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Faster tires for hybrid bike?

Old 05-27-19, 11:31 PM
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kovacsa
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Faster tires for hybrid bike?

Hi, Does anyone have experience with Continental "Contact" or "RIDE" style of tires? I currently have the Cross King CX 32mm on a 700C rim on a hybrid bike.

I'd like to get more speed out of my bike if possible with faster tires. The idea is to lose the knobs and have the tires more narrow to get the speed. I'd still like tires that perform on small gravel, dirt and perhaps softer surfaces as well. Comfort is important too. I'm likely looking at a 28mm tires based on what I've seen on Continental's site. Does anyone have a recommendation on a City/Trekking tire that might meet my needs? I'm also open to other brands too, thanks!

Last edited by kovacsa; 05-28-19 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 05-28-19, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by kovacsa View Post
Hi, Does anyone have experience with Continental "Contact" or "RIDE" style of tires? I currently have the Cross King CX 32mm on a 700C rim on a hybrid bike.

I'd like to get more speed out of my bike if possible with faster tires. The idea is to lose the knobs and have the tires more narrow to get the speed. I'd still like tires that perform on small gravel, dirt and perhaps softer surfaces as well. Comfort is important too. I'm likely looking at a 28mm tires based on what I've seen on Continental's site. Does anyone have a recommendation on a City/Trekking tire that might meet my needs? I'm also open to other brands too, thanks!
Donít you think you might be asking for just a bit too much from a tire?
Faster, more comfortable, and able to handle on and off road
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Old 05-28-19, 02:22 AM
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kovacsa
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
Donít you think you might be asking for just a bit too much from a tire?
Faster, more comfortable, and able to handle on and off road
Well, Let's see what people are saying, I've had helpful responses elsewhere.
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Old 05-28-19, 03:05 AM
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Take a look at Schwalbe G-One Speed https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_t...es/G-ONE_Speed
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Old 05-28-19, 03:08 AM
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If you're taking in gravel as well and want comfort I'm not convinced I'd be looking at 28mm tyres but then that does depend on how large the lumps are.

I use Vittoria Voyager Hypers in 35mm for the type of riding you're describing in the summer, I believe the're available in 32mm as the narrowest but I do switch to Gravel King SK's in the winter as the Hypers aren't good if there's any mud and water involved.
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Old 05-28-19, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by DowneasTTer View Post
Take a look at Schwalbe G-One Speed https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_t...es/G-ONE_Speed
I have those on my FX 3. There's no way they're good for gravel of any kind. Great road tire.

OP- narrower in general is not faster on roads. That's a misconception. If you want speed and light gravel, 28s are not the way to go. I'm running 36 mm Schwalbe Marathons on my cyclo, and it seems to hit that sweet spot you're looking for.
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Old 05-28-19, 04:51 AM
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On my hybrid (and my road bike for that matter) I go with 32mm tires, mostly use the hybrid on crushed limestone rail trails, packed dirt, light gravel kind of rides, with pavement mixed in. I've settled in on Schwalbe Marathons for that bike - a pretty continuous center patch where the tire normally hits the road, but enough treads to feel OK on wet surface and dry trails. Not going to do gravel races on that, but I've found it to be a good compromise across flat resistance, rolling resistance and traction.
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Old 05-28-19, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I have those on my FX 3. There's no way they're good for gravel of any kind. Great road tire.

OP- narrower in general is not faster on roads. That's a misconception. If you want speed and light gravel, 28s are not the way to go. I'm running 36 mm Schwalbe Marathons on my cyclo, and it seems to hit that sweet spot you're looking for.
How about the other Schwalbe listed as a gravel type?

