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  1. #1
    shut up legs
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    Dirty Kanza tires

    It's that time of the year again. I'm playing my internet troll card and asking what people are using for tires on the DK200 this year. The field is huge, so I'm sure there are a lot of people asking the same thing.

    Last year I used a Continental Cyclocross Plus. Folding, 35c, 800g, was able to go tubeless on my Stan's rims. I did not flat and I loved the open tread. However, I'm thinking a larger volume tire will be easier on my body (riding an aluminum cx frame) and I wouldn't mind something a little lighter. These tires weighed more than my wheels did!

    Schwalbe discontinued the Marathon Extreme and replaced it with the Marathon Mondial. Has anyone seen this new tire in person? Is this going to have enough tread if we get rain again? I'd love to give it a try, but $80 is a lot to shell out for a tire just to test it.

    Anybody else have input?

  2. #2
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    testing...

    The short answer is - I'm still testing. Just to be clear on a couple points though. 1) I'm rolling a 700c tire 2) I'm planning to be tubeless 3) I'm just as interested in speed as durability. I'm NOT at all interested in the 80 lb cast iron belted Schwalbes - hallowed though they may be.

    I have a pair of Ritchey Speedmax on the bike now (good name - I clocked 54mph on a descent today!). From what I hear these are a bit soft for the flint though. Plus they are damn hard to change on the Stans...

    I'm considering the Kenda SB8 as I've read of folks having good luck on those. Decent tread but it'll probably gum up in mud. And they don't go wide in the CX models - not an issue for me as I'm lookin at 35c.

    The Kenda Happy Medium goes to 40c and looks like it would be a great gravel tire in most places, I'm just not sure the center tread would hold up on the flint.

    Clement is coming out with their Adventure USH designed for gravel with a smooth-ish center and what looks like file tread on the sides.

    Conti CX - you had good luck and I know someone else that has too. I've had great luck on the 29er with Conti so...

    An interesting note - If memory serves correct, last year's winner began on the bombproof schwalbe tires, flatted in the first few miles (tore a sidewall if I remember correct) then switched to fairly soft Hutchinson's and went the rest of the race no problemo. The way folks talk about the roads there (I'm not experienced) I get the impression they're coated in razor wire instead of gravel. But it seems plenty of folks go without flatting - we just don't hear those stories. I buddy here went 130 before DNF on the Conti CX tires with no flats. It's probably as much the choice of tire as it is the rider weight and ride style. ...not to mention tire pressure, whether you're running tubes, wheel choice and stiffness, whether there is a solar flare, how many karma points you have remaining, and your astrological sign...
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  3. #3
    shut up legs
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    my initial thoughts

    Dan Hughes (winner in 2011) ran a Marathon Extreme most of the race (130ish miles?) before slashing it up and switching to a Tubeless Bulldog (which he also flatted on once I believe). A lot of guys have run the SB8, but have had hit and miss luck.

    I live in Manhattan, KS (not far from Emporia). I ride similar stuff every week. I too had this built up perception of huge razor-sharp boulders and roadside bombs going off during the race with shrapnel slicing my tires to bits. I didn't flat in 160 miles last year (DNF), but I was on those stupid heavy CX Plus tires. That being said, I don't think it is quite that bad and some people go a little overboard with protection.

    One suggestion I'm taking to heart this year....go bigger. Efficient rolling or not, never underestimate how much energy your body loses while a smaller tire beats you up for 15+ hrs. I don't think I will go smaller than 38c....and I'm leaning toward a 40-42c.

  4. #4
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    buddy of mine has used panaracer t-servs the last 2 years. he finished last year and i believe the year before too without flats.

    i am probably going to use t-servs this year.

  5. #5
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    I just swapped out a pair of 38c SM8's for some 45c Specialized Borough XC Pros. The SM8's are light and fast, but pretty thin. The Borough XC's are obviously a bit heavier, but still nearly half the weight of the Marathons. I'm still up in the air as to which will make the cut. I like the SM8's, but question thier durability and the extra width of the XC's is appreciated on rougher gravel. I'm considering trying both tubeless on my A23 rims, but have yet to take that step. At $55 and 425grams, I think the XC's will win out.
    "You know you're stupid when your own brain doesn't even try to protect the head that it's in." -P nut

  6. #6
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    Not doing the DK (didn't get in...next year!) but I am doing some gravel racing.
    I have been thinking of using SB8s, tubeless.
    I wonder if the casing feels more fragile than it is.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid_dynamite View Post
    I just swapped out a pair of 38c SM8's for some 45c Specialized Borough XC Pros. The SM8's are light and fast, but pretty thin. The Borough XC's are obviously a bit heavier, but still nearly half the weight of the Marathons. I'm still up in the air as to which will make the cut. I like the SM8's, but question thier durability and the extra width of the XC's is appreciated on rougher gravel. I'm considering trying both tubeless on my A23 rims, but have yet to take that step. At $55 and 425grams, I think the XC's will win out.
    I have three sets of A23 wheels and have used Hutchinson Bulldogs, Piranhas and Intensive (road) tires, Kenda Happy Medium, and Bontrager Jones ACX tires on 'em, all tubeless and all with zero issues. Key: use the Stan's standard 26" rim strip. Tape alone won't work, and none of the 29"/700C strips works as well as the 26" strip.
    Last edited by mudge; 03-05-2012 at 06:29 PM.

