Saturday, February 27, 2016

Tubeless Ready 40c tires

I don't get many flats in town, but I've been getting tired of flats caused by tiny pieces of wire or glass.  Last year I attempted to set up the Vaya tubeless, using Stan's rim tape with the stock DT Swiss rims and Clement MSO tires.  No go.  I had trouble around the valve stem where the rim tape bunched up, and couldn't get the tires anywhere near sealing.  I tried it with the Freedom Ryder tires, and had the same problem.

I've been thinking of giving it another try or spending $ and getting actual tubeless rims.  In the meantime tire companies have introduced some new 700 x 40 tubeless ready tires for the gravel crowd.  Just my size! Not quite sure about the difference in bead between tubeless ready and tubeless tires, but they look promising.

After starting with narrow tires in its GravelKing line, Panaracer introduced some wider tires and the latest is the 40-622 Gravelking SK.  It and the 32 have small knobs as opposed to the slick version of the smaller sizes.

photo from GravelBike 
One report I read said they were fairly smooth riding on pavement.

Kenda has the Flintridge:

Maxxis ReFuse:

There might be some other tubeless ready options out there but can't think of them offhand. I read that Clement has or is coming out with the X'Plor MSO tubeless ready 700 x 36.

I ride the Vaya a lot on pavement with gravel forays, so the ReFuse smooth tread looks great.  Not sure how long they would last on pavement. Going solely by looks, I'm leaning towards the Flintridge as it looks smoother than the GravelKing SK, but haven't found any in stock yet.  Might end up with a pair of GravelKings.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

City Hills #3: South Monroe Street/the Bluff

Saturday was Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.  Debbie was running with friends on the South Hill and they were going to end up at The Scoop to celebrate so my plan was to bike from home and meet them there.  I texted her before I left and found they skipped the Scoop because the line was way long, and were instead at Huckleberries on Monroe getting coffee.

Usually when biking up to the South Hill I take Jefferson or Adams, but this time headed straight up Monroe.  Well not quite straight up, but it sure is steep.  Way steep.  Especially on flabby winter legs.

I don't have many stats on this street, besides that it's steep, and it climbs 150'+ within a couple blocks.  It looks steeper from the bottom. I mean it really is steep.  Isn't steep a strange word?  Maybe by the end of spring when I'm hoping I've built up some leg muscles, it won't seem as steep.

Nah, I doubt it.

I had left my water bottle on the counter at home, so picked up a couple waters at Huckleberries.  By then it was 10:30 or so, and I rode up to the Scoop, hoping the line was shorter.  It was, but still out to the street. So I rode on by, and went down 25th Ave to connect to High Drive.

High Drive is on my list of City Hills to ride, but today I wanted to ride the trails on the bluff below it.  Mainly I wanted to get in some miles, my longest ride for the last couple months being 6 miles.  I'm on the wait list for the Ephrata Gran Fondo in March, and a Quilomene/Whisky Dick bikepacking trip in spring is in the back of my mind.  Need to get in some semblance of shape just in case.

Besides water, I forgot to bring any snacks because I didn't plan on being out too long.  Luckily, on 25th there were some kids selling chocolate bars for a school fund raiser.  $1 each and I had 3 dollar bills and a ten in my pocket so I bought 3.  Cheapskate.

Then I hit the trails.  There was some ice and snow in spots on the higher trails, but plenty of dry dirt to ride on.

I had fun tooling around at an easy, relaxed pace, and managed not to go faster than my abilities. Meaning, I didn't crash. Ended up with a good 23 mile ride.  Over a month to go before the Gran Fondo - hoping with more weekend rides like this that if I get in, I'll be able to finish it.