Monday, February 23, 2015

New Setup on Red

Followup Post 3/27/15 here

Skinny tires can make for a HARD and ROUGH ride on old weathered roads.

23/622 tire on "Black"

After the Tour de Palm Springs February 14th it became clear that I need to be better prepared for rough roads and roads that are unknown to me.

The skinny and hard Schwalbe Ultremos on my 700 "Black" are fast but can be oh so hard on rough roads and are bone jarring at speed. Ouch. I need to adapt. One option is to go with larger lower pressure tires on "Black" but that ain't happening. It's to much fun on smooth roads.

SO...I'm calling on my 700 "Red" to do double duty. As it stands
The old setup on "Red"
"Red" is set up for touring and carrying loads. As of right now I'm not during either. I made some changes to "Red" to mitigate the rough roads on longer rides and still be reasonably light and fast.

Basically it came down to making some very simple changes to "Red".

1.Removed the rear rack and fender.
2. Removed the front fenders.
3. Lightened up on the tool kit and few other non-necessities.
4. The most notable change is changing out the tires. Instead of the Trykers on the front and the Marathon Racer on the rear I now have Schwalbe Kojaks all around, 35/722 on the rear and 35/406s on the front.

Here's my thought on the Kojaks. The Kojaks are still fast tires but larger (35/722 and 35/406) then the Ultremos (23/722 and 23/406) and require less air pressure. They are rated at 55-95psi ( the Ultremos are rated at 95-145psi). The lower pressure will not only make for a softer ride but I can easily adjust the air pressure while on the road with my Topeak Morph Pump. Getting the pressure up to 55psi with the Topeak is easy and going up to 80psi is doable.

I'm also adding a Topeak pressure gauge with it's bleed valve to my tool kit so I can accurately adjust the air pressure depending on road conditions. If the roads are good I want the tires hard. If the roads are fried then it's time to soften up.

Returning "Red" back to it's original touring configuration takes less then one hour. Example, the rack and rear fender are ready to go back on with five bolts.

MORE pictures and comments later after a few rides on the new "Red".


  1. Hey, Mark:

    I've got Kojaks on my commuter Lightning Phantom and like them a lot. As you say, pretty fast but still comfortable. Maybe I've been lucky, but no flats after quite a few miles. Enjoy.

  2. That Topeak gauge is cool.

    The ride you asked about in my area is the Tehachapi Grand Fondo, which has multiple configurations. We'll be doing the 30 miler on our Gtt with Django. It would be great to see you up here!