  8. #8
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    I've finished one year on Nanoraptors and again the next year on 42c Marathon Extremes. I was planning on running Marathon Extreme's this year, but tubeless. The first one I mounted has set up great. I need to get a new tire for the other wheel, so I'm disappointed to find out that they've been discontinued.

  9. #9
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    Last year I ran Ritchey Speedmax 35cm tires, I had zero issues. This year I am pretty sure I am going to use the same tires just tubeless.
    "A full rigid SS or fixie is 99% rider, 1% bike, and 100% more fun" Monogod

  10. #10
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    Did you ever try out the Piranhas? Wonder how they hold up against the flint.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge View Post
    Did you ever try out the Piranhas? Wonder how they hold up against the flint.
    Ran those in 2010, had 4 flats, but come to find out had a defective rim that was cutting the tube. My biggest problem with those was trying to change a tube. It was super hot, I was super tired and those bad boys are a ***** to get on and off.
    "A full rigid SS or fixie is 99% rider, 1% bike, and 100% more fun" Monogod

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMFC View Post
    Ran those in 2010, had 4 flats, but come to find out had a defective rim that was cutting the tube. My biggest problem with those was trying to change a tube. It was super hot, I was super tired and those bad boys are a ***** to get on and off.
    So, as far as the flint is concerned, you'd say they held up?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge View Post
    Did you ever try out the Piranhas? Wonder how they hold up against the flint.
    Used them one year and had three flats. I also used them for general purpose riding on pavement and gravel and had lots of flats. I don't recommend them.

  14. #14
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    Another data point here.

    Last year I used Bontrager 29-3 2.0 TLR tires front and rear tubeless at 25 psi. Zero issues and I didn't pay any attention to what line I took. Great tire but a bit much for DK in my opinion.

    This year I am using Marathon Extreme 35cs tubeless on Arch rims. The sidewalls are a bit sturdier than the Bontragers that worked so well.

  15. #15
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    I'm not riding DK this year due to injury but I rode and finished it the last 3 years (last place or close to it each year). No flats in over 600 miles, knock on wood... I rode 32 mm Specialized Borough CX Armadillos in 2009. For 2010, I started with the 32 mm Borough's until I made the 3rd checkpoint them switched to some 42 mm Borough's to smooth out the last section. I agree bigger tires actually do seem to roll faster on really rough roads. For 2011 I ran 35 mm Stan's Ravens set up tubeless. I really like the low pressures and improved handling with tubeless. Ideally I would like to try something wider 40-42 mm but the Marathon extremes have a rough ride compared to other tires I have used.
    For sake of honesty, my experience in the Flint Hills has not been flat free by any means. Two flats on FHDR each year in 2008 and 2009. Ritchey Speed Max 32's in 2008 and Burough 32's in 2009.

  16. #16
    Wandering not Lost
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    I am the one DirtDirt speaks of..

    Panaracer T-Serv 700x35

  17. #17
    Dr. Frost
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    Where is the love for fatter tires here? I mean...stans crow tire has little tread, it's sub 500 grams, made for tubeless, and will save your body a beating. Won't it?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fastskiguy View Post
    Where is the love for fatter tires here? I mean...stans crow tire has little tread, it's sub 500 grams, made for tubeless, and will save your body a beating. Won't it?
    I think the folks running the narrow-ish tires are probably riding 'cross bikes that won't take tires >35mm.

    If you're running a monstercross frame that'll take a 2.0 tire, or a HT 29er, great. Otherwise, the Crow isn't an option.

  19. #19
    oh crap...
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    @ sdemars...I rode SM8 2.1 29er tires when I DNF'd at 130 miles - no flats. This is what's going on through my head right now - I am going to keep training on my 42C Marathon Extremes, but will switch to something else about a month before the race. I have Stan's 355's and will be running tubeless. I think I'll get two different pairs of tires...probably:


    • 42C Conti Cyclocross Speed @ 460grams
    • 40C Kenda Happy Medium @ 435 grams
    • 40C Ritchey Speedmax Cross Comps @ 480 grams


    Lawfarm (an mtbr'er) posted a pretty nice review of the Conti cyclocross speed HERE His stark contrast comparison pits it against the Schwalbe Mondial.

    After reading that, and after my own 130 mile experience in 2009 on the DK200 - I think that is the tire I'm the most interested in. Any tire has vulnerable sidewalls if a rock hits it the right way, hence, the ill fated Marathon Extreme stories...sometimes you just don't have luck on your side.

    So. Here's my philosophy - I personally won't run anything smaller than 35C for this event but would prefer something closer to 40C. I also think you'll have more flat protection with a tread pattern that has knobs set close together, giving that much more protection to the casing of the tire where the rubber meets the road. Run a tire pressure for this size tire as low as possible for your specific weight - for me, most of these tires will probably sit just under or at 40psi in the rear and about 35psi in the front and I weigh 160lbs and my bike fully loaded probably weighs just under 30lbs with water - nothing on my back.

    Any thoughts from you all?
    Grow some food for yourself.

