Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
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Before I left Perth, I ordered a 2013 Giant TCX 1 to replace my fragile carbon bike for my daily long commuting (98% Tarmac).
I noticed the TCX 1 runs a 32 wide tyre thats not exactly a slick. I have only ever run 23/25 wide tyres and large MTB tyres (Which is like chalk and cheese), thus I have no experience with 32's.
Does a 700x32 tyre have that much worse rolling resistance compared to a 23/25 slick tyre for commuting or would it be adequate? Not sure if I should run a 28mm tyre.
Any opinions would be great =)
I'd run a 35mm CX tread tyre.
A 28 is too close to a road tyre, and the whole idea of a CX bike is to have something a bit different. A more comfy ride, the ability to ride trails and hop off kerbs; if the penalty is a bit of rolling resistance, then so be it.
My money is firmly where my mouth is - I have a pair of Conti 35's waiting for me to build the wheels for my steelie CX build. If I was sure my frame could have handled wider, I'd have gone wider.
My bike blog. Long on rumination, rambling and opinion. Why let facts ruin everything?
I think my wife runs 32s (I think) on her CX/commuter (Merida CX 5) whereas I run Gatorskin 28s or knobby 35s on my Merida CX 4. I can't recall much rolling resistance when switching from her bike with Schwalbe 32s to my bike with the Gator 28s, but I do seem to recall a softer ride on the 32s.
I've had the 35s on for a month (I left my pit pump at the last race and don't want to mess with changing tyres and little pumps) but I will go back to the 28s after this support race for the Nats this weekend. Drop me a line if you are still after info at that time, and I can do a direct (but subjective) comparo between 32s and 28s.
I had 35mm file tread CX tyres on my Ghettocross bike when it was stolen and I did feel that they were notably gluggier than the 28 slicks, as are of course the 35mm knobblies. As JJ says, part of the reason to run a CX bike is because they are different but for the commute the extra pace is nice (although running noisy knobbies gives you extra points for commuter racing).
I'm tending toward slick 32s like my wife runs when the 28s run out.
Kestrel Talon road 2007
Como Vivente road 2009
Principia track track 2014
Cervelo P2K TT 2003
Merida CX4 2010
I run 28 conti gator skins on my surly cross check, for commuting as well as long road rides.
The treaded 32s it came with stock were fun in that you looked for potholes to go over rather than avoid, but I preferred the faster and firmer ride of the 28s. I kept the 32s on the stock wheels so that I can swap them when i want to go on trail rides.
I've never ridden on 25s or 23s tho. I'm tempted to go for 25s as I'm doing more and more road riding.
I was running 28mm on my CX4 then went to 35mm Michelin road tyres. When I broke my 2nd rear wheel I got a 35mm wide rim so I can't run anything narrower on the back now. Currently its a 38mm Conti on the back.
They look better with big fat rubber
how do you find the rolling resistance compared to 25mm slicks?
I use 28 gatorskin hardshells on my Boardman. Sheldon Brown's website said that is the smallest width I should use on my 24mm rims.
The wear on the rear knobbly was pretty dramatic when I commuted on them before the slicks arrived (~500km) and when I could not be bothered to de-race-ifiy during the summer season Dec 11-Jan 12 (~1500km).
I would say that the wider the tyre the heavier, which makes climbing more difficult, but then you live in Perth, so, LOL-at-me, yeah, whatever width (now I'll get some Perthon claim they have hills) .
You'll notice more difference in rolling resistance due to the presence or absence of tread, more than the size.
For a mostly tarmac commute, I'd be reckoning on slicks of some sort. Fatter will be more comfortable, but probably a little heavier. Slicks grip tarmac at least as well as treads (but they can be a bit entertaining on wet grass or clay).
Personally, I find 28s to be my sweet spot for commuting. That's almost all road, but I have been known to go exploring singletrack or use a crushed quartz bike path sometimes. I have 25s at the moment, but then their time comes, I'll be back on 28s. That's on a SS CX bike, which occasionally gets converted for a bit of SS CX racing - racks and fenders off, 48:18 gear swapped for 32:16 or 32:18. slicks swapped for 35mm knobbies.
If your bike comes with knobbies, ride them, see if you like them, and see about getting a set of 28mm road tyres as well. Swap them to and fro if/when you feel the need. It's always a good idea to have a set of knobs hanging on the wall if your bike is able to fit them. But really, tyres are consumables... you're not riding these ones for life.
That's what I did when I got my CX bike. The 28mm road tyres certainly got up to speed a bit quicker but the ride was a little harsher. My rear knobbie only lasted 600kms before it was shot.
To save myself changing tyres I bought a 29er HT The CX bike is used just for the road now.
A common story.
