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-   -   Help me with my tire selection for 300k-400ks... (https://www.bikeforums.net/long-distance-competition-ultracycling-randonneuring-endurance-cycling/1222618-help-me-my-tire-selection-300k-400ks.html)

GrainBrain 01-28-21 09:14 PM

Help me with my tire selection for 300k-400ks...
 
I'm trying to figure out a 700c tubeless road tire in 35-38mm width? I want to ride some 200 mile, maybe even 240 mile rides; I've done a couple 150 mile rides on my gravel bike with 37mm wtb riddlers. They had worn to a smooth center on the rear, but compared to my previous experience on 25mm GP4KsII they felt smoother and not a lot slower. Maybe 2-3mph slower on short rides? I had nearly the same speed over 120 miles on both, 14 vs 16 mph.

I'm having a hard time deciding between 35, 38mm? I'd probably do about 10 miles of gravel so I think I'll stay above 32mm. I'll have two wheelsets, and I already have gravel king SK 38mm for off road so I'm leaning more towards a dedicated slick over the continental terra tires or even the gravel king SS.

My route would be decent and relatively debris clear two lane roads for 20% then the rest on rail trails. I would say no mud to worry about.

I've though about:
  • Gravel king slick, non protection
  • Gravel king SS, non protection
  • Soma supple vitesse sl k
  • Rene Herse standard casing barlow pass/bon jon
  • Schwalbe G one speed
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!

unterhausen 01-28-21 09:55 PM

When I had to do this I got some Maxxis velocita 40mm. I did fine with those on a 600k, including plenty of spirited group riding. I probably would have gotten gravelking slicks, but I don't think they were tubeless at that time.

GrainBrain 01-29-21 06:39 AM

Thanks for the Maxxis info that's another to consider. If I can squeeze 38mm SKs under my fenders I could probably fit 40 but it would be really tight then. Makes me really consider Schwalbe with it's similar tread but greater width selection.

Sounds like I should stay around 38mm for tire width.

unterhausen 01-29-21 07:38 AM

If you have clearance issues, why not go with 35?

unterhausen 01-29-21 09:06 AM

I rode a 38SK on a road 100k and it wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be. I have a 200km gravel route, which is probably 2/3 paved, so the SK's get a decent amount of road riding. I wouldn't pick them for road tires, but they never felt like they were rolling through molasses, like a 25mm Specialized armadillo. Although now all the shops are carrying the + model that probably has changed for the worse

The problem I have with the GK slicks is the tread wears quickly. Rene Herse are said to be better in that regard, but they are quite a bit more expensive.

clasher 01-29-21 03:41 PM

I did a 200 and 300 on some 32mm gravel kings slicks, they were pretty smooth rolling for me but for gravel I'd go wider if that frame could fit them, they aren't my favourite when there is fresh gravel or loose stuff. I had good experiences with whatever the RH 38mm slicks are called. If clearance is tight I'd err on the side of caution and go a bit smaller.

unterhausen 01-29-21 04:28 PM

On Mac 'n' Cheese, they ripped up a road between the time that the pre-ride happened and when we rode it. It was about a mile of gravel. Everyone was standing around looking at the horribly rocky mess that was left, but I wanted lunch so I just rode over it. I always ride 32mm GK on my road bike. It wasn't pleasant, but the tires weren't damaged. I was not going back into the headwind to get to the first paved road, that probably would have taken 30 minutes. I would have been a lot happier on my 38mm tires.

GrainBrain 01-29-21 08:05 PM

I went and dug out the bike (been on the treadmill a lot instead, bleh). Turns out my GK SK 38's measure 40. :o These are 19mm inner width I think.
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...16b39300c8.jpg




The fenders measure a touch wider, and it looks like a ton of room between them and the tire.
https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...e9b8830e46.jpg

These SKs are funny, they sound like an aircraft on pavement. Felt stiffer then my riddlers but were quicker and smoother. Not awful on pavement but I'm going best of both worlds with two wheelsets so I can gain even two mph; over ten hours that's like an extra hour!. These SKs are great for everyday rides. Have yet to do a gravel century on these like the riddler's, I really made use of the Riddler's larger side lugs a few times encountering soft spots.

GrainBrain 01-30-21 11:23 AM

unterhausen You have me considering those Maxxis tires. I read into them and like the idea of running a higher mileage compound down the middle with grippier compound on the sides. They feature sidewall protection which is a plus. From what I could dig up people seemed to like them. Could you point me to a thread or maybe expand on these tires abit? It was hard to find any reviews on the tire, maybe only a couple.

