Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Low Rolling Resistance Tires.

I'm trying out some new tires. I normally like wide, big-knobbed tires such as Kenda Kinetics, Kenda Nevegal, Panaracer FR 2.4, Geax Sturdy, and WTB Weirwolf tires. I do have a tire fetish and this is just a taste. However, I do like fat tires the most.

For the white rim event, I decided to go for the low rolling resistance idea. Past philosophy meant no knobs and skinny. I put some Hutchinson Python 2.0 tires on my Turner Burner and started riding. They didn't seem that much better on dirt, but on pavement, they roll like road tires. Certainly due to the center section being almost continuous.

After reading some nice reviews on fat low resistance tires, I got me a pair of Kenda Small Block Eight tires. Some folks love em. Some folks hate em. I need to make my own decision.

I installed them tonight and will be trying them out this weekend. So far riding down the street they are buttery smooth. They are a lot wider than the Pythons but in the moab sand, I hope this is a positive thing--we'll see. I have read that wider tires do have les rolling resistance than narrow tires (due to contact patch causing less deformation) but there is extra weight involved. Tire pressure and all that other stuff is an issue of course. It's also balancing comfort. Getting beat up by 70 psi tires is not going to make one faster, or finish in an endurance ride.

The tires I ran before must weigh a pound heavier between the two tires than the small block eights or the pythons. Plus they have the rolling resistance disadvantage. We will see. Hopefully there is traction. So far the pythons have done really well. Better than expected on hard pack for traction. I worry about the sidewalls on rocky trails--they are thin and vulnerable. The small block eights have thin sidewalls but lots of side knobs to keep the rocks away.

On the white rim, there are not many rocks to tear sidewalls, but there is sand. One wants to float on the sand. Hopefully these do that but have some paddles to move forward. I encountered some sand riding the pythons and they did fine. The small block eights should do well too. In fact, I think maybe more knobs are better in sand than less knobs.

Small Block Eight 2.35" versus Python 2.0"