CX commuting and tire pressure. Tubes vs. Tubeless- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    CX commuting and tire pressure. Tubes vs. Tubeless

    Hey all, I'm going to be starting an office job and adding a bike commute. I went and tested the ride and it was nice. However I have some reservations about the CX bike because I keep flatting. I try to run 60-65 psi with tubes in 35c tires for comfort.

    Mostly road, but some curb jumping and occasional rough shoulders etc. Also, rain over half the year in the Seattle area.

    So, what are opinions on this? Just up the PSI? Maybe switch to some beefier tires?

    Or go tubeless which I love on my MTBs? Stan's grail FI.

    Stick with CX tires, or go for 35c road tires? What's good in the rain but will still have traction?

    Finally at the risk of derailing the original intent of this, I have rack mounts and would appreciate advice on a good waterproof fender/rack combo that can keep work clothes dry and a laptop operational.

  2. #2
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    I commute on a cx bike in northern Illinois 40+ weeks a year, ten miles each way, streets, path, some dirt etc. I rocked touring tires by continental for about 2000 miles, never flatted, still have same tubes. (Those tubes are Kenda standard weight btw.) Ran about 75-80psi. Can't say anything negative about them but they are heavy, you'll notice. Recently switched to Maxxis Refuze in 28mm with another set of the above mentioned tubes, running 80psi, so far so good. Feels like a twitchy road bike now, I'll probably throw the touring tires back on in the winter. Lots of people ride gator skins and marathons,
    Good luck and congrats on getting a gig you can ride to!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_slacker View Post
    Hey all, I'm going to be starting an office job and adding a bike commute. I went and tested the ride and it was nice. However I have some reservations about the CX bike because I keep flatting. I try to run 60-65 psi with tubes in 35c tires for comfort.

    Mostly road, but some curb jumping and occasional rough shoulders etc. Also, rain over half the year in the Seattle area.

    So, what are opinions on this? Just up the PSI? Maybe switch to some beefier tires?

    Or go tubeless which I love on my MTBs? Stan's grail FI.

    Stick with CX tires, or go for 35c road tires? What's good in the rain but will still have traction?

    Finally at the risk of derailing the original intent of this, I have rack mounts and would appreciate advice on a good waterproof fender/rack combo that can keep work clothes dry and a laptop operational.
    I ride tubeless with the knobbies.....but the slicks and studs sidewalls break down after a while making tubeless not worth the pain so they get tubes

  4. #4
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    I don't think you'll have trouble finding a commuting tire in that size. Something generally smooth rolling but with enough tread to maintain traction in the wet. I run about 65 front and 90 rear, with all my stuff in a rear rack/pannier setup (more rear weight bias is what I'm trying to say here). There's some calculators or tables out there on the great wide internets from which you can look up good tire pressures for your loaded weight & balance.

    It's important to look at what kind of flats you're getting, make sure you double check your tire for a little stuck in piece of something, generally try to figure out why you're flatting, so you can figure out the best thing to do about it. Futzing with your tire pressure won't help if the problem is running over pointy things.

  5. #5
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    Vittoria XNs tubeless with Stans. Measure about a 30C, run at about 35PSI.

    The file tread is now completely gone, but I think they have another few months in them, at which point I will need knobs for winter anyways.

    Zero flats commuting this year. I did nick the sidewall a bit riding a rock garden on the singletrack, but it sealed up without issue.

    A few rim hits, for sure at that pressure, but they're on pretty old wheels.

    They feel ridiculously light and fast for a "commuting" setup.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  6. #6
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    Any actual off-road? Or just road, and road like someone who can handle a bike?

    My favorite tire for commuting in Seattle was a 25 mm slick. For comparison, I like a 23 mm slick on a road bike I'm not strapping a bunch of crap onto.

    I did notice when I had 28s that I had to mess around a bit to find "my" pressure, since it's not a size I use. With 35s too, actuality. So I got a couple pinch flats while I was figuring that out.

    My favorite road tire is the Continental Grand Prix 4000S. Supposedly the Gatorskin has a harder tread compound and is sketchier in the rain. I feel well served by the flat protection in the 4000S and never tried it. The Four Seasons might be a little stickier, but I never tried that either. I have Michelin Lithions on another bike, and like those fine too.

    For me, the $15 rack was fine. I found using two stays, one to each seat stay, even if I had to use P-clamps beat using one to the seat stay bridge, even though that always gets a bolt. If you want to impress hipsters, use Tubus. I think good panniers are really important. If your laptop has a spinny type hard drive, carry it in a messenger bag.

    I used Planet Bike Cascadia fenders. Adding buddy flaps improves performance a ton. SKS are better-regarded but significantly more expensive. Removable fenders are better than nothing, but more of a PITA and don't work as well.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    Curb hopping? Yowzer. So, rim width, rider weight? On my cross check I use panaracer paselas in tourguard version, 700 x35. A little inverse tread for the wet roads, they grip well. I run 55 psi front, 60 psi rear, Mavic A719 touring rims, at 235 lbs rider weight. No issues with flats. A true ,low knobby cross tire is not what you want to run on the road. Road slicks like the panarcaers, contis, scwhalbe or such. Schwalbe marathons have a great rep for being flat resistant, they make like 20 kinds of them.

