What tires do you train on?

Especially for light weight issues concerning cyclocross / touring bikes & parts.

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by Ypsylon

I just picked up my first CX bike a couple of weeks ago and I've had it with flats already. It came with Specialized Tracer Sport tires and regular tubes.

I know tubulars are where it's at for racing but right now I'd really just like to go and ride, not change tubes.

Should I convert my setup to tubeless, fill the tubes with sealant and/or find a heavier tire?

What has been your most hassle free combo?
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by Cosmo

What is causing your flats and what kind of terrain are you riding in? That should give you the best direction on a solution.

--Pinch flats: Clincher cross tires, especially when ridden on forrest "singletrack" as many people train on, need appropriate pressures. As general rule at least 10 psi more than you would run a tubed 2.1 mtn tire on the same trail and accounting for a fully rigid bike. If you're new to cross and still learning "how low can you go" then you've probably figured that out by now and need to add a little pressure with appropriate adjustment for terrain.

--Thorns/glass/sharp objects: Is what it is. Either be more careful when riding through stuff, use sealant that works in tubes or any of the other standard ideas to flat less. Tubeless might help but see "pinch flats" as you can't ride in the woods on a rigid bike at crazy low pressures on 32c tires and understand there will be a learning curve mounting/pressures/compatible tires if you're not already comfortable with tubeless conversions.

--mystery flats: check rims strips and tire bead for problems. Low pressures can often rip valve stems as the tires creep on the rims.

Without knowing why you're flatting there is no best solution. As reference at 78kg I race on Griffo tubs at 28-30 psi, pit bike has Griffo opens with latex tubes at 34-38 psi and "in the woods" wheels have Griffo opens at 45-50 psi with standard tubes. No sealant in anything. Pressure varies a little based on conditions but that's an average and I only flat due to the odd thorn in the woods.
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by the_marsbar

Ypsylon wrote:What has been your most hassle free combo?

Tubulars. I've had a pair of Tufo Cubus (not the Flexus version) for two seasons. They've seen loads of training as well as racing. Not a single flat (with sealant).

That being said, if you don't want to go out and buy another wheelset, and assuming your problem is with pinch flats (is this the case?), then tubeless might be something for you.

I haven't found a way to get it to work properly with my Ultegra wheelset and Hutchinson Bulldogs. Sure, I'm not getting any pinch flats, but they burp if I run them at the same pressures as my tubulars. Maybe I need to try another tire.

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by availpunk9

Last year's tubulars on alloy wheelset.

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by Ypsylon

Cheers for the replies.

I've had both pinch flats and stuff penetrating my innertube on both the front and rear.

After my first pinch flat I upped the pressure to 50 front, 60 rear and figured I'd lower it from there. While it did help, I still had one more pinch flat. And the ride didn't really improve.

I suppose part of the problem is me following around the girl-friend who's riding my MTB.

I'm half hoping to have a pair of tub wheels when the actual cross season starts, but I'm not planning on racing competitively, so I'm wondering if tubeless might be easier and cheaper.
"Nothing compares to the simple pleasures of a bike ride," said John F. Kennedy, a man who had the pleasure of Marilyn Monroe.

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by limba

If you're riding your cross bike on mtn.bike trails you're going to flat. You can keep adding air but you'll be bouncing off of every root on the trail. It's fun to ride your cross bike in the trails but it's dumb and in my experience it doesn't work.
I would try tubeless and see what happens. Seems like the results are mixed. I will try it next year. I'll hopefully have a tubeless ready wheelset that I can put fat tires on.

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by gummee

If you're pinch flatting, it may be time to suck it up and get some tubulars. I know, I 'mtn biked' on my Crosshairs a bunch with some Tufo T34s on it. One ride I dimpled the rear rim on a baby-head rock without realizing it till I got home.

...so if you're JRA those T-series Tufos are some bombproof tires. They're heavy and don't ride especially nicely compared to some of the nicer stuff, but they make up for it by wearing like iron.



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by ultyguy

It's not a super smooth option but I've been training on Schwalbe Land Cruisers pumped up to about 3-4bar depending. No flats and I ride plenty of mtb trains, but they're pretty heavy and bouncy.

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by Huge

I had the same problem with the tracer sports that came with my Crux (6 flats in one week pinches and penetrating punctures). I swapped them out for some Sammy slicks for commuting/hard pack and use a combination of Racing Ralphs and CX pro's for the dirt and racing since this change I have done 1800Kms with only one flat.

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by jmilliron

Challenge Grifo tubulars with Stan's.

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