gravel tyres on the road

eeksll
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gravel tyres on the road

Postby eeksll » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:52 pm

hello all, just wandering what people experience is with gravel tyres on the road, is there a "confidence" hit? i.e regardless of out right speed/times, do you feel as confident to go down hill and take corners on normal tarmac as you would on a road racing tyre?


as I am starting to explore more, it seems ALOT of the roads I have not been on around the adelaide hills are firetrack kinda roads ie not very loose but there can be some loose stuff. I can ride fine on 25c road tyres, but not overly confident to pedal too hard on the flat and def riding the brakes whenever there is a downhill slope, uphill not really a big issue, can pedal as hard as i want.

I don't have a bike that will take these kinda tyres, but just musing about next bike etc

NASHIE
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby NASHIE » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:19 pm

So many variables. A touring tyre will probably cover most hardpacked fire roads and you will not loose much performance road wise. Gravel roads in Perth in winter will turn muddy (not sure what SA dirt trails are like) and you will stuggle with touring tyres and need a more aggressive tread and lower pressures (30-50psi) so your road performance will be very poor compared to slick road tyres. I will change pressures on longer gravel/tarmac rides, as a 30k return ride on tarmac with 40psi in a gravel tyre doesn't feel real slick :wink:

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silentC
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby silentC » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:48 pm

No experience myself but a mate has a cyclocross bike that he runs 40mm gravel tyres on. He sometimes rides it on the Sunday bunchy for a laugh and doesn't seem to have any trouble keeping up with the rest of us.
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find_bruce
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby find_bruce » Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:20 pm

Every tire choice is a compromise - in the case of gravel tyres you are trading off a reduction in grip on smooth tarmac & an increase in rolling resistance for increased grip on gravel.

How much the trade off is will depend entirely on which specific tyres you are comparing, the type of tarmac etc.

I have been quite happy riding 28mm road tyres on short stretches of gravel roads in country NSW, but when I am planning to ride a reasonable distance on gravel I take a bike that can run Schwalbe smart sams.

They are comfortable enough on tarmac, but (1) I'm no racer & (2) I descend and corner slightly slower - its not just grip, they are bigger tyres running lower pressure so move around a bit more

The main reasons I switch back to road tyres are not due to any lack of confidence, but rather ridding knobbies on the road wears them out a bit too quickly & squares the tyre off which does make it harder to corner.

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Thoglette
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crack out the epipens

Postby Thoglette » Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:51 pm

He-who-must-not-be-named runs file treads on anything other than mud; snow or wet grass.

Those now in anaphylaxis will be trying to say "but he sells those tyres", as well as rides them.
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singlespeedscott
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby singlespeedscott » Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:11 pm

I run file treads on my gravel bike and have no issues, even light mud is not an issue. In my experience you really only need knobs on loose mud and wet grass.
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RonK
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby RonK » Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:25 pm

There are many choices of gravel tyres available, each with their unique grip, wear, and rolling resistance characteristics, so it's not possible to generalise whether they will have good grip on sealed surfaces (if I understand your question correctly).

It's probably a fair assumption that a wider tyre will have a larger contact patch so should in theory have more grip, but again this likely to depend on the grippiness of the rubber compound and the tread pattern.
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Ross
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby Ross » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:46 pm

I commute most days and occasional bunch ride on my CX bike with 35mm knobby tyres and it is definite comprimise speed wise compared to a decent roadie with nice wheels and say GP4000 tyres. I do run about half the pressure in the CX (clincher) tyres compared to the roadie - ~50 psi vs ~100 psi. The CX bike is very harsh if you try and run higher pressure.

It takes a lot more effort to initially get up to speed, like taking off fast from traffic lights. There is the total weight difference between my 2 bikes to take into account as well - CX is about 11kg and roadie is about 7kg.

I don't have any issues going downhill, corners maybe a bit, but the bikes are different geometries, so not a totally fair comparision. I haven't bothered to fit slick/road tyres to a spare wheelset because (a) CBF stuffing around changing wheels (b) I often decide spur-off-the-moment on my commute to try an off-road route (c) the heavier CX with more resistance is good training so that when I get back on the light roadie it feels very fast with not as much effort as riding the CX

chriso_29er
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby chriso_29er » Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:33 pm

I think you question is regarding knobby tyre grip on tarmac?

