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Tire dilemma

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Old 03-06-18, 04:04 PM
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herzogone
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Tire dilemma

I'm looking for some guidance regarding tires for attempting my first 200k brevet, the NER Narragansett Bays and Bridges 200k.

For background, I weigh roughly 225 lbs/102 kg though I try to ride light. My bike is a 1992 Trek 820 drop-bar conversion, currently equipped with 1.5"/38mm Tioga City Slickers. I've ridden these tires a few hundred miles commuting and only had one flat that I can recall, puncture from a large glass shard. Ride quality is ok, but I think slightly rougher than even the 2" smooth-center-tread knobbies I've run in the past (aside from cornering). Past frustration with frequent flats, both pinch and puncture, even with 32mm tires on my previous road bike has completely sold me on wider tires. Reading Jan Heine's blog and the glowing reviews of Compass tires here and elsewhere has me intrigued by wide tires with supple casings. I have my eyes on the extralight Compass Rat Trap Pass. The problem is, in case it's not obvious from my choice of ride, I'm cheap and lack a lot of disposable income. Further complicating the choice is the fact that I don't anticipate racking up serious mileage for the foreseeable future. My goals for this year are the upcoming 200k and optimistically a century or two in addition to the handful of shorter recreational rides I have done in the past. Before I spend more on tires than my bike is worth I wanted to get some perspective from the experienced group here.

Should I:

a. Buy the Compass tires. They are life-changing tires that totally live up to the hype
b. Keep my existing. Should be good enough for my limited goals and Compass tires on a Trek 820 would be like drag slicks on a stock '71 Pinto.
c. Something else? Perhaps some less-supple wider tires from my LBS for cheaper...
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Old 03-06-18, 04:21 PM
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get the compass tyres .... (are your wheels 26 inch though, as I think that the rat trap pass are only for 26 inch?)
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Old 03-06-18, 04:25 PM
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You don't have to shell out for an exotic premium tire to get a decent ride. There are plenty of very nice supple tires, readily available at reasonable prices, in the 1.6-2.0" range. Pick one.

It may not have equally low rolling drag, as measured in the lab, but it will be close enough not to matter in the scheme of things. After all, total tire drag is but a small percentage of total drag (wind + mechanical + tire), with wind dominating at speeds above 15mph. So some some small reduction of a small source of drag isn't really that significant.

OTOH - width matters, and is how you strike an overall balance between comfort and drag, as does tread and wall suppleness. So, look for a smooth tread tire with decently supple walls,in a width that seems right (1.9") at a price you can live with.

BTW - you might consider me biased. I used to buy H rated tires for my Miata for $85.00ea. I could never bring myself to paying close to that for a bike tire.
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Old 03-06-18, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by dim View Post
get the compass tyres .... (are your wheels 26 inch though, as I think that the rat trap pass are only for 26 inch?)
I think the Trek 820 mentioned by the OP is a 26" MTB to drop bar conversion.

What you ride is up to you.

I recently completed a Hybrid to drop bar conversion, and threw on some 32mm Michelin Protek Cross Max tires. Great tires, and no flats for 500 miles or so.

Nonetheless, they seem to be slow, and require extra effort to ride. More testing later. They aren't a big problem for a 10 mile commute, but it really ads up when one is doing 100+ miles.

I did take my Michelins up to Portland on my most recent trip, 130 miles northward, 160 southward. WHEW!!! Anyway, one can survive the trip.

