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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 10-29-04, 07:47 PM   #1
mikdes
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25mm Gatorskin - big enough for commuting?

Is the 25mm sufficient for commuting? I have a bunch of Performance gift certificates and the biggest Gatorskin they have is a 25. Thanks!
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Old 10-29-04, 08:05 PM   #2
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They seem to run narrow. My 28's are exactly 1 inch wide (mounted on 19mm rim). Depending on your route, and what you like. I would try Armadillo before going narrower but the contis are tough tires, I think they will get you there...
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Old 10-29-04, 08:30 PM   #3
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Yeah, I'm thinking of the Armadillos too, but I don't have any "free money" to a shop that carries them. I might splurge for them anyway, though. I'll be commuting about 10-15 miles one way through and from Portland, OR, so the tougher the better.
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Old 10-29-04, 08:47 PM   #4
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Well, the 28c gatorskins are the thinnest I've used so far. Some others should relate their experiences with the tire you are looking at. I'm sure Performance has some other goodies you can use, but I get that you need tires right now and not some other things. Nashbar has wider gatorskins. You might consider those vs. the specialized if you decide to shell out some cash. I can't tell you they are better (I never used the new armadillos) but I swear by the 28c gatorskin, they are lasting long time and not many flats. I've been using them awhile, did wear out a couple pairs already but many miles on all but one tire that got a big cut from something sharp in the road.
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Old 10-29-04, 09:26 PM   #5
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I'm having longevity problems with Armadillos on rear wheels. I'm getting tread separation at about 1500 miles and plan on trying the gatorskins next in hopes they last longer. Ihink a 25 size tire is fine unless you're commuting through downtown Baghdad or some other war zone.
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Old 10-29-04, 09:31 PM   #6
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I think a 25 size tire is fine unless you're commuting through downtown Baghdad or some other war zone.
Or the wrong side of any major US city.
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Old 10-29-04, 10:04 PM   #7
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I commute on 23c Hutchinson carbon comp pros. Or whatever it was that Performance had on sale at the time. Never had a flat, 18.9 mile one way. The LHT is going to get Panaracer Paesala (sp) Tour Guards in 28.

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Old 10-30-04, 06:26 AM   #8
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I commute on the 25mm tires that came with my bike (I don't know what brand). I have no trouble with them in downtown Boston (which is probably pretty close to downtown Baghdad in terms of road quality, though admittedly with fewer explosives)
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Old 10-30-04, 06:33 AM   #9
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I've used 25c Gatorskins for the last 6 months or so. No real problems, but a few flats. Making sure they were always at 100psi helped with that. No seperation or anything, but I replaced them a few days ago, so I'll be waiting until spring to find out how much longer they will last, probably..
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Old 10-30-04, 07:25 AM   #10
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I hate being late ( ironic, ain't it? ). So the only tire in that mess I would use would be the Conti TT2000. It's heavier than I want, but the others are too small and wimpy. Actually, that's what I have on my commuter right now. I have come to the conclusion that belted 28c tires that weigh 300-400 gram are large enough, and rugged enough, to be reliable if you don't pump them up real hard. My Rivendell Ruffy Tuffys have given me a thosuand worry free miles, good handling, and a sweet ride.
They are a compromise. They aren't heavy enough to shrug off the really nasty road debris the way a TT2000 or a Schwalbe Marathon can. But they feel much livelier because they weigh almost half what those tires do. OTOH, they are just rugged enough to avoid most flats. I'm a happy camper.
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Old 10-30-04, 08:59 AM   #11
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I commuted 42 miles round trip all summer on 25mm Conti Gator Skins. Only one flat all summer. You'll be fine.
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Old 10-30-04, 09:09 AM   #12
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What do you have on the bike now? How is it working for you? Why do you want to change? If you want flat resistance, why not get kevlar liners for < $10? Ride with what you have until you have a good reason to change.

I have have a 28 Gatorskin on the rear and an 28 Ultra 2000 on the front. I'd only go narrower if you have abnormally good road conditions or if you don't carry much. I'm tempted to get thicker tires when these wear out. If your 25's turn out to be too narrow, you will have wasted your gift certificates.

Remember, a commute isn't a race. Wider tires may slow you down a bit, but narrower tires put more wear and tear on your bike, the stuff you attach to your bike, and you. In the end, it's all a trade off. What's important to you?
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Old 10-30-04, 10:38 AM   #13
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I pretty much have to change tires as my bike is a new cyclocross bike. The tires I have now are 30mm Hutchinson cross tires - knobbies.
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Old 10-30-04, 10:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikdes
Is the 25mm sufficient for commuting? I have a bunch of Performance gift certificates and the biggest Gatorskin they have is a 25. Thanks!
25 is great if you've got plenty of smooth pavement. I got 700x25 GP 4-Seasons, another flavor of
the GatorSkin, which ride and wear well, and deflect rocks and glass great. Very happy with them.
However, curb-hopping and real potholes are out of the question at this width.
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Old 10-30-04, 11:27 AM   #15
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bkrownd is right. With 25's, you greatly limit your ability to go over rough pavement. When you commute, you often face the choice of going over a rough patch or swerving. The thicker your tires, the easier it will be to stay straight. Narrow tires will force you to swerve more.

