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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning on going on some trails (once the snow melts) that have class 5 gravel. I have a couple road bikes and am not quite ready to invest in a cyclocross bike yet.

Has anyone put some cyclocross tires on a road bike? Experiences?

I have a 2006 Motobecane Immortal Force, 2006 Specialized Tarmac Comp, and 2007 Trek Madone 5.0. I don't think any tires will fit the Madone as it is a tight clearance even for road tires. Any ideas about clearance?

Thanks
 

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I run some heavy touring tires on my old Schwinn touring bike and it sees about 50% dirt and gravel roads:
- dscf1210

I'm going to give a set of 35mm Conti Cyclocross Speed tires a test fit.

Update:

Actually got those tires set up on the bike and took it for a test ride today. Took a bit of work as I was converting from 27" to 700c and also had to remove the brake discs on the 700c wheels and do a little tweaking on the caliper brakes on the bike to reach the slightly smaller rims. Oh and also converted from a 6sp freewheel to a 10 sp cassette. But so far liking the tires, I set them up on some narrow Vuelta ProSL wheels with latex tubes, running about 50psi to start. I knocked about 6 minutes off my best time on my 20 mile levee loop, that is about 11 miles of pavement and 9 miles of dirt/gravel. Those wheels and tires give the old '73 vintage Schwinn a like-new feel. In fact considering it was originally a 10sp (2x5) and is now a 30sp (3x10), it is a lot better than new.
 

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I am new at this, but I have 28c tires on a Traitor Rueben for both trails and road. I think they are a good compromise. I am a proud Fred. Not a lot of experience, and not a cross racer. I might get 25s next time.
 

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I am planning on going on some trails (once the snow melts) that have class 5 gravel. I have a couple road bikes and am not quite ready to invest in a cyclocross bike yet.

Has anyone put some cyclocross tires on a road bike? Experiences?

I have a 2006 Motobecane Immortal Force, 2006 Specialized Tarmac Comp, and 2007 Trek Madone 5.0. I don't think any tires will fit the Madone as it is a tight clearance even for road tires. Any ideas about clearance?

Thanks
at that finer level of gravel, you can do road tires.... I have done it on 25c tires on my road bike.
 

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I run some heavy touring tires on my old Schwinn touring bike and it sees about 50% dirt and gravel roads:
- dscf1210

I'm going to give a set of 35mm Conti Cyclocross Speed tires a test fit.

Update:

Actually got those tires set up on the bike and took it for a test ride today. Took a bit of work as I was converting from 27" to 700c and also had to remove the brake discs on the 700c wheels and do a little tweaking on the caliper brakes on the bike to reach the slightly smaller rims. Oh and also converted from a 6sp freewheel to a 10 sp cassette. But so far liking the tires, I set them up on some narrow Vuelta ProSL wheels with latex tubes, running about 50psi to start. I knocked about 6 minutes off my best time on my 20 mile levee loop, that is about 11 miles of pavement and 9 miles of dirt/gravel. Those wheels and tires give the old '73 vintage Schwinn a like-new feel. In fact considering it was originally a 10sp (2x5) and is now a 30sp (3x10), it is a lot better than new.
Some pictures with the new shoes:





Nice 40th birthday present for the old Schwinn. Running the tires at about 50psi w/ latex tubes.
 

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I've been using Pasela's exclusively on gravel for a while now. They are in 35mm size but my bike will accommodate that. Mine are non tour guard and have run them from smooth limestone all the way up to what would be considered just rocks in the road.

My air pressure usually is 70psi rear 50psi front tubed.
 

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Class 5 is what? Like the crushed stone you see on a bike path? 25 or 28mm tires , if they fit. If you don't want to commit to tubeless yet, get tubes with removable cores and squeeze some juice in them.
 

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I like that Schwinn, looks "mostercross" to me: I Beg You, More MONSTERCROSS - Page 11
Thanks. Yes, I guess it is borderline Monster Cross. Next to my CX700 cross bike, it looks more cross like, but compared to it's touring wheel/tire setup, it looks monster cross for sure.



Now the last thing I need to do is to replace the ancient brake and shifter cables. I installed those back in the early '80s and they are showing their age :)

Also noted that the disc hubs the wheels are mounted on cleared the frame just fine, so a down stream project might be to braze on some caliper mounts and convert the bike to discs. Actually back in the mid-70s, I actually tried to install a rear disc brake on that bike. I worked with the LBS and we sourced parts from a Schwinn tandem bike that had a rear disc option. Sort of got it to work, but I guess I abandoned that brake at some point and went back to the original Wienmann center pull calipers. Those are still the original brakes on the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thanks for the great advice thus far...

I also have a 1979 Fuji Special Roadie that might fit some bigger tires... I will have to take a look at it sometime this weekend.
 

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You can ride a normal road bike with normal or slightly fatter tires down gravel roads without a lot of fuss. You can't bomb down hills at 40 or you will get a flat and you can't peg holes in the road, but unless the road has big sharp rocks there's no reason to not turn up a gravel road and see where it goes, it's good for your disposition too.

This whole notion that riding down a gravel road requyires yet more gear is kind of a marketing trick, many of us have been riding down gravel roads for years and years, look at the old Giro pictures, they rode up dirt road sin the mountains on road bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You can ride a normal road bike with normal or slightly fatter tires down gravel roads without a lot of fuss. You can't bomb down hills at 40 or you will get a flat and you can't peg holes in the road, but unless the road has big sharp rocks there's no reason to not turn up a gravel road and see where it goes, it's good for your disposition too.

This whole notion that riding down a gravel road requyires yet more gear is kind of a marketing trick, many of us have been riding down gravel roads for years and years, look at the old Giro pictures, they rode up dirt road sin the mountains on road bikes.
Thanks for the info! After taking a tumble going 25mph on gravel, I am thinking I might want to give a bit wider tires a try (just a comfort thing :wink5:)
 
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