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Cross tire review

Discussion in 'Road & Cyclocross' started by ire, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. ire

    ire Turbo Monkey

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    I'm starting this thread to help fellow monkeys out. I've had some serious issues with tires and I'm still working through the growing pains. I ran clincher wheels until last season and I made the switch to tubulars. I've ran tubulars last year and so far this year. Below are the tires I have time on.



    Tufo C Prestige Clincher Tubular, 32mm
    I run these tires on my singlespeed and I have a fair amount of riding/racing time on them. The tubular clincher is a great choice if you don't have tubulars or tubeless wheels. The tire is tubeless with a bead strip on the bottom of the tire that locks into the bead. So it acts like a tubular on a clincher rim. The advantage to this setup is that you can run lower pressure and not have to worry as much about pinch flats. The disadvantage is that the tires weigh more due to the bead lock.

    One thing I have to say about every Tufo tubular/tubular clincher I've ridden, they have a dead feeling. This doesn't mean that the tires don't hook up well, it means that they don't have the bouncy, supple feel, of a cotton tubular tire. I run these tires with Stan's sealant in them and I haven't flatted yet. The tires hook up well in dry conditions and they do alright in some mud. These tires won't handle the wet off camber turns as well as a Dugast. They are a solid tire and a good choice for any rider.


    Tufo C T30 Clincher Tubular, 32mm
    I have a lot of time on this model and I currently have them on my pit wheels. I have had no issues with these tires when running them with a little Stans sealant. As for ride, I can't tell the difference between the C T30 and the C Prestige. Both good tires.


    Continental Twister Clincher, 32mm
    This will be the only non tubular/tubeless tire I'll review. I prefer to not run a tube/tire setup but at one race I didn't have a choice. I was racing these tires and the conditions were very slick and muddy but we didn't have any deep ruts (max of an inch or so). These tires hooked up amazingly well. I was very impressed. Being a normal clincher they lack the supple feel of a tubular and don't do very well on steep off camber sections. For muddy conditions this tire is a good choice if you run tubes.


    Dugast Typhoon Tubular, 32mm
    Dugast tires are legendary and you'll see many of the top pros running Dugast tires regardless of their sponsors. The tires are handmade in Europe and the casing is composed of cotton. These were my main tires last season and were also the first tubulars I owned. The tires rode fantastic in most conditions. They have a very supple feel and hook up very well on off chamber sections. For dry or slightly wet conditions these tires are some of the best. The two biggest draw backs are their inability to handle any kind of steep muddy incline and their lack of durability. By the end of last season these tires were completely trashed. The two places the tire is vulnerable are in rough conditions with some rocks (nicks in the cotton sidewalls) and when you race these tires on fast rough courses the constant force in the corners starts to pull the base tape away from the tubular. For those of you that don't know, you apply aqua seal to the tires sidewalls to help improve water resistance and durability. I didn't apply the aqua seal onto the base tape and that may have been part of the problem. If you have cash to burn these are great tires.


    Dugast Rhino Tubular, 30mm
    For muddy conditions you cannot get a better tire. These tires hook up phenomenally well. Sections that you wouldn't have considered riding are all of a sudden ridable. These tires also need aqua seal and have the same vulnerabilities to nicks and the base tape as the Typhoon. In really muddy conditions rocks and speed (the tire killers) typically aren't an issue. These tires have never disappointed me and if you have the means to have a dedicated set of mud wheels I would recommend these tires.


    Gommitalia Magnum Cross, 32mm
    Our team got a smoking deal on these tires and I bought 4 for this year thinking that I would have plenty of tires for dry conditions. These tires have a similar tread pattern to the Challenge Grifo and are intended for dry conditions. The tires are very supple and handle well but they are very prone to flats. I have flatted 3 of my 4 tires and I will only consider running these tires again if I get the tubes replaced with something more durable. The tire handles well, but ultimately I wouldn't purchase these tires because a flat will cost you pain and suffering in a race.



    FMB, 32mm
    FMB tires are made in Europe and I have to say that the construction is very impressive. FMB are cotton tubulars but they coat the sidewalls with latex to seal them from moisture and increase durability. I haven't ridden these tires, but they will be my next review. I am very impressed with the construction. The sidewall coating extends onto the base tape, which I hope will eliminate the Dugast issue of the tubular pulling from the base tape.
     
