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The best road plus tire?

Old 09-14-17, 03:05 AM
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b0rderline
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The best road plus tire?

I want to convert my gravel bike to 650b and I want to have the best possible tire on that wheel.

My criteria are simple:

1. Puncture protection
2. Traction on loose gravel and rough terrain
3. Speed on road

I am choosing from 3 tires (all for tubeless usage):
1. Panaracer Gravelking SK
2. WTB Byway
3. Clement x'plor MSO

It seems that in the puncture protection department Clement will be the best simply because it offers 60 TPI casing and the rest are about 120TPI but does it mean that both Panaracer and WTB will be easy to puncture?

In the traction category I think again Clement my be the best due to the tread pattern followed by Panaracer.

And finally speed on the road I think goes to WTB but I have read that the other two are no slouch on the road.

So what Do you think and choose?
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Old 09-14-17, 08:18 AM
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I would go for the Clement 120 tpi every time if given the choice between 60 and 120.
I have 120tpi Clement MSOs in 40mm, and a heavy rider, and they have held up perfectly fine. Never flatted yet and I get the benefit of a lighter and more supple tire.

Lower TPI doesnt necessarily mean stronger, at least not in my experience.
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Old 09-14-17, 11:19 AM
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How often do you get flats, and what causes them?

I would not make generalizations about TPI (other than maybe suppleness) as there are a lot of other factors to consider).

Why do you need tread? Some say volume and tire pressure are all you need to determine traction, although I find tread pretty useful for wet condition (mud, slime, grass).

Best possible tire? Anything high end tire by compass, clement, continental, or Schwalbe could be considered the best, but no one tire does it all. need to choose and prioritize for weight, speed, durability, road speed, off road speed puncture protection, price, tread, etc...
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Old 09-14-17, 11:28 AM
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I do have an active post:
"Put the fastest tire on the slowest bike – Wow – fat tires can be fast"
that is an amazing 650b tire. What width are you using?
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Old 09-14-17, 11:48 AM
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I don't know if it comes in 650B, but the Panracer Pasela is a great compromise tire. Decent rolling on pavement up to the very wide tires and as long as they are big enough, capable gravel tires. I rode the tough Trask Trail to the Oregon Coast on a 38c front and 35c back (biggest I could get on) and they served me very well. 60 miles of pavement, 30 of gravel including descending up to ~19% with "gravel of 1.5" rocks. The final 15 miles of pavement I was very tired and the nice rolling Paselas were a real blessing. Blasting down the real steep stuff and hitting the sharp corners was a thrill. No way to do it at any reasonable speed. I'd just dive in and "plant" the front wheel in the deep gravel" of the tire track, completely trusting that it would carve the turn. And not pinch flat or blow. (With an un-documented but certainly less than 40 psi, probably a lot less.)

I have a lot of miles and years on smaller Paselas, 25c and 28c. Some on 32c. Very, very good compromise tires. Not great at anything, but they roll well and well under lower pressures, have decent grip and don't pick up much glass and debris. They have had quality control issues in the past (the sidewalls going at the bead) and the thin sidewalls do not tolerate brake rub at all, but overall they are a very good bet for a wide variety of riding. I haven't had "bad" new tire in years.

Edit: as the poster before suggests, TPI isn't everything. I don't believe the Pasela TPI is anything to writer home about.

Ben
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Old 09-14-17, 01:48 PM
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Mooney - they are called Gravel King (slicks) or Sk (short knobs). your choice...
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Old 09-15-17, 08:05 AM
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My vote for you would be the Byway, and I ride GK SKs.
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Old 09-19-17, 08:48 PM
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Not sure why you're concerned with punctures if you'll be running tubeless.


I'm running Horizon's on my Kona Rove and was surprised at how much traction they actually provided in loose over hard dirt. Even running full pressure.


So with that said, if I was running exclusively gravel, or mostly gravel, I wouldn't hesitate to run Byway's.


With the Horizon's I have gotten multiple punctures and in all cases lost zero air pressure [*knock on wood*] (set up tubeless). WTB seems to know what they are doing as far as tubeless goes. My i23's with the Horizon seated the beads without even needing to remove the valve cores.
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Old 09-22-17, 11:17 AM
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Love Clement MSO have (tubed) 36 & 40mm on my FWE Arkose and looking for 650b x 42mm tubeless on my Cannondale Slate.
Been delayed by the name change from Clement to Donnelly apparently
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Old 09-22-17, 09:36 PM
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Iím currently running the WTB Byways and they are hands down my favorite road plus tire to date. I canít give specifics but my short time on these tires has been greatly enjoyable for multi-surface riding
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Old 12-26-17, 07:10 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
Not sure why you're concerned with punctures if you'll be running tubeless.


