Thursday, November 5, 2009

Who's riding what?


When it comes to gravel road racing I haven't found a better tire than the Vittoria Cross Evo XN. This tire is light, fast and ultra durable. Aside from the tread wearing down when the paved miles add up, I haven't had any trouble using these tires for gravel riding. With the new season fast approaching, I'm curious to know what you folks have been riding. I've seen plenty of Small Blocks and a few Speedmax rolling around out there. Are there any better than what I'm on now? Let me know.

9 comments:

J-No said...

Usually Ritchey Speedmax. I have the 40's but they run narrow. I'm thinking about giving the Small Block's a try. Excellent topic, I'm anxious to hear ideas.

Derek said...

I got a Cross Check in June and it came with Ritchey Speedmax tires (32's). Pretty good all around tire, but they do struggle a bit in peanut butter and can be sketchy when cornering. I have been very pleased overall, and have put many miles on them

Prior to that, I tried both Small Blocks (35's) and Schwalbe Marathon Cross (38's) tires on my Karate Monkey. I rode the Schwalbe's in the Almanzo, primarily for added comfort and stability, and they worked very well. Unfortunately, not long after that event, the rear tire developed a sidewall bubble with less than 200 total miles.

I haven't put many miles on the Small Blocks, but may put them on my Cross Check to see how they do on wet surfaces. I really don't feel a need to switch from the Ritchey's, they have served me well, although they are starting to get a bit ratty.

I probably ride 80/20 gravel/asphalt, for whatever that is worth. I haven't tried any of the above tires offroad or on singletrack.

Chris Skogen said...

I ran a set of Small Blocks the other day on a morning ride. The gravel was a bit moist and would probably qualify to be considered peanut butter in some circles. They ran great, in fact, I haven't had too much trouble with them at all.


I know there are some new Continentals that have a similar tread pattern to the Vittorias pictured above, has anyone tried them/had success/failure?

rideonpurpose said...

I don't think my experience is really applicable to those who don't run 29mm wide wheels with their cross tires, but I love my hutchinson piranhas. They fly on the road, have the traction for singletrack climbs (I do ride real xc trails with them sometimes) and they handle predictably.

JayPee said...

Been a fan of the Schwalbe Marathon touring tires. They're heavy but I've never flatten on them. Ever. *knock on wood* Probably going to try the Schwalbe Marathon Cross tires this year, heard good things from some TransIowa and Dirty Kanza folks about 'em.

Buckshot77 said...

I've been running WTB crosswolf's on my ride. The only downside I've seen thus far is they're a bit slow rolling on pavement and wear somewhat quickly. My rear tire is looking pretty skinny with 1000ish miles on it, while the front has 1500 and looks great. Traction is pretty excellent. Knock on wood, but I can't recall any flats yet.

J Meiser said...

Pony up for Challenge Grifo XS, smooth like butter.

Chris Skogen said...

Are the Grifo's really worth the $$$? The Vittorias and the Continetals have virtually the same pattern, but are about half the price.

Anonymous said...

The Vittoria folks had a vendor tent set up for the Nature Valley Grand Prix last summer, so I stopped to talk to them about our gravel racing. Too bad they were so close to the PA system for the race, because it was more of a screaming match than a conversation. They handed me a catalog and I wrote notes, but have since misplaced that.
They had 2 or 3 tires that would be nice to have for different weather / conditions on race day. Would be nice if I could mount 2 or more different sets of tires/wheels and bring them to the race.