Because this is America and because we’re talking about riding dirt (and gravel) we hold the following to be unquestionably true: Bigger is better. With that truth in mind, I recently acquired a pair of WTB Nano 40c tires. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I plan on riding the Oregon Outback in May. My current theory is that the Nano 40s with their rounded tread profile will be the optimal tire choice for the Outback. Not a full on mud tire-, not a file tread, but somewhere in the middle. And big. A 40c monster that I plan on running in the neighborhood of 35-50 psi (depending on conditions, naturally). A tire that will do as told if you happen to get rained on in the middle of your back-country and the going gets muddy. A tire that will roll obediently along on certain obligatory stretches of pavement en route to your next fire or gravel road. Or so these are my expectations, given the specifications of the tire. I will be testing the tire on a comprehensive pavement, trail and gravel route to see how it performs through the terrain spectrum. Until then, I wait eagerly.
PS – To those curious about the test route:
I’ll start in Seattle’s Central District and ride out East to Issaquah, where I will pick up the Grand Ridge trail from the Duthie side, ride the gravel path to its end, then turn around, returning via Grand Ridge, then through Issaquah, meandering back West till I get back to the CD.