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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 04-06-14, 04:14 PM   #76
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I really just ride on whatever tires come with my bike.
Do you change bikes when your tires wear out, or do you replace them with original-spec tires?
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Old 04-06-14, 05:09 PM   #77
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Just started riding on a set of Rubana flashes, I was recommended them by an employee at the local co-op and so far I really like them and they're dirt cheap.
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Old 04-06-14, 05:48 PM   #78
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Do you change bikes when your tires wear out, or do you replace them with original-spec tires?
I'd just buy new tires. probably whatever is cheapest. But I haven't really had my tires wear out on me yet. Over 3k miles on my bike and haven't even had a flat.
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Old 04-06-14, 05:53 PM   #79
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I'd just buy new tires. probably whatever is cheapest. But I haven't really had my tires wear out on me yet. Over 3k miles on my bike and haven't even had a flat.
That's a pretty good run on stock tires. Are you talking about the Bontragers on your Trek, or what ever came on the Mongoose? A lot of us have very long stretches without flats (myself included) but do so on more expensive tires. What's your secret? Tire liners, slimed tubes, or all your miles on a wind trainer (lol)?
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Old 04-06-14, 06:13 PM   #80
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That's a pretty good run on stock tires. Are you talking about the Bontragers on your Trek, or what ever came on the Mongoose? A lot of us have very long stretches without flats (myself included) but do so on more expensive tires. What's your secret? Tire liners, slimed tubes, or all your miles on a wind trainer (lol)?
Yes the stock ones on my Trek. No tire liners, no slime, and I've never used a trainer. Here in Arkansas, the roads are horrible. I've ridden a bit of gravel and potholes with these tires and they don't even look worn. Occasionally, I'll go through and just make sure there's no debris stuck in it and if there is I clean it out. And I'm a pretty heavy rider(just over 200lbs). Not quite sure how I've gotten so lucky but I hope to put allot more miles on them yet.
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Old 04-06-14, 06:24 PM   #81
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Yes the stock ones on my Trek. No tire liners, no slime, and I've never used a trainer. Here in Arkansas, the roads are horrible. I've ridden a bit of gravel and potholes with these tires and they don't even look worn. Occasionally, I'll go through and just make sure there's no debris stuck in it and if there is I clean it out. And I'm a pretty heavy rider(just over 200lbs). Not quite sure how I've gotten so lucky but I hope to put allot more miles on them yet.
That's pretty good. Checking for debris is critical. However, Murphy's law states that now, since you've told us that you haven't punctured in 3000 miles, you will have 4 flats per week for the rest of 2014
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Old 04-06-14, 10:21 PM   #82
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My commuter bike is a early 90's mountain bike. I am riding on mountain bike style tires. I want to change to a fast road tire. My only issue is I ride on a dirt and gravel road for some of my ride to work. The Lbs tells me to run a tire with inverted tread profile. What do you ride on?
I went in the opposite direction. From continental GP4000S 23mm. to vittoria randonneur hyper 32mm. then in winter to schwalbe marathon winter 35mm. (or so ) and now I found a cheap second hand 26" MTB wheelset with 60mm. schwalbe super moto (tubeless), so I'm riding that now. The super motos are slicks, but super wide and fast @ lower pressures.
The randonneur hypers were already a big improvement in comfort and no noticable speed difference compared to the skinny race tires. With the super motos, the comfort has increased even more with (for me) no discernable speed difference.
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Old 04-06-14, 10:56 PM   #83
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I commute on three different bikes and between them use 7 different kinds of tires. The "winter" bike uses 4 of those: A set of Nokian W240s for most of the winter, a combination of a Nokian W106 and a Marathon Winter for lighter ice and snow days, and a pair of beloved 20 year old Bianchi Grizzly cross terrain tires for non winter use. It'll be a sad day when those finally wear out.

The fixed gear has a 23mm Kenda Kaliente Pro on the rear, and a 25mm Vittoria Zaffiro Pro on the front. There is a reason for the different sizes (which I won't go into) and they're both good tires.

The road bike has a set of Michelin Pro Race 4s which is actually a not a bad commuting tire, - if you had an unlimited budget for tires. They're not cheap and they don't last.

I'm willing to spend money on decent tires but at the same time I'm somewhat budget minded which is why I have kind of an eclectic mix. I look for good deals on good tires. I'll happily settle for an unusual color or last year's model if means saving $20 per tire.

