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How to go fast on chip seal roads?

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How to go fast on chip seal roads?

Old 08-05-19, 05:16 PM
  #26  
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Highway 1 above Cambria was freshly chip sealed a few years ago. Seemed like 1" chip seal. I rode it when it was freshly done on my carbon Roubaix with 25mm Gatorskins. It rattled me and the bike so much, I thought my fillings would fall out. Few years later the same stretch of road was part of Eroica CA which I rode on my steel frame Legnano on 28mm Paselas. It was like night and day. I think it was mostly the wearing down of the road surface over time, but the bigger softer riding tires also contributed to a much more pleasant ride this time. I run around 100 psi in both tires, so I don't think the pressure made much difference. Funny thing, but the stretch directly in front of the Hearst Castle entrance is nice smooth, "real" pavement. No chip seal for the Castle.

Last edited by Slightspeed; 08-05-19 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 08-05-19, 06:27 PM
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Wanna go faster = pedal faster was the right answer. Fatter and softer will never make you faster, period.

Wanna kill the buzz (without suspension) = double glove and don't put your full weight on the saddle.
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Old 08-05-19, 06:27 PM
  #28  
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Some local chipseal isn't bad, it's pea sized rounded rocks with smaller bits mixed in. Other counties use grape sized gravel, and leave it loose on the surface until cars eventually kick the debris off the road. I'm sure the bigger size lasts more years.

After a year or so, the gravel wears down a little, it's "smoother". That good pea sized chipseal just looks like a normal paved road after a few more years.

I used my thin, flexible Compass 38mm on a ride with week old big chipseal. It's hugely more comfortable, and noticeably faster. At 170 pounds, I used 38 psi front and 45 psi rear. Just a small buzz through the handlebars with this setup.

Blue Ridge Parkway chipseal!

I guess we can no longer afford to keep this parkway smoothly paved.

Yuck, the BRP has been chipsealing recently. It could be worse, they use moderate sized gravel, sweep off the loose stuff, and apply a top sealer coat of tar. I kind of got used to it, it didn't seem "too" bad on my 28mm GP4000, but hitting an older, non-chipped section, the difference is striking.

Hopefully, it will wear a bit smoother over time.

Last edited by rm -rf; 08-05-19 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 08-05-19, 06:38 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Wanna go faster = pedal faster was the right answer. Fatter and softer will never make you faster, period.

Wanna kill the buzz (without suspension) = double glove and don't put your full weight on the saddle.
My Compass 38mm tires are essentially as fast as my 25/28 GP4000S tires. They just weigh 400 grams instead of 210, and the tubes are bigger and heavier.

On the flats, they just float on rough roads, and the flexible sidewalls don't suck a lot of power like stiffer puncture proof tires do.

On slight downhills with smooth paved roads, I'm going just as fast coasting down as other riders on 25mm in the group, so the rolling resistance is comparable.

