New tires arrived this week and I gave them a workout this morning. The tire in the picture is a 23mm Grand Bois Extra Leger, available from Compass Bicycles. People are raving about these on various cycling forums so I thought I should give them a try. They have the reputation of being comparable to tubulars.
I’ve been riding Grand Bois Cypres tires (somewhere between 30-32mm) for the past two months. They are delightful, the best tire purchase I’ve made in years. As one might expect, the 23mm Extra Legers are quite a contrast in ride quality when compared to their fatter cousins. The ride is not as plush but they definitely seem faster than the Cypres. Or maybe they are not faster at all and I’m just stronger this season from riding more! At any rate, I have to tinker with the inflation pressures to find the sweet spot. I tried using the method described on the Compass tire pressure information page; however, I’m skeptical of the recommended pressure for the rear wheel (something like 160 psi). I inflated the rear to 125 psi this morning and it seemed like I could’ve gone a little lower to obtain a softer ride.
My first ride on the new tires, a 33 mile effort with my club, was enjoyable and they did not flat, which was a concern I had since I haven’t been on thin tires in a couple of seasons.
A picture from this morning’s ride