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  1. #1
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    Mtn Bike Tire Sizes

    Forgive my newness to this topic. My tires and tubes have been wonderful and this is the first time I have had to repair or replace either of them since I began riding again a year and a half ago.

    I have a mid 90s Fisher X-Calibur mtn. bike. I have been riding very old slicks that read 26x1.25. I recently bought some slime tires that claimed to be one size fits all. Today, after a few weeks of riding about 30 miles a week on road I got a big flat in my rear tire. My tire's sidewall finally blew out. I'm not sure if the flat was caused by the tire not being tucked completely into the tire or by the sidewall blowing out and the tire then bloating through the tire's hole.

    I am buying 2 new tires. I would like to buy more 26x1.25s since 98% of my riding is on the road. Looking at Performancebike.com the smallest tube they carry is 26x1.5 and their slime tires also do not rate the width. Do you all think that my tube got caught in my tire because the tube was too thick? If so, I suppose I will just buy some larger tires then. I would like to stick with slime tubes if possible as a few of my friends have had good luck with them but, I suppose I would choose regular tubes if it meant a thinner tire.

    The two tires I am looking at are:

    26x1.25 Forte fast City Kevlar -
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5430

    26x2.1 Continental Town and Country (old model on sale) -
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5430

    Thanks for any advice.

    P.S. Ideally, I would buy a road bike but I can't afford one at the moment and will most likely buy one in 6 months when I move.

  2. #2
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    First, let me say it's not highly critical to exactly match the tube's size to the tire's size. Of course there are limits to this, but an example is the use of 700c tubes on 27" rims, which works fine, and I know people who have used a 26" tube in a 29" mtb tire (700c rim) in a pinch, although this last one is not ideal. But don't worry about, say, a 1.5-2.0 tube in a 1.25" tire, or vice versa.......But to get to specifics, of the mtb slicks Performance carries, I'd get the Ritchey "Tom Slicks" in 26 x 1.4". Excellent tires for the road, and they even have the 1.1-1.4" mtb tubes to match.

  3. #3
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    Well biked - I actually looked at those Ritchey's too. They are a fair bit lighter than both of the other options I am looking at. I would take durability over weight. Would you say that the Ritcheys' lightness is due to better design or less durability?

    Performance doesn't carry Ritchey tubes. Is there an online site you would recommend ordering them from? Maybe I'll just go with the 1.4s and the slime tubes, especially since I still have one good slime tube. Thanks.

    I should also add that I am a light rider, 5'5", 140 LBS with maybe 5-20LBS of stuff in my backpack.
    Last edited by joesmohello; 05-29-06 at 08:11 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    Go for the 1.25" performance ones with kevlar. They're cheap and they work great. I'd still be riding mine but I got tired of one of the tires being out of round. In retrospect I should have returned it but instead I rode it for a couple of thousand miles lol. +1 on what joesmohello said about the tubes. Not a huge deal. I am currently running 26x1.9 tubes in 2.125" tires. No problems at all. Also stay away from slime, and just carry a patch kit. It'll make the tire heavier and have less performance.

  5. #5
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joesmohello
    Well biked - I actually looked at those Ritchey's too. They are a fair bit lighter than both of the other options I am looking at. I would take durability over weight. Would you say that the Ritcheys' lightness is due to better design or less durability?

    Performance doesn't carry Ritchey tubes. Is there an online site you would recommend ordering them from? Maybe I'll just go with the 1.4s and the slime tubes, especially since I still have one good slime tube. Thanks.

    I should also add that I am a light rider, 5'5", 140 LBS with maybe 5-20LBS of stuff in my backpack.
    I've used a bunch of different mtb slicks, and the Tom Slicks are my favorites. They're plenty durable, and just fat enough to give a nice compliant ride. The tubes I referred to are the Perfomance brand, they come in presta or schrader valve. You won't need to match brands of tubes to tires or anything like that, the Performance tubes are fine.

  6. #6
    Senior Member caotropheus's Avatar
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    I use in one of my bicycles Ritchey 26 x 1 tires with Bontrager 650 tubes and so far so good.

  7. #7
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    OK, I'm feeling good about the Ritcheys. My rim size reads 26x1.5. Obviously, a 26x1.25 tire will work fine (what I've been using) but the Ritcheys come in 1 and 1.4 sizes. Would the 1 fit? I actually prefer a stiffer ride. I do occasionally ride on dirt roads, would the 1s be contraindicated for anything like that or is the width not that much of a factor? I live in Santa Fe so I don't have to worry much about rain, maybe a little snow but i'm leaving in Dec. Sorry if this is leaning away from the mechanics forum. Thanks a lot for all your advice.

  8. #8
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    I think you'll be fine with either size. I actually think the Tom Slicks run a little larger than most, anyway (in other words, the 1.0" tire is probably close to the same size as your 1.25"). Good luck with it-

  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked
    But don't worry about, say, a 1.5-2.0 tube in a 1.25" tire, or vice versa
    I disagree. I think that your previous blow out could well have been caused by using a too big innertube. The problem with big innertubes is that it's hard to stuff all of the excess innertube into the tire caseing without leaving a tiny bit pinched under the tire bead. Sometimes it'll hold for a while, then blow off when you least expect it. The narrower your tires, the harder it is to stuff the fat innertube inside the tire.

    If I can't get the ideal size innertube for any reason, I always choose one that's too small over one that's too large.

  10. #10
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    No disresepct to Well-biked but I went with the Performance 1.25 slicks and 1.1-1.5 width tubes. I read a bunch of reviews on the Tom Slicks and it seemd like 40% of the reviewers complained about getting flats. Now I'll have tubes and tires that match and aren't ancient like my old tires. I'll also have an extra tube laying around and I ordered a Topeak Alien 2 just to cover some more bases. Thanks everyone for your help. A few more days and I'll be back on track.

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