Touring - Tires / Tire tread
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11-02-10, 09:13 PM
Hello, I'm an 18 year old with a cyclocross bike looking to bike from Chicago to Las Vegas.
However, my bike needs some updates, a new rear wheel and new tires (tread is worn down looks wobbly when inflated).
I'm looking to spend as little money as possible, so I've been looking at some cheap options.
These are two options that got me thinking: Slick-ish road-type tire (http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_173255_-1_201492_10000_200524) and Knobby cyclocross-ish tires (http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_174913_-1_201492_10000_200524)
Before now I've only ridden knobby cyclocross tires for the last 2000 miles without suffering any flats.
Also a concern, I want to take as little weather-induced rest days as possible, will slicker tires be noticeably more frightening to ride with during rain?
So, what kind of tires and tire tread do you prefer?
11-02-10, 10:30 PM
I read somewhere that tread pattern was irrelevant on pavement relative to road grip. Road cycling tires have treads because people expect tires to have treads.
Logically, a tire with treads is less likely to flat than a slick simply because there is less rubber in direct contact with the pavement. Deeper the tread, less likely hood of a puncture.
For an inexpensive touring tire, I've had great luck with Maxxis Overdrive 700x38 tires (http://www.amazon.com/Maxxis-Overdrive-Hybrid-Bike-Tire/dp/B0021HIY26). About $25. 2500 miles so far, minimal tread wear, 3 wire punctures, easy on/off. Reasonably nimble and light.
11-02-10, 11:13 PM
Traction on hard surfaces is best with a slick tire in both wet and dry conditions. My touring bike currently has some tires with minimal tread pattern - ' WTB Slickasaurus' bought when Nashbar had them on sale for $9/pair. They've now got 5000 miles on them and have each had one flat.
11-02-10, 11:59 PM
Bontrager Race Lite slicks, 700X25 at 120 PSI:
11-03-10, 04:20 AM
Most tourists use a light tread to cope with occasional tracks and trails yet maintain road efficiency. I use Schwalbe Marathon, a standard but good quality commuting tyre and have ridden miles of tracks, trails, mountain paths and even beaches.
Tyres are one of your most critical components. They affect speed, comfort and braking and are the main cause of stoppages. Dont go for the low end budget option, spend a little more and you will not regret it.
High end touring tyres are quite expensive but the standard Marathon (or other commuter style tyres) is perfectly good.
11-03-10, 08:44 AM
Another vote for slick here, unless you are going to be riding a lot of dirt trails.
road tire, cyclocross tire doesn't make sense for long distance on pavement.
11-04-10, 08:06 PM
If you're going on the trip yet this year, better get a move on - the snow will be flying soon!
The guys here suggested Schwalbe Marathon tires. I bought a pair of Marathon Plus tires from JensonUSA.com for about $40 each. There's enough tread to drain water away from under the tire contact patch on the road, yet are essentially a smooth, thick tire resisting wear and punctures. Very easy rolling and little energy absorption. Nice tires. I like 'em.
Either pack your stuff and get a move on now, or wait until spring.
11-05-10, 01:00 PM
+1 for slick tires. I use 700x32 Panaracer Ribmo tires on my tourer.
Any knobby tread will increase rolling resistance while decreasing durability and on-road grip both wet and dry. People act like a slick tire simply can't occasionally be used off road. It can. It works OK if you take it easy.
11-06-10, 10:12 PM
Anyone here use studded snow tires in winter?
I use slicks including on trails. If it's mountain biking, mud, that is different, but on crushed stone, bare earth, sand, slicks work OK. Riding slicks on pavement is worth it for the great roll. With the right gear flats can be fixed in the time it takes to pump gas in a car. So while one doesn't want a lot of flats, one every few thousand miles is reasonable, one shouldn't sacrifice roll and comfort in order to avoid the occasional flat. There are conditions where flats are overly common and special measures need to be taken.
Here is an interesting article about tire pressure. Synopsis is that while rolling resistance might be lower with high pressure, there are diminishing returns. In addition, scientific studies show that road shock costs out at the felt level of the vibration. So if it feels rough riding hard tires, it isn't merely a discomfort, but a commensurate energy expenditure, so less pressure can be more efficiency.
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