Different Tyre Widths

ShaneC
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Different Tyre Widths

Postby ShaneC » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:29 am

Hi,

I am setting up a couple of gravel bikes for primarily for touring on Rail Trails. First the BVRT then looking to some in Victoria and NZ.

We are using our existing touring bikes which is a Salsa Vaya for me and a CX bike with raised stem for my wife. We have ridden/toured these bikes a lot on the road and find them comfortable. I carry all the panniers and wife just looks pretty!

We would probably have preferred 29ers for rail trails but don't really want to spend the $$ for new bikes at this stage.

Having not ridden much gravel and looking for the most comfortable ride, I would have thought the wider tyre the better? however the max width our bikes will take are 50mm on the front and 40mm on the rear.

I have read all the reviews on tyres and looking at either Clement MSO or Soma Cazadero. Both do a 40/42mm and 50mm tyre.

My question is can we ride a 50mm tyre on the front and a 40mm tyre on the rear as both our bikes will allow this configuration.
I have thought of going to 650b wheels and 50 front and rear but for the cost of the upgrade we may as just well buy 29ers.

Thanks

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Leaf T
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Re: Different Tyre Widths

Postby Leaf T » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:21 pm

I used 700cx35mm Marathons on Victorian rail trails for years without issues.

edit- I re-read your post and can't see any reason not touse a bigger front but rail trails are mostly a good surface so unless you expect to be on sandy or boggy surfaces Something around 35-40mm should be a happy medium.

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Warin
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Re: Different Tyre Widths

Postby Warin » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:10 pm

Agree with LeafT. 35-40 should be fine unless there is lots of soft stuff.
I'd keep both front and rear the same size to keep things easy. The rear carries more load anyway, so will tend to sink in soft stuff more than the front, so if anything the rear should be the larger tyre.

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baabaa
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Re: Different Tyre Widths

Postby baabaa » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:03 pm

Short answer yes but then, do you want to run mudguards and if not why not?
I do a bit of mucking about on gravel and have tried different f and r widths but just gave up as you really need to lug two different types of tubes; a touring up to 37 mm and a 29er for the 50 mm
Closer to your question I have a vaya front fork I drop on and off a lacruz cx for the front pannier rack mounts. It will (the fork) take a 1.9 inch kenda karma (which I consider looks to be thinner than 50 mm on a 29er rim) without guards but is a bit tight and you do get some mud grind. Not sure I would bother with anything wider than 2 inch as while the ride is nicer if you are doing a lot of loose rock / stony stuff, on better dirt roads you feel like you are riding uphill the whole time.
Did I notice much difference? Well yes but on the dirt I ride in NSW just a bit, but your bike becomes a slug on tar so I would rather just poke along a bit slower off tar and keep the ability to ride with ease and speed when on tar.
I have two bikes set up much the same and now just stick to X’Plor USH 700 x 35 mm without guards and conti contacts 700 x 37 mm on the bike with them. For simplicity in tubes I run the same width and type front and back.
I would say the X’Plor USH 35 or MSO 36 would suit what you want to do pretty well. They are a pretty good all rounder. Having both bikes with the same four tyres, tubes and spares would make touring pretty easy.

ShaneC
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Re: Different Tyre Widths

Postby ShaneC » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:07 pm

Thanks for the quick response.

We don't run fenders - never really needed them but we are fair weather tourers. If it's raining were not likely to be riding.

There are some Clements X'plor 40s pretty cheap online atm so I might give them a go. They will fit front & rear.

Thanks again and happy travels.