11600764.0135-622 (700 x 35C)MicroSkin, TL EasyOneStarBlack$84.00
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Old 05-28-19, 06:04 AM
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I do everything from loose pea shingle gravel to wood chippings to wet grass on Schwalbe Fat Franks, they're fatter than you want at 2.0ins but have a look at the tread of one. Very little rubber so light weight.
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Old 05-28-19, 06:47 AM
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I have Conti GP 4 Seasons on mine (28 wide)...I haven't ridden it much since getting my Domane, but did do a 100k with it prior to that. Were I to change tires, I'd probably put 32 or wider on it as an additional comfort factor.
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Old 05-28-19, 06:55 AM
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[QUOTE=livedarklions;20950438]OP- narrower in general is not faster on roads. That's a misconception./QUOTE]
+1
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Old 05-28-19, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Stormsedge View Post
I have Conti GP 4 Seasons on mine (28 wide)...I haven't ridden it much since getting my Domane, but did do a 100k with it prior to that. Were I to change tires, I'd probably put 32 or wider on it as an additional comfort factor.
I think 28s are also more prone to getting flats as well.
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Old 05-28-19, 07:19 AM
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[QUOTE=livedarklions;20950438]

OP- narrower in general is not faster on roads. That's a misconception./QUOTE]

That's the first I've heard such a thing. Narrower should mean lighter and with less rolling resistance, yeah?

M.
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Old 05-28-19, 07:37 AM
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fyiw, back in 2009 I wanted to do the same thing (except for the unpaved part) for a hybrid, for commuting 34 miles round trip. I switched from the 38mm Kenda Kourier tires that came with the bike to 28mm Specialized Armadillo all condition road tires
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Old 05-28-19, 07:40 AM
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[QUOTE=MEversbergII;20950637]
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post

OP- narrower in general is not faster on roads. That's a misconception./QUOTE]

That's the first I've heard such a thing. Narrower should mean lighter and with less rolling resistance, yeah?

M.
This explains far better than I can:

https://janheine.wordpress.com/2018/...es-are-slower/
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Old 05-28-19, 09:11 AM
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Yup. I've used the Continental Speed Rides (700x42 nominal, closer to 38 wide) and Conti Sport Contact II in 700x32 on the same bike on and off over the past couple of years.

The Speed Rides are much better tires. That surprised me because on paper the specs seem similar enough: both were the wire bead versions, both weighed about the same. The narrower Sport Contact II fit my fenders. They were grippy in wet and dry conditions. But they felt sluggish, and my rides were consistently slower on Strava on the same routes, with and without fenders. The ride felt harsh near full pressure and sluggish at a comfortable pressure.

After a few months I switched back to the Speed Rides. My average speed went back up from 10-12 mph to 13-14 mph, and the bike is more comfortable as well. Our roads are often chewed up by road equipment for weeks or months at a time before any repaving. Some roads are almost impassable for road bikes with skinny tires -- the road destroying machines grind weird patterns into the concrete bed that causes harsh chattering vibrations. But my hybrid with the Speed Rides just glides over the mess. I still have to watch for the 2"-3" ledges, and lack of any warning signs.

I was surprised to see that much difference but it's not the first time I've noticed significant differences in hybrid tires. In part it's due to the thickness and type of puncture shield, sidewall stiffness and tread.

Anyway, the Speed Rides are fast enough that my main hindrance is wind resistance from the relatively upright position on my hybrid. Above 14 mph I'm fighting wind, not the tires.
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Old 05-28-19, 09:17 AM
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And ditto the advantages to somewhat wider tires on road bikes in certain real world, less than optimal conditions.

My carbon fiber Trek 5900 has 700x23 Conti Ultra Sport II tires. Good tires but the combination of light bike and skinny tires is brutal on some chipseal and razed pavement awaiting re-paving.

Switching to my steel Ironman with 700x25 Ultra Sport II makes the same roads tolerable. And my average speed over 20-30 miles, and on most segments, is about the same. I feel less beaten up after those rides too.

The main advantage to the carbon fiber bike and skinnier tires is on certain climbs with consistently smooth pavement. Then the bike is consistently faster in all wind conditions. Not a huge difference, but noticeable and consistent. Unfortunately we don't have enough roads like that. If I could afford it I'd switch to tires designed for racing on cobbles, but it's hard to justify $50-$100 per tire.
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Old 05-28-19, 10:03 AM
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Tubeless. Especially Mavic UST. Faster, smoother, lighter and more comfortable. GCN did a "science" review and found tubeless to have less rolling resistance than clinchers or tubulars.
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Old 05-28-19, 10:26 AM
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Gravelking Tubeless
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Old 05-28-19, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I have those on my FX 3. There's no way they're good for gravel of any kind. Great road tire.

