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Tires for Horridly Coarse Roads

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Tires for Horridly Coarse Roads

Old 05-26-17, 06:54 PM
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downtube42
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Tires for Horridly Coarse Roads

Everything's bigger in Texas, including the aggregate used in roads, both blacktop and chip-seal. I thought we had rough roads in Indiana, but after moving to west Texas I long for the days of Indiana chip-seal. I've seen several riders suffer tire failures, and last night was my turn. On a newish tire, the rubber separated from the casing right down the center, causing a huge blister to form, inflate, and pop. I've been running Primo Comet 559x32s for years, but now I'm looking for something more rugged. At the same time, I'd rather not be jarred to death by a rough riding tire.

I'd be willing to spend the $$ for something like the Compass Elk Pass tires if I felt they'd hold up, but I suspect they'd be ripped to shreds.

Advice?
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Old 05-26-17, 07:01 PM
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I don't ever get involved in brand recommendations, but for rougher aggregate, you want a larger section tire that will support your weight at lower pressures, and thick (but smooth) tread to protect the tire body from the effects of riding on a bed of nails. Some tires also have kevlar or other belts, or a thick rubber under tread layer, and this also helps.

However, there's some tradeoff with belts or thicker tread in terms of higher rolling drag, so you need a wide section so the tire deflection at the contact patch is minimized.
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Old 05-26-17, 07:44 PM
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I'd go with Schwalbe Fat Franks or Big Apple, pretty tough tires. They roll pretty good for their weight and if you get the pressure right - very comfortable.
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Old 05-26-17, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mongol777 View Post
I'd go with Schwalbe Fat Franks or Big Apple, pretty tough tires. They roll pretty good for their weight and if you get the pressure right - very comfortable.
Would love to run a wider tire, but I have clearance for 32mm (1.25), maybe possibly 34mm. On the front it's width, on the back it's height.
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Old 05-26-17, 10:38 PM
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People swear by the Compass tires for riding on gravel.

I have a pair and the ride quality on asphalt is luxurious. But, they are tissue paper thin and it blows my mind that people use these off road.
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Old 05-26-17, 11:43 PM
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A Compass tire would give the smoothest ride you can get in a 32mm clencher. I am a big guy, and always have been prone to flats and shredded tires. It is counter intuitive, but I now use extralight Compass tires exclusively on and off road, and find them amazingly resistant to damage, maybe because they deflect rather than empale themselves on every rock. But you simply can't beat volume for floating over nasties and resisting punctures.
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Old 05-27-17, 12:44 AM
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I feel your pain. I have lived in Texas a total of 7 years and the chip seal SUCKS! My stock road tires got chewed up all the time until I put gatorskins on. This stopped the flats but the ride was still awful, the vibration would cause me to downshift 2 gears and would cost about 3mph on average. Plus it shook everything loose and made my hands numb.

I now ride a cyclocross bike in CA, I have found a few stretches of chip seal here as well. With the stock 35mm knobby tires I barely felt the difference between smooth asphalt and chip seal. I normally run road tires, but will switch back to the knobby (Continental Cyclo-X King) if I know there will be a lot of chip seal or dirt (I much prefer smooth hard-packed dirt to that %^&!& chip seal).

I would experiment with some shallow knobby tires (they knobs are not that aggressive and roll well on pavement) you can fit. I bet it would produce a smoother more efficient ride than a road tire. Just a thought.
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Old 05-27-17, 02:16 AM
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Yup. Texas rider here. Chip seal, gravel, railroad ballast, not to mention open pasture and prairie -- which I just mentioned anyway because it's actually worse. Grass burrs, goat heads, all kinds of sharp pokey stuff.

My favorite all around tires are Continental Speed Rides. Great dry weather gravel/cyclocross type tire, yet smooth rolling on pavement. File type tread with some side knobbies, reasonably lightweight, supple despite the unimpressive TPI, remarkably durable for soft grippy tread on rough stuff, smooth rolling on good pavement. 700x42 only, wire bead (which I have) and folding versions. Great value too. I usually run 'em soft, around 50-55 psi front, 55-65 psi rear, depending on terrain and conditions. Well below the 85 psi max. I've run 'em as low as 40 psi on rough terrain off road, no pinch flats (I weigh 160 lbs).

I love 'em. A friend doesn't. He tried 'em, had more flats that he expected, replaced the Speed Rides with Clement X'Plors, which do have stouter tread and sidewalls yet aren't heavier and are very popular. I'll probably buy that set of Speed Rides from him since I like 'em.

I did have some flats late last year, but that was mostly because I rode on open pastures and prairie filled with grass burrs after a long dry summer and fall. About half a dozen flats over a couple of weeks. Two due to broken glass. The rest from grass burrs. All slow leaks. I put Slime in my tubes. No puncture flats since.

If your rims and frame can clear 'em take a peek at Schwalbe Big Ones as well. They're sweet. They look fat and slow but they're remarkably lightweight and fast rolling. A friend runs 'em in stealth mode and has a laugh when he passes roadies on skinny tires on rough pavement. All file tread, including the shoulders, which I'd like to see Continental do with the Speed Rides.

