Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-08-10, 06:15 AM   #1
damnable
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Aus
Bikes:
Posts: 634
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Thinnest tire on a mountain bike

So I got myself a mountain bike and I would like to use it for commuting and general road use. The easiest way to make this more enjoyable is of course change the current (26 x 1.95") knobby tires to thinner slicks. The trouble is I don't know how thin I can go. And for what I thought would be a simple question after much searching I can't seem to find a definitive answer.

The rims are marked 559x18 which I presumed 18 is the internal rim width in mm.

According to the chart here http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire_sizing.html the thinnest I can go with 18 mm rim is 28 mm or about 1.1 inch. Does this sound about right to people and does it agree with your experience? 1.1 inch is the thinnest I've seen advertised for 26" wheels. Obviously if I go that thin I'll have to change the tubes over as well.

Other than that, can anyone suggest a good thin, slick and durable tire for commuting? (I hate flats).
damnable is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-10, 07:18 AM   #2
kd5udb
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I commute on a Trek 720 Hybrid that originally had 700 by 1 1/2" wide tires. The last two sets of wheels built for this bike have been 20mm rims and now 18mm Sun CR18's.

My tire of choice are Continental Gatorskins in 700 by 28. Never have flats at all, just tore one of my sidewalls up by getting it caught in a crack which meant replacing the tire. Still got home that day with lowered air pressure and a big bulge!

This combination is much faster than the way the bike was set up new, works well for me. Not sure if Conti makes 26" Gatorskins and I am assuming that this is what you have because it is a mountain bike.

Make sure that if you change rims sizes, make sure that the brakes clearthe wheel / pads have enough adjustment to reach the rims, etc

Hope this helps,
Chris - Baton Rouge, La - USA
kd5udb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-10, 07:27 AM   #3
kd5udb
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Im on the bike today, will see if I can post you a few pics.

Chris
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PICT3580..jpg (93.1 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg PICT3579..jpg (95.1 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg PICT3581..jpg (99.3 KB, 57 views)
kd5udb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-10, 07:28 AM   #4
That Linux Guy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kd5udb View Post
Not sure if Conti makes 26" Gatorskins and I am assuming that this is what you have because it is a mountain bike.
They do. http://www.amazon.com/Continental-Ul.../dp/B000NGT2VY
That Linux Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-10, 07:43 AM   #5
hairytoes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 467
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
If you go too small, it can affect handling. Changing from 2.5" to 1" will alter the trail of the bike and may result in it being susceptible to shimmy at high speeds.

I've been down the route of getting the narrowest slicks I could on my 26" bike. In the end I found tyre construction to be the most important factor in reducing rolling resistance (mostly light flexible sidewalls).
hairytoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-10, 09:01 AM   #6
Steely Dan
born again cyclist
 
Steely Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chicago
Bikes: I have five of brikes
Posts: 2,085
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
i've got 26 x 1.0 (559 x 25) Ritchey Tom Slick's on my mountain commuter. i believe the inner dimension on my Vuelta Zerolite rims is 17mm, so i'm right at the very edge of sheldon brown's scale, but it works. however, as a caveat, i will say that a very narrow tire on a MTB rim set-up does seem to be more susceptible to pinch flats.
Steely Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-10, 10:32 AM   #7
mechBgon
Senior Member
 
mechBgon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 6,957
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you want something light and quick-accelerating, you could try the Panaracer Pasela TG folding 26 x 1.25 with Continental Race 650 Light tubes. They're about 28-29mm inflated. Along with the caveats listed above, also be aware that the bike will ride a lot closer to the ground, reducing your pedal clearance when pedalling through corners.

In the bigger picture, even big tires can be quite fast, if they're really good tires. Continental Race King Supersonic 2.2 comes to mind, they're a full 55mm width and still wicked-fast.
mechBgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-10, 11:30 AM   #8
irclean
Born Again Pagan
 
irclean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Bikes: Schwinn hybrid, Raleigh MTB
Posts: 2,242
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
While not as narrow as some examples given in response to this thread, my switch to 1.5" slicks made a world of difference in rolling resistance on my MTB, while still being wide enough to make the bike feel very stable.

With 2.125" knobbies:



With 1.5" slicks:

irclean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-10, 11:36 AM   #9
Steely Dan
born again cyclist
 
Steely Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chicago
Bikes: I have five of brikes
Posts: 2,085
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Along with the caveats listed above, also be aware that the bike will ride a lot closer to the ground, reducing your pedal clearance when pedalling through corners.
quoted for truth. having gone all the way down to a 559 x 25 tire, i have noticed that pedal strikes are now more common in tight turns. not necessarily the end of the world if you're conscious of it and remember to coast through tight turns, but another reason why going all the way down to the absolute skinniest tire you can use can cause other issues with your bike.
Steely Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-10, 11:47 AM   #10
southpawboston 
Senior Member
 
southpawboston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Somerville, MA and Catskill Mtns
Bikes:
Posts: 4,011
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
i swapped my wife's 26x2.0" knobbies for 26x1.4" continental city tires for general purpose city riding, and the bike rode perfectly stably with them (not to mention with far less rolling resistance!). the rider was a tad harsher, but that was to be expected. these are 1.4" contis:

