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Best tire width (and tire) for true mostly-paved "allroad" centuries?

Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Best tire width (and tire) for true mostly-paved "allroad" centuries?

Old 06-13-19, 10:25 AM
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FlashBazbo
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Best tire width (and tire) for true mostly-paved "allroad" centuries?

This weekend, I will be riding a century through an area that (I suspect) will include some smooth pavement, some rough chipseal, a little insanely rough crater-pavement, and some light gravel. I'm accustomed to either doing gravel races or doing centuries on smooth pavement, but I've never done a road century that I knew would have substantial amounts of sketchy surface. I've got my "allroad" tires ready, but I thought I would ask what the forum thinks is the ideal tire width (and tire) for this kind of century. For reference, I'm thinking of running 36mm Challenge Strada Bianca TLR's. But . . . I've also got a set of 25mm Conti 4000SII's (that measure 28mm) if I change my mind.

What do you think? What tire would you use?
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Old 06-13-19, 11:22 AM
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I'd say the Strada Biancas would be perfect. I'd rather ride a tire that was suited for the majority of the route rather than gear up for the worst part and have the rest of the ride suffer. I rode a pavement century on 43mm Panaracer Gravel King SKs recently. They weren't my first choice but they were fine for an 18mph average, and extra plush!
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Old 06-13-19, 11:42 AM
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I do those sorts of centuries quite frequently every summer. Over the past several years I went from 700cx23->650bx42->700cx38 and now I've mostly settled on 650bx47 with a 42 in the rear, all slick tires.

They don't feel much slower on the road, although they are slightly, but they are a ton more comfortable and much faster on non-paved surfaces or aggressive chipseal. So if I were you I'd use the Challenge tires, but I haven't ridden tires narrower than 38s in a long time now so YMMV!
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Old 06-13-19, 01:14 PM
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I'd be on 28mm road tires, all day long.
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Old 06-13-19, 01:15 PM
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A 37mm tire is the exact perfect size. Sorry, your tire choice is 1mm too narrow and you will suffer as a result.
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Old 06-13-19, 02:02 PM
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I ran a similar century on 38 mm Gravel King slicks, tubeless. A few weeks later I did a short Gravel Grinder on them, but I did lower the pressure. They worked fine on both rides. Right now I am running a 38 mm slick in the back and a 38 mm Gravel King SK up front. Great setup for south Florida gravel and I would have no issue using them on extended pavement rides.
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Old 06-13-19, 02:06 PM
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The Strada Bianca TLR should be perfect for the terrain you are describing. They are my all road, light gravel setup now. Mounted on 22mm internal rims, mine measure nearly 39mm now and roll very fast and plush. In fact, I'm doing a century in two weeks and will be riding those instead of the WTB Exposure 30s I have for road.
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Old 06-13-19, 02:16 PM
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Until a week ago, I would have said your 36mm Challenge tires. Ďbeen playing with some 32mm GP5000s tubless. Half the rolling resistance of the Challenge tires is kinda tempting. For me, it would be whether I felt more beat up, or if I was wondering if my legs would give out.



Granted, there is not a huge difference between 25mm 4000s and 32mm TL 5000s. The 4000s have 50% more rolling resistance (but still, that is only 10 watts/pair) and are 5mm narrower (28 vs 33mm), and need about 25% more pressure. For that type of riding I go for 32mm slicks.



What the heck Ė go for the cumfy big challenge tires (unless you are really in a hurry).

(On the other hand Ė the standard BF answer is always: buy new tires).
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Old 06-13-19, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
A 37mm tire is the exact perfect size. Sorry, your tire choice is 1mm too narrow and you will suffer as a result.
You may be wrong. When I first mounted the Strada Biancas, they measured exactly 36mm. But it's been six weeks now, and tubeless Challenge tires have a reputation for "growing" a little over time. I suspect they are at least 37mm wide by now. Exact. Perfect. Size!
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Old 06-13-19, 03:24 PM
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FWIW I have some 33 non-tubeless Strada Biancas that are faster than a scalded dog on pavement and more than capable on gravel. And they still measure 33 after several months.
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Old 06-13-19, 04:35 PM
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rene herse bon jon 35c set up tubeless? I use the panaracer GK slick 38c for my commuting all road/gravel tire that spends 95% of its time on pavement and its slower on the road but can hang
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Old 06-20-19, 08:54 AM
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I use the 700x30 Schwable S-One, these measure about 32mm wide. This is the lightest and fastest tire that I trust on course rural gravel. I keep 60-80 psi, Iím 220 lbs. Itís not as comfortable as the 700x38 Hutchenson Override but itís clearly faster and itís very tough. Itís almost as fast as the 700x28 Continental GP4000 II.

