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will slicker tires make a notable difference?

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will slicker tires make a notable difference?

Old 01-09-21, 07:44 AM
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wilson_smyth
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will slicker tires make a notable difference?

I have what could be considered a flatbar gravel bike. its light, nippy and has 40mm schwalbe G-one All rounds.
I enjoy these tires a lot, for commuting, its quick taking off at lights, comfortable, gives good control and i feel i can clip along at a reasonable rate in an urban setting & as some of my commute is literally a gravel canal path, so once i got the pressure right for my weight, they fit the bill nicely.

Im planning more longer trips, which will all be on the road however, and Im considering changing up to something less gravelly. Considering the bike is not a racebike,
  • will slicker tires help reduce the effort required over a 8+ hour journey?
  • As the schwalbe g-one allround's are super comfortable and I already like them, would the comfort factor be something to outweight minimal benefits of a slicker "faster" tire?

Last edited by wilson_smyth; 01-09-21 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 01-09-21, 08:27 AM
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GlennR
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I had to look them up (pic below) and they do have small nubs. I "think" a smoother tire would give a more comfortable ride on pavement.

I have a CX bike wilt 2 sets of wheels, one with 35mm knobby and a second with 32mm tubeless all weather road. It give me the best for each activity. I think the road tires would be excellent for you.

Your tires


My tires, Bontrager AW2
https://www.trekbicyclesuperstore.co...e-366538-1.htm
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Old 01-09-21, 08:43 AM
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It's not just the slickness of the thread that makes a performance difference, but the entire design of the tire including the sidewalls. If you really want to notice a difference pony up and go all the way:

https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop...-bon-jon-pass/

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Old 01-09-21, 10:20 AM
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i've noticed a difference on long rides and think it's worth the comfort
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Old 01-09-21, 10:47 AM
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Lots of good choices.

for an all around tire I use donnelly ush tires, nice center strip for pavement with knobbies outsides for decent traction in gravel/dirt

https://www.donnellycycling.com/prod...t=724110999570

For nastier trails I have a second set of wheels and tires with Gravel King SK's
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Old 01-09-21, 11:18 AM
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https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/tour-reviews

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...gravel-reviews
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Old 01-09-21, 01:32 PM
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I've been looking at bicyclerollingresistance but I'm a little skeptical of the results. The test seems very different to real world usage. It's a very curved surface, which IMO causes a smaller point of contact so more pressure and an amplified result.

The results are also not hugely useful. They find, almost every time that a stiffer harder tire has better rolling resistance, and most tires have lower rolling resistance at their highest psi, but it's well kown that in the real world, running a rock hard tire at its max psi is not beneficial to reducing rolling resistance.

To follow their logic to conclusion I think if they tested a thin solid wheel it would have fantastically low rolling resistance, and technically top their tables, but it's real world usage would be non existant.

For these reasons I take all results on that site with quite a few pinches of salt.
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Old 01-09-21, 01:43 PM
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It'll make a difference, yes. If you're not going to be doing (much) gravel, then I'd either look at the 30mm G-One Speed (if there are new Addix versions out there, I haven't seen or tried them) or the 30/32mm Pro One Addix.
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Old 01-09-21, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by wilson_smyth View Post
The results are also not hugely useful. They find, almost every time that a stiffer harder tire has better rolling resistance, and most tires have lower rolling resistance at their highest psi, but it's well kown that in the real world, running a rock hard tire at its max psi is not beneficial to reducing rolling resistance.

To follow their logic to conclusion I think if they tested a thin solid wheel it would have fantastically low rolling resistance, and technically top their tables, but it's real world usage would be non existant.

For these reasons I take all results on that site with quite a few pinches of salt.
You might want to read the series of articles on the Silca site https://blog.silca.cc/tag/technical/page/2 where they discuss how to properly interpret the results of a drum test. They also discuss impedance, where road roughness causes a sharp increase in rolling resistance. If you understand impedance and why you would never operate at pressures where it occurs, it makes perfect sense not to test tires for those conditions.
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Old 01-10-21, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
It's not just the slickness of the thread that makes a performance difference, but the entire design of the tire including the sidewalls. If you really want to notice a difference pony up and go all the way:

https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop...-bon-jon-pass/
That's right. Between similarly built tires with same specs with the only difference in the tread one being slick and the other is knobby, you probably will not notice any difference in rolling resistance. The slick tire will be more aerodynamic though and still save you some watts. But if you're not riding fast enough for aero to matter, you probably won't feel the difference other than the "buzz" of the knobbies.
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Old 01-10-21, 04:16 AM
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Overall tire design, materials, sidewalls, etc, often matters more than tread -- unless we're talking MTB knobbies.