  20. #20
    Wandering not Lost
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerfrederico View Post
    @ sdemars...I rode SM8 2.1 29er tires when I DNF'd at 130 miles - no flats. This is what's going on through my head right now - I am going to keep training on my 42C Marathon Extremes, but will switch to something else about a month before the race. I have Stan's 355's and will be running tubeless. I think I'll get two different pairs of tires...probably:


    • 42C Conti Cyclocross Speed @ 460grams
    • 40C Kenda Happy Medium @ 435 grams
    • 40C Ritchey Speedmax Cross Comps @ 480 grams


    Lawfarm (an mtbr'er) posted a pretty nice review of the Conti cyclocross speed HERE His stark contrast comparison pits it against the Schwalbe Mondial.

    After reading that, and after my own 130 mile experience in 2009 on the DK200 - I think that is the tire I'm the most interested in. Any tire has vulnerable sidewalls if a rock hits it the right way, hence, the ill fated Marathon Extreme stories...sometimes you just don't have luck on your side.

    So. Here's my philosophy - I personally won't run anything smaller than 35C for this event but would prefer something closer to 40C. I also think you'll have more flat protection with a tread pattern that has knobs set close together, giving that much more protection to the casing of the tire where the rubber meets the road. Run a tire pressure for this size tire as low as possible for your specific weight - for me, most of these tires will probably sit just under or at 40psi in the rear and about 35psi in the front and I weigh 160lbs and my bike fully loaded probably weighs just under 30lbs with water - nothing on my back.

    Any thoughts from you all?
    700x35 t servs work great 32's are minimally lighter and I prefer the extra buffer. I have had zero issues with this tire. I have completed DK200 on 700x40 marathon extremes and the difference in weight between the two tires is substantial. Remember you are pushing this tire over 200 miles so anywhere between 15-20 hours, thus the weight adds up across time. I have also done it on Crows and yes they were comfortable but once again the weight across time. If you are serious about the even evaluate all your parts for weight and durability and strike the best compromise you can between the two. For tires sake out of the three I have used hands down the t-servs win. Just pay attention to your lines do not cross the middle of the road at speed and when on the class b roads mind the road and you will be grand.

    Deep in the well and dark places that weight loss adds up.

  21. #21
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    shaping up

    Quote Originally Posted by farmerfrederico View Post
    I think I'll get two different pairs of tires...probably:

    Any thoughts from you all?
    PSI - probably the same as you. FWIW if I drop this extra weight I'll be 145 on race day.
    Width - 35-40c but probably 35
    Tire choice - right now the Speedmax I'm running have been really great and were only foiled by goat heads, but those vile bastards will puncture nearly anything. I'm leaning toward a pair of those and a pair of the Conti CX Speed. The X factor will be if I can get my hands on a pair of Clement USH
    Wheels - I'm planning to have a spare wheelset in "the pit" and it may have a different tire type on it. If I blow a sidewall It'll be easier to toss on another wheel than swap a tire. Plus tires will be set up tubeless. I got an amazing deal on an awesome wheelset that will be on the Mosaic come race day. Can you say sub 1400g?

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ev2AdmSW_wcz9kfl-ex1uqxTZagjYKHF0mjD55gkVvE?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-adiAWMqzJIE/T1uKhuq77WI/AAAAAAAACKU/pAB2HIHgsnY/s288/100_9134.jpg" height="216" width="288" /></a>

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/q8k0OCComgKoW06WuIjAKKxTZagjYKHF0mjD55gkVvE?feat=e mbedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-I69FqyR0B1k/T1uKjkZwTaI/AAAAAAAACKc/BBqxX179Cgg/s288/100_9135.jpg" height="216" width="288" /></a>
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid_dynamite View Post
    I just swapped out a pair of 38c SM8's for some 45c Specialized Borough XC Pros. The SM8's are light and fast, but pretty thin. The Borough XC's are obviously a bit heavier, but still nearly half the weight of the Marathons. I'm still up in the air as to which will make the cut. I like the SM8's, but question thier durability and the extra width of the XC's is appreciated on rougher gravel. I'm considering trying both tubeless on my A23 rims, but have yet to take that step. At $55 and 425grams, I think the XC's will win out.
    2 flats in 2 rides on the Bourogh XC's. The only other person who flatted on one of the rides had the same tires. I just ordered some 29x1.9 Vee Rubber V12's and am hoping they fit in my frame. They are a bit porky at 600g, but are suppossedly tubeless friendly and look nice and fast. I'm also hearing good thing about the kenda kommando's in 35c. They are as light as the sm8's but have Kenda's "Iron Cloak" flat protection. Maybe I'll just carry 5 or 6 different sets of tires with me and rotate them out as I ride....
    "You know you're stupid when your own brain doesn't even try to protect the head that it's in." -P nut

  23. #23
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    Anyone looked at or considered the Michelin Pilot Sport? A buddy has these and i've tried them on gravel several times, and despite the lack of tread they ride smooth and steady. Not sure how burly the "Protek HD" puncture protection is but the tread is thick, the sidewalls seem fairly beefy, and the weight is roughly 500g/tire.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdirt223 View Post
    buddy of mine has used panaracer t-servs the last 2 years. he finished last year and i believe the year before too without flats.

    i am probably going to use t-servs this year.
    You still have the schwalbe cx comp 35's that you bought from bgreen? If so I need to borrow to check clearance for back tire.
    At this time I'm totally undecided on tires.
    Rolled the tserv 32 on the rear and shredded it at texchainringmassacre. Running a serfas vida 32 right now and have not had a problem yet. I like the schwalbe comp and hope the 35 fits. Presidio may be for sale and back to cross check if I can't figure this tire thing out.
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  25. #25
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    I'm planning to run Marathon Extremes, 700x40 (still available at Wall Bike!). I usually run T-Servs 700x28 in Brooklyn/Manhattan, and also on gravel roads around Boulder County (they're actually a ton of fun back by Boulder Reservoir and the dirt roads off of Niwot Road), but wanted something stronger and float-ier for DK. Maybe I'll hate the extra weight (especially since I'm riding fixed), but hoping to minimize flats and road chatter.

