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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-21-06, 01:29 PM   #1
infernobutterfl
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should I replace mtb tires with semi-slick tires?

so, recently I bought a 15" frame mountain bike. I didnt care if it wieghted a little more, since there isnt that many hills here in LA. anyways. I do have another question tho. I am thinking of replacing the mtb tires with a semi slick tires.... (the rims are 26", not the 700c or 650c )
anyways, what are you guy's opinion on that, considering that i am using this bike to for light commuting (10 miles a time)

http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...3899270&ref=pd <------- my tires looks like these

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Old 09-21-06, 01:32 PM   #2
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Replace them with completely slick tires. Light tread patterns are mainly cosmetic. If you'll be entirely on road then tread does nothing for you. Here's a reference article...http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#tread
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Old 09-21-06, 01:32 PM   #3
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Definately, Slick tires will provide better traction and lower rolling resistance for on road riding. In addition commute or touring tires like the Schwalbe Marathon provide much better puncture protection. Knobbies are great off-road but suck on the pavement.

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Old 09-21-06, 01:48 PM   #4
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Old 09-21-06, 02:15 PM   #5
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The slickiest slicks you can find.
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Old 09-21-06, 02:21 PM   #6
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If you're sure that you're going to be using that MTB say %90 on paved road and not jumping logs or going down flights of stairs...go with 26 x 1.5 slicks...

I swear by these. IMHO they're worth it. If you're on a tighter budget...any slicker tread 80psi 26 x 1.5 tire at your LBS will do nicely as well. If you're on a even tighter budget and can only get one tire...put the skinnier, higher pressure one in back.

The other thing that I'd do if you do go to 1.5 slick tires is change your tubes as well...its not TOTALLY necessary but, again, IMHO it will make things alot easier. Trying to cram a tube made for 26 x 2.25-1.75 tire into a 26 x 1.5 tire CAN be a little time consuming, and if you're not careful...you could get pinch flats. I've gotten away with it, but for sake of convienence...get tubes made for a 26 x 1.0 - 1.5 tires.

I make it a rule that I keep a spare tube, a LBS plastic tire lever, the socket driver and socket to remove the rear wheel (my front is quick release), a cheap frame pump, and $1.00 in change (I'm NOT spending the time pumping to 80psi with a frame pump...I'll go to 40 to get me to a gas station to get the other 40psi...sometimes gas station air is not free) with me when I ride in case I get a flat.

One other thing...I don't know what time you gotta leave in the morning...but, its pretty dark outside in the early am where I live. Get a front and back light, people should be able to see you...this is your safety we're talking about here. And, you know what...you dont HAVE to spend a fortune on them if you don't want to. I have a Bell rear blinkie and a Bell front light that I bought from K-Mart for like $15...they serve their purpose. If you have the means, then yes...get something better...some of the LBS lights with mounted batteries can run pretty pricey though. In an urban area with street lights...you don't HAVE to go "bling" in this area, if you could...more power to you.
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Old 09-21-06, 02:24 PM   #7
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I don't believe the prevailing opinion that slicks provide as much traction as lightly treaded tires on pavement, but I guess they are not significantly worse, and I do use totally slick tires (Spocialized Fat Boys 1.25"). Light and fast as MTB tires go. They are magnets for glass, and I need to dig out the shards every so often before they work through to the tube.

I don't care for inverted tread tires like the Serfas Drifters. Although I haven't used that particular model, inverted tread tires tend to be heavy. Less suscepible to flats though, so if the added weight doesn't bother you, they could be a good choice.
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Old 09-21-06, 03:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
I don't believe the prevailing opinion that slicks provide as much traction as lightly treaded tires on pavement,
Believe it or not, it's true. The road itself has plenty of "tread." It is quite rough. Just ask anyone with road rash.

Ever wonder why these bad boys have slicks??



Of course, by your rationale, they should really look like this.

http://images.google.com/images?svnu...+tires+redneck
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Old 09-21-06, 04:48 PM   #9
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slicks for dry pavement.
lightly treaded for wet pavement.