I've used Vittoria Zaffiro entry level 700x23 road tires, basically slicks, that I really disliked. They were harsh, unpleasant with poor grip near full pressure, sluggish and squirmy at lower pressure.

And Continental SpeedRide tires for light gravel riding, basically great all around hybrid tires for pavement, multi-use trails including chat/crushed limestone trails, etc., that feel surprisingly fast and smooth for 700x42 tires with diamond/file tread similar to those Schwalbes, and vestigial side knobbies that don't really do much unless you're banking hard on grass. Sweetest hybrid tires I've ridden that cost only $20-$25.

I've had Conti Sport Contact II that have a similar diamond/file tread (Conti used to call it "slick" but it has shallow tread), but are harsh at high pressure, sluggish at lower pressure, with no sweet spot. Decent tires for all around use, grippy, long wearing, puncture resistant, but not pleasant. The sidewalls are too thick and rigid, which really seems to compromise ride quality.

I've had Schwalbe One V-Guards, circa 2014, slicks, very light and fast, great handling, grip on fast curves, a great training tire and even fast enough for local crits. A bit fragile -- nicked and cut easily -- but I still got 1,500 miles from the rear before it was cut up too badly by construction debris, glass, etc., along my favorite rural route. The front tire is still fine after more than 2,000 miles and mounted on an aero rim from my old time trial bike with cracked frame. Occasionally I still use it on my road bikes when I feel like tackling a PR or humiliating myself in a vain attempt at a KOM.

My current faves aren't slicks, per se, but have a bit of tread pattern that may be mostly cosmetic: Continental Grand Prix Classic skinwalls (700x25 only) and Soma Supple Vitesse SL (700x23) skinwalls. The Conti's are my current fave everyday road bike tire. The Somas are great for go-fast days. The Somas have a peculiar squarish tread pattern that might offer a bit more bite on some pavement in wet conditions, but I rarely push my luck anymore. They just roll nicely even over loose gravel scattered on chipseal, feel comfortable with latex tubes, and make themselves invisible by behaving well and not giving me any grief.

Best value in a slick tire if you're just curious to try a set -- Continental Ultra Sport II or III. I think they're available up to 700x32 They're really good cheap tires -- smooth rolling despite a fairly thick sidewall, grippy, long wearing, resistant to cuts and punctures, reasonably low rolling resistance. Only caveat is they are a b4st4rd to mount on most rims. You'll really want a bead jack. When I used Conti Ultra Sports as my everyday tires I always tucked a Kool Stop bead jack in my jersey pocket or strapped to the saddle bag. But Conti GP Classics are now my everyday tire (I can mount 'em with just my hands), and I use the Ultra Sports only for use on the indoor trainer -- they're really tough and don't wear out prematurely on my Cycelops magnetic trainer with metal roller. If Conti ever changes the Ultra Sport fit so I don't need a bead jack I'll go back to using them on my old steel road bike for everyday use.

Last edited by canklecat; 01-10-21 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 01-10-21, 05:57 AM
  #12  
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What makes tires fast, and this applies to motorcycle/car/truck tires as well, is flexibility. A flexible tire is faster than a non flexible tire.
Now often it just happens to be that flexible tires are also slick tires but it doesn't have to be so, so you need to be careful in your choice and not just judge a tire by its looks/tread pattern.
Some slick tires are made for general purpose/urban use and have fairly strong and rigid treads. They look smooth but aren't fast.
Some micro knobby tires are quite flexible and so are also quite fast.

I have some micro knobby tires on my current bike and I was about to get rid of them on principle until I realised that they were quite flexible and fast tires so I am letting them wear out before replacing them.
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Old 01-10-21, 04:00 PM
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OP here again.

I was one click away from buying a set of schwalbe almotions but a a number of forum posts across the internet mentioned that although they are super quick when up to speed, they are slow to accelerate and not agile in for urban commutes, taking off quickly at lights etc.

I'm probably going to go with the g-one Allround again, I know it, I like it and at my level, the increased resistance will probably only amount to an extra 10-15 mins over a 100 mile cycle.

That's one question I don't have enough experience to answer and would like to hear some opinions on, how many kw of a difference are realistically noticeable to a normal cyclist not trying to eek every last second out of their times?
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Old 01-10-21, 04:03 PM
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Any tire that makes noise when riding on a hard surface is using up energy.
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Old 01-10-21, 04:18 PM
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Bear in mind that a lot of reported tire behaviors, including "feel" and possibly even acceleration, are subjective. Likewise with brakes, frames, etc.
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Old 01-10-21, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
It's not just the slickness of the thread that makes a performance difference, but the entire design of the tire including the sidewalls. If you really want to notice a difference pony up and go all the way:

https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop...-bon-jon-pass/

I recommend the standard casing, but otherwise, yeah. Those tires are fantastic.
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Old 01-10-21, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I recommend the standard casing, but otherwise, yeah. Those tires are fantastic.
Supprisingly Very difficult to get in Europe!
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Old 01-11-21, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by wilson_smyth View Post
I've been looking at bicyclerollingresistance but I'm a little skeptical of the results. The test seems very different to real world usage. It's a very curved surface, which IMO causes a smaller point of contact so more pressure and an amplified result.

