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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mi11er's Avatar
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    Would it be a Giant pain?

    To buy some seperate 'hybrid' type tires for when I ride the road, then switch back when hitting the trails on my Mountain bike? I have heard that it is a better ride on concrete with more of a hybrid tire. Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill?

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    It's a great idea. A lot of people do it.

    I commute on a mtn bike with city slick tires and when I need mtn nobby tires, I put them on. Simple.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Giant pain, no. Inconvienence yes.

    But the upside is if you get a flat you will be in practice when it comes to geting the tire on and off.

    If you are doing something like commuting weekdays and riding the trails most weekends consider getting a full spare set of wheels. Or if oney is an issue just a spare front wheel (since the front doesnot have the gears and such it will be chaeper.

    If you do go with a full set of wheels think about having different gearing. You will findou can use higher gearing on the road once you are riding slicks vrs off road tires.

    BUT I'd say this is not a giant pain and giving trying changing out the tires is a good thing to try as a first step no mnatter what path yuo finally take.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  4. #4
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mi11er View Post
    To buy some seperate 'hybrid' type tires for when I ride the road, then switch back when hitting the trails on my Mountain bike? I have heard that it is a better ride on concrete with more of a hybrid tire. Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill?
    The only reason that it might be better to ride a street tire on the road is because it's a little faster...like 1 to 2 mph and easier. On the other hand, riding a mountain bike tire on pavement is less efficient, harder and takes more effort (burns more calories). The extra resistance builds strength faster too. You could also look for opportunities to ride the mountain bike off-road...the world is covered in mountain bikable trails if you look for them...which is even less efficient and a lot more fun.
    Last edited by cyccommute; 11-08-12 at 07:23 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    The only reason that it might be better to ride a street tire on the road is because it's a little faster...like 1 to 2 mph and easier. On the other hand, riding a mountain bike tire on pavement is less efficient, harder and takes more effort (burns more calories). The extra resistance builds strength faster too. You could also look for opportunities to ride the mountain bike off-road...the world is covered in mountain bikable trails is you look for them...which is even less efficient and a lot more fun.
    This is good advice especially if you find yourself in gravel or riding after a wind storm with a lot of limbs on the ground. With mtn tires its a breeze because of the traction. With city slicks, you just have to be more mindful.
    Feel free to visit my blog www.chefonabicycle.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member ChrisM2097's Avatar
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    Personally, I just have 2 rear wheels for my mountain bike. If I'm going to be doing mostly road riding with a little dirt, I use the 1.5" commuter tire & wheel. If it's mostly dirt, it's the 2.1" MTB tire & wheel. I even have different cassettes installed on each. The 'road' one has a 12-26, the MTB has an 11-34. It was a little more expensive solution, but it works for me - and it gave me a reason to build another wheel.
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  7. #7
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    I'd do it, decent MTB tires are $40-55 each and riding those on the pavement kills them allot faster. But it might be easier to buy a beater city bike or beater MTB. We all like more bikes!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mi11er's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    The only reason that it might be better to ride a street tire on the road is because it's a little faster...like 1 to 2 mph and easier. On the other hand, riding a mountain bike tire on pavement is less efficient, harder and takes more effort (burns more calories). The extra resistance builds strength faster too. You could also look for opportunities to ride the mountain bike off-road...the world is covered in mountain bikable trails is you look for them...which is even less efficient and a lot more fun.
    Yea I have a lot of mountain bike trails around where I live. Never thought of burning more calories!

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    I used to do this many years ago when I just had a mountain bike and wanted to do weekend tours with the club. For commuting, I had 1.75" tires with a center ridge and knobs on the side. Probably overkill, but I was determined not to get a flat on the way to work. For touring, I used a 1.25" tire with very little tread, and for the rare trip to the mountains to ride a fire road, there were full-on 2.25" knobbies. It took only about 10 minutes to change the tires and inflate them, and as I lived in an apartment with little room, it was worth the trouble.

