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Schwalbe Marathon Supreme (or other semi-slick) OK on gravel?

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Schwalbe Marathon Supreme (or other semi-slick) OK on gravel?

Old 04-26-17, 10:34 PM
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Schwalbe Marathon Supreme (or other semi-slick) OK on gravel?

I've recently put on some 35mm Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires on my CX bike for commuting/road use. These are a *lot* smoother than the Schwalbe X-Ones that came with the bike, but I do notice they lack traction if going over damp grass.

How would these tires (or any other >35mm tire with minimal tread) be on gravel? I have read that the tread on a gravel tire is far less important than the width, because it's not the tire that slips on the gravel, but rather the gravel moving over itself as the tire ploughs through it.

I was thinking of getting a second wheel set for the CX tires, which are clearly going to be better on grass or mud, but was wondering whether the Marathons would be good for both pavement and gravel.

Thanks!

John.
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Old 04-26-17, 10:45 PM
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They're ok on gravel but bad on dirt and grass.
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Old 04-27-17, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by tyrion
They're ok on gravel but bad on dirt and grass.
Thanks! I figured out their limitations on loose dirt / mud & grass, which is why I'm looking at keeping my CX tires for these surfaces.

Would you think that tires with a smalls knobs or file tread (e.g. Schwalbe G-One, Clement USH etc.) are more secure of gravel, or is there not much in it?
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Old 04-27-17, 01:58 AM
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I've found file treads great for gravel. Side knobs at least on the front help with cornering confidence. True knobbies are not great on gravel and should be reserved for true cross racing. All this varies with types of gravel/dirt roads and also moisture content obviously.
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Old 04-27-17, 03:11 AM
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Continental SpeedRides are an excellent value for all around terrain -- pavement, dry to damp gravel and grass. Very affordable, not heavy -- under 500 g -- smooth rolling on pavement, stable on gravel and sand washes (at lower pressure), good grip on dry and damp grassy levees (like after dew or light rain), etc. 700x42 only (nominal -- they run a bit narrower, closer to 38). Light, shallow file tread with side knobbies, as john mct described above.

If you prefer a bit narrower, Conti's Cyclocross Speed tires are nearly identical, at 700x35. Both are available in wire bead or folders. Less aggressive file/diamond tread than the Clement and similar tires I've handled locally that are more aimed at cyclocross.
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Old 04-27-17, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat
Continental SpeedRides are an excellent value for all around terrain -- pavement, dry to damp gravel and grass. Very affordable, not heavy -- under 500 g -- smooth rolling on pavement, stable on gravel and sand washes (at lower pressure), good grip on dry and damp grassy levees (like after dew or light rain), etc. 700x42 only (nominal -- they run a bit narrower, closer to 38). Light, shallow file tread with side knobbies, as john mct described above.
Second this...bought one on Jenson for 15 bucks last year, should have bought four since the price has gone back up and they are great all around tires.
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Old 04-27-17, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by johngwheeler
Thanks! I figured out their limitations on loose dirt / mud & grass, which is why I'm looking at keeping my CX tires for these surfaces.

Would you think that tires with a smalls knobs or file tread (e.g. Schwalbe G-One, Clement USH etc.) are more secure of gravel, or is there not much in it?
I haven't tried any of those, but they get good reviews. For gravel, I suspect, width and pressure are more important that tread pattern.
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Old 04-27-17, 11:01 AM
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How much clearance does your frame/fork have? If you can clear 40mm tires, I recommend the Maxxis Re-Fuse (review here).
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Old 04-27-17, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by john_mct
Second this...bought one on Jenson for 15 bucks last year, should have bought four since the price has gone back up and they are great all around tires.
Ah, sorry to hear that. I had a backup set in the cart at Jenson since November and never did get around to finalizing the order.