In your case, I'd buy whatever tires you expect to be riding on the bike most as commuter tires, and just ride them on your upcoming Randonneur ride. Not a lot of sense getting tires just for a single event.
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Old 03-06-18, 06:17 PM
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I used schwalbe kojaks for my first year of rando riding, they are fairly supple and I never had any flats on them. They make folding bead in 26” and 700, also a few different widths.
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Old 03-07-18, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by herzogone View Post
a. Buy the Compass tires. They are life-changing tires that totally live up to the hype
b. Keep my existing. Should be good enough for my limited goals and Compass tires on a Trek 820 would be like drag slicks on a stock '71 Pinto.
c. Something else? Perhaps some less-supple wider tires from my LBS for cheaper...
Compass tires are great. But a compromise tire (I'm not familiar with the ones you're running) might be your best bet. Like I run GravelKings sometimes (I don't think they make a 26", though) when I don't feel like ponying up for Compass/Grand Bois -- IIRC my brevet bike is currently wearing one of each, although I need to get some new rubber.

Do you think the tire speed could be the difference between finishing and not, or between having fun and not?

(I'd disagree with Clifford about not swapping for long rides vs commutes -- if you only have one bike and commute on glass-strewn streets, having more serious puncture-proof tires on for commuting makes sense, and the fancy tires should last a long time if you're only swapping them on for the occasional event.)
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Old 03-07-18, 12:43 PM
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Well, some of the randonneurs I know use Compass tires because they're the most wonderful things ever, etc., then you read of their adventures riding a 400k in the rain and having 8 flats in the process or something like that, and it makes you wonder just what they're thinking.


Anyway, my experience- riding Worksman cruiser, using 26x2-1/4" tires that run about $8 each- maybe a flat every 1,000 miles.
Got my Sojourn, it came with Vittoria Randonneur tires 35x700- and very few if any flats.
Switched to Gatorskins, 32mm and 28mm- very few flats.
On my single bike, using Continental 4 seasons- very few flats.
This leads me to believe that wide tires at low pressure don't prevent flats. Having "good" tires, from a flat-proof point of view, does.


Anyway, my advice, use whatever tire you have on there and go ride your 200k, no reason to experiment for that. If you change tires, get in a bunch of local riding before setting off on a 200k, but don't expect it to make a huge difference.
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Old 03-07-18, 01:20 PM
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Another option is to revisit the "road bike".

What happened to the one you had?

I'm not seeing a lot of budget conscious road bikes, but perhaps something like this Sirrus.

https://worcester.craigslist.org/bik...454051459.html

Or, even the Vilano.... not the hottest of bikes, but it could be tuned for the road.

https://worcester.craigslist.org/bik...468437783.html

Then, for puncture resistance, hunt down some "road tires", with extra puncture resistance, such as Gator Hardshells, Specialized Armadillo, Maxxis Refuse, or similar.

Although, I suppose you didn't really mention your budget, or height/size, so off course, the sky is the limit.
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Old 03-07-18, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by dim View Post
get the compass tyres .... (are your wheels 26 inch though, as I think that the rat trap pass are only for 26 inch?)
Thanks for the feedback dim, I should have clarified the Trek 820 is a rigid MTB with 26" wheels.

Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
You don't have to shell out for an exotic premium tire to get a decent ride. There are plenty of very nice supple tires, readily available at reasonable prices, in the 1.6-2.0" range. Pick one.

It may not have equally low rolling drag, as measured in the lab, but it will be close enough not to matter in the scheme of things. After all, total tire drag is but a small percentage of total drag (wind + mechanical + tire), with wind dominating at speeds above 15mph. So some some small reduction of a small source of drag isn't really that significant.

OTOH - width matters, and is how you strike an overall balance between comfort and drag, as does tread and wall suppleness. So, look for a smooth tread tire with decently supple walls,in a width that seems right (1.9") at a price you can live with.

BTW - you might consider me biased. I used to buy H rated tires for my Miata for $85.00ea. I could never bring myself to paying close to that for a bike tire.
FBinNY, I appreciate the suggestion. I can relate, I struggled with paying $50 a tire for my carbide-stud Schwalbe Winters, but they are nearly indestructible and can be partially justified by gas savings. The Compass tires would be strictly recreation. Do you have any specific tires you'd recommend?

