Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Maz, 17 Mar 2008.
...what are they exactly?
Are they the ones that have no visible tread at all?
Yes, no tread pattern (There is still tread).
Tyres with no raised 'knobbles' but water channels are often called slicks. Although strictly speaking they're not.
Slicks are the grippiest road tyre in all conditions.
Any other kind of tyre will provide less grip on the road. The water channels and 'knobbles' do absolutley nothing.
is that actually fact though bianco, I'm struggling with that one a bit, I did ride city slicker fat boys once and found them fine unless I wanted to stop in the wet in which case it was like skating
I struggle to believe that so many people could be living a lie
Thank you for your answer.
I don't quite understand you, but are you saying that you do not believe that slicks offer more grip?
I've read the theory and it makes sense for the dry, I'm not so sure for the wet
I struggle to accept that the entire industry pretends that tyres need tread just because consumer think they should have tread
how many people on here are riding tyres that are completely without any pattern at all?
I use slicks all year round on the road.
Tread patterns serve no useful purpose on bike roadtyres which are used on-road only.
Car tyres have treads to deal with water because they operate at lower pressures and have a wide, flat contact with the road - all of which can lead to problems when travelling in very wet conditions at speed.
A high pressure, narrow and rounded bike tyre contact doesn't create the same problems. The treads are cosmetic - because uninformed people feel they need them.
In any case, the treads in a bike tyre are so shallow compared to the unevenness in a typical UK road surface that they couldn't possibly have any effect.
as I said, I do understand the theory, perhaps it's just because I've never really used narrow tyres, my impression is that the vast majority of those have tread though
just because buyers think they should have? surely someone that want to buy a skinny tyre for speed is going to buy on without tread if that improves performance?
Can't speak for everyone else; I don't bother with tread myself and don't have problems in the wet.
indeed. i believe that it requires a speed in excess of 125kph to aquaplane a 700x23 slick road tyre. the tyre pushes the water out of the way, so to speak, in the same way as the tread on a car tyre does (hence you leave tracks on a wet road).
more of an issue is water getting between brake blocks and rim, which reduces braking performance.
Tynan, Sheldon Brown has the calculations for at what point a slick bicycle tyre will aquaplane. I think for a 700x25c tyre it is something around 80mph. So I don't think many cyclists are at risk from their tyres not cleaing water from underneath them.
Cycles simply cannot go fast enough to make a tread pattern useful, and many tread patterns one finds on road tyres are simple diamond patters, or raised spots a la Vittoria or Bonetrager respectively.The whole point of tread is to disperse water to keep more of the rubber in contact with the road, how on earth can non-channelled, 0.5mm bumps possible aid grip!?
We see here another example of our motorised society at work - vehicle tyres have tread patterns, therefore so must bicycle tyres.
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 guidline 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 PressureSpeed
Miles per hourSpeed
Kilometers per hour P.S.I.Bars 1208.3113183 1006.9104167 805.593149 604.180129 402.866105 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.
Are 23mm knobblies even available?
[quote name='swee'pea99']Sheldon say:
I'm afraid that should be corrected to Sheldon said...
Separate names with a comma.