Next best my be a good chevron tread tire, like Schwalbe Marathon Green Guards. My errand bike has Michelin Protek Cross Max, 700x40, heavy duty puncture proof chevron tread tires. They're heavy but really comfortable and stable on rough stuff and loose pea gravel, sand, you name it. Chevron tread patterns ain't sexy but they're effective.
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Old 05-27-17, 07:52 AM
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I really like Schwalbe Almotions, they have a 26" version, very rugged, good tread.
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Old 05-27-17, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Everything's bigger in Texas, including the aggregate used in roads, both blacktop and chip-seal. I thought we had rough roads in Indiana, but after moving to west Texas I long for the days of Indiana chip-seal.
I noticed that same thing in Arizona - and I was told it was the result of the tar binding agent evaporating from the heat, leaving the coarse aggregate surface.

I have a road bike that I leave out in AZ for when I visit family out there. When I bought it, it had a 23mm front and 25mm rear. To make matters worse, the front was equipped with a very heavy and thick puncture resistant tube -- the ride was terrible.

I switched to the largest tire I could fit - 28mm - and inflate them to 85psi f / 90psi r. note the tire to fork crown clearance - it is < maybe > 1.5mm! Also of note are the old-school tire savers to help with the thorns and steel-belted radial wire 'stickers' on the shoulders!



The tires are light (260g) and relatively supple 150tpi but have a kevlar belt for puncture resistance.



These tires make the rough-surface AZ roads much nicer to ride on than the 23/25s!
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Old 05-27-17, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
People swear by the Compass tires for riding on gravel.

I have a pair and the ride quality on asphalt is luxurious. But, they are tissue paper thin and it blows my mind that people use these off road.

But its the fat width and supple, expensive, high TPI, casing that absorbs the roughness..





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Old 05-27-17, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
But its the fat width and supple, expensive, high TPI, casing that absorbs the roughness..





Actually, expensive low TPI. Panaracer's highest-end race casing uses their "120TPI" threads in a 90TPI layup. The Compass Extralight option technically reduces thread count versus Standard.
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Old 05-27-17, 08:40 AM
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Thats nice. :| you buy all those tires?



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Old 05-27-17, 09:26 AM
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on a long tour, Texas was the straw that broke the camel's proverbial back for me WRT to tire width. i surrendered and just put on the widest tires my bike could handle.

i doubt whether or not it makes much difference, just so long as they are big and fat.
i think i manage a 25mm in front, but could shoe horn in 1 1/4 in back, and that's what i used for the rest of the trip.

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Old 05-27-17, 01:10 PM
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I ride 27" Paselas on gravel frequently, no issues. Can't imagine the 26" variants would be significantly different, and I know they come in skinnier variants.
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Old 05-27-17, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I ride 27" Paselas on gravel frequently, no issues. Can't imagine the 26" variants would be significantly different, and I know they come in skinnier variants.
My 27" bikes also ride on Pasela PT/TG. Two on 1-1/8" (28mm) and one 1-1/4" (32mm).
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Old 05-28-17, 04:42 AM
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I'm from DFW. I rode all the time in Glen Rose where I have family that has chipseal that resembles the cobblestones of France. I also lived in El Paso which, besides the chipseal from hell, the roads were always covered in junk that got blown in from the desert. I personally would try Pasela PT's. They're tough but ride pretty smooth, they have soft sidewalls.
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Old 05-28-17, 06:13 AM
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How do the Conti 4000's stack up? My roads are pretty cracked but 4000's are all I've tried. I did up my bike to 28's and lower pressure, which helps. Maybe next time I'll try a 32 on the rear (might go back to 25 on the front--25 will clear the brake pad for when I want to remove the front wheel and stuff the bike into the car).
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Old 05-28-17, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Would love to run a wider tire, but I have clearance for 32mm (1.25), maybe possibly 34mm. On the front it's width, on the back it's height.
Only high-volume tires would help you. You have 2 options for running those:
1. Start looking into a smaller wheel size conversion (650b?).
2. Get a bike (frame & fork) which would fit high-volume tires.
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Old 05-28-17, 09:15 AM
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I've had excellent luck using Soma Shikoro tires on gravel.
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Old 05-31-17, 08:50 AM
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cpl recommendations in this thread too

http://www.bikeforums.net/texas/8025...chip-seal.html
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Old 05-31-17, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Everything's bigger in Texas, including the aggregate used in roads, both blacktop and chip-seal. I thought we had rough roads in Indiana, but after moving to west Texas I long for the days of Indiana chip-seal.
Yes, agree that Indiana chip-seal is generally tolerable. And because of that, I don't have any great advice for you. That you don't already know.
The Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 26x1.6 tires on our tandem are in their third season and seem very robust but not sure they could be considered supple. Plus they've changed the construction of the Supreme since we bought ours.
Good luck.
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Old 06-01-17, 03:04 PM
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Compass Elk Pass with latex tubes is going to be the most supple 559x32 tire you can get as far as I can tell. The only other thing that might be a good option would be Panaracer Paselas. Not too many options for 26" road tires unfortunately. Its just too bad the Compass Elk Pass' aren't tubeless or else they would be the hands down choice.
Like the poster above said the Schwalbe Marathan Supreme sounds good for a 26". It tested well on bicyclerollingresistance.com, but it looks like the smallest size it comes in is a 42mm.
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Old 06-01-17, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by WheelNut2 View Post
Compass Elk Pass with latex tubes is going to be the most supple 559x32 tire you can get as far as I can tell. The only other thing that might be a good option would be Panaracer Paselas. Not too many options for 26" road tires unfortunately.
There's always the bigger Compass tires, if they'll fit. Naches Pass is 1.8" and tubeless-compatible.
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Old 06-01-17, 07:37 PM
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Most supple riding tires I've tried are the 25mm Vittoria Corsa G+ tubulars on my Chinabomb Disc. The 28mm versions must feel like cycling on clouds.
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