Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Confession Time - Clement LGG Review

This post was originally going to be one of the "Things I Like" posts.  It still will be, but first I gotta get this off my chest.  I use used parts.  Specifically, I use your used parts.  It's a fairly common practice that has been going on for years behind the scenes in bike shops.  We bike mechanics are usually a frugal lot.  In many cases, customers are simply proactive in replacing parts exhibiting some wear - better safe than sorry.  Some of these parts still have considerable life on them and that's when we mechanics step in and ensure that part does get to experience a full life with a natural end.  The typical parts that get this life extending treatment are usually tires.  If we can eek out a few more hundred miles or more, we'll readily accept the challenge.  

So, back to the "Things I Like" aspect of this post - Clément Strada LGG road tires.  I sold and installed a lot of these tires before I actually put them on my bike and rode them myself.  I had to wear out what I was riding first, you know.  When I finally did install a set, it was a used set.  A set a customer had me change out as the rear tire had a decent cut and was showing signs of wear.  I suggested a boot, but he wanted a new front and rear set.  Works for me.  He was happy with a new set of tires and I installed his used tires on my road bike (with a boot inside the tire where the cut was). 

About a thousand miles later with a lot of off-road riding, these tires are still holding up well.  The cut is still there, but not through the casing.  After all, a tire named for the Liège airport code (LGG) and the start/end city of the classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège should hold up well to off-piste excursions.  The Strada LGG tires are available in 23, 25, 28 widths and 60tpi or 120tpi.  I pretty much only carry the 120tpi version because it's a better ride quality than the 60tpi for only a few bucks more.  Definitely worth it to go for the 120tpi option.  It also has a dual rubber compound with stickier sides for better road handling in wet or dry conditions and a puncture resistant belt.  The tires also have that great singing sound when motoring along on smooth asphalt.  A sound roadies like.  

The tires I repurposed from my customer are the 28mm version.  Mounted on my Velocity A23 rims, the actual width measurement is a hair over 30mm - nice and plump.  I'm 165 - 170 pounds and I run these tires at 60psi (roughly 4 bar) front and rear.  Maybe a bit less in the front or a bit more in back, but pretty much 60 because I usually don't air my tires up before riding while wearing my glasses, so it's fuzzy close to 60.  I settled on 60 because that felt like the sweet spot of feeling super plush on the road, but still fast rolling and enough air to avoid pinch flats when riding off-road.  Although, I have had a couple pinch flats when I hit sharp/big rocks pretty hard.  That pressure also holds the tire up well when cornering on the road so the tire doesn't squirm.  That is a disconcerting feel - squirming tires on a twisty descent because there's not enough pressure is a confidence drainer.  

Someone's going to ask how much they weigh so I just weighed a new 28 120 tpi at 238g.  A second one weighed 262g.  That averages to 250g - pretty good for a measured 30mm tire.  At 30mm wide, it's doubtful these will fit on a bike with short reach caliper brakes.  If that's your situation, go for the 25 tire and reserve the 28 for a disc brake bike or road bike with longer reach caliper brakes like, oh, a Black Mountain Cycles road bike.

The cut in the rear tire that's not caused a lick of trouble over the past 1,000 miles.  The cut is only through the rubber tread and stops at the belt under the tread.  I have a boot fashioned from an old road tire inside, you know, just in case.

The hot patch logo hasn't fared well with the off-roading I've been doing.

The 28 tire measures 30.08 on a Velocity A23 rim.

Thanks for the tires, Rob.

(What's playing:  Santana No One To Depend On)


Kurt said...

I agree. I have a 3/4 worn set on my ride as well. Very similar situation customer wanted a new rear tire as it had ever so slightly started to square off. Put it on the front and his front as my rear 300 miles and all is well. That being said, I'd love to find someone wanting to replace an old 8 speed XT rear derailleur and a M900 XTR front hub. Just sayin

blackmountaincycles said...

I hear you, Kurt! I have an M900 8-speed 12-32 cassette on my workbench that came to me in a similar situation. It has many miles left. It's going on my old cross bike soon.

Rich said...

I have had the 28mm on my commuter for over a year and a half with zero flats (except for a few tube valve failures), and they ride great. Only about 27mm on my narrow mavic road rims. I heard they were going to make a 32mm version, any updates on that rumor? If they added a reflective strip, these would be perfect.

blackmountaincycles said...

RIch, I've heard from the Clement guys that a 30, or was it a 32?, was in the works. Haven't seen any info on its availability, however.

Anonymous said...

?? 32 clement strada ??

blackmountaincycles said...

Anonymous - yes, I saw that too back then. However, it has not been made available yet. Just like the Conti 4-Season 32, it's taking its time getting to market.