  26. #26
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    Does anyone have experience with Stan's Crows or Raven in the DK or Flint Hills Death Ride? I am riding my rigid 29er and have had great luck with them set up tubeless on Velocity Blounts. I have ridden many miles on the gravel lake roads in the Ozarks with no issues at all but don't have any experience in the Flint Hills. I really like the weight and how well they roll but am concerned about their durability. Anyone? Thanks in advance for your feedback.

  27. #27
    Dr. Frost
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    Quote Originally Posted by podrunner View Post
    Does anyone have experience with Stan's Crows or Raven in the DK or Flint Hills Death Ride? I am riding my rigid 29er and have had great luck with them set up tubeless on Velocity Blounts. I have ridden many miles on the gravel lake roads in the Ozarks with no issues at all but don't have any experience in the Flint Hills. I really like the weight and how well they roll but am concerned about their durability. Anyone? Thanks in advance for your feedback.
    got to the end of transiowa on crows but the iowa gravel might be a bit friendlier

  28. #28
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    I rode 700x35 Stan's Ravens last year on my cross bike and they worked fine. Several folks flatted during the miles of hike-a-bike as the shoulders were laden with barbed wire and thorn bushes. The Ravens were set up tubeless w/ Stans sealant; I pulled a couple of thorny branches out of the tires, but they sealed almost instantly and no flats.

  29. #29
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    I think i am going to run a Clement USH/MSO combo.

  30. #30
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    how about Vulpines 29 x 2.0" on a rigid 29er?
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfPropelledDevo View Post
    how about Vulpines 29 x 2.0" on a rigid 29er?

    They work great. Those were my tires of choice. You can bomb right through the low water crossings and not worry about pinch flatting, and the Vulpines seem to be a nice, more comfortable ride, in my opinion.

    I have also ridden Nanoraptors which were a similar experience.

    As for Stan's Crow tires, I know the race organizer, Jim Cummings has finished the event on them, so there is that data point for those tires.
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  32. #32
    oh crap...
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    I've made a decision...

    So I'll continue to train on my 40C Marathon Extremes, but I've picked up two new sets of matching tires. About two weeks before the race I'll mount up my new Bontrager XR1 Team 29er 1.9's and start the race on those...if I have any trouble, I'll have some 40C Ritchey Speedmax's and the more worn of the two Marathon Extremes waiting at the checkpoints...I may bring the less worn Marathon Extreme along with me, because sometimes you just don't have luck on your side.

    I'll be running tubeless on Stan's 355's and the XR1's fit in the Vaya with plenty of room to spare. Gonna be cushy!
    Last edited by farmerfrederico; 04-04-2012 at 12:37 PM.
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  33. #33
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    Have 300 miles of DK experience with 1 (rear) flat. Kenda SB8 2.1 on the front for cush and a Kenda K830 38c on the back. The K830 is a touring tire that is pretty bulletproof, but doesn't weigh a tonne.

    I use tubes because I don't want to eff around with Stans in the event of a sidewall gash. But I've never had a sidewall gash so I'm probably overthinking that...
    Good luck!
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  34. #34
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    Thanks for the feedback on the Rave/Crows

    I went with a couple of buddies on a 50 mile training ride this last weekend on part of the Death Ride course. Had the Raven front and Crow rear. No problems at all but only 50 miles, we shall see. While out there south of Emporia we came across a friendly local that was talking pictures. He emailed them so I attached one. What a great day for a ride!!:

    Dirty Kanza tires-p3311623.jpg

  35. #35
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    Took a bit of time, but I got my 35mm Kenda SB8's set up on Stans rims. Took them out for a 65 miler on sandy gravel, some freshly laid limestone, and a bit of pavement. They worked well for the conditions, but there was a lot of sidewall give on the rear. While they are fine for here in Central Iowa, I don't think they are the right tire for Kanza.

    Thinking that I'll give the 35c Ravens or the Conti CycloXKing in a 42c a shot. I wish I could find someone locally with a set of the XKings I could mount up to make sure they fit. 42c is right at the limit of my La Cruz frame.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfuller View Post
    Took a bit of time, but I got my 35mm Kenda SB8's set up on Stans rims. Took them out for a 65 miler on sandy gravel, some freshly laid limestone, and a bit of pavement. They worked well for the conditions, but there was a lot of sidewall give on the rear. While they are fine for here in Central Iowa, I don't think they are the right tire for Kanza.