Anyone getting a vehicle trying to perform to their best ability will use slicks to get the most traction.

more tread = less contact

This all being based upon dry condions on pavement.
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Old 09-21-06, 05:00 PM   #10
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thx guys... all of your opinions now makes me want to get slick tires....
but what do i do with the old (but new since it came from a new bike) tires... they are only lightly treaded, kinda like a semi slick (but not totally slick and smooth.) o.. and they are also as fat as those normally treaded mountain bike tires.

the ones i have on my bike is kind of like this: http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...3899270&ref=pd

should i replace them?
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Old 09-21-06, 05:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowandsteady
Believe it or not, it's true. The road itself has plenty of "tread." It is quite rough. Just ask anyone with road rash.

Ever wonder why these bad boys have slicks??



Of course, by your rationale, they should really look like this.

http://images.google.com/images?svnu...+tires+redneck
Ever wonder why they disappear off the tarmac in the wet? When that first sign of a wet track appears, they creep around to put on ... treaded tyres!!! I don't see a commuter trundling around with spare treaded tyres for when it starts to rain. Of course, it never rains in California, so I am told, to the OP might not need to worry.

The proponents of treadless tyres, in their justification, say it all has to do with aquaplaning (or hydroplaning) and how it is impossible for a bike tyre to do so. My interest is more in side-slip, and the arguments I've read don't refer to that. In fact, even Sheldon (whom I respect as highly as anyone else) does not, I believe, really address this issue at all well in his discourse.

But I *have* seen riders with slicks in the wet go down, and others with tread remain upright on the same corner at similar speeds. Plus, type of road surface can be influential (asphalt versus chipseal).
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Old 09-21-06, 05:41 PM   #12
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I wouldn't throw away a tire that isn't worn out. That's just me. Wear your tires out first, then buy street tires.
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Old 09-21-06, 05:59 PM   #13
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Ever wonder why they disappear off the tarmac in the wet? When that first sign of a wet track appears, they creep around to put on ... treaded tyres!!! I don't see a commuter trundling around with spare treaded tyres for when it starts to rain. Of course, it never rains in California, so I am told, to the OP might not need to worry.
F1 cars run 200+ mph and they have 10+ inch wide tires. A 10+ inch tire without tread will probably hydroplane at less than 30mph. This is why they have to switch to treaded tires in the rain.

An ideal MTB commuter tire is 26"x 1.5". It will hydroplane at something above 100mph. If you can pedal at a speed above 100mph, then you should be sure to have treaded tires in the rain. Otherwise slicks are fine on pavement for wet or dry conditions. I personally have been running some cheap Kenda 26" x 1.5's on my "Comfy" commuter this year (25 mile RT commute) with no problems.

Mud, ice and snow are by my experience altogether different propositions. Then you need tread and for the latter two some studs.
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Old 09-21-06, 06:02 PM   #14
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I notice that motorcycles' tires are slick. Is it the same reason of using slick on road bikes?
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Old 09-21-06, 06:15 PM   #15
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F1 cars run 200+ mph and they have 10+ inch wide tires. A 10+ inch tire without tread will probably hydroplane at less than 30mph. This is why they have to switch to treaded tires in the rain.

An ideal MTB commuter tire is 26"x 1.5". It will hydroplane at something above 100mph. If you can pedal at a speed above 100mph, then you should be sure to have treaded tires in the rain. Otherwise slicks are fine on pavement for wet or dry conditions. I personally have been running some cheap Kenda 26" x 1.5's on my "Comfy" commuter this year (25 mile RT commute) with no problems.

Mud, ice and snow are by my experience altogether different propositions. Then you need tread and for the latter two some studs.
Exactly! The only point of tread on a tire with a wide flat contact patch is to allow the water to escape. Since the water never gets trapped in a bike's tire there is no need for tread.
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Old 09-21-06, 06:20 PM   #16
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My interest is more in side-slip, and the arguments I've read don't refer to that. In fact, even Sheldon (whom I respect as highly as anyone else) does not, I believe, really address this issue at all well in his discourse.

