Monthly Archives: July 2011

New (old) Tires

I wanted to see how fast this bicycle would go when it had on more road-oriented tyres, so I pulled off the hulking CST Critters and pumped up my discount Nashbar buys – the now-discontinued “Transition” line of tyres. They are basic commuter/ touring tyres, with a 35mm tread. I picked them up after I had a terrible streak of annoying tire flats on crummy $5 rubber. These Nashbar models feature a layer of kevlar protection, just under the tread; it works – no flats to date, and these year-olds have been tried on >350kms of glass-covered city streets. I give the thumbs up to Nashbar for this one, but I have a sneaking suspicion these are re-branded Panaracer models (if one looks carefully, it has a  “Panasonic” hidden on it).

The rear tire is the Nashbar, the front is a 23mm Hutchinson
road offering…

Anyway, they are a ton faster than any bulbous mountain tire could be, as anyone should expect. I’d say average rolling resistance for its width, due to the circular dots used for the tread. If it had a directional tread, I would expect less resistance, but I’m not complaining for $7.50 + S&H. Frame of reference: compared to 35mm Vittoria Randonneurs (on my dad’s bike), they are a little softer @ the same PSI, offer more cushion and are more gravel-road worthy, but are noisier, and roll slower. My Rating: Definitely worth it – good tires for a commuting, touring or general road set-up, with superb (kevlar) puncture protection, and which can also take light dirt and gravel trails.

However, what you are seeing in the pictures are not Nashbar tires – that funny candycane red tire on the white deep-vee rim is a Hutchinson Nitro 23mm race tire, à la fixed gear. That is, the whole front wheel/tire combo was snatched from my Fixed/SS bike. The rim is Weinmann, and as such, is spectacularly heavy – something like 700g a rim. But the formula sealed hubs are nice, and the Nitros roll easily enough to make the weight penalty negligible. I simply decided to see what it would be like to ride “roadie” for a day, and so switched the wheel; I like it a lot, and it makes the bike’s additional tread clearance look almost comically large.

Sooo muuuuch clearnce!!

Although the tires are very stiff, the deep-v rims even stiffer, and one would assume that a straight (not curved) fork w/ disc tabs would be too, the ride quality of the O8 frame is good. Road noise is what I’d call average, but small bumps, cracks and ‘blips’ in the road are absorbed by the well-designed frame/fork combo. My Rating: Thumbs up for a road-oriented set-up with this bike frame.

Oh, and you may have noticed the new (old!) front rack I’ve added – more about that next post!