I did learn that Chen Shing tires are actually behind the Maxxis moniker, to my surprise! I had a pair of 27" cheapie wire bead Cheng Shins that I ran on my winter beater and I was impressed by them. I had expected junk but they were grippy and quick rolling. Now I know 🤔

Cycletography 01-31-21 04:03 AM

FYI regarding the Gravel King line... expect them to all measure about 3mm more than stated width. I'm running a 700x35 GK+ on my front wheel and a 700X35 SS+ on the rear. Both tires measure 38mm wide at pressure. I don't have enough miles on them yet, so I can't comment about longevity. However, I really like this setup so far. I ride mostly on tarmac, but on the limited amount of light gravel and sand that I've encountered the tires have performed well.

As for the Maxxis Velocita, I've not used that model specifically; but I've used several models of Maxxis tires and they have all performed extremely well.

unterhausen 01-31-21 11:16 AM

They redoodled the sizing on Gravel Kings so they are more true to size. Are your tires fairly recent?

I just picked up the Velocitas on the recommendation of my LBS, so I didn't do any research. Needed a slick tubeless 40mm and that's what they had.
I think there was a problem getting slick GK at that time. It was when they were introducing the + casing for one thing.
Just don't get the refuse. I refuse to use a tire named after trash.

kingston 02-01-21 02:55 PM

I have a set of Barlow Pass EL (tubed) on one of my bikes and haven't found a better mixed-surface tire. GK's are almost as good for a fraction of the cost.

rhm 02-03-21 08:46 AM


Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 21901150)
On Mac 'n' Cheese, they ripped up a road between the time that the pre-ride happened and when we rode it. It was about a mile of gravel. Everyone was standing around looking at the horribly rocky mess that was left, but I wanted lunch so I just rode over it. I always ride 32mm GK on my road bike. It wasn't pleasant, but the tires weren't damaged. I was not going back into the headwind to get to the first paved road, that probably would have taken 30 minutes. I would have been a lot happier on my 38mm tires.

I was on 53 mm RTP tires, and I didn't slow down much, and it didn't seem very long. I'd estimate 1.2 km. So, that's about 1200 km on 53 mm tires, and for that 0.1% of the ride, I was really thankful to have them.

On the other hand, I was pretty happy to have fat tires even when skinny tires would have been fine.

downtube42 02-03-21 09:24 AM

I've done a number of 100k and 200k rides on GK Slicks, tubeless, since building my bike up last summer. I love the ride, but I've suffered numerous flats from cuts that I was able to plug on the road. A couple times the plug didn't seal fully, and i was stopping to pump up every so often. Not fun on a 200k in the cold rain. I've gone through six tires in about 3,000 miles. Maybe those would have happened with any tire, but I'm looking for options.

unterhausen 02-03-21 10:49 AM

6 tires in 3000 miles is bad. I think I said upthread i get about 2k miles out of them before the tread on the back is gone. I haven't tried the + yet, but if they don't roll as well as the non +, I'm definitely switching

Toespeas 02-03-21 11:13 AM

Id just ask why you would want to do 300 miles on inefficient tires in one ride , if you are only doing 10 miles of gravel , i know people that have done huge rides on grav majority , but if its 10 miles of grav and 290 miles of pave , just go with road tires and use your skills **********

GrainBrain 02-03-21 01:54 PM

Thanks for the replies people! Yes only 10 miles of gravel over 300 miles total isn't a big deal. I don't even need to ride any gravel but it helps with the route. Anyway I've noticed that a good number of long haulers prefer a wider tire, and now many claim the larger tire to be as efficient in long endurance rides so that's why I was asking what size (32mm to 40mm) would work best.

I'm a little disappointed in the less then stellar comments on gravel kings. I'm inclined to think I don't need the extra flat protection that the GK +, Gatorskin, ReFuse have. I've ridden these routes and area on 25mm Four Seasons and GP4KsII tubed with maybe a puncture every 20 days. Obviously a rough estimate but we don't have goat heads or anything. When I went tubeless I've yet to have a puncture that won't seal.

I think I will try the Maxxis Velocita EXO. As I noted before I like the sidewall protection, dual compound and the high wear center tread.

GrainBrain 03-13-21 09:01 PM

450 miles on the Maxxis Velocita so far...
 
tl;dr: Excellent wear, fast at recommended pressure of 55-75 for 185lb rider. Nice to have the volume of a 40mm tire. Will probably use these for general use and buy Rene Herse 35mm tire for my long rides. I ran these tubeless with Stan's sealant.

Ran these tires at 35/35psi for a 75 mile ride and a few shorter 20 mile trips. Wasn't too impressed, they were smooth but took a lot of effort to turn. There's a note on the tires recommending a much higher range of 55-75 so I put the front to 55 and the rear to 65. It was much quicker now and not terribly harsh. I'll do a usual 30 mile out and back on gravel. These Maxxis feel as fast as my "38mm" GK SK's but I can notice a difference in tire volume on gravel. I feel more confident blasting over bad line choices. On pavement they seem to be a tad quicker, but also less noisy.

