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  1. #1
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    Reputation: OwenM's Avatar
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    Tire shopping-rough roads

    Putting this here because it's the closest thing on mtbr.
    I recently bought a Trek 7.5 FX. Didn't go the cross or road bike route, because I have a permanent injury that requires keeping a relatively upright body position. The bike is currently out of action while the manufacturer replaces a rear wheel that couldn't be trued.
    Meanwhile, I shop.

    The 7.5 FX comes with TLR rims and 700x28 tires(Bontrager Hard Case). I believe the "Bontrager Approved TLR" rims are 23mm outside/17.5mm inner like the Race, Race Lite, and Race X Lite all are.
    I chose the 7.5 mainly for the carbon fork, which makes a noticeable difference in ride quality compared to the lower spec'd versions in the FX lineup and comparably priced Cannondales, etc. Better, but still not enough.

    Though it will also see use on smooth paved bike and rail trails, the bike's main use is "fitness riding" on back roads in my local area, particularly in wet weather when the trails are a mess. We might as well be living in a 3rd world country based on our road conditions, and I frequently find myself having to choose a line like I'm mountain biking.
    As a result, I'm looking for bigger tires that can be run at lower pressure for a smoother ride and more confidence on rough surfaces with lots of chatter. Not much in the way of flats around here, either; it's mostly climbing or descending.
    So...paved but rough surfaces and steep descents at >30mph on wet roads with lots of curves pretty well sums things up.

    Risk of puncture is almost nonexistent, but tubeless is an option if it's preferable for these conditions.
    Looking for suggestions. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Look at some of the 700x40 gravel tires that are out there. Designed for basically that use. Challenge makes some nice ones I know but there are others.

  3. #3
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    Check out the Schwalbe S One tire. Its a 30mm tubless tire designed for the Paris Roubaix. They are pricey, but once you ride a Schwalbe you realize they are worth it. Tubeless is definitely the way to go on rough roads. You can run lower pressures for better comfort and no worry of pinch flats.

    Schwalbe S-One Tubeless Road Tire
    2015 Niner Jet 9 Carbon
    2014 Focus Raven 27R
    2017 Lynskey GR250
    2016 Niner BSB
    1987 Haro RS1

  4. #4
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    it sounds like all you really need is a higher volume semi slick, hybrid, or maybe file tread. depending on your ratio of pavement vs "off road" would be the deciding factor for me. either way it will be a bit of a compromise.

    the fact that your main goal is fitness and not speed opens a few more doors. ideally i would want slightly wider rims, but whatever. i would look for the widest tires that will fit. 32-35c?

    there are a ton of options out there. what is your estimated ratio of pavement vs non pavement?
    Rigid SS 29er
    Fat Lefty
    SS MonsterCross
    SS cyclocross
    all steel

    "Fully rigid" isn't a thing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    Putting this here because it's the closest thing on mtbr.
    I recently bought a Trek 7.5 FX. Didn't go the cross or road bike route, because I have a permanent injury that requires keeping a relatively upright body position. The bike is currently out of action while the manufacturer replaces a rear wheel that couldn't be trued.
    Meanwhile, I shop.

    The 7.5 FX comes with TLR rims and 700x28 tires(Bontrager Hard Case). I believe the "Bontrager Approved TLR" rims are 23mm outside/17.5mm inner like the Race, Race Lite, and Race X Lite all are.
    I chose the 7.5 mainly for the carbon fork, which makes a noticeable difference in ride quality compared to the lower spec'd versions in the FX lineup and comparably priced Cannondales, etc. Better, but still not enough.

    Though it will also see use on smooth paved bike and rail trails, the bike's main use is "fitness riding" on back roads in my local area, particularly in wet weather when the trails are a mess. We might as well be living in a 3rd world country based on our road conditions, and I frequently find myself having to choose a line like I'm mountain biking.
    As a result, I'm looking for bigger tires that can be run at lower pressure for a smoother ride and more confidence on rough surfaces with lots of chatter. Not much in the way of flats around here, either; it's mostly climbing or descending.
    So...paved but rough surfaces and steep descents at >30mph on wet roads with lots of curves pretty well sums things up.

    Risk of puncture is almost nonexistent, but tubeless is an option if it's preferable for these conditions.
    Looking for suggestions. Thanks!
    It sounds like you may be wanting more than any one tire can really give you, but I've been running 700x35 Conti CycloXkings tubeless for about a year now and they've been good to me. With 40psi they have a very nice ride and hook up really well on dirt. I'd think twice about >30mph on wet pavement in a turn, but I'm also somewhat conservative when it comes to cornering on wet pavement. They seep Stan's sealant a bit through the sidewalls and lose about 10psi/week, but it's predictable and I've yet to have a flat or other failure, so it's an acceptable problem to me.

    I live in very rocky terrain and I sometimes treat my gravel bike more like a 29er, so I'm looking for something even bigger than the Contis this spring. So far, the Bruce Gordon Rock -n- Road 700x43 is looking really good to me, and is most likely what I'll try next.

  6. #6
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    Thanks, guys. Something over 30 for sure, but I don't know how far I can go with those rims before things get wobbly. A gravel tire does seem better suited, and when reading about the S-One, I saw there's a G-One, too.

    It is all pavement, but some of the local roads where I'll do the vast majority of my riding are in pretty bad shape.
    Yes, I can give up some weight and top speed. The main purpose here, besides just being able to ride whenever I want, is to be stronger on the mountain bike(mine has been converted to SS, and climbs are still a struggle).

    The fast downhills on wet pavement aren't really by choice the way I've been going to make the ride a loop, but I could go out the same way I come back to make the ride longer and avoid the sharp curves. For a quick workout it's what works time-wise, though. I'm hitting over 30mph riding the brakes the whole way down, and there'd practically be no limit but for the curves. Very steep-my thumb keeps reaching for the dropper remote that isn't there! It's the fun part before making 3 climbs otw back to regain that elevation loss(I live on a ridge surrounded by a series of steep ridges and hills).
    My LBS has a selection of Continentals, so I'll give those X-Kings a look if they have them.

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