Knobbly Tyres for Commuting?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Sg, Jun 11, 2003.

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  1. Sg

    Sg Guest

    Hi all, After a couple of years of driving to work I've decided that I might try and cycle the 20
    miles to work – a couple of days per week to begin. However I have only a mountain bike with big
    knobbly tyres. Here's my dilemma: do I need to swap them for slicks and then at the weekend swap
    them back to knobbly (bit of a pain). Or is there a halfway compromise, as the ground is a bit
    drier in the summer I might be able to go off-road. Or does having knobbly slow you down a lot.
    Many thanks SG
     
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  2. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "SG" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi all, After a couple of years of driving to work I've decided that I might try and cycle the 20
    > miles to work - a couple of days per week to begin. However I have only a mountain bike with big
    > knobbly tyres. Here's my dilemma: do I need to swap them for slicks and then at the weekend swap
    > them back to knobbly (bit of a pain). Or is there a halfway compromise, as the ground is a bit
    > drier in the summer I might be able to go off-road. Or does having knobbly slow you down a lot.
    > Many thanks SG

    Specialized Crossroads
     
  3. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    SG wrote:

    > After a couple of years of driving to work I've decided that I might try and cycle the 20 miles to
    > work =96 a couple of days per week to begin. However I have only a mountain bike with big knobbly
    > tyres. Here's my dilemma: do I need to swap them for slicks and then at the weekend swap them back
    > to knobbly (bit of a pain). Or is there a halfway compromise, as the ground is a bit drier in the
    > summer I might be able to go off-road. Or does having knobbly slow you down a lot.

    IME they're pretty ghastly on the road, and even though I use mine on=20 road to get to/between the
    off-road at times I certainly wouldn't relish =

    riding 20 miles on them when there's an alternative.

    You can get semi-slicks which will be a bit less slidey off-road, but as =

    long as you're not doing serious mud you might not find that you're as=20 badly off on the rough as
    you might think in any case.

    Another alternative is to get a second set of wheels as well as tyres=20 which would make swapping
    out much easier, quicker and less prone to=20 accidental prangs of the tubes. Of course, the cost
    would be increased=20 by needing a new gear set for the back wheel, but OTOH you could take=20
    advantage by re-gearing the road wheel for a little less overall range=20 but tighter spacing, which
    is nice over distances on the tarmac.

    Pete. --=20 Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics,
    Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  4. Knobbly tyres make a humungous difference to performance. For example, Mrs Larrington used to
    commute on a Trek 930, which was duly fitted with cheap and cheerful Halfords slicks. One day, for
    no reason which I now able to recall, I was commuting on my MTB, a custom-built Sonic which was
    about ten pounds lighter than her bike, and fitted both with a more powerful engine and a pair of
    Specialised Ground Controls. She vanished into the distance with alarming despatch. Since I no
    longer went mud-plugging on it, I fitted a pair of Continental Avenues[1] the following day...

    1 - very fast but a bit fragile

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  5. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    "Tony W" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Specialized Crossroads

    Seconded. Tubes with Presta valves helps keep the air in.

    --
    Guy
    ===
    I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
    about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
    wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.
     
  6. Ric

    Ric Guest

    "SG" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi all, After a couple of years of driving to work I've decided that I might try and cycle the 20
    > miles to work - a couple of days per week to begin. However I have only a mountain bike with big
    > knobbly tyres. Here's my dilemma: do I need to swap them for slicks and then at the weekend swap
    > them back to knobbly (bit of a pain). Or is there a halfway compromise, as the ground is a bit
    > drier in the summer I might be able to go off-road. Or does having knobbly slow you down a lot.
    > Many thanks SG

    You might want to consider buying another bike if you have the budget and space to store them. It is
    the solution that will give the most pleasure and convenience. I managed for years with just one "do
    it all" hybrid bike with semi-knobblies, but gradually I've acquired a separate bike for each job
    (town bike, road bike, mountain bike and Brompton) and I'd find it hard going back to just one now!
     
