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Ditch the Stock Maxxis Rambler Silk Shield TR?

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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.

Ditch the Stock Maxxis Rambler Silk Shield TR?

Old 04-30-23, 10:27 PM
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Ditch the Stock Maxxis Rambler Silk Shield TR?

My gravel bike came with Maxxis Rambler SilkShield TR 700x40c tires. (These are the 60 TPI version, not the more supple 120 TPI EXO version.) I have now ridden on them for almost 100 miles. They grip well on my local dirt and gravel trails, which are mostly Class 2 with some short borderline Class 3 sections, as defined here:

THE BEST GRAVEL TIRES 2023 - In The Know Cycling

On pavement and packed dirt, the Ramblers roll noticeably slower than my road tires. Yes, duh, but being a gravel newbie, that is my only point of comparison. I thought maybe they were installed with tubes, so I took them off to set them up tubeless onto my new wheels, but no, they were already setup tubeless on the stock wheels. (This was surprising as my bike was shipped to me from the east coast.) Various reviews on the Internet confirm that they have a relatively high rolling resistance but are almost impervious to punctures. Bicycle Rolling Resistance reports a 4 W difference (at Low Air Pressure) and a 6 W difference (at Extra Low Air Pressure) between the EXO version and the Panaracer GravelKing SK in the latter's favor. I am not a subscriber, so I do not know the difference at higher tire pressures.

Would installing the GravelKings (same size, already purchased) make a noticeable improvement? Or should I just persist with the Ramblers on my new wheels?
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Old 05-01-23, 07:15 AM
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might just come down to personal preference

both tires are probably fairly similar - fairly light weight, grip might be fairly equal (?), neither tire is considered a fast roller

not sure about puncture resistance (neither tire is particularly strong in that area I believe - but the 60 TPI silk shield version might be a tad better (?)
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Old 05-01-23, 07:23 AM
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is this for the sweet looking Santa Cruz ? (pink ?)

if so - you are required by law to post another pic
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Old 05-01-23, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by t2p
might just come down to personal preference

both tires are probably fairly similar - fairly light weight, grip might be fairly equal (?), neither tire is considered a fast roller

not sure about puncture resistance (neither tire is particularly strong in that area I believe - but the 60 TPI silk shield version might be a tad better (?)
Thanks. I don't want to waste two perfectly functional tires, but I am very underpowered for my weight and would take any multiple watt savings I can get.
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Old 05-01-23, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by t2p
is this for the sweet looking Santa Cruz ? (pink ?)

if so - you are required by law to post another pic
Santa Cruz says it is lavender. I am afraid this is it at least until I have mounted tires onto my new wheels and put them back on the bike.

Bike Forums - View Single Post - Gravel Ride Pics

I am a wimp and I don't have epic pictures like the ones posted by others in the Gravel Ride thread or the SoCal subforum.

Time to next photo may take even longer if I have to recenter the brake calipers with respect to the brake rotors.
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Old 05-01-23, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Thanks. I don't want to waste two perfectly functional tires, but I am very underpowered for my weight and would take any multiple watt savings I can get.
As I have mentioned in other threads, before doing BWR, I switched from IRC Boken Doublecross to a Pirelli Gravel H/M combination. Based on BRR's numbers, it saved somewhere in the neighborhood of 10W (combined for both tires). It was enough of a difference for me to feel it on the road. A couple of watts difference, I probably would notice.
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Old 05-01-23, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
As I have mentioned in other threads, before doing BWR, I switched from IRC Boken Doublecross to a Pirelli Gravel H/M combination. Based on BRR's numbers, it saved somewhere in the neighborhood of 10W (combined for both tires). It was enough of a difference for me to feel it on the road. A couple of watts difference, I probably would notice.
Thanks for the express reminder that the BRR difference is per tire, and thus must be multiplied by two; I should have known this.
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Old 05-01-23, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Santa Cruz says it is lavender. I am afraid this is it at least until I have mounted tires onto my new wheels and put them back on the bike.

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Yes - thank you - lavender !
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Old 05-26-23, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by t2p
is this for the sweet looking Santa Cruz ? (pink ?)

if so - you are required by law to post another pic
With new wheels and tires as requested by t2p.

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Old 05-27-23, 05:22 AM
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double sweet !
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Old 05-29-23, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
With new wheels and tires as requested by t2p.