If so I have an interesting comparison of a full road slick verses a small block xc/gravel mtb tyre.
I hold a top 30 out of 2959 place on strava down a technical -8% double hairpin 2.45km decent on my 23c slick road bike. Believe me, scary ride on thin tyres.

The same decent on fat xc tyre, best is only 6 seconds slower, but feels much more confidence inspiring.

In my opinion the average rider would probably decend with more confidence on the fatter gravel tyre, even if its not a slick.
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eeksll
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby eeksll » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:39 pm

thanks for the replies so far.

chriso_29er wrote:I think you question is regarding knobby tyre grip on tarmac?


yeah its kind of a double loaded question now that I think about it. I want a tyre that has more grip on slightly loose surface like gravel or a slight layer of dust (especially on downhill corners) but I don't want to trade that for loss of confidence when descending on tarmac. Note that is confidence not speed, I don't mind loss of speed, but I don't want to be braking because I feel like I am going to go down.

Its my weekend ride and after riding the same roads for so many years, keen to explore a bit more. But the majority of the ride will still be tarmac.

NASHIE
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby NASHIE » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:04 pm

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwj-rb-ohdrZAhWmhlQKHQJ9DxsQFggnMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Ffeature%2F237931-strade-bianche-bikes-and-equipment-and-after-italian-classic&usg=AOvVaw20KacPyXIvY4BnLRQ0Gnvw

Strade was a great race on the weekend, link above for what the pros use. The camera bikes and cars where struggling in many sections to match pace with the bikes on the gravel/limestone, some very good riding in poor conditions. Was also great to see XC world champion Van Art given a wild card entry and finishing 3rd and Aussie Rod Power 6th.

eeksll
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby eeksll » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:12 pm

good point, could well be a skill thing.

Smithstreet
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby Smithstreet » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:28 pm

NASHIE wrote:https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwj-rb-ohdrZAhWmhlQKHQJ9DxsQFggnMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Ffeature%2F237931-strade-bianche-bikes-and-equipment-and-after-italian-classic&usg=AOvVaw20KacPyXIvY4BnLRQ0Gnvw

Strade was a great race on the weekend, link above for what the pros use. The camera bikes and cars where struggling in many sections to match pace with the bikes on the gravel/limestone, some very good riding in poor conditions. Was also great to see XC world champion Van Art given a wild card entry and finishing 3rd and Aussie Rod Power 6th.


I'm pretty sure there's an asthma puffer strapped to that bike in the first pic. :lol: :lol:

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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby NASHIE » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:53 pm

Smithstreet wrote:
I'm pretty sure there's an asthma puffer strapped to that bike in the first pic. :lol: :lol:


:D Thats all going to get ugly.

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singlespeedscott
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby singlespeedscott » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:43 am

eeksll wrote:thanks for the replies so far.

chriso_29er wrote:I think you question is regarding knobby tyre grip on tarmac?


yeah its kind of a double loaded question now that I think about it. I want a tyre that has more grip on slightly loose surface like gravel or a slight layer of dust (especially on downhill corners) but I don't want to trade that for loss of confidence when descending on tarmac. Note that is confidence not speed, I don't mind loss of speed, but I don't want to be braking because I feel like I am going to go down.

Its my weekend ride and after riding the same roads for so many years, keen to explore a bit more. But the majority of the ride will still be tarmac.

Seriously You just need a fat tyre, min of 30mm, with a herringbone or diamond pattern and you will be fine. Have a look for some Panaracer Gravel Kings, Maxxis Re-fuse or if you feeling rich Compass tyres.
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cancan64
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby cancan64 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:23 am

I run Panaracer Gravel Kings (43 tubeless) on my gravel bike.. have had it over 80km/hr and happy to corner at over 60km/hr... and thats loaded with bags. On the road I do like to keep the pressure up but if I was on road tyres I would have pushed it harder
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antigee
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby antigee » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:30 am

find_bruce wrote:Every tire choice is a compromise - in the case of gravel tyres you are trading off a reduction in grip on smooth tarmac & an increase in rolling resistance for increased grip on gravel.

How much the trade off is will depend entirely on which specific tyres you are comparing, the type of tarmac etc.

I have been quite happy riding 28mm road tyres on short stretches of gravel roads in country NSW, but when I am planning to ride a reasonable distance on gravel I take a bike that can run Schwalbe smart sams.

