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Old 03-06-11, 06:30 PM   #1
Tarkin
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I need new tires, what should I get?

Let's start this discussion assuming that I know very little about bicycle tires and what makes a tire good or bad.

About a year ago my wife and I bought a pair of GT Traffics (hybrids I guess) and began our bicycling to everywhere we need to go. This week I was cleaning the bikes and oiling the chains and doing basic preventative maintenance when I noticed long cracks in the sidewalls of the tired on both our bikes. The following conversation went something like this:

"I think we need new tires"
"What? It's only been a year since we got the bikes!"
"Well look at the cracks."
"Well those tires didn't last long."
"How many kilometers do you think we've gone"
*quick calculations of commuting to work, classes, and camping trips*
"Oh . . ."
"Somewhere around 3000km then."
"We need new tires."

So I don't know if 3000 kilometers is a good amount of distance for a set of tires but it has been through rain and snow and over mostly roads but frequently on dirt paths. the tires are Schwalbe Road Cruisers and the size is 700x40.

Now I have a few questions: From what I have read my rim should be able to take other sizes than 700x40, like 700x35/32/28, is that right? If I can get different size tires what size would you suggest? I mostly ride on either sidewalks or the road through the city. A friend of mine who is an avid cyclist and who also got me back into cycling suggested Schwalbe Marathons, good suggestion?

I will be heading to my LBS sometime this week to buy some new tires but I thought I would try and find some information beforehand so I at least know what I am looking for. Thanks.
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Old 03-06-11, 06:45 PM   #2
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I`d go with what you had myself

You were lucky enough or smart enough to pick a bike with a decent tire to start off with. Most tires that come stock with most bikes in that price range are pretty juncy but that GT is well speced and those Schwalbes are an excellent choice.

The cracking sidewalls are usually more a symptom of lots of UV exposure coupled with running the tires under inflated so buying a more expensive tire isn`t going to change that. On the other hand - if you buy a cheaper tire than what you already have you`ll probably wear the tread out in a couple months based on the milage you posted.
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Old 03-06-11, 06:51 PM   #3
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I ride with 700 X 28's, you might go with 32's

Some to look at:

http://www.everybicycletire.com/Shop...urerFilterID=1
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Old 03-06-11, 09:06 PM   #4
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I do have to admit that I am bad about checking the pressure on my tires. Our bikes also live under the stairwell outside of our apartment. We live on the second floor in a breadbox apartment so bringing them inside really isn't an option. Knowing that the cracking is from UV and under-inflation I will probably be more diligent with the new tires about checking the pressure and I might invest in a cover to throw over our bikes when they are parked at home.

Last edited by Tarkin; 03-06-11 at 09:59 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-06-11, 09:22 PM   #5
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I just got some Continental Contact 700x28 tires. Bulletproof construction, good grip and up to 102 psi. Highly recommended.
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Old 03-06-11, 09:58 PM   #6
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Right now I have 700x40, if I were to go to 700x32 or 28 would that mean that the tires are not as tall, or not as wide? I am a little fuzzy on which measurements are what.
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Old 03-06-11, 09:59 PM   #7
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Not as wide
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Old 03-06-11, 10:01 PM   #8
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Just for the record I am about to move and my commute is going to get a bit longer, probably somewhere near 60km a day, at least 5 days a week. I assume a more expensive tire will hold up better and longer, how much longer will a $60 tire last over a $30 tire?
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Old 03-06-11, 10:05 PM   #9
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OP, not sure where you live, but if you go to an outdoor sports store or a boating store you can find a product called "303 Aerospace Protectant." It is a protectant spray for anything plastic or rubber that is exposed to UV. It would be wise to wipe the sidewalls of your tires with such a product (makes sure not to get the product on your brakes or braking surface). It will protect the sidewalls from breaking down so quickly.
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Old 03-06-11, 10:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarkin View Post
Just for the record I am about to move and my commute is going to get a bit longer, probably somewhere near 60km a day, at least 5 days a week. I assume a more expensive tire will hold up better and longer, how much longer will a $60 tire last over a $30 tire?
Depends on a few things: your weight, Type of roads, trash, glass, wires, etc in the roads.

Where do you live?
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Old 03-07-11, 04:39 AM   #11
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Depends on a few things: your weight, Type of roads, trash, glass, wires, etc in the roads.

Where do you live?
About 105 kilograms, the roads are pretty well maintained and smooth, not a whole lot of trash or glass on the road but I do live near the ocean so there is sand just about everywhere. I'm convinced whenever I clean my bike I knock about a kilo of sand off it.

Oh, I live in northern Japan, a city called Sendai. I'll look around for that UV protecting spray, thanks for the tip.
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