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  1. #1
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    To the Streets: MTB to Every Day Commuter

    Hey everyone,

    Just started commuting to work (4 miles) on my Raleigh Talus 4.0, with the original knobbie tires. From what I've read, the best improvement for my purely paved commute would be to switch to slick tires. With my Weinmann 26 x 1.5 1.95 (what does this third number mean?) rims, I'm thinking about getting 26 x 1.5 road tires. 80 psi seems to be the pretty standard suggested max pressure for road commutes, but the tires I've seen online display a max psi of around 50 most of the time.

    Any suggestions on good, budget tires and tubes that would be good for this conversion? Is the 80 psi a hill to die on, or will the knobbie to slick transition be enough to get some extra efficiency?

    Also, are the changes to the fork and handle bar essential? Everything on the bike is the standard layout (Raleigh Bicycles - Talus 4) but maybe a bit older (got the bike maybe 5 years ago).

    Any other suggestions from seasoned commuters would be great! Just looking to learn and maximize my efficiency on the road.

    Thanks,

    Bruce

  2. #2
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Slick tires and a rigid fork will make an MTB much more efficient on the road, keep the original handlebars and maybe add some cheap bar-ends for an extra hand position and that's it... Don't get carried away with upgrading other components for the sake of increasing performance. Only replace components if something breaks or wears out.

  3. #3
    Fork and spoon operator
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    Personally, I think good tires are well worth the extra money. I really like Schwalbe Marathons.

  4. #4
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    Get some lights! You never know when you are going to get caught out after dark. Then a plan in case of problems (whether this is tools, spare tube, patch kit, pump, CO2, or just a credit card or your wife's phone number).

    The slicks first and foremost. You have a choice between thin and light ("supple" in advertising speak) or tough, and various levels of expense. It's up to you.

    I never got around to changing the fork on mine. I just maxed out the preload. Some forks have a lockout, try that if you have it. I think getting the right bike next time is usually better than trying to change the one you have into something it's not.

    The improvement in efficiency from the slicks and their smaller size makes you shift up two gears, I found. So, when the inner chain ring wore out I did change the gearing, with a taller crankset in the front, and then a wider cassette in back. This keeps me from twiddling between middle and top ring at cruise speed, and still keeps the low gears for towing.

    After riding a good long while and getting used to it, evaluate the bike vs. what you wish was different. I eventually changed bars, stem, and saddle on mine to get more stack and less reach, and daily comfort. If that won't do it, or it costs as much as the bike is worth, go shopping.
    Last edited by Darth Lefty; 05-23-15 at 05:38 PM.
    Genesis 49:17

  5. #5
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    Here's a selection:
    Slick/Semi-Slick MTB tires

    Nashbar City Slicks are less than $15 bucks each and will get you off and running to start with. I bought them to try out a MTB commuter and couldn't find any reason to replace them for several years.
    Current Bike Stages--Click PR Logo
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
    Here's a selection:
    Slick/Semi-Slick MTB tires

    Nashbar City Slicks are less than $15 bucks each and will get you off and running to start with. I bought them to try out a MTB commuter and couldn't find any reason to replace them for several years.
    Looking at the Nashbar slicks, they seem to be what I'm looking for price/functionality wise at the moment. Given my 1.5" rims, will the 1.25" tires fit? Should I look for a similar tire at a larger width?

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