They are comfortable enough on tarmac, but (1) I'm no racer & (2) I descend and corner slightly slower - its not just grip, they are bigger tyres running lower pressure so move around a bit more

The main reasons I switch back to road tyres are not due to any lack of confidence, but rather ridding knobbies on the road wears them out a bit too quickly & squares the tyre off which does make it harder to corner.


similar pretty happy running 35mm sammy slicks - the knobs don't really interfere on sealed roads and I ride in the rain if a ride is 100% road will take pressure up to avoid any squirming with hard cornering - like sammy slicks cos' give some grip on the leaves and dirt on the less well used gravel trails in the Dandenongs - in the past used more all round touring tyres but can spin on loose and steep (no not my power!) and quite like swalbe marathons as bomb proof and predictable on loose gravel, predictable behaviour is the important thing for me and width seems an issue find 28mm tends to wash out on loose bends more than 32mm tyre, new bike meant could go to 35mm and am very happy with comfort and rolling though fashion seems to be wider and wider. Bit of a wuss descending sealed roads but no confidence problems with knobbly tyres versus 23mm of slick again its about predicability and reading road conditions like reading gravel roads - looking for washed out sections and avoiding the outside of bends. Think the gent that used to post on here a lot with extensive experience of gravel touring used to suggest Vittoria Randoneurs - which have used as well and find fine - not used Clements X'plorers (think spelt like that) but get good reviews and seem popular for road/gravel mixed - Swalbe G one's seem to crop up a lot as well

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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby Usernoname » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:20 pm

cancan64 wrote:I run Panaracer Gravel Kings (43 tubeless) on my gravel bike.. have had it over 80km/hr and happy to corner at over 60km/hr... and thats loaded with bags. On the road I do like to keep the pressure up but if I was on road tyres I would have pushed it harder

Good timing, happy to see that. A pair of those arrived this morning from zee germans ordered 27/2. Was expecting 4 weeks. Going to fit this arvo, hoping they're unidirectional - no direction markers on side wall.

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singlespeedscott
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby singlespeedscott » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:28 pm

They are unidirectional. With file tread patterns the direction the tyre is mounted doesn’t matter.
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby dmwill » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:54 pm

I rocked a set of 33C Specialized Tracer CX tyres for a while for commuting duties. Zero confidence with cornering on the road, and they wore down very quickly. I figure they're a soft compound.

Currently rocking 40c Schwalbe G-Ones (in the "off season" before CX racing begins)...fantastic for gravel work (dropping them to high 20's), and still practical for the road at 60-70psi.

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singlespeedscott
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby singlespeedscott » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:45 am

60-70 psi is very high for a 40c tyres
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lewie15
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby lewie15 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:30 am

I've been wondering the same thing. I'm picking up my Scott Addict Gravel next week and asked them to put 40 mm Maxis Ramblers on them. I will keep the stock Schwalbe One 35 mm tyres and will test both out. From what i've read the ramblers are a bit slower on road, but i'm prepared to sacrifice a bit of speed for increased comfort off road. I've never done a gravel ride, but picking up the new bike next Saturday and doing a 160 km event through Gravelaide leaving from Mount Torrens in the Adelaide Hills.

eeksll
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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby eeksll » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:48 pm

I like the idea of 32mm diamond pattern tread type. Now all I need is the bike that fits those tyres :O

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Re: gravel tyres on the road

Postby richardwilliam » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:37 am

Maxxis Rambler 40mm.
I've been running these for the last 8 weeks. Firstly there is no puncture protection so running tubes will gather more flats.
I started with trying to run tubeless using no name rims but they were too small and no amount of tape was going to make me feel confident. I ran them with tubes until I got new rims. After a few rides I was getting a puncture per ride.I received and laced a pair of WTB i19 rims and used stans tape to seal the rims. The tyre fitted slightly loose and wasn't going to inflate with a track pump. I got some Giant branded tubeless rim tape made by 3M which is thicker and much better for this purpose.
Then fitting the Maxxis was ok on one rim with a track pump but not the other. (Tyre issues). So installed a tube and set one bead. No worries. Carefully unseated one side, removed tube, installed valve and carefully put tyre into the rim not disturbing the other side. I coated the tyre with slippery soapy water and the tyre inflated easy with a track pump.
On the road they are very good and are not slow compared to general off road tyres. They are light in weight and very supple. Off sealed roads they are fantastic on nearly everything except mud.

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