CliffordK, you are correct about the bike. My commute is short and I typically commute on a different bike, but I plan to use the Trek with whatever tires I choose for all my recreational road rides, not just the brevet. That mileage is limited to at most a few hundred a year, so it's hard to justify the expense of the Compass. I'll probably pass on the Michelins based on your feedback about the speed.

Originally Posted by clasher View Post
I used schwalbe kojaks for my first year of rando riding, they are fairly supple and I never had any flats on them. They make folding bead in 26” and 700, also a few different widths.
I appreciate the suggestion clasher, I'll add the Schwalbe Kojaks to my list.

Originally Posted by antimonysarah View Post
Compass tires are great. But a compromise tire (I'm not familiar with the ones you're running) might be your best bet. Like I run GravelKings sometimes (I don't think they make a 26", though) when I don't feel like ponying up for Compass/Grand Bois -- IIRC my brevet bike is currently wearing one of each, although I need to get some new rubber.

Do you think the tire speed could be the difference between finishing and not, or between having fun and not?

(I'd disagree with Clifford about not swapping for long rides vs commutes -- if you only have one bike and commute on glass-strewn streets, having more serious puncture-proof tires on for commuting makes sense, and the fancy tires should last a long time if you're only swapping them on for the occasional event.)
Thanks for the perspective antimonysarah, I'm optimistic I can make the time limit (barring injury or severe mechanicals) without the best tires, and I'm sure I'll have fun either way. I think I'm just caught up with the idea of improving my ride in terms of both speed and comfort. I do have a separate commuter bike (1997 Gary Fisher Marlin rigid MTB with touring bars). My commute is short so I'm far less picky about tires for it. These tires would be just for my recreational road riding.

Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Well, some of the randonneurs I know use Compass tires because they're the most wonderful things ever, etc., then you read of their adventures riding a 400k in the rain and having 8 flats in the process or something like that, and it makes you wonder just what they're thinking.


Anyway, my experience- riding Worksman cruiser, using 26x2-1/4" tires that run about $8 each- maybe a flat every 1,000 miles.
Got my Sojourn, it came with Vittoria Randonneur tires 35x700- and very few if any flats.
Switched to Gatorskins, 32mm and 28mm- very few flats.
On my single bike, using Continental 4 seasons- very few flats.
This leads me to believe that wide tires at low pressure don't prevent flats. Having "good" tires, from a flat-proof point of view, does.


Anyway, my advice, use whatever tire you have on there and go ride your 200k, no reason to experiment for that. If you change tires, get in a bunch of local riding before setting off on a 200k, but don't expect it to make a huge difference.
StephenH, that's the first I've heard of Compass tires getting frequent flats, most of the feedback I've seen indicates flats are infrequent at the wider widths (and not unique to Compass). In general, this matches my own experience with frequency of flats. I got more flats on 28mm Panaracer Pasela TourGuards which have puncture protection in fewer miles of riding than my current tires that have no protection whatsoever and have been ridden many more miles over the same roads. Further, I've never gotten pinch flats on tires wider than 32mm, which I have repeatedly on skinnier tires even at 90 psi.

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Another option is to revisit the "road bike".

What happened to the one you had?

I'm not seeing a lot of budget conscious road bikes, but perhaps something like this Sirrus.

https://worcester.craigslist.org/bik...454051459.html

Or, even the Vilano.... not the hottest of bikes, but it could be tuned for the road.

https://worcester.craigslist.org/bik...468437783.html

Then, for puncture resistance, hunt down some "road tires", with extra puncture resistance, such as Gator Hardshells, Specialized Armadillo, Maxxis Refuse, or similar.

Although, I suppose you didn't really mention your budget, or height/size, so off course, the sky is the limit.
I still have my road bike, a 1984 Bridgestone 400. It's generally a great bike, I think it's the combination of my weight and bad roads that makes it less than ideal for me. It currently has 32mm Bontrager T2s on it which are fairly light and supple for the price point, but I still flat way too frequently (like every hundred miles). Also, I enjoy the generally smoother ride of wider tires. I previously had 28mm Panaracer Pasela TourGuards on it, but still had frequent flats, both pinch and puncture.

