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  1. #1
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    Needed: Recommendations on most bulletproof 26" tire/tube combo...

    Really, compared to the price of gas and auto maintenance, bike tire/tube cost is no object.

    I have a five-mile commute through the lower income neighborhood of the big city school where I teach. Bike also gets used to shop/run errands when I can. Route includes much hopping up and down curbs, old uneven sections of pavement, short cuts through unpaved alleys, and sections where I have to ride on and off of the pavement alongside the highway.

    Continental Town and Countries have answered well for this in the past. Looking for a general equivalent in terms of low rolling resistance/some off road tread, but one with kevlar protection.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Conti Top Tour.. and a thorn resistant heavy duty tube .. accept the extra weight.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, and thanks for the quick response.

    At 26" by 1.9" the Top Contacts sound perfect except for the refective sidewalls.

    I often ride home after dark.

    There are no lights or reflectors on my bike, nor do I wear a helmet. Without meaning to make too much of it; the option of travelling in stealth mode after dark around these parts far outweighs any concerns about "being seen by cars". Likewise wearing a helmet while riding a bike, especially after dark just spells "V-I-C-T-I-M".

    Bummer, ideal otherwise.

    Do you have any other tire suggestions?

    Regards,

    Mike
    Last edited by Sharpshin; 10-07-13 at 12:47 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member AusTexMurf's Avatar
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    Conti Travel Contacts, non reflective.

  5. #5
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpshin View Post
    Thanks, and thanks for the quick response.

    At 26" by 1.9" the Top Contacts sound perfect except for the refective sidewalls.

    I often ride home after dark.

    There are no lights or reflectors on my bike, nor do I wear a helmet. Without meaning to make too much of it; the option of travelling in stealth mode after dark around these parts far outweighs any concerns about "being seen by cars". Likewise wearing a helmet while riding a bike, especially after dark just spells "V-I-C-T-I-M".

    Bummer, ideal otherwise.

    Do you have any other tire suggestions?

    Regards,

    Mike
    I'm curious, Where do you ride where wearing a helmet spells "V-I-C-T-I-M", and not being seen is safer at night?
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  6. #6
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    Yes,I ride Town and Countries through lower income neighborhoods to my big inner city High School teaching job. Haven't needed Kevlar...
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley

  7. #7
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrajack View Post
    I'm curious, Where do you ride where wearing a helmet spells "V-I-C-T-I-M", and not being seen is safer at night?
    I ride here:






    (sketch was one of my students)





    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley

  8. #8
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    well seems like your safety is at high risk so i don't want to steer you wrong . i use pasela tourguide , kevlar lining tires. i get them mail order from harris cyclery in mass. near your area. anyway they have them in various sizes and i believe 26" is one of the sizes-worth a look.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpshin View Post
    Thanks, and thanks for the quick response.

    At 26" by 1.9" the Top Contacts sound perfect except for the refective sidewalls.

    I often ride home after dark.

    There are no lights or reflectors on my bike, nor do I wear a helmet. Without meaning to make too much of it; the option of travelling in stealth mode after dark around these parts far outweighs any concerns about "being seen by cars". Likewise wearing a helmet while riding a bike, especially after dark just spells "V-I-C-T-I-M".

    Bummer, ideal otherwise.

    Do you have any other tire suggestions?

    Regards,

    Mike
    You could always paint over the reflective sidewall. Model paint would work, a permanent marker might as well, but my experience with permanent markers tells me they are only "permanent" when you don't want them to be, and wear off of everything I want them to be permanent on.

    I've had really good results with Vittoria Randonneur Pros, like maybe one flat a year, and I'm about 280 pounds and ride over pretty rough streets (although probably not as rough as yours). Used to get flats all the time with lower quality tires. Not much tread to speak of though. I used to love the Town and Country's until they discontinued the smaller size. Now they feel squirrelly to me in the larger size.

    If I were you I'd be tempted instead of going with thorn resistant tubes which are kind of awful, to use a Mr. Tuffy tire liner. Pretty sure it weighs less and a Mr. Tuffy pretty much turns any tire into a near bullet proof tire. Also, no mess all over the inside of your tire like when a slime filled tube does get punctured. Pretty sure a Mr. Tuffy and a Town and Country would be a great combo for you.

    Good luck, and kudos to you for perservering!
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  10. #10
    Rocketship Underpants Dwayne's Avatar
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    I would recommend a set of Schwalbe Big Apples, the largest size you can fit (I use 2.15", my old steel hardtail MTB with fenders won't fit the 2.3"). Yes, they have a reflective strip on the sidewall, but it can be pulled off since it's only adhesive, leaving you with a black tire. I have 6500 miles on mine, regularly ride bad pavement, up and down curbs, down stairs, etc, and they're perfect. They're not an off-road tire obviously, but they do ok on unpaved surfaces.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne View Post
    They're not an off-road tire obviously, but they do ok on unpaved surfaces.
    I use my BAs offroad every day. They are great offroad, just not enough traction for mountain biking.

