Are road tires alright on gravel?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by JoelTGM, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. JoelTGM

    JoelTGM New Member

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    I ride on a trail that is like 70% paved, the rest is some not too bad gravel, so I've been using thick tires with kevlar on my road bike to deal with that for the past year now, but boy are they heavy. Recently with the snow and ice I discovered these tires are actually just as awful as slick road tires when riding on ice, so now I'm kind of thinking maybe I should use my old thin road tires. Just a quick question, does anybody here use thin road tires on gravel? Do you get flats a lot? I hear that as long as keep the tires pumped up all the way, sharp things should be deflected off it. It's just, I absolutely hate flat tires and all the nit picky work you have to do to fix one, so that's why I'm worried to change back to road tires. Thanks for any advice.
     
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  2. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    Everybody hates flat tires, assuming that your wheels are setup correctly including the requested air pressure then there is a good amount of luck into it ! Sometimes you puncture twice in one week, sometimes you puncture once in a year. There are "gravel roads and gravel roads", so the choice of tires depends pretty much on your specific gravel road.
     
  3. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Road tires don't like gravels at all.
     
  4. JoelTGM

    JoelTGM New Member

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    hm. It's tempting but maybe I shouldn't do it then... I have only had one flat with these tires for all this whole year, and plus I take the bike to less smooth places sometimes. I wish I had a second set of wheels heh, if only they weren't so expensive.
     
  5. CalicoCat

    CalicoCat Member

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    I've ridden my race tires on gravel (gravel Road Race) and had no problems, and have occasionally found myself exploring new routes and finding myself on gravel - no flats. I am not necessarily advocating that you try this, I'm just saying . . .
     
  6. MMMhills

    MMMhills Active Member

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    I have also ridden my roadie on gravel (wrong turn) and was fine. however I would avoid gravel at all cost but not be terrified of it.
     
  7. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I've had mixed experiences. The worst was with Panaracer Stradius Pro's which flatted the first time I rode them through a patch of gravel, and it was a sharp piece of gravel that was the culprit, not a stray piece of glass or thorn. I have had pretty good luck with Hutchinson Fusion 3 tiresso far, and Bontrager Race tires. I have ridden the Bontragers 1500 miles through all kinds of junk without any flats at all. I've only had the Hutchinsons for half of one season and they have been pretty good so far.
     
  8. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Road tires are not happy on gravel, but I wouldn't change bikes or skip the ride. Use a wider (but still flexible) tire, say a 25mm GP4000. And lower the pressure a few psi.
     
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