  7. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Ric wrote:

    > convenience. I managed for years with just one "do it all" hybrid bike with semi-knobblies, but
    > gradually I've acquired a separate bike for each job (town bike, road bike, mountain bike and
    > Brompton) and I'd find it hard going back to just one now!

    My "do it all" was a basic tourer. Now have Brompton, MTB and the 'bent, which is used for touring
    and shopping. Oh, and the Muni as well, which is primarily for pratting about on as I learn to ride
    it, but I was mistaken for someone who knew what they were doing on Sunday so I must to be making
    good progress now!

    I'm seriously thinking about an 8-Freight for a shopping bike
    (http://www.bikefix.co.uk/i-8freight.html), and wouldn't mind something hotter than the
    Streetmachine for day hacks.

    Having said all that, my do-it-all tourer really did do it all, so though a multitude of tools is
    better IMHO than a Swiss Army Knife you don't *need* to go that way.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  8. Andy P

    Andy P Guest

    "SG" <[email protected]> wrote

    > After a couple of years of driving to work I've decided that I might try and cycle the 20 miles to
    > work - a couple of days per week to begin. However I have only a mountain bike with big knobbly
    > tyres. Here's my dilemma: do I need to swap them for slicks and then at the weekend swap them back
    > to knobbly (bit of a pain). Or is there a halfway compromise, as the ground is a bit drier in the
    > summer I might be able to go off-road. Or does having knobbly slow you down a lot. Many thanks SG

    If you don't usually ride much distance on tarmac try it with your knobby tires first. I gave up my
    car completely last summer and I've never felt I was unduly hindering myself with knobbly tyres when
    it's wet and I just want to do the 20 odd miles to my girlfriend's or 35 odd miles back from my
    parents as quick as possible. How much time would slicks gain you? If it means riding at 16mph as
    opposed to14mph that's about 10 minutes for 20 miles or about the same time as it might take you to
    swap the tires over each weekend.

    I suspect rolling resistance of tyres is more complex than most people think anyway. When I timed a
    few journeys with the specialized enduro knobblies that came on my bike and then swapped them for
    the slightly narrower tyres off my old bike which have a continuous smooth band in the centre I
    found no noticeable difference. Similarly pumping my tyres up as hard as I could didn't appear to
    cut journey times either so I keep them softish now for comfort. (Not very often I stick entirely
    to tarmac.)

    Andy
     
  9. Andy P wrote:
    >
    > "SG" <[email protected]> wrote
    [snip] Or does having knobbly slow you down a lot.
    > > Many thanks SG
    >
    > If you don't usually ride much distance on tarmac try it with your knobby tires first. I gave up
    > my car completely last summer and I've never felt I was unduly hindering myself with knobbly tyres
    > when it's wet and I just want to do the 20 odd miles to my girlfriend's or 35 odd miles back from
    > my parents as quick as possible. How much time would slicks gain you? If it means riding at 16mph
    > as opposed to14mph that's about 10 minutes for 20 miles or about the same time as it might take
    > you to swap the tires over each weekend.

    That seems about right. I put some IRC Moto raptors (semi slick) on today as I'm doing the great
    yorkshire bike ride on saturday (don't fancy shredding my nice knoblies on 70 miles of tarmac).

    I've just got back from a nice tarmac & hard mud towpath 28 miles (roadies don't laugh - that's
    along way for a mountain biker, well me anyway!) It took me about 20 minutes less than usual, but I
    was pushing a bit harder. Interesting ly I put the extra effort down to the tyres as well. Sort of
    "I'm on semi slicks so I should be flying along here".

    They are bloody hard though, I'd put them up to their max of 65 psi. A couple of times I locked out
    fork & suspension and could feel every ripple in the road. Roadies must have tough arses.