I used to have a set of road slicks that I could swap on to my bike (hardtail) if I ever needed to ride on the road.
Now... hardtail, singlespeed hardtail, roadie, tourer, cargo, tandem, a couple of random novelties that don't get ridden much, unicycle, and the SSCX commuter, which still needs tyre-swapping for proper CX duties.
N+1 never ends. I need another SSCXer that can keep its knobbies on.
Yes it can get out of control. I just bought myself another fixie today
I used to have 4in XC mtb, SS rigid mtb, 8in DH mtb, dirt jumper, and 3 roadies. Slowly building my collection back up.
You might find this Bicycle Quarterly article worth a read.
All else being equal I dont think you will find much difference when commuting.
However all 32mm cyclocross tyres are not equal. I think the tread pattern will have more effect on the rolling resistence than other factors.
I run either the Challenge Griffo XS or the Clement Las both in 32 have have a similair tread pattern. They only have nobby bits on the outside and I find I can ride these on commutes and off road without having to change tyres.
The Clements are a little wider in the same size and both give a plush ride on the tarmac however I cannot use the Clements now on my 1992 Alan as they are a litte too wide so I run the Grifo's now.
Both great tyres if you mostly ride on the tarmac with them and on solid trails. I do about 80/20 tarmac to off road use.
I even choose my Alan somtimes over my road bike for training rides and have no trouble staying with other roadies. Its a larger frame than my road bike so I am more upright which I think is a bigger penalty than the 32mm over 23mm tyres. I think the tread pattern is the most important selection in similair width tyres in regards to rolling resistence and intended use.
Find an allrounder suited to your main use or just buy three CX bikes and put different tyres on them and use as needed ; )
BTW I have a as new(10km) set of 32mm Clement Las for sale if anybody is after.
Depends on what you are doing with it.
I run 28 gatorskin hardshells on my CX (Boardman CX Comp, now upgraded to 105/ultegra level), because they are the smallest tyres I can fit on the rims (according to Sheldon Brown).
Acceleration is effected by the weight of the wheels, which also effects climbing significantly. Bigger tyres = more weight, regardless of rolling resistance and whatnot. Then again, you live in Perth where I suspect you'd call riding over speed bumps "hill repeats" , so their effect on climbing won't make that much difference. On a wed am training ride I often go on I spend most of my time near or on the front on my roadie. This does not happen on my CX. I certainly end up near the rear on anything with a gradient > ~3% on my CX, when I'd be near the front on my roadie.
However, the advantage with 28s is that you can "just ride over that sh...stuff" and run a lower pressure. So more comfortable. The 28 gatorskin hardshells seem to be significantly longer wearing than the 23mm gatorskins I use on my roadie (and the schwalbe durano pluses I have used as well).
For commuting, not a great deal of measurable difference WRT the time it takes, but it feels like more work with the 28s on my CX vs 23s on my roadie.
Then again, the wheels - without tyres - are probably 0.5 - 0.75 kg heavier on the CX, so it is difficult to say if the tyres do have that much impact.
FWIW and perhaps OT, knobblies wear down very quickly on asphalt.
On my steel framed commuter/cx the difference between wired 28 gators and kevlar 35 ritchey cx tyres is chalk and cheese. The ritcheys (old worn race tyres) are better riding/more supple/ more fun. The 28's are just a heavier roadie tyre.
80/20 road -dirt commute of 50km. Only using old open 4cd 13mm wide rims too. ~60 psi. point to point times around the same. I can go 10 mins faster on roadie w/ 25's, but can't carry stuff like i can on commuter (ortlieb panniers).
Like Simon, i can't be bothered changing out wheels betwwen races/commutes.
I have just bought , but not ridden yet, some real lightweight 35 mm slicks-Kojak/schwalbe. keen to roll on these...sidewalls very light on protection though. i don't think they will last that long. I bought 'em for a lightweight tour that didn't happen.
Keen to try some Euro flavour too.....clemente/grand bois/veloflex,etc.
Anyone want to buy some 28mm gators?
I just bought the 2013 Giant TCX 1. It currently comes with Kenda Slant 6, 700x32 wheels. I'm looking for fatter, but light competitive tyres. Any suggestions? What would be the fattest tyres I could fit in the stock rim and frame?
I have a boardman cx disc and i bought another set of wheels (carbon) and put my ritchie knobbies on those, i use 28mm conti gp4seasons on my stock whels and it is 5 min work to swap over wheels.
The 28's are definitely faster and quicker to accelerate on the road, i have used then on rail trails and hard pack with no issues, the warburton trail is very easy on them, i use these when commuting tho not much of that these days
but for a bit of mud and more challenging terrain the knobbies are great
Boardman CX pro now the commuter, Salsa Casseroll, Trek Domane
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