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Tires for a sandy gravel grinder

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Tires for a sandy gravel grinder

Old 10-28-14, 01:17 PM
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Tires for a sandy gravel grinder

I'm thinking about doing Piggy's Revenge - a 62 mile gravel grinder in Sarasota county Florida - in January and I'm wondering about tires. "Gravel" isn't terribly common in Florida. In fact, one doesn't often encounter rocks of any kind in undeveloped areas. What we do have an abundance of is sand. Packed sand, loose sand, sand as coarse as granulated sugar, sand much finer than granulated sugar ... you get the idea

My current selection of CX tires max out at 32c width. They roll fast on grass and handle sand well enough to get me through an hour of racing on a CX course, but I think trying to negotiate 60+ miles of Florida wilderness with them would be beyond exhausting. I could always resort to my full-rigid MTB with fat 26" tires, but it seems like something "in between" on one of the cross bikes might be more efficient.

At the moment I'm looking at WTB Nano 40c, Bruce Gordon Rock & Road (43c), and Surly Knards (41c). I'm looking for any first-hand experiences in dry, extremely sandy conditions with any of those choices. And those that would suggest a set of 28c slicks is all I need must first ride 50 laps on a beach volleyball court on 28s before posting
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Old 10-28-14, 01:28 PM
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You really only need a set of 28c slicks for that type of event...

I've ridden the RnRs on hardpack and loose-over-hard, and they're good. The Nano's seem to work better on softer, loamier soil.
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Old 10-28-14, 02:18 PM
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I've been riding the Nano's for all but one of my early season CX races, which has been a lot of hard pack, grass, and various types of sand and dirt. They've handled very well through all these conditions and are considerably more comfortable than my Vittoria XG's. Running them at 20-25psi (my floor pump isn't very accurate) and I weigh in at 190#, no issues. I have the Race version if that makes a difference.
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