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Tyres and rims for adventure race

YthanPythonYthanPython Posts: 6
edited July 2014 in Cyclocross
In September I'm doing the Rat Race Coast to Coast race across Scotland from Nairn to Glencoe. There are sections on foot, in a kayak but the majority is on a bike. 60 miles are on tarmac, 14mi are on canal towpaths along the Caledonian Canal and 6mi are on forest roads, single track and footpaths. Only one set of wheels and tyres can be used so I need something that will allow me ride the road sections as fast as I can but still cope with a bit of rough stuff.

The bike is a Planet X XLS with the standard On One Reetard disc rims and Conti Cyclo X King tyres. I'm hoping to loose a bit of weight as the rims are hefty and find something that will roll well on the road (certainly better than the X Kings do). Once the race is completed the wheels / tyres would get used for commuting and the odd sportive.

Suggestions and recommendations would be much appreciated as I've realised I'm clueless when it comes CX kit.


  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    You could try a semi-slick CX tyre but if it's wet, peaty bog don't expect much grip. I would go for something a bit more heavy duty e.g tougher sidewalls like a Schwalbe Smart Sam which rolls pretty quick on tarmac but handles quite well offroad - myself and 2 mates used them for a 100 mile gravel race and came back puncture-free unlike many others. It was ankle-deep mud in places too. I was interested in the race until I found the kayaking was only 2 miles - 20 miles would have sorted it out!
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • I would have preferred a bit more distance in the kayak as well. Could be a section where a reasonable kayaker could make up some places. As it is, I reckon the kayak sections are just there to break up the rhythm a bit.

    I'll check out the Smart Sams. Thanks.
  • dhobiwallahdhobiwallah Posts: 272
    Your initial statement about not being able to change tyres isn't quite accurate. I'm doing the race too and the quote below is lifted from the FAQ on the rat race C2C site
    We do not allow you to switch types of bike along the route as we want the Challenger and Expert categories to be as pure as possible; this also helps not to encourage support from others en route, outside of the designed transition areas. It is possible for Challengers to swap tyres at leisure at the Fort Augustus overnight location as you could pack these into your luggage allowance. It is also possible for Expert to swap tyres at Fort Augustus but you would need to carry these tyres in your own pack, and of course the time to swap them would be in your ‘race’ time. Therefore this latter option will have hardly any takers!

    I fully intend to use slicks on Day one and switch them for CX tyres on day 2. As they say - prob wouldn't bother on the expert race. (Massive assumption but if you are asking basic questions I am assuming you are opn the 2 day option?)
  • Thanks dhobiwallah, for my sins I'm doing it in a day so no real chance to swap tyres at the midpoint.

    Got to try and find a compromise tyre that is good for the tarmac sections but don't see me walking the entire off road segment. I've done the real off road bit on a mountain bike and the surface is firm with one gravelly descent down a series of switch backs. Slick tyres on this would be a handful.
  • dhobiwallahdhobiwallah Posts: 272
    And that's why you should never make assumptions!

    Although for 50 miles on road the difference between true slicks and a compromise might still make carrying 2 tyres and some CO2 worth it? Depends on how easily both sets go over the rims I suppose...

    I'll be thinking of you soldiering on as I am having a ging-gang-goolie at the campsite at the end of a comparatively gentle first day!
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,708
    Over 50 miles the difference between a slick and a moderately knobbly tyre is probably in the region of 3-5 minutes... not even worth considering the issue
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