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Want to dabble in gravel riding but not get a second set of wheels

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Want to dabble in gravel riding but not get a second set of wheels

Old 05-22-21, 06:57 AM
  #26  
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Rene Herse Stampede Pass in extralight. Wide enough for riding gravel like you describe and supple for the asphalt. I run the Chinook Pass extralight 28 mm on the road here in Toronto and the are phenomenal. For something like the Caledon Trail, from Tottenham to Terra Cotta I used Bon Jon Pass 35 which worked well enough but wouldn't fit your frame. Last week when I was riding there were riders with 28 mm tires and they seem to be doing just fine. As an added bonus if you do that trail there is a bakery at the halfway point.
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Old 05-22-21, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Railtrails and crushed limestone are not gravel roads.
Crushed limestone is the primary stone found in most gravel roads. That said, it is true that on rail trails it is often more like gravel dust. On the local rail trail the new gravel they put down is the normal stuff but it gets a ton of traffic and is ground down and/or pushed to the shoulders. When hitting a recently redone stretch you might wish for some bigger tires, but most of the miles would be fine on any road tire with less pressure.

Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
Rene Herse Stampede Pass in extralight.
The GK slicks are similar (and are made in the same factory); a bit more protection, a bit less supple, and a lot less expensive.

Overall most 32c will be in the sweet spot if you want just one tire, very little sacrifice on the road and lower the pressures a bit and they will be great for light gravel.
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Old 05-22-21, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
If you're not riding in mud, road tires should work well for you. 🙂
30mm Schwalbe G-One Speed tires work great on the road, but are durable enough to handle some gravel riding.
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Old 05-22-21, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
30mm Schwalbe G-One Speed tires work great on the road, but are durable enough to handle some gravel riding.
which version?
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Old 05-22-21, 01:42 PM
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All I want is a bit more traction on the gravel I described
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Old 05-22-21, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by WorldIRC View Post
All I want is a bit more traction on the gravel I described
Then get as wide a quality slick as your frame can handle and ride.
compass/rene herse, panaracer, schwalbe, goodyear- something in 32 and slick that's quality.

Traction on a rail trail will almost totally comes from tire volume.
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Old 05-22-21, 08:57 PM
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I was in the same boat as you recently. For light dry gravel I was surprised how well 28mm Gatorskins work. I thought not having tread would be an issue but it really hasn't been. In fact, there is a benefit in that little rocks don't get kicked up to hit the frame with slicks. I tried Panaracer Gravel King SK+ (great tires) but found as long as I was careful I liked the Gatorskins better. Thus I think your tires are actually fine. However, you will want to experiment with lower tire pressures in the 60-85 psi to improve traction and comfort.

What you might want to do is put some 3M paint protection film to protect your frame. Its cheap and easy to remove if you find you don't want to do much more gravel.

One downside to gravel riding is it is much dustier and your drivetrain/frame will get dirtier quicker. But it is quite fun and it reminds me of being a kid riding my Schwinn Varsity tank of a bike *everywhere*. That poor bike - I actually broke the axle on it once
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Old 05-23-21, 06:18 AM
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Maybe I should look at 4Seasons or Gatorskins?
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Old 05-23-21, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by WorldIRC View Post
which version?
these are the ones I used, https://www.merlincycles.com/schwalb...00c-98628.html

they were about $33 pre-Covid.
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Old 05-23-21, 10:47 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by WorldIRC View Post
Maybe I should look at 4Seasons or Gatorskins?
Gatorskins are possibly the worst riding tire currently available.
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Old 05-23-21, 11:15 AM
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Be aware that the GP5k's don't have very durable sidewalls, so when riding anything rocky like an eroded section of dirt or fire road, be very careful not to let the sidewalls rub against exposed rocks. Keep the wheels out of crevices.
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Old 05-23-21, 11:25 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by WorldIRC View Post
Maybe I should look at 4Seasons or Gatorskins?
I would definitely go with some protected tyres to prevent cuts and flats, and in the widest variant you can fit in the frame to help comfort. To me it feels pointless getting fragile race tyres, only to ride them in uneven gravel, mud and what not. Boggles my mind fragile tyres like The original Gravel King or the above mentioned G-one speed is even marketed as a "gravel tyres". What "gravel" is that? Where I live they wouldn't last an hour :-)
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Old 05-23-21, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by WorldIRC View Post
Thinking of dabbling into some light gravel riding...
Man... It sure is hard to determine what actually is a true gravel road. There are some really tough people out there that consider a two mile stretch of baseball size rocks just gravel. For my light unpaved or poorly paved, or haven't been repaved in 60 years, gravel roads, I went to touring tires.

"Continental Tour Ride Urban Bicycle Tire" - Think they call it urban because of the puncture resistance. They are cheap enough to give um a try without breaking the bank...
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Old 05-23-21, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Gatorskins are possibly the worst riding tire currently available.
I disagree At lower pressures they have been my favorites so far. Although I do want to give the GP5000 a shot when these wear out
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Old 05-23-21, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Gatorskins are possibly the worst riding tire currently available.
Hey some people like the feeling of riding with a concrete-filled garden hose, don't kink shame.
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Old 05-23-21, 07:24 PM
  #41  
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I don't like Gatorskins, but I don't mind the 4 seasons tires at all.

I ride GP5ks on my road bike, and I end up doing short 1 or 2 mile gravel sections on it pretty regularly. I agree that they have are prone to sidewall cuts and that they are a poor choice for riding gravel, but I"ve been lucky thus far and had no incidents.

