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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 01-03-10, 12:42 PM   #1
bionnaki
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26" tire recommendations?

I have a mountain bike that I use for commuting and the bike will eventually need new tires after this season. The climate in this area sees alot of snow, but the city regularly plows and salts the streets. I currently have some knobby WTB tires, but they're quite sluggish on pavement. I plan on keeping the knobby tires for the winter weather, but once spring comes around I'd prefer a faster, city tire.

I am looking for some 26" tires that would have less rolling resistance. I am considering the 26" gatorskins -- has anyone tried these out? I would prefer a narrow tire over a wider tire.

any other recommendations?
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Old 01-03-10, 12:55 PM   #2
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Primo Comets (26x1.5/559-40) work well on pavement. With or without a Kevlar belt.
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Old 01-03-10, 04:46 PM   #3
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panaracer paselas come in 26 inch, they provide a little flat protection, but have a very nice ride.
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Old 01-03-10, 05:14 PM   #4
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I'm running the Serfas Drifters, in 26x1.5. Even come with reflective sidewalls.
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Old 01-03-10, 05:20 PM   #5
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Hard to beat those skinny gatorskins if you want a tire that skinny. I have them on a bike and they seem to be just like the road bike version. Tough and decent rollers.

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Old 01-03-10, 05:33 PM   #6
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Can't beat Primo Comets or Racers. I have run both on my recumbent and they work great. What ever you do stay awya from Kenda's. They suck big time.
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Old 01-03-10, 05:47 PM   #7
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Schwalbe Marathon Racer is a very fast rolling tire but not that puncture resistant. The Panaracer Pasela is a very good choice for fast rolling and adequate puncture resistance and not that tough of sidewalls. Schwalbe Marathon Supreme doesn't seem to roll as fast as above but still good for a street/touring tire and it's sticky on wet roads as well as being a tough tire just stupid expensive. Continental Sport Contact is great on crappy roads, tough overall and fast rolling but feels slippery in wet sometimes. There's a couple others I've been pleased with for speed and durability. Vittorio Randonneur Pro, I can't tell if it's in the Schwalbe Supreme category but it's fast and secure on wet stuff. Panaracer T-Serv Protex would be a good front tire. 26x1.5 for all of those. I don't think of these as the fastest tires, except the Racer, but fast enough and good for a range of conditions besides dry clean roads.
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Old 01-03-10, 09:22 PM   #8
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I have a pair of tires that are knobby on the side, but has a relatively smooth and straight line in the center. This gives me good traction on snow and lower rolling resistance on asphalt.
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Old 01-03-10, 09:34 PM   #9
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I'll never use anything but Forte Versa-Trac for my 26"-er. Best of both worlds, solid tire if you're not a weight weenie.
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Old 01-03-10, 11:31 PM   #10
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+1 for the Panaracers. 26x1.75 or 26x1.5 (my favorite). I have had good luck with both the Pasela and the T-Serv, but I always run with Mr. Tuffy liners. I also had a set of Forte tires once upon a time, can't remember the name, they had a funny tread design but worked well. Looks like Nashbar sells them as the Transition tire.

