Tyre choice

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
rmurphy195
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby rmurphy195 » 27 Sep 2016, 12:16pm

The most important piece of info you have provided IMHO is the mud - especially at this time of year. Your muddy sections - especially the towpaths I suspect, may not be just muddy but uneven/grassy in parts as well.

I'd go with Colin's suggestion, especially in the light of having just swopped the Marathons on my tourer for a pair of Vittoria Randonneur Pro's because I'm simply not encountering the mud regularly on my travels with that bike, just the hard pack and the tarmac. But I would feel unsteady on mud with the Randonneurs. Your muddy sections - especially the towpaths I suspect, may not be just muddy but uneven/grassy as well.

Pump the Marathons up to as high a pressure as you can stand - as closeto the max printed on the sidewall that comfort allows - and they will roll well enough, run them soft and it feels as if the brakes are on and you will get tyre noise on tarmac (I still have Marathons on my Brompton and that is the effect). Maybe go for a 32 section tyre on the 700c rims just to get a bit of extra grip/comfort on the nasty bits, unless you prefer the narrower 28.
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iandriver
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby iandriver » 27 Sep 2016, 12:34pm

Think I'd be inclined to consider a couple of sets of tyres, dependant on the time of year. Mud and in the dark, Smart Sams work well on my CX bike (http://www.schwalbe.com/gb/offroad-read ... t-sam.html), and don't actually roll too badly for a full treaded knobbly. Something slicker for the drier, lighter months.
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belgiangoth
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby belgiangoth » 27 Sep 2016, 6:49pm

Well, there are muddy towpaths and then there are muddy towpaths.
In Brum the Sustrans routes and major towpaths to town may give up a bit of dirt, but they are never slippery muddy and I have seen people ride them with 23mm slicks in winter. But then there is the less used canal path that is a mud bath after rain (eg half the time in the uk); for this you would need a mtb and a change of clothes!
Personally, if my route was that muddy I would take a cleaner detour.

By not agreeing with Colin I know that I am wrong, but here it goes: I have lost traction in a straight line on wet grass with cyclocross tyres. Might be the fixed gear, but ime there is a cut-off where you need fat mtb tyres and below that you don't need anything other than slicks. But I did say that I am wrong on this account.
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531colin
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby 531colin » 27 Sep 2016, 7:13pm

belgiangoth wrote:........... I have lost traction in a straight line on wet grass with cyclocross tyres. Might be the fixed gear, but ime there is a cut-off where you need fat mtb tyres and below that you don't need anything other than slicks............


I think anything will let go if you push it hard enough.
But I don't think that means a cyclocross tread has no advantage over a slick, but an MTB tyre is magically far superior to a cyclocross tyre.

niggle
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby niggle » 27 Sep 2016, 8:17pm

Schwalbe Landcruisers 700x35c are £8.50 each at Wiggle, add a couple of inner tubes to get the free postage:

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/schwalbe-land-c ... 60750946uk

A very good tyre for mixed surfaces if that includes mud, roll well on tarmac on the centre strip. Only criticism is they are a bit heavy, but they are tough and durable.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 29 Sep 2016, 1:04am

Hi,
Tyre choice tends to be a very personal thing.
My experience with off road motorcycle trailing is that only a semi motorcross tyre grips on wet grass but then is poor on smooth rock.

I fitted some of these to my touring bike when I was greenlaning over the winter as they were at a knock down £3-4 each, total overkill for grip.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Kenda-Tyre-70 ... Sw6n5XwHWt
s-l1600.jpg

I am using Michelin World Tours for my endurance cycling and I like them as they are similar to the old style Conti TopTouring.
Puncture protection of any description does not work I.M.O.
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Brucey
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby Brucey » 29 Sep 2016, 7:43am

greenamex2 wrote:...Any opinions on tyre choice for the following commute -

4 miles of tow path (so compacted gravel with a bit of mud)
4 miles of national cycle route (reclaimed disused train line so more compacted gravel and even more mud)
4 miles of tarmacked road

I will be commuting all year round/all weathers but looking to cover the next 6 months or so.

Priorities are -

No punctures
Speed

[size is..]...700 diameter

Then bike is a Cyclocross so can go pretty wide...comes with 32 as standard....


....Gotta say I was quite shocked how heavy they were when I fitted them.... I replaced normal tubes and dual purpose MTB tyres with slime tubes AND Marathon PLUSes, and managed to add about 1.5Kg to the MTB's weight...
...With the benefit of hindsight/research that was probably overkill


All tyres are a compromise of some kind but I can't think of a place where I'd choose to ride where slime tubes and M+ tyres would be my choice tbh. Mostly M+ tyres stop punctures OK but when you do have to fix one on the road it can be a complete nightmare; they are so much more troublesome to fit and remove.

