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  1. #1
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    MTB Slicks. 1.25 vs 1.50

    I am looking to get some slicks for my mountain bike. Most recommendations i have read on these forums, suggest a 1.5 instead of the thinner 1.25. Aside from maybe the 1.25 having a more harsh ride, are there any other reasons why most suggest the 1.5? Or do they?

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    I mounted 1.25in 95psi tires for a mtb commuter conversion. There's a big difference in rolling resistance compared to a +2in heavy tread. It's used only on pavement and the ride isn't harsh.
    Generally a wider tire offers a more comfortable ride...no other advantage that I know of.

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    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    It usually depends on the width of your original rims. The wider ones might not take the 1.25" tires.

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    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    I think the rule of thumb (from someone who has done exactly this) is that if your bike originally took 26 x 2.0, you can safely go down to 26 x 1.5, and any smaller than that you're kind of pushing it. I remember someone here giving me that answer and pointing me to Sheldon Brown's site to a chart with compatible tire sizes, but I'll be damned if I can find it now.

    Anyway, I went and got a set of 26 x 1.6 Conti Sport Contacts and was totally in love with them. Best tires I ever owned. Now that I have the Raleigh coming, I can't even use them and I only put about 30 miles on 'em :-(
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    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    I measured my rims as 0.944" wide. They used to have 2.1" tires on em. I now have 1.5" nimbus armadillo's, sheldonbrown's site says that 1.5"'s are probably the smallest I can put on it though the LBS told me I can safely go down to 1.25"

    I don't really believe there's a diff other than weight. The contact patch on my 1.5" nimbus was exactly the same as the last pair of tires I had, the 1.95" hemisphere's.

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    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    Just a side note: You may want to make sure your rims can tolerate the increased pressure of a thinner tire. I've heard on this forum (and God knows if it's true) of rims blowing apart from the doubled pressure of the smaller tires.

    I don't know how true that is, but I figured I'd pass it along in case you hadn't seen it.
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  7. #7
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    I am looking to get some slicks for my mountain bike. Most recommendations i have read on these forums, suggest a 1.5 instead of the thinner 1.25. Aside from maybe the 1.25 having a more harsh ride, are there any other reasons why most suggest the 1.5? Or do they?
    I usually recommend the 1.5. I like having that small bit of extra tire. I personally wouldn't dare go with a 1" as I feel for the way I ride that's just not enough tire

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    Assuming your rim can handle the tire widths you're considering, I think your decision should be based more on the type of terrain you expect to ride. I originally put 1.5" wide road tires on my hard-tail mountain bike when I decided to convert it to a tourer / commuter. When those tires wore out, I installed a tire that's closer to 1.25" wide, which I don't like as much. Now, my commute covers a rail-trail and a fair amount of gravel on the choppy road shoulders. So maybe it's psychological for me, but I prefer the wider tire even though I haven't had a problem with the narrower one.

    It could also be the differences in the tires-- they are not the same models or even the same brand. I also ran the wider tire until the casing showed. Tires worn that far get really slow, so the new tire felt quicker in several aspects. Maybe this made the new tire feel "less stable".

    The narrower tire, a Michelin Transworld City, is labeled as being 1.5" wide, but measures closer to 1.25". It's really noticeably thinner than the Bontrager I used before. The Michelin is also avaialable in a 2" model and I may try that one next time.

    That's my experience.

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    1.4" Ritchey Tommy Slicks

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    Ranger - It really depends on what you are using the bike for. If this is a fair weather bike, only on pavement, I would go with the 1.25" for less resistance. I use the 1.4" Tommy Slicks on my beater mountain bike as a foul weather commuter. I like the extra stability and wider tire if I am riding in rain, sandy/salt roads, ice, or the occasional off road excursion.

  11. #11
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vincenzosi
    Just a side note: You may want to make sure your rims can tolerate the increased pressure of a thinner tire. I've heard on this forum (and God knows if it's true) of rims blowing apart from the doubled pressure of the smaller tires.

    I don't know how true that is, but I figured I'd pass it along in case you hadn't seen it.
    I think mnt. bike wheels are much stronger than road wheels. The pressure is no problem. I ride all size bike tires and coming from a mnt. bike 2.1 to a slick 1.25 is a BIG change. I would go to a 1.5, get use to them and go smaller(if you want) when they wear out. Specialized Nimbus Armadillos is one of the toughest tires out there. Not the most comfortable though, a little harsh. Truely a commuter tire. Charlie

  12. #12
    SoCal Commuter DanO220's Avatar
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    I got away with running 100 psi, 1" slicks on a Sun Ringle XC rim that I'm sure was meant to mount 2" tires. I was willing to forgo comfort for rolling resistance. The ride was downright punnishing, and I don't know how long the rims would have held up, but I did put enough miles on them to demonstrate that the tires wouldn't blow of or anything. So you can confidently mount your 1.25's if you wish.

    DanO

  13. #13
    Senior Member Ebbtide's Avatar
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    I ride 1.0 top slicks on my standard Mtb wheels @ 120 psi. No problems in over 800 miles.

  14. #14
    Just riding andygates's Avatar
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    Those top slicks are a superb ride, easily the fastest, sharpest, most grin-inducing ride I've had: I swear that the Cannondale Bad Boy was such a success primarily because it was running those tyres.

    As you can tell, I'm a skinnies fan.

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    Senior Member Iffacus's Avatar
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    I used to run Specilized Turbo S 1" tyres on my MTB, ride was nice and fast, but used to get a lot of blowouts

    As such I would advise going for a wider tyre 1.25 should be fine
    Prerace, I use a misplaced faith in my innate ability, with a dose of needless optimism. For recovery, I use self-delusional techniques.

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    Is it easy to find 1.25 tubes with shrader valves?

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