    Thinking that I'll give the 35c Ravens or the Conti CycloXKing in a 42c a shot. I wish I could find someone locally with a set of the XKings I could mount up to make sure they fit. 42c is right at the limit of my La Cruz frame.
    Same experience with the SB8's. Set them up tubeless on A23 rims. Got a cut sidewall on a limestone rail trail about 40 miles in. Now I'm eyeing the Conti CX Speeds and travel contact. I wish the Vee Rubber V12 29x1.75 would hurry up and come out. I have the 1.95 that were great, but just a bit too wide for my frame.
    "You know you're stupid when your own brain doesn't even try to protect the head that it's in." -P nut

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid_dynamite View Post
    Same experience with the SB8's. Set them up tubeless on A23 rims. Got a cut sidewall on a limestone rail trail about 40 miles in. Now I'm eyeing the Conti CX Speeds and travel contact. I wish the Vee Rubber V12 29x1.75 would hurry up and come out. I have the 1.95 that were great, but just a bit too wide for my frame.
    Has anyone else noticed that the Vee 12 looks a lot like the Specialized Renegade, which is TLR and comes in 29x1.8. Wouldn't surprise me if they're made in the same factory. Too bad you can't find 'em anywhere.

  38. #38
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    Decisions decisions...

    So I got the Kenda SB8 35c set up tubeless on the Enve rims and tokk em out for a brief test ride. They were pretty amazing compared to the Speedmax. The rolled just as fast if not faster and actually seemed to have more grip on the loose gravel as well as cornering. Last Saturday I did a very long ride which included ~24 miles of seriously rough road. By seriously I mean it would be generous to call it a B-road. Mostly MTB folks, motoX and jeeps use this trail. You can do it on a CX bike, but not fast. In any case the SB8s worked like champs. They were awesome! I was running about 40 psi max and probably a little less.

    Then 2 days after I added a bit more pressure (~50 PSI) for a mellow recovery ride on a multi-use path. I got a cut flat that totally defeated the Stans. WTF The thing I rolled over was a rock - not cut glass - and I had spent many miles on much rougher stuff recently. It looked like I nearly tore one of the blocks off tread the way the cut happened. When I changed the tire there was a nearly golf ball sized clump of latex. The tire is fine with a boot and a tube, but I don't think I'd trust it to go tubeless with the looks of the cut it got.

    Analysis:
    Pressure - I think if I had kept the lower pressure this might not have happened. The rock that cut the tire pinged off like you would get on a roadie tire. I never really need 50 PSI, but was still playing/experimenting with these.
    Prior damage - It may be that I had weakened the tire on the rough ride, but I'm not so sure. It would have to be pretty damn exacting to weaken the tire in just the exact same spot where I hit the rock.
    CO2 - After talking with three folks I was asked if I used CO2 on these tires. I did. I don't have a compressor and used the CO2 to seat the bead initially. I was told by the shop guy that CO2 can cause the Stans to clump. I'm not if sure healthy Stan's would have sealed or not, but the clump certainly didn't help.
    Bad Luck - Stuff happens sometimes. It could be that this was just my time and I should chalk it up to nothing more than that.

    I really like the way the SB8s rolled and I'd honestly love to use them in DK, but now I'm a bit gun shy. At least I know it's no big deal to toss in a boot and tube then keep on rolling.
    Overland : Hayduke : Hightower LT : Delirium : Piolet

  39. #39
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    Not doing DK, but I have a pair of tubeless SB8s on my Nature Boy right now.
    They do have pretty fragile casings, but as you stated, ride super nice.
    I'm using a product called Orange Seal, which I find far superior to Stan's. In fact, I have 2 sidewall cuts in the rear tire and one in the front, and they're all sealed and holding. Impressive stuff. Riding them daily still, 40-45psi.

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  40. #40
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    Interesting...I've never heard of Orange Seal, but after glancing at their site I'm intrigued. (Wish I hadn't just gotten an entire quart of Stans!)
    Overland : Hayduke : Hightower LT : Delirium : Piolet

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfuller View Post
    Took a bit of time, but I got my 35mm Kenda SB8's set up on Stans rims. Took them out for a 65 miler on sandy gravel, some freshly laid limestone, and a bit of pavement. They worked well for the conditions, but there was a lot of sidewall give on the rear. While they are fine for here in Central Iowa, I don't think they are the right tire for Kanza.

    Thinking that I'll give the 35c Ravens or the Conti CycloXKing in a 42c a shot. I wish I could find someone locally with a set of the XKings I could mount up to make sure they fit. 42c is right at the limit of my La Cruz frame.
    I've two sets of the 42c conti cyclocross tires. I doubt they are really a 42. they look more like a 40 or even 38. they fit in my kona jake the snake with plenty of clearance.

  42. #42
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    Why is it a month before the race & I'm still looking at tires choices on the internet?
    "A full rigid SS or fixie is 99% rider, 1% bike, and 100% more fun" Monogod

  43. #43
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    I was in the same boat EMFC. I bit the bullet yesterday and ordered a pair of Kenda Kommando's and a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Mondial HS 428's. Had to make a decision soon so I can get some miles in on both pairs.

  44. #44
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    If you are even considering running a Stan's tire, DON'T. They are light and supple for a reason...they are very thin. Somebody recommended them to one of my teammates for a course recon ride and he had more flats than we could count. Had to boot both of them and put tubes in after only a few miles.

  45. #45
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    We did 120 miles on April 1 and 135 on May 6, most of it on last year's course. I was running old old old Conti Speed King 35c tires with tubes. Flatted once each day. Both were pinch flats and both were because I took my eyes off the road while eating. Super heavy tires are not needed if you can pick your line. I'll be running tubeless the day of, so I won't have to worry about pinches!

