Monday, December 2, 2013
Tires, Tires, Tires...
What should you ride for this ride? Only about 5km will be as rough as shown above (riding on 37mm Vittoria Hypers), the rest of the dirt is pretty smooth like the road below (riding on 32mm Challenge Eroicas):
There will be some sandy sections, but they're pretty short (5 meters or so each) and not terribly deep. Most all of the dirt will be hard pack or light sand over hard pack, and pretty smooth without rocks or ruts. A few km of climbing up smooth ~8% grade singletrack. But remember, 50km or half of the route will also be on the tarmac.
So, all that said, I think a 30-40mm tire with minimal to no knobs would be perfect. Something that won't drag on the road (1/2 the ride) yet will let you float on the dirt. I wouldn't drag around a heavy agrgessive tire for the few km of rocky or sandy sections. That said, a 28mm or narrower road tire could make those same rocky or sandy sections pretty unpleasant. But if that's how you roll, nobody here with think less of you! Friends of mine have rode this with 23mm tires and lived to tell the tale!!!
The last consideration is the potential for goathead punctures throughout the ride. Really no way around that. Stay out of the gutter/shoulder of the road. You either run over them or you don't. The only sure method is tubeless, and if you have those set up, go for it. But not something to worry about.
In 650B, Grand Bois Hetres might be close to perfect for the ride, although they may slip out a bit on the singletrack climb. But for the other 98% of the ride, they will be great! SOMA's C-Line should do really well, with the same positives and negatives in the 700C size.
Really though, this is a "run whatcha' brung" ride. Don't stress out on it too much, spend more time figuring out how to get out here for the day and join us!