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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Need tires recommendations

Old 08-16-16, 02:32 PM
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Need tires recommendations

Pertinent info:
- 80% on road, 20% light single track/dirt roads
- probably can't be much wider than 32mm
- hard wearing/durable

I've searched and searched and really only come up with:
- Clement X'plor MSO: Comes in 32, doesn't seem to have a great low resistance center tread for pavement
- Clement X'plor USH: Only comes down to 35 but have read it may actually be narrower than listed, seems like it has a good center tread for pavement
Maybe both of those are too aggressive for my needs?

- Clement X'plor Strada USH: Much less aggressive (but maybe not enough for the trails?)

As you can see I need some help here. Thanks!
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Old 08-16-16, 03:28 PM
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I have MSOs in 40mm and think they are fantastic on pavement...for a 40mm tire.
They are soft and smooth rolling on pavement.

I wouldnt hesitate to use 32s in that model for mostly pavement.

I would hesitate to use 32s on gravel, but thats based on whats around me.
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Old 08-16-16, 09:40 PM
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MSO is a great tire for 50/50, but with a strong bias toward pavement, I'd look for something with a smoother tread. Clement Strada 32, Maxxis Re-Fuse 32, Panaracer Gravel King 32, Panaracer T-Serve Protite 32, Specialized Roubaix Pro 30/32. I've ridden many mixed surface miles on the Roubaix Pro tires on my custom Zukas. They are the tire that comes standard on the higher end Diverge models. Great tires. Also available in tubeless.

IMG_20150331_142947069 by Benny Watson, on Flickr

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Old 08-17-16, 06:31 AM
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USH & Pasela.

I've ridden USH 35's for over a year. Great tire, wears like iron. I'm on the 60tpi version - a bit heavy. They measure a full 35mm on an A23 rim. Also had Conti CX Speed 35s - measure the same but more prone to wear & flats. My racer wife runs Panaracer Pasela 32s for gravel and pavement - a nice tire that's sometimes overlooked.
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Old 08-17-16, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
I have MSOs in 40mm and think they are fantastic on pavement...for a 40mm tire.
They are soft and smooth rolling on pavement.

I wouldnt hesitate to use 32s in that model for mostly pavement.

I would hesitate to use 32s on gravel, but thats based on whats around me.
Yeah there won't be much gravel on these, if any at all.

Originally Posted by BluesDawg
MSO is a great tire for 50/50, but with a strong bias toward pavement, I'd look for something with a smoother tread. Clement Strada 32, Maxxis Re-Fuse 32, Panaracer Gravel King 32, Panaracer T-Serve Protite 32, Specialized Roubaix Pro 30/32. I've ridden many mixed surface miles on the Roubaix Pro tires on my custom Zukas. They are the tire that comes standard on the higher end Diverge models. Great tires. Also available in tubeless.
Great list, I hadn't looked those up so I will do that, thanks.

Originally Posted by veloz
I've ridden USH 35's for over a year. Great tire, wears like iron. I'm on the 60tpi version - a bit heavy. They measure a full 35mm on an A23 rim. Also had Conti CX Speed 35s - measure the same but more prone to wear & flats. My racer wife runs Panaracer Pasela 32s for gravel and pavement - a nice tire that's sometimes overlooked.
Good to hear the USHs wear well. I almost bought a set of the 120tpi version for $80 bucks last night but I'm just not sure they will fit. Besides, I have a pair of Michelin Protek 32s that measure 33 on my rims so I may as well try those out first. They aren't high end by any means but they are durable and cheap that's for sure.
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Old 08-17-16, 09:17 AM
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Check out the Compass Tires from Jan Heine. They are wonderfully supple and they have regular and lightweight casings. I use the lightweight casings on very kind of terrain imaginable and never a flat or a problem. His tires are custom made for exactly the type of riding you suggest.

https://www.compasscycle.com/
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Old 08-17-16, 10:22 AM
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For 80% road, I'd use a 25 or 28 road tire, like the above mentioned Compass or Panaracer Gravelkings with file tread. Vittoria Pavé falls in this camp, too, and Specialized Roubai.

