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  1. #1
    Senior Member troutbreath's Avatar
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    Let's talk tires

    I had a tube blow out today on my ride, and while checking the tires on my roadie I noticed some serious wear on my front wheel. I have replaced the back tire a few times over the years due to damage (something took a bite out of my Gatorskin last fall). But, the front one has been on there for years.

    Anyway, it's time to get some new rubber on the front, and I figure I'll get matching rubber for the back.

    What do you look for in a tire? Anything in particular?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Captlink's Avatar
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    Low rolling resistance, water displacement, traction on sand won't grab grooved roads.
    A mistake is simply another way of doing things.
    Katharine Graham

  3. #3
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    I don't like getting a lot of flats, I'm not really a sophisticated rider when it comes to "feel," "grip," etc. I ride a road bike on pavement (most flats threats here for me are from wire from disintegrated car tires, broken bottle glass, maybe an occasional nail/fishhook. I'm around 214 lbs on a 29 lb bike. I have found that I can get by with a light "cheapish" training tire on the front wheel, but need a beefier tire on the back (otherwise a lot of flats on the back wheel, like one every 50 miles). Right now I'm riding a Michelin Dynamic on the front and a Schwalbe Marathon Plus on the back (I might try a lighter tire on the back when the Marathon Plus (at around 580 grams) wears out, I bought it because it was supposed to be one of the most flat-resistant tires around (and I believe that)). I get some comfort that I'm not slowing myself down unnecessarily with the combination (lighter tire on front, beefy tire on back).
    Last edited by mawtangent; 04-15-12 at 06:37 PM.

  4. #4
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    After my UltraGatorskin phase I switched over to Panaracer Pasela TGs and haven't looked back. The Pasela TG is still a tough tire. I've actually had fewer flats in as many miles with the Pasela TG because I find that the light tread is better at shedding small debris like glass tidbits instead of picking them up and allowing them to slowly work their way deeper into the tire (which was the issue I had with the Contis).

    The casing is reasonably supple, the folding bead version is fairly light and easily packable for a backup on a long brevet or tour, they roll smooth and quick. The sidewalls proved themselves to be far tougher than reviews I read about them, since they performed admirably (in 32mm width) on a 300k brevet with 15 miles of gravel forest-service roads. I've used 25mm and 28mm versions on my fixed-gear distance bike and found them to be just as comfortable as the 32mm, even on rough roads.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  5. #5
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    I'm with Clifton on this one- when it comes to road tires- I look for the label on the side that says "Pasela TG". I even had my own gatorskin phase.

    It's always a push and pull between feel, off pavement traction, durability, flat protection, and price. The Paselas nail it. I'm certain there's probably a tire out there that beats it, but it will certainly cost more.

    I've tried plenty of cheaper tires, and nothing comes close.

  6. #6
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    I'm the worst person to ask. I look for "will resist the crap on the roads I take it on, be really comfy, and roll". Meeting those requirements for me was the Schwalbe Marathon Plus in 700x38, which replaced the Marathon Cross in 700x35. I rather loved the latter, but the thin sidewalls and lack of longevity under my big butt got tiresome.

    I've probably got.. 400-500 miles on the Marathon Plus now, and the rear has just lost the new tire stuff. The front still looks like it came off the truck. I'm quite pleased, they're heavy as all get out, but man are they comfy.

  7. #7
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    I will add my vote to the Pasella TG tires. Less than $30 per tire is an awfully good price for such a great tire. It's all I plan on using on my touring bike.

    I have just mounted some Panaracer Ribmo tires on my "fast" bike. I have high hopes for them, as well.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    Although my distance has increased I've not one single flat since switching to Specialized Armadillos. before that it seems I was getting about a flat a week from glass or sharp gravel.


    Mark

  9. #9
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    Good to hear all the praise about the Pasela TG's. I just ordered a pair of them for my new-to-me tandem that has to support two of us.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  10. #10
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    I went through a Michelin period. For the last couple years have been riding on Maxxis tires (pricing that can't be beat here). I've ridden on both Detonators and Re-fuses. I'm currently riding Re-Fuses and a set of Vittoria Rubino Pro's.