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by boss4774 View Post
    Super heavy tires are not needed if you can pick your line. I'll be running tubeless the day of, so I won't have to worry about pinches!
    This thread is hilarious and really just seems to prove this point. There are comments about the same tire (e.g. Stans, SB8) doing just fine and two replies later that they are the worst most fragile thing ever.

    My experience thus far on the thin and soft SB8 = several gravel/singltrack rides were fine; 100 miles with ~24 VERY rough miles where I bottomed out, just fine; 4 miles of groomed path and I blew out the rear (WTF? ); 143 miles on the same tire with a boot and tube which included pavement, gravel, B road and doubletrack (with at least one way too hard hit) = no issues.

    Too bad I haven't been identified a tire god I should be praying and making sacrificial offerings to....
    Overland : Hayduke : Hightower LT : Delirium : Piolet

  47. #47
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    I'll be running Schwalbe Marathon Cross front and rear, 700x38c. Haven't decided tubed or tubeless yet. I've got Crest rims on my Vaya and a fresh pair of MC's to put on a couple of weeks before the race, so I'll decide when I swap out tires. So far, no problems running tubes on gravel training rides though.

  48. #48
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    Me and a buddy settled on 700x35 Kenda Kommando's after reading Adventure Monkey's blog post reviewing them. They don't feel like much until you try to install them, then you realize there is a little more substance to them. The casing is noticeable stiffer than a SB8 or Stan's tire, but they are still light, under 400 grams each for mine. The way i looked at it was like others...people get flats regardless of the tire they run, luck plays just as much of a role as any, so why not go with something that won't weigh me down and has worked for others.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by spankye View Post
    Me and a buddy settled on 700x35 Kenda Kommando's after reading Adventure Monkey's blog post reviewing them. They don't feel like much until you try to install them, then you realize there is a little more substance to them. The casing is noticeable stiffer than a SB8 or Stan's tire, but they are still light, under 400 grams each for mine. The way i looked at it was like others...people get flats regardless of the tire they run, luck plays just as much of a role as any, so why not go with something that won't weigh me down and has worked for others.
    Good theory...exactly my point! People get flats no matter what tyres they run!

  50. #50
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    About to head out for the first ride on the Kommando's and wanted to make people aware of their size if you are considering them. I got the 35's and the ETRTO markings on the sidewall indicate 37-622, but mine barely measure out to 32mm with digital calipers. Maybe they will stretch and expand some...lets hope.

  51. #51
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    Panaracer T-Serves, 700x35 tubeless on crest rims. 30psi.

  52. #52
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    Settled in on the Marathon Mondials tubeless. Couldn't get the Kommandos. Been happy with their performance so far. A little heavier than the SB8, but I think they'll be a good choice for Kansas.

  53. #53
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    Brand new SB8 on each wheel set-up tubeless today. It's gonna be hard to shift with my fingers crossed...
    Overland : Hayduke : Hightower LT : Delirium : Piolet

  54. #54
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    I'll be on Bonty Jones CXR 34s for the 50 miler. First gravel race!

  55. #55
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    FYI - Stans Crests with Marathon Mondial HS 428s @ 50 PSI = 0 flats for the 2012 DK 200.

  56. #56
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    Adding to sfuller's announcement of tire success:

    Bontrager XR1 Team Issue 1.9" (very similar to 2.1" Kenda SM8's)
    Front and back on Stan's 355's tubeless @ 32psi, weighing in at 162 lbs = zero flat tires across 65 miles of training in CO front range and 200 miles of gravel at 2012 DK.

    Congrats to all finishers and all those who ever attempt this race! It's a fun one!
    I'm 1-1 and shooting for best out of three!
    Grow some food for yourself.

  57. #57
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    dsfuller, congrats on finishing this epic race! How did you like the Mondials? Did you set them up tubeless and what size tire? Thanks!!

  58. #58
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    19th Place Singlespeed here on Bontrager 29-3s set up tubeless at 24 psi.

    Tires were awesome and I had a good race. Fun downhills out there!

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnyquist View Post
    sfuller, congrats on finishing this epic race! How did you like the Mondials? Did you set them up tubeless and what size tire? Thanks!!
    They were comparable to the Marathon Extreme's I ran the last two years. I ran the 40c version set up tubeless on Stans Crest rims. I would maybe run them with a bit less pressure as I was spinning on some of the steep climbs if I was out of the saddle. Other than that minor complaint, they worked well, were comfortable and rolled fast.

  60. #60
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    I ran Kenda Happy Mediums - 40s, on the stock Vaya DT Swiss X-470's, set up tubeless, running 48 psi in the rear and 45 psi front with no flats the entire trip.

    What a blast.

  61. #61
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    700x35 Panaracer t-serve set up tubeless on stans crest rims with 35 psi rear, 30 psi front, 200 lbs of bike/rider/supplies. I went 165 miles with zero tire problems. The engine was unwilling to continue.

  62. #62
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    I ran Kenda Kommando's with 1 flat that was not caused by rock, but instead this tiny metal sliver that barely penetrated through to the tube. No idea how i picked it up unless it came off one of the cattle crossings. When i got home I also found a nice slice in the rear sidewall that didn't make it through all the way and had to have been caused by the flint. Never went flat through. I loved these tires, and at 360grams each i never felt like i was pedaling a tank. Ran 38 rear/35 front. I personally didn't think the gravel was everything it had been made out to be. Sure, if you ride on the extreme shoulders or carelessly cross tracks, you can flat. Otherwise I thought it was pretty smooth and fast for the most part.

