Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB general

Grand Traverse of the Massif Central: Which Tyres to Use?

dovharrisdovharris Posts: 6
edited August 2010 in MTB general
Hi Folks,
My wife and I are doing the first half of this off-road French VTT long-distance route (Clermont Ferrand to Bagnols-les-Bains) in August. I've bought the Cicerone book, and the French GTMC guide, which answer lots of my questions about the route.
But I have a question on tyres.
We currently use Specialised Armadillo Hemisphere 1.95 hybrids, front and back. Which were great for the C2C and Coast and Castles we did last year. Good on road, and good enough off-road.
Will they be good enough for the GTMC?
If someone has done this route, and has any experience of the terrain, I would be most grateful for your comments.
Many thanks, Dave

Posts

  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    I asked a question about this same route the other day as I was considering it for a long distance ride in September. I was wondering how tricky the off road might be (not all that I suspect).

    For tyres I'd go with an off road set but in summer I think you could reasonably get away with a semi slick but depending on weight carried with you you might want to get a high volume tyre to reduce the chance of punctures.

    The cicerone book has pictures of some pretty old school hardtails covering the route so I guess they are not likely to have much more than 1.95's and rigid forks.
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • dovharrisdovharris Posts: 6
    Thanks Paul.
    I'm hoping it won't be too serious, as we're not experienced MTB-ers (although we did have one fantastic time in Les Gets a couple of years ago).
    Both our bikes are hardtail, and they have quite a few thunderstorms down there. If the weather has been dry and remains dry, semislicks will be fine. But one downpour apparently keeps some of the tracks muddy for a few days.
    So I'll probably get 4 knobblies - Kevlar to reduce punctures - just in case.
    But maybe someone who has done the route will respond?
    Anyway, hope you have a great ride, whatever you do.
    I'll post my thoughts when I get back on 17th August - if you're still interested, pop me a reminder under this post and I'll be emailed as a reminder.
    Cheers, Dave
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    I am planning to use knobblies too but I'd aim to go for something with decent low rolling resistance to make climbs and roads less of a drag - some of the WTB offerings look good such as the Prowler Race - big volume for comfort and support of the load but good spaced profile. Cheapish on CRC at the moment too.

    Ar eyou aiming to pack light and stay n Gites and so on? I was working toward having only couple of changes of clothes in a large saddle bag and a camping wash kit as my hardtail wont take a pannier rack.
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • dovharrisdovharris Posts: 6
    Thanks Paul, will follow that lead.
    We're travelling 3 - 15 August (kids confine us to school hols), and are staying in Gites, B&B, hotels etc. Basically, as cheap as we can do it without carrying a tent. We've booked everything 'cos of the time of year. You probably won't have that problem in September.
    We travel as light as we can - basically one change of clothes + warm fleece - in a 25L rucksack. We've just bought new ones with some kind of light frame which keeps the sack off the back (tried it last week in the hot weather and it works!).
    I'll probably use a small (5L) barbag with mapcase - brill for navigation; and my wife a small (5L) Carradice saddlebag for a bit of extra space.
    We prefer rucksacks to panniers, but both seem ok according to Cicerone.
    If you want me to email you our itinerary (with accommodation and phone numbers - might save you some hassle), pm me your email address.
    Best of luck, Dave
  • Found the map :-)
  • Oxygen ThiefOxygen Thief Posts: 649
    dovharris wrote:
    Thanks Paul, will follow that lead.
    We're travelling 3 - 15 August (kids confine us to school hols), and are staying in Gites, B&B, hotels etc. Basically, as cheap as we can do it without carrying a tent. We've booked everything 'cos of the time of year. You probably won't have that problem in September.
    We travel as light as we can - basically one change of clothes + warm fleece - in a 25L rucksack. We've just bought new ones with some kind of light frame which keeps the sack off the back (tried it last week in the hot weather and it works!).
    I'll probably use a small (5L) barbag with mapcase - brill for navigation; and my wife a small (5L) Carradice saddlebag for a bit of extra space.
    We prefer rucksacks to panniers, but both seem ok according to Cicerone.
    If you want me to email you our itinerary (with accommodation and phone numbers - might save you some hassle), pm me your email address.
    Best of luck, Dave

    I know it's a bit off topic, but any chance of the name of that back pack? As I have recently been wondering are there any that allow ventilation. I asked it about Camelback's but I got no answer. No I took that as a no, as people never reply if there is a bad point about their beloved backpack.

    Thanks
  • dovharrisdovharris Posts: 6
    Hi Jonbobjovial,
    No probs - Vaude Bike Alpin Air 25+5
    Weird name, but great bag.
    Cheers, Dave
  • Oxygen ThiefOxygen Thief Posts: 649
    dovharris

    Much appreciated. Looks good :-). Enjoy your trip.
  • ...
    one fantastic ride. And nobbly tyres absolutely essential - and we had good weather. We used Schwalbe Nobby Nics, and had only 1 puncture (2 bikes, 10 days, and hard, rough terrain).
    A great trip - recommend to anyone.
    Dave
Sign In or Register to comment.