    My criteria:
    Puncture resistance- The only flat I've suffered on the Re-fuses was when I road through a commercial construction site. Can't really fault them on that one.
    Grip- I feel realy confident on the Refuses. More so than the Detonators and don't like the Rubino Pro's. The Rubino Pros have slid on me on dry, clean, familiar roads, while traveling at speeds that I'm accustomed to.
    Rolling Resistance-I really don't pay much attention to this. I'm training, not racing. I've heard a few fault the Re-fuse on this and am not surprised. They're soft and grippy. Like wise, I would say the Rubino Pros roll slightly faster, but, at the expense of grip.

    For my next set of tires I'm considering Continental GP 4 Seasons.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  11. #11
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    Just some of my notes on the Pasella TGs: My current set is almost a year old. Maybe 10 months. They're 27 x 1 1/4" on a steel bike that I've commuted on, and ride long-distance on, and I'm 225-ish lbs. I run them at 100psi. Conservatively estimating, I have well over 1000 miles on them. I just noticed yesterday that the back tire is finally showing some wear, the front tire still could pass for relatively new.
    They handle water on blacktop pavement just fine. Damp grass, light mud, gravel are all no problem when riding sensibly.
    I've only had one flat, and it was a doozy of a pointy pencil-sized stick that I rolled right onto. I put a patch on the inside of the tire and squirted a bunch of vulcanizing fluid into the hole, and it sealed up quite nicely. As a matter of fact, from the outside of the tire you cannot tell where the hole is.

    I feel very confident on these tires in any of my normal activities.

  12. #12
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    lol...

    What do I look for? How about one that hold air!

    Other than that, I have tried most clincher tires a time or two.
    It really depends on a few things, like what do you want out of a tire?
    How many miles do you expect out of a tire?
    How light/heavy of a tire will work for you?
    and so on...

    I ride Marathon Supreem Plus tires on my city bike.
    They are like the bike, heavy and sturdy. I'm not in a race when I ride that bike.

    I use Ribmos on most of my other bikes, They are lighter than the MSPs and long wearing.
    The pasellas work very well too.
    Gravity hates us all, but it hates me more than thin people!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Whatever you do, stay away from Gatorskins. Grand Prix 4000s are excellent tires, though, from the same people, and can be had for as little as $35 if you shop online and look around.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  14. #14
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jr59 View Post
    I use Ribmos on most of my other bikes, They are lighter than the MSPs and long wearing.
    The pasellas work very well too.
    I'm intrigued by the Ribmos. How would you say they compare to the Paselas?

  15. #15
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Askel View Post
    I'm intrigued by the Ribmos. How would you say they compare to the Paselas?

    I like them better. But it's close.

    Sometimes, with gear, I think it depends on the rider.

    I am a mileage junkie, I put on a lot of miles on my tires.
    Rimbos have lasted longer for me, than the Paselas. But YMMV!
    Gravity hates us all, but it hates me more than thin people!

  16. #16
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Askel View Post
    I'm intrigued by the Ribmos. How would you say they compare to the Paselas?
    I find the RiBMo a bit stiffer of a ride than the Pasela TG, more like the Urban Max; heavier sidewall leads to a lower deflection tire and bumpier ride. For a long distance bike, not so great; for my commuter I'm loving them (the Urban Max). Same tread as the Pasela TG, same construction as the RiBMo.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  17. #17
    Senior Member troutbreath's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies, folks! It's been a busy week, but I'm happy to be thinking about bikes again.
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  18. #18
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    Started using Schwalbe Durano Plus about a year and a half ago. And have never looked back. They are lighter then most any other "puncture resistant" tire out there, offer superior grip to most of those tires (with dual compound rubber), and have fantastic rolling resistance for a puncture resistant tire. They are not as fast as my Conti GP's, but they have never let me down as a training/touring tire. And there have been several group rides where i have been the only person not to suffer a puncture. And as far as durability goes, after about 5000 miles the back is finally showing some wear down the center, and the front looks virtually brand new.

    Through the use of the Conti GP's and their feel when riding, i ride my Durano Plus staggered, 23mm front, 25mm rear. Folding tires, naturally.

  19. #19
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    I see a lot of poo poo regarding gatorskins. I just put a set of 25's on my road bike. What did I miss, why do folks not like these?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
    I see a lot of poo poo regarding gatorskins. I just put a set of 25's on my road bike. What did I miss, why do folks not like these?
    For me personally...and this is just my observations, YMMV.

