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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 09-07-08, 08:29 PM   #1
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Tires, tires, tires

I've been reading through a variety of forums trying to decide what to do about my tires. I have a Giant TCX cyclocross bike that came with some Kendal 700x30cm tires. These have worked fine for off road pursuits, but I'm looking for some road tires for doing centuries.

So far the cyclocross section hasn't helped- since I'm not using them off road. I looked through the touring section, but I dodn't need a super fat tire because I am not carrying that heavy of a load- I have an Xtracycle for that stuff. Commuters seem to be more interested in durability- rather than rolling resistance. The road racers go for some super skinny stuff that seem to be too harsh for longer rides- and centuries are what I'm aiming for.

Given all of this, what would you suggest- both width and name brand. Since I have cantilever brakes I can take as fat a tire as they make, but I'm just not sure I need anything more than a 30cm.

Thanks in advance- this forum has been a wealth of information in the past.

Jon
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Old 09-07-08, 08:36 PM   #2
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my buddy is using the rivendell ruffy tuffy's on his cross bike for longer rides and loves them, they ride better than super light race tires which is nice for a stiff cross bike but are still a good deal faster than heavy touring tires

LINK: http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=10-043
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Old 09-07-08, 11:45 PM   #3
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Maxxis re-fuse 25mm - comfortable, quick, good longevity, don't seem to get many flats. Not too pricey.

Continental ultragatorskins 26 or 28mm - the guy I've spoken to who has used both these and the Maxxis prefers the gatorskins because they are a bit faster.

Vittoria Zaffiro - haven't tried it but I gather it is similar to the Maxxis and Continental above.

Vittoria Randonneur 28mm - a little harsh compared to the Maxxis. Look like they'll last for ever. Not slower, but over the course of the day I think the more comfortable tyre will be better. I'd say try one of the others above first.
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Old 09-08-08, 07:28 AM   #4
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Grand Bois 700Cx30 would be an excellent choice. vintagebicyclepress.com to order.
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Old 09-08-08, 09:31 AM   #5
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grand bois 700cx30 would be an excellent choice. Vintagebicyclepress.com to order.
+1
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Old 09-08-08, 02:04 PM   #6
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Grand Bois 700Cx30 would be an excellent choice. vintagebicyclepress.com to order.
+2

i just got some GB 28's from there and i love em!! they roll very nicely. (and some say the roll even better once they're "broken in," we'll see)
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Old 09-08-08, 03:11 PM   #7
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That's quite a price difference!

I see that the Vittoria Zaffiro's are less than $12 a piece (http://www.ebikestop.com/vittoria_za...28c-TR3446.php) while the GrandBois go for $55 a piece (http://www.vintagebicyclepress.com/tireoffer.html).

I don't want to come off as a cheapskate, but is it really worth it to spend an extra $86 on a set of tires? Will they make that much of a difference? I have no problem spending money on my hobbies, but I don't like to waste money on my hobbies.

Thanks again,

Jon
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Old 09-08-08, 03:45 PM   #8
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totally valid point - i'm not sure what 'extra' benefit the GB's offer, but personally i just wanted to give them a shot and see how they were. (i hear lots about GB tires from other randos)

if money is a concern, i'd say go with the cheaper tires and see how they feel. at $12 a piece it's not too much of a gamble.
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Old 09-08-08, 03:48 PM   #9
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i'm a fan of the conti 4 seasons in 28. they measure closer to 27.
haven't spent the $$ on the GBs as I haven't seen a pair in the wild, and I only know a few people that ride them (not local).

i do plenty of 'mixed terrain' rides - gravel, dirt, crumbling pavement - haven't wanted to take a chance sight unseen on the GBs.
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Old 09-08-08, 06:16 PM   #10
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+1 on the Conti 4 Season 700x28c.
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Old 09-08-08, 09:27 PM   #11
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Grand Bois 700Cx30 would be an excellent choice. vintagebicyclepress.com to order.
+3. I've ridden very few tires of any type/diameter that are this comfortable and this fast, and that includes most tubulars. The fly in the ointment is that they are slightly more puncture prone than average, in my experience.
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Old 09-09-08, 09:16 PM   #12
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Making the right choice

Jon,

I bought new light weight wheels for my Giant FCR and was going through the same thing about tire choice. Before you make a decision about tire brand, size and model you should determine what features are the most important to you in a tire.

Puncture Resistance
Rolling Resistance
Weight
TPI (flexibility of the tire)
Foldable
Wet Weather Handling
Ride Comfort

Looking at different tire brands, a century tire puts you somwhere in between a road touring tire and an urban tire.

