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Help me with my tire selection for 300k-400ks...

Old 04-09-21, 09:52 AM
  #26  
GhostRider62
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I have done a ton of tire testing in a variety of ways. Really fast tires on real (good) roads might have as low as 0.0042 Crr and pretty good tires might roll at 0.0055 but lousy tires can be as high as 0.01!! If someone is interested in a decent Crr estimate on real roads, temperature stability is critical. RChung method at two speeds lets you get a pretty darned good estimate of Crr. The best I ever measured was 0.004 with GP5000 and latex tubes on good roads, Supersonics with latex also in that range. The rolling resistance figures from drums are generally helpful to order tires but they way, way underestimate real road conditions. My favorite very quick and dirty test is to rolldown a shallow hill from a marked position on a perfectly calm day. I only hit a peak speed of 9-10 mph. Then, I roll on a flat until friction pulls me to a complete halt. I have a control set of wheels. I compare against that control on that day. My testing like that was always aligned qualitatively in rank position to Tom Anhalt's testing. It helps if you think you have a new tire that is bad and sadly, that happens.

The effect on average speed going from 0.0042 to 0.0055 is much more apparent on a very aerodynamic bike like a laidback recumbent. It can be 1 mph. I had found that it was only 1 km/h on my upright. (I am neglecting aerodynamic effects in my statement). Riding at modest speeds like a long distance brevet? Comfort, durability (puncture resistance), and Crr in the order are how I think about it. At higher speeds of say a recumbent or velomobile, other factors come into play. For instance, how does the tire fail? If the casing ruptures spectacularly, you are potentially facing a very serious crash if it happens on the rear of a tadpole trike (velomobile) or the front tire on a recumbent, Aerodynamics are also more important.

The best to decent tires might only cost 10 watts at modest speeds, about the cost of a poorly maintained chain. But 10 cents here and 10 cents there, it eventually adds up to dollars or more poignantly, more sleep in a long brevet.

Personally, I will never again ride a brevet with gravel due to risks on gravel and if the choice was a slightly longer route, I would put fast tires on and just suck it up.

A velomobile rider had some pretty decent tests of the G One Speed, it rolled pretty well but there were better. I have found Schwalbe tires and ultralight tubes to be slower than expected....a bit less average than Compass tires but I do not trust the casings and such a failure on a bent could be death because the speeds are very high on one. The Compass tires are comfortable for sure and they roll pretty well. Me? I only ride Conti.

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Old 04-09-21, 07:15 PM
  #27  
unterhausen
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Personally, I will never again ride a brevet with gravel due to risks on gravel and if the choice was a slightly longer route, I would put fast tires on and just suck it up..
So I guess I will not be able to interest you in my gravel 200K?
Everyone has finished it so far, although we did have a crash on the first scouting ride.
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Old 04-10-21, 11:39 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
So I guess I will not be able to interest you in my gravel 200K?
Everyone has finished it so far, although we did have a crash on the first scouting ride.
Very difficult on 25mm tires on recumbent that is not only laid back but the CG also down low making balance doubly more challenging. There is gravel and there is gravel. Towpath along the Delaware is tame. Some Forest Service roads? I would want to be in a lifted off road motor vehicle although you will see cyclists on them. A recumbent that has wider tires, a more upright seat angle, and a higher overall position would be more suitable and doable for a younger buck. I went into a "gravel" section on a brevet and immediately flatted both tires and went down and I have to admit, this was the only brevet that I ever quit. I was not really hurt that bad, I was sick and tired of riding a recumbent and always being in pain. I am not proud, I gave up. I like dirt roads on uprights but I just am not skilled or it could be a vestibular thing, loose gravel gets me. The gravel was largish chunks of granite usually reserved for the first layer of a highway. There is no way to unweight or maneuver like on an upright. I like the DC crowd handles gravel or at least as I remember. They give you two options with the road option the longer one and maybe more climbing. Thanks for the invite, it is more than I can handle and I understand it is a bit hilly, too.
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Old 04-10-21, 12:24 PM
  #29  
unterhausen
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The 200k in question has been finished at least twice on a recumbent, although that bike has reasonable size tires, 50mm or so. Granted, the crash on the scouting ride was also the recumbent.
I tried to get it up to 9000 feet of climbing, but couldn't do it without making it longer. Not a towpath
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Old 04-10-21, 12:37 PM
  #30  
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The Iowa randonneurs do rides near you as well if you're looking for other routes/rides.

I'm getting a late start this year but I need to start logging some miles as well.
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Old 04-11-21, 06:51 PM
  #31  
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Yes riding with the Iowa rando club will would be nice. I have yet to commit, I'm tight for time so I've kicked around buying a trainer to stay in shape. Doing a whole series seems like it would be tough, like a 1200.