This bike looks awesome. I'm curious to hear what you think of the Gravelkings, and also wondering which version those are?

I've been debating some new gravel tires and am curious to learn more about the SK and SS. I seem to hear mixed reviews of both.
Also considering the Continental Terra Speed and possibly the Challenge Strada Bianca. I'm not sure I really need knobs, but do want a tire that I can do some singletrack riding with that includes steeper climbs where traction might be challenging.
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Old 05-29-23, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la
This bike looks awesome.
Thank you.

Originally Posted by msu2001la
I'm curious to hear what you think of the Gravelkings, and also wondering which version those are?
These are Gravelking SKs 700x38c (ETRTO 40-622). Unfortunately, I only managed a single test ride (after tubeless setup) on barely damp asphalt before somehow tweaking my left ankle. They roll quieter and seem to roll better than the stock tires. They are also lighter than the stock tires which complement the new lighter wheels.

Originally Posted by msu2001la
I've been debating some new gravel tires and am curious to learn more about the SK and SS. I seem to hear mixed reviews of both.
The reviews I have read on the SK have been generally positive, a pretty good all rounder. The nearly continuous shoulder tread is supposedly more optimized for cornering on asphalt than more technical terrain, and I am OK with that. I have not and do not plan to run Gravelking SS.

Originally Posted by msu2001la
Also considering the Continental Terra Speed and possibly the Challenge Strada Bianca. I'm not sure I really need knobs, but do want a tire that I can do some singletrack riding with that includes steeper climbs where traction might be challenging.
I also have the Continental Terra Speed but have not tried them yet. The knobs are taller on the Gravelking SK than the Terra Speed. Your knob need, height, and density really depends on the terrain; beyond that I am a gravel novice and thus cannot offer more useful advice.

Last edited by SoSmellyAir; 05-29-23 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 05-30-23, 01:41 AM
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I rode the GK SK briefly and spent a good amount of time on the Terra Speed/Terra Trail tires (Trail up front, Speed in the rear; the older Black Chili version). The Terras were narrower (40mm; 38mm true width) than the GKs (42mm) so this might not be apples to apples but I felt the Terras were lighter and faster on tarmac. I never pushed the GKs on gravel (couldn't get over how heavy they felt, and also my frame couldn't unequivocally clear their 42mm size without the occasional chainstay rub) but the Terras were acceptable though not overly confident on gravel (this may be partially due to me riding them at relatively high psi since my rides contain a good amount of paved miles).

pretty much sums up my experience with the Terra tires.

Last edited by tFUnK; 05-30-23 at 01:54 AM.
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Old 05-30-23, 09:43 AM
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tFUnK You are comparing two different tire size so it is expected that the narrower tire would also be lighter. On BRR, comparing the two tires at 700x40c have the Gravelking being lighter by 50 g/tire.

The video review is informative.
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Old 05-30-23, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la
This bike looks awesome. I'm curious to hear what you think of the Gravelkings, and also wondering which version those are?

I've been debating some new gravel tires and am curious to learn more about the SK and SS. I seem to hear mixed reviews of both.
Also considering the Continental Terra Speed and possibly the Challenge Strada Bianca. I'm not sure I really need knobs, but do want a tire that I can do some singletrack riding with that includes steeper climbs where traction might be challenging.
I am on my 2nd pair of GK SS. All 4 tires were a total nightmare to mount tubeless, but I love the tires once mounted. I actually took them to a shop and had them mount the tires each time, and thats after I struggled to the point of almost throwing the wheels.
They hold air extremely well and have been completely reliable. Fast rolling on pavement and hero gravel. I dont notice any need for deep tread and dont ride in muddy conditions where I need deep tread.

I think my next tires will be 45mm Conti Terra Speed, if only because I like trying different things. Otherwise the SS tires would be purchased again.
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Old 05-30-23, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
I am on my 2nd pair of GK SS. All 4 tires were a total nightmare to mount tubeless, but I love the tires once mounted. I actually took them to a shop and had them mount the tires each time, and thats after I struggled to the point of almost throwing the wheels.
Do you have an air compressor?

Originally Posted by mstateglfr
...I dont notice any need for deep tread and dont ride in muddy conditions where I need deep tread.