__________________
Velo Lumino - Lighting components and integration solutions for fine hand-built and classically inspired bicycles

Riding the Catskills blog

Flickr

1971 Mercian Olympic | 1972 Jeunet 630 | 1982 Jack Taylor Tour of Britain | 1984 Shogun 1500 650B | 2013 Rawland Stag | 2014 Jeff Lyon L'Avecaise | 2015 Bike Friday Haul-a-Day
southpawboston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-10, 12:17 PM   #11
ghettocruiser
Former Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: dropmachine.com
Bikes:
Posts: 4,062
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Continental Race King Supersonic 2.2 comes to mind, they're a full 55mm width and still wicked-fast.
They're bigger than most 2.4" tires. This time of the year they tend to jam a lot of leaves in my frame from the limited clearance. But I greatly enjoy the ride from massive air volume on a tire that lightweight.

Typically they cost me three or four minutes (over 25 min total) vs the 700x28C wheelset on my way into work.
ghettocruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-10, 01:03 PM   #12
exile
Senior Member
 
exile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Binghamton, NY
Bikes: 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker, 1999 Jamis Exile
Posts: 2,861
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have Specialized FatBoys (26*1.25 100psi) on my hardtail. I had a few flats when I first got them, but nothing for a while now. I am not sure how many flats can be contributed to rider error though. The rim width looks about right.

I enjoy my tires. A lot faster than the knobbies that came with it and the Michelin TransWorld City's they replaced.
exile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-10, 01:31 PM   #13
PaulRivers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Bikes:
Posts: 5,597
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
That sounds roughly right, but I don't know that I would go down to 28mm if it was me. That can lead to a pretty uncomfortable ride on a bike that was designed with big fat tires in mind. In my limited experience, 1.5" is a safe bet for being noticeably faster but comfy, 1.25" if you want to give up some noticeable comfort for perhaps a slight increase in speed (I think it's 32c in road tire terms). I wouldn't go below 1.25" myself, not unless the bike was designed to start with smaller tires - carbon fork, better vibration reducing design, etc.

For cheap puncture resistant tires, my Panaracer TServ tires have been pretty good, and cost like $40/tire. I've heard good things about their slightly less expensive cousin - the Panaracer Paseal TG's as well (make sure you get the TG or the Tourguard version, there's another version that's cheaper but noticeably less puncture resistant that doesn't have TG or Tourguard in the name).

For more expensive tires, I've also heard good things about the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme's. They're targetted at "fast but comfortable". Good puncture resistance. Not sure what they're smallest size is.

I think the Specialized Armadillo's come in relatively less-wide sizes - I *think* the Specialized Armadillo Roubaix tire has a good ride and good puncture resistance. My dad has some version of the Armadillo's and likes them.
PaulRivers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-10, 04:47 PM   #14
CCrew
Older than dirt
 
CCrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Winchester, VA
Bikes: Too darn many.. latest count is 11
Posts: 5,343
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Put 26x1.25 Panaracer Urban Max's on the wifes Specialized. To me I couldn't do it because it looks naked but she loves them for pavement.
CCrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-10, 12:53 AM   #15
nashvillwill
Senior Member
 
nashvillwill's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: East Bay
Bikes: Globe Vienna 3 Disc
Posts: 273
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm not saying this is the best setup, it's just what i have and love. MTB wheels, 559x20 which came with 26x1.95 knobbies on them. I switched to 26x1.25 Panaracer pasela's (although mine are not folding tires like an above poster said). Not true slicks, but very little tread. They have made a world of difference for me. MUCH less rolling resistance, and i have found more confidence in cornering. I stay on the streets, so i can't comment on how they would do on dirt, but i can tell you that i will never go back to the MTB tires.
nashvillwill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-10, 07:11 AM   #16
kd5udb
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
All valid points. It's working out for me because:

The Trek 720 was a hybrid/cross bike to start with so it had 700C wheels and going to narrower lower profile tires did loose a little height but not enough to have pedal strike problems. Also there is plenty of brake adjustement with the V brakes.

I probably don't have pinch flat problems because I weigh in at 145 lbs and usually have at the most 20 lbs in the panniers. Heck, I run the back tire at about 100 pounds and the front at about 85 so they aren't as harsh.

Chris, Baton Rouge
kd5udb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-10, 05:59 PM   #17
Kojak
Senior Member
 
Kojak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: PNW - Victoria, BC
Bikes: 2002 Litespeed Vortex - 2007 Trek Madone 5.9 - 2004 Redline Conquest Pro - Specialized S-Works Festina Team Model - 93 Cannondale M 800 Beast of the East
Posts: 1,482
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Pay attention to the width of your rim. You don't want to go so narrow so as to create an incompatibility issue with the rim.

http://www.schwalbetires.com/tech_info/tire_dimensions

"which tire fits which rim" heading.
Kojak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-10, 04:55 AM   #18
Esteban32696
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 1,147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
I have a mountain bike that I use for commuting as well. It had 1.95 knobbies & I changed to a 1.5" semi-slick. Still using the same tubes.
Esteban32696 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:05 PM.