I've been using my treadmill alot, and constantly talking about weight lifting. My longest rides have been 150 miles, I can do a century at 7 hours, and for back to back days. Just thinking of 200 miles seems tough with these tires. Not that they're bad, they're nice. I just wonder if I'll see a speed increase going to 32s. The gravel I'd have to use would be very rideable, but I would ride it slower then my 40s. Thing is I'd only have 25ish miles of gravel total, with each segment no longer then 8 miles and they're a few hours apart. I'm afraid I'd miss the volume of the 40, but they don't just cruise along and saving weight off the wheelset seems tempting.

​​​​​
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Old 04-13-21, 04:41 AM
  #32  
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I've read some tire threads on here and I understand I can get 100 different answers so I'm really curious to hear your comparisons. Like have you ridden multiple sizes of the gravel king and what differences have you felt? Should I consider 32mm? Thanks again!
I always thought tire-size selection, much like all sorts of sporting equipment - should be based on the size of the athlete. Typically, bigger riders need bigger tires.
Of course, tires do not perform their function without being influenced by the size and type of rim they are mated with.
And of course, modern technology forces a rider to consider a range of tube sizes and or no tube at all tire-configurations.

And last but not least - each rider has their own innate comfort/compliance/performance expectations of a wheel setup for a given bicycle ride or event. All the elements listed above are a compromise of these "ride characteristics."
And the priorities or importance of the these compromises are only to be considered in the context of a "300k to 400k" scenario - as the OP to distinctly notes in the subject of the thread.

OK - now that everything is cleared up and decided - go ride.

.
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Old 04-14-21, 08:32 AM
  #33  
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It has been a long time since I rode in Iowa, but I doubt the roads have gotten better since I did. I doubt you will pick up much speed by going to 32 over 40mm tires. And you certainly will lose speed on the gravel. I have ridden gravel on 32mm tires and it's not great. I don't see the weight being that much of a difference even if you sprint to every town limit sign.
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Old 04-14-21, 01:05 PM
  #34  
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There is gravel and there is gravel.

Last summer I frequently rode on three Wisconsin rail trails, one of them had a good firm base, 32mm road tires were fine. I used 37mm tires on the other two that were pretty firm but occasional soft spots.

Two years ago, one of the trails that I used 37mm tires on last year, two years ago I was using 57mm mountain bike tires because they had repaired a number of washouts with beach sand, you would be riding along at 12 to 15 mph and with narrower tires you could suddenly hit a soft spot and dig in and lose the ability to steer. Some of my friends crashed with narrower tires.

I have toured on gravel roads that were as solid as asphalt, but I have also toured on gravel 4X4 roads that was so rough that if you saw something smaller than a tennis ball in the road you did not bother trying to miss it. I have also toured on gravel roads that had washboard that was so rough I could not go over 8 or 9 km/hr.

There is a huge range of gravel.
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Old 04-18-21, 07:14 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
The 200k in question has been finished at least twice on a recumbent, although that bike has reasonable size tires, 50mm or so. Granted, the crash on the scouting ride was also the recumbent.
I tried to get it up to 9000 feet of climbing, but couldn't do it without making it longer. Not a towpath
I finished it 3 times officially for RUSA credit and one time informally (the last time we scouted it and when we were still questioning the feasibility of you and I riding it within the time limit). The earlier scouting ride crash was bad judgment on my part. Crossing the crown of a recently re-graded dirt and gravel road at relatively high speed without sitting up was stupid. You live and learn. I used 42mm tires because that was the fattest that would fit in the fork. Something fatter would be better.
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Old 04-18-21, 12:36 PM
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Yeah that soft crown has nearly put me down sideways a few times as well. I'm really loving these 40mm Maxxis tires, I'm starting to see that the middle tread of maybe 32mm is all that touches the road when going straight. Of course on gravel the contact pad is probably larger.

For the gravel segments I'll be on I could ride them at an acceptable pace probably. Though it would not be pleasant if it's freshly graded. Would probably scout those sections the day before.

As I gain back the spring form I've been putting in times close to what I did with the LeMond and 25mm tires. I feel far less beaten up! The LeMond excelled on the smooth rail trails but oh those frost cracks on the roads were brutal after 120 miles.

Nutrition wise I've gotten close to putting together a decent food intake of rotating 200 cal servings of rice/cream cheese cakes, hammer nutrition bars, white bread with soft cheese or butter/jam/PB. Mixing in 100 calories of HEED with my water. Been trying to get used to taking small bites and chewing well.