Anyhow, thanks everyone for the suggestions. I think I will probably just ride what I have for right now and look to upgrade when they wear out. I probably won't get the Compass tires unless I start doing a lot more riding and feel like I can justify it, which is pretty unlikely. That said, I'd love suggestions for cheaper tires to consider that are still wide, fairly light, and fairly supple. Preferably coming less than $50 per tire and 1.5"-2.3". I have had trouble determining which are supple just from description and specs. I know TPI can give a vague idea, but of course there are exceptions. In searching, I've seen some suggestions of Panaracer Pasela (not Tour Guard), Schwalbe Big Apple, Schwalbe Marathon Racer, Vittoria Randonneur Pro, and Maxxis DTH.
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Old 03-07-18, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by herzogone View Post
Thanks for the perspective antimonysarah, I'm optimistic I can make the time limit (barring injury or severe mechanicals) without the best tires, and I'm sure I'll have fun either way. I think I'm just caught up with the idea of improving my ride in terms of both speed and comfort. I do have a separate commuter bike (1997 Gary Fisher Marlin rigid MTB with touring bars). My commute is short so I'm far less picky about tires for it. These tires would be just for my recreational road riding.
Cool! Good luck, and barring something unexpected, I'll see you there -- I'll be the heavyset woman on the white and blue bike.
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Old 03-07-18, 03:54 PM
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I'd dig out your Bridgestone 400, and at least try it out again.

Are you doing any "training rides"? Perhaps a good 50 mile ride or two?

1 flat every 100 miles... so maybe a chance of a flat in your century ride

I always ride prepared for flats (or just about anything), but am probably down to perhaps 1 flat every 500 to 1000 miles or so. Hmmm, I think my only flat this year so far was a flat trailer tire (MOPED)

Watch the tire pressure on the road bike.

Like I said, I've been tending towards Gator Hardshells on my road bikes, but did have one sidewall issue, so perhaps will hunt for my next favorite tire when the current ones I have run out. But, they do generally well with minimizing flats.
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Old 03-07-18, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by antimonysarah View Post
Cool! Good luck, and barring something unexpected, I'll see you there -- I'll be the heavyset woman on the white and blue bike.
Excellent, hopefully see you there! I'll be the slightly overweight bearded white-guy... really defying stereotypes here... if my beard gets a little more gray I'll be obligated to buy a recumbent

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I'd dig out your Bridgestone 400, and at least try it out again.

Are you doing any "training rides"? Perhaps a good 50 mile ride or two?

1 flat every 100 miles... so maybe a chance of a flat in your century ride

I always ride prepared for flats (or just about anything), but am probably down to perhaps 1 flat every 500 to 1000 miles or so. Hmmm, I think my only flat this year so far was a flat trailer tire (MOPED)

Watch the tire pressure on the road bike.

Like I said, I've been tending towards Gator Hardshells on my road bikes, but did have one sidewall issue, so perhaps will hunt for my next favorite tire when the current ones I have run out. But, they do generally well with minimizing flats.
Yeah, I'm just too skittish about riding the Bridgestone long distances after so many flats, plus the ride is harsher. I always carry tools, patches, and tubes, but I still don't enjoy having to do it. I intend to do at least one 50ish mile training ride on the Trek, mostly to double-check bike fit, though it is slightly more relaxed fit than my road bike so I'm not too worried. The longest ride I've done was for the Coffeeneuring Challenge a couple years back on the Bridgestone, from Worcester, MA to Middletown, RI, including a chunk of the brevet route. Distance was about 75 miles. Got a puncture flat 1 mile from my destination. Being so close I just walked the bike even though I had tools and spares. It was the right call because as I was unloading I realized I had brought my Presta-valve pump with my Schrader-valve wheels. I think I'm actually in better shape now than I was then. I'm a weightlifter and I've been doing the classic Tabata program on a stationary bike for cardio conditioning over the last few months, in addition to year-round commuting and various shorter recreational rides for several years.
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Old 03-07-18, 05:53 PM
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Many of the Presta pumps have reversible heads.

