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Rain Racing Tires - Help me keep the rubber side down!!(14 posts)

Rain Racing Tires - Help me keep the rubber side down!!dave11
Aug 12, 2003 9:31 AM
Wondering what peoples opinions on the best tires to race with when it is raining or wet. I had my first crash in a crit on very wet pavement and would like to do what I can to prevent it in the future. What tires would you suggest running in rain and at what pressure - specifically for a technical crit? I am scared to go much below 105-110 psi, worried about tire rolling off rim - or can I go a lot lower? I am 175 lbs 6'2", with a sore butt.

I have heard decent reccomendations on the Vittoria All Weather but only from one person - any better ideas?

Thanks in advance.
Michelin Axial Pro now Pro RaceSprint-Nick
Aug 12, 2003 9:42 AM
Okay let me begin by saying the obvious... you probably already know this but in a wet crit you have to be a more aware of what line your taking than in a regular crit. Due to the decreased traction your line must be a very smooth wide-apex-wide turn and if you hit any manhole covers, painted lines, anything like that at speed while turning you stand a high chance of going down... look at Ulrich in the Tour.

So with this said my recommendation for a good crit/wet weather tire would be the Michelin Axial Pro, now the Michelin Pro Race. I got these tires on my bike and love them due to the fact the great tire compound and very round profile mean you can push them through a corner with great confidence. I've yet to find a tire that matches these for the durability and confidence these tires allow.

As for pressure experiment with anything from about 90-105... I've never heard of anyone rolling a clincher tire off the time so as long as you put the minimum PSI into the tire don't worry about it.

Hope your road rash heals quickly!

hit a raised patch in the road and that was it...dave11
Aug 12, 2003 11:35 AM
like you suggested anythingthat can cause your wheel to break traction even temporily can put you down.
Panaracer stradius pro's.KG 361
Aug 12, 2003 9:49 AM
While I haven't raced them, I've spent a good amount of time this spring riding in the rain. These tires stick like glue in all conditions. Added bonus, they are cheaper than a lot of other tires.
I'll 'second' that...coonass
Aug 12, 2003 5:17 PM
Conti GP3000 and Michelin Axil Pros can't come close to the secure grip of the Panaracers......I've had Michelins slip/spin on dry they don't cut as easy a Michelins....500 miles on Michelins looks like someone put a razor blade every 1/2" on the tyre..
Aug 12, 2003 9:53 AM
I'm skeptical of any tire claiming to be all-weather or a rain tire. From what I understand, it is impossible to hydroplane with such a small contact patch, and a patterned tread does nothing to help on a wet surface. I can't speak from direct experience other than to suggest that a more sensitive tire- like a Veloflex Pave, might offer more "feedback" than a garden hose tire like a Pro Race to let you know how much traction you actually have. The Race are durable, but they are a bit hard for a tire...
Me too.dzrider
Aug 12, 2003 10:31 AM
My inclination is to go larger. I have no science to support the conclusion, but I find 25's feel less slippery when wet than 23's.
I like Contisgtx
Aug 12, 2003 10:03 AM
I ride in the rain a lot and they seem to stick pretty good. For nasty conditions, consider lowering your seat a tad, lowering your tire pressure a tad and running a fatter tire. Back when I raced I would use my heavy training wheels/tires on really wet/nasty days.
wider tire makes sensedave11
Aug 12, 2003 11:32 AM
and I think it also makes sense that tread doesn't make a whole lot of difference.

a couple people have also suggested vittoria corsa cx at lower pressure - a soft tire with very small tread. Of course these are what I crashed on, although I think I could have run the pressure lower than I did.
Tread does make a difference...kermit
Aug 12, 2003 12:16 PM
a huge difference in fact. I'm positive the tread patterns you see on tires are not designed simply to make the tire look pretty! :o)

Ever watched an Indy race? Cars will pit and have wet weather (treaded) tires put on if it starts to rain. In a motorbike race in wet conditions they teams switch to treaded tires.

I know we're talking about bikes, not cars or motorbikes, but wouldn't the same physics principles apply?

Try riding a completely bald tire on wet pavement and then a treaded tire. I notice a pretty significant difference. I really noticed the differnece on a motorbike too.


PS - Sorry, too new to the road to recommend a tire.
yes, but car tires have far more surface area.rufus
Aug 12, 2003 12:24 PM
a bike tire has almost none. car tires need different tires to channel the water off the road and out and through the deep channels cut in them. bike tires would just cut through that water. the courseness of the pavement is basically what provides traction with a bike tire, not the tread. that's why the're so slippery on metal or painted lines. the paint fills in the courseness, smoothing the surface of the road. likewise, the metal is smooth, not course.
Not under most road riding circumstancesTrent in WA
Aug 12, 2003 12:29 PM
Auto and motorcycle tires have tread because they're wide enough to trap water underneath them in the wet, causing hydroplaning. Bicycle tires have a much narrower contact patch that cuts through water more effectively. Here's what Sheldon Brown has to say on the subject:

By and large, unless you're riding over a patch of gravel or loose dirt on the road, tread on road tires serves no purpose other than marketing and making it more likely that you'll puncture on a small rock or thorn.

old debate, but I'll side with Jobst Brandt on thisgtx
Aug 12, 2003 1:09 PM
Avocet had a lot of trouble selling their bald tires (designed by Jobst) cause most people believe that tread makes a difference. I never liked the Avoicet tires, but it was because the rubber and casings sucked. I think it's about the rubber compound, which again is why I like the Conti tires (and the Ultra 2000s I irde are bald down the middle).
I like Vredesteins at 100psi (nm)AFred
Aug 13, 2003 5:52 AM