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Old 04-06-14, 11:02 PM   #84
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It's a monthly thing. March just happens to be "Tire Month". We only have a bit over a week left.

In April we discuss chain lube.

You can wait until the second week to bother reading anything, that's when I post the correct answer.
Can't wait to find out what May's discussion will be. I'm impressed by how many pages it took to answer the OP's question. The conti town and country is pretty good but really there are lots of good choices out there. Just buy something that looks pretty and is wide enough for your intended use. . . .
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Old 04-06-14, 11:28 PM   #85
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Can't wait to find out what May's discussion will be. I'm impressed by how many pages it took to answer the OP's question. The conti town and country is pretty good but really there are lots of good choices out there. Just buy something that looks pretty and is wide enough for your intended use. . . .


Recommendations in bike forums needs to be run through a filter. Everyone's situation is different and personal preference plays a huge role in what people like and what they don't. Tires especially are about trade offs.

For example, the roads and trails I ride on are pretty decent and we don't have goat heads around here. So I'm willing to give up a little in terms of flat protection in order to have better performance. I really want a great performing tire on my road bike but that means I don't commute on it all the time because otherwise I'd be spending a fortune on replacing tires. So the bike that sees most of my commuting miles has "training tires" on it which are more durable but don't ride as nice or quite as fast.

I could put a nice city tire on my winter bike for summer commutes but it doubles as my off-road bike so it gets off road tires. They're not ideal for commuting but they're not terrible either.

So my rule for tires is to look for something with some degree of flat protection and check reviews. I don't worry too much about what other people use for commuting because I already know that lots of people here want something different than I do.

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Old 04-07-14, 04:47 AM   #86
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Can't wait to find out what May's discussion will be. I'm impressed by how many pages it took to answer the OP's question. The conti town and country is pretty good but really there are lots of good choices out there. Just buy something that looks pretty and is wide enough for your intended use. . . .
I really like the way my town and country's ride, but man have I gotten a lot of flats with them, makes me thankful they're on my back up bike.
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Old 04-09-14, 08:20 AM   #87
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I really like the way my town and country's ride, but man have I gotten a lot of flats with them, makes me thankful they're on my back up bike.
My experience, exactly. Way too many flats with the T&C's.
Serfas Drifters are similar and far superior, IMHO.
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Old 04-09-14, 01:28 PM   #88
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Old 04-09-14, 01:31 PM   #89
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schwalbe marathon plus* (except the Brompton , it's Marathon Kevlar belt.)

622-47 & 406-47 on different bikes
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Old 04-09-14, 05:27 PM   #90
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My experience, exactly. Way too many flats with the T&C's.
Serfas Drifters are similar and far superior, IMHO.
+1 2fr/3r on the T&C's that came stock on the Safari. 0 with the Drifters I ran later.
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Old 04-09-14, 07:26 PM   #91
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25mm Specialized Armadillo's
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Old 04-09-14, 08:24 PM   #92
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+1. I got a set of Continental Top Contact II tires (42-622, ~65-70 psi) a month ago. Best mixed surface tires I've owned. Very sticky on road surfaces in both dry and wet conditions. Great cornering traction. No issues on packed trails, light gravel, or grass. I'm very happy with them, especially after testing a set of Specialized Armadillo Hemispheres that wore really well but cornered like I was driving a bus and their traction was pretty iffy.
Same here... I swear by Contis, ever since I discovered the legendary Top Touring 2000 back in the late 90's... the Contact 2 is the modern rebirth of that vaunted tire... I run them on my Soma and they're fantastic tires; very surefooted and tough as nails. I think I've gotten only a single flat with one of them in the last six months of riding on them almost every single day.

I've had good luck with Vittoria Randonneurs as well, but don't like the tread pattern on them as well as the Contact2's. I'd run Top Contacts if they were available in a 28 or 32c.
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Old 04-10-14, 04:39 AM   #93
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25mm Specialized Armadillo's
You ride those rocks too eh? It seems a little crazy to love such a harsh, heavy tire- but man they are reliable here in the land of goathead. Have plucked out a few in the last couple weeks and they keep rolling.