Just pop off the cap, and reverse all the pump guts.

It seems like I end up doing the swap regularly between my own use, helping others, and both bike and trailer tires.
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Old 03-08-18, 07:01 AM
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Don't go Kojaks. I have a set for my recumbent, and they are anything but supple. I was pretty surprised how hard of a ride they produced compared to my Primo Comet tires. I have my MTB bike equipped with Rubino Pro Slick 26x1.5 tires, 150TPI, supple as ever, and fast. These would make a perfect 200k randonneur tire if you didn't want to spend the money on Compass tires.
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Old 03-08-18, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by herzogone View Post
...In searching, I've seen some suggestions of Panaracer Pasela (not Tour Guard), Schwalbe Big Apple, Schwalbe Marathon Racer, Vittoria Randonneur Pro, and Maxxis DTH.
I use compass extralights on my randonneuring bikes and like them a lot, but I don't use them on any of my other bikes. If you're just going for the 200k and don't have aspirations for the longer distances then use the tires you have and replace them with paselas when they wear out. I have 26x1.75 paselas on my tandem, and it's a good inexpensive tire.
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Old 03-08-18, 12:21 PM
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I don't think it's worth switching tires for a 200k, unless your current tires are really horrible. I had some Serfas 26" on my commuter that were noticeably draggy, upgrading those was like letting off the brakes. Rolling resistance really starts adding up at the longer distances, 300k+. I'm pretty happy with Gravelkings. I'm hesitant to go lighter than that right now. If I had a flat every 500 miles, I would cry. Changing a flat eats up any time advantage you get from using better tires
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Old 03-10-18, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Many of the Presta pumps have reversible heads.

Just pop off the cap, and reverse all the pump guts.

It seems like I end up doing the swap regularly between my own use, helping others, and both bike and trailer tires.
Thanks for the tip, you got me curious so I compared my two pumps (old Zefal HP frame pumps). My Presta valve lacks the rod to depress the pin of the Schrader valve core and the seal is even smaller at the back end so I don't think it will work in my case. Although I could probably swap the guts between the two if one pump wears out first.

Originally Posted by friday1970 View Post
Don't go Kojaks. I have a set for my recumbent, and they are anything but supple. I was pretty surprised how hard of a ride they produced compared to my Primo Comet tires. I have my MTB bike equipped with Rubino Pro Slick 26x1.5 tires, 150TPI, supple as ever, and fast. These would make a perfect 200k randonneur tire if you didn't want to spend the money on Compass tires.
I appreciate the insight on the Kojaks, I'll add the Rubino Pro Slicks to my list, thanks!

Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I use compass extralights on my randonneuring bikes and like them a lot, but I don't use them on any of my other bikes. If you're just going for the 200k and don't have aspirations for the longer distances then use the tires you have and replace them with paselas when they wear out. I have 26x1.75 paselas on my tandem, and it's a good inexpensive tire.
Thanks for your perspective, I'm glad to hear from someone who has used the Compass extralights. I think I will do exactly what you suggested, keep my existing and probably go with the Paselas when they need replacement. I don't really have any longer distance aspirations yet.

Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I don't think it's worth switching tires for a 200k, unless your current tires are really horrible. I had some Serfas 26" on my commuter that were noticeably draggy, upgrading those was like letting off the brakes. Rolling resistance really starts adding up at the longer distances, 300k+. I'm pretty happy with Gravelkings. I'm hesitant to go lighter than that right now. If I had a flat every 500 miles, I would cry. Changing a flat eats up any time advantage you get from using better tires
Thanks for the input, I have decided to just keep my current tires until I wear them out. They are not bad really, I just was sucked in by the thought of better tires I notice Jan Heine agrees with your advice too from this old blog post: https://janheine.wordpress.com/2013/...randonneuring/ mentioning tires as an upgrade for 300k+. Unfortunately, I don't think Gravel Kings are available for 26" wheels, but I will likely go with Paselas for replacement unless I decide to start doing longer distances.

Everyone, I really appreciate all the feedback I got here, I feel like it saved me from spending more than I was comfortable with for an improvement I don't really yet need. Looking forward to my first brevet!
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Old 03-13-18, 02:26 AM
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Check out the drop bar conversion thread in the classic/vintage section, lot's of setups with slick 26" tires.

I have Continental town and country tires on most of my bikes, cheap wire bead but honestly ride pretty great. I think it's because they have pretty thin sidewalls.

Also tried Tioga powerblock and Maxxis DTH tires, both folding beads with some very shallow tread. Both ride great and almost cheap if you look around ebay/amazon. Mostly stick to the Continental inverted tread town and country because they throw way less gravel at you.

Always wanted to try Kojaks, at least on paper they look good and are crazy light. The DMR supermoto is another one I see on the 26" drop bar thread, similar to the Maxxis/Tioga.

Continental Tow and Country comes in 1.9" and 2.1" I think.
Tioga Powerclock comes in 2.1"
Maxxis DTH comes in 2.15" and 2.3"
DMR Supermoto comes in 2.2"
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Old 03-13-18, 11:11 AM
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I have a bike that I specially made for the Compass Rat Trap Pass tires. It's basically a randonneuring bike by design, Columbus SL tubing, low trail, handlebar bag, dynamo lights &c, but 26" wheels and plenty of clearance. Its purpose was to give me access to the unpaved back roads of New Jersey's pinelands, which are mainly sand, and often so soft that riding is impossible. Fortunately the sugar sand sections are usually small, and I'm back on the bike after walking fifty feet or less. Anyway, that's what this bike is for, though I've also used it for commuting and other rides, including (so far) one randonnee (200k and very hilly).

Anyway, the point of this long rambling post is: the Rat Trap Pass tires seem to me to be very comfortable but rather slow. I have no data to back this up; it's just my impression. Has anyone else used them for long distances? What's your impression?
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Old 03-13-18, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by wesmamyke View Post
Check out the drop bar conversion thread in the classic/vintage section, lot's of setups with slick 26" tires.

I have Continental town and country tires on most of my bikes, cheap wire bead but honestly ride pretty great. I think it's because they have pretty thin sidewalls.

Also tried Tioga powerblock and Maxxis DTH tires, both folding beads with some very shallow tread. Both ride great and almost cheap if you look around ebay/amazon. Mostly stick to the Continental inverted tread town and country because they throw way less gravel at you.

Always wanted to try Kojaks, at least on paper they look good and are crazy light. The DMR supermoto is another one I see on the 26" drop bar thread, similar to the Maxxis/Tioga.

Continental Tow and Country comes in 1.9" and 2.1" I think.
Tioga Powerclock comes in 2.1"
Maxxis DTH comes in 2.15" and 2.3"
DMR Supermoto comes in 2.2"
I'm quite familiar with the drop-bar conversion thread, it was a source of inspiration for my conversion, thanks! I suppose I should post my bike there one of these days. Thanks for the tire suggestions also, I'll check them out.

Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I have a bike that I specially made for the Compass Rat Trap Pass tires. It's basically a randonneuring bike by design, Columbus SL tubing, low trail, handlebar bag, dynamo lights &c, but 26" wheels and plenty of clearance. Its purpose was to give me access to the unpaved back roads of New Jersey's pinelands, which are mainly sand, and often so soft that riding is impossible. Fortunately the sugar sand sections are usually small, and I'm back on the bike after walking fifty feet or less. Anyway, that's what this bike is for, though I've also used it for commuting and other rides, including (so far) one randonnee (200k and very hilly).

