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Calling all Tire Gurus

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Calling all Tire Gurus

Old 06-14-18, 09:21 PM
  #1  
Estacado
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Calling all Tire Gurus

Here is a bold statement: "I have never worn out a tire!"

Now to clarify. I ride on chip seal roads. My tires get cut up long before they run out of usable tread. I have been running 700X28 GP4K's on my Synapse. I love the tire. I am lucky to get 1000 miles on a rear tire before it is cut to pieces. Now, I am a hefty boy at 215#. I suppose that adds to the abuse. Can someone recommend a longer lasting tire. I have run Schwalbe Marathon Plus on my Surly. For touring ok. For everyday riding, they just have a "dead" feeling. Surely, there must be something that will last longer w/o feeling so dead.

Bob
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Old 06-15-18, 06:28 AM
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That gets quite expensive, doesn't it? I don't know what a chip seal road is but it must be quite abrasive for you to get such high attrition.

I'm a great fan of Conti tyres and run GP 4 Season myself. I'm a bit lighter than you and ride over all sorts of road surfaces and generally get around 4,000 miles from my tyres, so you could give those a go. Another one that I also got over 4,000 miles from was a Schwalbe Durano, though I hear others haven't been so lucky with them.
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Old 06-15-18, 06:46 AM
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This guru says stay with Schwalbe. He who doesn't have to stop and fix flat gets there sooner.
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Old 06-15-18, 06:52 AM
  #4  
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Chip seal is going to be hard on any bicycle tire I am afraid. I know the puncture belt in Bontrager Hardcase tires is very good. They are a lively tire as well. I don't know how they will react to chip seal, but it's got to be worth a try. I will follow this thread with interest!
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Old 06-15-18, 09:48 AM
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That gets quite expensive, doesn't it? I don't know what a chip seal road is but it must be quite abrasive for you to get such high attrition.



Consider yourself lucky! When they chip seal (I have also heard it referred to as "seal coat"), they come in and spread a layer of hot asphalt on the road. Before it cools, they spread a layer of rock chips over it. Now if they would spread another layer of asphalt over the rock it would be fine. They don't! A lot of the rock chips they spread here are granite. The edges are quite sharp. Hence it cuts your tires badly. They do this instead of paving the road like they used to. They say it is cheaper. In the long run, it is not.

1st You pay for whatever it costs to chip seal
2nd The surface is much rougher. Friction wears out your auto tire faster.
3rd You get less gas mileage due to the higher friction.
4th Rock chips continuously work loose and crack your windshield.

For the taxpayer, it is the gift that "keeps on giving".

I am sorry to digress, as you can tell I am not a fan of chip seal. It cuts soft bicycle tires mercilessly. It also is very rough. It just pounds you as you ride. I see less and less people riding bicycles on the highways here. I feel chip seal is the reason.

Last edited by Estacado; 06-15-18 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 06-15-18, 10:44 AM
  #6  
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I have a few Suomi (Finland) Nokian tires , a Utility tire, using a harder durometer rubber..

on my occasionally used studded tire bike , I'm still using the pair (out of a bundle shipped in),
I got from FN, in ~1990

long tour 20 years ago I used a non studded 622-40, seem to have been like new after 9 months.. on them
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Old 06-15-18, 11:30 AM
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You are basically describing exactly what happens to every GP4000 I've ever tried, and I"m not even riding on chipseal roads.

I prefer the michelin Pro4 endurance (which has been replaced by krylion 2 and/or power endurance, whatever is available in your area).

https://planetcyclery.com/michelin-k...700x28mm-black (22 bux!!)

