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Slicks Vs Tred ?

Old 09-20-06, 05:29 AM
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AWAcycle
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Slicks Vs Tred ?

hello all. (newbie here). appologies if this is a rehash

We all know that Slicks make for a smoother and faster ride in fair wheather. However, if i was to purchase a flat-bar road bike fitted with slicks and used it for communting and fitness, will i put myself at risk in the wet?

Are there gradients of tires between tred and slick to enable slick performance but safety through the wet and dry, that can be fitted to a road bike wheel?

i worry as i have had knee issues in the past and can't risk a slip/crash that will further damage my knees.
Any particular recomendations?

Cheers
Andy
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Old 09-20-06, 05:50 AM
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Slicks are fine for paved road, whether wet or dry.

For your reading pleasure, please peruse these two articles on Sheldon Brown's site, one by Jobst Brandt.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/slicks.html

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html
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Old 09-20-06, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by AWAcycle
Are there gradients of tires between tred and slick to enable slick performance but safety through the wet and dry, that can be fitted to a road bike wheel?
There's negligible differences from what I've been able to gather. Slicks actually stick better on the road under pretty much all conditions. On a bike-tyre, you don't have any of the concerns that a tread-pattern addresses on a car-tyre, hydroplaning. The bike-tyre is so narrow and the contact patch is a lenticular shape perfect for squeezing water out. And the contact-patch is actually smaller than a single tread-block on an auto-tyre anyway. I've done rain-crits with slicks and I'd trust them more than a treaded tyre with less contact area. So don't worry about tyres. Make sure you have them pumped up high enough to avoid pinched-flats if you happen to hit potholes or rocks.

What WILL injure you on the bike is using big-gears and mashing (pushing low-RPMs). So practice spinning smoothly and quickly in low gears. This reduces peak loads on your knee and muscles as much as possible for any given speed. Having your seat too low and too far back will also cause more strain on the knees, so have your bike fitted by a pro shop.

Also, crashing while riding is a skills issue. Practice picking the straightest line through corners so that you can keep the bike as upright as possible. Rolling off the edge of the tyre will cause to you crash regardless of slick or treaded tyre. Practice maximum-effort braking and keeping the rear-tyre on the ground; you'll never know when you have to do an emergency braking maneuver.

Finally, learn to ride and interact with others. Other bikers on the road & bike paths and in groups. Dealing with cars requires unspoken communications. Definitive, assertive and even aggressive actions are safest to let drivers know exactly what your intentions are. If you hesitate, wait too long to take right-of-way, swerve, etc., you can end up bumping heads in avoidance moves and the car will always win....

Have fun!

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 09-21-06 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 09-20-06, 06:27 AM
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tread and knobbies are a little safer on loose gravel, that's about it for road riding.
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Old 09-20-06, 06:44 AM
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Treads are good in snow. Otherwise, slicks are always better. However, the thickness of knobby tires provides some flat resistance.

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Old 09-20-06, 09:22 PM
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thank you all. great help

thank you all for replying.

i have read all the responses and attatched articles and now feel very confident that slicks are the way to go for my purposes.

Cheers
Andy
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Old 09-21-06, 10:33 AM
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Just to add a little something....bicycle tires cannot hydroplane like car tires will. You need to be going well over 150 mph on a bike tire before it will hydroplane. They are perfectly safe in the rain.
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Old 09-21-06, 10:41 AM
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yeah, I think it was Jobst Brand that calculated that one. It of course depends upon weight on and pressure & width of the tyre. I seem to recall a number of 175mph or some such.
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