  12. #12
    Senior Member AusTexMurf's Avatar
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    Schwalbe Big Apples
    Continental City Ride 2
    Continental Travel Contact
    Schwalbe Marathon Green Guard

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrajack View Post
    I'm curious, Where do you ride where wearing a helmet spells "V-I-C-T-I-M", and not being seen is safer at night?

    West Side of San Antonio Yo

    Don't get me wrong, San Antonio is about the friendliest major urban poverty center there is.

    But.... on the days when I don't leave my high school until around 10pm (more often than you'd think)... being visible in advance like with reflectors gives potential miscreants a few moments for premeditation as in.... "hey, lets knock that guy over and take his bike" etc etc....

    Towards that end, being older (mid-fifties) having a beard helps. What I do is bag up my dress shirt for the ride home, wear an old t-shirt and especially a cotton knit or wool watch cap. I'm commonly taken for homeless, as indeed most older bearded Anglos in my neighborhood are

    Been teaching here for twenty-five years, bicycle commuting on and off, getting to an age where I take the bicycle while I still can.

    This area seems pretty safe, and most times it is, but occasionally something awful happens. For example, been two drive-by's and one fatal shooting on my street in the last ten years (or one incident of catastrophic violence about every three years), yet kids play in the streets and we can and have left our car doors unlocked in the driveway, even with valuable stuff inside, for years.

    I carry a 9oz can of bear spray in one saddlebag, mostly for dogs, never had to use it (though have successfully resorted to bear spray against pits and such several times while walking my dogs, only downside is its $50 a can). Prob'ly wouldn't violently resist an attempt to take my bike. This IS Texas, but packing a discrete firearm ain't an option given my workplace.

    My favorite commuting bike is a 15 year old Kona Blast 8sp mountain bike with a Marzocchi fork. I bought it for my then 14 year-old son as a reward for doing the 50 mile loop on the Lance Armstrong charity ride in Austin. Any smaller and I wouldn't fit, but the near BMX proportions work well to lend manouverability on the "urban technical" sections I have to navigate en route.

    Mike
    Last edited by Sharpshin; 10-08-13 at 11:19 AM.

  14. #14
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    Standalone,

    Thank you for understanding

    But I gotta say, compared to friendly ol' San Antone, where you ride looks scary.

    Regards,

    Mike

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    Schwalbe Marathon plus.

    limited options in 26x?.?? But to my knowledge there is at least one. If ou can find schwalbe marathon dupreme (not supreme, Dupreme) in the right size they might be even more bullet-proof.

  16. #16
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    First off, thanks to everyone for the helpful replies.

    What's REALLY going on here is that long distance on a bike has always been on my bucket list. Tho I have crossed the continent more times than I can easily recall on a motorcycle, never done it on a bicycle, which is a whole quantum leap upward in difficulty of course.

    Getting to age where I gotta do it while I still have the knees for it (IF I still have the knees for it). Towards that end I've been taking the long way home, and planning some all-day expeditions soon as I get a free Saturday just to see how far I get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    If I were you I'd be tempted instead of going with thorn resistant tubes which are kind of awful, to use a Mr. Tuffy tire liner. Pretty sure it weighs less and a Mr. Tuffy pretty much turns any tire into a near bullet proof tire.
    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Actually I really like Town and Country's, near perfect for my application. In reference to another post in my case I prefer the larger size (2.1??) on account of all the times that rear wheel drops off-of tall curbs.

    No pinch flats with tire liners?

    Thanks,

    Mike

  17. #17
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpshin View Post
    First off, thanks to everyone for the helpful replies.

    What's REALLY going on here is that long distance on a bike has always been on my bucket list. Tho I have crossed the continent more times than I can easily recall on a motorcycle, never done it on a bicycle, which is a whole quantum leap upward in difficulty of course.

    Getting to age where I gotta do it while I still have the knees for it (IF I still have the knees for it). Towards that end I've been taking the long way home, and planning some all-day expeditions soon as I get a free Saturday just to see how far I get.



    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Actually I really like Town and Country's, near perfect for my application. In reference to another post in my case I prefer the larger size (2.1??) on account of all the times that rear wheel drops off-of tall curbs.

    No pinch flats with tire liners?

    Thanks,

    Mike
    Used T&Cs many years ago, and they were flat magnets. Anything but bulletproof. The reverse tread area is thin and seems to pick up glass readily. Definitely go with tire liners if you use those tires.

  18. #18
    Rocketship Underpants Dwayne's Avatar
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    I've had one flat on the rear in the 6500 miles on my BAs, but that was partially my fault after not cleaning up the garage floor after a metalworking project, very fine, long metallic splinters all over the place. They laugh at anything I've seen on the road here in the city. And they tour just fine. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...iles-in-3-days
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpshin View Post
    First off, thanks to everyone for the helpful replies.

