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Mixing tires for paved and off-road use

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Mixing tires for paved and off-road use

Old 07-06-10, 09:41 PM
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Mixing tires for paved and off-road use

So I was thinking of changing out one of both of the tires on my Kona Smoke. I am currently running 700 x 47 Continental City Contact tires (smooth with some lines running across). I mostly ride pavement but I have also been playing around on trails that are hard-packed dirt with a lot of loose gravel patches. Right now my riding is about 75% road, 25% gravel/dirt. The tires slip around a lot on the gravel, so I was thinking of going to something with more tread. My LBS suggested either a Schwalbe Land Cruiser 29 x 1.75 or a Kenda Karma 29 x 1.9. I was originally going to switch both tires, but after some reading I'm wondering if I shouldn't just replace the front? What are your opinions on that? I don't mind slowing down on pavement as a result of the added tread, but I really need a bit more traction on the gravel bits.

The terrain itself is pretty flat.

Last edited by Seijun; 07-06-10 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 07-07-10, 02:57 AM
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I'm interested in other people's opinion on this..

I run 700 x 38c Kendra tires front and rear, a friend of mine used a calibration tool on the
same tires, and said they only measure out 34c. I can deal with the slipping around on rocky
gravel roads on the front. But when climbing steep hills off road the back starts spinning.
I'm doing about the same thing, 75 percent road, and 25 percent off road. It seems like you
have to make a trade off somewhere, when I was riding my Motobecane Hardtail Mountain
Bike, I could feel those knobs with every turn of the wheel. And the 38c seems much faster
on the light trails I ride, and do not feel anything going down the road. So I guess since
that most of my riding is on the road, I'm better off with the narrow tires, and no knobs, than the fewer
times the bigger (26 inch tall and wider tires ), would help. Just a trade off...I am Interested on everyones input.
The Motobecane was much more pricer, than the Schwinn Trailways, it had a 7005 Aluminum frame,
disk brakes, better d´┐Żrailleurs, better forks, with more travel, and Quality over all...But the
Schwinn Hybrid with the narrow tires seems much faster, with less effort..and just as solid..
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Old 07-07-10, 03:20 PM
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A 700x47 is a pretty wide tire. That's equivalent to a 1.9". I'm not certain that switching to one of the other tires is going to do much for you. Deep, loose gravel is going to be a challenge for any tire, as most of the problem is the gravel sliding around under the tire.

It's very unusual for a tire that wide to slip on a level trail. Sounds like poor trail maintenance, piling the gravel too deep.

The Schwalbe looks like a nice tire. I like having a smooth center tread as it makes for a much nicer ride on pavement than knobbies.
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Old 07-07-10, 03:26 PM
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It wasn't deep, just loose. Made it hard to steer and felt like the bike was doing its very best to wipe out under me.
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Old 07-07-10, 04:17 PM
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I've been riding grass, gravel, packed lime, aglime, macadam, asphalt, and cement my whole life - and you can expect any tire to lose traction in loose gravel - and, I just deal with it.

I find my Schwalbe Marathon Supremes, 700-35 and 700-40, adequate for all of this. And, being a semi slick, they still behave perfectly on pavement.

Buy the tire for it's most used surfaces, and you should be pleased.

I love the combo of a 700X40 on the rear, and a 700X35 on the front - I'd also consider a 700X32 for the front; but don't know if I'd be willing to give up the comfort of the 40 on the rear.

p.s. my bike came with 45s as OEM, and don't notice any different comfort with going down to the 40 on the rear. Nor, do I notice any degradation of comfort, with the 35 on the front - but ---- the 35 sure quickened up the steering, and improved the handling immensely. The 35 did ride quite a bit harsher on the rear.
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Old 07-07-10, 04:20 PM
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A bit of knob certainly couldn't hurt. But before you do that, you may want to experiment with lower tire pressure, especially if you tend to run them rock hard. Try it out near home first, and deflate until you see a bit of flattening at the bottom of the tire while you are on the bike. Experiment from that point, but be careful not to go too low and you start getting pinch flats.
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Old 07-07-10, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer
I've been riding grass, gravel, packed lime, aglime, macadam, asphalt, and cement my whole life - and you can expect any tire to lose traction in loose gravel - and, I just deal with it.

I find my Schwalbe Marathon Supremes, 700-35 and 700-40, adequate for all of this. And, being a semi slick, they still behave perfectly on pavement.

Buy the tire for it's most used surfaces, and you should be pleased.

I love the combo of a 700X40 on the rear, and a 700X35 on the front - I'd also consider a 700X32 for the front; but don't know if I'd be willing to give up the comfort of the 40 on the rear.

p.s. my bike came with 45s as OEM, and don't notice any different comfort with going down to the 40 on the rear. Nor, do I notice any degradation of comfort, with the 35 on the front - but ---- the 35 sure quickened up the steering, and improved the handling immensely. The 35 did ride quite a bit harsher on the rear.
This is probably a silly question, but "35" refers to the width, correct?
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Old 07-07-10, 04:53 PM
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Correct ---
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Old 07-07-10, 11:43 PM
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schwalbe marathon cross.

check it out.
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