Road bike tyres and shifters

J1mmyMack

New Member
Location
Hitchin
Hey all, I’ve been cycling all my life but only in the last few years have I been road cycling. I’m very competent in bike care and maintenance but I do have a question on tyres and shifters.

My son (nearly 13) has been admiring my Trek 2.1 and asking about road bikes. He’s not confident about going out with me on roads just yet, and I’ve never ridden trails on a road bike. We like to go out on mixed trails, tarmac/compact gravel/dirt and I have just bought him a B-Twin Triban 5 (3x9), cracking bike in great condition with carbon forks and seat stay for his birthday. I want to:

1. know what tyres would be a good choice to replace the slicks on both bikes so we can use for the terrain mentioned above (strangely as long as I’ve been riding I’ve never had to do this on my road bike!). They would need to cope with gravel as we go to Grafam and Rutland often, as well as dirt/mud.

2. The B-twin has a 3x9 Sora group set, but has the old type of Sora ST-3400 shifters with change down button. Given my son’s hands won’t reach the button in drop position, I’d like to change the shifters. Are all shimano 3x9 shifters interchangeable with the Sora group set? E.g. could I change the Sora 3x9 shifters for Ultegra 3x9?
Thanks in advance👍
 

cougie uk

Senior Member
I've ridden a tandem round Rutland. Don't remember the surface being bad ? I'd start off with slicks and see how you go. Obviously take it easy on any tight bends but you'd be fine.

If you ride in mud then you'd need knobblies - have you got the clearances for those on the bikes?
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
As above frame clearance will be the deciding factor in choosing replacement rubber. For riding dirt and gravel here I have fitted my steel frame road bike and aluminium Trek with 28c which just about fit. Remember standards differ from one manufacturer to another. Even much wider tyres will struggle in mud.

Any 3 x 9 shifters should work with your mechs.
 
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OP
J1mmyMack

J1mmyMack

New Member
Location
Hitchin
I've ridden a tandem round Rutland. Don't remember the surface being bad ? I'd start off with slicks and see how you go. Obviously take it easy on any tight bends but you'd be fine.

If you ride in mud then you'd need knobblies - have you got the clearances for those on the bikes?
There is some clearance, guess I’ll need to get the tape measure out! We might try Rutland on the slicks but as his birthday is November we’ll be quite dependant on the weather. There are certainly some areas that are more muddy during the winter.
 
OP
J1mmyMack

J1mmyMack

New Member
Location
Hitchin
As above frame clearance will be the deciding factor in choosing replacement rubber. For riding dirt and gravel here I have fitted my steel frame road bike and aluminium Trek with 28c which just about fit. Remember standards differ from one manufacturer to another. Even much wider tyres will struggle in mud.

Any 3 x 9 shifters should work with your mechs.
Good to know, what brand/model did you go for?
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Good to know, what brand/model did you go for?
Tyres, I‘ve currently got Continental Tour Rides on one bike and Michelin Dynamic Sports on the Trek both in 28c.. The Michelin’s are quite a bit fatter than the Contis and are slick. Both have been surprisingly puncture resistant. You see it’s what’s available, we get cast offs from Europe and the US so if I can get a pair of anything I’m happy. I’ve also got a Specialized AWOL gravel bike which can take up to 50c and is currently running some Schwalbe Land Cruisers In 35c.
Obviously bigger is better when going over rough terrain but 28s will handle it but without so much comfort. If you can get Schwalbe Marathons at a good price they also give good service. Experiment with pressures too to get the best blend of grip and comfort.
 
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