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Clinchers for Pave, gravel(6 posts)

Clinchers for Pave, gravelrpironcladracer
Oct 11, 2001 10:41 AM
I'm going to promote a race in the spring that will mimic in a small way the spring classics in Europe- we'll have brick streets (not actual, pave, OK) and country roads including some lanes with gravel, other roads that are paved with the gravel chip and oil method. Some roads will be smooth pavement. There will probably be 15% of the course that is not smooth pavement.
What would you recommend for a tire that works well in wet and rough and sometimes loose conditions? Is it worthwhile to go to a 700 x25 versus 23? Clinchers only- that's my wheelset. Cheaper the better of course since it will be specialty use, not general season-long racing tires. I have tried Michelin Axial Pros (i know, they won Paris-Roubaix) but I don't have a personal team car to do the wheel change in 15 seconds.
re: Clinchers for Pave, gravelFlava
Oct 11, 2001 10:47 AM
I'm a big fan of Vittoria Rubino Pros - the ride is similar to the Open Corsa but the tire is insanely durable from my experience. Personally I find the Open Corsas to by the most delicate tires I've ever used. Absolutely LOVE the Rubino Pros. 23's should be fine.
re: where to buy Rubino pros?rpironcladracer
Oct 11, 2001 1:02 PM
got a good source for me?
Try Excel Sports in Boulder...Cima Coppi
Oct 17, 2001 6:26 AM

bigger is better here.jw25
Oct 17, 2001 8:07 AM
While I've done things like riding dirt and gravel with 23's, for racing, where speed is the bottom line, a fatter tire will give you more confidence in the rough, and, contrary to popular opinion, really isn't a drawback on the road. Due to the contact patch shape, a wider tire flexes less casing as it rolls, so rolling resistance may actually be lower than a skinnier tire. Plus, the wider tire can be run softer, to increase grip on uneven surfaces.
There was a letter from Michelin in Velonews a few months back about the Axial Pro, and a less than positive review from VN.
From what I recall, they said that the 25mm Axial Pro was designed for classics races, and so had a slight texture or tread, to increase grip on wet cobbles. They also recommended running lower pressures, instead of going to the max on the sidewall. According to them, most pros on the 23mm tire run around 100 psi, with women dropping to 90-95 psi. Too high, and the tire doesn't deform around obstacles, but doesn't lose any rolling resistance. The 25 can go even lower.
Personally, I've only used a few tires, none of which were Axial Pro's. I have run the Hi-Lite Prestige, which seems comparable, and is a nice tire for the price. Through the aforementioned gravel sections, it tracked well up to 20 mph (I didn't go much faster, due to some embedded rocks with sharp edges). I've also ridden some 23mm Hutchinson Reflex Golds, which are very supple and smooth for a 66tpi training tire. I really like Pariba Pro-Crits, but the sidewalls are so thin and flexible I don't dare take them off-road.
I'd recommend something like a 25mm Axial Pro, or maybe a wider GP3000, or maybe a nice fast training tire, like the Rubino or a Reflex (I think they go up to 28mm). Give yourself a week or two to get used to the ride, practice on the course, and have fun.
If you don't race the tires anywhere else, you'll still have nice rubber for training rides, and I figure, tires are cheap - skin isn't. It's worth the cash to finish a race and be able to race again.
re: Clinchers for Pave, gravelOld Guy
Nov 2, 2001 1:01 PM
Vredsteins ROCK.

They're ugly, they're expensive, but the ride is awesome, they last a long time and the grip is almost as good as my CX tubies. They're also GREAT on gravel.