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Gravel Cyclist's Tire Dilemma: Knobbies or Slicks? 6/8

Read this, if you are a critical thinking gravel or allroad cyclist Cycling on Ice and in Snow Riding slicks on ice is insane. I only tried it out of curiosity, and at extremely low speeds. As tires are the same cold as ice, there occurs no sticking traction between tires and ice. Thus cycling on ice with slicks is near to impossible. It requires excellent balancing skills and LOTS of patience. Even then, it can only be performed at very low tire pressures and extremely low speeds, without cornering, and with practically inevitable falls every now and then. Riding on ice with knobbies is often even worse due to squirm of knobbs. Ice on the Hilba river wasn't rideable last winter. I only dare

Gravel Cyclist's Tire Dilemma: Knobbies or Slicks? 5/8

Read this, if you are a critical thinking gravel or allroad cyclist Cornering on Dry and Wet Forest Soil and Grass Dry forest soil is more compressed and softer than dry gravel. For this reason, traction on dry forest soil is better than on dry gravel. Slicks' cornering traction on dry forest soil was very good, obviously also due to the fact that cycling speed in forest is on average lower than on gravel. Cornering was also good when riding big knobbed knobbies: the annoying bouncing effect of big knobs was less noticeable, obviously due to knobb's partial digging into soil. With small soft knobs, cornering was wobbly due to squirm felt almost as strongly as on tarmac. Cornering on dry gras

Gravel Cyclist's Tire Dilemma: Knobbies or Slicks? 4/8

Read this, if you are a critical thinking gravel or allroad cyclist Cornering on Dry Tarmac and Dry Gravel I found slicks to have more predictable cornering grip not only on tarmac but also on gravel. When cornering on tarmac, knobbies vibrated nervously (the bouncing mentioned in part 3 of this article), in particular if their knobs were big and hard (Schwalbe Smart Sam). Small soft knobs (Schwalbe Racing Ralph) made cornering unpredictable in another way. They squirmed and produced a sudden wobbly pull when I leaned my bike more aggressively into corners. What I found most annoying was that I never knew exactly at which moment the pull will happen in the next corner. These tires didn't com

Gravel Cyclist's Tire Dilemma: Knobbies or Slicks? 3/8

Read this, if you are a critical thinking gravel or allroad cyclist Speed / Rolling Resistance I noticed that slicks rolled significantly faster on tarmac, and slightly to noticeably faster on gravel (depending on the size of gravel). In other words, due to their absence of knobbs, slicks have lower rolling resistance than knobbies, irrelevant of the road surface we ride them on. For example, when we ride knobbies on chunky gravel road, the rolling resistance due to knobbs is the same as when riding them on super smooth tarmac. This might sound counter-intuitive to those who think that on chunky gravel, knobbs don't slow them down much. In reality, knobbs slow you down on chunky gravel exact

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Gravel Cyclist's Tire Dilemma: Knobbies or Slicks? 2/8

Read this, if you are a critical thinking gravel or allroad cyclist On the Other Side of the Truth At the end of the day, words are only words. They reveal as much as they hide, and there's no end to them. A semen of doubt was planted into me. And it grew. At a certain point, the only way to solve the tire dilemma was to cast off the spell chanted by majority, and to continue searching my truth by relying on myself alone. Not by surfing the web, but by riding and experimenting with different tires out there in the nature. Ironically, soon after my decision I came across an influential blogger who plausibly argued for advantages of slick tires for allroad, also gravel, cycling. His arguments,

Gravel Cyclist's Tire Dilemma: Knobbies or Slicks? 1/8

Read this, if you are a critical thinking gravel or allroad cyclist Majority VS Minority A segment of gravel cycling tires is growing rapidly during last years. More and more tire producers all over the world offer more and more different gravel specific tires. A look at these reveals that they typically have a knobby pattern, which makes them similar to MTB tires. However, in comparison to MTB tires, gravel tires often have smaller knobs which are sometimes even further reduced to an (almost) semi slick pattern in the center of the tread. As the supply and the demand tend to correspond to each other, it doesn't surprise that a majority of cyclists choose knobbies for their gravel rides. So

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