Gravel Tyres/Coasts & Castles route

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by EasyPeez, 21 Nov 2017.

  1. EasyPeez

    EasyPeez Über Member

    I'm eyeing up the Coasts to Castles route as a future ride and thinking I probably ought to change my 25mm slicks for something with a bit more comfort and grip. These two look good options, though I think maybe the Almanzo tread pattern might be better, but I'm not sure if I'll have clearance for 33mm. The Strada Bianca should fit but might not be grippy enough? Anyone using Challenge tyres - are they any good?

    http://www.challengetech.it/products/gravel/strada-bianca-pro-040/en

    http://www.challengetech.it/products/gravel/almanzo-pro-041/en

    Other options under consideration are Vittoria Tereno Dry, Schwalbe G Ones and Panaracer Gravel Kings.

    Any thoughts & suggestions welcome.

    Cheers.
     
  2. DP

    DP Chasse patate

    Location:
    Netherlands
    I use Paris Roubaix PRO on my Audax bike and really like them. I've got a pair of the Strada Biancas which I haven't used yet, but I only intend to use them on road or very light off road.

    I'd go for the almanzo or gravel grinders for proper off road, especially if the going is likely to be wet.

    The open tubular tyres from Challenge can be utter swines to mount btw. I now usually put them on a spare set of wheels for a couple of days without inner tubes to stretch them a bit and then put the inner tubes in.

    Edit: just saw your comment on clearance. I think Challenge come up a bit big - I measured the Paris Roubaix at near to 30, although they state 27. I couldn't fit gravel grinders on my Audax frame.
     
    Last edited: 21 Nov 2017
    EasyPeez likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    EasyPeez

    EasyPeez Über Member

    I'm not sure much of the C&C route falls into this category to be honest; I need to do more research. I know from initial reading that I don't need anything too chunky/knobbly - people mention doing it on road tyres. I'm keen to get some tyres that roll well on tarmac but also give confidence on gravel and dirt, rather than some true mud-pluggers. I have some 35mm off road knobblies already but think these would be overkill really, so looking for a happy medium.

    Are you using the tubular tyres, but with tubes? Wouldn't it make more sense to either buy the clincher version instead, or use what you have and go tubeless? Do you know what the internal width is on your rims?

    Thanks for the tip. If that means the 33mm quoted for the Almanzos is more likely to be 35mm+ I might struggle. I think I'll try mounting my 35mm knobblies to the bike I intend to use first, and see if it'll take them.

    Cheers.
     
  4. DP

    DP Chasse patate

    Location:
    Netherlands
    They're clinchers. Challenge call them "open tubulars" (which confusingly arent tubs and can't be used tubeless!). They come completely flat when you get them, so they're a bit more fiddly to fit than a regular clincher. Challenge say they retain the suppleness of tubs. Make of that what you will - I got them primarily because I like the way they look.
     
    EasyPeez likes this.
  5. Andy_R

    Andy_R Hard of hearing..I said Herd of Herring..oh FFS..

    Location:
    County Durham
    Very little of the Coasts & Castles route is off road, probbly less than 15km on the Northumberland coast at Druridge Bay, in between Boulmer and Howick, and inbetween Beal and Berwick
     
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  6. OP
    OP
    EasyPeez

    EasyPeez Über Member

    Have you done the whole of both versions of the route, @Andy_R ? If so what bike & tyres did you do it on?
    Cheers.
     
  7. Andy_R

    Andy_R Hard of hearing..I said Herd of Herring..oh FFS..

    Location:
    County Durham
    I've done the Newcastle - Berwick - Melrose - Moorfoot Hills route a couple of times, on a Spesh Sirrus with 28mm Armadillos
     
  8. mcshroom

    mcshroom Bionic Subsonic

    Location:
    Egremont, Cumbria
    Where the C&C gets really off-road in Northumberland, it becomes just sand dunes or fields (or firing ranges): -
    [​IMG]

    On the Southern route, theres some rough stuff along the Northumberland Coast, especially between lindisfarne and Berwick. There's also a very sandy bit through dunes somewhere South of Seahouses that I found unrideable

    In a few places on the Northern route there's gravel (Near Falkland and Montrose IIRC), and there's an off road section near Johnshaven that I opted to miss and use the road section.