    What's REALLY going on here is that long distance on a bike has always been on my bucket list. Tho I have crossed the continent more times than I can easily recall on a motorcycle, never done it on a bicycle, which is a whole quantum leap upward in difficulty of course.

    Getting to age where I gotta do it while I still have the knees for it (IF I still have the knees for it). Towards that end I've been taking the long way home, and planning some all-day expeditions soon as I get a free Saturday just to see how far I get.



    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Actually I really like Town and Country's, near perfect for my application. In reference to another post in my case I prefer the larger size (2.1??) on account of all the times that rear wheel drops off-of tall curbs.

    No pinch flats with tire liners?

    Thanks,

    Mike
    I haven't actually used Mr. Tuffy's myself in a long time, I took some time off from cycling and when I came back almost three years ago I quickly switched to tires that didn't need them (Panaracer T-Serv Protex, Vittoria Randonneur Pros, and a Schwalbe Marathon). I vaguely recall that there was a tiny risk of getting a pinch flat with a Mr Tuffy if you didn't get it lined up right, but that'd happen right away when you inflated it I think, it wouldn't surprise you miles later in a rough part of town or something. We had a thread on Mr Tuffy's/tire liners not that long ago, I'll see if I can't find it.
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  20. #20
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    Used T&Cs many years ago, and they were flat magnets. Anything but bulletproof. The reverse tread area is thin and seems to pick up glass readily. Definitely go with tire liners if you use those tires.
    I had the same experience with the T&C's that came on my Safari. Apparently they used to be made better and were the standard for cop bike fleets,but not today. I later ran a set of Serfas Drifters that had almost the exact same pattern,but never had a flat.

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  21. #21
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Okay, here's the thread I was thinking of. Yes, some people report problems with pinch flats, a bunch of other people say they don't have problems with pinch flats and swear by Mr Tuffy's. What I gleaned from the thread was:
    * make sure the liner has a rounded edge not a square cut
    * maybe tape the ends down or sand the ends so they're not sharp (although lots of people do neither)
    * get them a little larger than your tire size for best coverage and to minimize possibility of pinch flat so you can:
    * make sure they are centered when you inflate the tire

    If I were you I'd definitely give them a try, given your situation. As long as they are seated properly they should massively increase your flat protection at the increase of a little rolling resistance, and they'd make your favorite tires suitable for your situation. Heck, in your situation, I'd be tempted to put Mr. Tuffy's in Marathon Duremes, Gatorskins, or what's that other skinny slick with the infamous harsh ride? Boots and suspenders if you will.

    Your determination to keep riding is inspiring!

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...y-s-Tire-liner
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 10-08-13 at 03:47 PM. Reason: forgot the link!
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  22. #22
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    I use Panaracer Ribmos - I think they're a great tire for puncture resistance, yet aren't as dead as the Schwalbes and Armadillos. Narrower contact point than Paselas and I like them far more. Standard tubes - if it gets through the tire I don't think a thicker tube is saving you. I don't like the added material.

    I got CONSTANT pinch flats with mr. Tuffy.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    I had the same experience with the T&C's that came on my Safari. Apparently they used to be made better and were the standard for cop bike fleets,but not today. I later ran a set of Serfas Drifters that had almost the exact same pattern,but never had a flat.
    Yeah, I used to really love mine, and I had forgotten that about them, but I do remember that they were what the Seattle PD were running on their fleet at the same time I was using them. I really liked the way the tread pattern handled the occasional off-road section I might end up doing, but was smooth and fast on city streets. IIRC, I was running them in 1.75" and then they discontinued that size and started only offering them in 1.9 or 2.1 and IIRC another, larger size. I tried a set of the larger ones and they felt totally different. Rumour had it that Continental had changed the rubber content of their tires as well (not just T&C's), I don't know if that had to do with it, or they just handled differently because of the larger size, but I've got a virtually brand new set of them sitting at the back of my cache now that I'm baffled as to what I'm going to do with.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    I use Panaracer Ribmos - I think they're a great tire for puncture resistance, yet aren't as dead as the Schwalbes and Armadillos. Narrower contact point than Paselas and I like them far more. Standard tubes - if it gets through the tire I don't think a thicker tube is saving you. I don't like the added material.

    I got CONSTANT pinch flats with mr. Tuffy.
    Armadillos! I think those are the ones I was thinking of that are infamous for having a super harsh ride, but being very flat resistant. Some people seem to have lots of problems with Mr. Tuffy's and other people swear by years of great service from them in harsh conditions. I think, given the OP's situation, it's worth trying.
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  25. #25
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    I really liked the way the tread pattern handled the occasional off-road section I might end up doing, but was smooth and fast on city streets.
    That's why I went with the Drifters. They actually did pretty well in snow,so I could run the same tires all year unless there was ice,then I swap on the studs. But then I tried Marathon Supremes,and they became my 3 season tires.

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