I still use mostly 28mm equivalents (actually 25mm on wide rims, measured width 28mm) on road rides, though. They are more responsive with steering, and lighter. About 70 psi front, 80-85 psi rear: fast and smooth.

~~~
speed

Yeah, shifting to a harder gear for a lower cadence helps lift a lot of weight off the saddle. I like it for reasonably short sections of very rough road. It's a huge help if I have to ride on those ground-down road surfaces before they repave -- my vision can get blurry from the vibrations!

I also like riding in the drops to spread the shock over my whole palm, and my arms are bent, instead of the straighter arm when riding on the hoods.

I wonder if going fast is helpful in general, the bike has less time to bounce up and down between bumps.

Last edited by rm -rf; 08-05-19 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 08-05-19, 07:04 PM
  #30  
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I assume each city or states chip seal is different. What is yours like? The chip seal here in Madison, Wi, hardens smooth and flat fairly quickly, within a few days of application. One can ride fast with any tires.
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Old 08-05-19, 07:04 PM
  #31  
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To the OP -
Fatter tires at lower pressures will transmit less buzz. They will slow you down. How much slower = it depends.
Fatter tires at equal pressure to your 25mm = may be equally fast and may give some vibration relief
Fatter tires are (generally) heavier. Heavier requires a bit more effort to spin on inclines and flats (marginally)


How about a suspension saddle?
And double glove those hands.

Or, buy a road bike with minimal suspension features.
Or wait til next year, the chip seal is smoother.
Or just forgetaboutit.
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Old 08-05-19, 08:14 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Ti bike.
Yes, the chip seal around here is tolerable on a long wheelbase recumbent ti bike on 32mm tires.
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Old 08-29-19, 06:29 AM
  #33  
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I bought a new set of tires for my touring bike last year - I was switching from 700x30c to 700x35c, all tires were light-ish good quality tires with limited or no extra flat protection belts or layers. The older narrower ones were supposedly more 'supple' and were definitley more expensive.

Before I swapped them I did a series of timed coast-down tests on a hill with broken pavement by my house at different pressures. Then I put on the wider tires and repeated the tests at different pressures again.

Same bike, same wheels, same rider, multiple runs with each setup, and the wider tires at lower pressure were consistently the fastest.
They are a wee bit heavier so are a bit of a detriment to climbing, but on the whole I go faster with wider and softer titres.
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Old 08-29-19, 08:47 AM
  #34  
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The fastest tire on rough chip-seal is going to be a larger and at lower pressure than the optimum tire for smooth blacktop.

The optimum tire is always a balance of rolling resistance, weight, and aero drag. The the balance changes with different applications.

As a surface gets rougher, the tire with the best rolling resistance will get larger and be at a lower pressure.

Yes, there is more weight which affects acceleration.

Also more aero drag makes more difference as you go faster, though as the road gets rougher, speeds are going to be lower anyway, and it makes a little less difference.

BTW, the buzz and vibrations you feel are not just a comfort issue. It is slowing you down. It takes energy to vibrate and shake the bike. Thick grips and suspension seatposts address the comfort part, but not the the efficiency part. Lower pressure tires bend the tire casing (which also takes energy) rather than vibrate/shake the bike. Whether this is more efficient depends on the size of the tire and the casing construction.
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Old 08-29-19, 08:51 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Yes, the chip seal around here is tolerable on a long wheelbase recumbent ti bike on 32mm tires.
32mm is probably the best all-around size, IMO.
27x1-1/4 ~= 700X32c.
Those Ten-speed designers of the '70s knew what they were doing.
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Old 08-29-19, 01:15 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by robnol View Post
they are covering all the roads near me with chip seal....i hate that crap ass pavement...anybody have any tips on how to ride faster and make chip seal riding less of a pain in the as....its a speed killing but numbing garbage pavement
The answer is to spend "ridiculous" money on a new bike. $5,000 should do it.

Too soon?
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Old 08-29-19, 01:24 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
The answer is to spend "ridiculous" money on a new bike. $5,000 should do it.
Damn! Came here solely to post something quite similar.
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Old 08-29-19, 02:03 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
The answer is to spend "ridiculous" money on a new bike. $5,000 should do it.

Too soon?
Why ? I spent 1000 for a 5 grand bike .... with ceramic bearings and newly upgraded dura ace power train..... I made out like a bandit
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Old 08-29-19, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by robnol View Post
Why ? I spent 1000 for a 5 grand bike .... with ceramic bearings and newly upgraded dura ace power train..... I made out like a bandit
I'd say you spent $1000 on a 1 grand bike. And that's great!
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Old 08-29-19, 02:45 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
Agreed, chip n' seal is vastly preferable to potholes and broken pavement. Where I ride, at least, they use pretty small stones, so once it's packed down it's not that bad, though of course nothing beats new blacktop.

Falling on chip n' seal, unless its very old, is nasty though. Try to avoid it.
maaan, I actually like potholes and broken pavement. There's some wonderfully ruined roads near my apartment and riding them is like my own personal Carrefour de l'Arbre, in the same way as the closest climb is my own personal Ventoux. Can't ride them without having visions of Boonen and Musseuw in my mind.

I also vastly prefer short walls to long climbs and false flats, so maybe I'm just a Belgophile.

Chipseal is just boring and unexciting.
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Old 08-29-19, 02:47 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by robnol View Post
Why ? I spent 1000 for a 5 grand bike .... with ceramic bearings and newly upgraded dura ace power train..... I made out like a bandit
A 9 year old used bike that cost $5K back in 2010 is not a $5K bike anymore.
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Old 08-29-19, 02:56 PM
  #42  
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[QUOTE=Kapusta;21098668]A 9 year old used bike that cost $5K back in 2010 is not a $5K bike anymore.[/QUOT. I’ve seen comparable bikes on eBay for 3000. do ur own power train upgrades and u have a dam fine bike again... simple mechanical aptitude is required It’s not hard
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Old 08-29-19, 03:02 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
The good news is that next year, after there's been enough packing by cars, that surface is going to be great!
But the year after that it will be full of potholes again.
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Old 08-29-19, 03:05 PM
  #44  
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Sometimes hitting the painted lines will feel slightly more comfortable, although it is hard to hold on them.

Depending on road, traffic, etc, hunt for what looks the best. Sometimes they miss chip sealing parts of the shoulders. Or, parts of the road will be worn down.

Tar bleed-through (avoiding it on HOT days, of course).
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Old 08-29-19, 03:11 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by sheddle View Post
maaan, I actually like potholes and broken pavement. There's some wonderfully ruined roads near my apartment and riding them is like my own personal Carrefour de l'Arbre, in the same way as the closest climb is my own personal Ventoux. Can't ride them without having visions of Boonen and Musseuw in my mind.

I also vastly prefer short walls to long climbs and false flats, so maybe I'm just a Belgophile.

Chipseal is just boring and unexciting.
I really enjoyed reading this. It is very well written.

Please post more.


-Tim-
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Old 08-30-19, 06:19 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post

Tar bleed-through (avoiding it on HOT days, of course).
Yep, this happened to me yesterday about 30 miles into my ride on a 90 degree day. I had just ridden past a side road that was chipsealed within the past week. All of a sudden it felt like I had a flat. Stopped and got off to check. Found the rear tire gunked up with tar and loose gravel. So lucky that the rear brake caliper was catching the gravel and knocking it off mostly. I was on my beautiful Paletti and if the gravel had tore up the paint on the seatpost I would have been pissed!



It's a shame that every year I have to adjust my routes and decide which bike to ride based on how badly they have jacked up the roads with crappy chipseal jobs. They usually take a bad surface and make it worse as they don't fill in existing holes and cracks. So each time they chipseal those get deeper, wider, worse.
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Old 08-31-19, 06:55 PM
  #47  
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Choosing the right bike for local conditions would be a good start. Look for something that will allow 32s.
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