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Gravel tire to road tire

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Gravel tire to road tire

Old 12-09-21, 08:19 AM
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Russ5415
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Gravel tire to road tire

Currently running clement xplor ush 35mm on my gravel bike. I find 90% of my riding is paved so I'm thinking about switching to something more road worthy but maintain some flat protection. Continental 4 seasons are on my radar. Looking at 32mm, 28mm is out of stock everywhere at the moment. 20mm internal width rims so I'm not sure how narrow I can go. Would that be a noticeable upgrade for road riding? Any other suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 12-09-21, 08:59 AM
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Steve B.
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The Conti's will roll smoother, so you might notice that. The Grand Prix 4 Season is a durable tire, I've been using them for years and typically get 2000 miles out of them, which's is OK. They are a bit stiffer in ride quality than 5000's, maybe less supple, but they are designed as winter tires so I expect that. I've been grabbing them when they go on sale and have found them at around $35 each (not in last 2 years though). Grab whatever you can find is my advice.
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Old 12-09-21, 12:05 PM
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I go back and forth between 35mm Gravel King SKs and 32mm Gravel King Slicks. The slicks are super fast and comfortable on pavement, but offer a surprisingly good ride on mellow dirt, as well.
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Old 12-09-21, 01:23 PM
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If you can get them, the Specialized Roubiax Pro 2Bliss Ready 30/32 (30mm tread on a 32mm casing they claim). I've run them continuously on one of my bikes that sees pavement (smooth to busted into chunks), cobblestones, and light gravel. I set them up tubeless, run them at 40-45psi, and I've yet to have one fail in 6 years.
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Old 12-09-21, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ5415 View Post
Any other suggestions are appreciated.
32mm Panaracer Gravel King Slick
35mm Compass Bon Jon Pass
32mm Goodyear Eagle F1

Any should be lighter and roll faster than your current USH and still have some width for comfort.
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Old 12-11-21, 07:17 AM
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I've used X'Plor USH 35 (tubed) for winter tires for many years. They do roll well, but they are relatively heavy and stiff. I currently have a pair of Panaracer GK+ 32mm (tubeless) in my rotation of tires. They certainly roll better on the pavement and are much lighter. However, I found them to be very good off road so long as you keep their limitations in mind. The GK+ offers some additional flat protection over the regular slick, but nothing like the USH, which is virtually flat proof. I also had a pair of tubed GK Slicks in a 26mm on a road bike for a winter tire a few years ago. I felt they were nearly as fast as my 25mm road tires at the time (Conti GP4000), and were pretty good on the dirt as well. However, in something that narrow you really need to be mindful of pinch flatting when off road.
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Old 12-11-21, 02:50 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions! You've given me a little more to research. Right now I'm going back and forth between the gravel king slicks and 4 seasons. And 28mm vs 32mm. Any thoughts on 28 being too narrow? Again mostly pavement, and when on gravel only hard pack. No mud or wet surfaces ever. I guess you could say I'm a fair weather rider.
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Old 12-11-21, 02:59 PM
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32s will give a better ride on road and gravel.

I like the Gravel King slicks and Gatorkins. I have been intrigued by the Conti 4 sessons and would give them a try.

A newer tire which I read about on Bicycle Rolling Resistance in the Continental Urban. Supposedly similar to the GP5000 but 35c.

Last edited by stevel610; 12-11-21 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 12-11-21, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ5415 View Post
Any thoughts on 28 being too narrow? Again mostly pavement, and when on gravel only hard pack.
Personally, I'll never ride another tire narrower than 32, no matter the surface. The payoff in comfort and traction is just too great.
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Old 12-11-21, 03:48 PM
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I'm not exactly asking the question since I've already pulled the trigger and they are here, ready to be installed, but ... a lot of you are in the same boat as I was. You want a particular size of tire, you want a particular tread (or no tread) and you want flat resistance. Bike Tires Direct is out of most stuff, so is Modern Bike. LBS's only have extreme stuff. If you want a 28mm slick from Schwalbe of Continental, good luck. I wanted a 25 or 28 sporting tire for my highracer. Gatorskins, Durano's, or Stelvio's just aren't available in a 26" diameter these days. Possibly 700C with difficulty, but that isn't what I need so ... I got some Tom Ritchey 'Tom Slicks' in 26" x 25mm AND Mr. Tuffy urethane tire liners for a bit more flat resistance than the tire alone would provide. I got the ultra-lite version of the Tuffy's to reflect the fact that this is a speed oriented training tire being mounted on a speed oriented race bike that will only be used on closed courses. I see little mention of tire liners as a way of improving the flat resistance of popular tires like 'Big Apples', Marathons (not plus), or Kenda Kwest's that, at least where I ride, would flat on every trip if you dared run them. This seems like as good a thread as any to bring them up.
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Old 12-11-21, 04:22 PM
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Early this week, I put 38 mm GK SS TLC on my Lemond Poprad. I have good clearance at all points except the chain stays. It is pretty tight there, but ok. I am riding them with latex tubes at 70 psi rear and 63 in front. There are no true gravel roads where I am, but I do have state parks, wildlife refuge and conservation areas that have gravel, cinder and some dirt and sand. Doing a mix surface ride is a blast on the bike. The tires handle the gravel well and are ok on the road, certainly not quick and nimble, but they hold speed when you get there, and the ride is plush.

I have been slowly transitioning to wider tires. I still use one of my favorite set ups, Vittoria Open Pave 27 mm with latex tubes, on numerous wheels sets, and have a supply of them on hand. My Poprad is probably going to wind up with 35 mm GK, but I just might never again put narrower tires than that on it.
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Old 04-22-22, 08:54 PM
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Russ5415
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Thanks for all the good advice. Just to follow up in case someone is pondering the same thing, I went with the continental 4season 32s. Partly because I have a history with gatorskins so I'm a little brand loyal. After a few rides I'll say the difference is definitely noticeable from the xplorer's. Not night and day, but noticeable enough to recommend the switch if you want to make your gravel bike more pavement worthy.

As an extra note, I unfolded the tires from the box for about a week before I installed them and set them in the sun to heat them up. They have a reputation for being hard to install but I had no problems.
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Old 04-22-22, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
I go back and forth between 35mm Gravel King SKs and 32mm Gravel King Slicks. The slicks are super fast and comfortable on pavement, but offer a surprisingly good ride on mellow dirt, as well.
I ride a mix of trails and road all year long. Id be inclined to run the SK in front and the slick on the rear. That combined with some care and technique gets me through winter mud and still rolling fast when things are dry. I run something similar on my Schwinn but its a SpeedMax in front and UltraSport 32 in back.

Otto
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