I'm running Horizon's on my Kona Rove and was surprised at how much traction they actually provided in loose over hard dirt. Even running full pressure.


So with that said, if I was running exclusively gravel, or mostly gravel, I wouldn't hesitate to run Byway's.


With the Horizon's I have gotten multiple punctures and in all cases lost zero air pressure [*knock on wood*] (set up tubeless). WTB seems to know what they are doing as far as tubeless goes. My i23's with the Horizon seated the beads without even needing to remove the valve cores.
what kind of Mileage are people getting out of these WTB Horizon/Byway tires?
I was going to go with the Byway, however Ohio to the Katy trail and into Kansas probably doesn't need the Byway, up through Kansas/Nebraska/South Dakota might not either. Wyoming/Montana/Northern Idaho... maybe. I am not racing, and its not like gravel roads have the Off-camber that fireroads have.

Give or take, Route for the most part is just generalized. no time constraints..... It's just get away, to be alone, to see, to explore, to meet new people. Lots of riding, lots of hammock time, lots of out of the way town mainstreet gawking. My biggest priority on a 650 is having the least roll resistance with the best comfort.
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Old 12-26-17, 07:31 PM
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Don't care much for Nebraska huh?

Check out the Compass Switchback Hill. It's a better tire than the Horizon, about the same size but lighter and more supple.
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Old 12-27-17, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Don't care much for Nebraska huh?

Check out the Compass Switchback Hill. It's a better tire than the Horizon, about the same size but lighter and more supple.
Compass all the way, in my book. Just got back from a day ride; half dry-gravel/limestone. My first puncture from a goathead which sealed straightaway.
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Old 12-27-17, 02:25 AM
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I like my Clement X'Plor USH tires in 700c. So far no flats, but not a lot of miles.

In 650b, perhaps look at the Clement Strada USH tires. There seem to be a couple of options including tubeless.
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Old 12-29-17, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Don't care much for Nebraska huh?

Check out the Compass Switchback Hill. It's a better tire than the Horizon, about the same size but lighter and more supple.
because of the lack of cues? Or maybe because I just panned over and up to Mount Rushmore and clicked. not my fault there isn't much between those to points to cue. lol

I did look at the Compass Switchback Hill, thank you. better is all relative to want. Can I got 2,000 miles on the compass switchback without loosing air or flatting or ripping or tearing it? sometimes faster isn't always better.

still doing research on, none the less thank you for the mention. I also found woven wheels because of research into a tire.
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Old 12-29-17, 05:35 PM
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You said:
"My biggest priority on a 650 is having the least roll resistance with the best comfort."

There's always a tradeoff between puncture resistance and low rolling resistance. And between very rough roads needing knobs and reasonably good gravel roads that work fine with no-tread tires.

Then later:
"Can I get 2,000 miles on the compass switchback without loosing air or flatting or ripping or tearing it? sometimes faster isn't always better."

One advantage of tough tires is being able to ride on bad shoulders without having to continuously scan the path for debris, and never worrying about punctures.

~~~

I have Compass Barlow Pass 38mm tires. They are heavier (400 grams vs 210 grams) than narrow tires, but otherwise are just as fast as my 25mm GP4000S road tires. They were fantastic on newly chip-sealed roads, where a thin layer of tar is put on the asphalt road, then gravel is spread over the tar. With no load, I use 38 psi front, 45 psi rear on the 38mm, compared to 80F, 95R on 25mm tires. Sorry, these are new, no gravel roads or loaded rides so far.

I roll my eyes at a lot of Jan Heine's 1950s bike raving, but he is good at testing and designing tires.
From his blog: Choosing your tires

~~~~~~~~
Ohio-Indiana towns
You might take the Little Miami Trail to Cincinnati. Check out the riverfront parks and the Over The Rhine neighborhood.
Here's a route through Aurora Indiana, then following a quiet creek valley, then up to the highlands, and over to historic Madison Indiana.

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Old 12-29-17, 07:25 PM
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Have you tested the crr of the compass tires vs continentals or just going by feel? Based on the roller testing data from Tom Anheult (Blather 'bout Bikes) you are probably giving up around 15 watts to a pair of GP4000. I'm wondering if there is any data to support the 'fast rolling' claims of the compass or whether people are simply biased and regurgitating the company's claims.
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Old 12-29-17, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by cobra_kai View Post
Have you tested the crr of the compass tires vs continentals or just going by feel? Based on the roller testing data from Tom Anheult (Blather 'bout Bikes) you are probably giving up around 15 watts to a pair of GP4000. I'm wondering if there is any data to support the 'fast rolling' claims of the compass or whether people are simply biased and regurgitating the company's claims.
Ha, interesting. I went by feel, of course. I got these tires mostly for long, fairly fast rail trail rides, where the wide tire with no tread would just float on top of the crushed stone surface. But they were surprisingly good on paved roads. It would be very interesting to get power numbers on rough chip-seal for the 23/25 tires and these 38 tires.


