Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Surly & Tired Part 2

Taking the long way home....
I have had a chance to ride the Surly Knard 41's some and it's been interesting so far. The first ride was anyway! I generally will take a newer tire in this size range and use a 40psi baseline as a starting point. Some tires do better at slightly higher pressures, some do better at slightly lower pressures, but 40psi is where I start out riding at.

Okay, no problem, right? I get up one morning last week, set the pressures while I am in a bit of a hurry to get out the door to work, and then I am on my way. The day is clear and cool, and the winds are out of the Northwest. Precisely the main direction of travel I take going to work. Besides this, it is mostly uphill as well.

Okay, so intially I have some rougher grass and dirt to traverse, then I get down to some bike path for a bit, then onto a really badly busted up road which gets better as you go along until it is "normal" pavement. I am thinking as I go along that these tires are stiff or something. I felt like I was dragging an anchor. But, I cautioned myself by reminding myself that I was riding uphill into a headwind. It's best not to get too judgmental in these conditions, I thought, and so I pushed onward, but it just felt bad. Sluggish and slow, but the rear tire didn't look overly squatty, as if I'd missed on the air pressures. Hmmm...maybe these need more than 40psi then?

Camouflaged single track.

Well.........they certainly needed more than 20psi! Somehow I blew it and misread my gauge at home and missed the pressure by 20psi. No wonder they felt draggy! Okay, so for the ride home, I double checked that I had 40psi in there, and then I set off for the long way home.

Now.......that's waaaaay better! More like what I was expecting now. The Knard 41's felt very "Clement-ish", if that makes any sense to folks out there. They even make a sing-songy noise on pavement like the MSO's do. Maybe a bit different, but similar.

I decide to hit some single track and see what the Knards might do. Well, on the leafy, dry single track they flew along just as fast as if I had put 2.1"ers on the Orange Crush. With the higher pressure, I could distinctly see a "center ridge" of knobs that was a tiny bit higher than the low "U" shaped profile which made for a faster feel and good grip in corners. Hey.....they are still skinny tires, so don't expect a Velcro-like grip, but for what they are, they rip along in the dirt well enough.

No gravel yet. No "real" gravel, anyway, but that's coming soon.

1 comment:

Max said...

Thanks for the report. I've been considering running a knard up front on my cross check, paired with a bontrager CXO in back. I'll be looking forward to hearing more about them in the future.