How to Choose a Tire for the FoCo Fondofest
The FoCo Fondo, particularly the longer routes, has varying terrain, deep gravel, pavement. There’s many different tire choices. Heck it's been done on 25mm road tires. But what’s the “best” tire for the event? First and foremost, it's the tire that you currently have. This article is not here to sell tires, and it’s not here to be an excuse for you to not bite the bullet. If all you have is 25mm slicks, sign up, bring a few extra tubes, and gett’r dun.
If you have some money in your back pocket and you are looking to spend it at your local shop like Brave New Wheel, then I have some more insight. Wide is nice, especially if you’re a bigger rider. You’ll be less likely to pinch, you’ll flat less, and most importantly, have more fun. It has to be tubeless. There’s no reason to run a tube anymore unless you’ve flatted and have no choice. For the FoCo FondoFest and Bite the Bullet 100, some tread pattern is nice. It can move the gravel out of the way and can give you confidence in corners.
Overall, Zack Allison, one of our promoters, recommends the Maxxis Rambler 40mm TLR with Silk Shield. You will likely not flat and it rolls fast. Nice and wide. Fondo Fest is 90% gravel so you’re going to be less rattled than the guy next to you on a 30mm road tire. I can hear the moan of like a dozen people in my head. “You don’t need this big” says the naysayer. Well, do you huck? How do you ride daily? When I’m on the gravel bike, I’m definitely NOT on my road bike. I see a huck line, I ride the huck line. I ride this tire daily with no issues and it's what I’d rock in the Bite the Bullet Gavel Fondo. If I tried a 30mm of something narrower, I’d still hit that huck line, and literally the wheels would fall off and I’d call for a ride home. Or even worse I’d die of a cut tire (known in cycling as a gut wound, actually I just made that up, hope it sticks) see the next blog post on how to boot a tire!
Give Brave New Wheel a call, and let me know I sent ya!