Today I did my first century of the season and averaged close to what I accomplished on my lemond with 25mm tires. Still off by a few mph from my fastest time set though. However I did have 20 miles of gravel and the volume was welcome! Not just for gravel though - it plows through some nasty spring roads full of pot holes and expansion cracks. The added security was welcome once I started to fatigue.

However, for my long distance wants,
At the pressure I'm running I might as well run a 32mm tire. I think these Velocitas will be my new gravel/daily workout tires. I'm close to just buying some barlow pass from Rene Herse and being done with it, I really want that extra few miles per hour. I had the opportunity to buy 32mm GK TLR slicks for $35/piece but ignored it. Maybe I should've gone that route but even if the RH tires are pricey I won't run them all the time. I think it's worth it when I could get a handful of seasons out of them, rotating them off for the Maxxis except for those few long rides.

kingston 03-14-21 11:21 AM

When I first started riding compass tires I thought I would just use them for brevets. In the grand scheme of things I have found that swapping tires for a single ride isn't worth the hassle for me unless I have multiple wheel sets for that bike.

GrainBrain 03-14-21 04:42 PM


Originally Posted by kingston (Post 21966773)
When I first started riding compass tires I thought I would just use them for brevets. In the grand scheme of things I have found that swapping tires for a single ride isn't worth the hassle for me unless I have multiple wheel sets for that bike.

I do have a separate wheelset to use so that will help I think. Thanks for the info before about the barlow pass EL being close to the GK slick. I mentioned I saw 32mm GK at $35/pc. That's way cheaper then the Rene Herse!! So do you keep using the fancy tires or are you back to something cheaper?

Since I log my rides with Strava I had the ability to compare older rides. These Maxxis tires are pretty quick, especially when you consider their size. My century yesterday was a little above average speed wise, and I was above average for a lot of the segments. I only had 350 base miles down, having stopped riding from mid December and only restarting the last week of February.

adamrice 03-15-21 08:49 AM

Not a direct answer, but if you haven't seen it before, you might want to check out the website Bicycle Rolling Resistance.

kingston 03-15-21 10:23 AM


Originally Posted by GrainBrain (Post 21967244)
...So do you keep using the fancy tires or are you back to something cheaper?...

I'm not a convert to wide tires for everyday road/training rides, so the vast majority of my miles are on 25mm tires. I go through a lot of those so I'm not too picky about it and usually just add something on sale to get free shipping on some other order. 28mm is my preferred width for most paved brevets, and I'm content with GK's or GP5000's. They're good enough and at ~$35/tire I don't feel bad replacing them before they're completely worn out so I can run newish tires for long rides. I'm still running Compass tires on my bike with 32's but will probably replace them with something cheaper when they wear out. At 38, I'm also running Compass and will likely stick with RH when they wear out. Seems worth it to me at that width and I haven't seen the GK 38's for ~$35 like I have for the narrower widths so the price difference isn't as significant. My 32 & 38mm tire bikes are relatively low mileage bikes in my fleet, so the tires last several seasons which is why they still have Compass tires. I haven't found any detectable difference in average speed between any decent set of tires. So many other things affect average speed on long rides that tire choice is a fairly negligible factor. The difference for me with the Compass/RH tires is ride quality, which gets more noticeable as tires get wider and air pressure goes down.

antimonysarah 03-23-21 12:49 PM

I've done lots of 300k-400ks on GP4000/5000s, 25 or 28mm. Like them better than the Compass/GKs at that width, but all of them were fine. Have also done one mixed-terrain 200k on 38mm GK slicks (different bike) which were just fine too.

But, I will say: 14mph vs 16mph is a big difference. That's two hours on a 400k. (And two hours of SLEEP on a 600k, but it doesn't sound like you care about that -- yet.) Though I'm guessing slick vs non-slick is a lot of that, rather than any other differences in the tires.

unterhausen 03-23-21 08:52 PM

Yes, if there is a way to gain 2 mph over 400k, sign me up.

GrainBrain 04-08-21 07:27 PM

832 miles so far on Maxxis
 
Holding up well to the abuse I put these through. Running 60/65psi f/r. Took them on the local single track green belt, performed really well - cleaned all the climbs, a few with tricky roots. 5 miles of that. Had a few impacts from stubby trunks that made me cringe.

Did another century, 20 miles of gravel included. Haven't had any major punctures, haven't noticed any at all really. Pretty fast and a good ride.

I think I will eventually throw on a 32mm GK ...


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