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  1. #1
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    Suggestions for tire selection for 150 mile gravel grinder on RDs & Necro pugs?

    End of August, I am doing Gravel Worlds(aka Nebraska country roads of dirt, pea gravel, and hard pack washboards((yummy)) that will be close to 150 miles by the time it is all said & done. I currently have a Necro Pugs 2012 set up with RDs and a Lefty front.

    I have F&R Endos @ 27tpi that really don't roll fast well but grip great on camber and in corners.
    I also have F&R BFLs @ 120tpi that roll really great but wash out easy on me in turns and camber.
    So I am thinking of a new tire set for the race itself but don't know which one will suit my needs and terrain(rolling hills).

    I am female, 5'3" and 115lbs. I run 35-40mpw as well as bike 40-60mpw, so my legs are plenty strong for my small stature.

    Wants: in stock, below $300 for the pair, highest tpi I can get, rolls well and holds corners and doesn't wash out sideways on camber.

    Don't want: to change anything other than tires, just not in the budget.
    Thanks guys!
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  2. #2
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    Black Floyds! Or Continental X-Kings....on your Karate Monkey.
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  3. #3
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    Im thinking the BFLS because You could run a nobbier tire but you would have more rolling resistance, and you would only need the nobs in the corners, and how many corners are there in Nebraska? I imagine a race built mostly of staight lines. With the 120tpi BFLs you will be ridding on top of the gravel rather then sticking nobs down in it eating up energy. I guess you could go Black floyd, but the BFLs have a little more bite and float. Otherwise maybe Knards if you just want to spend money on some new tires. Good luck on the race.

  4. #4
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    I'd stick a lugged tyre on the front so that end doesn't wash out.

    The back can slide all over the place so long as you can keep the front pointed where you want, so you can use a rear tyre that minimises rolling resistance.

    I can't speak for anything other than the Nate as a lugged tyre because that's the only lugged tyre I've got, but I've been told that the Bud actually rolls easier because of its tread design, so it may be worth trying.
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  5. #5
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    You will probably save yourself a bunch of effort by running a 120 Larry over BFL's. A Larry front, Floyd rear would be (and has been) my choice for gravel/fire road rides. Light weight, low rolling resistance.

  6. #6
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    Bud Front, BFL in the rear. Bud rolls surprisingly well, are available, and will give you all the grip you are looking for in those conditions. BFL keeps the rear rolling smoothly while giving just enough bite.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    Black Floyds! Or Continental X-Kings....on your Karate Monkey.
    I like your thinking the Monkey is my backup.

    I have a feeling you guys are right about the BFL being fine in the rear, front is where I wash out on corners and camber. Hmmmmm.......
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  8. #8
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    I like my Knards front and rear, these roll pretty well and hold corners just fine.
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  9. #9
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    How much off camber and tight curves can there be really? I would run the bfls even it it meant you need to slow down a few times.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusza View Post
    I like my Knards front and rear, these roll pretty well and hold corners just fine.
    +1 I have 120tpi knards and they are pretty good in the dry gravel.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    How much off camber and tight curves can there be really? I would run the bfls even it it meant you need to slow down a few times.
    Honestly, it is the camber that worries me more on gravel roads. There can be quite an arc to some of the roads and if you have to get over very far from center, that pea gravel can be like marbles and just mess with a normal bike, let alone one that I know has issues with camber wash out. Corners, eh, I go slow and most of them will be 90 degrees anyways.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakedbabytoes View Post
    Honestly, it is the camber that worries me more on gravel roads. There can be quite an arc to some of the roads and if you have to get over very far from center, that pea gravel can be like marbles and just mess with a normal bike, let alone one that I know has issues with camber wash out. Corners, eh, I go slow and most of them will be 90 degrees anyways.
    I suppose your lighter weight being spread out over a bfl or any other tire for that fact might really aid in loss of traction.
    And I love beer!!

  13. #13
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    True, very true. And being female, my weight is carried mostly in my hips and thighs as opposed to you gents and your larger shoulders. I think Bud might be the ticket then, more knobs, the better probably on front anyways.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    How much off camber and tight curves can there be really? I would run the bfls even it it meant you need to slow down a few times.
    I'm with bdundee on this one.

    I did a 60 mile bikepacking trip a couple months ago over gravel and pavement. My BFLs were inflated to 30 PSI. It was a comfortable ride and I had no trouble maintaining a 15mph average. There were no crazy turns or anything and it was mostly flat, so YMMV.