But if your roads are that bad, you may need to just go to a sturdier tire like the gatorskin. I don't particularly mind paying for new tires but I really dislike changing flats.
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Old 06-15-18, 11:40 AM
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I feel your pain. I ride primarily chip seal roads, except the rock used is crushed limestone. I've just been using mild gravel tires like the Clement strada.
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Old 06-15-18, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
That gets quite expensive, doesn't it? I don't know what a chip seal road is but it must be quite abrasive for you to get such high attrition.
snip
Chip seal, as I experience it, is crushed limestone over tar, and the individual pieces of rock are maybe an inch or so in average size, but all have sharp points and corners. I was on a little stretch of it recently and it wasn't a bit nice; it vibrated the bike severely. I had to ride in the portion of the road that had been compressed by car tires. If I moved over toward the edge where the surface was more 'fresh,' it was almost impossible. No doubt this stuff will chew your tires up.
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Old 06-15-18, 03:46 PM
  #10  
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Thank you TrojanHorse. For 21.95 apiece, I could not resist ordering a pair. It just so happens that planetcyclery sent me a 10% off code for tires yesterday. If anyone is interested, it is 10offrubber. I hope these work. At least they are cheaper than the Conti's I am running. I installed my last GP4K tire yesterday. If I have the same bad luck with the Michelins, I guess it will be Gatorskin/Hardshell time. I am hoping to avoid the dead tire feeling.
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Old 06-15-18, 04:00 PM
  #11  
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Going wider is a pretty easy way of lengthening wear life without sacrificing a supple ride. But, you need to go lots wider to make much difference, and your bike probably doesn't have tons of clearance.

Lower pressure might help against centerline tread cutting, since the tire distributes the weight wider, not jamming itself so hard against the surface. That can also make the ride faster on chipseal, if the bike is currently rumbling on the pavement. I'm not sure how squishy you're pumping your tires already, though.
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Old 06-15-18, 04:10 PM
  #12  
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I feel your pain Estacado.....I live just west of Mineral Wells in North Texas and the road surfaces around here beat me to death.
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Old 06-15-18, 05:19 PM
  #13  
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HTupolev. I am running the 28mm GP4K's at 95-100#.

armybikerider. I live in the Panhandle. It seems like chip seal is the wave of the future up here. If anyone suggests staying off the chip seal, it is not possible. I have no choice except to ride on it.
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Old 06-15-18, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Estacado View Post
... I guess it will be Gatorskin/Hardshell time. I am hoping to avoid the dead tire feeling.
I run 28 mm Gatorskins on my Verve II and 32 mm Schwalbe Marathon (not the Plus) on my Randonee.

Talking about dead... Compared to the Gatorskins, the Schwalbes are party animals...

I have nearly 5000 mi. on the Schwalbes and they look like new. And you may know that the roads in Houston are not the smoothest, certainly we have our share of chip seal...
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Old 06-15-18, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by armybikerider View Post
I feel your pain Estacado.....I live just west of Mineral Wells in North Texas and the road surfaces around here beat me to death.
lots of good people around that area. I worked the possum kingdom fire there back in 2012.
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Old 06-15-18, 08:50 PM
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GerryinHouston, Thanks. This is the kind of stuff I am looking for. Real World experience. Appears you prefer the Schwalbe Marathon over the Gatorskins. If I shred the Michelins, looks like the Marathons are next.
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Old 06-15-18, 09:00 PM
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The whole idea of chip sealing is that heavy traffic will do the basic work of the road roller. Of course, that's mainly where the actual heavy traffic is. That takes a long time.

In effect, this means the parking and bike lanes will flatten last, if ever.

Also, chip sealing is often a substitute for a full road rebuilding and there is even a machine that 'recycles' the roadbed and uses that to rebuild.

All stopgaps but your city doesn't get a free toaster when it takes out a loan.
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Old 06-15-18, 09:14 PM
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PS You aren't likely to ever 'wear out' a bike tread as much as the tire will fail from mechanical breakdown.

When the tire does wear down it's most likely due to alignment problems and just getting to the point wear the inner cords are exposed. By this time you should have clues that it's time to replace them, just like for autos.

Another factor is the types of compounds involved in the manufacture of the tire and their general characteristics for ride firmness and responsiveness. I can see that this is probably the most important factor in why you run what you state. With a bicycle this is a lot more critical, but you cannot expect the wear that you'd get for a car or motorcycle tire. Wider tires disperse these forces much more comfortably.