Now that I think about it, perhaps I should go ahead with the order of a pair of Schwalbe Big Ones in 29er. They've been on sale at Jenson for $19, a fraction of the prices for Big Ones in other sizes. A friend put 'em on his gravel bike and loves 'em. They're wide, very lightweight, supposedly the fastest tested mountain bike type tires tested by rolling resistance reviews, with a tread similar to the Conti SpeedRides and Cyclocross Speed, minus the side knobbies. Instead the Big Ones have a continuous shallow file/dimple type tread across the shoulders so cornering should feel consistent.

Only problem is I'd probably need new rims to accommodate the wider Big Ones, and I'd need to modify my triple chain ring and front derailer setup. The 1990s era Shimano Exage front derailer cable clamp bolt won't clear wider tires and just barely clears the Continental SpeedRides in the big ring -- maybe 1/4" clearance.

One quirk of tires with side knobbies or similarly pronounced side tread is they feel squirmy on tight turns on pavement. Both my bikes have that feel, due to the Conti's side knobbies and the Michelin Protek Cross Max very sharp edged, deep chevron pattern tread. Great off pavement even on turns. But they feel a bit weird at first on pavement when turning, such as fast sweeping left turns at intersections. First time I felt that over a year ago with the Michelins I overcorrected and almost lost it during a turn. But with a little practice I learned to ignore the squirmy feel.
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Old 04-27-17, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat
Ah, sorry to hear that. I had a backup set in the cart at Jenson since November and never did get around to finalizing the order.

Now that I think about it, perhaps I should go ahead with the order of a pair of Schwalbe Big Ones in 29er. They've been on sale at Jenson for $19, a fraction of the prices for Big Ones in other sizes. A friend put 'em on his gravel bike and loves 'em. They're wide, very lightweight, supposedly the fastest tested mountain bike type tires tested by rolling resistance reviews, with a tread similar to the Conti SpeedRides and Cyclocross Speed, minus the side knobbies. Instead the Big Ones have a continuous shallow file/dimple type tread across the shoulders so cornering should feel consistent.
Dang that is a deal, if that were available in 40c at a price like that I'd certainly get some...will keep scoping for the G-ones to go on sale somewhere.
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Old 04-27-17, 01:19 PM
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Yeah, a 40c version of the Schwalbe Big One would be sweet for much of my riding. However if I'm recalling correctly the Big One was designed for competitive beach and sand racing, so it has no flat protection. I need to ask my buddy who's been riding a pair how they're holding up for all around rides on pavement as well as gravel. He may have gone tubeless to solve that challenge.

Or if Continental came out with a modified version of the SpeedRides without the side knobbies, that would be better suited to pavement -- especially fast cornering -- still great on most gravel, but offer a bit less traction on grass.
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Old 04-27-17, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat
Yeah, a 40c version of the Schwalbe Big One would be sweet for much of my riding. However if I'm recalling correctly the Big One was designed for competitive beach and sand racing, so it has no flat protection. I need to ask my buddy who's been riding a pair how they're holding up for all around rides on pavement as well as gravel. He may have gone tubeless to solve that challenge.

Or if Continental came out with a modified version of the SpeedRides without the side knobbies, that would be better suited to pavement -- especially fast cornering -- still great on most gravel, but offer a bit less traction on grass.
Ask, and thou shalt receive:

continental bicycle Sport CONTACT II
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Old 04-27-17, 05:12 PM
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Well, I'll be darned. I'd heard that tire was discontinued, but they just updated it. And the rolling resistance review looks good too -- assuming the currently listed Contact Speed is the same as the Sport Contact II tested for rolling resistance. Very tempting, even though I'm satisfied with the Speed Rides.
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Old 04-27-17, 06:54 PM
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I think you'd be okay as long as the gravel isn't too thick. I rode on 700x38s last year on a gravel ride and did okay except for uphills.
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Old 04-27-17, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by wschruba
Ask, and thou shalt receive:

continental bicycle Sport CONTACT II
at 610 grams for the 700x42 it's not exactly in the same vein (the big one in 29x2.35 is 440). The Conti Speedride is close at 430 g but has knobbies on the sides. Schwalbe G-One tubeless in 700x38 is the closest contender at 460. Compass tires really win at the scales with the standard Barlow Pass at 390 for the 38mm and the Snoqualme Pass in 44mm at 378 grams in the standard casing.