Anyway, I wouldn't consider anything larger if you have any sporting ambition for your pavement riding; it's simply unnecessary to have larger tires for any of the conditions you mention.

I ride 30c Schwalbe S-One tubeless on my gravel bike, but on pavement, while they roll fine up to around 18mph or so, holding them at speeds beyond takes some effort.
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Old 08-17-16, 10:53 AM
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+1 on the Compass tires. I run the 700c X 38 Barlow Pass with extra light casing, on a Black Mountain Cycles monstercross bike, 90% road and 10% dirt. Super supple and very low rolling resistance. I have no trouble riding with fast group road rides - although most people are incredulous that these "fat tires" don't slow me down.

These are expensive to buy at $78 each, but on a per mile basis they are actually cheaper than the Continental Gatorskin Ultra 700c X 28 that I used to ride. I am just about to hit 6000 miles on this set. I weigh 190 lbs and the rig weighs 27 lbs with tool bag and two full water bottles. I run them at 42 psi rear, and 34 psi front. If you run them at too high of a pressure, you lose the comfortable ride and create a lot of wear on the center of the rear tire. I built a wheelset using H Plus Son Todestrieb rims (32 mm external width, 26 mm internal width) specifically for these wider tires. On narrower rims, I needed to run them 5-8 psi higher to keep them stable in corners, and the rear center tread wear was much faster.
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Old 08-17-16, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Hairy Hands
Check out the Compass Tires from Jan Heine. They are wonderfully supple and they have regular and lightweight casings. I use the lightweight casings on very kind of terrain imaginable and never a flat or a problem. His tires are custom made for exactly the type of riding you suggest.

https://www.compasscycle.com/
I ride my Barlows on gravel - really caliche clay with rocks.
They do great in everything but sand.
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Old 08-17-16, 02:54 PM
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Another vote for the XPLOR MSOs here. They work great on pavement. I have the 700x40 version. My rides are on them are probably more 50/50 pavement/gravel than 80/20 though.
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Old 08-17-16, 03:06 PM
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The Xplor USH is possibly the best all around tire I've ever ridden. Great on gravel, great on pavement, great on hard packed singletrack, great on grass, acceptable in moderate mud and sand with the pressure lowered. I've got 1800-2000 miles on a pair and they still look great for another season. Very highly recommended.
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Old 08-17-16, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbean
The Xplor USH is possibly the best all around tire I've ever ridden. Great on gravel, great on pavement, great on hard packed singletrack, great on grass, acceptable in moderate mud and sand with the pressure lowered. I've got 1800-2000 miles on a pair and they still look great for another season. Very highly recommended.
USH looks like a nice one for mostly pavement/little dirt road gravel riders. Waiting for a tubeless ready version to come out.
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Old 08-18-16, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by KonaRider125
USH looks like a nice one for mostly pavement/little dirt road gravel riders. Waiting for a tubeless ready version to come out.
It's been a great performer on gravel/dirt for me. I just drop the pressure a bit.
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Old 08-18-16, 01:38 PM
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I got the Xplor USHs, hopefully they fit.
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Old 08-26-16, 12:09 PM
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I've had good luck with the Kenda Kourier in a 700x38. I've taken that on some funky single track and no issues.
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Old 09-11-16, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by veloz
I've ridden USH 35's for over a year. Great tire, wears like iron. I'm on the 60tpi version - a bit heavy. They measure a full 35mm on an A23 rim. Also had Conti CX Speed 35s - measure the same but more prone to wear & flats. My racer wife runs Panaracer Pasela 32s for gravel and pavement - a nice tire that's sometimes overlooked.
Ok so I got the USHs and sure enough they are 33mm wide. Kinda bummed.
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Old 09-13-16, 02:30 PM
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Mine still measure 35+. Here's the front, inflated to 36psi on a Velocity A23. I've run as much as 80psi in the back tire which makes it taller and wider. I'm 190lbs and have run as low 32/54psi front & rear. When I'm riding more road than gravel I inflate to 40/60.
https://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...oads/image.jpg

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Old 09-15-16, 04:29 AM
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Hi Guys,

Similar requirement. Looking for something that would measure 35 mounted. My rim is 21mm internal width and 25mm external.