Touring tires will be on the thiner side giving you less rolling resistance (higher psi) and a lighter weight. TPI will very depending on puncture resistance (lower TPI) vs flexibility for corning at higher speeds (higher TPI). Then there is the question of slicks vs a groved tire. Look for groved tires if riding on wet roads is a possibility. Do you need a foldable tire for a spare in case of a tire failure, they are also lighter.

Urban/Commuting tires are wider and therefore provide more comfort (lower psi) for longer rides. The wider widths will also be heavier and create more rolling resistance.

So on your longer rides what are your priorities for a tire?

Kendra, Panaracer, Michelin, Continental, Schwalbe, Vittoria, Vredestein, Maxxis all make great tires. Some suggestions;

Touring - 700 x 23c,25c
Kenda - C2C, Konstrictor, Kriterium, Kaliente
Panaracer - Stradius Elite Z, Stradius Elite TG
Vittoria - lots of choices by TPI - http://www.vittoria.com/index.php
Schwalbe - a good place to look based on your priorities for tire performance - http://www.schwalbetires.com/
Maxxis - Detonator and Re-Fuse
Vredestein - Fortezza line

Urban Tires - 700 x 28c, 32c, 35c
Kenda - Kwick Trak, Kwick Roller Sport, Kwick EZ-Ride
Schwalbe - see link
Vitorria - see link
Panaracer - Paslea
Vredestein - Perfect Moiree

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-09-08, 09:49 PM   #13
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+1 on the Conti 4 Season 700x28c.

+1 I run these on my Trek 520. I got 3000 miles out of the last set with only one flat, due to a small piece of glass. I retired them for a new set before riding HHH a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 09-09-08, 11:58 PM   #14
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+3. I've ridden very few tires of any type/diameter that are this comfortable and this fast, and that includes most tubulars. The fly in the ointment is that they are slightly more puncture prone than average, in my experience.
i was on a 300k with a guy who got 4 or 5 flats in this one ride.. on GBs.

but i thought the newer ones were supposed to be better? (his were supposedly an older model or something)
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Old 09-10-08, 09:24 AM   #15
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michelin pro race 2 come in a 700x25 that is bigger than most other tires 28 size. very nice and light
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Old 09-10-08, 10:11 AM   #16
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schwalbe tyres.
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Old 09-10-08, 11:19 AM   #17
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Continental ultragatorskins 26 or 28mm - the guy I've spoken to who has used both these and the Maxxis prefers the gatorskins because they are a bit faster.
Can't say anything to comparison shopping them, but I've got 28mm Conti UG's on my bike and I love 'em. It's my do-everything ride, so I've had everything from 70 pounds of groceries loaded on it for a couple miles, down to just a seat wedge for a century. The UG's are worlds lighter than a tire like the Marathon Plus, and don't give the same 'tippy' feel of the Schwalbes (with their very thick puncture resistance layer.)
I've got just shy of 3000 miles on my UGs, through all sorts of roadways; from glassy smooth to chip-sealed. They give enough cushion to be comfortable, roll smoothly, and offer enough puncture resistance that they're my commuter tire. 1 flat in 3000 miles is acceptable by my count.
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Old 09-10-08, 01:46 PM   #18
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The UG's are worlds lighter than a tire like the Marathon Plus, and don't give the same 'tippy' feel of the Schwalbes (with their very thick puncture resistance layer.)
True, I wouldn't really recommend Marathon Plus for randonneuring, but Schwalbe has got a lot of other tires. I personally went for the Marathon Racer, 350g for 700*30C, that's not too bad I think.
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Old 09-10-08, 02:06 PM   #19
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kenda c2c's (23mm) are really nice...tricky to find lately though...
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Old 09-10-08, 05:02 PM   #20
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i was on a 300k with a guy who got 4 or 5 flats in this one ride.. on GBs.

but i thought the newer ones were supposed to be better? (his were supposedly an older model or something)
I'd be pretty displeased with 4-5 flats in less than 200 miles, but I'd also chalk it up to some pretty bad luck. I guess I had 4-5 flats during the lifespan of my set, and I consider that excessive. My current Grand Boise are the Hetre 42mm 650b and so far (2000 miles or so) I have had no flats and very little wear. I figure these will go 5000 miles on the back and ???? on the front. But they are a little heavier than most "performance" cyclists want to use.

As for new vs. old, AFAIK the "old" ones were the white labels and haven't been available for quite some time -- several years, I think. The "new" ones are the green labels and what everyone has been using, myself included. If there are newer ones than that I am not aware of it, but what I am unaware of is a lot.

HTH!
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Old 09-12-08, 07:13 AM   #21
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I'd be pretty displeased with 4-5 flats in less than 200 miles, but I'd also chalk it up to some pretty bad luck. I guess I had 4-5 flats during the lifespan of my set, and I consider that excessive. My current Grand Boise are the Hetre 42mm 650b and so far (2000 miles or so) I have had no flats and very little wear. I figure these will go 5000 miles on the back and ???? on the front. But they are a little heavier than most "performance" cyclists want to use.

