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Best tire for 50/50 on/off road?(12 posts)

Best tire for 50/50 on/off road?Auriaprottu
Mar 14, 2003 8:03 AM
I've just about got this bike ready, but I'm looking for a tire that will handle on and light off-road duties. No racing intent, but I would like a reasonably light tire. How's the Michelin for roads? Also, where could I find a 700c Geax Revert? They seem to exist, but none of my LBSs carry them. Thanks in advance.
I've had good luck with Ritchey Speedmaxlaffeaux
Mar 14, 2003 10:21 AM
I have Ritchey Speedmax on my 'cross commuter and like them a lot. I've heard others complain about wet pavement cornering issues, but where I live it's fairly dry (SF Bay Area) and have not noticed it.

I ride them with about 80 psi, and on the pavement they roll as well as road tires, and for the 50% of my ride that's on fairly smooth dirt, they ride well too. For more serious off-road use I lower the pressure.
My choices...Dale Brigham
Mar 14, 2003 10:32 AM
Since I got my first cross bike in '98, I have done lots of mixed media rides -- dirt and gravel roads, pavement, and easy single/doubletrack. I, too, have searched for the "Holy Grail" tire that does dirt and the hard stuff equally well. Here are some of the better ones I have ridden:

Vredestein Spider (32 mm) -- Smooth center tread section with side knobs. Ultra tough, not very light (480 grams) and a bit pricey ($30+). Probably the ultimate "ride around the world" tire. Oriented toward pavement (not much grip on loose, slick surfaces). Highly recommended.

Kenda Kwick (30 mm) -- Knock-off of Ritchey Speedmax tread pattern (semi-slick), but cheaper ($10-15) and with better quality control, IMHO. (I've had Ritchey tires that never seated correctly on the rim bead, but have never had such problems with Kenda tires.) Pretty light (400 grams in steel bead, 320 in Kevlar), reasonably durable, and cheap. Minimal tread works surprisingly well on slick trails. Highly Recommended.

Continental Twister and City Grip (37 mm) -- I'm lumping these two tires together since they share the same tough casing, and differ only slightly in tread pattern. The Twister is the current version of this genre, with a semi-slick center (little knobs) with knobby sides. The City Grips have larger center knobs, but they are linked (overlap) to form a continuous center tread. These tires are tough -- the large casing protects against rim impacts and the tread is good off-road (better than the other two tires above). They are also crazy heavy -- 550+ grams. The City Grips are on sale at Nashbar for $13 right now, which is a good deal. Both of these tires lean towards rough off-road use. I see from USA's Conti distributor, Bike Mine, that both come in 32 mm casing now, which is a smidgen (50 grams) lighter (but less rim protection). Recommended.

Have fun!

I've had good luck with the Conti TwisterGlowBoy
Mar 14, 2003 2:28 PM
I've used the 32c version (which is actually about 28mm) but the 37c should work well and of course be more compliant. It rolls quite fast because the tread is pretty thin towards the center, and the knobs get gradually taller as you go out towards the edge. Grip is excellent in all conditions: it has better grip on wet pavement than a lot of slicks, surprisingly, and still grabs dirt pretty well. Decent in mud for a semi-knobby, too, although full knobbies are better.

Loose sand and gravel would be the only serious weakness of this tire, but if you want a tire that does well in those conditions there's no way to sacrifice rolling resistance significantly.

- Dan
re: Best tire for 50/50 on/off road?toomanybikes
Mar 14, 2003 2:31 PM
Vredestein Campo Cross
Mar 14, 2003 3:24 PM
keep an eye on ebay. there's a discount shop out of Las Vegas that sells the Reverts. I'll try to find their name if I can remember. I have them, I dig them, great commuter tire and hooks up well in the dirt (and you can get them in 38!!!!!) if you can't find them there's a bike shop here in San Diego that carries them. They'll be at the bike swap in S>D> in April. If you can't find them I can pick them up for ya. I actually raced on them.
GEAX found thematpjunkie
Mar 14, 2003 3:27 PM
Mar 14, 2003 4:51 PM
I saw the ones on ebay, but I figured I could get 'em retail, and didn't bid. I was a bit leery about buying tires on ebay anyhow. Thanks for the offer to pick up the tires for me, but if you have the name/number of the shop, I can just call them and get them to send me some. Thanks in advance, and thanks to all who responded to my post. I'll show my bike in about a month.
GEAX dealeratpjunkie
Mar 17, 2003 3:29 PM
Ron @ Rose Canyon Cycle Service 858.490-5303
same guy Blacksmith Bicycle Wheels 858.490.5300
re: Best tire for 50/50 on/off road?OffRoadTourer
Mar 16, 2003 12:38 AM
Don't overlook the IRC E-Cross. I've got some and they perform brilliantly on road and off. They dont look anything special but they sure ride sweet.
Mar 17, 2003 1:28 AM
I really liked the Vittoria master cross tyres in 27 or 28mm. They can be a bit harsh off-road but I felt very confident on all surfaces. They cut right through soupy mud, have enough grip on harder surfaces and aren't that much slower than road tyres. (In fact, I've done a couple of road only rides on them). I'm running Michelin Muds now and they feel a lot slower, if grippier in (er..) mud.
Bontrager Jones are similar but a bit cushierRay Sachs
Mar 18, 2003 6:32 AM
These are very round tires (I think they're rated 700x30 but look and feel like 32s) with very small knobs that grip pretty well without adding too much rolling resistance. Pretty light too. They came stock on my Lemond and I'm surprised at how well they work off-road. Not as fast as a regular road tire for on-road, but they don't give up all that much. I commute on them quite a bit when I'm too lazy to change wheels.