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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting a new set of wheels in the next week or so (HED Belgium Plus rims) and I'm debating whether to go tubeless for the first time or continue to ride with a standard tubed setup.

For general road riding in Southern California, which would you guys pick? A Conti GP4000 II with standard butyl tubes, same tire with latex tubes, or a Schwalbe Pro One tubeless setup?

According to BicycleRollingResistance, the Schwalbe has a slight edge in rolling resistance over the Conti at the same width/PSI.

Thanks!
 

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I think you will be disappointed with the performance and durability of the Schwalbe even with the benefits of tubeless. Tubeless for road isn't always the best choice, even though I use and enjoy tubeless. Many of our customers prefer tubed clinchers with a high quality tire, even after giving tubeless a try. Tubeless comes with some headaches to be certain. The GP4000's are a respected tire.
 

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have had many sets of 4KIIS, recently tried some Schwalbe ONE clinchers (all 23 mm).

similar ride qualities, but the Contis wear much better.

latex and tubeless...? no thanks. butyl tubes work fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
have had many sets of 4KIIS, recently tried some Schwalbe ONE clinchers (all 23 mm).

similar ride qualities, but the Contis wear much better.

latex and tubeless...? no thanks. butyl tubes work fine.
What don't you like about latex tubes? Just curious as many say they ride better.
 

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What don't you like about latex tubes? Just curious as many say they ride better.
cost, bleed-down rate...just not worth the marginal improvements they provide for my style of riding (i.e., not racing).

I buy Kenda butyl tubes in bulk on ebay for a fairly low cost. air them up and can typically can ride for 4-5 days before they need to be topped off...

pumping up the latex tubes every day isn't really a huge deal, but if I don't have to do it...just one less thing to deal with.

several of my riding partners have tried latex and none stayed with them over the long-term.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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I'm in Socal. Here are my preferences.

For everyday riding/training, I use a "supple tire" on the front wheel, e.g., Vittoria or Veloflex or Specialized Turbo. For the rear wheel, I use something more durable like GP4K or Michelin Endurance, for longevity. I use a mix of 23mm and 25mm tires but I'm thinking that once my 23mm stock runs out, I'll be just going with 25mm tires. For tubes, I use plain vanilla thin butyl tubes.

I haven't used the same tire at both the front and rear in a long long time. All my bikes have differing front and rear tire setup. And that's the way it ought to be. Front and rear wheels are tasked with different tasks, so why should we not use different tires best fitted for each task, right.

I've tried tubeless and latex, no thanks. They're either too expensive and/or too much hassle (I've posted a few detailed posts about my pros/cons on RBR regarding tubeless). But in general, for Socal riding, you don't need tubeless nor latex. Socal has good roads, pavement quality is good, punctures are rare because roads are usally clean (unless you're a bigger person like 200+ lbs in which case maybe a 28mm tubeless tire like Hutchinson Sector may be better).

Now, I also have a set of tubular tires that I fancy using them for weekend rides with the club. Why? because i can. Like I said, Socal roads are so good that that I personally don't fear using tubular on a training ride. I do carry a spare tubular with me and stuff it in one of the bottle cages though. Chances of getting 2 flats on a ride in Socal is like... zero to none. And there's always Uber just in case. If there's a place that anyone should ride on tubular and not fear of getting stranded, it's in Socal. Life is too short to live in fear and not experience the full cycling experience, eh. But I digress.

But back to your question, just use a soft tire up front, harder tire out back, and thin butyle tubes. That is probably most optimal cost/performance approach for an average cyclist in Socal, IMO.

edit:
I want to also add one thing that A LOT of people neglect to discuss when mentioning/asking about tire performance, and that is tire handling. Magazine reviews can only list rolling resistance tests, and while the results of these test may or may not apply to real life,... but people should not focus on just rolling resistance as an almost sole factor for tire performance. Socal has a lot of mountain roads too, so chances are you'll ride these roads. Tire handling, i.e., cornering, is probably more important to consider than tire rolling resistance if you descend fast. The Vittoria and Veloflex are awesome around corners due to their suppleness, as is the Michelin Competition. Unfortunately, magazine reviews don't tell much about tire handling, partly because tire handling depends on may factors (including the rider's skills) and tire handling can also be a subject criteria (what works for me may not work for you).
 

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Asking whether tubeless tire X is better than clincher tire Y is the wrong question you should be asking. First consider for yourself whether tubeless tire's benefits/drawbacks make it worth trying for your particular situation. Once you answer that question then you can choose specific tire makes.
 

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I really like Conti GP4000S tires. I have them on several of my bikes. I'd describe them as a medium wearing tire. They're a bit larger than say the same size Michelin Pro4 tires (I think 23 is plenty big). They corner real well -- especially on those wider HED Belgian rims (you're going to like them a lot).

As for tubes, the only difference you'll feel with a latex tube is having to pump up your tires a lot more often. I tried latex once and found there's no upside, but definite downside. Don't bother with them. Tubeless? Isn't that for mountain bikes?
 

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GP4000S is a great tire but I find them to ride a little harsher than other tires.
Right now I am riding Schwalbe One clincher (not tubeless) and finding them to ride really nice.
 

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Is that the Michelin Power Competition? I haven't read about many people who have tried it so I'd be interested in some more feedback if you have any.
 

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As for tubes, the only difference you'll feel with a latex tube is having to pump up your tires a lot more often. I tried latex once and found there's no upside, but definite downside. Don't bother with them. Tubeless? Isn't that for mountain bikes?
My experience is on the other end of the spectrum w/ latex tubes. I'm typically fairly oblivious to changes. I got some custom wheels that cut ~1.5 lbs and couldn't tell any difference from my original wheels. However, I put latex tubes in & noticed the difference immediately. I've also gone from multiple flats per 1000 miles to maybe one in 4-5000 miles (same NJ roads). As for pumping, I always check my pressures before a ride anyway - no big deal.

For tires, I've been a chicken & have mostly stayed with The Conti's (GP 4000 II's) as they seem to strike a good balance between cornering, suppleness, efficiency & safety. I ride a lot of very curvy country roads, often at significant speeds (45 to 55+ mph) and while I'd like to try out some of the super supple tires, I really need to be confident in what I'm riding.
 

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Been using GP4000SII for the last 2 years, no complaints , but I would like to try something new.

I'd like to hear opinions on Compass and Vittoria Corsa G+Open
 

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Try Michelin Pro4 Service Course.
currently riding Pro 4 COMP Service Course...have liked the road feel, but at 2500 miles the rear is looking pretty worn.

tbh, I can't a huge amount of difference in ride quality between the 4KIIs, Schwalbe ONE, and the Pro 4.

mileage is the most notable factor...Conti wins on that count.
 

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currently riding Pro 4 COMP Service Course...have liked the road feel, but at 2500 miles the rear is looking pretty worn.

tbh, I can't a huge amount of difference in ride quality between the 4KIIs, Schwalbe ONE, and the Pro 4.

mileage is the most notable factor...Conti wins on that count.
2500 miles on a rear tire is about as good as one can expect. I don't think I even get that many miles out of them on the rear.

I agree that there's not a big difference in the feel of any of the high end tires. But then again, I don't feel the mystical ride of a latex tube either. I do feel that the newer wide rims corner a bit better, but that could be in my head.
 

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2500 miles on a rear tire is about as good as one can expect. I don't think I even get that many miles out of them on the rear.
have frequently gotten 3500+ from the 4KIIs...only have single data points for the others.
 
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