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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 03-31-09, 12:25 PM   #1
Andy_K 
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Yet Another Tire Thread

It's been at least a few hours since we had a thread about flat resistant tires, right?

For the last year or so, I've been riding 700x25 Gatorskins with tolerable results. I've been averaging about one flat every 1500 miles. These Gatorskins have around 2500 miles on them and are covered with various scars. Maybe they're getting more flats now because they're thinner than they used to be.

Recently, for whatever reason, there has been a lot of broken glass in the bike lanes (that is, even more than usual), and I've gotten abour four flats in the last month. So now, besides realizing that I need a Road Morph pump, I'm thinking about new tires and wanted to solicit opinions.

I know everyone loves Schwalbe Marathons Plus tires, but WOW those things are heavy. So I'm reluctant to go that route. I know Specialized Armadillos are also supposed to be very good at avoiding flats, but I'm a bit concerned with the hardness of the shell on those. I want something with a softer feel, which is why I've been using Gatorskins.

I'm kind of leaning toward Panaracer RibMos, but I can't seem to find a lot of opinions about them. Anyone using them? How do they ride? How hard are they to get on the rim? How well do they prevent flats? If anyone could compare them specifically to Gatorskins, that would be great.

Any other tires I should consider?
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Old 03-31-09, 12:49 PM   #2
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Andy-

There are lots of options out there for you. Before my employment here, I used to run the Ultra Gatorskins, and personally I have nothing bad to say about them. I don't think I ever flatted with them. You are probably experiencing more flats due to the mileage on your set of tires.

If you are staying with the 700x25 size, we have two tires that I might ask you to at least consider.

We have a Durano Plus, which operates on the same principle as the Marathon Plus, only in more of a racing tire format. It has the same puncture protection material as the Marathon Plus, but not quite as thick. This will be a bit of a trade-off; weight vs. puncture protection. This tire will last longer than our Ultremos but not as long as a Marathon. http://www.schwalbetires.com/node/2123

The other tire we make (but unfortunately not in stock right now) is the Ultremo DD. This is our top of the line road racing clincher with additional snakeskin built in to the carcass. This is a very light, very sticky tire, but as is the case with racing tires, not a tire with a long life. http://www.schwalbetires.com/ultremo_dd

Thanks for reading.

gb
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Old 03-31-09, 01:39 PM   #3
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Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase. Only flat I ever got was when my $5 pump got stuck on the presta valve and yanked out the core.
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Old 04-01-09, 01:04 PM   #4
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No other opinions? I thought at least one person would tell me the weight of the SMP's doesn't really matter. At this point, I'm thinking maybe I'll get the Ribmos just so someone on this forum will have something to say about them.
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Old 04-01-09, 01:18 PM   #5
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I'm tired of these threads.

... sorry I couldn't resist.
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Old 04-01-09, 01:23 PM   #6
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No other opinions? I thought at least one person would tell me the weight of the SMP's doesn't really matter. At this point, I'm thinking maybe I'll get the Ribmos just so someone on this forum will have something to say about them.
The 25-622 Marathon Plus has a listed weight of 580 g. It may or may not matter, but it'll be a little slower than some of the lighter tires mentioned.
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Old 04-01-09, 01:41 PM   #7
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No other opinions? I thought at least one person would tell me the weight of the SMP's doesn't really matter. At this point, I'm thinking maybe I'll get the Ribmos just so someone on this forum will have something to say about them.
OK, I'll bite.
I've ridden about 15,000 miles on the SMPs. The extra pound or so is roughly the same as packing your lunch. It's just not noticable to me. The rolling resistance is quite good, and going from Armadillos to SMP, the feeling is that the bike is easier to pedal. I replaced my first pair after 10,000 flat-free miles because the rear tread was getting thin. That makes them a good value in terms of miles per dollar.

Overall, they are the only non-winter tire that I would consider commuting on. Given current tire technology, I conclude that their weight is the minimum needed to achieve acceptible reliability.

Paul
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Old 04-01-09, 01:54 PM   #8
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OK, I'll bite.
I've ridden about 15,000 miles on the SMPs. The extra pound or so is roughly the same as packing your lunch. It's just not noticable to me. The rolling resistance is quite good, and going from Armadillos to SMP, the feeling is that the bike is easier to pedal. I replaced my first pair after 10,000 flat-free miles because the rear tread was getting thin. That makes them a good value in terms of miles per dollar.

Overall, they are the only non-winter tire that I would consider commuting on. Given current tire technology, I conclude that their weight is the minimum needed to achieve acceptible reliability.

Paul
Wow, I can go home. I can't top a sales pitch like that. Thanks.
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Old 04-01-09, 02:24 PM   #9
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Wow, I can go home. I can't top a sales pitch like that. Thanks.
You are most welcome. I should say, though, that I use Mr Tuffy liners with them. One object did manage to get all the way through the tire but was stopped by the liner. I will contend that SMP with Mr Tuffy gives about the same flat resistance as a typical DOT street-legal car tire. That strikes me as a reasonable standard; after all, nobody is clamoring for solid car tires.

Tire technology, both for cars and bikes, has really progressed in the past twenty years. Hats off to all you folks, at Schwalbe and elsewhere.

Pick the compromises you want to make - ride, wet adhesion, dry adhesion, weight, rolling resistance, wear, and puncture resistance, and some manufacturer will likely make something that fits your specifications.

Paul
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Old 04-01-09, 04:41 PM   #10
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The extra pound or so is roughly the same as packing your lunch
...except that my lunch doesn't rotate.

The reason I'm being a weight-weenie here is that whatever tires I'd be using would be the same tires I'd use for riding centuries. An extra pound doesn't make any difference on an 11-mile commute, but I'd rather not drag it up a hill at mile 95. But maybe I'm even overthinking that.

What size do you use?
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Old 04-01-09, 05:51 PM   #11
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...except that my lunch doesn't rotate.

The reason I'm being a weight-weenie here is that whatever tires I'd be using would be the same tires I'd use for riding centuries. An extra pound doesn't make any difference on an 11-mile commute, but I'd rather not drag it up a hill at mile 95. But maybe I'm even overthinking that.

What size do you use?
I use 35/622. The only riding I do is commuting, so I can't speak to what works best for centuries.

The only time rotating weight matters is on acceleration. (Actually, I am a weight weenie -- but only on cars.)

Paul
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