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If you don't ride in mud or snow, do tire treads actually help?

It was suggested by a tire manufacturer that treaded tires are no better (and often worse) than slick tires of the same width on dry surfaces.

I'm not really sure what to think of this. (The claim is that people falsely generalize from their experiences with cars and motorbikes.)
 

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If you don't ride in mud or snow, do tire treads actually help?

It was suggested by a tire manufacturer that treaded tires are no better (and often worse) than slick tires of the same width on dry surfaces.

I'm not really sure what to think of this. (The claim is that people falsely generalize from their experiences with cars and motorbikes.)
yeah this seems like a not true statement. I have tried many many treads over the decades and each one is a better performing tire than the gravel slicks i have on my gravel bike on anything but pavement and maybe a tacky hero quality hard pack.

I remember getting tioga tires, the 2.3 DH tires when they came out and the traction and performance was a revelation on arizona chunk and trails. I also remember getting WTB nanoraptors and their traction and performance on low desert trails was astonishing for how little knobbing they had.

And even in the spectre of cars I see this as relevant. FI uses slick tires but as soon as there is moisture, they will add treads, so unless the track is perfectly dry, treads enhance the traction. I am sure in laboratory conditions a DHF would have less traction than a similar sized and compounded slick, but as soon as rocks, dirt, roots, and leaf debris was added to the track, the DHF would put down power at a much better rate than the slick.
 

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I'm curious as to what manufacturer in cycling was so stupid as to say that.

Simple way to disprove, go try to make a corner at speed even on smooth hardpack. Make sure your wearing full pads and maybe put pads on any trees beyond the corner so you don't get hurt.

If slicks were better or faster on anything but pavement, you'd see slick mountain bike tires everywhere.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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Cycologist
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It is true for road bike tires on dry road. It is also true for cars as well. Add water or go off road and it is no longer true.
 

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Yes, but to an extent.
Tires are not meant to be "do all".

If the dirt is very firm and dry, a less knobby tire will give you better grip. Take for example, motorcycle flat track racing. Basically slick tires with some tread or siping cut into the rubber. Those tires are a benefit over knobby tires.
The looser the dirt, taller knobs will dig in and give traction/grip. The firmer the dirt, taller knobs mean less rubber making contact to the ground, which means less traction


So yes, knobs DO make a difference, but massive knobs do not necessarily make a "better" tire. It depends on your terrain.
 

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If you don't ride in mud or snow, do tire treads actually help?

It was suggested by a tire manufacturer that treaded tires are no better (and often worse) than slick tires of the same width on dry surfaces.

I'm not really sure what to think of this. (The claim is that people falsely generalize from their experiences with cars and motorbikes.)
I'd like to know the context of this conversation.

What exactly were you discussing when manufacturer dude stated knobbies are useless.

What does "dry surfaces" mean? A dry paved walking trail? The shoulder of a road?
A dry hard pack dirt trail?

The comments above are about as expected given no context, but in a given situation sure, maybe there is some merit.

I don't want to climb a steep dirt hill on slicks. I have difficulty getting up some of the dry hills now with my knows about finished!

A new tire with a sharp edge on the knobs will do the trick.

Trying to corner on hard dirt at speed doesn't sound inviting on slicks, but maybe it is possible. I'm not one to speak about corner speed (I like brakes).

So maybe you could clarify what "dry surfaces" references.
I have to assume that since this is a MTB forum you weren't talking to a tire guy about what he best tire is to commute to work along side of traffic (that isn't a horse and buggy).
 

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Treads do nothing, neither does the rubber. It's all a vast conspiracy by the man to keep us down. My proof? A 6,000 hp train engine uses STEEL slicks and does just fine. I replaced all my plastic and aluminum rims with vintage barrel hoops and set descending PRs all over the place.
 

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XC iconoclast
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I'm curious as to what manufacturer in cycling was so stupid as to say that.

Simple way to disprove, go try to make a corner at speed even on smooth hardpack. Make sure your wearing full pads and maybe put pads on any trees beyond the corner so you don't get hurt.

If slicks were better or faster on anything but pavement, you'd see slick mountain bike tires everywhere.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
If slick tires were the way to go on dirt, Maxxis would have been out of business years ago. Do a test: put a slick tire on the front, then go down a trail or fire road that has a lot of loose dirt. Dry dirt can have a lot of loose dirt if the trail is steeper. Sign some kind of disclaimer form that you won't sue me from the hospital bed. Then buy a Maxxis Minion and do the same with it on the front. A 100% apples and oranges experience. You will then know the difference.
 
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