Friday, November 18, 2011

File Treads and Market Forces

I've gotten a lot of questions this season about riding file treads for 'cross. First off, this is the first season I've actually ridden a file tread, my tried and true tire was a Challenge Grifo Medium on an FMB casing, before that and while still very mountain bike centric in my thinking, it was the Dugast Rhino, you can never have enough tread, right? Something just never sat right with me riding off road without knobs on my tires.

I, like a lot of the people who are asking me this season what I think of file treads, was the person last season asking what people's thoughts were who rode them. So, I figured I would just share what I've learned.

Ok, second admission, the only file tread I've ridden is the FMB Sprint and I don't consider this a true file tread. There are several "true" file treads out there, the Dugast Pipistrello and even the Challenge Grifo XS with it's minimalist side knobs to name a few.

The key differentiator between the Sprint and the true file treads is the addition of sturdy side knobs to provide better traction when cornering, especially at the much higher speeds of the drier or even slightly tacky courses we've been experiencing over the past couple of seasons. I actually went all in this season, at least initially, and only ordering a set of Sprints for my choice of all-around race tire.