Tuesday, May 15

The Right Rubber For The Job

Last fall I swapped the Forte City ST tires on the Cannonball for a mismatched pair of old MTB tires in preparation of snow and ice galore.

Well, I probably could have gone all "winter" on even skinnier road tires and suffered few icy crashes.

Recently I switched back to the commuter tires and was delighted at the superhuman speeds I was able to achieve immediately. The windburn on my face is still healing.

I like the 26x1.5 commuters because they roll nice, my average speeds explode, and I can still handle moderately rough dirt and gravel.

Having the knobbies in the slush and mud was nice too, back when I cared more for sure-footedness than speed.

I'm a huge proponent of having the right footwear for the occasion. And I'm compulsively check my air pressure. If I miss a day I make sure I check the very next day.

I hate flats, but due to my high mileage I experience more of them than the average Lance-a-like. I'm a big proponent of Goo or Slime tubes, and as long as I live in Colorado I'll run them in all my bikes.

The thing is, you could proclaim a simplistic cycling existence by going fixie, but you'll still have to deal with rubber issues. Even fixie pixies get flats.

I've bought the $70 Krylions (each) in the past. They work. Except when they don't. I bought a pair of CSTs for $50 and got 600 miles out of them. There's nothing particularly special about the Fortes I have on the X now, but I have Goo tubes in them. I've got more than a few hundred miles on them, and they still look pretty darn good.

The Small Block 8s I have on the One are great for general commuting (they whine like a fighter jet on Ramming Speed Fridays!) and are phenomenal for prairie bike commutes too. More aggressive knobs would really be a drag on my vanilla road commutes.

As you can see, I give more than a fleeting thought to my tires and tubes.

As a vigilant cyclist you will learn to watch the road or trail ahead and try to avoid tire/tube damaging detritus and debris. But with many miles comes great wear, and eventually all tires see the end of their useful days.

Low stress utility cycling or committed commuting can be very enjoyable if you maintain your tires and use the right ones for the job.

1 comment:

  1. I really liked the first set of Michelin Krylions I had. They took a major beating. The second set didn't fare so well. I'd had them less than a month and one was gashed open on a huge chunk of glass.

    For the road bike it's hard to say. I've been looking more at commuter and touring tires for the 26 inch wheels.