This is the kind of thing that led to the development of the 'balloon' tire.
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Old 06-16-18, 02:00 AM
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Last year I used 700x23 Schwalbe One V-Guards on my 1980s steel road bike. Not bad on chip seal. I got about 2,000 miles before the rear tire was slashed up too much to ride safely. Some broken slate with razor sharp shards finally did it in. Great tires otherwise, but no longer made although some leftover old stock is still available.

I wanted to try slightly wider tires to compare for comfort so this year I rode 700x25 (the largest my frame will handle) Continental Ultra Sport 2. Other than feeling a bit squirmy on fast turns (the tires are oversized for my skinny 14mm wide rims -- too splashy due to undersupported shoulders), the inexpensive Contis are remarkably good tires. I'd say overall the handling is very similar to the much more expensive Schwalbes. And with just over 1,100 miles this year the Ultra Sport 2 have worn as well. Fewer nicks and cuts, if anything, but they don't feel like "hard" tires. And while the US2 lack a puncture shield like the Schwalbes, I've had only one flat this year. Not bad at all.

I'm inclined to stick with the Conti Ultra Sport 2 because they perform within a hair of equaling the top quality Schwalbes, cost a lot less, and seem to wear just as well. The only reason I'm hedging a bit is because I need to try some in 700x23 (better handling on my bike), and ride 'em another 1,000 miles. I've been off the bike a month due to an injury so it'll be awhile before I'll know. But so far I'm inclined to stick with the Ultra Sport 2. I can buy a set for $30 or less from most online vendors.

Main problem with Conti US2? They're ultra-tight fitting at first. You almost need a bead jack to horse 'em over the rims. But they get a little easier the second or third try, so I'm betting a new set would be easier to mount if I used a fine tooth file to smooth the rubber over the beads.

The alternative would be much heavier tires. For that I'd be inclined to try Michelin Protek Urban, but the smallest are 700x28, too large for my road bike. Or the Michelin Pro4 Endurance, which I think is the model that has the same tread compound as the Proteks in a thinner, lighter package. I've had a set of Protek Cross Max on my comfort hybrid for a couple of years and they're tough but smooth rolling tires, really good for all purpose use. Michelin's Protek Aramid puncture shield is tough stuff, a yellow/gold version of Kevlar type fabric rather than the thick rubber used on some Conti and Schwable tire puncture shields.

The main problem with chip seal for cyclists is it traps sharp debris. Eventually broken glass, grass burrs, radial tire steel threads, etc., get trapped in the rough chip seal and doesn't readily wash out even in heavy rain. That's what cuts up my road bike's slick tires. Every time I get a flat I find tiny shards of glass, radial tire wires, sharp broken bits of slate and other rock, goat heads, etc. Otherwise the tires wear remarkably well despite the rough feel and appearance of chip seal.

On the plus side, chip seal is less expensive to apply, durable, and not too bad once the heavy vehicles mash it down. Eventually the tire tracks are reasonably smooth for cyclists. Which is good because the left or rightmost tire tracks are generally the safest places for the cyclist to ride anyway for best visibility and to encourage overtaking drivers to pass safely with a complete lane change rather than squeeze-by passes.

Some home owners complain that chip seal is noisy so some road companies will finish it with a smoother coat they call "fog seal" in Texas. Looks like an ordinary hot top but supposedly it's more durable. Main difference I notice is it's slick as snot when a new layer of fog seal is wet. As it ages it's about like any paving. Maybe they call it fog seal because you need to drive like you're on ice on a foggy night.

Last edited by canklecat; 06-16-18 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 06-16-18, 02:09 AM
  #20  
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IRC Aspite Pro Wet road clincher

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Old 06-16-18, 05:53 AM
  #21  
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Continental Tour Ride Road Bike Tyre | Chain Reaction Cycles

these are cheap and extremely long wearing. they arent very sporty but its great not getting flats.
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