Posts Tagged ‘tires’

Random Links

October 3rd, 2010 [print] 3 comments

Autumn is here, it’s getting cool outside, and I’m suddenly too lazy to devote a lot of effort to some posts I’ve been wanting to get up.  So…  get something warm to drink and check the following links on your own time.

Crank length vs maximum power output:  a nerdy look at what effect your crank length has on your total power output and fatigue:

Cyclist’s helmet cam footage helps convict driver:

Here’s the video that led to the conviction:

19th Century Bicycling: Rubber was the Dark Secret

Traveling, not being traveled: 4 quotes on bicycling from the late 1800s

World’s Lightest Bike Weighs Just 6 Pounds

World's Lightest Bike -

The Secret to a Long Life – An Old Man and His Bike

Categories: Links, News Tags: , , ,

Panaracer FlatAway Review

September 24th, 2010 [print] 7 comments

Even though I have yet to put any miles on these new rolls of FlatAway liner, I feel I can still give a fair review since I’ve used the product in the past.

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I began riding very light semi-slick MTB tires with Forte LunarLite innertubes years ago–probably as early as 2000, if not before; in fact, back in those days, the tubes were branded as Performance, not Forte.  As light as the set-up was, I eventually began getting flats due to punctures.  I bought some Panaracer FlatAway, figured I’d deal with a tiny weight penalty, and see if things improved.

Read more…

Categories: Reviews Tags: , , ,

Continental Vertical Pro Review

September 15th, 2010 [print] No comments

There’s no reason to make this review any longer than it needs to be, so I’ll keep it short and to the point:

These are, by far, the worst mountain bike tires I’ve ever ridden and I hate them more than I’ve ever hated any bicycle component.  Honestly, I wish my vocabulary was better so I could go on a long diatribe about just how horrible these tires are but, like I said, let’s keep this short.

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Continental Vertical Pro 2.3"

I got these as a replacement for my favorite Kenda Kinetics Stick-E 2.35" tires a couple years back, since the Contis were supposedly intended for those days when the ground is harder and dryer (saving the Kendas for sloppy conditions).  One benefit was a weight savings of over 100 grams over the Kendas.  And when I say one benefit, I mean, literally, there was only one benefit, and that was it.  There Vertical Pros weigh in at right about 675g, each.

So, what makes them so horrible?

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Categories: Reviews Tags: , , ,

Maxxis Re-Fuse Tire Review

August 30th, 2010 [print] No comments

I bought the Maxxis Re-Fuse after my p.o.s. Kenda Kalientes kept getting punctured on almost every ride by road debris.  Few things suck worse than having to repair (or replace) a tube mid-ride, so I was really hoping the Re-Fuses lived up to their name (as in, Re-Fuse to puncture).  That, they did.

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Categories: Reviews Tags: , ,

Hot Hot Heat

July 30th, 2010 [print] No comments

It seems Missouri is either getting dumped on with ridiculous rain storms, or we’re trying to dry out with triple-digit temps.  The humidity has been a pretty consistent 70% or above for most of July, so even when it’s under 90°, it still feels like it’s well over 100°.  I don’t mind the heat or the humidity, although I wouldn’t complain if it’d cool down for a week or so, but what I do mind is a new thing phenomenon I’ve never dealt with before.

With this being my first summer on a road bike–as opposed to a mountain bike with semi-slick tires–I’ve picked up a new annoyance:  once we hit 100° or more, my Maxxis Re-Fuse tires turn from rubber to glue, and begin picking up tiny pebbles as I roll over them.  The hotter it is, the worse it is, and last Tuesday’s ride was the worst so far.

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That rock is not just sitting on top of the tire, it’s practically glued to it (it’s a little larger than most of them, but it made for a good photo).  Rolling along, I’ll begin to hear a tick-tick-tick noise as my tires conform to the shape of pebbles, and the only way to get them to break loose is to stop and flick them off.  It always happens that the flat side of the rock has enough smooth surface area to become stuck, but I worry they’ll eventually work themselves through the rubber and puncture an innertube.  The tires are left with permanent marks on them at the point of contact, but appear no worse for the wear.

On the positive side, the Maxxis tires are holding up well, and so far, I’ve only had one serious puncture (I lost my rear tire to a screw of some sort in May and had to buy a replacement, but not before patching the tube and doing a century, plus 200 more miles on a tire with a hole in it!).  Next week we’re supposed to have 100+ heat indexes for a few days straight, so it looks like I’m going to be in for a lot of this crap for quite a while still.

Categories: Miscellaneous Tags:

Racing, Rain and Tires

July 19th, 2010 [print] No comments


That’s what I have to say about Missouri’s increasingly wetter July’s.  We had a nice, dry run through the latter parts of June and early July, but now the storms are here again.  Normally, I’d just be annoyed, but this time I’m getting pissed.

The Show-Me State Games MTB race is less than a week away, and the forecast is grim for race day, with a good chance of showers.  However, if it’s dry enough to race, I doubt it’ll be called off.  What this means for me is, my proven fastest tire choice has to be tossed out, and I have to prepare for sloppy conditions.

I discovered last Fall that my fastest tire set-up happened to be a skinny 1.8" Kenda Klimax Lite in the rear, with a 2.1" Nevegal up front.  The rear spins up quickly for sprints, while the front adds extra suspension (at 25psi) and better braking.  So long as I keep my ass planted in the saddle, the rear’s excellent L3R compound gives it plenty of grip, despite a lack of tread.  However, that only helps if it’s dry… which it most likely won’t be.

My options are this:  keep the current tire set-up, have less weight in the back, but less grip and braking in the mud.  Or, put on a heavier tire, lose some speed in the flat areas due to weight, but have ridiculous climbing grip.  Light weight is worthless if I’m just spinning my tire, so I’ve gone the heavier route.

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Enter, my new set-up:  the 2.1" Nevegal in the rear, with an old and proven 2.35" Kinetics Stick-E up front.  In the past, I’ve run a pair of Kinetics Stick-Es, and nothing has ever come close to the grip they offer in slick stuff, which Rock Bridge park is full of.  The braking grip of the front tire–even with my antiquated rim brakes–will just about pop your eye sockets out.  I’ve never run the Nevegal in the rear, but it seems to have performance matching the Kinetics, only at a lighter weight.  Since I have no time to order something else, this is going to have to do.

In the mean time, I’m going to pine for the old days of dry, horribly hot Missouri summers, where we’d go for weeks without rain at times.  It makes the trails more predictable, and for my first race, I could really use that.

Categories: Cycling, Missouri, MTB Tags: , , ,

650B Compatibility

July 5th, 2010 [print] No comments

There’s a growing number of mountain bike riders out there who have chosen to keep their 26" bikes, while converting them to the new-to-MTB 650B (or 27.5") wheel size.

The advantage of 650B is that they’re larger and smoother rolling than a 26" wheel, but lighter and more agile than a 29".  This disadvantage is, it’s hard to know what current 26" bikes on the market have room inside their chainstays for the larger wheels.

Fortunately, Cracked Headtube (if that is his real name) over at 650B Palace has put together one hell of a list of 650B-compatible frames, so if you’re looking to upgrade, take a look at his list.

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Categories: Miscellaneous, MTB Tags: , , , ,