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gravelest

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Reply with quote  #1 
Which tire is better for gravel cycling - a knobby or a slick?

We at GRAVELEST have tested 4 slicks and 3 knobbies in all road conditions that we the gravel cyclists face during our rides. Unsponsored, we did our best to be as unbiased and precise in our observations and conclusions as possible. 

You can read the first part of our article here:

https://www.gravelest.com/single-post/2017/11/03/Gravel-Cyclists-Tire-Dilemma-Knobbies-or-Slicks-18

We would appreciate your comments in the comment section below the article.

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chas

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Reply with quote  #2 
looking forward to it.

I just read this article about cyclocrossing on large tires. 

https://janheine.wordpress.com/2017/09/15/ultra-wide-tires-unfair-advantage-in-cross/

 

I took my 60mm slicks mountain biking and obviously they were a total nightmare if the terrain was just a little bit damp. Forget damp grass or mud.

Interestingly they didn't do great on sandy turns either.

Jan is big on the "tread-less thing" and Honest I lean toward slicks too.

What he misses is that treaded tires slide well. Slicks go down fast and hard. Could he have saved is crash if he had knobs? I know I have been in situations where knobs made all the difference. I even ran knobs on the front and slicks on the back - the rear end obviously gave way in hard turns where sliding was involved.

Fattish tires on straight sand is an unfair advantage. Fattish tires work well if they have the traction (dry course or sand)

He makes a big point of why they sell few treaded tires. Yeah, if you are gravel riding and not going fast enough to get a little sideways they are great (in the dry).

For gravel (non competitive), Personally I run 90% slicks in the summer. In the winter I have tread because I want to be able to catch my bike when it starts to go sideways.

I think a big part of his advantage was flotation in the straight sand sections. The weight disadvantage for me would be significant somewhere around 40mm+

But that was racing.

For gravel, when it is dry I'm not going sideways, I like slicks.  For rougher roads I would be surprised if tread slowed me down much (assuming the road was rougher than my tread).





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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas
looking forward to it.

I just read this article about cyclocrossing on large tires. 

https://janheine.wordpress.com/2017/09/15/ultra-wide-tires-unfair-advantage-in-cross/

 

I took my 60mm slicks mountain biking and obviously they were a total nightmare if the terrain was just a little bit damp. Forget damp grass or mud.

Interestingly they didn't do great on sandy turns either.

Jan is big on the "tread-less thing" and Honest I lean toward slicks too.

What he misses is that treaded tires slide well. Slicks go down fast and hard. Could he have saved is crash if he had knobs? I know I have been in situations where knobs made all the difference. I even ran knobs on the front and slicks on the back - the rear end obviously gave way in hard turns where sliding was involved.

Fattish tires on straight sand is an unfair advantage. Fattish tires work well if they have the traction (dry course or sand)

He makes a big point of why they sell few treaded tires. Yeah, if you are gravel riding and not going fast enough to get a little sideways they are great (in the dry).

For gravel (non competitive), Personally I run 90% slicks in the summer. In the winter I have tread because I want to be able to catch my bike when it starts to go sideways.

I think a big part of his advantage was flotation in the straight sand sections. The weight disadvantage for me would be significant somewhere around 40mm+

But that was racing.

For gravel, when it is dry I'm not going sideways, I like slicks.  For rougher roads I would be surprised if tread slowed me down much (assuming the road was rougher than my tread).






+1 -- I love my slick 35 mm Compass Bon Jon's on hard pack and pavement. But once in awhile I'll hit some freshly graded dirt road with about 2" of fluff and I wish for something with more bite. I'm going to experiment with Schwalbe G-Ones to see if they give more bite, without giving up speed on smoother surfaces.
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chas

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobknh

+1 -- I love my slick 35 mm Compass Bon Jon's on hard pack and pavement. But once in awhile I'll hit some freshly graded dirt road with about 2" of fluff and I wish for something with more bite. I'm going to experiment with Schwalbe G-Ones to see if they give more bite, without giving up speed on smoother surfaces.


The 60mm tires above were g-one speed. I just mounted some 40mms g-one all around, we'll see if they stick a little...
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gravelest

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you for sharing your experience! We'd appreciate having your comments in our new comment section below our article. We'd like to reply to your comments there. Thank you for your understanding!   
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gravelest

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Reply with quote  #6 
Check for the SECOND part of the "Gravel Cyclist's Tire Dilemma" here:

https://www.gravelest.com/single-post/2017/11/10/Gravel-Cyclists-Tire-Dilemma-Knobbies-or-Slicks-28
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chunkyhugo

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Reply with quote  #7 
Sorry for staying the obvious, but my choices are based on the course I'll be riding.I use knobblies in autumn, winter and spring, then put on the slicks for the brief UK summer! Simple.
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ljsmith

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Reply with quote  #8 
I'm not sure why you are dragging this out. I have read two of your 8 parts and still know absolutely nothing. You showed some pics of tires that I can easily see on the internet and you say "below are my findings", but there are no "findings" below. Next time you post please let me know if there are any actual results.
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Barrettscv

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Reply with quote  #9 
I've settled on a hybrid solution of using a small-block knobby on the front and a near slick on the back. The knobby tire on the front provides better braking and cornering stability on soft or loose gravel. The slick on the back reduces rolling resistance.

Currently I'm using a 700c45 WTB Riddler on the front and a 700x38 Hutchinson Overide on the back. I've used other knobby tires, including the Clement tubeless MSO but the Riddler provides more float and traction while providing a moderately smooth and fast rolling ride.

The Hutchinson Overide is the ultimate lightweight, fast-rolling near-slick. It provides sufficient traction on loose gravel climbs, if I stay seated. I've never lost traction while cornering or braking.

Overall I prefer a lightweight and supple slick tire on gravel. I'm using the Compass Stampede Pass on my Peugeot PX10 and the Schwalbe G One on a Cyclocross bike. Both of these tires provide enough traction for most of the rural roads and rails-to-trails in my region.
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oleritter

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gravelest
Thank you for sharing your experience! We'd appreciate having your comments in our new comment section below our article. We'd like to reply to your comments there. Thank you for your understanding!   


This is kind of annoying, as this is a forum where we talk and discuss and ask questions, and you are insisting we go to your site and do this instead.

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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #11 
So, I just had the unpleasure of getting roped into reading this blog post on knobs vs slicks and see nothing that resembles a test. Written by a claimed PhD no less... "we did our best to be as unbiased and precise in our observations and conclusions as possible." You sure about that, Doctor? I haven't read anything more vague in my life!

What I did learn from browsing a bit deeper is that this is a site promoting luxury gravel vacations in Southern Estonia with packages that that range from €899-€1499 ($1060-$1767). 

Something in the universe is totally out of whack. I can't explain it. Maybe the PhD can elaborate, because Southern Estonia looks like a ripping good time. Is there really a rise of luxury gravel tourism in the Baltic? Should I ever make it up there thankfully the google maps car has that country well mapped out. I'll find my own way. Kind of what gravel riding is all about.. self-sufficiency. 
 

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chas

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Reply with quote  #12 
yeah, nothing interesting in that blog post.  I've given up...
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