As for new vs. old, AFAIK the "old" ones were the white labels and haven't been available for quite some time -- several years, I think. The "new" ones are the green labels and what everyone has been using, myself included. If there are newer ones than that I am not aware of it, but what I am unaware of is a lot.

HTH!
4 or 5 flats in 200 miles is not the tire's fault. Perhaps a piece of glass was left embedded in the tire? Although Grand Bois tires are not particularly flat-proof, the lower pressure does help reduce flats. I rarely have flats on long rides with them.
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Old 09-13-08, 06:02 PM   #22
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I want to thank everyone for their input and I decided to go with the Vittoria Zaffiro's- the $12 price was just too good to pass up. I figured I would give them a try and if they finally give out I'll check back to this thread and maybe try something more expensive.

One more question about these tires.

They say that you can inflate them anywhere between 70 psi and 120 psi. I was wondering what everyone else runs their tires at? I've decided, for now, to inflate them to 100 psi to stay somewhere in the middle and see how I like it. I was a little bit afraid that the 120psi would be too harsh after a full day on the bike and 70 psi would b too slow.

Jon
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Old 09-16-08, 11:02 PM   #23
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Michelin prints a little chart on their packaging about tire pressure: http://www.michelinbicycletire.com/m...rpressure.view

Since I weight about 200lbs, I fall into the "inflate to maximum pressure indicated on tire sidewall" category. For my current tires (Maxxis Fuse--came on the bike, and will be coming off before the next ride. they're well squared off after about 1500 miles, and they love the taste of glass), that's 120psi.
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Old 09-17-08, 11:49 AM   #24
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Jon,

I bought new light weight wheels for my Giant FCR and was going through the same thing about tire choice. Before you make a decision about tire brand, size and model you should determine what features are the most important to you in a tire.

Puncture Resistance
Rolling Resistance
Weight
TPI (flexibility of the tire)
Foldable
Wet Weather Handling
Ride Comfort

Looking at different tire brands, a century tire puts you somwhere in between a road touring tire and an urban tire.

Touring tires will be on the thiner side giving you less rolling resistance (higher psi) and a lighter weight. TPI will very depending on puncture resistance (lower TPI) vs flexibility for corning at higher speeds (higher TPI). Then there is the question of slicks vs a groved tire. Look for groved tires if riding on wet roads is a possibility. Do you need a foldable tire for a spare in case of a tire failure, they are also lighter.

Urban/Commuting tires are wider and therefore provide more comfort (lower psi) for longer rides. The wider widths will also be heavier and create more rolling resistance.

So on your longer rides what are your priorities for a tire?

Kendra, Panaracer, Michelin, Continental, Schwalbe, Vittoria, Vredestein, Maxxis all make great tires. Some suggestions;

Touring - 700 x 23c,25c
Kenda - C2C, Konstrictor, Kriterium, Kaliente
Panaracer - Stradius Elite Z, Stradius Elite TG
Vittoria - lots of choices by TPI - http://www.vittoria.com/index.php
Schwalbe - a good place to look based on your priorities for tire performance - http://www.schwalbetires.com/
Maxxis - Detonator and Re-Fuse
Vredestein - Fortezza line

Urban Tires - 700 x 28c, 32c, 35c
Kenda - Kwick Trak, Kwick Roller Sport, Kwick EZ-Ride
Schwalbe - see link
Vitorria - see link
Panaracer - Paslea
Vredestein - Perfect Moiree

Hope this helps.
Not to be disagreeable or anything, but I'm not sure I'd go along with those classifications. In my book, 23s and 25s are most definitely NOT touring tires. Anything that narrow is a "road" tire. Touring would be more in the 28-35 mm range, and Paselas (an excellent, smooth riding, relatively fast and inexpensive tire) belong there not in the Urban category. Kenda's on the other hand belong in the trash, IME. Urban tires would be something like the Panaracer Urban Max or Schwalbe Marathon Plus: heavy. slow, harsh riding but bulletproof.

And if you're put off by the price of Grand Bois skins (as many are), the Pasela is a very worthy substitute. As I mentioned above, it's cheap, but the ride quality and speed are far better than you'd expect for the price (at least in the wider sizes. Haven't ridden skinny ones.) And they're available in 28-37 mm widths (and maybe 25's?). Unless you have a lot of trouble w/ punctures, I'd avoid the "Tourgard" version because of ride quality and rolling resistance issues inherent in kevlar belted tires.

My $0.00 worth.

SP
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Old 09-17-08, 12:27 PM   #25
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Schwalbe marathons. I like 'um but the probably are overbuilt. then again i haven't gotten a flat yet.
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