So I bought a Continental Der Kaiser (similar to this one) and the peripheral knobs are pure magic. When I shift my weight slightly to the side, the central thread disengages and the peripheral engages. This has two advantages:
- The grip is excellent, the bike feels as if it is upright, while it is actually 45 degrees tilted
- I can very cleanly feel when the switch happens, so I know how hard am I cornering and what is the actual friction with the trail.
I have had similar experience (without the first advantage, only the second) with much cheaper tires, similar to the following, but with uninterrupted central thread:
The side knobs change the feel of the bike while cornering, and I know how close am I to losing traction. The effect is most pronounced on asphalt.
However, my new Scwalbe Land Cruiser tires have a round profile. Lacking the peripheral knobs, I feel very insecure during turns, because although the tires grip well, the two times I fell there was no warning - just the tire sliding our from under me. A tire with peripheral grips would have stood on its peripheral knobs and I would have felt that the edge of the tire was getting at funny angle and would have straightened the bike.
Is it true that round profile tires (like the Land Cruiser) are inferior at cornering (on pavement)? If so, what are their advantages (considering that side knobs do not add to rolling resistance, when travelling at straight line)?
As a bonus question, is the technique for cornering with round tires different from tires with side knobs?