The results are also not hugely useful. They find, almost every time that a stiffer harder tire has better rolling resistance, and most tires have lower rolling resistance at their highest psi, but it's well kown that in the real world, running a rock hard tire at its max psi is not beneficial to reducing rolling resistance.

To follow their logic to conclusion I think if they tested a thin solid wheel it would have fantastically low rolling resistance, and technically top their tables, but it's real world usage would be non existant.

For these reasons I take all results on that site with quite a few pinches of salt.
I take drum roller tests with a big grain of salt, unless I am looking for a tire for my indoor rollers.
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Old 01-11-21, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by wilson_smyth View Post
Supprisingly Very difficult to get in Europe!
You mean RH tires in general, or the standard casing?

FWIW, I just go all the way and get the extra light casing.
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Old 01-11-21, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I recommend the standard casing, but otherwise, yeah. Those tires are fantastic.
I was tempted to try the extralights and am sure they roll nice and are even more comfortable than the standard casing. But since the standards are more than plenty supple (and light!) I don't see a need.

Now I see RH also offers an "Endurance" option with extra sidewall protection for those concerned with such things. I've probably done over 10,000 miles total now on Compass/RH standard casing tires with nothing more than a couple of punctures from small wires. No need for any more "protection" (that will slow things down and compromise the ride quality) for me.

Last edited by AlmostTrick; 01-11-21 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 01-11-21, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
You mean RH tires in general, or the standard casing?

FWIW, I just go all the way and get the extra light casing.
Have you (or anyone else here) tried both standard and extralight and compared?
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Old 01-11-21, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
I was tempted to try the extralights and am sure they roll nice and are even more comfortable than the standard casing. But since the standards are more than plenty supple (and light!) I don't see a need.

Now I see RH also offers an "Endurance" option with extra sidewall protection for those concerned with such things. I've probably done over 10,000 miles total now on Compass/RH standard casing tires with nothing more than a couple of punctures from small wires. No need for any more "protection" (that will slow things down and compromise the ride quality) for me.
Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Have you (or anyone else here) tried both standard and extralight and compared?
I've not used the Extralights, but my shop won't carry them -- they tell me that they are just too much trouble. Reliability and sealing problems, I gather.

I've had the same experience (as you) with the standards: they are smooth and supple, reliable (so far, anyway), and better than anything else I've tried. Though I am curious about the Extralights, I will probably stick with the standard casings.
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Old 01-11-21, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I've not used the Extralights, but my shop won't carry them -- they tell me that they are just too much trouble. Reliability and sealing problems, I gather.

I've had the same experience (as you) with the standards: they are smooth and supple, reliable (so far, anyway), and better than anything else I've tried. Though I am curious about the Extralights, I will probably stick with the standard casings.
I'm curious of the Extralights too. As a feather weight rider who runs lower pressures and rides on mostly decent roads, I bet I could get away with them. The thought of having even one sidewall issue makes me not want to take the risk though. Waiting for more reviews.
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Old 01-11-21, 09:03 AM
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Schwalbe lists my G-Ones at 480g. (40-266)
They list the marathon almotion v guard (non microskin) is 490g. the microskin one is over 600g.

Even with variation between avg weight vs what ends up leaving the factory, i cant see a diffence of 30-40g making any notable difference to my acceleration at traffic lights.

I think im leaning more toward the almotion v-guard non microskin, nice balance of speed & durability that should be as agile on the road as my current g-one allround.

Last edited by wilson_smyth; 01-11-21 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 01-11-21, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Have you (or anyone else here) tried both standard and extralight and compared?
I have not, but over the years I have read posts from people who have and said there is a difference in the smoothness. Not huge, but a difference.

It does make sense, as the sidewalls on the ELs are thinner and more flexible.

What I would be interested to know is if the standard casings weep less sealant.

Previous versions of several models were not good at tubeless, but I have been running a new set of Barlow Pass ELs for about a year, and other than needing sealant more often than I would think they should need, they have been fine. I use Orange Seal.

As far as durability, I ride about 60/40 pavement/gravel, including some rough gravel. Been running various EL casings (32mm Stampede Pass, 35mm Bon Jon Pass, and 38mm Barlow Pass) for the past 5 years and have never cut a sidewall. I weigh ~175 lbs.

Last edited by Kapusta; 01-11-21 at 09:18 AM.
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