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  1. #1
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    best tires for 80% road and 20% gravel trails?

    I mostly roadbike, but use my old GT Karakoram w/ the kids, mostly pulling a weehoo. The old WTB tires are incredibly slow.

    I was thinking of going slicks, but worried about flats on grave/rails-to-trails type riding.

    Any suggestions for the best tire tires for 80% road and 20% gravel? Goal is fast as possible on road and no flats on gravel.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    www.derbyrims.com
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    Have a look at WTB's Nano-raptor and Mutano-raptor tires. These tires roll very easily, maybe easier than slicks, on pavement when using higher tire pressures. Lower the pressure for tail use and the Mutano more so than the Nano is great on hardpack and gravelly with occasional bigger rocks. Both are very light weight and not durable for very rocky rides. The have a harder rubber compound in the center knobs and last quite a long time.

  3. #3
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    Kenda Small Block 8's.

  4. #4
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    best tires for 80% road and 20% gravel trails?

    Quote Originally Posted by bwwbww View Post
    I mostly roadbike, but use my old GT Karakoram w/ the kids, mostly pulling a weehoo. The old WTB tires are incredibly slow.

    I was thinking of going slicks, but worried about flats on grave/rails-to-trails type riding.

    Any suggestions for the best tire tires for 80% road and 20% gravel? Goal is fast as possible on road and no flats on gravel.

    Thanks.
    Schwalbe Marathon Racer
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  5. #5
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    I'd just ruin whatever knobbies you have and look for a deal on anything decent.

    BUT if you want a real mtn.bike tire, the Conti 2.2 Race King is awesome. It's the best trail tire I've used and it rolls fast on pavement. They last a long time too. The only negative is the weak sidewalls. If your gravel is sharp and rips tires apart, don't bother.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwwbww View Post
    I mostly roadbike, but use my old GT Karakoram w/ the kids, mostly pulling a weehoo. The old WTB tires are incredibly slow.

    I was thinking of going slicks, but worried about flats on grave/rails-to-trails type riding.

    Any suggestions for the best tire tires for 80% road and 20% gravel? Goal is fast as possible on road and no flats on gravel.
    Gravel doesn't cause flats except when hitting the odd rock at speed, causing a pinch flat. And that's only with skinny road tires on a paved road, going very fast.

    You're unlikely to get a flat on a rail trail. The odd broken bottle may exist, but any road will have more.

    Your problem is the road to and from. Is it clean?

    Either way, slicks will be fine. If I had a reason to buy road tires for my MTB again, I'd probably get the 26x1.75 from Compass. These guys are all about speed, and gravel.

    Pulling a trailer (extra weight) will cause more wear, so you might want a good commuter/touring tire for durability, still leaning toward speed.

    The Schwalbe Marathon Racer is a good suggestion.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuskenraider View Post
    Kenda Small Block 8's.
    Second that! Very durable tires...

  8. #8
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    I have not tried alot of tires but I do love Small Block 8's for fast rolling tires. They would be my commuter choice if I rode my MTB on the street much.

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    You can't buy them anymore, but Avocet Cross II's are ideal for this. They have a negative tread pattern and high thread count. Ride like slicks on the road, and grip well on the gravel.

    http://www.avocet.com/tirepages/cross_2.html

    Panaracer Pasela's are the closest that I know of to the Cross II. Dirt cheap as well.

    Panaracer Pasela 26x1.5 Black Steel in Tree Fort Bikes Tires (mtb) (cat544)

  11. #11
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    Ive done gravel trails on my road bike with 23c lightweight tires at ~110psi. Obviously not the most ideal setup, but it did work fine (and was fun!). The benefit on the road of using a real road tire is significant.

    +1 fpr paselas, they have a reputation for durability.

  12. #12
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    You don't need any real tread for gravel / rails-to-trails riding. I do a lot of gravel roads on my road bike and i have been fine on Jack Browns, which are basically 33c slicks. IMO, even Race Kings and SB8's are way more tread than you need, and will just slow you down and wear out too quickly on the pavement.

    You can get 26" commuter/touring tires that are designed to take gravel roads. Something like the Pasellas, or one Schwalbe Marathon varieties would work great.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuskenraider View Post
    Kenda Small Block 8's.
    I second that tire. Great rolling resistance.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuskenraider View Post
    Kenda Small Block 8's.
    I second that

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LB412 View Post
    I second that
    Thanks for all the insight and suggestions. Bother the guidance on what type of tire and the specific tire suggestions is very appreciated. I'll report back shortly on my directions. I did get my surly 1x1 fork to replace my broken rs Judy.
    Thanks.

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