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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It seems for Zeddam worlds, 32mm was the width to go. Not 30mm, not 34mm. 32mm it was.
Educate me, WHYYY??

CX as we all know is a <35mm regulated sport. Howcome the "optimum" is even less? It's offroad riding, right? Wider tires are supposed to offer more grip and lower rolling resistance, all else being the same. Maybe crosses on similar terrain over here are won on 26x2.35" Schwalbe Fast Freds and 26x2.3 Continental Flows.
Surely if wider equal slower, such montrous tires would be ffing slow?

In mud, I can see narrower being faster, but for hardpack and frostpack...?

I'd love to have 34.99mm Tufo Diamonds. The 30's I've got are sickening fast on long grass, and if I had them in a wider size, I'd put them on true race wheels (have only one set of tub wheels now). Also for the Pijnacker WC this year, mostly tacky grass, why use narrow knoobies rather than wide slicks? I *think* Niels Albert was on wide slicks, but is was hard to really tell. He did win by a mile and seemed to be flying.
I've got some couple years old Gommitalia tubs here, one 30, one 34. The 34mm on a rim is more like a 36. Too bad the tread is the same as on the 30, on which already looks undersized.

For the Dutch Nationals, I lent my Zipp front wheel with 34mm Tufo Elite to a lady friend. She totally preferred it over her 30mm over the dry trails and down loose sand dunes.

Can anyone share with me the secrets of the magical 32mm?

Thanks a lot!!

J
 

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perhaps it has something to do with its not so wide to cut down on road speeds, but not so narrow to make some of the of the tricky stuff too tricky.

i remember reading a quote someplace (Simon Burney??, maybe someone knows what im talking about) and he said to ride on like 28 mm tires because --- its a cyclocross race not a mtn bike race.
 

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I think it's a nice tweener

the 32 may give a little more cush than a 28 or 39 but not so much as to slow you down.
I'm bigger, soI like more volume in general, 32's and 34's is about all I ride
 

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Cloxxki said:
It seems for Zeddam worlds, 32mm was the width to go. Not 30mm, not 34mm. 32mm it was.
Educate me, WHYYY??

J
Maybe it wasn't; De Knegt, Franzoi, Page, Simunek (once maybe twice), Nijs all crashed on TV, many of those losing their grip thru a corner. Probably a few more crashed than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Let's take a frosen or dry course. Where would the 34 slow the bike down, and where would it have an edge?
I can see a slight aerodynamics disadvantage, but I'm sure it can't even be confirmed in lab conditions. On dry soil, rolling resistance should be pretty much the same too, advantage for 34mm.
Cornering, rolling over roots, flat protection, climbing traction, braking control, all should be better with 34mm in my view.
Weight, 34mm adds around 40g per bike. Only significant if you already have the world's lightest rims.

For myself, I'm pretty convinced I'd be faster on dry courses each time, would I have 40mm Tufo's made the same as my 34's.

De Knegt crashed as one of the first, due to the course getting moist, after a long day in the sun. As a tall rider I know we're the first to notice when grips goes below infinite.

Brainfart : through a tub model's sizing range, 28 - 34mm, tubs seem to always get the same tread width. Would this disadvantage the 34mm, being without real sideknobs to work with leaning into corners? 32mm then could be the tweener : some sideknob, and some volume.
 

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I think at these important races the 32 is often the right choice because it is the best balance between weight and performance (and I totally agree that bigger is almost always better). If you look at the guys you're talking about they actually are on some of the lightest available wheels and they're all on Dugast. Some of these guys are really into having lots of tire choices, but I'll bet some would rather just get used to one tire that will work in most conditions, hence the mid sized 32.

The only tufo tire that I've found to be worth a $hit anywhere is the 34, and even that one I was glad to get rid of.
 

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Josh, how many times did you use those dry-weather Challenge 32s this year? What were your impressions? Did you run them front and back?

I can't decide if it's worth building another set of wheels to get a set. In theory, they would be a good choice on a lot of courses. Thinking aloud here, I guess I'd have to think I'm going to use them 6 times a year or so to make them worthwhile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've been a Tufo distributor, and my 34's may on average been lighter than the 32's. The variation is just much larger than the difference of 2 louzy mm's. I know all about weightweenieism, but weight differences will never be worth anything. The way 650c sucks for cross and the heavier 700c is all worth is, same for conditions where a heavier tire grips or rolls better.

Now that I think of it more, if someone would make a 34mm tubby that's actually 35mm, with proprietary tread, it would outperform similar 32's on any not-wet surface.
How does this work with tires, what's big-volume tires worth checking out for fast tracks?
 

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euro-trash said:
Josh, how many times did you use those dry-weather Challenge 32s this year? What were your impressions? Did you run them front and back?

I can't decide if it's worth building another set of wheels to get a set. In theory, they would be a good choice on a lot of courses. Thinking aloud here, I guess I'd have to think I'm going to use them 6 times a year or so to make them worthwhile.
I brought those challenge slicks almost everywhere I went and I don't think I used them once! I would preride with them, and then with the dugasts or even grifos and I just never felt that the extra attention that it took in the corners made them worthwhile. The side knobs are still too small on that one, I've used both kinds of michelin slicks (clinchers, while training) and felt totally confident. I eventually took the one off the front wheel that I had, and kept the rear one on a wheel just in case. As a rear, it's pretty alright but I just never really ended up feeling that it was a big advantage. I think you gain more in a cross race by going through corners fast than by rolling better on the smooth parts.
 

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keep your eye on the RbR Cx classifieds

a team wrench sells new and used Grifos there every spring-ish. 50 a piece for new, 50 or so a pair for used (some BARELY) used. nice guy. I've got Josie Beggs' 32 on one bike right now.
yes, I like them far more than Tufos. BUT, they are very prone to sidewall tears.save them for 'nice' courses
 

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Cloxxki said:
Now that I think of it, if someone would make a 34mm tubby that's actually 35mm, with proprietary tread, it would outperform similar 32's on any not-wet surface. How does this work with tires, what's big-volume tires worth checking out for fast tracks?
I know for a fact that Mr Dugast makes 36+mm tyres labelled as 34mm to keep them legal. I had a pair in my hands a couple of years ago at a U.K Supercup event.

How you go about getting some is well another story...
Aside from the pro's of tubs I am still a big fan of Mich Jets and Muds - tyres well known to be 35mm or more depending on inflation. I have never felt these to be slow on anything but hardpack or hard, hard grass. And they weigh 100g + more than my tub setup. Maybe size isn't that big a deal (think tyres guys - nuttin else :)
 
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