Schwalbe says: "THE SPECIAL ONE. A racing tire for the toughest jobs. Tour of Flanders. Paris-Roubaix. With its large volume and V-Guard protection the S-One is well prepared for such ordeals. You can ride it 'old school' as a handmade tubular or with the most modern Tubeless Easy technology."

see: https://www.google.com/amp/s/road.cc...ess-tyre%3famp

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Old 06-20-19, 09:03 AM
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I just took my road bike with (wider) 25c tires on some gravel last weekend when a paved road unexpectedly turned to gravel (that's what I get for not researching my route thoroughly), and it sucked. I think I would do 32's or 35's.
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Old 06-20-19, 09:21 AM
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I ended up doing the ride with the Challenge Strada Bianca TLR 36mm tubeless tires aired to 50/52psi. The pre-ride description of road conditions was probably milder than what we encountered. There was a LOT of heavily cratered asphalt and sketchy road surface. The Strada Biancas were the perfect choice. They were fast on smooth pavement and confidence-inspiring everywhere else. Good ride. It was a good all-around test and they passed with flying colors.

The ONLY bad thing about the Strada Biancas is that, no matter what you do to stop it, they seep a little air (but no sealant) from one day to the next. I generally expect to lose 10 psi in 24 hours. That's not a big deal, though. I just air up my tires before I ride. Problem solved.
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Old 06-23-19, 08:30 PM
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I was in a race on a cratered road, and due to the density of riders, and my inexperience, had to hit some of the craters (which were too large to bunny hop). I was really happy to have my 650bx47mm tubeless tires at ~30 psi to absorb the impacts. I was also happy to have stainless steel bottle cages; I didn't lose water bottles, but I was dodging lots of others' bottles.
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Old 06-24-19, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
I ended up doing the ride with the Challenge Strada Bianca TLR 36mm tubeless tires aired to 50/52psi. The pre-ride description of road conditions was probably milder than what we encountered. There was a LOT of heavily cratered asphalt and sketchy road surface. The Strada Biancas were the perfect choice. They were fast on smooth pavement and confidence-inspiring everywhere else. Good ride. It was a good all-around test and they passed with flying colors.

The ONLY bad thing about the Strada Biancas is that, no matter what you do to stop it, they seep a little air (but no sealant) from one day to the next. I generally expect to lose 10 psi in 24 hours. That's not a big deal, though. I just air up my tires before I ride. Problem solved.
Well done! Sounds like a good ride.

Originally Posted by stanion View Post
I was in a race on a cratered road, and due to the density of riders, and my inexperience, had to hit some of the craters (which were too large to bunny hop). I was really happy to have my 650bx47mm tubeless tires at ~30 psi to absorb the impacts. I was also happy to have stainless steel bottle cages; I didn't lose water bottles, but I was dodging lots of others' bottles.
I learned my lesson with cheap flimsy carbon cages. I wonít ever use those again. At some point the weight savings on bike parts isnít worth them failing at their job, or breaking.
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Old 06-24-19, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
This weekend, I will be riding a century through an area that (I suspect) will include some smooth pavement, some rough chipseal, a little insanely rough crater-pavement, and some light gravel. I'm accustomed to either doing gravel races or doing centuries on smooth pavement, but I've never done a road century that I knew would have substantial amounts of sketchy surface. I've got my "allroad" tires ready, but I thought I would ask what the forum thinks is the ideal tire width (and tire) for this kind of century. For reference, I'm thinking of running 36mm Challenge Strada Bianca TLR's. But . . . I've also got a set of 25mm Conti 4000SII's (that measure 28mm) if I change my mind.

