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Thread: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

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    Default Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    So I've been enjoying the ever-living heck out of my new bike with some 650b tires, discs..blah blah (yeah, I regret everything I ever said about not needing disc brakes, especially now that it's so wet here...). My quest at the moment is to find exactly the right tire for the type of riding I mostly do, which is about 60:40 gravel:road. The caveat is that the gravel around here is rarely hardpack fire-roads. Instead, it's a lot of technical work, a lot of climbing, and a lot of rocks. So I want something that handles all of that well but doesn't feel like I'm wearing a parachute when I'm on the road. I don't have gravel/dirt out my front door, so for instance this weekend I clocked 140km with about 3000 meters of climbing, but the first 30km and the last 10km were all on nice smooth-ish roads, with another 10km somewhere in the middle connecting two forests.

    I'm currently riding the Donnely Strada USH 650x42 tires - they're great on the road, I drop the pressure a bit when I get to the gravel and they are pretty good, but definitely lose traction on the big climbs or technical sections, especially when it gets particularly wet. I'm sure this comes down to the compound of the tire rather than the tread, for the most part (or maybe not?).

    So, does anyone else have similar ride distributions and has a tire they love that covers all the bases? Or am I getting too goldilocks about it?
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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    Maybe go for a bigger volume tire to help with the traction. If that isn't enough, something with a bit more tread should do the trick. I doubt you'd lose much speed on the road, especially if you're adjusting tire pressure mid-ride. I've toured on 29+ tires and they can boogie on the pavement with a little extra air.

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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    FWIW, IMO, any of the Clement (now Donnely) 700C tires I've tried ride like crap on both road and dirt. I've been much happier with Panaracer Gravel Kings in all the sizes or configurations that I've tried. The Challenge Gravel Grinders that I first replaced the Clement/Donnelys with were also a big step up, but I don't think they make anything in 650B. I've got a 650B bike on the way that'll start with Rene Herse Babyshoe Pass (650x42) since my ratio is a bit inverted from yours. Probably closer to 65:35 road:gravel on my long dirt rides.
    "I guess you're some weird relic of an obsolete age." - davids

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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    I've been enjoying my 650b bike as well. I might suggest to drop the pressure even further (you didn't mention what you use, so I'm guessing), low 30s off road for me. I'm using Horizons, which are obviously limited traction wise, but can make up for a lot with lower pressure, slippery roots and some rocks have been the trouble spot.
     

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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    I run Gravel King SK in 650bx 1.9/2.0 size (not too sure) on my gravel bike and I must say I love the volume but underwhelmed by the grip level of these tires. Add to that they tend to be noisy on smooth pavement. They also seem to be very fragile as well although my experience can only be described as anecdotal given the small sample size ( one pair ).

    Maybe have a look at the WTB Riddler or Resolute ?

    So, does anyone else have similar ride distributions and has a tire they love that covers all the bases? Or am I getting too goldilocks about it?
    You are looking for a unicorn. You will always find tires that excel in one condition only or something that is average in all conditions. Best way is to accept that.

    When you say you lose traction in the wet climbs. Does-it mean you are forced to put a foot down ? I tend to favor grip offroad at the expense of rolling speed in the pavement but that's just me. I hate putting a foot down.
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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Strongin View Post
    FWIW, IMO, any of the Clement (now Donnely) 700C tires I've tried ride like crap on both road and dirt. I've been much happier with Panaracer Gravel Kings in all the sizes or configurations that I've tried. The Challenge Gravel Grinders that I first replaced the Clement/Donnelys with were also a big step up, but I don't think they make anything in 650B. I've got a 650B bike on the way that'll start with Rene Herse Babyshoe Pass (650x42) since my ratio is a bit inverted from yours. Probably closer to 65:35 road:gravel on my long dirt rides.
    Yeah, these aren't super great (and don't compare to Challenge by a long-shot) but they seemed like a reasonable middle-of-the-road tread and came in the size I wanted. Have you ridden the Babyshoe Pass before? Do they hold up well? This bike will see a lot of touring km so I want something that won't give me a flat parade.

