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chas

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I put a 54mm front tire on my cross/gravel bike (rear is 40mm).  Wow, what a difference.  Front forks tend to have lots of room, so there is often the option of going monster cross big on the front – even if the rear won’t go that large.  It really changes the personality of the bike.

 

I ride 28mm on the front on the road, and 40mm grave. The 54mm (Thunder Burt) really makes the bike feel like a ridged mountain bike, adds more traction, increases trail, adds to stability, slows down the steering, adds a lot more cushion (low 20's psi), makes the bike feel more like a truck, and a makes soft sand much more rideable.

 

Speed wise it rolls well, and can cruise on a flat road within 5-10% of the speed of the 28mm race tire.  It also accelerates like a mountain bike (i.e. slowly with effort) and has a bit of a gyroscopic effect. It tends to slow everything down, which is good for gravel.

 

I have it on a 700c wheel, but I think clearance wise and to match the 700x40c tire a 650b 54mm version would be better.  But on my bike the slacker head tube angle by the large front wheel isn’t a bad thing. 

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widerisfaster

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Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks for sharing your experience. Coming from a road bike, using different tyres front and rear was foreign to me, but it make sense off road.

I've just been looking at the Thunder Burt 650B x 2.1. I have clearance for 2.1 at both ends, but I'm trying to decide between the Gravelking SK 650B x 48mm (1.9) and the Thunder Burt 2.1. Is there such thing as too much tyre?

It seems once you go above 48mm/1.9" the tyres are more open spaced chunky MTB knobs than gravel tread patterns.

There is no such thing as the perfect tyre for everything, but I think for where I ride, the Gravelking tread pattern will be faster rolling on the hard pack, and provide enough grip in the looser gravel, and maybe keep the handling nimble enough. 


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HollyBoni

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Reply with quote  #3 

Quote:
Originally Posted by widerisfaster
Is there such thing as too much tyre?


In terms of tread pattern and construction/reinforcing sure, but width... Not sure. It was proven plenty of times that just because a tyre is wider it's not necessarily slower. 

Personally I would go with the Thunder Burts to run as low pressures as possible (comfort). I have GK SKs and I love them but still.

 

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chas

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Reply with quote  #4 
We need to convince them to make a 650b furious fred
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HollyBoni

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Reply with quote  #5 

G series or the Continental Speed King II?

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/mtb-reviews/continental-speed-king-ii-racesport-2015

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/mtb-reviews/schwalbe-big-one-2016

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widerisfaster

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBoni



In terms of tread pattern and construction/reinforcing sure, but width... Not sure. It was proven plenty of times that just because a tyre is wider it's not necessarily slower. 

Personally I would go with the Thunder Burts to run as low pressures as possible (comfort). I have GK SKs and I love them but still.

 



I went with the 650b ThunderBurt 2.1's, and did my first ride yesterday. The extra traction is confidence inspiring! They roll well too, picked up a PR on a 7km descent, but I put that down to better suspension than better rolling resistance. I'll hold judgment on rolling speed until I've done a few more rides. the Clement/Donnelly MSO's in 40mm are my benchmark for fast rolling knobby tyres. 
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HollyBoni

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by widerisfaster


I went with the 650b ThunderBurt 2.1's, and did my first ride yesterday. The extra traction is confidence inspiring! They roll well too, picked up a PR on a 7km descent, but I put that down to better suspension than better rolling resistance. I'll hold judgment on rolling speed until I've done a few more rides. the Clement/Donnelly MSO's in 40mm are my benchmark for fast rolling knobby tyres. 


Even if it's a bit slower it's well worth it for the added comfort IMO. But it all depends where you use your bike of course. 
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chas

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Reply with quote  #8 

So the 2.1” Thunder Burt (even just on the front) made my light agile bike feel like a truck.  While this is great for single track (tons of fun actually), it’s probably best for speeds consistently below 15mph. 

Emperically, its not a slow tire – it rolls at only 22-23 watts resistance, which isn’t far off from my 32mm continental 4 seasons.  But that only matters on steady cruising (like a MUP).  It is slow, slow to turn in, slow to accelerate, slow to climb, slow to respond.  This is great on a technical ride (or bombing downhill), but very different from my bikes normal personality (light and playful).

So next up, the 2.0” Furious Fred (FF).  Now this tire feels like a gravel tire – not a mountain bike tire.  It’s as light and fast as a 33mm Cyclocross tire – well faster even in rough conditions.  It feels like it is 16-19mm range in rolling resistance – fast as a typical road tire.  It accelerates, climbs, and corners well, yet has lots of volume.  It feels a lot like a Maxxis Rambler, or Schwalbe G-One, but with a lot more volume and a bit more grip.

I’m riding along on the FF yesterday at 22-24mph thinking I could never do this on a normal 29” mountain bike tire.  Given the roughness of the surface, I couldn’t easily do it on a 25mm tire either.  It is a fast tire multi surface tire.

 

I’m measuring it at 45mm.  So, a bit thin for a “2.0” tire.  Still, it’s a great size for gravel.  This is becoming my goto tire when I need something bigger than my (32mm) road slicks in my bike.  At 45mm wide – it will fit on just about any modern fork.

 

There are rides when I want the feel and responsiveness of a smaller road tire.  But if you want some 45mm comfort without compromise – this is my choice.

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HollyBoni

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Reply with quote  #9 

45mm is very skinny, i'm not sure if I would even call it a mountain bike tire. [smile]

I'm interested how will you get on with the FF long term, that 360 gram weight is a bit scary.

Funnily enough this is straight from the Schwalbe website:

Warning! To anyone who wants everything. Furious Fred is the fastest MTB tire – Ever! But be aware: It is not an allrounder. Grip is limited and risk of puncturing is high.

[biggrin]

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barturtle

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Reply with quote  #10 


I've run the Speed King 2.2, it's an incredible tyre. I've run it tubeless, front and rear on Blunt SS rims. Really fast. Even does remarkably well on wet rocks, but can't handle mud at all.
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ljsmith

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBoni

45mm is very skinny, i'm not sure if I would even call it a mountain bike tire. [smile]

I'm interested how will you get on with the FF long term, that 360 gram weight is a bit scary.

Funnily enough this is straight from the Schwalbe website:

Warning! To anyone who wants everything. Furious Fred is the fastest MTB tire – Ever! But be aware: It is not an allrounder. Grip is limited and risk of puncturing is high.

[biggrin]



I have some Furious Freds, they were on sale at Chain Reaction for $25, so I got 6 of them.  On a 23mm internal wheel they measure 48mm.  They are FAST!  But definitely heed the warning on the Schwalbe site, they are kind of like using an inner tube as a tire, very thin with absolutely no puncture protection.  If you are going to run tubeless, it will take several days/weeks to seal up the thin/porous sidewalls by laying them on their sides flipping several times to coat both sides.  I rode my first set for 1500 miles before I got my first puncture.  It was not a large puncture, but even Stans Race fluid could not seal it because the tire is so thin that its hard for enough sealant to really fill the hole.  I used a dynaplug to plug it and that worked fine.  Once I got home I decided to put a new tire on in place of the punctured one.  I got about 5 miles on it before I got a puncture which as before required a dynaplug because sealant won't seal it.  So 1500 miles for my first set, and 5 miles  for the new ones.  If you ride tubeless ride with them, do not rely on any kind of sealant, make sure you carry a tube, or some tire plugs.  
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widerisfaster

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by barturtle


I've run the Speed King 2.2, it's an incredible tyre. I've run it tubeless, front and rear on Blunt SS rims. Really fast. Even does remarkably well on wet rocks, but can't handle mud at all.


These measure 54mm on a 17C rim as per the BRR test, so on my 22C rim they would be about 56 or 57mm wide. I have 60mm between the chainstays, so that's not leaving much clearance in my gravel frame. Looks like a good tyre for gravel, but a 2.0" version would fit a lot more gravel frames than a 2.2". 
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HollyBoni

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Reply with quote  #13 
The Race King is a great tire, i've run it on my MTB as well. The Performance and Racesport does come in a 29x2.0 size, sadly the Protection does not. It's a really tall tyre too, so that might limit clearance as well. 

I've seen the Race King in a 622-45 size. It was either called Race King CX or Cyclocross Race but now I can only find the 35mm version. But if I remember correctly it might have been a cheap, wire bead version.
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chas

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Reply with quote  #14 

Bringing a gun to a knife fight.

 

I just took my Furious Fred (FF) front tired gravel bike to a tough gravel road training ride for a 25mile pro level mountain bike race.  The group was mostly fast cross country hard tails.

I’ve never been on a ride with USCI licensed competitors and felt like I was the fastest guy in the pack.    It was crazy because I know these guys can crush it on road bikes or mountain biking.  But these tires on a fast bike are an unfair advantage.

Part of it was because my rig was lighter – probably at least 5lbs lighter and 1-2lbs lighter on the wheels/tires.  Having drop bars and more of a road position helped too.  But the Furious Fred brought it all together.

I had a higher top end because of drop bars and gearing

I had a bike climbed easier because of the Furious Freds light weight

A first for me: I had a bike that could take high speed gravel turns with the mountain bikes because the FF had what it takes to bite on the turn, with the width and suppleness (27psi) to ensure I had the traction I needed.   On 40mm tires I would be treading cautiously and riding light in the turns.

The FF also helped when I was flying along a gravel road at 20-25mph in the dark and ran into the random gravel pothole. 

Its kind of wild riding a drop bar bike on terrain that normally would have been better suited for a mountain bike. 

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chas

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBoni

45mm is very skinny, i'm not sure if I would even call it a mountain bike tire. [smile]

I'm interested how will you get on with the FF long term, that 360 gram weight is a bit scary.

Funnily enough this is straight from the Schwalbe website:

Warning! To anyone who wants everything. Furious Fred is the fastest MTB tire – Ever! But be aware: It is not an allrounder. Grip is limited and risk of puncturing is high.

[biggrin]



Skinny, right?  Definitely more of an XC tire than an all arounder.  They do look plenty big on a drop bar bike.  I had some 2.0" light weight Kendas that measured about 42mm.  It seems that one way to make a 2.0" tire light is to make it smaller than advertized.  ;-)

I'm not too concerned about durability, as I'm just running it in the front.  My front tires get almost no wear.   It is super rare for me to have flats on the front - partially because of my riding style, and partially because it is the rear tire that gets the debris thrown at it.   I would be a little more concerned about having it as a rear tire.  
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HollyBoni

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Reply with quote  #16 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chas


Skinny, right?  Definitely more of an XC tire than an all arounder.  They do look plenty big on a drop bar bike.  I had some 2.0" light weight Kendas that measured about 42mm.  It seems that one way to make a 2.0" tire light is to make it smaller than advertized.  ;-)


Well, I run 43mm GravelKing SKs and they weigh 480g. [biggrin] I think most 38-40mm gravel tyres are just above or below 400g. Personally i'd be scared to run these things but that's just me.

Still I don't understand how they can market a 45mm let alone a 42mm as 2"... [crazy]

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chas

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Reply with quote  #17 
Well the "size" doesnt mean anything.  I have 28mm tires from Conti that measure 27-31mm  THat is a 10% spread.  Heck, I've upgraded Michelin and Conti 25mm tires to 28mm only to find they are the same size as my original tire (just barely wider bead to bead, but not enough that i can measure a mounted difference.

Just read an article on mountain biking complaining how there are a lot of "light" "Plus" size tires that are no where near their nominal size.  It just permeates the industry.

I hear ya on the weight.  It all depends where and how you ride (and tolerance for repairs, lol).   I can save 2lb in rotating weight depending on the tire/wheelset I use.  That makes a huge factor in acceleration.  But obviously there are many who would not trade flat resistance for acceleration. 

Come to thing of it: I'm really struggling to remember getting a flat gravel riding.  Occasionally commuting I get a staple or nail or something in my rear tire.  I used to get pinch flats before going tubeless.  








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