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What tires should I get for riding on gravel?

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What tires should I get for riding on gravel?

Old 10-18-10, 08:40 PM
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Kurious Oranj
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What tires should I get for riding on gravel?

With the fall being here and having less daylight, my group has started riding the gravel roads in the dark as there is usually much less traffic on those (and there is no shortage of gravel roads in Iowa). Being relatively new to road biking and very new to riding on gravel, I'd like to ask the forum members what tires they prefer on gravel.

My cyclocross bike, a Masi Speciale CX, is currently equipped with Pasela TG 700x28. While these work fine for long stretches of tarmac with occasional short cuts on gravel, I suspect there are better options.

I do not race but I sure like fairly intense riding for fitness. All suggestions for good gravel tires are welcomed - both suggestions for tire type and size.

While you are thinking about this, please feel free to also recommend me a good sub-$300 wheel set for the same purpose...

Thanks!
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Old 10-18-10, 09:04 PM
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Creatre
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If it's tight packed gravel, you could probably get away with it on your normal road bike tires. You'd be surprised what they can take.
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Old 10-18-10, 09:10 PM
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Kurious Oranj
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Originally Posted by Creatre View Post
If it's tight packed gravel, you could probably get away with it on your normal road bike tires. You'd be surprised what they can take.
Well, most of these roads have rather loose gravel. I have tried the normal road tires on more packed gravel and I was indeed surprised how well that went.
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Old 10-18-10, 09:21 PM
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I have 700x28 Vittoria Rando Cross tires on my CX bike. They're pretty good on the road - I did 50 mile rides regularly, until getting a road bike - and they do surprisingly well on the gravel. I'm probably going to put 32s on them when these wear out, since I also have a fast road bike; if I didn't, I'd keep 28 mm tires as a good all-around compromise. I've managed to stay upright in deep, loose gravel when I was sure I was going down.

You might actually benefit from something even wider than that ... but I'll leave that to someone who can say from experience.
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Old 10-18-10, 09:37 PM
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I run 700c x 32 Specialized Borough CX (Armadillo Elites) on my TriCross for the gravel paths around here. They're really crushed limestone, though -- probably the easiest form of gravel to deal with. The wheels are the Specialized Pave that the bike came with.
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Old 10-18-10, 11:26 PM
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It is very tough to say. I do a lot of dirt road riding and there is a wide variety of conditions one can find while still on a "road." I tend to go for widish touring tires for the stuff in better shape, but something with some tread gets beneficial in very rough and loose conditions.

I would talk to the people you ride with instead of us, as they should have a good idea of what they like and what works in your local conditions.
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Old 10-18-10, 11:28 PM
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What you're riding should be fine.
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Old 10-19-10, 02:09 AM
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If it is hard over loosepack, some treads - or even something like 700x30 knobbies, ala Michelin Pro Jets - pumped to a lower pressure would help increase your grip when you corner.
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Old 10-19-10, 05:15 AM
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I run 32c Specialized Borough on my Tricross - work great - but I'll probably switch to 28c Gatorskins when they wear out.

I run the same terrain as you - dirt roads and crushed gravel trails.
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Old 10-19-10, 05:36 AM
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I just put on a set of Gatorskins. Recommended by my LBS.
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Old 10-19-10, 05:53 AM
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gravel is a very varied surface. I just put some 35c light knobbies on my commuter bike because I go along a bridal path that is sometimes hard packed sometimes loose and has a lot of ruts. I also wanted to smooth out the potholes on the city streets. They work great, yes they slow me down some, but this sounds to me like this is just a seasonal change for you and you will go back to regular road tires. I'd look for something lightly knobby and probably 32c
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Old 10-19-10, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by M_S View Post
I would talk to the people you ride with instead of us, as they should have a good idea of what they like and what works in your local conditions.
Good idea . I just did and a couple of tires recommended were Scwalbe Racing Ralph and Hutchinson Bulldog CX. Any experience with those?

Thanks for the other suggestions/comments.
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