I think my next tires will be 45mm Conti Terra Speed, if only because I like trying different things. Otherwise the SS tires would be purchased again.
If no need for deep tread then why run such a wide tire? For comfort?
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Old 05-30-23, 11:28 PM
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Terra Speeds roll really well - much better than most would guess given they have raised knobs ...

I currently have them on two bikes - and will have them on a third bike soon

they do run small - 35’s are close to 33mm and the 40’s are close to 38mm

the 40’s can vary in weight - have one pair that weigh around 410g (each) - another pair around 460g ... both blackwall ... the tan wall (cream) pair weigh around 450g (each)

I also have S Works Pathfinders and Tufo Speederos to try - but they will need to wait
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Old 05-31-23, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Do you have an air compressor?



If no need for deep tread then why run such a wide tire? For comfort?

I do not have an air compressor, I have a Joe Blow Booster. Its worked for other tires, but not the GS SS tires.

As for why have a wide slick tire for gravel riding, I would say its for speed, stability, and comfort. I have ridden probably 8 different tire brands/models in the 10 years I have ridden gravel and come to the conclusion that I really dont need knobs. Ridden in CO, NE, MN, MO, IL, WI, IA, MS, but havent come across gravel where I need prominent tread. The rare time that my rear tire slips on a climb, I either shift my weight slightly back or I sit. I will gladly take my tire slipping on a climb 3 instances in a year, if what I get in return is faster rolling tires on both gravel and pavement.
If I rode technical singletrack, then maybe aggressive knob tread would be best. But as it stands, the singletrack around here is flat river bottom trails that are twisty and I ride at the pace of my wife/kids so the GK SS tires are more than fine there too.

I cant imagine riding the gravel and level B roads on a narrow tire just because I prefer a gravel tire without tread. Its doable for a few gravel roads that connect paved roads together, but besides that, no thanks.
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Old 05-31-23, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by t2p
Terra Speeds ... do run small - 35ís are close to 33mm and the 40ís are close to 38mm
What is/are the internal width(s) of the wheel(s) on which you got the above tire width measurements?
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Old 05-31-23, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
What is/are the internal width(s) of the wheel(s) on which you got the above tire width measurements?
had them installed on two different 700c wheelsets

one with 17mm width (internal) - the other with 19mm width (internal)

not a surprise the tires measure a tad wider on the wider 19mm rim ... plus they’ve also now been in service/use a bit longer ... but both tires still measure smaller (40 still below 40mm (38 - 39mm)

also had 35mm GK SS installed on the one wheelset listed above with 17mm width - they measured around 37mm ... and even now that same tire on mrs t2p bike with narrow *** rims still measures around 36 - 37mm ... (*** narrow - used 16mm velox tape)

32mm GK SS measured 31mm installed on the 17mm rims (internal)

have 38mm GK SS - but have not installed them

btw - these all installed tubed - somewhere around 60-75 psi (depending on tire)

Last edited by t2p; 05-31-23 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 05-31-23, 11:39 AM
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the only recent Conti tire that measured as listed installed (width) is 32mm GP4S that measured 32mm installed on 17mm rims (internal)

25mm GP5Ks measured around 23mm installed (on Campy Omega 19 rims)

and 35mm GP Urban measured around 31-32mm installed on the narrow rim of mrs t2p bike ... ... so narrow I didn’t install the rear tire ; removed the installed front tire and substituted the 35mm GK SS in their place

( obviously on wider rims the tires might measure wider - but still probably not the case with the GP Urban )

Last edited by t2p; 05-31-23 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 05-31-23, 12:25 PM
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Thanks. My gravel wheels have an IW of 25 mm and so should work well with any tire having a nominal width of 38 mm (e.g., GravelKing SK) to 40 mm (e.g., Terra Speed).

Originally Posted by t2p
25mm GP5Ks measured around 23mm installed (on Campy Omega 19 rims)
My GP5K measured 7/8" when first installed on a Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheel (17mm IW), but after about ten cycles of inflation and riding (i.e., about 250 miles over the course of two months), stretched to its nominal 25 mm width.

Originally Posted by t2p
... and 35mm GP Urban measured around 31-32mm installed on the narrow rim of mrs t2p bike ... ...
Same here; my GP Urbans measure about 32 mm when installed on the narrow stock rims that came with my Trek FX 2.

Last edited by SoSmellyAir; 06-01-23 at 01:34 PM.
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