    Quote Originally Posted by davist View Post
    I've been enjoying my 650b bike as well. I might suggest to drop the pressure even further (you didn't mention what you use, so I'm guessing), low 30s off road for me. I'm using Horizons, which are obviously limited traction wise, but can make up for a lot with lower pressure, slippery roots and some rocks have been the trouble spot.
    I run 50ish (I don't trust my gauge much farther than I can throw it) when I leave the house, drop it to around 38-40 (what I see when I check it when I get home) when I hit the dirt. I'm about 61-62 kilos if that makes any difference. My hesitation for dropping it much lower is that I feel like I'm dragging when I hit the pavement. Maybe I'm just too many years deep in road riding and then riding gravel on 700x32 at 65psi...

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    You are looking for a unicorn. You will always find tires that excel in one condition only or something that is average in all conditions. Best way is to accept that.
    Yeah, I figured as much but thought I'd ask. The Challenge Almanzo were pretty perfect in that regard. Despite having a visually knobbier tread than these Donnelys, they gave no more resistance on pavement but gripped really well in dirt.

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    When you say you lose traction in the wet climbs. Does-it mean you are forced to put a foot down ? I tend to favor grip offroad at the expense of rolling speed in the pavement but that's just me. I hate putting a foot down.
    Only very occasionally do I actually end up putting a foot down, but I can feel the loss of traction and end up braking a lot more than I'd like going into corners and spend less time out of the saddle than I want to when the grade gets above 12-15%, which is pretty often.
    "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."


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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    thanks, I'm about 185lb/84kg and running low 30s, so I think you should consider going lower. On the road, we almost need to consider doing what the Jeep guys do, and change pressure when driving to the trail, though I usually just go a few psi higher for road heavy. Topeak makes an inexpensive pressure gauge (~$25) I've found helpful, since you can't trust yours: SMARTGAUGE D2 | Topeak
     

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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    New bike? I missed that. What did you get?

    Have you tried Schwalbe G-One's? A friend who is a 650b convert destroyed Panaracers regularly (though he destroys everything) but hasn't yet been able kill his first set of Schwalbes. I think he rides them at 30psi. He rides a 3T Exploro so whatever the max size is on that frame, that's what he rides. And he rides it like a mountain bike. You should see the carbon gouge on the drive-side chain stay. yayseus y mahreeah.
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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    New bike? I missed that. What did you get?
    I think I posted it in the Ride Reports thread, but I picked up a Crust Nor'Easter frame - not exactly the taste of many around here, but it has everything I would have asked for in a custom frame/fork (3 frame bottle mounts, fully-cabled internal routing, clearance for big-boy tires, fender and rack mounts, internal fork routing for a dynamo, pretty lugs...etc.) and was sized like a glove for me, plus I won't be totally devastated if I hurt it (like I was with my broken Breadwinner). I decked it out with nice parts, mostly from my old ride but plenty of new stuff too.

    - SRAM road levers with an X01 derailleur in the rear (11-40t cassette)
    - White Industries headset and BB, plus a G30 crankset (40t)
    - Whisky Parts co. seatpost and stem
    - Thomson bars (though I'll probably switch these out for something with more flare if I can get someone to buy them from me)
    - Hunt x Mason 650b wheels with a Son+ dynamo
    - Dynamo lights, Sinewave up front and Supernova E3 rear

    Here's a crappy photo from this morning's ride, complete with Black Oak Velo bottle :)
    IMG_20191114_112100_762.jpg

    Have you tried Schwalbe G-One's? A friend who is a 650b convert destroyed Panaracers regularly (though he destroys everything) but hasn't yet been able kill his first set of Schwalbes. I think he rides them at 30psi. He rides a 3T Exploro so whatever the max size is on that frame, that's what he rides. And he rides it like a mountain bike. You should see the carbon gouge on the drive-side chain stay. yayseus y mahreeah.
    I've heard very good things about those but haven't tried them. Lots of people around here ride them though, so that says something about their appropriateness for the terrain.
    "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."


    AU DELÀ - curated bike adventures in Southern France

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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    I've always liked the Clement MSO on and off road. I've used them in 700 and 650 on different bikes. I'm pretty slow and probably not as sensitive to rolling resistance as some of the others here. That said I have some Terrene tires that I liked but are absolute tanks when under inflated. So if you drop the pressure off road you really have to pump them back up when you hit pavement again.
     

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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    Nice set up!

    Take a look at the Zipp SC 70 XPLR bars. Not as extreme as some of the various gravel bars that wreck your wrists if you ride on the hoods, plus the tops cant nicely. And the Service Course model is mid-$50's.

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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Nice set up!