But that's real mid-western gravel, as in farm roads.. I don't have any qualms about riding the GP5ks on local rail trails. YMMV
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Old 05-24-21, 07:02 AM
  #42  
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Iíll be hitting up a dirt farm road today. Letís see how I do! Iíll be sure to take some air out of the tires.
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Old 05-24-21, 07:57 AM
  #43  
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I ride both Gatorskins and more recently GP5000's. Both ride fine though the GP's definitely ride nicer, as they are designed to do.

I have thousands of miles of mixed surface riding on Gatorskins and never had a flat. I have hundreds of miles on GP'S with fewer mixed surface miles. Again, no flats. Yet every ride on mixed surface with the GP'S the thought of punctures is on my mind.
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Old 05-24-21, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by WorldIRC View Post
Thinking of dabbling into some light gravel riding (think rail trail).

In an effort to not buy a second set of wheels, what tire(s) would be recommended that are still great on the road, but still provide some confidence when on gravel roads.
Rail trail / gravel like this?


I do that on 28mm Schwalbe One Addix TLE.

FWIW Serotta says you can ride just about anything on 28s.
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Old 05-24-21, 08:04 AM
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In the US, and west in general, our marketing machines tell us we need specialized equipment for every situation. This trickles down to thinking we need new gear before trying something with what we have.

As someone mentioned, 27" bikes with what we consider today almost unridable tires used to be taken on cross country tours, road riding, gravel riding and trail riding.

I have nothing against people getting new stuff, but the sport is about riding. For that we can often just use what we have and see how well it works.
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Old 05-24-21, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by phrantic09 View Post
Rail trail / gravel like this?


I do that on 28mm Schwalbe One Addix TLE.

FWIW Serotta says you can ride just about anything on 28s.
Yep! I just went out for a quick ride. I lowered the pressure in my tires and flew through that no problem. There were a few areas with larger crushed limestone. Not as much confidence in the tires but I made it through. Also an area of very soft packed, almost sand like. Definitely a no go for these tires.

Also noticed better overall turn handling and even power from lowering the pressure a bit with no loss of overall performance. I may just keep it like this!
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Old 05-24-21, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by phrantic09 View Post
Rail trail / gravel like this?


I do that on 28mm Schwalbe One Addix TLE.

FWIW Serotta says you can ride just about anything on 28s.
I agree. You Can do a lot on 28s, I do too. But there's definitely a limit. Soft sand, no. Chunky gravel, no (except at 1 mph). Same with wash board surfaces. They will rattle your brain. Then again, broken tarmac. Good gravel etc. no problem at all. Just watch out for pinch flats if you run tubes and, imo, get tyres that has decent flat protection.
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Old 05-25-21, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by phrantic09 View Post
Rail trail / gravel like this?


I do that on 28mm Schwalbe One Addix TLE.

FWIW Serotta says you can ride just about anything on 28s.
Same here. 40mi D2R2 Green River route on 28mm - most of it looked like that. Just don't overcook in the turns and watch out for deep sand.

Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
I agree. You Can do a lot on 28s, I do too. But there's definitely a limit. Soft sand, no. Chunky gravel, no (except at 1 mph). Same with wash board surfaces. They will rattle your brain. Then again, broken tarmac. Good gravel etc. no problem at all. Just watch out for pinch flats if you run tubes and, imo, get tyres that has decent flat protection.
Correct, one should use the right tool for the job. WorldIRC , just go out and ride the trail with what you have and see what it's like, that the least path of resistance. If you don't like it, get the widest tire your bike will fit with at least a file tread or better (GravelKings, G-One, etc.)

Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Wouldn't the people in the Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) sub-forum know more about this?
Yup, pretty much half the posts are about tires.
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Old 05-25-21, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
Same here. 40mi D2R2 Green River route on 28mm - most of it looked like that. Just don't overcook in the turns and watch out for deep sand.



Correct, one should use the right tool for the job. WorldIRC , just go out and ride the trail with what you have and see what it's like, that the least path of resistance. If you don't like it, get the widest tire your bike will fit with at least a file tread or better (GravelKings, G-One, etc.)



Yup, pretty much half the posts are about tires.
lowering the pressure made a huge difference. Where it ended up a bit deeper is what through me off but where it was hard packed, no problems. I may go a tad wider to 32mm and see what that does. Make Iíll grab the GK as many are recommending.
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Old 05-26-21, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by stevel610 View Post
In the US, and west in general, our marketing machines tell us we need specialized equipment for every situation. This trickles down to thinking we need new gear before trying something with what we have.

As someone mentioned, 27" bikes with what we consider today almost unridable tires used to be taken on cross country tours, road riding, gravel riding and trail riding.

I have nothing against people getting new stuff, but the sport is about riding. For that we can often just use what we have and see how well it works.
I have ridden gravel roads around me with 28mm tires, 32mm tires, 38mm tires, 40mm tires, and 43mm tires.
Ill give you a hint as to which I like most- its the odd numbered tire.

That isnt based on marketing, its actual experience. I can ride faster, more confidently, and more enjoyably when I have a quality and light wide tubeless slick with lower pressure.
Everyone is different and gravel is different depending on location. If someone finds a 28mm tire to be perfect, its their body- cool if they use that for their gravel. It isnt buying into BS marketing if you prefer some gear that is designed to excel in one area of cycling.


I will absolutely say that sometimes the marketing is just laughably BS- a gravel helmet that looks the same as a brand's road helmet? A gravel jersey that looks the same as a brand's road jersey? But that is pretty easy to push thru and ignore.
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