For example, there's one stretch of road I can take to work that is extremely rough. It's so rough that with my 28's, I have to stay to the left side of the left lane. When I rode my MTB with 1.25 tires, I went straight over the rough patches without problem.

It's all about trade offs. Smooth ride v. faster ride. Ability to take on rough patches v. ability to go a little faster. You have to decide what's right for your conditions.

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Old 10-31-04, 07:53 PM   #16
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I'm on 25" 'Dillo's 10 miles each way and they suit me FINE - no prob...
Daily has a point ... smooth v. speed
What are the road conditions on your commute?
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Old 10-31-04, 10:01 PM   #17
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The tires that came with my bike, Redstone Classic 25's, have been flat free for 1200 miles since I bought a floor pump. Previously I used a frame pump which just did not give me the 115-120 psi I needed to avoid a pinch flat. My only flat.

My route consists of a bike trail that connects to a relatively smooth road into work. At least in terms of bike tire life, it is good to live in the suburbs.
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Old 10-31-04, 10:26 PM   #18
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Well, after all that I ordered some 28mm Conti Top Tourer 2000 tires today. I've heard you sacrifice a bit in weight and speed, but that they're very durable, especially if you keep the inflation up. I chose them over the Gatorskins due to the width available at the time, price (on sale for $21.99), and my Performance gift certificates. They also seem to have fewer negative user ratings on some of the websites I've been frequenting.
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Old 10-31-04, 11:50 PM   #19
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The TT's seem to be popular around here. Sounds like a good buy.
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Old 11-01-04, 04:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows
I commute on the 25mm tires that came with my bike (I don't know what brand). I have no trouble with them in downtown Boston (which is probably pretty close to downtown Baghdad in terms of road quality, though admittedly with fewer explosives)
I found that most amusing, to say the least... I wonder if it's worse since the big dig project having everything dug up... I'm sure that's been quite the mess. Are they even done with it yet?
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Old 11-01-04, 07:29 AM   #21
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You will probably be quite happy with the Contis. I found that Conti 28s (I have used 2000 and 3000 Ultra) seem to be about the same width as most 25s.

FWIW, I HATE flats so I use thorn resistant tubes, Tuffy liners, AND Kevlar belted tires (Avocet Cross II K and Specilialized Infinity Armadillos). Yes it all probably adds a couple of pounds of rotating weight, but I weigh over 200 so I certainly don't notice. Performance offers 700c thorn resistant tubes to fit 23-26, and QBP has 28-32 and 35-43.
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Old 11-02-04, 11:39 AM   #22
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i got those top tourers on my bike right now and am real happy with them.

one tip.... they are a little squirrely at first till you wear all the exceess tread rubber off of them. it took me almost two weeks at 30 miles a day to get all the "extra" tread worn off (i also rotated em once during the break-in to get the front tire's extra "stuff" to wear off), but now they roll smooth as a babies butt... long lasting and only one flat (a tack) in 3-4 months.

oh i forgot to add as well, if your a big guy like me (220) don't be afraid to juice em up to 100 psi... thats how i been running em for extra cornering stability (they seemed to flop around a little when you leaned into curves at 85psi).
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Old 11-02-04, 11:49 AM   #23
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I'm about 185, but hope to get that down to about 165 or 170 after commuting for a while. Thanks for the tip on the "squirrely-ness."
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Old 11-02-04, 12:06 PM   #24
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Its really hard to recommend tires to other riders. There are so many factors that influence tire choice. What some people may consider normal urban conditions, others will say the same conditions are the gates of hell. Some folks are heavy, some are light. Some folks are better at shock-absorbing imprefections than others.

In my case, I ride in an urban environment in areas where it is considered "normal" to drink a 40oz bottle of malt liquor at 9am and then toss the empty bottle _anywhere_ but in a trash can.

On one bike, I run 25mm avocet fasgrips with no special protection and have a flat roughly every 100-200 miles. I think I fix flats more often than most people. As far as I can tell, the flats are caused by glass. Riding on wet streets at dusk really increases my chances of getting a flat-- because I consciously avoid glittery specks when I can see them.
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Old 11-02-04, 12:19 PM   #25
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I have 700x25 Vittoria Rubino Pros on my bike. Almost 1000 miles on this set of tires and no flats yet. I guess that kevlar belt is doing it's job.
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