Would appreciate reviews from either (or ideally both) of these tires. Looking for a fairly durable training clincher for race-like efforts on hard packed courses and dirt road rides. I've been running mich mud 2's but they are wearing out too fast to use every day. The is one school of thought that file treads are only for tubular tires. Based on my very negative experience with the Jet, holds water.
Which Jet did you use? The black one was worthless. The green one was way rad.
Having only looked at pictures of the tires I'd go with the Clement. Looks like a much nicer tire. I've seen the small block in person and just can't figure out what it's for. Too knobby on the tread yet almost no knobs on the corner.
I used the black version of the jets. A couple of really fast guys out here run them tubeless and swear by them, but they wear out fast. Got a set in my basement that are totally smooth on the center section. If I'm going to spend the time di*king around with a sealant and rim strips it needs to last at least a season. The small block 8 also comes in a larger size (35), which is attractive. I might try to borrow a set each and will report back.
I use the small block 8 for commuting(2mile gravel road) & for summer singletrack rides great for road & training. I do not recommend them for grass, mud, or any other foul conditions. However, I do recommend them for training & hard-pack trail riding.
I have a set of Kenda Small Blocks on my cross bike for training. Got them mid summer last year, they are still holding up great. I trained on the road and off road on them last year for quite a few miles.
Last month I did a 50 mile "Frankenbike" type race in a state forest, that included lots of road, horse trail, hike a bike, dirt single track, rocks, roots, a few creeks, gravel roads, more gravel roads, some grass - completed the race with no flats, or issues with the tires, I ran about 40 lbs in them (F & R) and never once felt like it was the wrong tire to have at this race. It was hard to find a balance of pressure and tire choice with all the terrain changes.
This year I have been riding them exclusively for our practice cross races, locally and enjoying their predictability.
Yesterday's practice I did notice, with the lack of rain we've had, the sidewalls are much much stiffer than my tubie tires, which is to be expected. But that can be managed with tire pressure some.
Regarding Mr. Mayhew's comments, he is right, there is quite a bit of tread there, but on the grass in sweeping turns, the tire is very predictable and manageable on my open pro rims, even down to 24 lbs in the front tire and less than 30 in the back and I am no small guy at 178 or so lbs. I find they roll really well and don't gum up with dirt, apples, or gack.
I think if I had to improve the SB8's at all I would offer up a version with a softer sidewall, an a version with file tread in the middle. Other than that - great tire for the dollars and certainly something that can be raced and used to train.
I have ridden both and the Small Block 8 is far more durable, but I would say the LAS is a huge step up in performance. They corner infinitely better than the small block and the softer compound has more grip. They do wear fast, at least if you plan on any pavement. I use mine for training which is a mix of commuting, road and dirt and the rear is wearing quick. If you're going to use them mostly offroad, I'm sure they would last longer. Either plan on rotating them regularly, or go with the Small Block. I will say that the performance is the best of any file tread I've used (Jet, Grifo XS, Small Block and LAS) for whatever that's worth.