What do you think? What tire would you use?
I see you have the UP in your profile. That itself is going to be good on gravel and secondly on road. The thing would be "how much" of the gravel type roads versus the nice smooth pavement? And how many organized stops? The UP with the 36's and low tire pressure, assuming this is not a race.
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Old 06-24-19, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
I ended up doing the ride with the Challenge Strada Bianca TLR 36mm tubeless tires aired to 50/52psi. The pre-ride description of road conditions was probably milder than what we encountered. There was a LOT of heavily cratered asphalt and sketchy road surface. The Strada Biancas were the perfect choice. They were fast on smooth pavement and confidence-inspiring everywhere else. Good ride. It was a good all-around test and they passed with flying colors.

The ONLY bad thing about the Strada Biancas is that, no matter what you do to stop it, they seep a little air (but no sealant) from one day to the next. I generally expect to lose 10 psi in 24 hours. That's not a big deal, though. I just air up my tires before I ride. Problem solved.
Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
I see you have the UP in your profile. That itself is going to be good on gravel and secondly on road. The thing would be "how much" of the gravel type roads versus the nice smooth pavement? And how many organized stops? The UP with the 36's and low tire pressure, assuming this is not a race.
Good advice.
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Old 06-24-19, 06:32 PM
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I did an 80 mile river trail road ride loop on my Challenge Strada Bianca's yesterday. I'm really impressed with these tires, they roll very fast on pavement for a large volume gravel ready tire.
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Old 06-24-19, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by gravelED View Post
I did an 80 mile river trail road ride loop on my Challenge Strada Bianca's yesterday. I'm really impressed with these tires, they roll very fast on pavement for a large volume gravel ready tire.
Is this the 36mm which has grown to 39mm?
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Old 06-25-19, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by MPE View Post
I ran a similar century on 38 mm Gravel King slicks, tubeless. A few weeks later I did a short Gravel Grinder on them, but I did lower the pressure. They worked fine on both rides. Right now I am running a 38 mm slick in the back and a 38 mm Gravel King SK up front. Great setup for south Florida gravel and I would have no issue using them on extended pavement rides.
I have a set of Gravel King slicks and I thought they were great. The only reason I took them off is their lack of traction in wet conditions. If I could limit my riding to dry conditions they would be my go-to tire.
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Old 06-25-19, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by medic75 View Post
I have a set of Gravel King slicks and I thought they were great. The only reason I took them off is their lack of traction in wet conditions. If I could limit my riding to dry conditions they would be my go-to tire.
I haven't had a problem with the GK slicks in wet weather-they seem grippy enough riding them on pavement in the rain. At least, I haven't felt much slippage through normal riding scenarios.

I commuted through winter on a singlespeed with narrow GK slicks, which was what sold me on getting a wider pair for the Topstone for road riding.
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Old 06-25-19, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by tangerineowl View Post
Is this the 36mm which has grown to 39mm?
Yes
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Old 06-25-19, 09:52 AM
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I use the 700x30 Schwable S-One, these measure about 32mm wide. This is the lightest and fastest tire that I trust on course rural gravel. I keep 60-80 psi, Iím 220 lbs. Itís not as comfortable as the 700x38 Hutchenson Override but itís clearly faster and itís very tough. Itís almost as fast as the 700x28 Continental GP4000 II.
I've never ridden my 28mm GP4000 on gravel. Sidewalls are too thin for my liking.
But The 32mm GP5000 TL is my goto for fast gravel and all around fast riding.

The thicker cords, thicker sidewalls give me more confidence. The rolling resistance is about 1/2 of anything else I've seen for a gravel tire (i.e. Compass). I had't thought much of this, but I'm surprised how well they roll (8.3 watts rolling resistance). I was using 32mm 4Seasons for fast gravel, but the 5000 is noticeably faster (and a lot faster at high speeds).

I do like my S-Ones and was going to get the 30mm until Conti came out with the 32mm GP5000
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Old 06-25-19, 01:06 PM
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Its a non-competitive event, why would you sacrifice comfort and perhaps durability?

I rode & gravel raced 38mm Gravel King slicks all last year. Its a great high volume tire for all conditions.

So...I'd go with the 36mm strada bianca TLR.

no brainer.
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