I really wish Panaracer would make the Gravel King File tread version available for bigger than 700x32...You'd think with so many people jumping on the Compass "light and supple" bandwagon they would consider it.
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Old 04-28-17, 04:04 AM
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The extra weight in the Sport Contact or Contact Speed is probably due to the puncture shield. The Speed Ride has a very thin puncture shield that, frankly, isn't all that puncture resistant. I had six flats back in November-December, four of those from tiny grass burrs from riding off-road. I wasn't surprised by the glass punctures, those are hard to avoid around here. But I was surprised the little grass burr needles penetrated so easily. But it's no worse than my Specialized Hemisphere and Innova tires with similar thin puncture shields -- I got the same types of flats with those, in the same roads. But no flats since December (invoke the usual jinx protection rituals here).

The Sport Contact or Contact Speed might be worth the extra weight for folks who want to minimize flats in rough areas.
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Old 04-28-17, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by john_mct
at 610 grams for the 700x42 it's not exactly in the same vein (the big one in 29x2.35 is 440). The Conti Speedride is close at 430 g but has knobbies on the sides. Schwalbe G-One tubeless in 700x38 is the closest contender at 460. Compass tires really win at the scales with the standard Barlow Pass at 390 for the 38mm and the Snoqualme Pass in 44mm at 378 grams in the standard casing.

I really wish Panaracer would make the Gravel King File tread version available for bigger than 700x32...You'd think with so many people jumping on the Compass "light and supple" bandwagon they would consider it.
I like lightweight tires as much as the next guy (I have/had a pair of Snoqualmie Pass tires)...but I was simply responding to [MENTION=418370]canklecat[/MENTION] 's request for a file-tread Continental without side-knobs.

Maxxis Re-Fuse tires are available in 40c with a round file-tread, but are fairly 'dead' tires, in my experience.

Incidentally, Panaracer makes Compass' tires (though that's no secret). Perhaps they feel no need to further specialize their own large 700c tires, when several of their customers have large 700s made for them...and, presumably, can see exactly how much demand there is for said tires.
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Old 04-28-17, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by john_mct
at 610 grams for the 700x42 it's not exactly in the same vein (the big one in 29x2.35 is 440). The Conti Speedride is close at 430 g but has knobbies on the sides. Schwalbe G-One tubeless in 700x38 is the closest contender at 460. Compass tires really win at the scales with the standard Barlow Pass at 390 for the 38mm and the Snoqualme Pass in 44mm at 378 grams in the standard casing.

I really wish Panaracer would make the Gravel King File tread version available for bigger than 700x32...You'd think with so many people jumping on the Compass "light and supple" bandwagon they would consider it.
Have you seen the Soma Vitesse tires?

They look really good in the weight to size department.

And like Compass, also made by Panaracer.

Supple Vitesse SL 700c Clincher Tire | SOMA Fabrications
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Old 04-28-17, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by wschruba
I like lightweight tires as much as the next guy (I have/had a pair of Snoqualmie Pass tires)...but I was simply responding to [MENTION=418370]canklecat[/MENTION] 's request for a file-tread Continental without side-knobs.

Maxxis Re-Fuse tires are available in 40c with a round file-tread, but are fairly 'dead' tires, in my experience.

Incidentally, Panaracer makes Compass' tires (though that's no secret). Perhaps they feel no need to further specialize their own large 700c tires, when several of their customers have large 700s made for them...and, presumably, can see exactly how much demand there is for said tires.
The Re-Fuse rides much better when set up tubeless. While it's not as supple as Compass' tires, it's a lot more durable if your riding includes sharp gravel.
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Old 04-28-17, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by justin1138
Have you seen the Soma Vitesse tires?

They look really good in the weight to size department.

And like Compass, also made by Panaracer.

Supple Vitesse SL 700c Clincher Tire | SOMA Fabrications

+1

I also really like these Soma tires. I run Soma Shikoro tires (700x38) on my steel bike and they work fantastic on gravel and dirt.
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