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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 12-15-17, 09:46 AM   #1
gif4445
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Time to buy. Tire questions?

Thought I would direct this question first at the long distance crowd, as that's the type of cycling I focus on.

I've been using 700 x 28 Armadillo Nimbus tires for the last few go arounds. LBS stocks these. Good puncture resistant tires. At least I have been happy with them in that department, as we are in goat head country. Get about 3500 miles before the flats kick in. Wondering if there is a better choice for me. Looking at Continental Grand Prix. Maybe less rolling resistance? Wondering how they compare puncture wise? Anybody have some experience along these lines? Any other recommendations?
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Old 12-15-17, 11:59 AM   #2
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In the last 6-7 years I have entirely shifted to fatter tires for my distance riding.
The narrowest tire I run on rides longer than 60 miles is 38 mm. Zero desire to use anything smaller, after having spent some 45 years riding 19-25 mm tires.
There are plenty fast tires in the fat category, many of them made somewhat puncture-resistant, including tubeless.
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Old 12-15-17, 01:26 PM   #3
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If I had your bikes I would run the widest compass tires that would fit on the volagi & roubaix, marathon plus on the LHT, and michelin pro4 endurance on the trek.
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Old 12-15-17, 02:13 PM   #4
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If I had your bikes I would run the widest compass tires that would fit on the volagi & roubaix, marathon plus on the LHT, and michelin pro4 endurance on the trek.
Should have mentioned that currently, the Volagi is my distance bike of choice. 28's are the limit. As is usual, I've been looking at N +1, either a new Roubaix or Diverge. Future shock and able to run wider tires. Roubaix to 32 and Diverge up to 42 or whereabouts I believe.
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Old 12-17-17, 07:42 PM   #5
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In the last 6-7 years I have entirely shifted to fatter tires for my distance riding.
The narrowest tire I run on rides longer than 60 miles is 38 mm. Zero desire to use anything smaller, after having spent some 45 years riding 19-25 mm tires.
There are plenty fast tires in the fat category, many of them made somewhat puncture-resistant, including tubeless.
This is an interesting topic. Can you tell me what your experiences have been? Is it an age related deal or just the realization that fatter doesn't equal increased rolling resistance? Or a comfort tradeoff,etc?
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Old 12-18-17, 11:47 AM   #6
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This is an interesting topic. Can you tell me what your experiences have been? Is it an age related deal or just the realization that fatter doesn't equal increased rolling resistance? Or a comfort tradeoff,etc?


Comfort, in order to be able to sustain long hours of performance, and do the same the next day, and the day after...
Decided to try wide tires after I read Jan Heine's research results back in the day, and while I do not subscribe to most of his marketing hogwash, my own experiences match his results - supple tires in 38 or even 42 mm are plenty fast for my purposes. And give me the chance of being comfortable on forest roads, which are ~30% of my riding.


Not age-related, as I am still quite young @58. I still catch up to the young bucks on the local university team when I want to while ascending.
And totally demolish them on descents...
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Old 12-18-17, 12:45 PM   #7
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I still run 23mm on my carbon single bike for distance work, well for all my riding. The bike doesn't beat me up and they're the same width as my deep alu rims, so that's nice. OTOH, I only ride pavement. On the 3rd hand, our local rando club's brevets are all on pavement, though some perms include some firm gravel which is OK.

As far as tires goes, you'll just have to try them and see what your flat tolerance is. Personally, I'm not a never-flat rider. A flat only takes me 10 minutes or less to fix. I always carry a spare tire. Because my tires are so light, that's not an issue. So I just swap tire and tube and am on my way with a nice unscheduled break. I flat maybe every 1000 miles on my 4000IIs.

On our tandem we flat more frequently, pretty much no matter the tire. In summer, we run 4000IIs in 28mm, which is ~31mm on our 23mm rims. In winter, we've been running 28mm Vittoria Rubino Pro Tech which are now only available NOS, so we're switching to 28mm Vittoria Corsa Control of which we've had good reports. One of the things we want in our winter tandem tires is sidewall protection which both those mentioned winter tires have.
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Old 12-18-17, 05:45 PM   #8
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Personally, I'm not a never-flat rider. A flat only takes me 10 minutes or less to fix.


Amen to that. Flats are only a hassle for the time it takes to fix them. "Flat-proof" tires are a hassle every minute you're riding: slow, harsh ride, usually poor handling. And they're twice the hassle when you DO get a flat.


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Old 12-19-17, 05:07 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by IK_biker View Post
Comfort, in order to be able to sustain long hours of performance, and do the same the next day, and the day after...
Decided to try wide tires after I read Jan Heine's research results back in the day, and while I do not subscribe to most of his marketing hogwash, my own experiences match his results - supple tires in 38 or even 42 mm are plenty fast for my purposes. And give me the chance of being comfortable on forest roads, which are ~30% of my riding.


Not age-related, as I am still quite young @58. I still catch up to the young bucks on the local university team when I want to while ascending.
And totally demolish them on descents...
You are younger than I am then. I've been putting some thought in getting a long distance ride that will take up to 40 mm tires. I do have the LHT, but it's heavy and really, after riding my latest purchases, doesn't feel very comfortable. Most of my rides are on pavement, so I differ here. But the possibility of improving ride comfort, is very appealing.
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Old 12-19-17, 04:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by gif4445 View Post
Thought I would direct this question first at the long distance crowd, as that's the type of cycling I focus on.

I've been using 700 x 28 Armadillo Nimbus tires for the last few go arounds. LBS stocks these. Good puncture resistant tires. At least I have been happy with them in that department, as we are in goat head country. Get about 3500 miles before the flats kick in. Wondering if there is a better choice for me. Looking at Continental Grand Prix. Maybe less rolling resistance? Wondering how they compare puncture wise? Anybody have some experience along these lines? Any other recommendations?
I've used Grand Prix 4 Seasons for years, 23-25- & 28mm sizes, they also come in a 32mm and run a bit small, IME. I use them for general riding as well as NYC commuting as they are very flat resistant. Can't state as to ride quality as I am notoriously insensitive to the ride quality of road bike tires. I currently use Vittoria Rubino Pro's on my go-fast as they were cheap.

I generally get over 2000+ miles out of set of GP4S and look for them on sale then buying a few pairs. Good deals at $35 -$35, but they often run at $75. I'm not paying that.
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Old 12-20-17, 06:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gif4445 View Post
You are younger than I am then. I've been putting some thought in getting a long distance ride that will take up to 40 mm tires. I do have the LHT, but it's heavy and really, after riding my latest purchases, doesn't feel very comfortable. Most of my rides are on pavement, so I differ here. But the possibility of improving ride comfort, is very appealing.
Ideally I'd be on a tubeless wheelset with a Compass tyre that fits for your conditions.
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