    #1 -   Oct 4, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009

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  2. ire

    ire Turbo Monkey

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    Upcoming reviews: I'm buying a set of Hutchinson Piranha tires for my tubeless wheels and I should have them on Wednesday. I'm going to try tubeless on the fast dry courses. I have have a set of tubular Tufo Prestige tires on the way, but I suspect they will ride much like the clincher tubulars but they'll weigh less.
     
    #2 -   Oct 4, 2009
  3. oldfart

    oldfart Turbo Monkey

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    The Piranhas are very good on dry hard courses. I weigh around 143 these days and I can get away with 30 psi. At that pressure you want to be a bit careful on the tight high speed paved corners. But thst goes for any tire run soft enough that it might fold over on you. I've bottomed them numerous times but not burped or flatted yet. The Hutchinson's are very fat which I like a lot. Run them soft and they roll very well off road. I used the Bulldogs in four races this year and they hook up very nicely indeed.
     
    #3 -   Oct 6, 2009
  4. -dustin

    -dustin boring

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    Mounted a set of FMBs last week. Holy ****. Those things are hot.
     
    #4 -   Oct 6, 2009
  5. oldfart

    oldfart Turbo Monkey

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    That picture of the FMB looks a lot like an old Racing Ralph Schwalbe tread pattern. They buy some old moulds?
     
    #5 -   Oct 7, 2009
  6. ire

    ire Turbo Monkey

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    There are three tread patterns available, the one pictured above and the two tires on the right below. The one above is identical to the Ralph in design.
     
    #6 -   Oct 7, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  7. ire

    ire Turbo Monkey

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    Well I have received my new(ish) tires. I have a set of used Tufo Prestige tubulars and a set of Hutchinson Piranhas. I have to say that the Tufo tires went on very easily and I didn't struggle with alignment. With all of the cotton tubulars I've owned, I've always struggled getting the tubular straight on the rim. The Tufo tires went right on and took no time to get straight; I was very impressed.





    ...and I mounted my FMB tires to my Zipp wheels. They are the first tires to grace the new rims.



    With the Hutchinson tires I intended on using my newer Mavic Ksyrium wheels (they have a solid rim w/no spoke holes). I was able to get the tires seated but it took a compressor and I wasn't confident that I wouldn't burp the tires when riding off road. I had an issue on my mountain bike with burping tires on my non tubeless wheels and when I changed to tubeless wheels I didn't have the issue any more. Luckily I have a set of Dura Ace tubeless wheels on the road bike so I put the Piranha tires on those wheels.

     
    #7 -   Oct 9, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  8. ire

    ire Turbo Monkey

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    I took the Hutchinson Piranha tires out for a spin today. I've been sick, and it was cold, so I elected to ride trails at one of the local parks. When I stepped onto the bike the first thing I noticed was how fast the tires rolled. I was expecting these tires to roll slower than my previous tubular tires. When I hit the trails I was very impressed with the handling. The conditions were dry and a little loose and the tires hooked up well in the corners and accelerated very well. I felt like a kid again while I was riding through the woods. I was hard on the tires to put them through the paces. I am very impressed with these tires.

    Now the downside; even though I'm using tubeless wheels I was burping air. It was always a very slight amount and it made no audible noise. I was running 45 psi front and rear. I think that Stans Notubes rim strips would eliminate this issue since it makes a rubber on rubber lock around the rim. Anyone else have this experience? Or any advice? My teammate told me to build up the rim with tape, but I'm not sold on that idea. The issue is that I can grab the tire and push on the side wall and it lets out a very slight amount of air. It is only noticeable over the course of a ride but it makes me leery of using them in a race.
     
    #8 -   Oct 9, 2009
  9. oldfart

    oldfart Turbo Monkey

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    Mine do that too but I would not equate that to actual burping. Like I said in my PM to youi, I have bottomed out with low psi lots of times but I don't believe I have lost any air or any significant air. Maybe you need a bit more sealant?? I don't really measure I just pour in enough to probably go half way up the sidewall when the tire is pumped?
     
  10. oldfart

    oldfart Turbo Monkey

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    I thought about this further. I have two sets of tubeless wheels, race and training. Training wheels are older used Dura Ace and the race are newer ones. But I have Hutchison Bulldogs on those thus providing a set of dry weather wheels and tires and wet conditions wheels and tires and spares.

