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Tire width

Old 10-18-17, 10:08 AM
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Tire width

Hi,

I have a 2016 Specialized AWOL with the stock tires (Specialized Fatboys 47c) which are fine for commuting, but being slicks, they weren't so great on gravel and dirt roads. So I'm looking for a pair of gravel/mountain tires for those offroads rides, knowing that the AWOL has a quite big tire clearance (up to 2.1-2.2").

One tire I'm looking at right now is the WTB Nano and I'm wondering which size would be better: 40c or 2.1"? I'm looking for traction and comfort.

Thanks!
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Old 10-18-17, 12:59 PM
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40mm = 1.5748" so that's noticeably narrower than the 2.1" you are also considering & obviously narrower than your current 47mm (1.85039") tires

personally I've been very happy with my 45mm WTB Riddlers. but then, I like big, fat, rubber & I only wish I could fit wider tires on my bike (aka salivating over your 2.1" option) (I clearly need another bike)

I suppose if your trails are hard pack dirt & the gravel is small you'd be happy on a narrower tire. I got the 45mm tires cuz I felt like I was sinking in the soft stuff too far & the big nasty gravel wanted a bigger footprint to roll over

I also went from a deep tread tire to a shallow tread, so now I get better flotation










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Old 10-18-17, 03:19 PM
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Why do you want more luggs? Just curious. Bicycle quarterly wrote a nice article on why you don't need knobs when doing gravel (you do need them for mud). I'm not sure I agree with him, but was curious what your thought was.
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Old 10-18-17, 04:08 PM
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I wouldn't want lugs for gravel.
Dirt? Sure give me lugs.

Gravel though- ill take a tire with some tread but no lugs. Itll be faster rolling and the tread can help on the dust layer of gravel roads.

I would opt for a 40mm tire, but im biased since thats what i have. Lighter than a 2.1" tire, plenty of cushion, and plenty of traction. I did 37mph on a downhill earlier today and didnt slip on any of the 8-12.5degree climbs.
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Old 10-18-17, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6

personally I've been very happy with my 45mm WTB Riddlers. but then, I like big, fat, rubber & I only wish I could fit wider tires on my bike (aka salivating over your 2.1" option) (I clearly need another bike)
Iíve been running the 45mm riddlers (on my AWOL, no less) and like everything about them...smallish knobs, relatively smooth center, and wide enough to give some cushion on rough surfaces. Iíve had a few issues with tubeless, but I attribute it to trying to go tubeless on my non tubeless rims. If my riddlers needed replaced today, Iíd likely buy another pair or maybe the 50mm Clement MSOs.
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Old 10-18-17, 07:32 PM
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The Nano is kind of a weird tire.

The knobs are focused mostly at the center with the outside knobs being spaced very far apart - around 1 and 1/2 inches. Other high performance tires are closer to 1/4" to 1/2" and corner significantly better with less wander and propensity to self steer on hardpack/pavement. This knob pattern also makes them fairly slow rolling, 2.1" is much worse than the 40mm but both are some of the slowest tires I've tried.

My experience has not sold me on slicks/micro-tread for gravel. I think the best gravel design is a hybrid like the WTB Byway or Kenda Happy Medium - both have no or minimal center knobs with aggressive knobs on the outside. IME this works best on gravel and dirt roads while also maintaining the ability to ride fairly aggressively on singletrack. Slicks do not perform well at all on singletrack.

The difference between 40mm and 2.1 in general is also huge. I went back and forth between 40/42mm tires and 2.1/2.2 this sping. On mostly flatter, tighter gravel roads the 2.1 tires are overkill and much slower than I expected. The comfort difference was not huge and the 2.1/2.2 were really only more comfortable on very rocky/rutted/rooty descents at high speed. A big part of this is the weight, which you can minimize by buying the top tier tires/tubes but it's still going to be 150-200 grams a tire.

