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Old 07-12-12, 04:14 AM   #1
dontwaitup
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Tires/rims

Hi, I am new to this forum so have posted this question in touring as well b'cos not sure which to use. I am building my first touring bike and have some Mavic XM819 rims - 26inch. Can anyone recommend a good tyre for lightweight touring on these rims? Thanks heaps.
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Old 07-12-12, 05:43 AM   #2
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I'm currently running Specialized All Condition Armadillos and am reasonably pleased with them. They are on the heavy side but I haven't had a flat since I got them. Mine are 700c x 25 and ride harsher than the Bontrager T2 tires of the same size they replaced, but the Bontragers were nowhere near as resistant to flats, but they were just a standard road tire, not the flat resistant version. If I go with the Armadillos again when these wear out, I'll be going wider which supposedly will improve ride quality. A lot of people here recommend Continental Gatorskin tires so I may consider that route as well. The GP4000 gets a lot of press, but is more of a fast road tire than a loaded touring tire.

Bottom line: The Specialized Armadillos are as bulletproof as any tire I have ridden but are at the heavy end of the spectrum and you trade some ride quality for reliability. I'd give them a 7 out of 10.
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Old 07-12-12, 05:53 AM   #3
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http://www.schwalbetires.com/node/4001 For touring these would be hard to beat. I have 4000 miles on a set of 700X28's and have had no punctures. They can be difficult to mount.
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Old 07-12-12, 07:40 PM   #4
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Thanks for that Myosmith. Hadn't even considered those ones for touring. I can't complain about the weight until I have no spare tires myself! Will definately investigate these further.

Last edited by dontwaitup; 07-12-12 at 07:48 PM. Reason: I think I replied to the wrong person.
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Old 07-12-12, 07:55 PM   #5
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Thanks davidad. Much appreciated.
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Old 07-12-12, 08:55 PM   #6
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The Mavic XM 819 is a tubeless rim. Are you going to tour tubeless?

I tour on 26" wheels and use Schwalbe Marathon Dureme b/c they roll very well and they atre tough.
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Old 07-12-12, 09:08 PM   #7
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I don't get involved in specific tire brands and models (I ride tubulars on the road) but here are things to consider.

1- give serious thought to the importance of flat resistance. As your first responder mentioned, what makes tires flat resistant also makes them heavier and makes for a harsher ride. If you're putting in long hours day after day, you want to assign a high priority to comfort. Unless you're touring in the third world or on lots of dirt and gravel, you shouldn't see too many flats anyway. (I get less than 1/1,000 miles on 8oz. tubulars)

2- the next most important (maybe the most important) is field serviceability, or ease of mounting. Many tire/rim combinations are incredibly hard to mount and even harder to unmount. If/when you get a flat, it won't be around the corner from a bike shop so you want a tire that is easy to fix on the road. If you could barely get it on at home, think about doing it at night in the rain, while you're in a rush trying to catch the last ferry of the day (that's when flats happen).

3- tire width is doubly important when touring. You want the efficiency of lighter, narrow tires, but the cushion and weight capacity of a wider tire, so it's a balancing act. Here's a link to an article about width, pressure and load which may give you some insight.

Have a great trip.
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Old 07-12-12, 09:30 PM   #8
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Cool. Thanks for that. All you guys are awesome. I have learned about the difficulty of serviceability with the pair of old Wolber rims I got with the frame. 8 pinch flats later I gave up. I couldn't even get the tire OFF without a struggle. Cheers.
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Old 07-12-12, 10:03 PM   #9
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Hi Jimblairo, no I don't intend to tour tubeless -because the info I have read generally does not recommend it. This has been a huge learning curve for me, and I have taken advice from some local people on rims. I was aware you could get tubeless, but it didn't occur to me I would be recommended ones for touring that were tubeless. I have them now, and they have great reviews so I'll stick with them. I gather you can use tubes with these rims but am still getting my head around it all. The trouble is, until you have done a fair bit of this sort of thing you don't know what or how to ask! Feel welcome to expand my mechanical knowledge as much as you like.
The Schwalbes seem to have a great reputation.
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Old 07-12-12, 10:05 PM   #10
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You said lightweight touring tires, all the tires mentioned are not lightweight, but they are great tires. Probably the lightest weight 26" touring tire would be the Schwalbe Marathon Racer HS 429, the model name Marathon indicates it's a touring tire, the Racer indicates it's a lightweight touring tire that is still quite heavy at between 465 to 575 depending on width; there's also the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme HS 382 Folding that weighs between 440 and 565 depending on width again, the wire bead version is another 60 grams more.

