Commuting tires--Wet traction- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    10

    Commuting tires--Wet traction

    Looking for recommendations for commuting tires in both 650 and 700c. I live in Seattle, so my primary concern is wet traction, particularly on paint stripes and metal, since I'd rather not wipe out on crosswalks, railroad tracks (have to cross twice) or manhole covers.

    My commute is only 13 miles round-trip, so tread wear, rolling resistance and flat resistance aren't a huge deal. I guess flat resistance is more important for my spousal critter's bike, since they would be less happy about needing to stop and swap out a tube, but I haven't really found that our route generates a lot of punctures.

    I'll admit to being a weight weeny, but I'm trying to rein that in.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    507
    Quote Originally Posted by BuckRimfire View Post
    Looking for recommendations for commuting tires in both 650 and 700c. I live in Seattle, so my primary concern is wet traction, particularly on paint stripes and metal, since I'd rather not wipe out on crosswalks, railroad tracks (have to cross twice) or manhole covers.

    My commute is only 13 miles round-trip, so tread wear, rolling resistance and flat resistance aren't a huge deal. I guess flat resistance is more important for my spousal critter's bike, since they would be less happy about needing to stop and swap out a tube, but I haven't really found that our route generates a lot of punctures.

    I'll admit to being a weight weeny, but I'm trying to rein that in.
    Be interested to hear experiences. Hydroplaning is not an issue on bicycles so tread is not a factor if on good surface. Rubber compound and width i would think would be primary. I wish Conti gatorskins were available in wider tires, ive been running 700x28 contis on my commuter with no flats. Ive picked out some pretty good glass bits out of them. But would like wider cush. Steel plates and grates, gotta keep an eagle eye out for and not attempt any vector changes

  3. #3
    poser Administrator
    Reputation: rockcrusher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    10,084
    Quote Originally Posted by BuckRimfire View Post
    Looking for recommendations for commuting tires in both 650 and 700c. I live in Seattle, so my primary concern is wet traction, particularly on paint stripes and metal, since I'd rather not wipe out on crosswalks, railroad tracks (have to cross twice) or manhole covers.

    My commute is only 13 miles round-trip, so tread wear, rolling resistance and flat resistance aren't a huge deal. I guess flat resistance is more important for my spousal critter's bike, since they would be less happy about needing to stop and swap out a tube, but I haven't really found that our route generates a lot of punctures.

    I'll admit to being a weight weeny, but I'm trying to rein that in.
    I have used Schwable G-One gravel tires, definitely slippery in the rain. Panaracer Gravelking slicks are nice, light, and have a file tread but I didn't get a ton of rain rides on them this year before the COVID. I was using the hutchinson override tires and they were really nice got a ton of miles and rode a ton of Seattle rainy days. The panaracers replaced them only because i had a pair of the panaracers and the hutchinson were down to the cords. I had 1 flat due to a staple the I set them up tubeless. Run the panaracers tubeless as well. Haven't had any issues, knock on wood.

    I don't know if anything will help on paint stripes or steel rails or manhole covers but the one constant I have discovered is knobby tires are substantially worse in rain than slicks. Way less control, more likely to slide in corners. Worn tires as well. The newer the tire the better the traction (for slicks or file treads I mean).
    MTBR Posting Guidelines
    calories>electrons

  4. #4
    Wierdo
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,035
    I've been commuting year round in Seattle since 2008.

    I rode Gatorskins a while back and they have GREAT flat resistance, but wow are they slow rolling. I also found their wet traction to be somewhat medicore.

    Conti GP4000sII are great tires, really good wet traction but flat resistance in the winter is not all you might want it to be. If you change them out before they get too worn, they will do better in the flat resistance category.

    For the last couple of years I have been switching in the winter to Michelin Pro4 tires, not bad rolling resistance, good wet traction and good flat resistance, but man are they a rough ride.

    I recently switched to Conti GP5000 700x32. These are fantastic tires and I love, love, love the way that they ride. I did not ride a full winter on them so I cannot vouch for their flat resistance yet, but I have been riding them quite a bit on gravel in Central Washington and they seem to be holding up to that very well. Great rolling resistance and great wet traction. I'm confident enough in their flat resistance that I am planning to ride them all next winter.

  5. #5
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Reputation: bbender785's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    122
    my winter tires are Michelin Stargrips. not the lightest and id say they roll ok, but ive been very impressed with their wet grip.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    >>>RAD

  6. #6
    NDD
    NDD is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: NDD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    1,562
    I could be wrong, but I don't know that any tire will really give you traction over crosswalk paint. That is just the most slippery stuff when wet. Best bet would be the general rule that you want something wider and without knobs for traction on a road (surface should be moderately smooth so non-knobby tire maintains greatest amount of contact).

    I mean, how far are you commuting? I've always liked 32-45 mm tires for dedicated commuter bikes, but I've done 22 miles round trip at the most for a usual distance. I am not a weight weenie, though.
    dang

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    I've always liked 32-45 mm tires for dedicated commuter bikes, but I've done 22 miles round trip at the most for a usual distance. I am not a weight weenie, though.
    32 mm is close to the widest i'm considering for my 700c wheels, which might mean I'll go with Conti GP 4-Seasons. However, I'm trying to sell my only conventional road bike, and that would leave me with a 700c that is set up as a retro-direct. It tends to drop the chain over bumps, so I should probably put on the widest tires that fit and run lower pressure to see if giving it a slightly smoother ride would help keep the chain on the freewheels.

    It's an old Bridgestone 550 road frame. I haven't tried to determine what the fattest possible tire for it would be.

