Anyone got a tire recommendation for gravel road racing?
I'm doing Barry-Roubaix in Michigan next month - would particularly appreciate any advice about that course (never done it before and can't pre-ride as I live in NY State).
I've used fairly knobby tires (WTB Cross Wolf, Michelin Mud 2 and Hutchinson Bulldog) for enduro-cross races in Ontario like Paris-Ancaster. The problem is always how to make the tradeoff between good traction on the single tracks and farm fields, and speed on the roads and rail-trails.
32c file treads. Otherwise you will be blown away. One section of single track with loose-ish sand, otherwise it's up and down on hard pack dirt roads.
x2 on the filetreads... pressure as low as you can get without pinch flatting (softer+faster on gravel)
+1 on file treads. If you're going to go with knobs at least go with something low profile like a Grifo or Vittoria XG tread. Unless the roads are covered with ice and snow it is a full race of hardpack dirt with a good amount of pavement to start and finish the loop.
Joe, i've used the Maxxis Raze... http://www.maxxis.com/Bicycle/Cyclocross/Raze.aspx
for several on-road/off-road events such as the Deerfield Dirt and Road Rondonee. It has a nice round profile, good to resist pinch flats, is good in nearly all conditions except mud. It also has a closely spaced row of nobs down the center for decent rolling on the pavement. Pump 'em up to 60 - 80 psi for the best results.
Much appreciated everybody! If you see a singlespeeder at Barry-Roubaix with an orange "Big Pants Racing" kit, give me a shout!