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Tires and Tire Pressure for Battenkill

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
The Tour of Battenkill (April 10, 2010, Cambridge, NY) is a 62 mile road race that is 25% dirt road. I'm mulling over the pros and cons of tire size, type and pressure.
Intuitively, I'm inclined to go with a conventional 23c road race tire but with lower pressure. Any insights and opinions appreciated.
post #2 of 7

Re: Tires and Tire Pressure for Battenkill

I rode it last year with 700x23 Vittoria Open Corsas. The gravel sections are long and very rough, with loose, large-size gravel chunks. Some of the dirt is good hard-pack, some not. The early hill that some folks (mostly midwesterners?) think is so tough is a bit loose. I would've been much happier with something like 700x28 Vittoria Pave's, but that's me. (I nearly lost it on one steep gravel downhill when overtaking another cyclist; it was one of those sections where the only rideable area is in the 6" wide tracks where car tires have pushed the gravel aside, and my only option at speed was to make the jump from one tire track to the other.) There is no way I'd do the Battenkill again without at least 700x25's. JMO-YMMV. ~OG
post #3 of 7

Re: Tires and Tire Pressure for Battenkill

Quote:
Originally Posted by tour de pants View Post
The Tour of Battenkill (April 10, 2010, Cambridge, NY) is a 62 mile road race that is 25% dirt road. I'm mulling over the pros and cons of tire size, type and pressure.
Intuitively, I'm inclined to go with a conventional 23c road race tire but with lower pressure. Any insights and opinions appreciated.
You could lump on some Vittoria Open Pave CG clinchers and get the job done nicely. It's made for stuff like this... Nuff said really.

To be honest, riding regular tires on really rough roads is akin to asking Mike Tyson to batter your prostate with a baseball bat. This is one area where tubular tires really do sh1t on clinchers from a great height.

Vittoria Pave EVO CG tubular tires on some box section rims will smooth out the worst that Paris Roubaix can offer and the Battenkill's worst roads aren't a match for the d'arenburg section of cobbles... Ultegra or Chorus hubs, Ambrosio Nemesis or the Mavix Reflex. The Mavic SSC "Paris Roubaix" is the "daddy" of all bombproof rims. Production stopped decades ago and they fetch a nice price but they're so tough that Chuck Norris will not make direct eye contact with them.

From the photos I can find the gravel sections aren't all that bad so bike handling technique will likely play more of a role. Read that as an excuse to go take the bike down the local dirt roads and go ride and fall off lots.

Make like Boonen and double tape the bars or get some of the gel pads under the tape. Wear the best shorts you can get your hands on. Saddle - well, it doesn't need lots of padding it just needs to fit you well. If it doesn't you will know about it a few miles into the rougher stuff. If it's cold wear many thin layers than two thick ones - the layers slide against each other a bit when you fall off, reducing under clothing road rash.

Forget the carbon bottle cages and get a couple of alloy ones and bend then such that it's next to impossible to get the bottles out.

If the route is fairly flat with no steep hills get a larger inner ring for the slower rough stuff. TA makes a 44, 46 and 48 in 130bcd -great for keeping the chainline pretty straight when you're in anything between the 17 and 23 in the back.
post #4 of 7

Re: Tires and Tire Pressure for Battenkill

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampy1970 View Post
You could lump on some Vittoria Open Pave CG clinchers and get the job done nicely. It's made for stuff like this... Nuff said really.
My thought exactly, as stated above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampy1970 View Post
To be honest, riding regular tires on really rough roads is akin to asking Mike Tyson to batter your prostate with a baseball bat. This is one area where tubular tires really do sh1t on clinchers from a great height.
Great, for those of us who have, or can afford, tubulars. Bear in mind that the course is rough, and flats are common. The race advisors recommend that riders with clinchers carry two tubes

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampy1970 View Post
From the photos I can find the gravel sections aren't all that bad ...
Respectfully disagree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampy1970 View Post
... so bike handling technique will likely play more of a role. Read that as an excuse to go take the bike down the local dirt roads and go ride and fall off lots.
Totally agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampy1970 View Post
If the route is fairly flat with no steep hills
The first ten miles can accurately be described as "fairly flat"; they're also paved, and will likely be ridden relatively slowly and quite comfortably in a pack. Then things become dirt after which "fairly flat" is no longer an accurate description and "comfort" will no longer be a word needed in your vocabulary. Instead of swapping out your small chainring for a larger one, I'd think about finding myself a 12-27 cassette; but that's just me; I'm no climber.

Here's a Battenkill video you may find informative, or at least entertaining.
post #5 of 7

Re: Tires and Tire Pressure for Battenkill

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGoat View Post

Great, for those of us who have, or can afford, tubulars. Bear in mind that the course is rough, and flats are common. The race advisors recommend that riders with clinchers carry two tubes



Respectfully disagree.
Tubulars will negate 99% of all pinch/snakebite flats. A set of ultegra on mavic reflex will be about a 1/5th of the price of the wheels that most seem to ride on these days. The tires are a little more expensive but not prohibitavely so.

Since the tires are pretty much the most important part of the bike such advantages really need to be considered if the event is classed as important to yourself....

When I was commenting on the road surface being not too bad - I was going along the lines of it being a gravelish road with not too many hard cobbled/brick road sections with sharp jagged edges and chunks missing out of them. Gravel roads - even the ones with potholes - don't take as much out of you as the hard pounding of cobbles but they do still offer a challenge about regular roads.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Re: Tires and Tire Pressure for Battenkill

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampy1970 View Post
You could lump on some Vittoria Open Pave CG clinchers and get the job done nicely. It's made for stuff like this... Nuff said really.

To be honest, riding regular tires on really rough roads is akin to asking Mike Tyson to batter your prostate with a baseball bat. This is one area where tubular tires really do sh1t on clinchers from a great height.

Vittoria Pave EVO CG tubular tires on some box section rims will smooth out the worst that Paris Roubaix can offer and the Battenkill's worst roads aren't a match for the d'arenburg section of cobbles... Ultegra or Chorus hubs, Ambrosio Nemesis or the Mavix Reflex. The Mavic SSC "Paris Roubaix" is the "daddy" of all bombproof rims. Production stopped decades ago and they fetch a nice price but they're so tough that Chuck Norris will not make direct eye contact with them.

From the photos I can find the gravel sections aren't all that bad so bike handling technique will likely play more of a role. Read that as an excuse to go take the bike down the local dirt roads and go ride and fall off lots.

Make like Boonen and double tape the bars or get some of the gel pads under the tape. Wear the best shorts you can get your hands on. Saddle - well, it doesn't need lots of padding it just needs to fit you well. If it doesn't you will know about it a few miles into the rougher stuff. If it's cold wear many thin layers than two thick ones - the layers slide against each other a bit when you fall off, reducing under clothing road rash.

Forget the carbon bottle cages and get a couple of alloy ones and bend then such that it's next to impossible to get the bottles out.

If the route is fairly flat with no steep hills get a larger inner ring for the slower rough stuff. TA makes a 44, 46 and 48 in 130bcd -great for keeping the chainline pretty straight when you're in anything between the 17 and 23 in the back.
I happen to have a set of Shimano 7850 tubeless compatible wheels that I've never used in a tubeless application. Perhaps this is an opportunity to try the Hutchinson Intensive Road Tubeless 700 x 25.
Then again, perhaps an investment in tubulars is justified if the wheelset can be used for cyclocross. Hmmm...
post #7 of 7

Re: Tires and Tire Pressure for Battenkill

What pressure would you run in the tubulars if you are 80kg rider?
thanks
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