Grooved Roads and Tires

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Jogitu, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Jogitu

    Jogitu Adventurer

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    So no doubt grooved roads and knobbies make for an interesting if not terrifying experience. I have Karoo T tires on my GSA and find some of the grooved roads move me too much from side to side for me to feel comfortable. This is all new to me as my former road bikes and Michelin Pilots never felt the side to side movement of the dual sport. I figure Anakee 3 tires would be like the pilots but what is your experience with Karoo 3 or other dual sport tires? I have read tire threads but haven't seen this as a primary criteria when considering tires. I am tackling the many off road opportunities available to me in Utah but I want to ride to those places without having to avoid big slabs due to the grooves.
    #1
  2. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    Don't tense up and they are fine, you will get used to it.
    Anakee's don't even see them.
    My new to me Heidenau K-60's walk all over
    Most radials do a lot better than the bias ply tires.

    I wouldn't choose my tires based on this, after a few times you won't even notice anymore.
    #2
  3. DocSpook

    DocSpook Been here awhile

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    The jury is still out on my Karoo 3's as I have not ridden too many off road treds on the street, but if you stand up it is less unsettling.


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    #3
  4. jdub

    jdub Dawg bytes reel gud

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    Not many grooved roads where I live, but open steel grate bridge crossings also bring out interesting trait differences between tires. Most tires I've used on my GSA (Tourances, Anakees, TKC80s, Scorpion Rally, K60 Scouts and Trail Attack) just dance a bit but are OK on these crossings. Kenda Big Blocks scared the crap out of me though, as the bars started oscillating towards a tank slapper. I learned to avoid those crossings with BBs as much as possible.
    #4
  5. LaurelPerryOnLand

    LaurelPerryOnLand Long timer

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    Yep...when they're tearing up the roads to resurface them...that temporary 'grooving' can play havoc with TKC 80's.

    The tires seem to have a mind of their own and seem to "hunt" back and forth laterally across the lane.

    But CLEARLY the WORST is OPEN GRATE BRIDGE DECKING!

    Headed to Alaska?
    Be mindful of these type of bridges. TESLIN and Ft. Saint John, as examples. In the Yukon Territory and British Columbia, respectively.

    The 2-lane wide, 2,100 foot open grate bridge at TESLIN will certainly get your attention particularly if there's an opposite direction TRUCK and their's a slight/moderate CROSS WIND.

    My solution: Pick a reduced speed (40 mph) and maintain it without accelerating/de-celerating across the entire span.
    LET the bike 'hunt'...it'll generally STAY within your single lane. Don't try to control the handlebars!
    Try NOT to cross if you see on coming TRUCK traffic.
    "Look where you want to go"...stare at the end of the span...and voila...in about 30 seconds...you're across the bridge. Terrified momentarily...but phew...done and done!
    Also...helps if you can HOLD your breath for 30 seconds!:D

    Tourances don't seem to hunt as much as TKC80's.
    #5
  6. fubar201

    fubar201 Been here awhile

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    I notice a very slight bit of hunting on grooved roads with my Karoo 3's Lessening as they wear in a bit. Has not proved to be an issue on any road surface. Have not done a bridge yet.
    #6
  7. Dismount

    Dismount Boring bastard

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    There is one little section of road here they seem to grind down every year leaving about a mile of parallel grooves for a mile or so going through a pretty sharp curve.

    In the car it's nerve wracking. On the bike I start burping up bits of the seat from the super clench.
    #7
  8. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

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    Yep and yep. Groove tracking is just about the least important tire attribute imaginable.
    #8
  9. Balootraveler

    Balootraveler Been here awhile

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    Love the Teslin bridge in the rain and wind with on coming traffic and some a*#hole riding up your pipe....fuck that gets the heart going! Yea just relax, right like when the manual say seek immediate medical attention and remain calm after a snake bite. Bull shit what better time for a full on panic?
    #9
  10. sonnystile

    sonnystile Been here awhile

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    The Mackinac Bridge is a nightmare.


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  11. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    I rode all the way to Michigan just to ride the grate on the Mackinac Bridge :)
    Anakee 3's at the time, no drama but the wind... since we have windy bridges here, I'm used to it.

    Ft St John on Anakee 2 tires - that was amazing!
    #11
  12. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    That's kinky, rhubarb. :eek1

    Grooved pavement has always and will always continue to give me fits. Like riding on marbles on the road. But it is nonetheless one of the road conditions you'll encounter, so live with it. :deal

    Stay loosey-goosey, tense up and it'll feel worse. Tires help. My Avons ride much better on grooves then the Contis did. Make sure the wheel bearings, head bearings and swingarm bearings are adjusted by the book. Any suspension slop makes grooves worse.

    --Bill
    #12
  13. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Steering damper works miracles here. I've had to put up with weeks of this now on my commute, road was grooved for resealing, then the weather turned to shit. A bit twitchy, but no more issues than some of the cars.

    Pete
    #13
  14. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    I've never ridden on the Karoo but did have Tourances on my old TransAlp. They were not a problem.

    As for other tire experiences, with grooved pavement, it seems to be all in the tire sipes. On my scooter, Kenda K761s are troublesome while Bridgestone Hoops are not. On various dual sports I've had, the (more pavement friendly) Dunlop D605s are fine as are the Shinko 244s and 705s (bias ply).

    I'm going to guess that it also depends on the type of pavement grooves you're encountering. There are two distinct types here in Chicago-land; rain grooves and the pavement-leveling grooves. The former tend to run across the direction of travel while the later run in the direction of travel. Rains grooves tend to be deeper cut and more widely spaced, leveling grooves are quite shallow but very close together.

    I think you're just going to have to find a comfort level with what you ride on, with respect to tires and pavement.
    #14
  15. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    Had a heck of a time with heavily grooved highway last summer. They were resurfacing it and really ripped it apart. Had Kenda Big Blocks on the bike and it was definitely a high pucker factor. I started going pretty far out of the way to avoid that section until they fixed it. The K60's I have now seem better, but my "new" bike also has a steering damper, that seems to help as well.
    #15
  16. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Been here awhile

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    Road crews "improved" one of the nearby hard pack dirt roads by dropping a layer of ~1" river run gravel on it. :eek1 That was fun to ride on. It's a skinny little road that snakes all around through the woods.
    #16
  17. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Pretty similar to riding some loose gravel. Go with the flow, don't fight it. It'll hunt around a bit, but not a problem
    #17
  18. EKinOR

    EKinOR Been here awhile

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    Karoo 3 on the front is MUCH better than than a TKC 80 when it comes to grooved pavement.
    #18
  19. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    I always preferred Karoo Ts to TKCs, how knob height on the 3s compared to the Ts, woindering how they might hold studs compared to a T
    #19
  20. Motomedic

    Motomedic Long timer

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    I got bored and didn't read the last few posts, but I do have a question here- if riding on grooved pavement is a challenge, how do you handle things like loose gravel, the slimy mud that packs up in your knobbies and renders them slicks or decomposed granite marbles over hardpack?

    Riding off-road presents a wide variance of traction-challenged riding. Grooves are unnerving at first, but ultimately not really anything to even worry about.
    #20