Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Road Plus Experiment: The Good and The Bad

Gee....Is that a track from a mountain bike tire?
The Horizon 47mm tires on the Raleigh Tamland have been something of a unique experience in many ways. That said, there were a couple of things I thought might happen that did not, or at least are so insignificant that I cannot really feel them.

The tubeless nature of these tires is really good. They set up so easily it was ridiculous, and they have really good air retention without being overly heavy and/or stiff in the casing. The casing was actually pretty flexible, I thought, and the ride feel shows it. In fact, over rough pavement and whoop-de-doos on chip seal, the tires almost make the bike feel like it has a bit of suspension. On the gravel, it is more of a mixed bag.

Maybe I need to change the pressures a little bit more. I found that with bigger volume tires, like the Fat Fargo has, the air pressure is critical. My 1x1 Surly, with the tubeless 2.5"er Extraterrestrials, has to be within about 5psi of optimal or it makes the bike feel awful. I think these Horizon tires will be similar, since I am finding really noticeable differences by adjusting by 3psi or so. By the way, I have never gone above 30psi with these yet. I have tried as low as 25 psi in the front, and it seems that about 27-28psi is a sweet spot for me in the rear. 30 psi rear is about maximum for what I would deem acceptable on gravel. Too much higher and the rounded casing shape would just start cutting in and slipping out on climbs.

Anyway, one area where I was amazed was on Petrie Road. That has turned into some churned up sand/silt and the Horizon tires made short work of that by floating over the stuff like a fat bike would. However; deep, fresh gravel made the tires slip out sideways and they felt kind of like a tire going flat. Weird.

More soon......

7 comments:

Charles Martin said...

I would be interested in knowing the actual diameter of this setup. Wondering how much the bb height might be affected on my Willard.

Guitar Ted said...

I'll have more on that soon. Putting these wheels and tires on the Tamland does lower the bike significantly.

james said...

Since the 650's are slightly smaller than the 700's you previously had on there, I would imagine your trail geometry would change slightly perhaps affecting the handling or stability of the bike. Did you notice a drastic change in the handling of the bike?

Guitar Ted said...

@james: So, the Tamland feels different, yes, but I am riding it just as well as ever. I will definitely address that as the test goes along though.

Barturtle said...

How much extra clearance in the Tamland? Could you shoehorn in some 27.5x2.25"? Could also be interesting in my Whisky Tango Foxtrot, which already fits 29x2.1", so maybe 27.5x2.4"?

But 47s could be useful in either of those bikes as well.

Guitar Ted said...

@Barturtle: I wonder. The thing is that when you add in knobs and wider casings you start to eat up clearances in a hurry. Keep in mind that the Horizon is basically a bald mtb tire- No knobs, nothing- So clearances with this tire are pretty meaningless in relation to what you have in mind.

That said, I will post clearance pictures later on, so maybe you could judge for yourself.

R said...

i've logged a year of gravel on both scwhalbe almotions (40's) and (a few years back) serfas drifters (29x2") - both 'bald' tires. and the way you describe these WTB's confirms my issues with bald tires on gravel. They are just too squirmy in the loose stuff, and the front tire will try to wash-out a lot easier than a tire with some bite to it. it's tempting to think that they'll be great on the smooth packed gravel (and they are) but too often the aggregate gets too big/loose (around Grinnell anyways) for bald tires. i've probably had the best luck with clemente's product... maybe bald tires are ok for rear tires - but i think some grip up front is helpful. i wondered whether the 650b made a difference (that you could notice) carrying momentum through some of the short/steep/rollers into a climb vs a larger wheel?