Touring - What size tires?
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I am going on a weeklong trip next month (Tucson AZ to the Grand Canyon). Several months ago I bought new tires for the Trek 520 that I use for commuting daily. I went from the stock 35s to 25c Armadillos (difficult to change flats on, BTW, maybe the rim is a little too wide?). Should I buy some wider tires for the tour, or can I keep the 25s on? I plan on carrying a tent, bag, etc., but no cookset to save a little weight. This will be as light as I can, but enough gear to still be comfortable at night up in the mountains.
04-18-05, 12:34 PM
I did lightweight road touring on 23 mm tires for years without major problems. I came to expect one flat on every ten or twelve day tour. On my final trip with this particular bike, I installed a 25 mm tire on the back, and had zero flats.
On my new bike, I have 28 mm Kevlar-lined tires. On its first tour I fixed one puncture. There is no absolute immunity from flats!
Narrow tires are faster, but for touring, I don't really notice a speed difference between the 23 and the 28 mm tires. I do feel a bit more secure on the 28 mm tires, especially on rough roads.
Why not try the 25 mm tires and see what happens? They may be fine. But if you find yourself fixing a lot of flats, you will know better next time!
I carry an extra inner-tube to make it faster to fix flats. Substitute the old tube for the new, and then fix the puncture when stopped for the day.
I just found out the tires I have on the tourer are no longer being manufactured. They are 700x40s Conti top tourers, so I am thinking of reining in that beefy tire to maybe 28s or 32s. Wanted the extra tire incase of blow out or bare or balding tires. But I suppose a smaller tire woulg be more easier to get on the road.
you may find yourself on a gravel or dirt road. In that case wider is much better. Id say 32s are a fine compromise. Lets be honest, the 30lbs of gear on your bike is going to slow you down more than a 5mm increase in tire width. Play it safe is a good rule for a tour!
Thanks for the replies guys. I think I may buy another 25c Armadillo (like I am running now), and bring it as a spare for the trip. If I bought a bigger replacement tire I would also have to carry a different size tube, and with buying another 25c Armadillo as the replacement, if I don't need it great, it will just make its way into the rotation somewhere down the line...
Do most of you guys carry an extra tire? I would love to avoid it, but at the same time would hate to be stranded. :rolleyes:
04-25-05, 12:38 PM
I carry a spare tyre boot (park tools adhesive thing) + 2 spare tubes.
My fav tyres for medium weight touring are 32mm, good on roads and with care, on trails too.
04-25-05, 01:20 PM
I carry an Avocet Cross II SL folding tire (700c / 32). I haven't ridden this tire much yet, I just put it on a few times when I needed a new tire, then bought a different tire and put this one back in the bag. It's a great spare b/c it folds and is light.
I'm running one Conti TT 32 (front) and an IRC kevlar 35 in the rear, this amazing tire has 6500 loaded miles on it, but it handles poorly in the dirt, so I won't get another one.
I rescued a fellow tourist once with my spare... his rear tire shredded, we were on the edge of nowhere in Wyoming... would have sucked for him if I hadn't had the spare.
I'm running Conti TT 32s on my bike, and also have an Avocet folding tire I'm taking along for a spare.
I did 600 miles on 700x35 last year. I don't really expect that the 700x32 are going to make that much of a difference.
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