FWIW depending on the surface and your preference you could choose a treaded touring tyre or some other combination. Under similar conditions (but with an MTB) I have used a full knobbly on the front and a semi-slick on the rear, for example.

Some things you might like to consider are

- what kind of punctures do you think you might get? Are you worried about thorns, pinch flats, flints, broken glass....?
- how worried about comfort are you? IME some puncture proof tyres are only acceptably comfortable when run at lower pressures than normal, which can mean that they are slow twice over; slow at normal pressures, and slower again once they are run a bit softer for comfort.
- are you going to use mudguards? [I'd guess 'yes definitely' unless you want to arrive at your destination filthy...] If so you will need to allow a clearance for them when choosing your tyre width. The minimum clearance may vary with the local soil type; clay tends to stick in a layer on the tyre and you need a lot more clearance for that. Same goes for soil that has small stones in it; you need to allow clearance for any small stones that might get carried round with the tyre.
- how soft is the ground on the offroad sections? The physics here is simple; if the tyre pressure is higher than the pressure at which an object will indent into the (soft) soil, the tyre will sink into the ground and it will be like riding uphill all the time; however a lower pressure (which may only be viable with a fatter tyre) may allow the tyre to roll over the surface without indenting it, which can mean a much easier ride.
- Note that in some types of sticky mud over a firm base, a narrow tyre can work well because it doesn't pick up as much mud as a wider one. Other specific ground conditions may cause you to make a particular choice.

The reality is that whatever tyres you choose to use you will occasionally get a puncture, [it might be only once a year or something but no tyre is completely puncture proof]; when you do get a flat, it'll usually take about five minutes to fit another tube (if the tyre comes off easy). It can be no fun wrestling with a muddy tyre and tube though...

I used to do a similar commute and I mostly used an MTB for this purpose, simply because much of the time the ground was soft enough that a ~2" tyre was required not to sink in; this worked OK because the mud mostly wasn't too sticky (there were about four different soil types en route). I never felt that it was so muddy that I needed a full knobbly on the rear, but I did come off when running slicker front tyres when it was wet.

The run could take ~50-55 mins via MTB in winter, and most of the punctures I ever had were caused by thorns during hedge-cutting season. I could take the road bike (via a different route, on tarmac) and it would take about 35 minutes. In the summer, with firm ground, a touring bike (or similar) with ~35mm lightly treaded tyres would work OK and that would take about 45minutes offroad, (but in the winter mud those same tyres would have been nigh-on useless). So the reality is that the fatter tyres etc cost about five or ten minutes vs the fastest I could possibly ever manage offroad, and the choice to ride offroad rather than on-road cost about ten minutes too, (but very greatly reduced my chances of being involved in a very nasty accident with some dozy idiot).

hth

cheers
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reohn2
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby reohn2 » 29 Sep 2016, 8:24am

niggle wrote:Schwalbe Landcruisers 700x35c are £8.50 each at Wiggle, add a couple of inner tubes to get the free postage:

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/schwalbe-land-c ... 60750946uk

A very good tyre for mixed surfaces if that includes mud, roll well on tarmac on the centre strip. Only criticism is they are a bit heavy, but they are tough and durable.


+1 but if there's enough clearance I go for 40mm,Landcruisers punch well above their price IME
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Roadster
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby Roadster » 29 Sep 2016, 6:06pm

Well, I dunno... even the worst of those three surfaces doesn't sound all that extreme to me. I mean, surely a national cycle route can't literally be a river of mud throughout a whole four-mile section, can it? If so, then nothing less than an FTB (fat-tyre bike) :shock: will do!

Threevok
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby Threevok » 2 Oct 2016, 6:53pm

Panaracer Fire XC pro

I nave been using these on my commute (with very similar surfaces as you describe) for a number of years with no problems.

Run them at 65 max on road and (if you fancy a bit of XC on the weekends) 35psi off road

Brucey
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby Brucey » 2 Oct 2016, 7:06pm

Roadster wrote:.... I mean, surely a national cycle route can't literally be a river of mud throughout a whole four-mile section, can it?....


Image
some riders on a typical NCN

(probably.... :wink: )

cheers
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Roadster
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby Roadster » 2 Oct 2016, 9:31pm

:lol: And there we have it: mudguards are not necessary!

MikeF
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby MikeF » 4 Oct 2016, 11:34pm

I expect they go through red lights as well! :lol: :lol:
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

Threevok
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby Threevok » 5 Oct 2016, 2:02pm

:lol:

Of course, if they had bells on their bikes, none of that would ever have happened

nigelnightmare
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby nigelnightmare » 5 Oct 2016, 2:27pm

No reflectors on bike or pedals. :wink: :wink:
And they're frightening the fish :lol:
I'll get me coat..... :arrow: