perfect all-around rails to trails tire in the 40 c size.
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Old 12-07-15, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DirtRoadRunner View Post
Continental SpeedRide's are $30 a tire, come in either 700x42 or 700x35 (note that the 35's may be labeled as "Cylcocross Speed" but they are identical to the SpeedRide), and are excellent on gravel, pavement, and hard-packed dry/moist dirt. They would be perfect for a mixed-terrain bike, and are an absolute bargain.
I second the SpeedRides. I have the 700x42 and they roll really well, weigh 430g (light for a tire this size), and offer good puncture resistance. Oh, and they're excellent on wet and frosty roads too. Given the soft/grippy tread, I don't know how long they'll last. Probably not a 10,000 mile tire.

Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
Schwalbe Marathon Dureme - light, tough and the perfect all-around rails to trails tire in the 40 c size.
The Duremes are great tires, but they were discontinued over 3 years ago. There may be a few old stock models floating around, but they're practically collector's items with prices to match.
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Old 12-07-15, 02:48 PM
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You'll max out the clearance of your frame before your tire is too wide for a road rim.
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Old 12-07-15, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffpoulin View Post

The Duremes are great tires, but they were discontinued over 3 years ago. There may be a few old stock models floating around, but they're practically collector's items with prices to match.

Not really. I bought a set from Planet X during the summer for $35. A steal considering one tire back in the day was a tear-blinding $90!
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Old 12-08-15, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
Not really. I bought a set from Planet X during the summer for $35. A steal considering one tire back in the day was a tear-blinding $90!
Thanks, but those are the double-carcass models (designed for tandems). They're durable, but heavier and less supple than the original models.
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Old 12-08-15, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffpoulin View Post
Thanks, but those are the double-carcass models (designed for tandems). They're durable, but heavier and less supple than the original models.
They hold up well on my gravel road bike. I don't have a problem with the ride quality even though they are marked for tandems. A pair of high quality folding bead tires was just what I was looking for and their performance on the road and on trails has been superb.
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Old 12-12-15, 08:04 PM
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rode the Soma Supple Vitesse EX on a 32 mile gravel/rode group ride today. at 60 psi, they roll fast. i was pleasantly surprised how well they gripped too. riding the gravel portions of the ride where effortless as they adsorbed alot of the small pebbles. the only time i felt the back end get loose was in some deep gravel and at that point, any tire would perform the same way.
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Old 12-12-15, 09:32 PM
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I've got a couple of rides on my 32mm Gravel Kings and enjoy them so far. Plus their pretty reasonable for a folding bead and 126 tpi tire at about $30 per tire from a most places. Check the Bikesmiths on eBay because I picked up them up for $56 shipped for the pair. I paid about that much for one Challenge Bianca Strada earlier this year but is a handmade tire also.

I also ordered a pair of Kenda Happy Medium's for 60 shipped from Jenson USA as they have free shipping for any order over $50 and a decent selection of tires your looking for cheap.
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Old 12-15-15, 12:51 PM
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Let me tag my question on here, since it's related. My "standard" bike has been a Raleigh Sojourn. If you're not familiar with it, it's a steel-frame disc-brake bike that comes stock with 700c35 tires and fenders. (Currently running 32 mm Gatorskins) The significance of the fenders being that you can remove them and go up bigger on the tires. This brings up the question above, "How wide can you go with road wheels?" In my case, rear is a Chukker, front is a Velocity Deep V, and I don't see that Velocity lists any maximum tire size on the website. And, the more critical thing, what I'm thinking is just running the bike on gravel roads- not racing, not mountainbiking, just public roads in the boonies that happen to be gravel (and sand and mud, as these things go) instead of paved. Recommended tire size and type for that is?
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