  10. #10
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    I bought a second set of wheels for my mountain bike just so I could swap easily between road tires and off-road tires. Using the street tires not only makes it more efficient on pavement, but it also prevents me from sounding like a big 4x4 or a semi rumbling down the road.
    Craig in Indy

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    I am such a sissy that I don't like the road buzz from knobbies. So if I had to ride very far on pavement, then I would have to have some slicks.

  12. #12
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim p View Post
    I am such a sissy that I don't like the road buzz from knobbies. So if I had to ride very far on pavement, then I would have to have some slicks.
    The cool thing about knobbies on pavement, however, is how they sound when you're rolling downhill on a road - The highway up Lookout Mountain (Golden Co) is prime for this because there's not much traffic. It sounds really cool, especially when you're in a boxed-in canyon like when they used to let us ride on US 6 (Clear Creek). But, like Mrs. Tractorlegs reminds me from time to time, my idea of cool is . . . well, moving on - -

    Since we're in C/A I would suggest (for most people in C/A) not switching tires but sticking with the mountain tires. They may slow you down a bit but they are much more comfortable especially when you encounter rough roads.
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  13. #13
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    Not mentioned above - if you take corners at higher speeds on pavement, and road tire is far more secure; because the sidewall curve of the tread is a smooth curve. On knobbies, it is not a smooth curve, there is a transition in the middle that as you lean through that point, you can get a nasty surprise - and potentially road rash. When you look at the tires, you will see that knobbies are sort of squared off.

    Personally; I do not like the noise of knobbies.

    Kenda offers some nice tires in 26 x 1.25 and 26 x 1.5 that are rated at 100 psi, and offer low rolling resistance. I have seen Hutchinson 26 x 1.35 at our local Wal-mart.

    For an in between tire, I like the Bell Kevlar 26 x 1.75 which are made by Vittoria. They last a very long time, roll nicely on the street, allow great lean angles (especially at 70 psi), okay off road traction, and very good puncture protection. And they are not expensive.
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  14. #14
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
    Not mentioned above - if you take corners at higher speeds on pavement, and road tire is far more secure; because the sidewall curve of the tread is a smooth curve. On knobbies, it is not a smooth curve, there is a transition in the middle that as you lean through that point, you can get a nasty surprise - and potentially road rash. When you look at the tires, you will see that knobbies are sort of squared off.

    Personally; I do not like the noise of knobbies.

    Kenda offers some nice tires in 26 x 1.25 and 26 x 1.5 that are rated at 100 psi, and offer low rolling resistance. I have seen Hutchinson 26 x 1.35 at our local Wal-mart.

    For an in between tire, I like the Bell Kevlar 26 x 1.75 which are made by Vittoria. They last a very long time, roll nicely on the street, allow great lean angles (especially at 70 psi), okay off road traction, and very good puncture protection. And they are not expensive.
    Good suggestions and recommendations, except that we're posting in C/A. There's quite a few of us (with some notable exceptions) that won't be "taking corners at higher speeds on pavement", at least for now. Most of us are riding for weight loss and fitness. In the situation the OP describes (and also knowing Mi11er) I think larger, less psi tires are very appropriate - whether mountain or slick.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    For quite a few years, I commuted on IRC metro 1.9 inch reverse tread tires. Not really fast on pavement, still pretty heavy but much quieter than buzzing knobbies on asphalt. And they had decent trail manners too. For the winter commute, my wet weather commute bike has IRC metros in 1.5 inch width. And these are pretty inexpensive. I still keep a set of 2 inch knobbies for technical trails and loose conditions, but I find that 95+% of the time, the metros handle every thing just fine.
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  16. #16
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Lots of good advice above. It's a balance based on personal preference, time, money, and space.

    Smallest budget/space, don't do anything, ride your knobbies everywhere (bonus: exercise! bonus for some: noisy, vibrate-y rolling)

    Next increment on the budget/space scale: buy replacement tires, swap them out as necessary.

    Next: buy replacement wheels+tires, quicker to swap out, a little more space to store, more money to buy (but look for cheap MTB wheels on craigslist! you should be able to find decent wheels for $20-30 ea)

    Next: buy a separate bike for the road: obviously this requires the most space & money.