    1: They are too heavy.
    2: They lack a significant amount of grip.
    3: The sidewall is flimsy compared to the robust tread area.

    For all of those reasons, that is why i run the Schwalbe.
    But the Gatorskin is $30, and the Durano Plus is a $60. So i have a feeling that is why alot of people, especially in this forum, are initially drawn to the Gatorskin. That and because it is a metal bead tire, and everyone thinks you have to run a metal bead here, instead of a folding tire. Which is nonsense.

    In the end, the Gatorskin is a perfectly fine tire...for what it is, at the price it is available. But once you move up to a premium brand tire, its really hard to go back to such a poor performing, hard rubber, heavy tire such as it is.

  21. #21
    "The Veiled Male" Zorba's Avatar
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    I tried Contis, Gatorskins, Armadillos, and am now running Marathon Plusses. All with slime tubes. The Contis were "Ok", the Gatorskins had far too many flats, the Armadillos had several flats and wore out in about 1200 miles - the Marathons are GREAT; so far. We'll see. The slime tubes saved my bacon a number of times.

    I ride the roughest, most crap strewn road on the planet. If I have significant problems with the Marathons, I'm going to solid tires. Did I mention that I *DETEST* having flats? As far as I'm concerned, there is no excuse whatsoever for a goddamned flat tire in the 21st century unless the situation is *EXTRAORDINARY*.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buck_O View Post
    3: The sidewall is flimsy compared to the robust tread area.
    Than get the Gator Hardshell which has better sidewall protection. I have about 600 miles on a set and no flats (was averaging one every 125 miles on lesser tires.) The folding versions of Gatorskins and Hardshells are pretty light compared to anything but unprotected racing tires. Gators strike nice balance between low rolling resistance, longevity and good puncture resistance IMO.
    Last edited by Dunbar; 04-21-12 at 06:14 PM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    Than get the Gator Hardshell which has better sidewall protection. I have about 600 miles on a set and no flats (was averaging one every 125 miles on lesser tires.) The folding versions of Gatorskins and Hardshells are pretty light compared to anything but unprotected racing tires. Gators strike nice balance between low rolling resistance, longevity and good puncture resistance IMO.
    I have ridden the Hardshells, and unfortunately they still suffer greatly from problem number 2. The rubber compound is to hard, and lacks grip and confidence, especially at speed. They are uncomfortable to ride. The combination of hard compound, and stiffer sidewall makes chipsealed roads (a staple of the NW) feel like youve got an industrial vibrator attached to your seat post and bar stem. And when you tip into a corner, the hard compound has no give, so you feel like your right on the edge of adhesion all the time.

    While the Durano Plus are 30-40 grams heavier (realistically its probably about 15-20, Conti are VERY generous with their tire weights), the Durano give better compliance, better compound, and subsequently more confidence. Not to mention that i have never had a puncture with them in thousands of miles of use.

    Likewise, you may ride the Duranos and say they are fat and slow.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    The Durano Plus looks like a good option if you're willing to spend more for a better ride quality. FYI, the folding Gatorskin weighs 220 and 250g respectively in 23 and 25mm width. The Hardshell is 30-40g heavier. The Durano Plus looks like it's 120-130g heavier than the same size Gatorskin. I assume you're comparing wire bead to wire bead weights but most roadies get lighter folders if they're available.
    Last edited by Dunbar; 04-22-12 at 12:29 PM.

  25. #25
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
    I ride the roughest, most crap strewn road on the planet. If I have significant problems with the Marathons, I'm going to solid tires.
    Please don't do this. I tried it a few years ago as an experiment for commuting on similarly crap-strewn roads. It was awful. You may think you can't tell the difference between the rolling resistance of various tyres, but you would with these. If i tried to maintain my usual speed I used to arrive at work exhausted, they were so crap. And if you ride over rough roads your rims actually start to shave the side off the tyres. Truly, truly horrible.

    The good news is, you won't have significant problems with the Marathon Pluses. I've had one flat in 7000 miles with them. Just inspect them now and again and pick out the bits, to give them a chance, and they will reward you.

    The Duranos are also a great tyre.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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