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I started a thread on this on RoadBikeReview, but figured I'd float the idea by the most fanatical of the fanatical.

 

In prior discussions I've had, those who mix and match tread patterns seem to go with the more aggressive tread up front for better tracking and cornering.  However, in reading the Tubular article in the new issue of CXM, a few of the more seasoned racers talk about running file treads up front and Grifo-esque patterns in back.  Which got me thinking... is there a best practice for mixing and matching treads.

 

I ask somewhat selfishly, since I'd rather avoid 3 complete sets of tubulars if I can avoid it (Mud, dry, general conditions).  Ideally I'd like to go with 5 wheels, with the extra wheel being front or rear, depending on where the different pattern will have the most impact. 

 

So, for those mixing and matching, what are your combos and how did you arrive at them?

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I think you've got it backwards. Aggressive tread up front, less so in the back. I call it the "get familiar" after Jeremy Powers mentioned running a Rhino in the front and a Typhoon in the rear. I asked him about it and got back that response.

 

It's a pretty common thing to do and works well if you have a course that has some loose sections (mud, dirt) that require good cornering but your straight line traction is really good. So for instance a Fango front and Grifo rear.

 

In general just take your mud tire and put it up front and use your dry in the rear. No need for 3 sets of tires at all. Files treads are more or less worthless. They're real fast till your lying on the ground. Just get a mud and a dry tire and be a little more willing to mix and match tires.

Thanks Chris.  Direct quotes from 54 and 58 of the newest issue (13), indicates that there are some folks out there that run file up front, more aggressive in the rear (I just re-read it to be sure).  Which personally I don't get, but the folks running them (Paul Curley and Laurence Malone) have significant palmares to their credit.  So, I was trying to see if that made sense to others or if it was working for anyone else. 

 

I've certainly heard the more aggressive tread in front suggestion, as I've indicated in my original post.  I guess the file tread guys are just freaks of nature. 

 

So based on your response, you'd consider a Grifo a "dry" tire?

Ahh, Curley. I think he also runs file treads in the mud as I recall. I wouldn't call it a current best practice, how about that? File treads are great untill they aren't and I think that's a pretty high penalty to pay for a small increase in speed.

 

Yeah, for sure the Grifo is a great dry tire. It's way fast but with a bit of tread. And with the right pressure I'm pretty impressed with what people can do in sloppy conditions with it. The Fango has a bit more bite if you're a bigger guy or maybe come from a MTB background and want to corner hard. Or if you're an early morning racer and need something for dew covered grassy. I have yet to ride the Limus yet, hopefully this weekend.

I guess I am one of those guys that love my set of file treads for the early season "grass crits", but would definitely consider them a 3rd wheel set option behind a general all-around conditions wheels. Fango front Grifo rear is what I decided I liked last year as I just like the side knob grip of the Fango better as a front tire.  The second wheelset being a muddy conditions set. 

Got it.  LOL, not a best practice.  I'm on Grifos now as my only set of tubs and they have been rock solid in the few races and practices I've done on them.  Nothing in mud yet, but plenty of wet grass and the like.  I am a Cat 4, so yes, early morning races are my time to shine and the grass is usually damp.

 

So a front and rear mud should round out the quiver nicely in your opinion.  Skip the files.

 

By the way I am east coast "limbo" based.  NY/NJ/CT, right smack between NE and Mid-Atlantic.  Last year was pretty darn dry and hot, this year is shaping up to be wet.

I'd go Clement PDX right now for mud. There's a Limus clincher on the way but not sure when it will be out, what it will be like or what availability will be. The PDX is an amazing tire. It'll be a bit of over kill in conditions you can run a rear Grifo but it's a fast rolling tire and will be on the front so there's not really a penalty.

 

Yeah, looks like a wet fall huh?

Yeah, was looking at the new Clement stuff.  I will actually be building up another set of tubs (I have all the parts and such), so it is good Clement is coming out with a line of tubs.  Although I guess I could stick with Challenge and get some Limus too (if I can find them). 

 

Actually, no real rush as I don't expect to be racing alot (if at all) this fall, as life is a limiting factor.  But I can always plan for next year...

 

Yep, wettest August on record around here and from looking out the window, Sept. is off to a similar start.

FWIW, a guy (very competitive masters racer) was running the Limus at my local CX practice race last night in some seriously sloppy conditions.  he was very impressed with it, and he's a total tire junky.  it looks like a great mudder - nice knob height and it didn't clog.  he was rippin' where my Fangos just wouldn't stick.

 

Jamey Driscoll was also there, and he was running an aggressive tire in the front, less aggressive tire in the rear. 

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