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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 08-17-07, 03:05 PM   #1
anthonyb
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Kenda K-rads vs. slicks for commuting

Hi, I've recently started commuting to school on a Giant Boulder SE mtb. I've been pretty happy with the bike so far, but I'd like to be able to go a bit faster to shave off some time and pedaling effort from my commute. Currently I've got 26x2.xxx Kenda K-rads on it, would it be worth the expense to switch to 1.5 or 1.75 slick tires?
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Old 08-17-07, 04:13 PM   #2
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I think so

I ride a Fisher Hard Tail MTB, and I swap out the knobbies for some Continental 26x1.3 semislicks. When I put these on, the difference was incredible! I'm not sure how big the difference will be going from a tire that is already fairly slick, but I would give it a try. I got my tires on clearance for about $12 a pop, plus some $6 tubes, so the whole thing only cost me $40.

Personally, the order of importance in a road tire for commuting purposes goes like this:
1. Reliability (i hate flats)
2. Weight (usually this positively correlates with width, but not always)
3. Price

I've used my Contis for about 2 years now and haven't had too many flats...and in fact all of them were probably my fault (jumping off curbs, running over logs, etc.). I think 1.3 feels ok, but I was wanting to try out the 26x1.5 Specialized Nimbus Armadillos. Anyone ever try those, and what do you think?
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Old 08-17-07, 05:42 PM   #3
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You'll see enough of an improvement that you'll be glad you did!
You won't get as much improvement as you would if you had some aggressive knobbies, but it'll still be nice.
Another area that you'll see great improvement is accelerating from a stop.
I weigh 240+ and pack up to 30 lbs. of groceries. I've found the 1.5" to be a good compromise on my non suspension bike.
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Old 08-17-07, 06:36 PM   #4
ong
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Yeah, it's nutty how much faster narrow slicks *seem* to go, anyway -- I've gradually migrated from 1.7 Kenda Kwicks to 1.4 Avocet Cross to 1.25 Performance-brand crappy slicks, and there has been a noticeable speed jump each time.
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Old 08-17-07, 07:04 PM   #5
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You will see a noticeable difference by switching to a slick tire.
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Old 08-17-07, 07:14 PM   #6
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I had a Raleigh M60 entry level hard tail that I decided to use as a bad weather commuter. First I replaced the fork with a suspension corrected steel fork. Then I added fenders and Nashbar 1.25 slicks.

I know they make 1 inch slicks which I'm now considering giving a try. Anybody out there ever run 26 X 1?
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Old 08-17-07, 08:31 PM   #7
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Smallest I ever went was 1.4. I never had a desire to go smaller, and actually enjoyed the 2" Big Apples much more than the 1.4/1.5 tires I tried.
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Old 08-17-07, 09:03 PM   #8
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Your rims are probably too wide to take anything smaller than 1.5"
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Old 08-18-07, 07:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthonyb View Post
Hi, I've recently started commuting to school on a Giant Boulder SE mtb. I've been pretty happy with the bike so far, but I'd like to be able to go a bit faster to shave off some time and pedaling effort from my commute. Currently I've got 26x2.xxx Kenda K-rads on it, would it be worth the expense to switch to 1.5 or 1.75 slick tires?
I've been commuting for years on mtb, and used k-rads at one time. They are pretty good. For other readers: this is not a knobby, it's more a semi-slick.

a 1.5" slick will be faster but not tremendously faster.
Cheers
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