  63. #63
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    Spankye,

    I'm local, and you're correct; the gravel was tame this year. Recent rains allowed the local traffic to dress down the roads a bit. Any more rain, and you would have fought ruts and loose rock from recent road maintence.

    Any less, the dry potholes, washboards and loose bits start rising to the top. And the dust would go from bad to terrible. I've road my mountainbike out there at times and fought cut after cut.

    It was simply a perfect day to be on the bike out there. Beautiful weather with fantastic riders, organizers, support crews and great local ride fans. I had a great time.

  64. #64
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    @ crudcake...i totally agree. I can see how things could get bad real quick with the roads out there. I felt REAL lucky to have those conditions. in the morning i was surprised how much was sticking to my tires and flinging up. and then the one section of trail/road that was the roughest and had the big mud bogs, even rolling your bike through there had my tires caked and required i wipe them off. can only imagine what the storm did in 2011.

    i think i was more trying to draw a comparison from what we have here on our gravel roads in western NC to what you have. Our gravel is mainly granite i think and is big and chunky. since it is obviously hilly out here we get real big braking bumps and big g-out holes. I was ready for rough, but i was terrified that my tires were going to get shredded by the flint which didn't happen (actually, it almost did ). you guys are very lucky to have that much empty road out there. it was beautiful.

  65. #65
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    I ended up on 700x45 Specialized Borough XC's with Panaracer Flat Away's and tubes with zero issues, but i only rode the last 100 miles....
    "You know you're stupid when your own brain doesn't even try to protect the head that it's in." -P nut

  66. #66
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    Tserv700x35 did me fine.
    Salsa Cycles
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  67. #67
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    Bontrager LT1 plus 42/35c tires with zero flats.

    I have many thousand miles on these with zero flats......i am starting to really like them.

    Clement MSO 120tpi 40c tires will go on my next build soon.

  68. #68
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    Small Block 8 did just fine after I added enough air for the rough stuff coming off Texaco Hill.

    Midas - Saw a pix of here here on these interwebs. Didn't recognize you at the race. Nobody there had snakes coming out of their nose
    Overland : Hayduke : Hightower LT : Delirium : Piolet

  69. #69
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    Schwalbe Marathon Extremes (35c) tubeless @ 45psi. No flats from the flintrock, but I did find the one rusty nail on Coyne Creek Road. The tire failed to seal up afterward so it received a tube. Great conditions this year. I had a great time for sure.

  70. #70
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    OK guys and gals,time to start freaking out about tires for the DK again. Last year I did the team thing and the first 100 miles was a breeze using Specialized Renegade Control 1.8's. However, the conditions were perfect. My guess is we won't get so lucky again. Has anyone run Schwalbe Marathon Supremes in the DK? How about Mondials? I have a set of 700 x 40 Mondials and to me it feels like they don't roll very well. (like dragging an anchor) Any advice? Thanks!!

  71. #71
    oh crap...
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    Podrunner, stick with the Renegades or something similar. When conditions get bad, it's because it has rained and there is mud - lots of mud - no tire will help you much with that mud. I used some Bontrager 1.9's last year that I really liked...Kenda SM8's are good too...the light stuff is fine as long as they are nearly new tires, run them tubeless, and pick decent lines to avoid sidewall issues.
    Grow some food for yourself.

  72. #72
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    First off, my setup from last year: Santa Cruz cross bike, 700 x 35 Kenda Kommando with Iron Cloak bead to bead puncture protection. I had one flat and it was caused by the only piece of wire in the Flint Hills. I think i picked it up crossing a cattle guard, but it was unlucky for sure. I did get a sidewall cut but it did not make it through the Iron Cloak stuff. These tires were less than 400 grams each and my total bike weight was 25# +/-.

    Second, and I know we had great conditions last year, is that I think people put too much emphasis on tire choice. I'll be black listed for saying that, and I understand people want to geek out on this (as did I), but I think it's true. Basically you can drive yourself insane with tire choice, but in the end i believe it all comes down to luck. Some people have 10 flats with a 900 gram Schwalbe's or something, or like me get 1 flat with relatively narrow cross tires with a fluke piece of wire.

    I also think it comes down to riding style. there are some gnarly rocks on the edges and crown of the road. If you constantly ride in those areas (passing etc.) you are asking for it.

    For me too, I just can't even think about pedalling huge heavy tires around for 200 miles, but that is just me. I also don't know why you would do this event on anything other than a CX bike, but again i'm in the carry as little weight as possible crew.

  73. #73
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    Another iconoclast

    Quote Originally Posted by spankye View Post
    I think people put too much emphasis on tire choice. ...I also think it comes down to riding style. ...I just can't even think about pedalling huge heavy tires around for 200 miles, but that is just me. I also don't know why you would do this event on anything other than a CX bike.
    Couldn't agree more. There are rocks, yeah, but they're far from the razor wire I was led to believe by reading posts. I used Small Block 8s - they worked fine. As stated above though ^^^ it depends on a few things - rider weight, conditions, and riding style.

    Bad conditions here mean mud, not rocks with sharper teeth. If it looks like rain consider perhaps more tread. Then again, some of those B roads are simply impassible in mud regardless of tire choice so tread may be a moot point.

    You're not likely to change riding style or rider weight much so if you know you're a masher-basher Clyde who busts tires all the time then consider that. If you're a flyweight rider who rarely flats, well pick the fastest thing out there for the conditions.