  8. #8
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    I run Kenda Happy Mediums in 40c at 70psi for road/packed gravel. Very rarely flat, that said I've had 3 in the last week: all the result of puncture vine/glass. They handle very well on dirt as well. I often take overnight rides on mixed terrain, gravel, pavement, single track.

    I get about a year and half out of a rear tire, two years for the fronts that spend 6 months on the rear.

    Most flats are the result of under-inflation. A properly inflated tire resists punctures and pinch flats better.

  9. #9
    Wierdo
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    I commuted year-round in Seattle from 2008 till mid-2015 (working from home now) on a CX bike. A combination of road and MUP, I was riding 40 miles/day RT.

    If you don't have any offroad, I'll echo AndrwSwitch, I ride 25mm GP4000S II tires. Best combination of low rolling resistance, good wet traction and flat resistance that I could find. I rarely got flats and when I did it was usually because I was pushing the mileage on the rear tire and the rubber had worn thin.

    I also use Planet Bike Cascadia fenders, a tubus rack and Ortlieb pannier. Never any issues with my stuff getting wet in the rain.

  10. #10
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    28mm road tires (I'm riding conti 4 seasons) are pretty capable in the dirt unless it's either rocky or very soft. Just fine on dirt roads and great in the wet.

    I also like Conti Speed rides, they ride like slicks, grip like cyclocross knobbies and are cheeeaaap.

    Skinny: continental bicycle Cyclocross Speed

    Fat:https://www.conti-online.com/www/bic...edride_en.html

    Total crap in sticky mud tho.

  11. #11
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    Thanks guys. The commute has no actual offroad, but I do ride the bike on gravel/dirt to go to the grocery store, gym, etc. Looks like the conti cx speeds might be that way to go!

  12. #12
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I'd encourage you to try some straight-up slicks sooner or later too. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I'd encourage you to try some straight-up slicks sooner or later too. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
    Will do, probably just a comfort/perception thing.

  14. #14
    Wierdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I'd encourage you to try some straight-up slicks sooner or later too. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
    Agree. A slick is going to give better wet road traction which is important if you plan to ride around here in the winter.

    FWIW, I've ridden my 25 mm GP4000s several times on both the E. Lake Sammamish Trail (the hardpacked gravel portion) and the Snoqualmie Valley Trail (also gravel) with nary a problem. Would not do it on those tires everyday but it's never been a problem in a pinch.

  15. #15
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    I know, a little old but here's my 2-c. I commute Seattle currently 11-12 hilly miles each way daily year round rain or shine (very little shine this winter)...ok sometimes I throw it on the bus when I'm just not up to it.

    About to give tubeless a try for commuting. Ashok at Bike So Good is really liking it on his road/gravel bike. Ya it might suck to have to fix and remount on the road but the point is that you shouldn't hardly have to if stans NT goo is used. So we'll see! I do have Stans Notubes rims but they are definitely a ***** to get a road tire on so I'll use my new (Ashok will build) tubeless ready DT 331 rims. Can't hardly wait.

    But in general so far, definitely slicks for commuting. I hate skinny tires, not enough grip and too harsh on our wet potholed roads and I too do a fair bit of curb jumping. Plus get rid of the idea that skinny tires are faster. Only true on smooth track-like surfaces. I run 28-35's. In summer mostly 28mm 700C. I've had great luck with panaracer pacela tourgaurd 28's, nice light supple easy to change with fingers only. I like the gum wall for style but alas those tires don't seem to be as available. Their non-tourgaurd pacela I got by mistake suck at commuting and just today went into the trash. So I threw their 'town and country' 32's on the back and a fat specialized commuter on the front. Both are a little heavier and stiffer than I want so hunting.

  16. #16
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    I do 30km each way a few times a week on a CX bike. All road/bike path, I took the Griffo's off and put 28mm GP4S on and really like them. The Griffo's did about 1500km before i swapped them over.

  17. #17
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    FWIW, I started out commuting on my current bike with the stock 40mm Clement X'plor MSO's. I've since switched to Schwalbe Marathon Supremes (35mm), and then quickly dropped those for Conti Gatorskin Hardshell 32's. So far I love the Conti's. When fully loaded i'm about 160lbs and my bike is around 45-50lbs, and the Conti's have been fabulous in all conditions. I dropped the Clements at the beginning due to their poor performance on wet asphalt. A slick just performs so much better in the wet since there is more rubber in contact with the pavement.
    [email protected]%K! Where the hell did that tree come from?!

  18. #18
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    So I found the Swalbe Marathon 32, Panaracer Crosstown 32 nearly bombproof this rainy winter but not very fun to ride. Too stiff and hard. Specialized Nimbus -flack jacket in 28mm was a lot nicer to ride and held up 2nd half this winter. However, I am now running specialized Roubiax tubeless ready 30/32 on DT-swiss xr331 rims with stans goo and absolutely loving it. Such a great ride. I can so feel the difference' slick and fast. But I just got hit by a car and destroyed my rear xr331 rim (tire stayed on fine tho) and having to go back to Nimbus till the rebuild wheel comes back.

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