Best tires for wet, rough roads

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by Digger90

Wet, rough roads? That describes 7-8 months' of the year here in the UK (Oct-May) :-)

Continental GatorSkins are very popular here, and I've had good results with them, as have many of my riding group.

Schwalbe Duranos are gaining popularity due to (allegedly) rolling better, better puncture protection, grippier. I just bought a set ready for next winter but I've not used them in anger yet so can't say Yay/Nay yet.

Michelin Pro 4? Forget them... slippy and cut up very quickly in my experience. Lots and lots of slashes and punctures. Not fun when your hands are freezing changing filthy, flatted tyres in the middle of a cold, wet English winter.

Whatever tyre you use in the wet, you should drop the pressure a little to provide more grip... we typically run 10-12psi lower.

by Weenie

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by Apv

Digger90 wrote:Wet, rough roads? That describes 7-8 months' of the year here in the UK (Oct-May) :-).

What are you talking about, its almost August and it's the same :lol:

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by Lufcifer

Last year I used the Michelin Pro4 Endurance. Awesome tyre

This year it's going to be Challenge Paris Roubaix. The reviews seem to pip to the post against the Michelins

Just not going to look forward to mounting them in my rims

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by jlok

What about tubeless? Which road tubeless tyre is better for wet and rough roads?

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by silvalis

Lufcifer wrote:
This year it's going to be Challenge Paris Roubaix. The reviews seem to pip to the post against the Michelins

Just not going to look forward to mounting them in my rims

Aren't those the tyres with numerous reports of bead blowouts?
Chapter 2 Tere
Scott Spark 720plus

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by Lufcifer

Maybe if you run them with too much pressure

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by Bergwerk

nemeseri wrote:... I'd avoid veloflex clinchers because of the documented fitting issues.

I'd avoid them for wet weather riding at all. Had a nasty slide in a wet corner which I put down to the Veloflex clinchers I was running at the time. I'm sure Conti's would have handled that angle and surface just fine. The Veloflex let go without warning.

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by oraclesin

how about Pirelli P Zero Velo 4S

Bigger Gear
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Location: Wet coast, Canada

by Bigger Gear

Living in the PNW and riding year round I am pretty familiar with the requirements of a quality training clincher that has decent rolling resistance, ride, and puncture resistance. My roads here are a lot of tarmac with holes, as well as a fair bit of chipseal. Overall I would say my road quality is better than Sonoma County in Nor Cal, probably more on par with Marin or Napa based on my experiences there. Those Sonoma roads are a unique beast!!

Here are 4 tires I've used in the past 6 years:

1. Conti GP 4-Season, 700x25 - decent ride quality and rolling resistance for a tire with a Vectran bead. Very good puncture resistance. My biggest gripe would be that for the money they do not seem to have quite enough tread on them. A rear seems to go about 2500 km for me, compared to well over 3000 km for a GP4000ii. Good traction and predictable in the corners.

2. Vittoria Open All-Weather Pave, 700x25 - nice ride quality and roll well. Tread a bit more susceptible to cuts and debris getting lodged in the rubber than the Conti GP 4-Season, tread life similar at around 2500 km for the rear. I probably had a couple more punctures compared to the Conti as well. Traction is good, but I did have a very bad crash where I lost the front wheel on a downhill off-camber turn with the Vittorias, I think maybe they are almost too good in wet cornering. I find other tires will give a bit of slip early and that serves as a warning, whereas the feeling with the Vittoria is that they are Velcro and then whoosh. Having said that, when that crash happened I definitely feel like I had one coming....I had been really cocky in my descending and cornering for a long time and as I should know from my youth racing motocross, being cocky is usually right about when one is due for a big crash.

3. Panaracer Gravel King, 700x26 - decent ride quality, but feel a bit slow. In the dry I had great luck with these tires, I rode them at Levi's Fondo in 2015 on the Panzer course and they performed well, but once I started using them in the winter on wet roads I had a bad run of punctures and I gave up on them as a winter tire. To be fair, the early part of rainy season always has more debris like glass on the road and a higher puncture rate. And the last autumn when I went back to Conti GP 4-Season I also had a bad run of punctures at the start of the wet season. Grip seemed very good with these tires, should note they are a bit undersized, the 700x26 is more like a 24-25 depending on rim.

4. Michelin ProRace 4 SC - started using these last winter as I had a good supply of them. Good ride and rolling resistance. They do get a lot of surface cuts but I found the puncture resistance to be better than the Vittoria and almost as good as the Conti GP 4-Season. Traction is good in dry and wet, very predictable in the corners. In the dry I get 2500-3000 km on a rear, expect wet to be the same. Be careful, the ProRace 4 is way oversized in 700x25, it is more like 27-28mm.

Two things I will add to the discussion. First, tire selection is important but also wheel selection in terms of rim width. I have definitely found going to wider rims like a HED Belgium at 17mm inner width really helps with wet weather riding. The tire has less of a "bulb" section and feels much more stable transitioning from upright to leaned. Plus one can run a lower pressure. I routinely use 80 front/85 rear with no concern on pinch flats. Second, go as big as you can with the tires. I run full fenders and flaps on a bike built to accomodate fenders. I can comfortably use something that inflates up to about 27-28mm under the fenders with no rubbing or scraping.

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