5 Tires for Con­quer­ing the ’Cross Course

Some treads have bite and oth­ers speed. It all de­pends on what you need

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - RAPID FIRE -

Kenda Kom­mando X Pro $76 ( bi­cy­cle.kendatire.com)

The Kenda Kom­mando X Pro will let you at­tack two types of ter­rain. Ori­ent the tread one way if you face hard sur­faces, and even those with a bit loose gravel. For wet con­di­tions, switch the tread di­rec­tion. The cas­ing is 120 t.p.i, giv­ing the tire a good amount of flex­i­bil­ity to help with grip. The Kom­mando also has trac­tion help from a softer rub­ber com­pound on the edges of the tread, while in the cen­tre, a harder, more durable com­pound en­sures the tire rolls well and lasts. The Kom­mando’s de­fence against punc­tures? It ’s called the Iron Cloak, which lies un­der the rub­ber.

Maxxis Speed Ter­rane $76 ( maxxis.com)

Ge­off Kabush had a hand in de­sign­ing the Speed Ter­rane’s pat­tern, Maxxis’s take on a file-tread tire for fast ’cross cour­ses. “A lot of North Amer­i­can CX is dry and fast, a.k.a. sum­mer ’ cross, and this is where a tire like the Speed Ter­rane is re­ally great,” Kabush says. “It has great straight-line speed, but the good cor­ner­ing knobs give it a much big­ger band­width, so I can use it in a lot more cir­cum­stances.” When Kabush first tested the Speed Ter­rane at the West Sacra­mento Cy­clocross Grand Prix in 2016, he won. A Cana­di­an­cy­cling Mag­a­zine staff mem­ber, on his first race on the Maxxis tires, won a cookie. Th­ese tires seem to bring vic­to­ries of all kinds.

Con­ti­nen­tal Cy­cloxk­ing $55 ( con­ti­nen­tal-tires.com)

The Con­ti­nen­tal Cy­cloxk­ing, in its 35c in­car­na­tion, is great for your gravel rides on which trac­tion is a pre­mium. It also per­forms well in non-uci ’cross races with no one check­ing tire width. The three-ply cas­ing with 84 t.p.i. of­fers a lot of dura­bil­ity. The tire is de­signed mostly for hard­pack, but rides fairly well in the wet stuff. (For the real muck, go for the Moun­tain King CX.) If you need your treads to be uci le­gal, the Cy­cloxk­ing also comes in a 32c ver­sion, which has a higher thread count and uses Con­ti­nen­tal’s high­per­for­mance Blackchili com­pound.

Sch­walbe X-one Speed $100 ( schwal­be­tires.com)

Sch­walbe’s X-one Speed rounds out the com­pany’s per­for­mance cy­clocross tire lineup. The Speed, re­leased in Au­gust, draws upon the cir­cu­lar and oval knob shapes of the One All­round, but in a tighter pat­tern. The X-one Speed also fea­tures long, siped oval knobs that keep things rolling fast, while pro­vid­ing good trac­tion. Its side knobs give you solid grip in the cor­ners. This tread is great for quick, dry cour­ses. When the race com­mis­saire checks the width of the th­ese 33c tires, you should be good. Sch­walbe says the X-one Speed will work well on rims with in­ter­nal widths rang­ing from 17c to 23c.

IRC Serac CX Sand $123 ( gw­bi­cy­cle.com)

If you want a tire for a sandy course, put a pair of irc Serac CX Sand on your rims. Each tire’s tread fea­tures a reg­u­lar pat­tern of closely packed di­a­mond knobs made to give you trac­tion at your lo­cal Kok­si­jde. The 32c tire has a claimed weight of 260 g. This pre­mium tread comes at a pre­mium price, how­ever. You can run it tube­less. Whether you go tubed or tube­less, do use irc’s tube­less tire levers when you mount the Serac CX Sand tires.— CCM

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