Tom and all,
The Grand Bois are similar to my last favorite tire, the Avocet Fasgrip in 700x28, which measured more like 25-26 mm on my rims. I'd also used the wider and narrower ones, and now can't stand to ride in all black. Primarily I liked these tires because they were the lightest, most supple tire I could find w/ bald tread and nice grip. They rode lovely. And whatever luck others had with them, I managed to get practically no flats until the cords were almost showing, then I'd know it was time for replacement when I'd get one or two in a week. I have always consistently wiped the tires off with my fingertips after going through anything suspicious, intersections a bit of dirt, etc. It's my story and I'm stickin' with it!
The Grand Bois seem to ride every bit as good as the Avocet's and then some. I've not worn out my first set yet, but they do seem to be a minimally designed tire, replicating more the hand made tubular tire casings than clinchers I've known. I paid too much for silk tubulars in the past for a tire that could not be guaranteed to last more than one day, and I never was very good at tubular tire repair. Even with getting a flat, I'm satisfied that I can patch one of these and still get a full life out of them.
I think we all agree that wheels and frame determine the ride. The Grand Bois have made my primary bike, my Richard Sachs tourer, just sing! As Chuck Schmidt always said "My favorite bike is the one I'm riding", the Sachs is just a bit sweeter with these tires and coming back to it is just so nice! To me, that makes them well worth while.
Dan Artley in Parkton, Maryland USA
I like the looks of these tires, but have heard cautionary tales of their fragility. Can anyone with actual riding experience on them comment?
Tom Sanders Lansing, Michigan USA