Meantime on the weekender bike with far more supple fast tires, I have been getting ample opportunity to hone flat changing techniques.
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Old 04-10-14, 07:58 PM   #94
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Old 04-10-14, 08:08 PM   #95
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My commute is 6 miles of urban streets. I have one simple consideration when I choose tires ---- cheap. performance doesn't matter in stop and go urban riding, and glass strewn streets keep life short. So why spend more dough than necessary.
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Old 04-10-14, 09:32 PM   #96
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My commute is 6 miles of urban streets. I have one simple consideration when I choose tires ---- cheap. performance doesn't matter in stop and go urban riding, and glass strewn streets keep life short. So why spend more dough than necessary.
Well actually, a lightweight tire, regardless of rolling resistance, can really help in acceleration. I'm a fan of the Schwalbe Kojak for this reason. Lightweight and hence easier to get moving.
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Old 04-10-14, 09:46 PM   #97
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Well actually, a lightweight tire, regardless of rolling resistance, can really help in acceleration. I'm a fan of the Schwalbe Kojak for this reason. Lightweight and hence easier to get moving.
Being real, the bike and rider weigh over 200#s combined. Let's assume I can save 1# on a pair of tires. Let's concede that for acceleration purposes that tires count double, so we're talking the equivalent of 2#s out of over 200, or about 1%.

So on an urban commute that takes a 20-25 minutes depending on lights and traffic, on poor pavement, what difference is a 1% effective weight savings going to mean. Not an awful lot. And not anything I'd pay a premium to realize.
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Old 04-10-14, 10:13 PM   #98
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Being real, the bike and rider weigh over 200#s combined. Let's assume I can save 1# on a pair of tires. Let's concede that for acceleration purposes that tires count double, so we're talking the equivalent of 2#s out of over 200, or about 1%.

So on an urban commute that takes a 20-25 minutes depending on lights and traffic, on poor pavement, what difference is a 1% effective weight savings going to mean. Not an awful lot. And not anything I'd pay a premium to realize.
Good point. Generally I would agree with you on the matter of overall bike weight as a proportion of rider weight. The rider weight is by far much more significant. For regular commuting any reduction in overall bike weight would not make much of a difference.

However on the matter of wheels and tires the physics is different. What is the power required to get the wheel mass rotating, and what is the significance of wheel weight? Because rotating the wheel is the first thing to overcome, and only after this does the bike and rider weight pose resistance.

Just do this. Try increasing the weight of your wheel by a small amount = say 100g by tying a few bags of sand. Or you can try tying ankle weights. Make sure you increase the weight of the wheel nearest to the rim, since this is where the effect is most magnified. You will find that it makes a difference. Much more so than if you were to add a 100g bag of sand to your luggage (and hence the overall bike weight).
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Old 04-10-14, 10:32 PM   #99
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However on the matter of wheels and tires the physics is different. What is the power required to get the wheel mass rotating, and what is the significance of wheel weight? Because rotating the wheel is the first thing to overcome, and only after this does the bike and rider weight pose resistance.....
Wheel weight does count more than frame or payload weight because wheels undergo angular (rotational) acceleration, along with the same linear acceleration as the rest of the bike. Without going into a detailed explanation (available here or in any HS physics textbook) we can say that weight at the tread of the tire would count double vs frame weight, while the multiplier would decrease to near zero as we moved in toward the hub. I factored that (generously) when I doubled the weight of the tires in my rough example earlier.

As for the premise that weight in one part of the bike must be overcome first before other places count, that makes no sense at all.

So we agree that wheels count more, but we need to maintain some perspective. If we were talking about road bikes ridden long stretches on open roads, or engaged in alpine climbing, things like this would matter a bit more, but not for a 6 mile urban commute.
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Old 04-10-14, 11:18 PM   #100
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Wheel weight does count more than frame or payload weight because wheels undergo angular (rotational) acceleration, along with the same linear acceleration as the rest of the bike. Without going into a detailed explanation (available here or in any HS physics textbook) we can say that weight at the tread of the tire would count double vs frame weight, while the multiplier would decrease to near zero as we moved in toward the hub. I factored that (generously) when I doubled the weight of the tires in my rough example earlier.

As for the premise that weight in one part of the bike must be overcome first before other places count, that makes no sense at all.

So we agree that wheels count more, but we need to maintain some perspective. If we were talking about road bikes ridden long stretches on open roads, or engaged in alpine climbing, things like this would matter a bit more, but not for a 6 mile urban commute.
I would say it matters more for start stop type commuting and less for long stretches. For long stretches more energy is spent maintaining momentum. So your governing factors are axle and rolling resistance. But for start stop commuting in traffic you are repeatedly reaccelerating to speed. More energy is getting your wheels moving. So a lighter tire weight helps I think.
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