OP- narrower in general is not faster on roads. That's a misconception. If you want speed and light gravel, 28s are not the way to go. I'm running 36 mm Schwalbe Marathons on my cyclo, and it seems to hit that sweet spot you're looking for.
Hi, Thanks for the info. Do you have any links to hard data that shows narrower tires doesn't necessarily mean faster tires given all other variables are the same? From what I can tell, speed of a tire is determined by a few factors: tire width, air pressure, rubber compound, profile (tread pattern) and tire diameter (larger diameter tires might mean more speed as they cover a larger distance per rpms.- Thanks!
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Old 05-28-19, 12:00 PM
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Hi, Thanks for this. What was the outcome? How did the tires perform for you?
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Old 05-28-19, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by kovacsa View Post
Hi, Thanks for the info. Do you have any links to hard data that shows narrower tires doesn't necessarily mean faster tires given all other variables are the same? From what I can tell, speed of a tire is determined by a few factors: tire width, air pressure, rubber compound, profile (tread pattern) and tire diameter (larger diameter tires might mean more speed as they cover a larger distance per rpms.- Thanks!
I don't have any "hard data", but I'll just repost the link I put up before. 23mm tires have gotten rare at this point, not clear how far the trend to bigger on road bikes is going to go.

https://janheine.wordpress.com/2018/...es-are-slower/
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Old 05-28-19, 01:23 PM
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On my "all road" bike I used tires between 28 and 32 mm wide including Panaracer Pasela in 32mm and 28mm, Vittoria Hyper in 32mm, GravelKing in 28mm. I always look at the weight of the tire before purchasing , the lighter the tire the easier it is to ride fast and accelerate. Gravel King in 28 so far is very good on road and decent in "off road" conditions. It handles any flat trail nicely and it is fast on road. Victoria Hyper is similar to Pasela in 32 mm, slower on road and better on the trails.

I have two sets of wheels with 28 and 32 mm tires that I switch depending on the ride that I will be doing. If most of the ride is road I will use 28 and compromise on on "off road" riding. I will use 32mm tires when the ride is mostly trail or gravel.

I also use a cyclocross bike with Conti Speed King CX and Donnelly Xplorer USH in 35 mm as my "off road" bike . Both are better off road than my road bike with 28-32 tires, but slower on road and it is hard to keep the speed above 20 mph for long. Also any cyclocross tire will wear fast if you ride it a lot on pavement.

My recommendation for the best compromise tire I would use:

1. Panaracer Gravel King slick 28-32mm
2.Victoria Hyper(discontinued) in 32mm
3. Panaracer Pasela in 32mm. 28mm is way too narrow to ride off road
4. Donnelly X"Plor USH 35mm-fast on road for a 35mm tire, also long wearing and good off road
5. Michelin Cyclocross Jet tire in 30 mm ( actual 33-35mm)-great of road , decent on road, but wears quick.
6. Conti Speed King CX 35 mm-similar to Michelin Jet

I would also look into Challenge and Donnelly tires. Strada USH in 32 looks good.

Last edited by Andrey; 05-28-19 at 01:28 PM. Reason: switched #3 and #4
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Old 05-28-19, 01:39 PM
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I have a pair of Continental Tour RIDE tires in 700x28, and cannot say that I am impressed. They are fairly heavy, and the treads seem to pick up pebbles and such.

For a gravel tire that's faster on pavement, I like Donnelly X'Plor USH. For pure road use (vs. gravel or mixed surface) I just inflate to a higher PSI.
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Old 05-28-19, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrey View Post

2.Victoria Hyper(discontinued) in 32mm
Is that all of the Hypers being discontinued or just the 32mm ones do you know ... I had noticed virtually nowhere has them for sale, would be a shame if so as they seem to offer slightly better puncture protection than most that are similar and we do suffer from thorns around here.
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