The Compass ones look good, but any idea which would measure 35 after mounting?
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Old 09-15-16, 01:43 PM
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How do the Compass tires (28 or 32 mm) do on good pavement? I'm doing about 2/3 of my miles on paved roads and the other 1/3 on dirt roads.
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Old 09-15-16, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
How do the Compass tires (28 or 32 mm) do on good pavement? I'm doing about 2/3 of my miles on paved roads and the other 1/3 on dirt roads.
Compass tires are basically high-performance road slicks that just happen to be available in very wide sizes.

I've only tried the Rat Trap Pass EL (26er, inflated to ~53mm), and they seem to be able to cruise as well on good pavement as the narrow road slicks (i.e. Bontrager R3) on my "proper" road bikes. The narrower Compass tires are constructed similarly to the wide ones, and so I'd imagine they'd do just fine as well.
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Old 09-15-16, 05:20 PM
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Thanks HTupolev! The pictures on their site show what look like miniature ribs, they look like they'd slow you down, but they also look like they might wear down to smooth after 50 miles. I noticed their 28s and 32s are pretty light (lighter than the road tires I've been using) and everybody speaks highly about them. I need new tires soon and I think the last thing I need to decide is what size.
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Old 09-15-16, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
How do the Compass tires (28 or 32 mm) do on good pavement? I'm doing about 2/3 of my miles on paved roads and the other 1/3 on dirt roads.
I have the 700x32 Compass Stampede Pass. It's a very good tire for pavement and firm and dry gravel. It rides very well and has very low rolling resistance. It performs like a good road bike tire and provides better stability and flotation on gravel than a narrow tire.

It is a faster tire on rough pavement and gravel than a narrow road bike tire. The larger tire provides reduced nervousness and provides a better response to stronger effort. On smooth pavement, the larger tire is slightly slower at higher speeds above 20 mph due to aerodynamics and weight. For recreational cycling, the Compass Stampede Pass is an excellent alternative to a thinner road bike tire.
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Old 09-15-16, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
The pictures on their site show what look like miniature ribs, they look like they'd slow you down
Since they're very shallow and run parallel to the direction of motion, they probably don't deform much. Some good road racing tires have similar features, i.e. half of Vittoria's Corsa lineup have little ruts running parallel to motion near the centerline. I'm not sure that they're really all that useful, but it seems like they don't hurt either.

but they also look like they might wear down to smooth after 50 miles.
I wouldn't count on it. Mine haven't, and Jan Heine estimates that they'll last half the tire's life.
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Old 09-16-16, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota
Pertinent info:
- 80% on road, 20% light single track/dirt roads
- probably can't be much wider than 32mm
- hard wearing/durable

I've searched and searched and really only come up with:
- Clement X'plor MSO: Comes in 32, doesn't seem to have a great low resistance center tread for pavement
- Clement X'plor USH: Only comes down to 35 but have read it may actually be narrower than listed, seems like it has a good center tread for pavement
Maybe both of those are too aggressive for my needs?

- Clement X'plor Strada USH: Much less aggressive (but maybe not enough for the trails?)

As you can see I need some help here. Thanks!
If your riding 80/20 pavement and not to knarly gravel/dirt road I'd go with a 28mm tire. I use Michelin Pro4 Endurance tires and they've been great - I'm riding the same terrain, 80/20- fast on the road and surprisingly durable off-road. With the new Power series out you can find the Pro4's pretty heavily discounted. I also use clement ush's in 35's but find the Michelin's to be fine unless the road gets too rough.
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Old 09-16-16, 08:38 AM
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Anyone try the new WTB Exposure 700x34 tires? Looks like a nice option for mixed surface riders who spend more time on pavement than dirt/gravel.

WTB Exposure 700X34C Road TCS Tire > Components > Tires > Pavement Tires | Jenson USA
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