    Maybe the best strategy is to start with spare tires, try that for a while, and if you want more convenience, get some spare wheels as well (and you can still use the spare tires you already bought). In the meantime, it is a Very Good Thing to get practice at changing tires. If it's a big deal for you to change a tire, then it will totally ruin your day to get a flat on a ride, and might put you off cycling for good (thus jeopardizing your fitness goals). But if you are well practiced at taking tires off and putting them back on, a flat on a ride will be merely a 10-15min inconvenience. If you know you can change a flat on the road, you will have more confidence to take longer rides, further from home.

    My personal recommendation: buy a pair of Nashbar Slick Wire Bead Mountain Tires. On sale for only $10 ea at the moment but usually can be had for $12; that's virtually free in the world of bicycle tires. If you check the user comments at Nashbar, they are very well reviewed for ride and durability. I have recommended them to friends and they were very happy with them too.

    My personal story is that I didn't ride bikes for about 15 years after I finished school, bought a cheap MTB off CL, and it was just "Meh." When one of the tires exploded (it was an old tire on an old bike from CL, not surprising), I ordered a pair of these slicks and WOW, cycling was fun again. Maybe cyccommute is right and road tires are only a few mph faster, but I sure FELT a LOT faster, and I was also rolling smooth and quiet (if you enjoy rolling noisy and vibratey, then stick with mountain knobbies!). I credit these tires with restoring the joy of cycling for me, and catapulting me back into the world of cycling.

  17. #17
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
    Not mentioned above - if you take corners at higher speeds on pavement, and road tire is far more secure; because the sidewall curve of the tread is a smooth curve. On knobbies, it is not a smooth curve, there is a transition in the middle that as you lean through that point, you can get a nasty surprise - and potentially road rash. When you look at the tires, you will see that knobbies are sort of squared off.
    You are overstating the problem. Yes, knobbies can 'walk' more then a smooth tire on corners but it's not as bad as you state. As long as the rider is aware of the problem and learns to deal with it, it's not much of an issue. On the positive side, if you can learn to take hard surface corners fast on knobbies, cornering on slick tires is a breeze.

    Quote Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
    Good suggestions and recommendations, except that we're posting in C/A. There's quite a few of us (with some notable exceptions) that won't be "taking corners at higher speeds on pavement", at least for now. Most of us are riding for weight loss and fitness. In the situation the OP describes (and also knowing Mi11er) I think larger, less psi tires are very appropriate - whether mountain or slick.
    I've got to disagree. Cornering at speed is skill dependent not weight dependent.
    Last edited by cyccommute; 11-16-12 at 08:02 AM.
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  18. #18
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    +1
    Cornering at speed is skill dependent not weight dependent.
    One thing the OP should ask is what kind of road and offroad riding he/she will actually be doing. If the OP is looking for fast commutes on paved streets and the ability to bomb technical downhills, then YES two sets of tires are a good idea. If looking for casual riding on pavement and the occassional groomed trail or unpaved path, then there are plenty of multiuse tires out there that can handle both. I put together a hybrid for mixed surface riding this summer and chose Schwalbe Smart Sams in 40mm width. They perform adequately and are smooth riding on paved surfaces and still give good traction on gravel, turf, and fairly solid dirt surfaces. They fall short in deep sand or really muddy conditions and I wouldn't want to rely on them on a high-speed off-road downhill.

    Switching tires on a MTB is not a major PITA but does take some time, so if you are looking at frequent changes (several times a week or more than once on a given day) you might want to go so far as to invest in a second set of wheels. This gives you the added advantage of being able to have different cassettes for road riding and off road. Its a lot faster to swap wheels than change tires and doesn't cause the wear and tear on the tires and tubes.
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  19. #19
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    If looking for casual riding on pavement and the occassional groomed trail or unpaved path, then there are plenty of multiuse tires out there that can handle both.
    Yup

    Switching tires on a MTB is not a major PITA
    This is a good point, changing MTB tires is easier than changing 700C road tires. They're generally not as tight.

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