It’s that time of year. The kids are back to school. The days are starting to get shorter and the perfect time for riding is approaching us. The mild temperatures of fall allow for excellent conditions no matter what riding style you enjoy. The cooler temperatures and autumn breezes help to keep you cool and push your potential every ride!
This week’s post is going to be application specific and may relate to either you directly or someone you know who is unsure of the best upgrade for their rig. One question which is often posed to me in the shop is:
“I ride both on the road and on the community trails… although I find my knobby tires really slow on pavement I do not want to sacrifice the loss of traction I would experience on the trails for the gain in speed. What should I do?”
Okay, well maybe the question isn’t quite this perfectly worded… but this is typically what I conclude after a short conversation with a customer in this dilemma. With my previous experience in tire selection, there is now no debate in answering this question! Companies such as Continental and Schwable have risen to the call of consumers and produced tires for these applications! They can be identified by many names such as: semi slicks, commuter tires, hybrid tires, cross tires, etc. I personally find “semi slick” to be the best definition as it describes the tread pattern of these tires perfectly. Tires such as the Continental Travel Contact and the Schwable Mararthon Cross are both designed with a raised centre ridge for less rolling resistance on hard packed surfaces and knobbed sections on the edges of the tire for better traction on lose terrain.
Differences between the two are minimal. However, as a result of the variations in tread pattern, the Schwable would handle loose terrain. This is due to the traction ridges built into the drive ridges of the tread pattern. In contrast, the Continental tire would be better for higher percentage road use due to the solid centre ridge which would practically eliminate rolling resistance on the road.
The Schwable and the Continental both offer excellent traction for exploring the trails and will allow you to maximize your potential on the road when you are negotiating with only a single rig. It is a cost effective alternative to multiple wheel sets and does not force you to sacrifice speed for traction or vice versa.
The Schwable and Continental are available in both 700c and 26″ sizes which means there is sure to be one to help update your rig!
(26 x 1.75, and 700 x 38c and 700 x 37c respectively)
If you have any questions about either the Schwable or Continental be sure to drop by the shop or drop me a line and hopefully I can clear up and questions you may have.
Until next time,
Keep a grip so things don’t get away from you!