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Tear it all out!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A coworker of mine recently bought a Fisher Utopia as commuter bike, but doesn't like the tires it came with.

IRC Mythos CX slick (700c X 42)
https://www.irctire.com/tires/mythos_cx_slick.html



He is looking for something a little smaller to clear fenders and something that rolls a little quicker, due to the IRC's wide spaced knobs. Use is probably 90% road, 10% double track style trails.

What would you recommend?
 

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Ritchey Mt. Cross, Maxxis WormDrive

I really like the Ritchey Mt. Cross, which at 700x38 is a bit smaller than the Mythos 42. It's also quite a bit lighter at 425g (vs. 550g for the Mythos) and rolls faster. It has real knobs and should actually provide more real offroad grip

Another tire I'd recommend is the Maxxis WormDrive. It's also labeled 700x42 but is quite a bit smaller than the Mythos -- in fact, it's almost identical in size to the Mt. Cross. Weight is about 500g for the folding version. The tread down the center is almost pure slick, and it rolls MUCH faster than the Mythos. Less in the way of side knobs than the Mythos so it's not going to be as good offroad -- and in fact, it's pretty lousy in mud, though surprisingly good on snow and ice. The WormDrive also has fantastic grip on wet pavement, making it the winter commuting tire of choice for me.

So your coworker will need to decide how they want to balance their commute vs. offroad needs. If they still want pretty good grip offroad and are willing to sacrifice a bit (not too much, less than with the Mythos) of rolling resistance to get it, the Ritchey is a good choice. If they want a really fast rolling tire that's still capable of handling dirt and gravel as long as things aren't too gooey, then my choice would be the WormDrive.

- Dan
 

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Tear it all out!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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Always Learning
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CraigH said:
It rains so much here in Vancouver that I would be scared to run a tire that slick on wet pavement.
It's impossible to hydroplane on a bicycle tire. In fact, running a knobby tread on pavement gives you much worse traction. You need to get up to speed on bike tires and hydroplaning. I'll send you to Uncle Sheldon here for a quick read:

http://sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#hydroplaning

BB
 

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Slick tires

I think Jan Ullrich might want to argue concerning slick tires on wet roadways. They may not hydroplane, but water acts as a lubricant and with no knobs there is nothing to grasp the imperfections in the pavement/asphalt. Look at the WTB Mutanoraptor 700X44 it's about a 1.75.
 

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hispanic mechanic
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Slick...

stevenseltz said:
I think Jan Ullrich might want to argue concerning slick tires on wet roadways. They may not hydroplane, but water acts as a lubricant and with no knobs there is nothing to grasp the imperfections in the pavement/asphalt. Look at the WTB Mutanoraptor 700X44 it's about a 1.75.
After many years of road racing, I can tell you that from my personal experience, I feel much safer on asphalt with my 23mm slicks than I ever would on knobbies. As for Jan's spill, the rain hadn't really had a chance to wash away stuff, so there was a layer of oil everywhere. Had he ridden the course, or gotten reports from his teammates, he would have been more careful.
O.K., back to the topic. I really like the WTB AllTerrainasaurus (or whatever they're calling it now) on my 'cross bike for all around riding. Connected center ridge, but with enough of a tread to ride fairly tough stuff in the dirt. It's also a bit narrower (38mm, I think) so fitting fenders should be much less of a problem.

the los
 

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Follow-up

On second glance, the WormDrive is noticeably bigger than the Mt. Cross, though still noticeably smaller than the Mythos. If clearance with the Mythos is almost-but-not-quite-ok, then the WormDrive might work, otherwise something smaller may be in order.

It's disappointing that the Mt. Cross is gone for 2005. Its tread and profile are somewhat similar to the AlphaBite TrailMix, although with differently arranged knobs, lighter weight and IMO better performance. At 425g for the Pro and 360g (!!) for the WCS, this tire has unbelievable performance for its size and weight, but I guess being a 700x38 it never found its niche. Too bad. Glad I have one of each lying around.

Anything smaller than the Mt. Cross and you're into mainstream cyclocross territory. The Conti Twister has about the best combination of fast rolling, wet pavement grip and decent offroad grip that I've ever seen. Only downside is it's heavier than a lot of much larger tires. Ritchey SpeedMax 700x35 would also be a good choice, though that size is offered with a wire bead only. Max Cross might also be good, assuming it has enough offroad traction. The WTB All Terrainasaurus is also a good combination of fast rolling and good offroad grip, but on wet pavement it is one of the worst gripping tires I have ever tried. I found it simply downright terrifying in its slipperiness. I would not recommend it for someone commuting in Vancouver between October and June.

BTW, I agree with the others about slicks vs. knobbies on wet pavement. I'm still not convinced that a "pure" slick is better than a fine file tread, but beyond that ... on any kind of pavement smoother than very coarse gravel, knobbies will not help, and will simply serve to limit your contact patch to the ends of the knobs. As others have pointed out, a 25mm slick has more rubber on the street than a fullsize MTB knobby, and on any pavement - wet or dry - that contact patch is where you get your traction.
 

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sslos said:
After many years of road racing, I can tell you that from my personal experience, I feel much safer on asphalt with my 23mm slicks than I ever would on knobbies. As for Jan's spill, the rain hadn't really had a chance to wash away stuff, so there was a layer of oil everywhere. Had he ridden the course, or gotten reports from his teammates, he would have been more careful.
You betcha. I'll take a 23mm slick on my roadie over knobolas any ole day of the week.

I suppose if CraigH's coworker is commuting in rain and wants something that rolls a bit quicker, going to a slick is the way to go. Most commuters are well aware of riding in rain and slick road conditions from auto oil on the pavement and most likely ain't gonna be taking corners at Ullrich type speedo in rush hour.

S
 
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