Although, if you just want traction and comfort I would recommend going 2.1.
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Old 10-19-17, 06:25 AM
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Thanks for your input about the Nano. Might look into the Riddler or the Kenda, looks like they might fit the bill.
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Old 10-19-17, 07:51 AM
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I love the 40mm Nano. It's a little slow on pavement, but not bad considering how much grip it has in the dirt. I almost picked-up a road KOM on it earlier this week riding them at 35-40 psi. While this clearly shows that my LBS manager wasn't really going for it when he set the mark, given that I don't do KOMs, it does suggest that it rolls ok for a knobby tire. I haven't run into any weird handling behavior. It has surprisingly little drift when leaned over on pavement or hardpack dirt roads, although I haven't really tested limits of that yet to see exactly where the tires break loose at speed. I do know that when I've needed the tire to hook-up on singletrack or eat a tree, I've been able to rely on them.
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Old 10-19-17, 08:15 AM
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Consider the 700x45 WTB Riddler.

Size: 700x45 measures 44.5mm on a Velocity Dyad rim

Tread pattern: small, short knobs at the center with deeper knobs on the shoulder for traction and float.

Construction: tubeless, I'm using tubes.

Performance on pavement is moderately fast with moderately low rolling resistance. Cornering on wet pavement could be problematic with the knobs on the shoulder potentially sliding on sharp turns

Performance on firm and smooth gravel is excellent, the tire rolls fast with enormous traction

Performance on deep or soft gravel is excellent with plenty of float and stability. The tire is secure on off-camber surfaces even while cornering. Heroic 35mph turns on loose gravel roads felt as safe as a good 29er tire

Durability in unknown but the tire is robust

Ride is moderately supple but is not as plush as the 120 tpi Clement tires.
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Old 10-20-17, 06:20 AM
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Did anyone tried the WTB Resolute?
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Old 10-20-17, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
I wouldn't want lugs for gravel.

Gravel though- ill take a tire with some tread but no lugs.
What tire(s) is that then?
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Old 10-20-17, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota
What tire(s) is that then?
Clement MSO 40mm, of course!

...isnt tubeless though, so pretty useless for all you advanced folk.
But really- any tire with a similar tread pattern is what I would prefer vs large lugs.

I think that once gravel gets loose and soupy, a wider tire to float over is going to do better and so width is more important than lugs.


Total disclaimer- Ive only ridden gravel on 4 different style tires(varying tread pattern and widths) so I am far from expert level like some here or elsewhere(guitar ted etc).
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Old 10-20-17, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Clement MSO 40mm, of course!

...isnt tubeless though, so pretty useless for all you advanced folk.
But really- any tire with a similar tread pattern is what I would prefer vs large lugs.

I think that once gravel gets loose and soupy, a wider tire to float over is going to do better and so width is more important than lugs.


Total disclaimer- Ive only ridden gravel on 4 different style tires(varying tread pattern and widths) so I am far from expert level like some here or elsewhere(guitar ted etc).
Oh, I was thinking something completely different. The MSO would be a lugged tire to me. I was thinking you were talking about something like a GravelKing (non-SK).
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Old 10-20-17, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota
Oh, I was thinking something completely different. The MSO would be a lugged tire to me. I was thinking you were talking about something like a GravelKing (non-SK).
Gotcha. Yeah, I see a tight spaced smallpattern as a tread pattern and my MSOs as similar to the nonSK GKs as they too have a tight spaced pattern.
I see lugged tires more as singletrack tires that are pulling double duty on gravel.
The WTB Nano, to me, seems more spread apart(vs tight spaced) and magnifies the lugs.


Funny how all this is academic in the end- we see the same tire differently, but in the end somehow manage to stay upright in our own ways out on the roads.
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Old 10-20-17, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
700x45 WTB Riddler
I have these too. do you have any tire wobble? I read that wider tires can have some wobble even when mounted correctly on true wheels
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Old 10-20-17, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
I have these too. do you have any tire wobble? I read that wider tires can have some wobble even when mounted correctly on true wheels
Some very minor wobble is visible, but it can't be felt and I don't notice any performance loss.
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