    I forgot that after I mounted and raced on the Bulldogs that they lost most of their air overnight. They held fine for the race but again after that and overnight they lost air. I added more sealnt and that's all it needed to retain air. So maybe you just need more sealant??
     
  11. ZoRo

    ZoRo Turbo Monkey

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    Nice reviews! Really appreciated.

    I have yet to make the move to tubbies, I will probably do so next year, but in the meantime, I found that the best clincher for my style of mtb inspired riding is the old Michelin Mud (the one with the green casing). Corners really well and performs well in almost any condition. The tradeoff is you have to run them at a relatively high pressure setting (45-50 for me) so you get bounced around a lot on bumpy grassy courses.

    I also tried the Nokian cross tire... The grip isn't really good and it wears down pretty fast too. Tires are steel bead, so heavy too...
     
  12. ire

    ire Turbo Monkey

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    I've talked to a bunch of people about this issue and some have experienced, some haven't. My DA wheels are the older first round Scandium wheels. That could be part of the issue. I've got Stan's cross strips on the way to ensure the tire is sealed and won't lose air. I'll post how it goes, but I suspect that will solve all of my issues, albeit at a weight penalty.

    I have never ridden the new or old Michelin Mud but I'm looking to snag a set. I have a friend that uses deep dish Reynolds carbon clinchers and he loves the Michelin Mud in the nasty conditions.
     
  13. ire

    ire Turbo Monkey

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  14. ire

    ire Turbo Monkey

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    This past weekend I raced both the Hutchinson Bulldog tires and the FMB tires.

    Hutchinson Bulldogs
    I had a muddy race on Saturday and I only brought my Tufo tubulars and DA wheels with my Bulldogs mounted. The Bulldogs are more of an all terrain tread so I elected to race them. The first thing I noticed was how big these tires are; they are considerably wider than the 34 Piranhas. The tire is so wide that it will drag my chain stay slightly if I lean the bike really hard on pavement.

    The course we raced was mostly mud with small sections of damp grass. In the less muddy areas the tires faired well, but they performed very poorly in the deep mud. I recognize that this wheel/tire combo wasn't intended for deep mud. I was upset, but mostly at myself for not bringing my carbon wheels w/mud tires. I'll have to take the tires out in better conditions for a pass final judgment.

    FMB
    Not only do these tires look sexy, but they perform well too! The course was a mix of dry dirt/grass with some wet sections mixed in. One of the first things I noticed was the cushy ride these tires provided. I always find the soft ride noticeable after I ride clinchers.

    I don't have anything bad to say about these tires. They hooked up in the varied conditions very well, provided a soft ride, and I didn't flat. The Schwalbe Ralph tread with the supple casing is a great combination. If you've got the cash, these are a must buy.
     
  15. JeffOYB

    JeffOYB Chimp

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    Thanks for your thoughts on all these tires! I think tires and cyclocross are a fun combo. Somehow the tire takes on more meaning in CX than in other bikesport. I've been acquiring nice secondhand tubies from friends. I weigh probably 175-180lbs with race attire. 6' tall. I ride in mid-Michigan which has mostly hardpack but some lumpy fields and sometimes mud and slush.

    First, I really enjoyed a couple years of using Challenge Grifo 30's then I got some 32's and loved them even more.

    DUGAST 30: I recently acquired a couple Dugast 30's Typhoons unused. Wow, what awesomely supple feeling tires! Deflated they're downright sexy. But when pumped to give me nice cush they fold over on corners. When hard enough not to collapse they are too harsh and skittery. RATS! I want to love these tires! I see you say they are awesome in the mud. ...Maybe I just weigh too much? I found a website that has Dugast info, called The Cyclery, in Canada, it seems. (I included the link in my first version of my post but then it said it needed to wait for moderator approval. And it sat for a week, no luck. So I'm editing to remove the useful link and will see if that helps my post slide on thru. NOPE DIDN'T WORK so I'm reposting as new post. We'll see...) They say 30's are for riders 110 lbs or less and 32 are for 187 lbs and up. That seems crazy! But maybe they do have a point about narrower for lighter. They also have outrageous info on HOW TO REMOVE TREAD FROM A TUBIE! Who is that insane? ...Maybe me if it makes sense! Do some ppl wear out tread and still have a good casing? Or maybe they're crazy and just want to change the tread. I guess I've seen reports from tire freaks who mention casings with different treads on them. I wonder how one would properly glue tread to a casing! Is this something we could do at home? (I messaged the shop and got a reply saying that maybe their info had typos. Ha!)

