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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been wondering this for awhile and it is particularly poignant, as I am debating selling a set of Grifo XS I picked up on the 'Bay. I have 2 sets of Grifos and a set of Vittoria XM. Nittany Cross was pretty dry and firm and even under those conditions could feel my Grifos wanting to slide out on me in a few spots.

Where do file treads really shine and make a noticeable performance improvement over something like a Grifo?
 

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It's probably all in my head. But when I put on the SSC Sprints and go ripping around on grass and hardpack, the bike just feels livelier. And all-in-my-head is all I need. Seriously though, they do roll better and it's noticable. Whether that makes it worth having a set glued up is another matter. I'd suggest seeing if a pal will let you try them on your bike.
 

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There you have it.
The actual advantage to file treads is in Zank's head.
And if you've ever seen one of his 2 wheel creations.....that is not a bad place.
 

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I have a couple friends that swear by their Grifo XS tubies (34mm, I think). Like Zank, I have the FMB version and really like them as well. I have use the Grifo XS clincher on the rear and it works great.

I would say they're not a necessity, but nice to have if you have the extra wheels available.
 

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Nittany

I race the Grifo XS tubies at Nittany....1st time I've ever used or raced file treads and I had Zero problems with traction. I only did one warmup lap and right away noticed that if I used too much rear brake heading into a corner, that is when they started to loose some traction ond would start to slide. During the race I just made sure to grab a little more front and less rear into the corners and that solved the problem. Granted, I only race Masters B class so I'm not hitting warp speeds like some of the faster classes. That being said, I plan on running file treads at Charm City and Whirly Bird unless the grass is wet. I'm the Henry's Rider



Michael




krisdrum said:
So I've been wondering this for awhile and it is particularly poignant, as I am debating selling a set of Grifo XS I picked up on the 'Bay. I have 2 sets of Grifos and a set of Vittoria XM. Nittany Cross was pretty dry and firm and even under those conditions could feel my Grifos wanting to slide out on me in a few spots.

Where do file treads really shine and make a noticeable performance improvement over something like a Grifo?
 

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zank said:
It's probably all in my head. But when I put on the SSC Sprints and go ripping around on grass and hardpack, the bike just feels livelier. And all-in-my-head is all I need. Seriously though, they do roll better and it's noticable. Whether that makes it worth having a set glued up is another matter. I'd suggest seeing if a pal will let you try them on your bike.
I just wish somebody would do a file with some actual knobs on the side so you can still turn in dirt...something like the old Michelin Sprints.
 

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I think it's generally a waste of a tubie wheelset to glue up file treads. I have an old pair of Sprints I keep handy if there's really a hardpack or pavement intensive course. In almost a decade of racing, I think I've used them 2-3x.

Some folks swear by them. I think if I'm hitting the corners hard and fast enough, I want as much grip as possible, even if I give up a little all-out speed.
 

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Vegancx said:
I think it's generally a waste of a tubie wheelset to glue up file treads. I have an old pair of Sprints I keep handy if there's really a hardpack or pavement intensive course. In almost a decade of racing, I think I've used them 2-3x.

Some folks swear by them. I think if I'm hitting the corners hard and fast enough, I want as much grip as possible, even if I give up a little all-out speed.
file treads are definitely not a waste of a tubie wheelset in new england (where you tend to race on occasion, no?). last season i had a set of fangos and a set of grifo xs. i rode the grifo xs as often as i did the fangos. i missed the only muddy weekend (Maine). the file treads are absolutely, without a doubt, faster than the fango with no sacrifice when you know how to corner ATMA.

this season, i'm adding a third tubular wheelset and will likely have the fangos, fmb sprints, and fmb ssc (i think). if conditions are muddy i'll use michelin mud clinchers and the fmb ssc.

unless you live in an area where bad conditions are more common than good ones, i'd recommend an all around tire like the grifo, fango, ssc, and then a file tread tubular. you'd be surprised how well you can go on those smooth tires. hell, look at some of the tires mtb guys ride these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the great input.

Zank it was that gorgeous blue creature in the rig thread that motivated me to finally ask the question. Talk about bike lust.

So, since most agree it is a viable tread choice for specific conditions, can we briefly talk about the tubbie vs. clincher pros/cons in using this tread?

Since I would probably only use them a few times, not blocking off a set of tubbies for them would be a nice option. I'd rather have my tubbies be as versatile as possible, since I can't afford pairs and pairs of them. Since they are for dry/hardpack, would running them at slightly higher psi and in a clincher version be just as effective?

I bottomed out once or twice per lap at Nittany and I was running my Grifo 34s at about 25-28 psi. I'm about 175. I had no issues running clinchers at around 30 last year.
 

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My first thought is to get the most out of file treads, a 34mm is really the way to go, which is only avail in a tubular. However, I have had good success running a latex tube with clinchers. No, not the same as a tubular set-up, but it works pretty well, falls between a butyl tube and tubular with regards to feel. I have run the Grifo XS clincher with latex tubes as a rear and it's been just fine.