  15. #15
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    This is semi-relevant to the topic. In rural Illinois I am guessing the roads are similar, oil & chip. This time of year it is likely one may encounter fresh oil & chip, which I did. On my skinny tire bike it was a bit scary, especially towards the edge of road where the camber really falls off.

    In contrast to that, on Sunday I had my Moonlander out with Bud and Lou doing a little unpaved riding. In between unpaved sections I came upon some fresh oil & chip, heavy on the chip. What a difference, the Moonlander didnít even care. As a mater of fact, I was riding on the very edge of the road in probably about the worst spot to ride. Not because of traffic, only because I could without hardly a thought.

    Back to the OPís topic Ė You might want to experiment a little with tire pressure. Try to find that sweet spot of rolling, traction, and suspension. It is not as sensitive as say with snow, but a little change in PSI can be a significant change, well for me, YMMV.

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  16. #16
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    A picture is worth a thousand words.

    ...

    120TPI Larry or BFL gets my vote. Don't corner hard and you won't wash out.

  17. #17
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    Lol! Nice, I like it! This is my first GW and on a fatty to boot! I might be overthinking things a bit. Nerves!
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakedbabytoes View Post
    Lol! Nice, I like it! This is my first GW and on a fatty to boot! I might be overthinking things a bit. Nerves!
    Ha! Yeah, I know what you mean. Nerves turned me completely insufferable for a whole month before TI.

    You'll do fine on a fattie, and better than fine on descents (weight back, quiet upper body, stay off the front brake). You already know this, but dialing in tire pressure is of paramount importanceóget out for a spin the day before if you can. Also, I recommend ~26x2.5 tubes to save rotating weight. IIRC, the GW course is not super-hilly, but you'll still want to be able to climb efficiently.

    Now go...relax...have fun! Good luck!

  19. #19
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    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to MauricioB again"

    So I'll just say "Thanks!" instead, "relax and have fun", great advice to always keep in mind!

    Will do!
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  20. #20
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    Actually, I *am* trying to relax...I'll be riding Riverwest 24 this weekend for the first time. I'll be out of my gravelement

    Also, sort of half off-topic, here's my account from this year's Trans Iowa. It's good bedtime reading.

  21. #21
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    I would also say Knards. I may only have one which I have used on the rear, it is super fast on gravel and pavement but still corners and climbs with great bite. I know a lot of locals run them front and rear. I eventually would like a second one to try in front. But I used it with a Larry. I have with a HuDu and I hated the combo. And I'm not liking dual HuDu's much either. I have to run higher PSI to get them to behave on rough or loose stuff. Meaning the Knard/Larry combo runs fast and smooth with little self steer even at low pressures. Like 6-7psi.
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  22. #22
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    I ran Black Floyds for the DK 200 and they worked well. I've probably logged 8,000 miles on them over two years, as they have been my go to gravel tire.

  23. #23
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    Running a bud up front would be silly.

    Knard at most. I say BFLs front and rear since you already have them.
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  24. #24
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    You're 115 pounds, and planning on riding 150 miles, on gravel, on a bike that must weigh 40 pounds? In that case, I would suggest a pair of Knards.... but I think you already have a pretty big set of them!

    Stessing over bike choice is no fun, but if I had your quiver I would choose just about any of them (maybe not the cargo bike) for a ride like this over a fat bike. Perhaps your sliding in the corners because your tires are 'floating' over the gravel and not getting down to the dirt get get traction?

    My tire suggestion is the Continental Cyclocross Speed in the 42c version. Fast rolling, plenty of volume for comfort, side lugs to keep things tight in the corners, and cheap. Put them on you KM and really think that'd be your best set-up for gravel.

    EDIT: I Just looked up what Conundrum was... so yeah, I'd take the fat bike over a unicycle. But either the KM or the Colossal would be a better choice.
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  25. #25
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    Have you checked the route you'll be taking? We've ridden enough times to know the Larrys wash out some on corners, but that's on Wilderness single track with tighter corners. I've done pretty good at Tranquility and Swanson in Omaha with Larry tires.

    You just did Branched Oak race and said you'd probably do the Nates. Congrats on 2nd place for women's and 10th out of 32.

    Guys, she can do this easily despite her weight. She's a far stronger rider than me for sure and makes riding a fat bike look easy.

    I'm thinking Nates or Knards. If you don't like them after Gravel Worlds, you can sell them to me..LOL. We'll make it a layaway plan and I'll have them in time for Christmas. I don't think there's a bad tire for the fat bikes as it's really more about dialing in the psi. Are you going to get a low enough psi for your weight?

    2nd choice would be the KM or your Colossal with some decent tires. Once you do the trip, you'll have a much better idea for next year.

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