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Treaded tires or wider slicks?

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Treaded tires or wider slicks?

Old 12-23-16, 12:49 PM
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Treaded tires or wider slicks?

Hey guys,

I'd like to buy new set of tires. As of lately I spent most of my riding on paved surfaces on my cx bike. I use 25mm tire and i would like to go wider, something about 30-32mm. I was thinking about tires with file tread and some knobs on sides, like vittoria cxn, conti cyclocross speed or challenge almanzo, but i was wondering if they are going to feel too sluggish compared to the slicks on paved roads.

Second option is to buy something like conti GP4000 or 4Season in wider size, like 28 or 32mm for more comfort without sacrificing too much responsiveness. I would say to my riding will consist something like 80-90% of paved surfaces, with occasional ride on unpaved roads, but nothing too extreme.

What would you guys recommend?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-23-16, 03:06 PM
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Got clearance for a Wider tire ? .. Continental Travel Contact* is Excellent, but not made narrower than 37 wide.
they make a 622-42, and a 559 - 47 [I ran the 26" version for years ]

Its their adventure trekking tire , so made robust , may not be light enough for your Gravel Races.
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Old 12-23-16, 03:07 PM
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I like wider slicks if the gravel is flat. However, when the route includes climbing and descending with a slope greater than 5%, I want knobby tires for reliable stopping and cornering.

My tire selection runs along these models;

700x27 Vittoria Pave: All pavement or very firm gravel without steeper slopes
700x32 Compass Barlow Pass: All pavement or mostly firm gravel without steeper slopes
700x35 Clement USH: All pavement or moderately firm gravel
700x36 Clement MSO: Mixed firm and soft gravel
700x40 Clement MSO: Mostly soft gravel and dry single track
700x45 WTB Riddler: Mostly soft gravel and mixed single track
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 12-23-16 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 12-23-16, 04:54 PM
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I've used both large volume knobbed tires (WTB Nano 40, Conti Speedride/Crossride 42s) and large volume slick/semi-slick (Maxxis re-fuse 40, Conti TourRIDE 42, Conti Gatorskin 32)

As far as on-road performance (speed+cornering ability!), I would rate them thusly:

1) Gatorskins
2) TourRide
3) Re-fuse
4) SpeedRide
5) Nano
6) CrossRide

Off road, I would say:

1) Nano
2) SpeedRide/CrossRide (in fact, I ran a speed ride rear, cross ride front)
3) TourRide
4) Re-fuse
5) Gatorskin

It's important to qualify how you are using them, though: I had no problems riding any of those tires on [dry, packed] dirt roads. In that case, the Gatorskins were the clear winner, as they handled well on the dirt, and best of the others on pavement. It made an ideal commuting tire for that use. The inverted tread tires (TourRide, but others like Serfas Drifter, etc) actually work quite well on dry dirt/gravel, allowing for some bite. I could regularly take the bike, equipped with TourRides, into singletrack without much trouble, but without side knobs, could not lean the bike over. When I put on the SpeedRides (and later, added a crossride), I lost cornering ability on-road, but gained it in spades off-road. The Nanos, the most aggressive tire of any of them, obviously worked best on dirt, but it wasn't terrible to ride on-road, either.

Gravel is a whole other issue, depending on if you're talking about deep, or just packed gravel. If it's packed, like dirt, all the above holds true. If it's looser, the larger casings shine in that you can drop the pressure quite a bit--the footprint of the tire becomes more important than the tread, unless you are riding grades on loose gravel.

I didn't really mention the Re-fuses, but they are, more or less, the same concept as Continental's gatorskins, taken to a larger size. I haven't been overly thrilled with the large casings on road (they feel quite dead, even compared to a cheaper tire like a Kenda Kwest), but on gravel/dirt roads, they shine as a do-it-all type of tire, especially run at lower pressures. The main draw, for me, was the availability (at the time I purchased them) of one of the only larger volume tubeless casings that had minimal tread. I fervently believe there are much better options out there now, that weigh puncture protection vs performance (bearing in mind, these are 60tpi tires...).
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Old 12-25-16, 10:40 AM
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Ultimately, I went with Challenge Strada Bianca Plus, 33mm wide, 60 TPI casing, hope they gonna be okay for my needs.

Thanks for responses

Last edited by tomazo; 12-25-16 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 12-25-16, 11:13 AM
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Old 12-26-16, 09:31 PM
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I've found the 700x32 Ritchey Speedmax Cross to be a decent all around tire on both on road/off road.
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Old 12-27-16, 08:00 PM
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I like the Conti SpeedRides (wire bead, haven't tried the folders yet) on my '92 rigid fork mountain bike, Conti's 700x42 variation of the narrower Cyclocross Speed tires. Continental hypes them as "semi-slicks" but that's just silly ad talk. It's a soft, pliable diamond file pattern, not remotely like a slick.

But the Conti SpeedRide diamond file pattern with side knobbies are better rolling on pavement than the chevron tread mixed terrain tires I've used on the same bike, and grip well on dry to damp gravel, chat trails, grass, open prairie/pasture. No idea about mud, haven't encountered that yet.

I usually run the SpeedRides around 50 psi but they're good a little lower for gravel and higher for pavement. They seem durable and handle well when losing pressure. I've had one flat. A thumb-sized chunk of diamond shaped glass hidden under leaves in the park -- barely penetrated the puncture shield and nicked the tube. A month later the Lezyne temporary patch began leaking and I barely noticed the difference in handling until I was braking hard on a downhill and felt some odd shuddering. Looked down and noticed the front tire was rippling. It was down to around 15 psi by the time I stopped. Never felt spooky.

Good value too. I'd definitely consider the Cyclocross Speeds for a CX bike.

Those side knobbies sound and feel squirmy on tight turns on smooth pavement, so practice those deliberately before getting caught in a situation where you need to make that sort of turn (scooting across an intersection for a left turn on a short light). The feel isn't bad, just a bit weird the first couple of times.
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