    Phil
     
  10. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    "Andy P" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    [ re: slicks versus gnarlies ]

    > If you don't usually ride much distance on tarmac try it with your knobby tires first [...] How
    > much time would slicks gain you?

    About 15% faster on slicks than on gnarlies IME - the best compromise I've found is Specialized
    Crossroads which work tolerably well offroad and inflate to 80psi for road use. Heavier than a road
    tyre but not much more rolling resistance. And no need to swap the tyres at the weekend - just let a
    little air out when riding offroad.

    --
    Guy
    ===
    I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
    about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
    wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.
     
  11. You'd far better of with slicks for both on and off than with knobblies for both on and off. In fact
    I'm a believer that in general when off road in the dry you are better of with slicks. I don't
    actually buy slicks or semi slicks for my bike I just use old bald tyres in the summer but I rarely
    cycle on the road.

    --
    David Brown :eek:) http://kitemap.co.uk
     
  12. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    David Brown :eek:) wrote:
    > You'd far better of with slicks for both on and off than with knobblies for both on and off. In
    > fact I'm a believer that in general when off road in the dry you are better of with slicks.

    Though I'm hardly an offroad expert, perhaps the case that "soft" or "mobile" is a more useful term
    than "wet" for when knobblies work better? I say this after various festive wheelspin/Aaaargh!/keel
    over incidents in the sand traps in Tentsmuir forest... Climbing steep gravel surfaced sections also
    seems to work better with deep tread, with a trip last year to the Borders where I got significantly
    better traction on that sort of thing than my (better) pal (on a better bike) with semi-slicks.
    Often the case that all you want is contact area though, I agree.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  13. Sg

    Sg Guest

    Went to my LBS and mentioned the two wheel theory they balked and said that would be a very bad idea
    as the cassette would wear out of proportion with the chain. But thanks for the suggestion! SG
     
  14. Tim Woodall

    Tim Woodall Guest

    On 12 Jun 2003 05:21:19 -0700, SG <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Went to my LBS and mentioned the two wheel theory they balked and said that would be a very bad
    > idea as the cassette would wear out of proportion with the chain. But thanks for the suggestion!

    ??? So have two chains then. Although I can't see there being a big problem provided you don't allow
    the chain to get too worn and use mainly one cassette where you might get the situation where the
    old chain will skip on the least used cassette and a new chain will skip on the more worn cassette.

    Regards,

    Tim.

    --
    God said, "div D = rho, div B = 0, curl E = - @B/@t, curl H = J + @D/@t," and there was light.

    http://tjw.hn.org/ http://www.locofungus.btinternet.co.uk/
     
  15. Iarocu

    Iarocu Guest

    [email protected] (SG) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi all, After a couple of years of driving to work I've decided that I might try and cycle the 20
    > miles to work ? a couple of days per week to begin. However I have only a mountain bike with big
    > knobbly tyres. Here's my dilemma: do I need to swap them for slicks and then at the weekend swap
    > them back to knobbly (bit of a pain). Or is there a halfway compromise, as the ground is a bit
    > drier in the summer I might be able to go off-road. Or does having knobbly slow you down a lot.
    > Many thanks SG
    Hi knobblies are noticably slower on road.Best option is a 2nd bike. Otherwise for road/canal
    towpaths and off road other than mud or sand I find conti top touring 26x1.75 tyres work well. I
    have used Continental Avenue slicks which were very fast but as suggested by previous poster
    puncture prone. Also unsuitable for offroad other than towpaths etc. Another option would be a rear
    tyre with slight tread combined with a spare front wheel so that you could have either a knobbly or
    semi slick on the front depending on conditions. On the basis that a back wheel slide is no problem
    but a front wheel slide often results in a crash. cheers Iain
     
  16. Yes, you did word it better than me but I would prefer to come a cropper going 'round a fast corner
    off road with slicks than come a cropper going 'round a fast corner on the road with knobblies and a
    great big truck behind me :eek:)

    --
    kitemap http://ugcc.co.uk
     
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