My experience has been that an improvement in the suppleness of the casing, 
including a less slab-like tread cap, is like gaining width and 
accompanying volume. I started riding the Stampede Pass ELs on my 
Rambouillet four years ago to expand the bike's terrain potential. 32 is 
pretty much the max width under fender once more optimal brakes (Paul 
Racers) were installed to clear everything, stop when needed and not losing 
clearance when the arms closing on the rims for braking like the original 
Shimano Dual pivots. Better tires were that last step I took, although I 
considered them a part of the caliper and fender size changes.

Without a width increase, the supple tires provided a whole new level of 
comfort. Other than the option of a new bike, the supple tires opened the 
terrain I was comfortable riding and they felt like I could maintain 
control while having a decent chance of avoiding pinch flats while doing 
so. Comfort being both physical and intellectual, I was less jarred from 
rough surface roads and less worried about the smoothness of the ride 
coming at a cost of more frequent flats. I was riding longer with less need 
for physical recovery, fewer spare tubes, patches and tires. 

I ride the Stampede Pass ELs on that bike and frequently take trips on the 
gravel GAP and the rocky muddy C&O on them carrying 15-20# with me on the 
bike. I can't speak too much about comparisons in this use because I didn't 
ride my Rambouillet on the these surfaces much before using those tires and 
now think nothing of heading out for a two day 150 mile trip and an Amtrak 
home from Cumberland, MD. 

Andy Cheatham
Pittsburgh

On Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 9:25:58 AM UTC-5, Steve Cole wrote:
>
> I want to replace the tires I currently am running on a bike I use only 
> about a quarter of the time.  The bike is a 1990s era Bianchi Axis.  It is 
> currently set up with 700c x 37 Schwalbe Marathons (the original).  I want 
> to go a size larger which I believe the bike will accommodate.  I also want 
> a suppler tire.  I ride mostly in the city, on paved country roads and 
> occasionally on fairly smooth dirt roads.  I've considered Rene Herse 
> Barlow Pass, Continental Contact Speed or Schwalbe G-One Speed.  I'm 
> interest in any views you have on these tires or others you would strongly 
> recommend.  Many thanks.
>
> Steve Cole
> Arlington, VA 
>

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