  8. #8
    NDD
    NDD is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: NDD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    1,562
    Quote Originally Posted by BuckRimfire View Post
    32 mm is close to the widest i'm considering for my 700c wheels, which might mean I'll go with Conti GP 4-Seasons. However, I'm trying to sell my only conventional road bike, and that would leave me with a 700c that is set up as a retro-direct. It tends to drop the chain over bumps, so I should probably put on the widest tires that fit and run lower pressure to see if giving it a slightly smoother ride would help keep the chain on the freewheels.

    It's an old Bridgestone 550 road frame. I haven't tried to determine what the fattest possible tire for it would be.
    Ooooh, I see. I like the look of those bikes. Yeah, you'd really have to check if a 32c could fit on there, probably? Can't remember if I had 32c or 28c on my older road bike, now... You can get either size for the tire you want, though, and it looks like a good choice.

    I'll admit, I'd never seen or heard of retro-direct setups until I saw your response. Seems interesting, but is the chain dropping an inherent characteristic of these drive train systems? If the chain were to become stretched and needed replaced, I could see that being an issue, or does this happen with a new, properly sized chain?
    dang

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    I'll admit, I'd never seen or heard of retro-direct setups until I saw your response. Seems interesting, but is the chain dropping an inherent characteristic of these drive train systems? If the chain were to become stretched and needed replaced, I could see that being an issue, or does this happen with a new, properly sized chain?
    No, not inherently. IIRC, when these were popular, 100 years ago, there was a rigid bracket brazed onto the bottom of the chainstay, and the return pulley for the chain was attached to that with an adjusting screw, so you could pull the chain tight around the two freewheels by screwing the pulley forward. So then it would be as tight on the cogs as a track-bike's chain, and it really can't jump off.

    However, that requires modifying the frame. I first found out about R-D a long time ago on the Fat Cyclist blog. He posted a static picture of one of the old bikes and wrote "all I'm going to say is that this bicycle CAN be ridden." It took me about 15 minutes of staring at the photo to reverse-engineer the idea that there were two independent freewheels stacked on the hub. I thought it was cool, but there was no way I was going to get my frame modified for that.

    Then, I saw one in the bike rack at work (I work in a university research lab), and it turned out that this guy Peter was a post-doc in my department for a while:
    https://kentsbike.blogspot.com/2009/...ro-direct.html
    Using the Kore chain tensioner is easy, so I copied his setup, but the thing is being asked to do a job it wasn't designed for. At a guess, the spring would need to be about three times stronger to hold the chain reliably. When you hit a bump, there's just a lot of weight of chain to be kept taut. If you stop pedaling before bumps, it rarely falls off, but if you keep spinning, the chain can drop off the cog pretty easily.

    The other drawback is limited ratios. I used cheap BMX freewheels, made in India IIRC, and the range of sizes was only 16T and 22T. I think bigger single-speed freewheels were available from more expensive sources, but it didn't seem worth it to spend a lot to get a couple of extra teeth. This driveline was more for novelty than practical needs.

    The weird thing is that when I ride it, no one ever asks why I'm pedalling backwards!

  10. #10
    poser Administrator
    Reputation: rockcrusher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    10,084
    Quote Originally Posted by BuckRimfire View Post
    No, not inherently. IIRC, when these were popular, 100 years ago, there was a rigid bracket brazed onto the bottom of the chainstay, and the return pulley for the chain was attached to that with an adjusting screw, so you could pull the chain tight around the two freewheels by screwing the pulley forward. So then it would be as tight on the cogs as a track-bike's chain, and it really can't jump off.

    However, that requires modifying the frame. I first found out about R-D a long time ago on the Fat Cyclist blog. He posted a static picture of one of the old bikes and wrote "all I'm going to say is that this bicycle CAN be ridden." It took me about 15 minutes of staring at the photo to reverse-engineer the idea that there were two independent freewheels stacked on the hub. I thought it was cool, but there was no way I was going to get my frame modified for that.

    Then, I saw one in the bike rack at work (I work in a university research lab), and it turned out that this guy Peter was a post-doc in my department for a while:
    https://kentsbike.blogspot.com/2009/...ro-direct.html
    Using the Kore chain tensioner is easy, so I copied his setup, but the thing is being asked to do a job it wasn't designed for. At a guess, the spring would need to be about three times stronger to hold the chain reliably. When you hit a bump, there's just a lot of weight of chain to be kept taut. If you stop pedaling before bumps, it rarely falls off, but if you keep spinning, the chain can drop off the cog pretty easily.

    The other drawback is limited ratios. I used cheap BMX freewheels, made in India IIRC, and the range of sizes was only 16T and 22T. I think bigger single-speed freewheels were available from more expensive sources, but it didn't seem worth it to spend a lot to get a couple of extra teeth. This driveline was more for novelty than practical needs.

    The weird thing is that when I ride it, no one ever asks why I'm pedalling backwards!
    Cool. Never knew this was a thing. Check this one here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQ3VRKZiN4 Looks like it got away from the tension issue completely by running a dingle style set up.
    MTBR Posting Guidelines
    calories>electrons

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    10
    Nice. Too bad my old Nishiki Ariel was stolen.

Similar Threads

  1. When is more traction, too much traction?
    By singletrackmack in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 05-15-2017, 05:21 AM
  2. texturising wood for wet surface traction
    By Oblisk in forum Trail Building and Advocacy
    Replies: 44
    Last Post: 12-07-2011, 11:41 AM
  3. Suggestions for low resistance, wet traction tires
    By Gildnerb in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-30-2011, 08:49 PM
  4. Wet, wet, wet
    By langen in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-06-2007, 06:12 PM
  5. Marta SLs in wet, wet, WET conditions?
    By tscheezy in forum Brake Time
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-29-2004, 10:36 PM

Members who have read this thread: 23

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.