Need CX tire recommendations
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  1. #1
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    Need CX tire recommendations

    Looking for tire recommendations for my Planet X. A friend suggested the Jets, looking for others.

    I have about a 5-6 road ride on rolling hills from my house to the trailhead. I'd like a tire that does well on the road (don't want to blow my wad on the ride there...) but can be usable on the singletrack.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolboarder
    Looking for tire recommendations for my Planet X. A friend suggested the Jets, looking for others.

    I have about a 5-6 road ride on rolling hills from my house to the trailhead. I'd like a tire that does well on the road (don't want to blow my wad on the ride there...) but can be usable on the singletrack.

    Thanks!
    When the conditions turn really crappy, the Jets won't cut it. They do work well on the road & in very dry, hardpack conditions.
    Bontragers CX Jones are pretty good all around as are the Ritchey (wears really fast on the road) Speedmax. In really tacky mud, I find the Bontragers shed mud more easily (wide dispersed knobby pattern) than the Ritcheys, the stuff gets stuck in the file tread pattern. I have a new set of Maxxis Mimo Larsen CX which I have not tried yet but I like the knobby pattern on them, very similar to the Bontragers, but with ramped edges in the rolling direction (less rolling resistance perhaps?).
    I have never had the opportunity to run on any singletrack with the Speedmax tires.
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  3. #3
    AJS
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    My #1 recommendation is the Vredestein Campo. Very good/excellent traction both on road and off, plus they can take high psi's on-road (up to 135 lb.), as well as down to less than 40 without pinch-flats off-road. The casing is the best thing in a clincher CX tire you'll find, and rides very similar to a tubular. Really! Those that like to think their Michelin's, Conti's, and Ritchey's "ride just like tubbies" haven't ridden the Vred's yet or never actually rode on tubulars.

    The 2 sizes are 28c and 32c, only come in folding version, and both sizes do measure to the correct width when actually mounted, unlike many tires that come out either narrower or wider when on the wheel. I mostly use the 28.

    #2 choice would be the Vittoria Master Cross (dry/hardpack) or Tigre Cross (soft/muddy) - that is IF my experience with the tubular versions translated over to the clincher versions - I haven't used the clinchers yet so I can't say for sure. There is a difference in the casings: Vitt Cross sew-up's have a 220 threads-per-inch cotton casing, where the clincher has 60 tpi nylon. Also, the Master & Tigre only come in 27c, (though I've heard the Tigre has a Euro-version in 32c).

    Whatever you do, don't underestimate the importance of the casing and rubber compound when choosing a tire. Some people make the mistake of looking just at the tread pattern, but that's only part of what gives a tire good or lousy performance. When you think about it, most road-specific tires have no tread, or not enough of a pattern to be significant, so the difference between the great road tires and the wannabe's are in the casings mainly, and to a lesser degree the rubber.

  4. #4
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    Thanks AJS

    I've been looking at bike tires direct and noticed the Campos as well. I was intrigued by the higher pressure, good to hear someone w/ experience. I think I'll go that route.

    Actually picked up some red Vreds for my singlespeed CRB and seem to ride fine. I'm actually riding my CRB home today (first long ride w/ the tires) so I can support bike to work day tomorrow.

    Thanks for the detailed info. Much appreciated.

  5. #5
    AJS
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    Thumbs up Glad to help!

    Bike Tires Direct is a good place to buy them. I don't think you'll find a better price and I've never had a delivery or billing problem with them.

    As far as pressure, for most blacktop rides I have the Campos at about 112 R and 107 F with no problems. If I'm staying pretty much on a fire road/gravel, I run 'em at around 72-75. Off-road/singletrack I go between 45-55 psi. You can go lower but I like to keep the rolling resistance down (Speed is GOOD!). Actually, the Campos are exactly the same casing as the Fortezza & Fortezza Tri-Comp, just in a wider size & with semi-knobs.

    Handling-wise, I guess most people want the 32's if they're mostly doing off-road. But I like the 28's because they naturally feel a bit snappier in the turns, and are quicker on hardpack. I guess that makes me really old school, because most CX tires in the beginning were narrower like a roadie rather than wider like a dirt tire. It's just what I got used to years ago.

    But either size will stand-up climb on muddy old leafy trails without spinning. I'm still amazed that I don't have to do much trick pedal work to keep momentum on uphills, unless it's real greasy.

    Which 'red Vreds' did you get for your SS - the S-Licks 1.3? I had a pair of them once on a MTB and they were way good.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJS

    Which 'red Vreds' did you get for your SS - the S-Licks 1.3? I had a pair of them once on a MTB and they were way good.
    Got the Ricorso's for $12 each at Nashbar. For the price, they're pretty decent. Only have one ride them, but I'm satisfied. Great deal, gotta love the Dutch...

  7. #7
    AJS
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    Haven't owned the Ricorso's yet, but I've seen nothing but good things about them. For $12., I doubt you could do better.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJS
    Handling-wise, I guess most people want the 32's if they're mostly doing off-road. But I like the 28's because they naturally feel a bit snappier in the turns, and are quicker on hardpack. I guess that makes me really old school, because most CX tires in the beginning were narrower like a roadie rather than wider like a dirt tire. It's just what I got used to years ago.
    I've been riding my 'cross bike as an all-rounder with 34c Tufos on it. Mmmmm, nice. I don't have to worry (as much) about the baby-head rocks in the trails around San Diego. I bought a pair of 28c tires for racing next season thinking that a little lighter/smaller tire's gonna roll faster...

    I'm scared to ride them off-road like I have been doing with the 34s... (think George of the Jungle: Mike, Mike, out on the cross bike, watch out for those ROOOOOCCCCKKKKSSSSS!"

    M
    I've moved back to NoVA. PLEASE change the weather!

  9. #9
    AJS
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    I'm scared to ride them off-road like I have been doing with the 34s...
    Probably you're so used to the 34's that a 28 seems quite skinny now. They are faster on hardpack though.

  10. #10
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    Campos

    Could anyone recommend Campos for muddy conditions? Currently running Speedmaxs, which are fine for road, dry/hardpack. Looking for a 2nd tire, for muddy conditions. Michelin Muds have been recommended, just curious if the Campos have enough tread.

  11. #11
    jrm
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    mix um up

    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolboarder
    Looking for tire recommendations for my Planet X. A friend suggested the Jets, looking for others.

    I have about a 5-6 road ride on rolling hills from my house to the trailhead. I'd like a tire that does well on the road (don't want to blow my wad on the ride there...) but can be usable on the singletrack.

    Thanks!
    I like the 30/32 michelin sprint in the back and currently use a 43c conti exploder up front. The exploder isn the best street tire but in the dirt its good.

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