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Slicks & Their Place In Life

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Slicks & Their Place In Life

Old 04-05-17, 05:59 PM
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Slicks & Their Place In Life

So I went to buy a set of Schwalbe Durano tires, and because of a mix-up from JensonUSA, I ended up getting the slicks instead of the tread pattern I originally ordered. Because JensonUSA is awesome, they told me to just keep the slicks for my troubles, and the ones with tread are on their way to me. (big ups to JensonUSA by the way, give them your business)

Ok, so...

Now I'm the proud owner of this very nice pair of slicks. They're pretty and all, but I've just never used road slicks before. I'm sure there's a very specific use for slicks on a road bike, I'm just blissfully unaware of it.

What kind of riding would I want to swap those out for? Are they for longer rides? Shorter/faster rides? Believe me, I'm psyched to have options now, but I also don't want to break my neck using the wrong tires.

Input?
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Old 04-05-17, 06:05 PM
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if you're not riding in mud, wet grass or aggressively on singletrack - tread ain't doing nothing for you.
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Old 04-05-17, 06:09 PM
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^ +1

Sounds like a good way to get a free set of tires for those inclined to take advantage of Jenson's kind customer service rep(s). I've put probably about 8,000 miles on 'slick' Schwalbe Durano and Schwalbe One tires and they are every bit as grippy leaned over in corners at 45 mph as Conti GP4000SII's (my prior brand of choice) ever were (if not more.)

Ride them in peace.
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Old 04-05-17, 06:11 PM
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On pavement, there's zero difference in traction or performance between slicks and normal road tire treads. This is true on both wet and dry pavement, because the natural crown of bike tires pushed water out sideways, like the bow of a boat. Thread is needed on car tires because their flat bottoms act like a barge and can climb up onto water and hydroplane.

Where tread may (MAY nor will) make a small difference is on find sand cover, if when you're starting to slide sideways. In that situation, the channels may allow the grains of sand escape reestablishing rubber contact with the pavement.
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Old 04-05-17, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by goenrdoug View Post
^ +1

Sounds like a good way to get a free set of tires for those inclined to take advantage of Jenson's kind customer service rep(s). I've put probably about 8,000 miles on 'slick' Schwalbe Durano and Schwalbe One tires and they are every bit as grippy leaned over in corners at 45 mph as Conti GP4000SII's (my prior brand of choice) ever were (if not more.)

Ride them in peace.
To be fair...

I wouldn't say "take advantage of"... they had a legit goof up on their site and the rep and I literally watched the prices and items change in front of us. It was actually pretty spooky if you want the truth (as a marketing guy). But yes, I would absolutely recommend you all get down with JensonUSA -- because the price and service can't be beat.

So, kind of fascinating that you went to the Conti GP4000SII's. That's actually the ones I am coming off of right now. Loved them when they worked, but they were flimsy and got damaged too easily. I'm really stoked to hear someone else speak highly of the transition. That makes me feel good.

So, long distances? Climbing? Turns? These are all to use slicks on? (I have learned something today!)
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Old 04-05-17, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue_Bulldog View Post
What kind of riding would I want to swap those out for?
Any ride on surfaces where you don't need the tire to chew into the surface.

Most tread patterning serves basically no purpose on the road. Bicycle tires don't need water-shedding features because hydroplaning can't happen at low speeds and high inflation pressures. Knobs just increase rolling resistance and squirm on corners. Metal spikes don't really have a purpose outside of clawing into solid ice.

On dry pavement, you get a huge amount of traction just from the coefficient of friction between the rubber of the tire and the material of the road surface. There are two ways to improve traction: use a grippier tread compound, or stabilize the contact patch (i.e. run lower pressure so that the tire tracks the road better).

Wet pavement gets a little bit complicated because the coefficient of friction decreases. Mostly, people just take the corners more gently on wet pavement.
Many people and some tire manufacturers argue that fine shallow tread patterning - like siping, or herringbone, or speckles - can improve wet traction by interlocking with the irregularities of the road surface. Whether it really works on bicycle wheels, I'm not sure; people have tried to get stable test results, and it's hard to do.

In addition to pavement, slicks can be good on some dry offroad. Common applications are pebbly gravel, or dry hardpack dirt. Sometimes such activities merit running wider slicks than people usually run on the road, since the surfaces can be looser and/or rougher.
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Old 04-05-17, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue_Bulldog View Post
I'm sure there's a very specific use for slicks on a road bike, I'm just blissfully unaware of it.
Slicks are for almost everywhere.

Forget the analysis. Put them on your bike and ride. Don't worry about it.


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Old 04-05-17, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue_Bulldog View Post
I'm sure there's a very specific use for slicks on a road bike, I'm just blissfully unaware of it.
I'm not sure why you need treads on for tarmac, I'm blissfully unaware of it.
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Old 04-05-17, 09:30 PM
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I haven't seen a patterned clincher tire in 30 years. They still make those? Well, I guess I lied. I do ride the GP4000S IIs with the silly directional pattern that is clearly just for show. My tubulars have super fine file tread pattern, but IMO that is just foolishness too. Slicks are the road standard.
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Old 04-05-17, 09:40 PM
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Slicks for the road, no treads needed.
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Old 04-05-17, 10:31 PM
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On pavement? Ride slicks/ fine file.
Not on pavement - I don't understand that.
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Old 04-06-17, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I haven't seen a patterned clincher tire in 30 years. They still make those? Well, I guess I lied. I do ride the GP4000S IIs with the silly directional pattern that is clearly just for show. My tubulars have super fine file tread pattern, but IMO that is just foolishness too. Slicks are the road standard.