But I *have* seen riders with slicks in the wet go down, and others with tread remain upright on the same corner at similar speeds. Plus, type of road surface can be influential (asphalt versus chipseal).
Side slip is because of a lack of traction. Having treads or studded tires will only minimize the contact with the road. Slicks are still the best. Your observations may not reflect what happens in thousands situations, just the handful you have seen. It also isn't a controlled experiment. For one, they were two different riders on I assume two different bikes.
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Old 09-21-06, 07:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infernobutterfl
thx guys... all of your opinions now makes me want to get slick tires....
but what do i do with the old (but new since it came from a new bike) tires... they are only lightly treaded, kinda like a semi slick (but not totally slick and smooth.) o.. and they are also as fat as those normally treaded mountain bike tires.

the ones i have on my bike is kind of like this: http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...3899270&ref=pd

should i replace them?
Those actually look slick enough, but they are too wide, for summer riding, you want a narrow, high pressure tire, keep the existing ones, until the rear wears out, then replace both, keep the front one, as a spare.
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Old 09-21-06, 09:28 PM   #18
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Check out the IRC Metro, it's a cheap tire with a Kevlar belt that I've run for 2,000 miles in NY with no problems, even with all the glass.

Plus, they're cheap. You can get them on sale at Nashbar for $10-$15.
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Old 09-22-06, 12:35 AM   #19
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I'll vote on the Armadillo Nimbus tires from Specialized. I put them on my MTB commuter after trying a couple others. I really like that they're 80psi too. As soon as I find them in 700 x 25 I'm slapping them on my roadie too.
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Old 09-22-06, 03:29 AM   #20
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Fit some 1.5"slicks (ones with kevlar puncture protection ).
Keep your old tyres handy as spares. You sometimes cut up tyres and need to replace them.

It is always handy to have a few spares around the house, cables, tubes, tyres etc. I even keep a spare inner tube at work (in addition to the spare I carry).
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Old 09-22-06, 05:45 AM   #21
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The old ones you've got aren't too bad. Some 1.5 or 1.25 slicks would be better, but I don't know how bad those tyres you've got would be. Slicks aren't too expensive, but if you don't want to spend the money, the ones you have would be OK. It's not like there 2 inch knobblies.
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Old 09-22-06, 08:30 AM   #22
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the slick/tread debate never ends.

I agree with the therory that slicks are better than a treaded tire for relatively clear pavement wet or dry,

BUT thrown into my commute is gravel, sand, mud, 1 mile of cement dust/ crushed limestone, piles and piles of wet leaves on the paved trail I ride, somtimes grass...

slicks do not work nearly as well on all the added surfaces as a light or inverted tread does.

I had slicks for a while on my commute beast but they were misirable on the leaves (almost deadly) and way too slow on the gravel and limestone sections of the bike trail I ride. Im using avocet cross tires right now 700 x 35 a tad heavy but they handle the "Other" surfaces pretty good.

Again If I were just mostly clean roads wet or dry then I would mount smoothies for sure.

"John"

Last edited by JOHN J; 09-22-06 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 09-22-06, 12:55 PM   #23
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infernobutterfl: I posted this reply in another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dynaryder
From personal experience:

For speed - WTB Slickasauruses in 1.5"(see if you can get the ones with reflective sidewalls)
For glass/road debris - Specialized Nimbus Flak Jackets in 1.5"
For comfort on a budget - Michelin Transworld Citys in either 1.5 or 1.95"
For road and trail - Vittoria Randonneaur Cross in 1.75"

The Slickasaur and Nimbus are high pressure. The Transworld and Randonneaur both have rubber shielding and reflective sidewalls. I've used and liked all of them for different reasons. The Town & Countries on my Safari seem to roll pretty good,but I haven't ridden them long enough for a full review.
mwrobe1: get a Topeak Mountain or Road Morph. Packs down pretty small,and with the foot lever and T handle it's almost as easy as a floor pump.
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Old 09-23-06, 03:02 PM   #24
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I ride slicks until the rainy winter, then switch to knobs.
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Old 09-23-06, 03:06 PM   #25
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Slick tires. It would make alot of difference, If I say so myself.
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