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25-28c road tires on gravel bike?

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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.

25-28c road tires on gravel bike?

Old 01-16-17, 05:13 PM
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25-28c road tires on gravel bike?

Thinking of replacing old road bike with a gravel bike. But still would do paved only rides with the buddies. Anyone run regular road tires on their gravel bike? (The wheels I'm looking at will go as narrow as 28). Any negatives to this idea?


Thanks
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Old 01-16-17, 05:28 PM
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If you don't mind my asking, why are you interested in a gravel bike if you don't plan to do gravel riding? Is there a particular benefit you are trying to achieve by switching? For instance, overnight touring?

1) Your road bike probably accepts anything up to a 28, maybe even 32 if you're lucky. If it's a good road bike or it fits you well, I would personally just upgrade whatever maybe isn't working for you, given your riding goals.

2) You might end up in a more upright posture versus your road bike, thus less aerodynamic, which could put you at a speed disadvantage versus your co-riders. Depends on how you ride, so may not be a factor.

3) Your bracket will be higher, so you can maybe corner tighter/faster, but at the cost of higher center of gravity/slightly less stability, and likely a longer wheelbase/chainstays to accommodate touring gear, which will make you not corner tighter. In all honesty, these too may be negligible differences depending on how you ride, the specific bikes in question, etc.
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Old 01-16-17, 05:32 PM
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A gravel bike will maintain a fast pace, but you will incur a minor speed penalty compared to a regular road bike. A good road bike tire makes a big difference.

I'm using two wheelsets, one with a 700x27 tire for paved roads and very firm and well maintained gravel. The second wheelset is for deep gravel and is fitted with 700x36 tires.

I like a road bike tire that provides a smooth ride on damaged pavement and tolerates a little gravel, the 700x27 Vittoria Pave is a great road bike tire for a bike that will cover some firm, well maintained gravel. It's race tire fast and a regular winner of the Pari-Roubaix.


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Old 01-16-17, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jzsoup
Thinking of replacing old road bike with a gravel bike. But still would do paved only rides with the buddies. Anyone run regular road tires on their gravel bike? (The wheels I'm looking at will go as narrow as 28). Any negatives to this idea?


Thanks
I put 28's on my old steel bike and it rides great on roads....suxs on dirt almost useless I tried several times on rail to trails and is sketchy at best...On roads it is like a Caddy from 1978......smoove.
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Old 01-16-17, 05:40 PM
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Switching to smaller tires will adjust the handling characteristics, but in most road riding this isn't a particularly huge deal. It should work just fine.

Are you going to be doing unpaved rides on this bike?
If your gravel is mostly loose rocky stuff and/or dry hardpack, you might consider just using a single pair of ultra-wide road tires for everything, for the sake of convenience; a good wide road tire is still a good road tire.
But if you need tires that will dig through muck, or if your gravel has sharp stuff that will cut up a tire that doesn't have bombproof sidewalls, or something? Then having a second pair of tires as your road tires makes a lot of sense, and there's no particular reason not to pick a 28 or whatever.

Last edited by HTupolev; 01-16-17 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 01-16-17, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jzsoup
Thinking of replacing old road bike with a gravel bike. But still would do paved only rides with the buddies. Anyone run regular road tires on their gravel bike? (The wheels I'm looking at will go as narrow as 28). Any negatives to this idea?
I could put 25s or 28s on my gravel bike. Itd be a bit lighter due to a smaler tire, but thats it. I could also just ride my gravel bike with 40s on pavement. I would be the limiter for speed before my bike would be.
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Old 01-16-17, 09:24 PM
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[QUOTE=bcpriess;19317074]If you don't mind my asking, why are you interested in a gravel bike if you don't plan to do gravel riding? Is there a particular benefit you are trying to achieve by switching? For instance, overnight touring?


I'd be doing both but there will be plenty of days riding with buddies on all pavement. And I can't suffer the thought of some of them dropping me. I would part out the old road bike to help offset the cost.

1) Your road bike probably accepts anything up to a 28, maybe even 32 if you're lucky. If it's a good road bike or it fits you well, I would personally just upgrade whatever maybe isn't working for you, given your riding goals.



I hadn't considered this...I'll do some checking. The main issue I can think of would be fitting a rear rack for overnight trips. Thanks for the input.
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Old 01-16-17, 09:26 PM
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[QUOTE=Barrettscv;19317078]A gravel bike will maintain a fast pace, but you will incur a minor speed penalty compared to a regular road bike. A good road bike tire makes a big difference.

