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Knobbys on the Road Bike(9 posts)

Knobbys on the Road Bikelexington476
Sep 27, 2003 4:04 PM
I did my first CX race on my MTB with its Hutchinson Python Air Light, 26x2.0 tires. I had seen one lady race with a Giant OCR3 outfitted with knobby tires, I think she had said the width of the tires was 30 or 32. I have a 2003 Specialized Allez with a triple up front and a 12 to 25 eight speed in the back. I would like to know if I should be able to put some kind of knobby tires on this bike (the current slicks are 700cx23)? This is going to be a compromise until I can get the money to complete my true cross bike. I know the brakes on the road bike will be tight; my thinking is I will take the road and MTB with me to CX races. If it is muddy I will use the MTB, or (like today) it is nice and pretty much dry I will use the lighter road bike.

Let me know what you think, what tires might/should work, and where I might be able to order them online.

See the pictures I posted of the bike.

re: Knobbys on the Road Bikelexington476
Sep 27, 2003 4:09 PM
re: Knobbys on the Road Bikelexington476
Sep 27, 2003 4:14 PM
re: Knobbys on the Road Bikelexington476
Sep 27, 2003 4:15 PM
Try it...SenorPedro
Sep 27, 2003 4:20 PM
...Thats the only way you'll really know. The newer roadies with tight chainstays and short reach brakes will be an issue though. I can't fit a 700 x 30 in my Klein at all, so depends on the tire and the bike.
My bud runs 28 slicks for roadpitt83
Sep 27, 2003 5:22 PM
He's big guy (330lbs and solid!) to avoid pinch flts w/o a problem. I'd bet a 30 should work OK. May need to do lots of brake adjusts, but you could probablly work it. Many good 700x30 choices (Hutch, Michelin, others) would likely fit just fine.

Fine selection of CX at (Haven't ordered personally, but heard good things) and a good CX section at (Excellent customer service, outstanding selection and good prices)
Beware of tire size variationsTWD
Sep 29, 2003 1:59 PM
I can't give you any specifics on what will/wont fit on your bike, but if you do buy some CX tires you need to be aware that there can be big variations in tire size between different brands.

I have a set of Michelins that are claimed to be 30's, but they are bigger than a set of Kenda Kwiks (claimed at 35) and another set of ancient Matrix tires (claimed at 38s).

I also have a set of Ritchey Mount Cross which are 38s, and they are huge.

So, not all tires are sized the same. If you're ordering off the internet, I would recommend one of three places. - probably the biggest selection of cross tires you'll find anywhere (more race oreinted). Not necessarily the cheapest, but I bet if you called them and told them your situation, they could hook you up with a set that works. - I ordered cx tires from them before. OK selection, great service, good prices. - Based on the thread below, these guys seem to be a good outfit. I noticed they have an OK selection of cross tires. I plan on giving these guys a try soon.

One more word of caution. If you drop a bunch of money on really skinny cx tires, you may find that once you get your real cross bike, you may want something a bit bigger to provide a smoother ride. I wouldn't spend a whole lot of money on tires at this point for that reason. Although, cx tires wear out pretty fast if you end of doing lots of pavement.

Another route you could go, is to get some skinny tires for your MTB and keep racing it. If you're running a hardtail, I would recommend droping by the LBS to see if they have any old rigid mtb forks lying around. They'll darn near give these things aways since nobody wants them. If you cut the steerer to the same length, and get a spare lower crown race for your headset, the swap out is a snap.
Lower Crown Race is all you need?pitt83
Sep 29, 2003 4:44 PM
Cool idea if this works (Sounds too easy to believe). You mean, I can swap forks just by puliing the stem, removing my suspension fork, inserting the other one and tightening? Very cool. Of course, there's brake mounts to consider, but really, that's almost too easy.

Thanks for the tip.
Lower Crown Race is all you need?TWD
Sep 29, 2003 10:08 PM
Pretty much.

If you cut the steerer to the same length you don't have to mess with much else. You do need to swap over the brakes (unless you've got a spare set in the parts bin). Since this is your MTB, you're probably running V-brakes which are pretty easy to set up quickly. There is some variance between forks, so your pads may not line up with the rim when you do the swap. V-brakes pads are a lot easier to set up in a hurry than cantis.

Oh, and you may need to buy and extra star nut for the rigid fork. The one I picked up from the LBS already had one installed since it was an OEM take off. They charged me $15 for the fork.

I'm not sure how easy it is to get a spare crown race for you headset. Probably depend a lot on the headset. If you have a high end headset like a Chris King, I'm pretty sure you can get a spare. If you have a lower end headset, it might be easier to buy another identical headset. You'll have a spare if you need it that way.

If you go rigid up front, take off the bar ends, run narrower tires and a little higher tire pressure your MTB will serve you pretty well. You may loose a little bit of time on any pavement sections, but you may make it back up in the rougher sections.

The one place it will still be lacking compared to a true crosser is on the runups. Shouldering the bike is a little more problematic with a smaller MTB frame, but it can be done. Your MTB is probably a touch heavier than a typical cross bike, so that won't be in your favor, but it won't kill you either.