Sunday, May 27, 2012

Rapha NE Gentlemen's Race Training....Epic?


Today's photos. 
also here: photos

Long day today, about 10 hours from door to door. Rodd mapped a 200k loop that would take us up and down lots of gravel and dirt roads, and a fair bit of tarmac. My Hutchinson Intensive 25mm tubeless tires finally met their match, both puncturing on the same rock and failing to seal. After about 6000km on these tires, they are now officially dead. Unless I patch them.

Today's ride was intended as training for the Rapha North East Gentlemen's Race, June 23rd. Rodd, Jamie (both on the adventure today), Alex, Todd, Dave, I will head down to New Hampshire to ride about 200k of mixed terrain in through NH and Vermont. We were fortunate enough to be selected from a pool of applicants to enter the race, alongside 19 other teams of 6. Its all about tire choice for this event, so today's test was great, in that it confirmed that I will never use the Hutchinsons for truly rough stuff again. Simply not enough volume. Vittoria Randonneur Hypers in 32 are going on soon, my next tubeless experiment.

Here's the trace. The roads up around Lac St. Marie were great, especially the gravel downhill that had our eyes rattling. Quote of the day: "Gravel eh...that doesn't sound like much fun." Exactly, we're all about doing rides that suck, it kinda our thing.


ChrisCullum said...

I have used the Vittoria Randonneur Hyper 32 tires. They are nice tires, full 32mm width, quite durable and puncture resistant. I used them for about 2500km this winter on my randonneuring bike. I use the Grand Bois Cypres 30 in better weather on that bike. The Grand Bois are lighter by about 80g per tire than the Hypers. They are a little more fragile but they seem to roll a bit more smoothly. I think your buddy Rod Heino uses those mostly too.

Matt Surch said...

Thanks Chris. I've used the GBs a lot too, and love the feel, but the main issue I have with them is that they are not tubeless friendly. They are too porous to seal, while I suspect the Vittorias will have more rubber on the inside of the casing to work with. For rough pavement the GBs are great, but I'm trying to find a good tire for rough gravel, so I hope the Vittorias will strike the right balance of road feel and durability. Rodd certainly loves the GBs, but for the Rapha race, might vie toward Paselas in 35.

anonymous said...

Any word on the tubeless experiment with the hypers? Thanks

Matt Surch said...

Anon, thanks for asking about the Hypers. The experiment failed. I'd already been trying out the Conti CX Speeds tubeless, and the rear blew out on a little trail. It wasn't dangerous, but that's always disconcerting. Then I mounted the Hypers. The rear blew off at around 60 or 70 psi. I take part of the blame, as that's probably too high. I was trying to get them to seat quickly, and overdid it. I remounted after wiping the sealant off my face, and tried again. With less pressure, it still blew off. The front seemed ok, but I was too spooked to continue the experiment. I put latex tubes in. Even with that combo, these tires feel slow on pavement. Probably slower than the CX speeds with latex, despite the flat file tread on the Speeds. I attribute this to their stiff casing, which is a result of the tread covering most of the sidewall. So the Hypers are durable, but that comes at the cost of rolling resistance. However, that said, they feel quite good on dirt roads. One might ask: why not just use the CX Speeds then? Clearance would be one reason, as the Speeds are larger. The Speeds could be slower on dirt and gravel....I'm not sure. Its hard to quantify these things.

anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I'll think twice about converting my hypers.
If you're OK with a file tread cross tire, then you may want to try the Kenda happy medium in 32c, which is also tubeless ready.