I'm using two wheelsets, one with a 700x27 tire for paved roads and very firm and well maintained gravel. The second wheelset is for deep gravel and is fitted with 700x36 tires.

I like this idea.
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Old 01-16-17, 09:35 PM
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Two separate wheel sets are the way to go..
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Old 01-18-17, 12:06 PM
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The only real geometry issue is lowering the bottom bracket with the smaller tires. Some gravel bikes already have the bottom bracket slammed, so lowering it further will increase the chance of pedal strike in cornering.
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Old 01-18-17, 08:17 PM
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1) Your road bike probably accepts anything up to a 28, maybe even 32 if you're lucky. If it's a good road bike or it fits you well, I would personally just upgrade whatever maybe isn't working for you, given your riding goals.



I hadn't considered this...I'll do some checking. The main issue I can think of would be fitting a rear rack for overnight trips. Thanks for the input.

My 76 Raleigh Gran Sport has 32c Schwalbe Marathons and could probably go up to about 35. It has a swept, lugged fork and floats over anything you throw at it, up to a point - think somewhere beyond crushed gravel, but before 1.5in gravel. Handles dirt singletrack and mild roots surprisingly well. For beyond that point (and because it's pretty and I don't want to wreck the finish), I am looking at other options.
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Old 01-19-17, 07:39 AM
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We have a guy in our Bike club who rides with us on his Cyclocross bike (he doesn't own a road bike).

He still smokes all of us, having a cyclrocross bike doesn't seem to hold him back at all.

The minor differences between a gravel/cyclocross bike and a road bike make much less speed difference than all of these:
-Rider fitness/strength
-Rider position (for Aerodynamics)
-Rider clothing (not flapping around)
-Proper road tires
-Wheels that are not boat anchors (Some touring and/or off-road tires meant to take a beating are pretty heavy).

So you should be fine...IF you actually like riding the gravel bike fast as much as your road bike...If you come to discover that you simply don't like the geometry, or the handling, that could make you enjoy it less...but that's likely not because its a "gravel" bike...it's likely just that it's a "different" bike from the one you are familiar with.
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Old 01-19-17, 09:17 AM
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Certainly nothing wrong with putting road tires on a gravel bike.

In theory, you'll be faster on a new road bike than on a new gravel bike. That will be due to weight and aero.

But that doesn't mean you won't be able to keep up on a gravel bike with road tires.
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Old 01-19-17, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 09box
Two separate wheel sets are the way to go..
I agree...I just ordered my 2nd set of wheels and an extra cassette (already have 2 kinds of tires/tubes).

So I'll be set for quick changes from road to off-road with no tire changes...

(Waiting eagerly for the mail to arrive...) :-)
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Old 01-19-17, 03:42 PM
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Recommend brake rotors and tubeless tires, please?

I have a GT Grade with SRAM Force 22. Just picked up a set of Enve SES 4.5 AR wheels. I need center lock rotors, in 160 mm. And I need tubeless tires, in 28 mm.

About half my miles will be on pavement and the other half will mostly be hard packed dirt, with some rocky, muddy, and gravely parts. I'll be using tubes at first, but the tires have to be tubeless.

Any suggestions?
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Old 01-19-17, 06:29 PM
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28s are great. A good rider can stay with anyone on the road. 32s will slow you down but are a good compromise if your riding in the dirt from time to time.
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Old 01-20-17, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jzsoup
Thinking of replacing old road bike with a gravel bike. But still would do paved only rides with the buddies. Anyone run regular road tires on their gravel bike? (The wheels I'm looking at will go as narrow as 28). Any negatives to this idea?


Thanks
It depends on the bike replacement. What gravel bikes are you looking at?
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Old 01-22-17, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
It depends on the bike replacement. What gravel bikes are you looking at?


This one:


Diamondback Bicycles - Bikes - Road - Alternative Road - Haanjo - Haanjo Trail Carbon
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Old 01-23-17, 06:56 AM
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The Schwalbe One
SCHWALBE G-ONE ALLROUND
NEW 2017
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Old 01-23-17, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by 09box
Two separate wheel sets are the way to go..
This^

IMHO, 28s are not wide enough for gravel riding except for short distances and rare occasions. Others feel differently, but I do not feel at all confident riding 28s on gravel, particularly when it gets deeper or thicker. Same with mud.

I've got a couple of extra wheel sets with varying tire widths and weights that I can swap among my bikes. That's a much easier option than buying an extra bike -- unless you are just looking for an excuse to get another bike. If that's the case, you have my permission.
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Old 01-24-17, 10:36 AM
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The Haanjo is a nice looking bike. I'd snag one of those...
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