    FMB 32: Also w an all-round tread. I just got them and haven't tried them. They had dried flaky dusty crumbly golden colored glue on them that I'm trying to deal with. Looking forward... UPDATE: I glued on the FMBs and they easily peeled back off. Washed em w warm soapy water and worked at that dry stuff. Reglued. They stayed on. I did a couple races last weekend. Tires held, whew! I'd like more complete edge-to-edge glue grab than I'm getting. Some parts of casing-tape coming off that I've tried re-adhering w reg glue. I'm using Vitt Mastik One. In the racing it kinda felt like the tire mighta been swaying on the rim quite a bit.

    Challenge Grifo AS 32 filetreads: I don't mind sliding in corners generally but these are giving me more corner washout than I'd like so far. I tried them in first race last yr, on a hardpack chattery course and ROLLED the suckers off in the race so that was really lame of me. (Thus got bloody and enjoyed 2 pits. OTB.) I musta liked em well enough in practice, tho. Yeah, I'd practiced w them at home and on the course and they were holding but race pace is another matter! When in doubt... Or, if the glue is last year's... The Grifo regulars I swapped on just felt allround so much better. Total corner predictability. But I wanna see about this filetread hardpack magic! Last weekend at this same race my hardcore rival dudes were on filetreads... Me on FMB allrounders. Midpack finishes. I had fun in the handling parts. But less power/speed.
     
    #16 -   Sep 14, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  16. rockofullr

    rockofullr confused

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    This spam bot seems to know a lot about CX tires but I don't think I agree with the above statement :bonk:
     
  17. KenW449

    KenW449 something stupid

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    I'm not very knowledgeable on wheel and tires. Besides solid tires or inserts, are tubular or tubeless the only choices? Someone please explain.

    Edit: Never mind, this is a road and CX thread so IDGAF.
     
  18. JeffOYB

    JeffOYB Chimp

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    It would be awesome to find out how much the OP "ire" weighs...ballpark...

    Thinking of how my sweet Dugast 30's foldover for me at 30psi, with me weighing 175 or so... I wonder if using a wider rim would help. My current rims are all 20mm. Standard road wheels, basically. A friend just gave me an old set of Major Tom's with 23mm rims that are said to be designed for CX and its greater need for glue-surface. Well, another way to say this is its greater need for helping the tire have lateral stability while letting it still flex. This might include foldover prevention... I'll prolly give it a shot. Any insight here tho might be neat. ...If anyone who cares about CX tires is still following...
     
  19. JeffOYB

    JeffOYB Chimp

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    Anyone else have any insight on 30mm Dugast Typhoons?

    I've just started practicing with my Challenge Filetreads. They are 10 secs faster per 3.5-min lap in dry conditions than my FMB med-knobbies. Nice! They are much more slidey in corners -- but that seems like a fun challenge to deal with.

    BTW, I did the Waterloo World Cup Cat 4's last weekend and then watched the Eurostars rock the place. What awesome racing!
     
  20. JeffOYB

    JeffOYB Chimp

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    This is a great forum! Ha! ...NOT. No community so far. Too bad. Great subject!
     
  21. JeffOYB

    JeffOYB Chimp

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    Hi again! I did another race on my filetreads and this time they were awesome. It was a dry hardpack race with plenty of grass. I moved up and did battle royale with a guy who is usually much better than me. He had me on power but I'd gain on him in every technical section and often pass. He'd then pass me back sometime. Funny, I can't remember when -- maybe on the headwind finish straight. Anyway, I give significant credit to the tires for my better performance.

    Earlier the same day I did a race on the FMB all-rounds and rode slower laps and didn't feel as good compared to the later race that was longer. (I have put Aquaseal on the FMB sidewalls and the tires feel heavier and deader now. I'm thinking that thick stuff is for the birds. Don't use it! Find something thin instead.)

    I've been enjoying how light the filetreads are. They wind up so easily! I didn't notice sliding in corners.

    Since then I did a practice session with the filetreads on dry grass and rode up to a guy quite easily who I don't usually do that to. I also coasted easily up to him on the downhills, tho I do weigh more, but I didn't recall gaining so easily on him before anywhere. ...I suppose I did notice guys gapping me a bit in the more intense corners.