For my set up, I'll have a set of the FMB Sprints and another of FMB SSCs, which should cover me for everything. Can always run muds as clinchers if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Now I was thinking of going the other way. A set of Grifo tubs, a set of mud tubs (Vittoria XM), possibly a spare set of Grifo tubs, and then maybe doing a file tread clincher.

Now it seems like at least a few of you are running your mud tires clincher and opting to stick with an all-arounder and file tread as your tub set-up.

My thought around making the mud a tub set-up was that the low psi possibility of a tub would be better served in the mud than in the dry/hardpack conditions.

Am I just totally off base?
 

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I've also used the XS's on hard packed mud, the type that has a higher clay content. Or when it is very close to being dry and is super tacky. They are absolutely faster rolling than the regular treads and there is no loss of traction.
 

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OnTheRivet said:
I just wish somebody would do a file with some actual knobs on the side so you can still turn in dirt...something like the old Michelin Sprints.
I have also been searching for the older Sprint tires but have found that the new Clement LAS tire is probably the closest to them. They are available in both black and while.

I have a set of Grifo XS and they are nice but trying to corner on them at speed has a bit up a pucker factor that I dont need in a race. Hope to have pair shorty. Only issue, they are clincher only at this time.
 

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krisdrum said:
Since they are for dry/hardpack, would running them at slightly higher psi and in a clincher version be just as effective?
No, since it's bumpy, it's even more vital to have low pressure, making the tubular worthwhile.

My comment here is a bit of a repeat of a couple of weeks ago in the which Challenge thread. With file treads, it's important that they are wide, have a supple casing, and have a big side knob--only when all those criteria met are they useful. The only tire that meets those criteria right now is the FMB. Those that have them in a 34 find them useful in a broad array of conditions, while those using the Challenge 32 aren't quite as enamored.
 

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roseyscot said:
file treads are definitely not a waste of a tubie wheelset in new england (where you tend to race on occasion, no?). last season i had a set of fangos and a set of grifo xs. i rode the grifo xs as often as i did the fangos. i missed the only muddy weekend (Maine). the file treads are absolutely, without a doubt, faster than the fango with no sacrifice when you know how to corner ATMA.

this season, i'm adding a third tubular wheelset and will likely have the fangos, fmb sprints, and fmb ssc (i think). if conditions are muddy i'll use michelin mud clinchers and the fmb ssc.

unless you live in an area where bad conditions are more common than good ones, i'd recommend an all around tire like the grifo, fango, ssc, and then a file tread tubular. you'd be surprised how well you can go on those smooth tires. hell, look at some of the tires mtb guys ride these days.

All good points. I'm glad you've found file treads useful. I'm also running two bikes with only a finite number of tubular wheelset at my disposal, so I'd rather have all-around tread (Grifos) on both bikes than different tires on each bike.

Not a bad tread to have in your arsenal, just not for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
euro-trash said:
No, since it's bumpy, it's even more vital to have low pressure, making the tubular worthwhile.

My comment here is a bit of a repeat of a couple of weeks ago in the which Challenge thread. With file treads, it's important that they are wide, have a supple casing, and have a big side knob--only when all those criteria met are they useful. The only tire that meets those criteria right now is the FMB. Those that have them in a 34 find them useful in a broad array of conditions, while those using the Challenge 32 aren't quite as enamored.
Great insight and feedback. Thanks. I only followed the Challenge thread for a bit, so might have missed your breakdown of the criteria there. I think the set of XS I have will be hitting the auction block.
 

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Vittoria makes a file thread with knobs on the sides only for cornering. They are on my bike right now. I'm too lazy to go look at the model.

It's Vittoria XCM xcr lmnop abc evo EvM or something like that. I really haven't had my coffee this morning. I'll look later.
 

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I've had great success with file treads. The casing has as much to do with traction as the tread. The old Pipistrellos were great for that. The new ones are a European elite level tire where having chunky side knobs will hook on the sides of deep ruts on the sandy courses.

I'd like to have a set of the FMB's. They loom great and are way more durable than the dugasts.

While the conditions that work best for file treads are traditionally dry grass/dirt with pavement, they do work well on ice and I've even used them on courses with lots of heavy sticky clay based mud that packs up on anything resembling a knob. All tires suck in that stuff. The file treads at least wouldn't load up and I could still roll. Other people with knobs were running half a lap per lap because their wheels would jam up and stop rolling.
 

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cx_fan said:
I have also been searching for the older Sprint tires but have found that the new Clement LAS tire is probably the closest to them. They are available in both black and while.

I have a set of Grifo XS and they are nice but trying to corner on them at speed has a bit up a pucker factor that I dont need in a race. Hope to have pair shorty. Only issue, they are clincher only at this time.
Oh...I like that.
 
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