I'm getting excited about the nicer weather, soon I'll have a chance to get a good 4am start and aim for a 14 hour ride and see where I end up. After I manage to get at least 150 miles in then I'll really know if I want to go with some Rene Herse or not. Previous century attempts I ate too much too quickly around 60 miles and it put me off a bit the last 20 miles.
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Old 05-31-21, 08:14 AM
  #37  
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1600 miles on the Maxxis Velocita

Even with my rear tire snafu my 160 mile ride I completed was as fast as any I had done previously on skinnier tires. I also felt orders of magnitude "fresher" at the end. The Velocita's are currently at 1,600 miles total.

Still have 120 TPI front tire with "Exo shield" sidewall protection. Ordered new rear 60 TPI tire with "Exo shield" bead-bead protection.

Finally got 160 mile ride on the tires. Inflated 50psi they rode great and felt fine. Averaged 15mph and didn't feel beaten at the end. There was some wear on the front, and the rear tire had worn a smooth line through the middle of the micro-tread.

At 80 miles I had a snafu with the rear tire, had a large bubble form. It popped and the sealant fixed the leak, but the casing had separated from the inner chords in an area the size of a dime. There was a gash in the outer tire casing the length of a dime and it had pulled away slightly to where you could see the chords. It was on the edge of the main tread, where the file tread starts. Pressures higher then 35psi would cause the gash to reopen but otherwise it wasn't noticable. It cost me on my average speed but I still finished the ride! The gash had formed from the bubble popping - I'm guessing I had somehow damaged a few of the tires inner chords through some debris.

I think the tire failure was my fault, I have been careless about my line choices and ride in sections of the road where I'm likely to pickup debris. Interestingly I had a WTB Riddler tire on the rear fail about the same way (at ~2.5k). So I ordered another Maxxis Velocita 40mm tire, but this time I chose the "SilkShield" protection layer, which is bead to bead protection similar to Panaracer "plus" puncture protection. The tire is rated for less TPI and probably less supple, but since the rear tire takes so much abuse I'll accept the trade-off.
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Old 06-07-21, 09:36 AM
  #38  
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I have been riding the Continental Grand Prix Urban/Urban GP 35-622 these past few years. Fairly supple and lightweight with decent flat resistance. Plus they look great in the brown skinwall version. The reflective stripe is a bonus too.

On my long-distance tourer/gravelbike I want to try the new Pirelli Cinturato gravel H in 40-622 but they can be had in 35-622 as well. They have less rolling resistance than a Schwalbe G-One Allround apparently.
They are designed for hard packed gravel. I enjoyed this review on them.



(Continental Urban GP)
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Old 06-29-21, 01:33 PM
  #39  
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I would think Rene Herse right of the bat.
I run Teravail Ramparts "Light & Supple" on mostly country roads & rail trail and love them. They are 700 x 42 though.
They come in a 700x38
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Old 12-14-21, 05:15 PM
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4,600 miles on the front Velocita with just sidewall protection(exo); 3,000 miles on the rear with bead-bead protection(silk shield).

I did these tires a disservice when I initially bought them, and ran them at 60/70psi. Now I run them at 45/50 on the road. I think I shortened the first rear tires life by being over pressure and picking lines with lots of debris. I swapped in a new rear tire at 1,600 miles and haven't noticed much of a difference between the two types of tire. You can see spots on the front tire where it had started to bubble. I think I was in error by running over 50psi tubeless on these.

I'll continue to run them, and I have been pleased with their performance! When they do wear out I'll look to replace them with something in a 35 to 38mm for long distance rando. There's still some other tires to try.



Are these images huge? Should I resize?

Edited to say usage wise I'm guessing it was 65% gravel / 35% pavement over the life of these tires. These saw a ton of gravel.

​​​​​

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Old 12-14-21, 05:29 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
I have been riding the Continental Grand Prix Urban/Urban GP 35-622 these past few years. Fairly supple and lightweight with decent flat resistance. Plus they look great in the brown skinwall version. The reflective stripe is a bonus too.
Those look really great but they're not tubeless? That's a bummer because this seems to check a lot of boxes for me. I love the black chili compound.
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Old 12-14-21, 07:02 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
Are these images huge? Should I resize?​​​​​
Good by me (I love geeking out about tires), but flipping them to be horizontal would work better for mobile phones.

Hope to see you on some brevets next spring!
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Old 12-15-21, 03:37 AM
  #43  
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When they wear out?

Blowouts can be painful, just saying.
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Old 12-15-21, 09:00 AM
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Velocitas barely have any tread to begin with, so that doesn't really look too bad. But I think with that gravel/pavement percentage split I would go with something with small knobs instead of what is essentially a slick.
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