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What do you mean, "can't ride"?

I'm just now watching the Vs. coverage of today's Giro stage. They're negotiating a wickedly beautiful descent in the pouring rain.

Riding a road bike in the rain is a strangely addictive pleasure, once you've gotten the hang of it. You have to watch turning and braking a little, you get wet, the bike gets a little dirty, but it's fun. If you dress right and learn how to handle the bike, it's not scary at all.

The slicks work fine. Road bike tires have too small a contact patch and too much pressure to hydroplane, unlike car tires, so tread is irrelevant.

Just do it.
 

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Schwalbe makes a road tire for the rain/ commuting called the Marathon Supreme, and that tire grips so well on wet days, it almost feels like dry road. If you have a rain bike, or a spare set of wheels, toss those on there and you won't feel unsafe...............MTT :thumbsup:

PS I don't work for them, nor do they advertise on my site.
 

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At bike speeds and tire size, slick is irrelevant

edhchoe said:
Aren't the slicks too slippery when wet? What do pro's use in wet conditions?
Far as I know, nobody's ever shown that tread makes a noticeable difference on a bike tire. The contact patch is so small and the loading so high that you'd have to be going 200mph to hydroplane. Some people do claim to feel a difference over paint stripes and things like that, but I can't.
 

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PltJett said:
^^ding ding ding. Slicks actually work the best in wet conditions due to the fact that you have the most rubber on the ground. Rain tires are just gimmics
Explain please. My understanding of physics is that there is a coefficient of static friction that remains constant between two materials, in this case: wet pavement and wet rubber. Frictional force is dependent on two things: the coefficient of friction and the normal force (on a level grade, m*g). Nowhere in there does the surface area of the points in contact come into play. It has been shown repeatedly that increasing the surface area does NOT increase friction.

I am, however, new to the world of biking, and therefore I'd be happy to expand my own knowledge base if there is indeed a reason why changing the surface of the tread would increase friction between the wheels and the road. Please enlighten me.
 

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jenarelJAM said:
Explain please. My understanding of physics is that there is a coefficient of static friction that remains constant between two materials, in this case: wet pavement and wet rubber. Frictional force is dependent on two things: the coefficient of friction and the normal force (on a level grade, m*g). Nowhere in there does the surface area of the points in contact come into play. It has been shown repeatedly that increasing the surface area does NOT increase friction.

I am, however, new to the world of biking, and therefore I'd be happy to expand my own knowledge base if there is indeed a reason why changing the surface of the tread would increase friction between the wheels and the road. Please enlighten me.
Treads are to channel water away from the tire and stop hydroplaning. I believe that I read that it would require 180 mph to hydroplane a 23c tire. So, I think treads in the rain are a bit unnecessary unless you are running 23c wheels on your Hayabusa.
 

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PltJett said:
^^ding ding ding. Slicks actually work the best in wet conditions due to the fact that you have the most rubber on the ground. Rain tires are just gimmics
There are gimics out there, but the gummy feel of the Schwalbe MS does live up to the marketing claims. It is a slick and it does grip very well in the rain, and I would know I commute through Seattle winters. Good advice all round.........MTT :aureola:
 

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CLTracer said:
Treads are to channel water away from the tire and stop hydroplaning. I believe that I read that it would require 180 mph to hydroplane a 23c tire. So, I think treads in the rain are a bit unnecessary unless you are running 23c wheels on your Hayabusa.
My comment was directed more along the lines of why tires without treads would be better. My understanding is that they should make little or no difference in the rain. Slicks would undoubtedly make things more convenient, as it means you wouldn't have to change your tires before you go out. I was just curious if there was an explanation as to why slicks would grip better in the rain.
 

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jenarelJAM said:
My comment was directed more along the lines of why tires without treads would be better. My understanding is that they should make little or no difference in the rain. Slicks would undoubtedly make things more convenient, as it means you wouldn't have to change your tires before you go out. I was just curious if there was an explanation as to why slicks would grip better in the rain.
Seems to me that the type of material the tires are made out of is more important than the shape of the surface. Both the Armadillo and the Gatorskins are slicks and great commuter tires, but the Armadillo is so hard it, when it rains, it feels like ice! MTT:arf:
 

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There are various arguments as to one being able to be struck by lightning or not on a bike (apparently the rubber tire is easily gapped by the electricity). I had lightning strike a utility pole about 30 yards from me and the noise alone almost threw me off my bike and made me swerve all over the road. I also rode through a flash flood once, it's kind of annoying riding through 6 inch deep flowing water avoiding pieces of driftwood and garbage.
 
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