    And get your tire pressure right. If you bomb the downhills and B road without picking a delicate line you may want a little higher pressure.

    The only way I'd recommend the cast iron belted - heavy as hell Schwalbes is if you ride like the Hulk. "Hulk, SMASH!" Be honest. Perhaps you DO ride like the Hulk. Good luck.
    Overland : Hayduke : Hightower LT : Delirium : Piolet

  74. #74
    trainer
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    Thanks for the quick feedback guys. My concern over the Spec Renegade 1.8's is mainly over the mud issue. I did the Land Run 100 a couple of weeks ago. I was one of the unlucky ones who got caught in the thunderstorm. The tires loaded up and mud clogged the frame. ultimately after clearing the mud numerous times, bending the derailleur hanger on the Vada and being unable to shift or roll I hopped in the back of a truck at 85 miles and called it a day. Yes....I am over thinking this! " My name is John and I have a tire fetish"

  75. #75
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    I completed it last year on 700X40 Kenda Happy Mediums, set up tubeless.

    CC

  76. #76
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    Crudcake,
    I'm looking to try a wider tire like the 40mm Happy Medium, but I heard they are a very porous tire and hard to set up tubeless. What was your experience with this?

    I rode two DK's on 700x35 Stans Ravens and Im now using 700x34 Hutchinson Bulldogs and both of those were pretty easy to set up tubeless. The Ravens are a softer ride than the Bulldogs but didn't last very long on gravel (1500 miles or less for me).

    Comfort is king and I would like to find a wider tire I can set up tubeless that doesn't require several iterations to fill in all the pores.
    KD

  77. #77
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    Dirty Kanza tires

    Quote Originally Posted by kdoggett View Post
    Crudcake,
    I'm looking to try a wider tire like the 40mm Happy Medium, but I heard they are a very porous tire and hard to set up tubeless. What was your experience with this?

    I rode two DK's on 700x35 Stans Ravens and Im now using 700x34 Hutchinson Bulldogs and both of those were pretty easy to set up tubeless. The Ravens are a softer ride than the Bulldogs but didn't last very long on gravel (1500 miles or less for me).

    Comfort is king and I would like to find a wider tire I can set up tubeless that doesn't require several iterations to fill in all the pores.
    KD
    I have had no issues with the 40c happy medium tubeless. I was using them on a set of American Classic race 29. I sold the wheels, but I will be using Happy mediums again on my new wheels, tubeless. Probably will run 35c this time (never done DK, but planning on it someday).

  78. #78
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    KD,

    I'm running mine tubeless on my Salsa Vaya stock DT Swiss X470's with the stans tubeless kit. The Kenda's take about a weak to seal up, but on my X470's, I lose more sealant around the bead than I do through the sidewall. I run stans/slime 50/50.

    The ride is great (I'm around 200 lbs) and I had no issues during last year's DK.

    CC

  79. #79
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    I've ran Specialized Borough CX 700x32 with Airlock tubes for two straight years with great luck <knocking on wood> Had several punctures but the Airlock tubes sealed them without issue.

    With that said am looking to move to the 40s to add a little more comfort later in the ride this year.

  80. #80
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    First time for me at the DK200. I will be riding a Stumpjumper Expert. I have been training on Bontrager CXO's and have had good success running them tubeless with Stan's. My problem is that I live in Florida and not only do we not have hills, we do not have flint to test the durability of the CXO's. I do have a fair amount of shell rock roads that I am able to ride on and run across an ocassional shark's tooth in the mix. Does any body have any experience with these tires?

  81. #81
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    Every year I stress over tires because the "scary stories" concerning the flint. I have yet to get a flat due to flint (knock on wood) it always seems to be some hidden barb wire that gets me. Ride what you are comfortable with and just enjoy the experience, this race is always a great and very humbling adventure.

    I'll admit I stressed over tires this year a little between fast tires and comfort. I have still yet to decide and probably won't until the day I before I pack up the bike to ship to KS.
    "A full rigid SS or fixie is 99% rider, 1% bike, and 100% more fun" Monogod

  82. #82
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    Mondial HS last year tubeless with no issues. Heavier than some options, but no issues with them rolling OK for me (sub 15 hour finish). I'm using the same set up for TransIowa next weekend, but I will probably going with something lighter and narrower for the Royal 162 in May.

  83. #83
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    Assuming no rain, would something like this be a good tire?

    Maxxis Overdrive Elite Hybrid Folding Bead Bicycle Tire 700 x 40 C | eBay

    I have a set of Clement X-Plor (or what ever the 40c gravel tire is) on order, but they've been on back order for months. I need a backup plan.

  84. #84
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    I finished DK200 last year, and 5,000+ other miles on bontrager LT1s with zero flats.
    Zero flats at Trans-iowa also. (240 miles before falling asleep)

    They have been durable in my use.

    I believe 90% of not getting a flat at DK is good line choice and bike handling. Just knowing where to put your tires on that rough stuff.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hand/of/Midas View Post
    I finished DK200 last year, and 5,000+ other miles...with zero flats.
    I believe 90% of not getting a flat at DK is good line choice and bike handling. Just knowing where to put your tires on that rough stuff.
    This...

  86. #86
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    Line choice is huge. Be very aware of what is around you AND the type of riders you are with. Not everyone is a good line picker.

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