Tuesday, August 06, 2019

It's About The Tires

Schwalbe G One 29 X 2.25" - Going on the Fargo Gen 1
And Now, The Gravel Worlds Tire Choice!

Tires, tires, and more tires. The last thing to go on your wheels and the first thing that touches the surface of whatever you are riding on. Yes.....tires are important. I have tried hundreds of different tires, and while most are good, not many are great. I suppose this is why we keep searching for that "one" tire that will be "magic", whatever that might mean. I think that changes almost daily.

Anyway.......speaking of "one", I have chosen to try these new, poofy Schwalbe G One Allround tires for the Fargo Gen I bike. They are, of course, tubeless, and they are wider than anything I've had on this bike since......, I think I tried the 27.5 X 2.8" WTB tires on there but they were juuuust too big. And too small a diameter too. Anyway, big, floaty tires are going to be a good choice at Gravel Worlds because (a) I am big and need a bigger tire there, and (b), their gravel is looser and sandier than ours is here.

Wheels will be prepped and then tires will get mounted and tested out this weekend. I think I'll be using some wheels that might come as a bit of a surprise to some of you out there. Stay tuned for that....

Some Extraterrestrials will have a limited edition grey sidewall. Image courtesy of Surly
Surly Does Tubeless (Finally)

Okay, with that "exciting" news out of the way, (HA!), I have fund out just today that Surly have finally made their tire line tubeless. What'd that take? Only about five years too long, but at least they have done it. Yes folks- their entire folding bead tire line up is available tubeless now. You may find certain models "missing", and I would surmise that these have been discontinued. I had to wonder when I saw several e-commerce sites dumping certain Surly tire models at close out pricing a couple of months ago. I figured something was up and now we know. Those closed out tire models are the ones that aren't being carried over, so check out that link to find out if your favorite Surly tire model still exists.

They have the Knard 41's in tubeless now and a 42mm Extraterrestrial in tubeless as well. Both 700c, of course, but 650B variants also exist. I always liked that Knard 41mm tire but I always thought right along with that thought that this tire never should have existed non-tubeless. It was a big miss on Surly's part to not get that tire under more riders. Now? Pfft! There's a million other garvel tires these days. Getting that "foot in the door" opportunity has passed Surly by. But that said- you should try the Knard 41. 

And of all the tires to keep around, they kept the Nate? Weird. Anyway..... Another tire that always should have been tubeless- the 29" X 3" Knard. 'Bout time on that too. Ditto on Bud and Lou. Good job Surly! Hopefully not too late to matter.

Bigger EMP's:

Earlier this year I tried out some 700 X 38mm Donnelly EMP tires on my Black Mountain Cycles "Orange Crush" #49. In fact, I just rode on those tires again last Saturday, and don't ya know- I was wishing for wider ones? Well, wish granted. Donnelly announced a new choice in sizes for the EMP at 700 X 45mm and 650 B X 47mm.

Donnelly EMP tire
These tires are a bit more aggressively treaded than say, a Gravel King SK, or a Riddler for sure, so if you are not into that, look elsewhere, but if you run a lot of dirt roads, or if you get off on sketchier terrain often, give these a look. The 700 X 45mm size makes these a viable "MTB-Lite" sort of tire, I think.

Kind of like a WTB Nano 40, in that regard, which reminds me, I've seen a lot of bikes with Nano 40's lately, and not OEM stock ones either. Weird! The Nano 40 was one of the, if not the first tubeless ready gravel specific tire, and many folks still dig it, but as you know, you are only as good as anything else if you have the latest design in tires. Nano 40's look slow and too knobby to many, but hey! It's good to see folks still digging them and they are just fine on gravel. Especially looser, rockier stuff.

So, there is a bit of "tire news" for y'all. I know I generally keep "newsy" stuff back for Fridays, but this is specific to tires and I am sure I'll find something to jabber about Friday anyway. In fact, I already have two things waiting for Friday anyway.

As always- Thank you for stopping by today!


Daniel said...

I was always confused why the Knard wasn't tubeless. I never bought it because of that despite it looking like a really useful tire.

Rydn9ers said...

Probably one of the first companies to mass produce 26" x 3.8" tires and now they only offer one tire and it is (in my opinion) the least versatile or desirable fat bike tire I've ever had the displeasure of riding. I suppose if you're rim deep in mud all day, every day the Nate would work well for you... aside from that it's a heavy, rolling resistant, nightmare of a tire. Especially in that awful, might as well be solid rubber, 27 TPI version they put stock on so many Surly bikes. Wish they would have brought back the Knard in a tubeless ready 120 TPI version. Looks Teravail just moved itself up on the list of my next tire to buy list.

Greg said...

I thought the Nate was about the best tire you could get for snow in the skinny 3.8 regime. That 3.8 Knard I have had been pretty worthless. No traction at all for a fat bike tire.