    I rode a touring bike on 35mm Schwalbe Marathon tyres when I did the route from Newcastle to Aberdeen in 2014. Most of the route is on road or tarmac path, so I would suggest you are better concentrating on being equipped for riding on tarmac comfortably.

    If you want a bit of a sneak preview, this was my write up: - https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=81089.0 :smile:
     
    Last edited: 21 Nov 2017
    Alex H, Pale Rider, Ice2911 and 2 others like this.
  9. Banjo

    Banjo Fuelled with Jelly Babies

    Location:
    South Wales
    I havent done the C and C but have done similar routes with bits of off road.

    have some Vittoria Randonneur 32c on my touring bike.Comfortable on and off road and very tough long lasting.

    You dont want clearances too tight or you start having to clear out mud rubbing on the tyre.
     
    mcshroom likes this.
  10. OP
    OP
    EasyPeez

    EasyPeez Über Member

    That being the case I might go for something at the less chunky end of the gravel spectrum like the Strada Biancas then, and just accept that there'll be sections that I might have to walk bits of. I guess 2 sets of tyres would be the ideal, but 15k of off road hardly seems to warrant the extra weight and faff of changing en route.

    Nice write up. I'm looking forward to it even more having seen those pics :smile:
     
    mcshroom likes this.
  11. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    I've 'only' done the Berwick to Newcastle stretch.

    Bits of the path south of Berwick do not amount to a lot more than a signpost across a field.

    It was dry when I went, but I had to walk some of it.

    @EasyPeez knows I'm rubbish on slippery bits, and my companions on CX bikes rode the whole way.

    Some indication the path may have been improved a bit since I was on it, @User19783 did the route more recently I believe.

    I couldn't see an obvious - and sensible - road alternative leaving Berwick to the south, but @Reiver (if I recall) does have such a route.

    The ropey section is only short, you might be able to ride it on roadie tyres.

    As @mcshroom says, it makes sense to equip yourself for riding on asphalt because that is the surface for the vast majority of the ride.
     
    EasyPeez likes this.
  12. OP
    OP
    EasyPeez

    EasyPeez Über Member

    Are you running them yet? If so, how are you finding them?

    Is this just on the initial installation, or are they a swine to remount after a puncture too? I can handle some faffing and swearing initially, but don't fancy a tyre that's going to make my life a misery every time I puncture.

    Cheers.
     
  13. DP

    DP Chasse patate

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Haven’t ridden them yet myself, although a friend used one of the wheels I’d mounted them on for a 200km audacious with no probs.

    It’s just the first time you fit them that they’re difficult. I put them on a wheel for a couple of days with no inner tube to stretch a bit and then fit the inner tube.
     
    EasyPeez likes this.
  14. Pedropete

    Pedropete Senior Member

    Location:
    West Sussex, UK
    Can vouch for Gravel King SKs, no experience of the others though. Got a pair in 43mm on XM319s with 1500 miles on (60/40 road/trail) and only just about to swap ends to even out the wear. I suspect any similar small block pattern (G-One, Compass etc.) will struggle to match the longevity of conventional touring or commuting designs but they're far more capable off surfaced roads. Fast on road too so imagine the 35mm is even quicker, and they corner brilliantly on most surfaces and grip like buggery on everything other than thick mud. Good on wet chalky stuff too and surprisingly sure footed on sand.

    Super comfy when run tubeless and seem pretty tough, with just two holes needing plugs so far. Damn site cheaper than G-Ones too. Note that older stock comes up bigger than labeled, with mine marked as 40mm despite mounting at 43mm. Old 35s come in at 38ish. Newer stock is marked more accurately as 38 or 43... and has a nice brown/khaki sidewall option too.
     
    DP likes this.
  15. Last edited: 8 Feb 2018
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