I can also say NOT to get the Serfas Barista tires. Too thin, too expensive, and riding a rigid MTB with 100psi 26x1.25 tires is... a little rough.
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Old 01-04-10, 10:13 AM   #11
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I have put about 2K on a set of 26 x 2.25 Schwalbe Marathon XR-Foldable (559) tires in the last year. They have performed well, no flats since I mounted them.
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Old 01-04-10, 11:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toddorado View Post
I'll never use anything but Forte Versa-Trac for my 26"-er. Best of both worlds, solid tire if you're not a weight weenie.
I use the Forte City in the 26X1.5. They wouldn't work in snow, but they work great on pavement.
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Old 01-06-10, 06:21 PM   #13
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so, if you have a choice between 26" gatorskins and pasela tourguards, which would you go for? they're both available locally from my shop.
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Old 01-06-10, 06:26 PM   #14
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Intense Micro Knobby, 2.25, roll like a dream!
Michelin Country Rock, 1.75, about to get 'em for my SS project.
Michelin City, 1.85, alternate for the SS.
Ritchey Tom Slick, 1.0 & 1.4, legendary.
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Old 01-06-10, 07:07 PM   #15
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I rolled on an older set of IRC Metro's 26x2.0 for 4 years, no flats, looked to be able to go on forever, but after all that time the sidewalls started looking a bit shabby, that bike died, and they still sit in the tire bin, where they may get used again someday for urban commuting. But they were heavy. My Trek is getting some new shoes this spring, as I intend to do some longer road rides on it, I'm looking at something in the under 1.5" range. My current top choice is the 26x1.25" Panaracer Urban Max. I'd spring for the 26x1.25" Panaracer T-Serv if the red ones were available in the USA.
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Old 01-06-10, 07:09 PM   #16
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so, if you have a choice between 26" gatorskins and pasela tourguards, which would you go for? they're both available locally from my shop.
Pasela TG if speed with reliability is wanted, Gatorskins if bombproof is ranked higher than speed.
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Old 01-06-10, 07:20 PM   #17
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There are a lot of good slick and semi-slick 26" tires available. I have Specialized Fatboys (26*1.25 and 100psi). Think about what is important to you (fast, flat protection, ride quality, etc.).
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Old 01-06-10, 07:42 PM   #18
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I use the Forte City in the 26X1.5. They wouldn't work in snow, but they work great on pavement.
The Versa-Trac is a 2.0 inch knobbie with a center seam for smooth going on pavement. You can take that tire anywhere.
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Old 01-07-10, 12:03 PM   #19
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Nashbar slicks. 1.25, fast and excellent value for the price.
Tom Slicks are great.
Continental Sport Contact 1.3, so, so nice.
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Old 01-07-10, 12:25 PM   #20
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The amount you have budgeted for tires would help a great deal in offering up suggestions. You can probably spend as little as $15/tire, and certainly as much as $70/tire, and anything in-between. The price of any given tire will for the most part be dictated by the tires features, and the related manufacturing complexity of producing the tire. It would also help to know what you consider the most important attributes of a tire that you would consider.

Some poeple want light, sticky tires so they can accelerate quickly and have a more nimble bike.
Some people don't care about weight or speed, they just never, ever want to encounter a flat during their commute.
Some people have a very limited budget, and just want a decent dependable tire that'll get them to work and back every day.

Most tire producers will have something for every scenario listed above (I know we do).

Your original post has left it pretty wide open, and such you will get scads of suggestions for tires that work really well for the people who are offering up their opinions, but just because the tires work well for someone else, doesn't mean that you'll be happy with them.

Just something to think about.

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Old 01-07-10, 12:30 PM   #21
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i rode with Kenda Kwest 1.5" last summer with my hardtail MTB. Works great. Cheap. No flats yet.
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Old 01-07-10, 01:25 PM   #22
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I have been very happy with my Gatorskins (I'm on my second set). Before trying the Gatorskins, I had a set of Specialized FatBoys. IMHO, the Gatorskins are much better. The Gatorskins feel better, and seem to be more puncture resistant.

I would recommend the Gatorskins without hesitation.
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Old 01-07-10, 02:19 PM   #23
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Nashbar slicks. 1.25, fast and excellent value for the price.
Tom Slicks are great.
Continental Sport Contact 1.3, so, so nice.
+1 I've used the Nashbar 1.25s for a while, they work well
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Old 01-09-10, 02:44 PM   #24
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Pasela TG if speed with reliability is wanted, Gatorskins if bombproof is ranked higher than speed.
seconded
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Old 01-09-10, 02:51 PM   #25
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Despite being wide, I preferred the 2" Big apples when I was commuting on a mtb. They were as good or better than all of the narrower tires I tried.
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