I was going to say Gp4ks, but you mentioned them. Yeah no sure why they have pattern on the sides. On one hand I would like to assume they put some kind of thought in to it, on the other hand there is a lot of **** in cycling that is just for show.
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Old 04-06-17, 03:03 AM
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For all the time I have been ordering and using Schwalbe Duranos, I didn't know there was a treaded variety. Never comes up on any of my searches, never seen one.
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Old 04-06-17, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Most tread patterning serves only marketing purposes on the road.
FTFY.

Tread is on road bike tires for essentially 2 reasons: 1) so tire manufacturers can talk about how there tread pattern is better, and, 2) people intuitively believe tires with tread grip better, based on their experience with car tires, which as you've explained is irrelevant to a bicycle.
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Old 04-06-17, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Blue_Bulldog View Post
I'm sure there's a very specific use for slicks on a road bike, I'm just blissfully unaware of it.
Why would you bother with tread on a tire that is too narrow to hydroplane? (Excepting for snow and ice, where you want more of a studded mountain bike tire and not really a road tire.)

The very specific use would more likely be for tread on road tires.
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Old 04-06-17, 11:24 AM
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and the texture of the pavement is a + factor, right? just sell the extra tires
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Old 04-07-17, 02:35 AM
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Let's have some informed dissent too.

Technical FAQ: Tire grip in wet conditions | VeloNews.com
https://janheine.wordpress.com/2014/...ng-tire-tread/
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Old 04-07-17, 03:34 AM
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Slicks are April-Oct for me when I know I won't hit ice. I much prefer riding on slicks - just a faster better ride.
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Old 04-07-17, 05:00 AM
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Ask the marketing guys at most road bike tyre companies and they'll admit that any tread pattern on a road bike tyre is basically to reassure purchasers uncomfortable with the idea of slicks. A completely slick road bike tyre won't hydroplane until it hits something like 100 mph so the tread is largely useless.
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Old 04-07-17, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by GuyWood View Post
Ask the marketing guys at most road bike tyre companies and they'll admit that any tread pattern on a road bike tyre is basically to reassure purchasers uncomfortable with the idea of slicks. A completely slick road bike tyre won't hydroplane until it hits something like 100 mph so the tread is largely useless.
That sounds like a wager.....



This is all good stuff. I actually never knew slicks were all-around, and I've learned something. (Shush, there's stuff you didn't know at some point too.) Pretty excited to take these suckers out for a spin this weekend.
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Old 04-07-17, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by goenrdoug View Post
Sounds like a good way to get a free set of tires for those inclined to take advantage of Jenson's kind customer service rep(s).
???

He (apparently) ordered tires with treads. Jenson (apparently) sent slicks by mistake.

It depended on Jenson making a mistake. How is this a "good way" for anybody else to get free tires?
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Old 04-07-17, 09:29 AM
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It's interesting that all of the tire reps mention a larger contact patch size as increasing traction, although we're all taught that friction is independent of the size of the contact. The question is, do these tire makers not understand the mechanics of friction, or are they oversimplifying for their intended audience? The latter is more likely IMO

I suspect that the breakloose friction on irregular lubricated surfaces tends to be higher with larger areas of contact, and that probably has to do with squeezing out the lubrication (water). If that is true, it's reasonable that very fine tread would facilitate it. I don't see it as applicable though, except in the case of wet irregular surfaces.
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Old 04-07-17, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by GuyWood View Post
Ask the marketing guys at most road bike tyre companies and they'll admit that any tread pattern on a road bike tyre is basically to reassure purchasers uncomfortable with the idea of slicks. A completely slick road bike tyre won't hydroplane until it hits something like 100 mph so the tread is largely useless.
you should probably balance your wheels if you're going that fast.
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Old 04-07-17, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
It's interesting that all of the tire reps mention a larger contact patch size as increasing traction, although we're all taught that friction is independent of the size of the contact. The question is, do these tire makers not understand the mechanics of friction, or are they oversimplifying for their intended audience? The latter is more likely IMO

I suspect that the breakloose friction on irregular lubricated surfaces tends to be higher with larger areas of contact, and that probably has to do with squeezing out the lubrication (water). If that is true, it's reasonable that very fine tread would facilitate it. I don't see it as applicable though, except in the case of wet irregular surfaces.
The mechanics of friction as taught in high school are simplified, assuming a constant coefficient of friction. The coefficient of a tire's friction decreases as the normal force per unit area increases, so a larger contact patch results in a higher coefficient of friction even though it's the same two materials.
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Old 04-07-17, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Seizedpost View Post
The mechanics of friction as taught in high school are simplified, assuming a constant coefficient of friction. The coefficient of a tire's friction decreases as the normal force per unit area increases, so a larger contact patch results in a higher coefficient of friction even though it's the same two materials.
This seems a little jumbled - the coefficient itself increases (with tires) with greater load regardless of the contact size, but your statement leads to the converse.

It is a very small effect though, too small IMO to account for the mention by the tire reps.
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