There may be a few lighter ones then the ones I mentioned because I didn't bother to search a lot. But the Schwalbe tires are all excellent made tires and will hold up to touring. The heavier Schwalbes and brands others mentioned would last longer touring then the lighter ones I mentioned. So you have to weigh (no pun intended) out what you want in a tire.
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Old 07-12-12, 10:13 PM   #11
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Hi rekmeyata, you people are all so awesome with your responses. I wish I had found this site when I embarked on this a year ago. (I'm a slow thinker!). Hope it doesnt take me another year just to get my head around the tires! Cheers.
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Old 07-15-12, 03:59 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone. I've decided on Schwalbe Marathon Duremes, but have just today been given a set of Vittoria Randonneur Cross tires so will go with those initially. I finished my bike today (though no doubt I will be hankering to improve it as my knowledge/experience increases), so am getting really excited about setting off somewhere!
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Old 07-15-12, 10:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dontwaitup View Post
Thanks everyone. I've decided on Schwalbe Marathon Duremes, but have just today been given a set of Vittoria Randonneur Cross tires so will go with those initially. I finished my bike today (though no doubt I will be hankering to improve it as my knowledge/experience increases), so am getting really excited about setting off somewhere!
Since the rears carry most of the weight and thus wear out faster, and since the rear gets more flats then the front why not consider something a bit odd...buy one Schwalbe Marathon Duremes and put it on the rear because it has superior flat protection and longevity, and then put one of your Vitt Radonneur Cross tires on the front? Then save the other Vitt for when the front eventually wears out, or fold the tire to fit in a pannier as an emergency spare see this on how to fold a steel beaded tire: http://sheldonbrown.com/video/tire-folding.mov

Last edited by rekmeyata; 07-15-12 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 07-16-12, 04:28 AM   #14
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That's a good idea- I hadn't thought of that. Didn't know you could fold beaded tires either! I have visited the Sheldon Brown site heaps but it would never have occurred to me to look up tire folding - the more I learn the more I discover I have yet to learn at the moment!
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Old 07-16-12, 09:11 AM   #15
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That's a good idea- I hadn't thought of that. Didn't know you could fold beaded tires either! I have visited the Sheldon Brown site heaps but it would never have occurred to me to look up tire folding - the more I learn the more I discover I have yet to learn at the moment!
There are a lot of touring sites too that you can gleam a wealth of knowledge from, here are a few you may find useful, and these are probably the main ones, there may be a couple I'm missing.

This one is a membership program that charges a fee but is very good: http://www.adventurecycling.org/
http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/touring/
http://www.bicycletouring101.com/TableOfContents.htm
http://bicycletraveler.bicyclingaroundtheworld.nl/
http://outdoors.whatitcosts.com/bike...merica-pg2.htm
http://www.myra-simon.com/myra/bike/tips.html
http://bicycletouringpro.com/blog/best/

And this is a very reasonably priced touring gear store, you should still check the internet for lower prices but so far I haven't found anyone less especially for mid to high end panniers and racks. see: http://www.thetouringstore.com/index.htm

Keep in mind that some things will break while touring, racks are the biggest problem because you put loaded panniers on sub quality rack and the weight combined with the bike bouncing stresses the racks and cracks them at welds. so if your going to packing a lot of weight the only only rack I would consider is Tubus, their the only ones that I know of that can handle up to 80 pounds depending on model, the others can handle up to 55 but don't forget you have 50 pounds bouncing and that bounce weight is actually more then 50 pounds.

Keep in mind too is how often will you use the touring gear, if you're only doing a once in a lifetime tourer then you could get away with less expensive bags and even racks.

When you get your gear all ready to go take a couple shake down tour rides. A shake down tour ride is going on a weekend tour. The shake down ride will help you to discover what will work and what won't work, it will help you to decide if you really need to take something you thought you needed but found out you didn't, or maybe you decide something you bought takes up too much space and you can get by with a similar but smaller item.

Read those sites because they will help you with making a list of things you need to live and survive, as well as to necessities to keeping the bike rolling.

Keep in us in touch as you prepare, the touring folk here can help you further and find the posts interesting as well. I think bicycle touring is always a learning hobby, right now all I have time for is weekend trips, but I want to do a ride across the country when I retire.
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Old 07-16-12, 03:32 PM   #16
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Wow. Thanks for that rekmayata - I had only come across 2 of those sites. I have been visiting the crazyguyonabike site a fair bit and discovered some tourers heading for my area over the summer, so was able to host them, which was very interesting. I was also very lucky and managed to get a 4 new ortlieb panniers and tubus racks second hand. (I have noticed on the 2nd hand site a few people arriving in NZ, presumably not having toured before, and selling their gear after a few weeks and hiring a car. I think the hills probably get to them!)
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Old 07-16-12, 11:06 PM   #17
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I found my main touring bike used, it's a 85 Schwinn Le Tour Luxe that was in mint condition with about 250 miles on it winter before last. The original owner hurt his back right after he bought it and put 250 miles on it, then kept it covered all those years with thick blankets, finally he decided to get rid of it so I helped him do that. There's all kinds of gear you can find used if you look as you found out.
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