Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Grand Bois Cerf Blue Label Tires...A Review

"Buy the ticket.  Take the ride." ~ Hunter Stockton Thompson

I don't think Hunter was referring to bicycles when he said this.  Just a hunch.

Recently, I purchased a new set of tires for my Vitus.  Had another flat with the Grand Bois Col de la Madeleines, front tire, and, when examining both tires, the front was acceptable, but the rear had a 1 inch long area where the tread was worn through.  Taking a chance, I decided to purchase another set of the Grand Bois series of tires from Compass Bicycles despite not being overjoyed with how fast the Grand Bois Col de la Madeleine tires wore out.  This time, I purchased the Grand Bois Cerf Blue Label tires, 700c x 26mm, to help with cushioning the roads around here and to see if the larger size improved puncture proofness or not.  Decent price and weight...222 grams and $57/each. Their extra leger tires only weigh 184 grams, but cost $76/each.  Pretty lightweight, but costly.
Grand Bois Cerf (French for "deer") Tires
First thing I noticed was that, like the Col de la Madeleine tires, these Cerf Blue Label tires were comfortable and seemed to have low rolling resistance.  New sneakers phenomenon?  Don't think so, as the Col de la Madeleine tires really were faster than other tires I'd purchased.  The size of the Cerf Blue Label tires (26mm) also seems to absorb some of the rough road surfaces around here.  Taxes are low here for a reason.  Get on a bike and you'll see the effect of those low taxes.

Another aspect of these tires, both Col de la Madeleine and Cerf Blue Label, is they're made in Japan and feel very different than tires from other companies.  Much more flexible and easy to mount on rims.  The Col de la Madeleines were difficult to get off, which was a pain out on the road while trying to fix a flat.  No flats with the Cerf Blue Label tires yet.  Will let you know, if and when that occurs.

UPDATE:  It's been a few weeks now and several rides on these tires.  I am impressed.  As I was with the Col de la Madeleine tires, but these feel hardier.  Still a smooth ride, minimal resistance (to my senses anyways).  They're a bit wider and they definitely smooth out the rough roads of Silver City, NM.  There's a reason taxes are so low here.  I would give these tires, for now, a 5 star rating.  Over time, I'll see how they hold up and will do a review in about 6 months.

For now, a time to leave this post with a tune...Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, along with the Old Crow Medicine Show, doing, "The Weight".  My wife isn't a fan, but I really like Gillian and how she sings.  Hope y'all enjoy.  Time to go...