STC

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RonK
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Re: Different Tyre Widths

Postby RonK » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:45 pm

It's common practice to use a wider front tyre on MTB's, but I can't see why you would bother for rail trails.
I have used the 42mm Cazadero's and have run them both tubed and ghetto tubeless. They give s cushy ride, roll fast and have plenty of side grip.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

brokenbus
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Re: Different Tyre Widths

Postby brokenbus » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:43 pm

I have just ridden the bvrt and i would suggest a cushy wide tire would be good as it is quite bumpy when compared to a gravel road. My wife really noticed this and she has 2.1 tyres on her hardtail 29er. I am running 2.5 tubeless on a rigid mtb and were very happy with the ride. You could certainly do it on 40mm tyres but you may not find it that pleasant particularly if one of you prefers sealed roads.
We did the central Otago rail trail 2 years ago on hybrid style bikes and they 35mm tyres from memory and they were okay on this surface. I found they a bit sketchy on loose gravel particularly with rear panniers and a bob trailer in tow. I think 40mm tyres would be great on this trail
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ShaneC
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Re: Different Tyre Widths

Postby ShaneC » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:58 am

brokenbus wrote:I have just ridden the bvrt and i would suggest a cushy wide tire would be good as it is quite bumpy when compared to a gravel road. My wife really noticed this and she has 2.1 tyres on her hardtail 29er. I am running 2.5 tubeless on a rigid mtb and were very happy with the ride. You could certainly do it on 40mm tyres but you may not find it that pleasant particularly if one of you prefers sealed roads.
We did the central Otago rail trail 2 years ago on hybrid style bikes and they 35mm tyres from memory and they were okay on this surface. I found they a bit sketchy on loose gravel particularly with rear panniers and a bob trailer in tow. I think 40mm tyres would be great on this trail


Thanks for that feedback. Very informative.

ShaneC
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Re: Different Tyre Widths

Postby ShaneC » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:35 pm

Hi,

I thought I would report back on this. Dropped into the LBS last night and picked up some Clement MSO 40's for my bike and Surly Knard for my wifes. This morning headed out to Lake Wivenhoe trails for a test ride. I've not ridden these trails, or the BVRT before but I think these Wivenhoe trails are a bit more up and down than a rail trail - not single track either but some sections quite rocky.

In any regards the Surly Knards got a big thumbs up. Running at 30 psi in the front and 40 in the rear wife said they were very sure and comfortable.

Whilst it wasn't wet, it was dewy and the Clements quite quickly clogged up and I had the rear lock up a few times on short sharp descents and seem to loose control of the rear. I think these will perform better on a true rail trail type surface. :?:

I didn't really think we needed to go much wider - maybe a 45mm tyre but doesn't seem like anyone makes these.

Thanks




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baabaa
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Re: Different Tyre Widths

Postby baabaa » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:44 pm

Well it is a touring bike and not a 29er so grip will be pretty scratchy unless you do go 650B.
I use one of these to lower the saddle to get the weight down and onto the rear when the going gets a bit rough
http://salsacycles.com/components/categ ... /flip-lock
Easy to adjust back up to your normal riding height
I think panaracer made a 45mm which is more cx than a mtn bike tyre. I have used this brand and found them to be very supple but just too soft for oz roads and dirt. Kenda Small Block Eight could be worth a look?

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Leaf T
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Re: Different Tyre Widths

Postby Leaf T » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:06 pm

baabaa wrote:Well it is a touring bike and not a 29er so grip will be pretty scratchy unless you do go 650B.

Baabaa did you read that in the Herald Sun?

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baabaa
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Re: Different Tyre Widths

Postby baabaa » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:03 pm

Herald Sun?
Why are they after a dear doctor type weekly column on all things biking? If so I do have a couple of early editions of Richard's Bicycle Book that would more or less suit the golden age of way most of the HS readers see bike riding should go back to, but alas no cant say I ever have, but yes the Prof. baabaa is here to help.

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geoffs
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Re: Different Tyre Widths

Postby geoffs » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:55 pm

We've just returned from riding 1600kms along the Rhine from Andermatt to Hook of Holland and spent a lot of kms on similar gravel surface to what you'll find on the NZ railtrails. We were using Schwalbe Supremes 2" and they were fine on both gravel and road sections. We were able to cruise along at 30-33km/hr when we weren't riding into a headwind. Which is about 3 km/hr quicker than we could on the Marathon's.
I'd be keeping the tyres same size front and back.
If you plan on making a habit of touring. get a tandem. We've been tandem touring now for 23yrs :-)

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