"Slick" road tyres...Will I avoid dying?

perplexed

Legendary Member
Location
Sheffield
Ok folks, just a bit of general advice if you'd be so kind...

I'm shortly about to join the ranks of road bike cyclists. I ride a hybrid at present, which I will continue to do.

Now, much as I'm looking forward to getting out and about on my new road bike (haven't got it yet, its on order), the one thing that I think may be tricky to get used to is the tyres.

How much of a difference can I expect to find between the "slicks" and the treaded tyres (700cc) on my hybrid? Clearly there is going to be some difference, and I understand that the slicks should be pretty grippy in the dry.

But in the wet, how will they behave, how big is the difference?

Thanks all...
 

Kestevan

Last of the Summer Winos
Location
Holmfirth.
The tread on a bikes tyres does absolutely nothing on road. The slick will have just a good grip(or better) in the wet as a tyre of the same width with a tread pattern
 
OP
perplexed

perplexed

Legendary Member
Location
Sheffield
The tread on a bikes tyres does absolutely nothing on road. The slick will have just a good grip(or better) in the wet as a tyre of the same width with a tread pattern

I didn't know that. I assumed that the tread was to shed water to reduce the risk of aquaplaning (as it were...).

Ta!
 

accountantpete

Brexiteer
The only real difference will presumably be a smaller contact area with the road -so you learn to take it steady round corners especially in the wet and avoid painted bits.

If the bike is new then the chances are that the stock tyres will be fairly naff - may be worth saving up for some Michelin Pro's or similar.
 

rh100

Well-Known Member
I didn't know that. I assumed that the tread was to shed water to reduce the risk of aquaplaning (as it were...).

Ta!

As I understand it, bicycle tyres are too narrow to aquaplane. Sheldon explains it better (as always :smile: ) edit: heres the link as the formatting is out http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ho-z.html#hydroplaning


<H3>Hydroplaning
When an automobile is driven fast on wet roads, especially if it has worn-out tires, a cushion of water can build up under the tires, preventing the rubber from contacting the road. This is very scary and dangerous, because it leads to a total loss of traction.

Fortunately for cyclists, this cannot happen to a bicycle; they don't go fast enough, nor have a large enough contact patch, nor do the tires run at a low enough pressure to make hydroplaning possible.

Even with automobiles, actual hydroplaning is very rare. It is a much more real problem for aircraft landing on wet runways. The aviation industry has studied this problem very carefully, and has come up with a general guideline as to when hydroplaning is a risk. The formula used in the aviation industry is:


Speed (in knots) = 9 X the square root of the tire pressure (in psi.)
Here's a table calculated from this formula: Tire Pressure Speed
Miles per hour Speed
Kilometers per hour P.S.I. Bars 120 8.3 113 183 100 6.9 104 167 80 5.5 93 149 60 4.1 80 129 40 2.8 66 105 An ill-founded fear of hydroplaning often leads people to buy bicycle tires with inefficient tread patterns, when they would be better off with slicks.
</H3>
 

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
to aquaplane a bike tyre at 100psi, what with it being very narrow and relatively rigid, you would be topping 100mph iirc.
 

Randochap

Senior hunter
As noted, it's near impossible to hydroplane on a bicycle -- unless one can generate speeds around 200 km/h.

Yes, the road is the "tread" as rubber deforms around not-so-microscopic irregularities in tarmac. Tread is only useful on soft surfaces, otherwise it actually squirms around on hard surfaces, giving less traction.

Overinflated tyres will also give less traction on paved roads, so make sure you are inflating for surface/weight, rather than assumption that the higher the inflation the faster the bike.
 

g00se

Veteran
Location
Norwich
I think it's more the case that treaded tyres on hybrid-style tyres is more to grip on surfaces with 'give' - country tracks, sandy unsurfaced roads etc.
 

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
Tyres also vary in the 'softness' or 'grippiness' of rubber compound. Softer rubber like Pro Race 3s are hugely grippy in the wet and dry, but wear quickly. Others grip well in the dry but are hopeless in the wet. So they all differ.
Otherwise I agree that tread has no value on the road.
 
And you'll get used to them quick enough. I moved from a Halford's gas pipe special with 8 foot wide knobblies (ok, that might contain the merest hint of exageration) to slick 32s when I bought my new bike. Felt completely bizarre and mildly terrfying for the first few miles (possibly because I bought the bike in December so the first few miles were a defiant "I WILL ride this bike if it kills me" slide round the block in the snow, of course) but after a couple of days of normal pootling about, once the ice and snow had gone, they were fine. And when I used my dearly_beloved's bike recently it felt utterly bizzare to ride on squidgy squirmy knobblies again.
 
[QUOTE 1128391"]
And you'll get used to them quick enough. I moved from a Halford's gas pipe special with 8 foot wide knobblies (ok, that might contain the merest hint of exageration) to slick 32s when I bought my new bike. Felt completely bizarre and mildly terrfying for the first few miles (possibly because I bought the bike in December so the first few miles were a defiant "I WILL ride this bike if it kills me" slide round the block in the snow, of course) but after a couple of days of normal pootling about, once the ice and snow had gone, they were fine. And when I used my dearly_beloved's bike recently it felt utterly bizzare to ride on squidgy squirmy knobblies again.
[/quote]

+1, When I bought my first bike after a long break I couldn't picture how folk would handle 23mm, they looked unnaturally narrow; I think I bought a bike with 700x35c they were changed to 32mm to get better clearance from the guards, my next bike had 28mm and then 25mm and my current road bikes have 23mm, which no longer seems unnaturally narrow. The 23's have been incredibly grippy and I've had no problem (touch wood) in the wet (rain or sleet).
 

Banjo

Fuelled with Jelly Babies
Location
South Wales
When I started riding the road bike last year I couldnt trust the 23 c slick tyres and took it very easy around bends wet or dry. Now after a couple of thousand miles I feel safer on the road bike than the hybrid with wider treaded tyres.
 
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