Monday, April 27, 2009

Product review/ Vance Creek RR review

First, my review of some tires.

Vittoria Open Corsa EVO CX:

These tires can be had for about 60.00 each at your LBS. I bought two of them for my racing bike. I returned one of them due to it shredding in less than a month. I kept the one on the front tire because it seemed to be holding up just fine. Maybe just a bad batch. It fell out of favor with me this last weekend, story below. These tires look good, minimal logoing and all black. Ride quality is pretty good and cornered just fine in the two crits I was just in. I think their problem is with how thin they are, mine seemed to puncture rolling over gravel. The one good thing about these tires is their ability to run flat, see story below.

Vance Creek Road Race:

My first Road Race ~40 miles.
This race is in Elma, WA, it is about 120 miles away from my house and about 90 away from anywhere you want to be.
I signed in, noticed that I need to switch my number to the left side. I went back to my car. Jersey is in Everett. Oops, luckily I have a nice medio "technical fabric" t-shirt and an extra number. Unluckily, I now have no place to put the gummi bugs and gel pack that I will surely need during the race. I ate the gummi bugs before the race, here's proof:

We all lined up and the race started with neutral roll-out until the bottom of the hill a mile away. I guess neutral roll-out means that we just go 30mph and stay in a group. I say that because it is about what we did until I couldn't control my bike any more. I had a flat on my front tire but with this kind of tire, the "open-tubular" vittoria evo, it did not feel like any flat I have ever had. It felt almost like my QR skewer had come undone. As I looked down at my skewer and saw that it was still on I looked and saw that the badly deteriorated chip-seal looked like a food processor hungry for meat. My front tire was flat but was staying under my rim. It probably saved me from crashing in the middle of 50 guys doing 30 down a hill on a cheese grater. I probably said some swears then announced that I needed to get out of the peloton.

I pulled over to the side of the road where neutral wheel support gave me a loaner. With the loaner wheel now in place I looked across the valley to see the rest of the group several minutes ahead. I drafted the wheel support van for about 5 miles until he had to stop for some reason. It took me about another 15 miles before I caught anyone. I managed to catch about 10-15 people throughout the rest of the race. I really wish I had this one to do over again. I have not seen the results but I think I came in about 30th, I started off about 5 minutes behind and I was wearing a tshirt.

So if you want some tires that cost a lot, look good, corner good, but explode on gravel but won't kill you when they do, I recommend the vittoria open corsa cx. If you want tires that stay together but might have big words on them or higher rolling resistance, talk to Vaughn.


poser said...

Continental Gran Prix.

2 pairs, 3 years, 10,000 miles, 3 flats.


Phil Evans said...

Schwalbe Marathon Plus, $45 ea for 4K miles, never flatted. Excellent resistance training: 800 g in the 700 x 32, I've got a wheel set that weighs about as much as a pair.

Ted Diamond said...

When I used to look for road competition tires, I usually relied on Continental GP3000, 20 or 23mm, as my stand-by. I generally avoided any tire with threads-per-inch less than 120. I don't know why, but I've had far fewer flats with higher thread count tires, kevlar or no.

Nic Pottier said...

I got the Continentals on Vaughn's advice a few months back after getting tired of getting a bunch of flats. I must say they have been perfect so far, no flats. Though I did put slime tubes in at the same time. (this was the extent of my frustration in flats at the time)

I seem to find a lot of glass on my route too, so no flats means something.

Do wish the sidewalls were black though, the front is all ugly. Sigh.

Nic Pottier said...

Oh and Ted, that profile picture of you is kind of spooky man!

Ted Diamond said...

Yeah, I know, I'm terrified of it. Jeez, what a creep.