The Compass 38mm tire that's low on the chart is a knobby. My Barlow Pass EL 38mm tires are probably somewhere between the 44mm and the 35mm on the chart, so maybe 10w difference? The 44mm EL tires did very well, not much worse compared to the GP4000SII. (But the GP4000SII 25mm scored even better than this reference 23mm)

In the spring, maybe I'll swap tires and time some downhill coasts to see how much longer the big tires take.

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Old 12-29-17, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cobra_kai View Post
Have you tested the crr of the compass tires vs continentals or just going by feel? Based on the roller testing data from Tom Anheult (Blather 'bout Bikes) you are probably giving up around 15 watts to a pair of GP4000. I'm wondering if there is any data to support the 'fast rolling' claims of the compass or whether people are simply biased and regurgitating the company's claims.
Where's the 15 watt difference? I looked over the google doc as well as read through Tom's comments in the thread at slowtwitch and he notes that:

It might not be clear, but I tested BOTH the regular and EL versions of the Snoqualmie Pass tire. They "bracket" the Strada Bianca Pro in the list. It appears that for that model, the EL version is worth only ~1-1.5W per tire between 20-30 kph.
Per this comment it appears the chart is showing that it's possible to go from a 23mm racing tire to 44mm tire and only give up 2-3 watts. That's amazing, I'd say that qualifies as "fast rolling" as much as anything else. Looking at the watt values for other tires in the google doc is also eye opening. The smooth tread Compass tires are very fast for their size and appear to roll as well as the good/average 22/23/25 racing tires. It's also interesting to note the spread of different GP4000s tires tested did not all test consistently as well as the performance of tubulars wrt the Compass tires.

Slowtwitch Thread.

Google Doc

However, IMO this comment from Tom makes the tests worthless. Small, smooth diameter roller tests are the worst tire tests to try to apply to the real world.

- It's important to remember that the smooth rollers are of relatively small diameter, which results in a more "curved" contact patch deflection than for the same wheel load on flat ground. Erring towards the side of higher pressures in the testing will help prevent undue influence of "side knobs" coming into play in the drag measurements. In other words, I don't want side knobs affecting things when they may not be getting deflected out on the road.
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Old 12-29-17, 09:14 PM
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The 15 watts is between the 23mm gp4000 and the 35mm bon Jon pass. I'm assuming the relative differences between the 25mm gp4000 and 38mm Barlow pass will be similar.

I'm not sure why you're surprised that a larger smooth diameter tire comes close to a smaller smooth tire. If anything the trends we've seen is that increasing diameter reduces rolling resistance. I would be interested to see the results of some of the more narrow compass tires, I think they have a 26mm version if I remember correctly. The reason very wide tires are not used in road or triathlon racing is that they would be aero dogs and force frames to be dogs as well. Even as it is, the aero drag increase of 25mm tires over 23mm ones generally outweighs rolling resistance gains especially at race speeds. Of course for those not racing wider tires have much more tangible benefits than fractions of a watt. 15 watts on the other hand is more than I'd be willing to throw away for the tested models other than the Snoqualmie pass.

I would love to see other data on these tires though as it's always good to confirm a single data point. I have hopes Jarno Bierman will start looking at these types of tires.
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Old 12-29-17, 09:22 PM
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lol

do you ride gravel or just here to troll about road/triathlon racing sized tires?
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Old 12-29-17, 10:25 PM
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Feel free to draw your own conclusions. When I'm shopping for tires in the 35mm ballpark I know which brand I will avoid.
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Old 12-29-17, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
I got these tires mostly for long, fairly fast rail trail rides, where the wide tire with no tread would just float on top of the crushed stone surface.
What defines 'fairly fast'?
The actual 'Fairly fast' number changes everything when someone starts comparing 25's to 38's and saying there isn't much difference.
I mean at 18+ the difference from a 25c GP4000 to a 25c Conti Gatorskin is night and day different.
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Old 01-08-18, 03:26 PM
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I love my Compass tires! The smoothest I've ridden.
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Old 09-25-18, 12:22 PM
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I'm new to Road Plus, but I just got a Kona Rove with Byways on it, and man if these suckers don't hook up great in our dry, loose, SoCal terrain. It's surprising actually, and I haven't even gone tubeless yet with 'em.
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