    Take a look at the Zipp SC 70 XPLR bars. Not as extreme as some of the various gravel bars that wreck your wrists if you ride on the hoods, plus the tops cant nicely. And the Service Course model is mid-$50's.[/IMG]
    Thanks! So far I really love it. I've put about 1000km on it over the past two weeks, with two 140+km rides like the one I described in the OP and I have absolutely zero complaints (except that I didn't realize that SRAM MTB stuff uses a shifter barrel adjuster and road uses a derailleur barrel adjuster, so when you mix and match you have no adjuster, which means I have to recable to I can install an inline...). It handles super super well and has that magic-carpet feel that only nicely built steel bikes seem to give me. I'll be bikepacking across Corsica in a couple of weeks so I'll see how it handles fully loaded!

    That amount of flare is exactly what I'm looking for, the only thing is that one of my favorite features of the Thomson bars is the flat top section, which is a) nice for cable routing underneath due to the crevice and b) really comfortable for riding long climbs on the top. I'd love a bar with that Zipp flare but a flat section around the stem.
    "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."


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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    Ritchey WCS Streem III bar does that, but the ends aren't flared.

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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    I am just impressed that you are riding this thing off road here. I go offload only with my FS MTB with 2.4" tires. I tried riding a "gravel" bike here and I thought it was absolutely hell.

    As for tires, Maxxis Ikon MTB tires lasted 3 rides for me before they tore off. So I am not quite sure what tire can survive the sharp rocks off-road here and be half way decent on the road. I doubt that it exists.
     

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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    I'm using a Ritchey Comp EvoMax handlebar that's flared and flat on top. It's comfy.

    https://us.ritcheylogic.com/us_en/comp-evomax-handlebar

    ETA: you can download the technical drawing from one of the tabs in the link, that will give you a better sense than the photo.
     

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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lionel View Post
    I am just impressed that you are riding this thing off road here. I go offload only with my FS MTB with 2.4" tires. I tried riding a "gravel" bike here and I thought it was absolutely hell.
    Yeah, it's been a lot of trial-and-error finding the right DFCI/chemin blanc routes. There's some great riding outside of Allauch, then up by Massif des Étoiles, plus a smattering of good stuff by Grand Caunet etc. near Ceyreste. Plus a complete route from Arles to Marseille, which ends via Massif des Étoiles and Télévision. I'd be happy to show you the good stuff if you'd ever like, or you can check my Strava (Directeur Steezois) for some routes.
    "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."


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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    Quote Originally Posted by Octave View Post
    Yeah, it's been a lot of trial-and-error finding the right DFCI/chemin blanc routes. There's some great riding outside of Allauch, then up by Massif des Étoiles, plus a smattering of good stuff by Grand Caunet etc. near Ceyreste. Plus a complete route from Arles to Marseille, which ends via Massif des Étoiles and Télévision. I'd be happy to show you the good stuff if you'd ever like, or you can check my Strava (Directeur Steezois) for some routes.
    Sounds like fun but I typically start from my house as I am very lazy. I have to admit I never tried to ride gravel in these areas but this would actually be fun. Except for the fact that my gravel bike is in CA ! I will follow you, I always wondered who that Directeur Steezois guy actually was...
     

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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Have you tried Schwalbe G-One's?
    I did not get on with the G-Ones. When riding in the wet morning dew, they picked up and held on to way too much sand and fine gravel. This was just normal doubletrack, not deep sand.

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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    I like both G-Ones and Gravel King SKs. Did me right on all fronts. G-Ones wore quickly on pavement, but man did they roll nicely for the size and grip. Currently I'm really impressed with the Sks in 700x38. Seem tough, have yet to let me down with grip and they don't suck on asphalt. NB, though, I don't ride in the wet all that much. I would think all of these are way better than slicks, which I always hated in wet. Slid out with Jack Browns, Gravel King smooths, and Bon Jons alike in wet conditions. My hips don't lie.
     

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    Default Re: Mixed-ride tires (650b content...)

    I've ridden the G-One's (38mm), and Babyshoe Pass (42mm) in my FF509 650B setup. Both more biased to road or smooth gravel. Recently tried the WTB Resolute (42mm) and it's definitely more biased to the rougher stuff. Just last week I ordered the WTB Sendero (47mm) and it looks WAY more oriented to single track and chunky gravel. Looking forward to riding those this winter.
     

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