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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...

  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
    hispanic mechanic
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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.

    Los
    "Shut up body and do what I tell you."
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    http://teamjva.com/jens-voigt-soundboard/

  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 05:29 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
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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?




  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
    inspired
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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.
    BIG PIG RACING
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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.

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