Anyway, the point of this long rambling post is: the Rat Trap Pass tires seem to me to be very comfortable but rather slow. I have no data to back this up; it's just my impression. Has anyone else used them for long distances? What's your impression?
Sounds like a great bike! I'm curious if you are using the standard or extralight casings? I understand the standard casings are somewhat slower, but offer better sidewall protection. I've also read it can be difficult to determine tire speed by feel, from here: https://janheine.wordpress.com/2018/...es-are-slower/
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Old 03-13-18, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by herzogone View Post
...

Sounds like a great bike! I'm curious if you are using the standard or extralight casings? I understand the standard casings are somewhat slower, but offer better sidewall protection. I've also read it can be difficult to determine tire speed by feel, from here: https://janheine.wordpress.com/2018/...es-are-slower/
I have the lighter ones ("extra leger"). I have unusually bad flat tire karma, there were several years not long ago when I counted several dozen. But with the Rat Trap Pass tires I don't think I've had a puncture yet, though I did have a tube fail.

I happily concede the point, that my impression (that these tires are slow) is subjective at best and probably useless. Maybe I'll ride that bike on an upcoming randonnee and report back.
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Old 03-13-18, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Fortunately the sugar sand sections are usually small, and I'm back on the bike after walking fifty feet or less. Anyway, that's what this bike is for
I haven't found Rat Traps to be effective on super-loose ocean-beach-like sand. They're too wide to sink and slice a path through it, but also not wide enough to actually float. So they just sort of wallow and drag around, slow and uncontrolled.

Anyway, the point of this long rambling post is: the Rat Trap Pass tires seem to me to be very comfortable but rather slow. I have no data to back this up; it's just my impression. Has anyone else used them for long distances? What's your impression?
I'm not sure what would quality as "long distances"; the longest day rides I've done on my Rat Trap Pass ELs have been about 100 miles, and I haven't taken them touring or whatever.

My experience is that they perform phenomenally well on any surfaces that don't break up badly beneath them, which is basically anything except mud, super-loose sand, and oddball crap like loose railroad ballast. Even on paved roads, when my gravel bike is fitted with the Rat Traps, it seems to hold speed on the flats as easily as my skinny-tired road bikes. They're definitely lively and supple... the road hum astonished me on the first ride, loud even with butyl tubes installed, and much deeper than you get with narrow racing tires.

The paper-thin casing renders them very pressure-sensitive. They're squishier at a given pressure than most 2.1" tires, and quickly make a bike start handling like a boat if you drop too low. And with so little damping, pumping them too stiff is like riding on basketballs.

Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I have the lighter ones ("extra leger"). I have unusually bad flat tire karma, there were several years not long ago when I counted several dozen. But with the Rat Trap Pass tires I don't think I've had a puncture yet, though I did have a tube fail.
I've punctured mine a few times, but less often than with my skinny racing tires.

I'm okay with an occasional flat... I tend to figure that if I never flat my tires, I should switch to something flimsier.
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Old 03-13-18, 07:52 PM
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my rule is when I have a flat, I put on a new tire. I ignore that for flats caused by wires, that doesn't seem to be affected by tire age.
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Old 03-13-18, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
my rule is when I have a flat, I put on a new tire. I ignore that for flats caused by wires, that doesn't seem to be affected by tire age.
If my bikes were equipped with tires that never flatted except from wires or when they were near their demise, I'd replace them with new tires of much greater flimsiness.
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Old 03-23-18, 07:38 PM
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when are you getting pinch flats? Shortly after installing a new tube? The couple I have had were from pumping up the tire too quickly and not letting the tube inflate correctly. I ride Stampede's and havent had a flat yet.
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