I was using Vittoria Zaffiros (23) on Super Champion Gentleman rims and switched to the 28 Gran Bois on Gran Bois rims that Earle Young built a while back. I'm 140 lbs. and run these at 105 psi. I would say it put the original feel back into the 30 year old McLean criterium. The tires ride smaller than they look and I can live with the look. No noticeable increase in rolling resistance and the combo has smoothed out the rough edges of some of the roads around here. Mission accomplished with this switch and highly recommended.
Tucson AZ USA
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> Subject: [CR] Report on Tires--Gran Bois To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Sunday, May 24, 2009, 11:57 AM
I've now had the opportunity to try the 700x26, 700x28, and 700x30 Gran Bois clinchers on at least two different bikes for each size. I don't have hundreds of miles, but my subjective evaluation is as follows. I'm 210 pounds. 1. The 700x30 are the most comfortable. They really soak up rough pavement. The only bad part about them is that they don't clear the underside of most of my modern brake calipers when aired to over 90 psi.
2. The 700x28 are also very comfortable. I've ridden them more than the others. They clear all my brake calipers and I have only one bike where they don't fit because of interference with the seattube. I run them at 95-100 psi.
3. The 700x26 are comfortable and roll as well as any tire I've ever ridden. I run them at 100-105 psi. They also have the advantage of looking great on vintage bikes. The 28 & 30 tires are a bit large for visual matching to 60s-70s tubulars. The only other clinchers I've ridden that come close to these in visual and comfort are Clement.
As for durability, I've only had problems with the 700x30 and that was my fault. I rode over a railroad track and the front tire blew out the sidewall. It was a nasty track and I didn't see it until I was on it. I haven't experienced what I would consider excessive flats with any of the tires. I've used them on at least six different rims and haven't had any problems mounting them.
My conclusion is that if you want strictly comfort, go with the 700x30 if they will clear your brakes and tubes. Go with the 700x28 otherwise. The 700x26 look the best if you are trying to match original look and they are also excellent tires. Last year Mike Kone was selling these tires at Cirque. Jan Heine is coming this year too, so perhaps he will also have some. Good opportunity to take some home with you if you need tires.
Lou Deeter, Orlando FL USA