Tyre choice

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

Postby niggle » 5 Oct 2016, 2:34pm

Testing new Spa Cycles Wetstuff prototype:

Image

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Mick F
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby Mick F » 5 Oct 2016, 3:36pm

Brakes?
Maybe if he was on a fixed, he could pedal backwards.
Mick F. Cornwall

Vorpal
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby Vorpal » 5 Oct 2016, 4:57pm

His saddle is far too low. What is the world coming to?
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niggle
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby niggle » 5 Oct 2016, 5:44pm

Mick F wrote:Brakes?
Maybe if he was on a fixed, he could pedal backwards.

The production model will have a titanium anchor fitted

Smiles
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby Smiles » 13 Oct 2016, 9:41am

Going back to the OP's original enquiry. At the risk of being a bit controversial :D I would rate my priorities in exactly the same order as the OP. Until recently my commute involved 4 miles minority on canal tow path with the majority on road, and my riding regularly includes unmade private road.

However my solution was a bit different. I run Schwalbe Durano plus 23c on narrow hand built rims. If I am worried about grip I can adjust my riding style to account. I would much rather ride slowly and carefully (or - in extremis - get off and walk) for the 2% of my riding where grip is an issue rather than be handicapped by wide, heavy, slow tyres. I see the fashion of moving to wider rims and wider tyres; I remain unconvinced.

(1) Proponents give evidence that wider tyres can run lower pressures and be more efficient. Not in my O level physics class they can't.

(2) Proponents say wider tyres are more comfortable. If you want comfort, buy an arm chair.

(3) My take on it is that if you have the luxury of a long commute (read those words carefully because I did not make a mistake) you need to cover the ground quickly. Someone cycling a couple of miles need not worry about efficiency. If you regularly cycle more than about five miles extra weight, extra resistance and the delay they cause gets really tedious. Go as narrow and light as you dare without going to huge expense and work up from there where the grip available is just not acceptable. Be wary of shackling your bike with big, heavy wide rims and tyres. Reduced friction and rotating mass is it's own reward in my experience.

And just to say I run full mudguards and large rear panniers.

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meic
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby meic » 13 Oct 2016, 9:51am

Not in my O level physics class they can't.
I dont think that you study hysteresis at O level.
Yma o Hyd

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Re: Tyre choice

Postby PBA » 13 Oct 2016, 1:31pm

meic wrote:I dont think that you study hysteresis at O level.


For what it's worth, I did my "O" level physics in 1983 and Hysteresis was described in the text book but not included by the exam board. It think it was / is meant to be relevant to Hook's law at that stage...

Anyway, I recommend the OP to ride on the lightest, fastest bike he can and to carry as much gravel to dump at the muddy spots as strength will allow. By summer the mud will hopefully be gone and the muscles will be fully developed to appreciate it!

Roadster
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Re: Tyre choice

Postby Roadster » 13 Oct 2016, 2:13pm

My point earlier was that tyres should be chosen on the basis of their suitability for the majority of the surfaces to be encountered rather than the worst of them. Narrow lightweight tyres run at high pressures, however, would be suitable only for the best of them and therefore just as unsuitable for mixed terrain as wide heavyweight ones run at low pressures.

Surely the most suitable choice will be found somewhere between those two extremes: although they may perform less well than others on some surfaces, at least they will not perform badly on any.

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Re: Tyre choice

Postby Samuel D » 13 Oct 2016, 7:14pm

Smiles wrote:Go as narrow and light as you dare without going to huge expense and work up from there where the grip available is just not acceptable. Be wary of shackling your bike with big, heavy wide rims and tyres. Reduced friction and rotating mass is it's own reward in my experience.

You mention friction, but friction where the tread scuffs the road is a minor part of overall rolling resistance. (The tyres are not dragged but rolled along the road.) Most comes from flexing of the casing. Since wider tyres have a wider contact patch, that patch is accordingly shorter at a given pressure – and a shorter contact patch means less of the sidewall length is flexing at any moment and the flex is less. That results in lower rolling resistance.

Of course wider tyres are often used at lower pressures (to enjoy their other benefits), and this reduces or reverses their rolling-resistance benefit. And tyres have aerodynamic drag in rough proportion to their width. The real world is messy.

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Re: Tyre choice

Postby Smiles » 17 Oct 2016, 10:30am

So I just want to go back to the OP for a moment and point out something which I think goes to a broader theme. The OP states his priorities as (i) puncture resistance and (ii) speed. Mine are the same. Absolutely no doubt that if the conditions are tricky he will have to ride around using skinny tyres if he goes the way I did, but it works for me!

The debate advocating the use of wider tyres misses something in my view. Given my "real world" experiment of riding bikes with different tyres and wheels my conclusion is ride as light, thin and hard as I can get away with. If you prefer a heavier, wider, softer tyre good luck to you. But I listen to technical arguements in favour of running heavier, wider tyres at lower pressures that appear to make the case that they are easier to ride (by which I mean you go faster for the same amount of effort, or hold the same speed for less effort) with a jaundiced ear. I just do not believe this is true.

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Re: Tyre choice

Postby Vorpal » 17 Oct 2016, 10:57am

Everyone has to determine what works best for them. Most of the time I ride on 700c X 28 Conti 4 seasons. I tried narrower and suffered with more punctures. I have also tried other tyres, in an attempt to save money, but I never like them as well, and always end up back at the 28 mm 4 seasons as the best compromise of traction, comfort, puncture resistance, and rolling performance.

But it will always be a compromise, and if I were riding canal towpath every day, I think my compromise would be more likely Marathon Tour or Vittoria Hypers or Randonneurs.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom