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Best clincher tires and their application

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics' started by Gunjira, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. Gunjira

    Gunjira Maximum Pace

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    Hey, I wanted to get some feedback on what the preferred tires are.
    I've ridden a couple, but there are so many brands and models out there.

    I have been really loving Continental (German engineering) as a total package of rolling resistance, puncture safety and durability, but have been cheating on my home brand for good deals. (I'm cheap)

    I think it was James who recommended the Vittoria Open Corsa/Tubulars as the fastest Clinchers. I just found one of the 20C variety for cheap at Shimazaki Cycle in Hachioji.

    Before slapping it on, one question. I just got one of them and I'm running 23s now. Usually I would think putting the thinner tire on the rear would be better, so I have more rubber on the road on the front wheel while steering for more stability. Is that the right idea?
  2. kiwisimon

    kiwisimon Maximum Pace

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    No put the newer tire on the front and let the bigger more voluminous tire do the shock absorbing at the back. Which one do you want to blow out if your going down a hill at 80 kph? Chances are the worn tire blows first.
  3. TOM

    TOM Maximum Pace

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    Hi there Gunjira...it is more like the opposite. You want more traction in the back. As a matter of fact, the same Continental of your loving has a front/rear set called attack/force (attack=front / force=rear)... a very decent tire set I have used before...if I remember correctly, the front is 22C and the rear 24C.

    Be careful with 20Cs ...downhills can be rather treacherous especially where you have those anti-speeding linear engravings in the concrete...

    My advice: use 20C only for flat time trials or hillclimbs if the road surface permits (i.e. dry and good condiition). For anything else, stick to 23C; alternatively 25C if you are into extra long-distance riding (220km+).


  4. Ludwig

    Ludwig Warming-Up

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    I second Tom.

    Actually, Tom and I are riding much bigger tyres on our cyclocross (me currently 35c, profile almost completely gone), and in the end the tyres don't really seem to slow us down. The heavier bikes do when we accelerate or go up-hill.
  5. Yamabushi

    Yamabushi Maximum Pace Ride Leader

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    I am a big fan of the Continental GP4000 or GP4000s. As you pointed out, they hit (at least for me) the sweet spot of ride quality and durability. As long you get black the only difference is the logos. As for size, I currently ride 700x23 on my proper road bike and 700x25 on my hybrid. The 700x25 adds a bit more dampening/comfort without really sacrificing much of anything, and I wouldn't think twice about using them on my road bike. I currently weigh about 65kg, but if I weighed significantly more, I would definitely only use the 700x25's.
  6. GSAstuto

    GSAstuto Maximum Pace

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    Conti Gatorskins all the way! Riding 25 rear and 23 front. Excellent skid-ability, too (important for us brakeless riders) When I was using Michelin and other tire - just get flats and snakebites. Open pave is nice, too - but gotta watch the skids - one or two and you're out!
  7. FarEast

    FarEast Maximum Pace Post Of The Week

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    Disagree..... as a lover of tthe 20c tires they are more stable and corner much titghter than 23c tires. The anti-speeding linear engravings in the concrete are no issue either.

    On the Itoigawa Fast run I had a front tire blow out coming down in to Matsumoto and I wa able to keep control of the bike with no issues whats so ever.
  8. TOM

    TOM Maximum Pace

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    Most admirable James - your BMX past has obviously taught you how to stay in control even in the most perilous of conditions :cool:. Truth is that many of us - including myself and Lee (Wolfman) - have backed away from our initial love for 20c tires (I admit, they are noticeably faster!!). They really get spooked by those anti-speeding grooves (particularly those along the Kazahari downhill to the lake). They do not handle wet corners very well either!

    These are the 20C tires I sometimes use (they are really good and fast!):

    [​IMG]


  9. FarEast

    FarEast Maximum Pace Post Of The Week

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    I used to race TT's on 700x18c tubular tires..... those hurt :D

    But in the wet I think any form of road tire is a little sketchy on cornering.

    Im going to fly in the wind of common preference here, I really don't like the continental Grand Prix I find that they have a to low PSi rating and on corners feel like they are rolling off the rims.

    Give me razor blades any day of the week!
  10. GSAstuto

    GSAstuto Maximum Pace

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    I think it all comes down to personal preference. Typically riders will choose the highest pressures and narrowest tires thinking that is the key to ultimate performance. But, a smart rider will choose the tire combination that suits the overall race or ride. Overall I prefer tubulars cause they just 'feel good' - but thats me. And though I ride on clinchers - I still prefer tubulars. For long ride training, its important to have solid traction over wide variety conditions and some comfort. But comfort is also part of the whole machine (including your ass), not just the tire. So, again, you need to take inconsideration the whole machine (including you). Tire is just 1 variable amongst many. Though it is the 1 variable that is the coefficient of friction between you and the road! If the tire feels sketchy, then you lose confidence - if you lose confidence, you tense, if you tense, your chance of crash is extraordinary higher. I gotta agree with James here -- ride a tight , mean tire that has a full round profile for max peformance. But this also mean you gotta be loose on the bars and agile. Also - you must pay attention your breaking pressures. Fatter, wider tires means more comfort and stability (and traction in the loose). At same time it does mean a marginal decrease in rolling resistance. If you read my blog - you can read about 3 of us (not all poor riders) getting completely hammered by a guy on a mountain bike with knobbies! And he'd just come off Tomin No Mori same as us! Its not the tires that count most - its your legs!

    I vote for tires that don't flat easily, good profile for consistent traction and are easy to off and on the rim in case of puncs. The rest is splitting hairs that are likely to be challenged by simply man-ning up a bit in training or foregoing that last beer or whiskey at 3am.

    Personal Counterpoint - the friggin Michelin Pros I was riding puncked out so many times in 1 week I almost left my bike inna ditch! Same ride with Conti's or Open CX - no issues. You know my choice! The same friggin Michelin Pro punked on a snakebite crossing the bridge to the start to Fuji HC. Totally wasted my mental game. My front trainer is an Open CX 20c and hasn't punked or flatted in more than a year now. I'll keep it til the threads wear bare. Never a problem on the rain, speed bumps or anything. Predicatble, skiddable (ala Kenny Roberts) and I trust it.
  11. jdd

    jdd Maximum Pace

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    One of those days...

    I didn't realize what had happened until I was getting back out of the car, but apparently (probably) when leaving work about a step or two before I got in I had stepped in some very gooey chewing gum. So at my stop at the bank on the way home I discover this spider webby glop of gum that my foot had spread between the foot rest, floor mat, and brake pedal.

    After getting home, and a quick google, I tried brake cleaner, and it worked like a charm. Wonderful stuff.

    on edit: Somehow I was thinking I was on and posting this to the "wheel maintenance" thread, and instead it appeared here, probably due to my inattention or maybe too many beers. So brake cleaner is good for cleaning wheels--and the erasers discussed in that other thread also work well. And it also dissolves chewing gum like it wasn't even there...!
  12. Ludwig

    Ludwig Warming-Up

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    Thanks, Tim. This sounds all right to me.

    I like my Continental 4000S - only one flat in 20,000km, and feel very safe in all conditions, including very tight corners (which I love). They are fine in rain too, and I have even ridden over snow patches. And plenty of gravel.

    I have never tried tubulars - I cycle too much on roads with plenty of stones or even on gravel, so would think it is better to remain conventional.
  13. Half-Fast Mike

    Half-Fast Mike Maximum Pace

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    I use Panaracer Duro series tyres. I think they exhibit great wet/dry handling and puncture resistance. They're heavy, and kinda tough to fit onto the rims when new.

    I've never tried Continental; not averse to doing so, just found something I like and stuck with it.

    --HF Mike--
  14. FarEast

    FarEast Maximum Pace Post Of The Week

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    They ride the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Paris–Roubaix , Tour De France on tubular all of which I think have a lot harsher conditions than the typical ride we do, especailly on the cobbles or the gravel climbs.

    It's urban myth that tubulars are more prone to punctures than clinchers and just like the clicher range tubulars come in all different widths and condition usage. The difference is however unless you are rather handy with a needle and thread tubular are rather expensive when punucturing.
  15. ProRaceMechanic

    ProRaceMechanic Maximum Pace

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    Tyres a mans best friend, or Not!

    There are so many choices. And opinions! It all depends on the conditions. When I first arrived in Japan all I could think about was only riding my most supple tubulars and lightweight clinchers. Coming from San Francisco where nothing but a gatorskin or the likeness will do in the confines of the city I was so hopefull that Japan would be a puncture free paradice that could dispell overweighted jersey pockets and ludacris seatbags. Then twice in the same week I blew my tubulars! GAF! Even with the Stanz:( So now instead of taking the tubeless off my cross bike I ordered a set of Ambrosio clinchers (on the net... It is my money isnt it! Point taken after seing what was available at LBS) and have been toiling myself in what tyre to approach. Since I dont have anything besides a crit lined up before cross season I am going training all the way and may choose the vittoria diamante for its low pricepoint and durabuility. But my SF past makes me want to get the gatorskin, but all of my dreams of leaving that unsupple beast back in the bay where it belongs are crushed! So I guess what I am saying is UNDECIDED~! I hope more people post to help me decide before I build my bomber wheels (some Campy Hubs, Sapim Spokes) I may use Challenge but they are so supple, but I can always carry a spare tube and patch kit. I think I may......
  16. AlanW

    AlanW Maximum Pace

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    My favourite clincher tyre is the Hutchinson Fusion Road Tubeless which I have found to be fast, grippy, very comfortable and highly puncture resistant. The only downside is the initial fitting which can be a pain without a compressor. It also needs a suitable rim (Dura-Ace / Ultegra, Campagnolo / Fulcrum 2-way fit or some Mavics) or special rim tape.
    On my deep rim wheels I can't use tubeless tyres because the valve stem cannot seal properly, so I use Maxxis Xenith Hors Categorie clinchers which for me have the best balance of speed, grip, "feel" and durability.
  17. Gunjira

    Gunjira Maximum Pace

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    Posting a topic like this, seems to be like opening pandoras box.
    Just to post a short summary, narrow tires go on the front, but mileage will vary.
    I will try for myself sometime, but probably find another cheap 20 first.

    In regards to the maker/brand, preferences are subjective, except for the love that tubulars get. One of these days, I will build me some new wheels...

    Thanks everybody.
  18. koribeyer

    koribeyer Speeding Up

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    I'm riding 25 extenza by bridgestone on Aoyama-san's recommendation. Seem better in the wet and less likely to fish tail in general than my old 23s (no idea the brand) which were cracking and looking sketchy after only a year.

    So far so good, but I will second that I got a lot of flats on michellins on my old bike.

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