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  1. #1
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    What tires do you commute on.

    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?

  2. #2
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    if you ride on packed dirt or fine gravel inverted is better -- otherwise normal knobbies are better - imo.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  3. #3
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    I use Crossroads Armadillo on my mountain bike converted to commuting/touring. They're the only ones I've used, so I'm a very minimalist data point, but they do roll pretty well on roads, and worked well on the gravel roads I used to ride. The theory on them is a smooth center tread for road, but knobby sides if you sink into dirt, and although this theory has been contested and argued, they do seem to work quite well for me. I have about 1,000 miles on them now, and they still look quite new.

    They also have good flat protection.

    Specialized Crossroads Armadillo Tire

    Edit: the only "road style" I've used on my MTB. I've ground many knobbies to dust.
    Last edited by jmilleronaire; 03-20-14 at 12:31 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Not another tire thread...ugh...Marathon Supremes FTW.

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    Pretty happy with Michelin city tires. Well, tire. Don't know what the front one is. The dry rot hasn't completely eaten through the sidewall, but it's certainly unreadable now. Commute is all asphalt, maybe a fifth of it bad asphalt.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    Not another tire thread...ugh...Marathon Supremes FTW.
    Yes, there is only one answer to any question, and that is your answer.

    I do see the cause of your frustration, there seems to be a pretty narrow rotation of questions, one of the biggest (behind "which bike is best for me?") being "which tire?". But there's an enormous selection available, and each one fits a niche and is being used somewhere. And yes, there are a lot of threads that ask this, but looking at the sheer volume of options, and the fact that each new member feels their particular use is different than they can find asked about here, a little patience goes a long way.

    For example: would you still recommend marathon supreme if the dirt/gravel roads they ride turn to mud when it rains twice a week? Because marathon supreme tread sure wouldn't be acceptable for me in that condition.

  7. #7
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmilleronaire View Post
    Yes, there is only one answer to any question, and that is your answer.

    I do see the cause of your frustration, there seems to be a pretty narrow rotation of questions, one of the biggest (behind "which bike is best for me?") being "which tire?". But there's an enormous selection available, and each one fits a niche and is being used somewhere. And yes, there are a lot of threads that ask this, but looking at the sheer volume of options, and the fact that each new member feels their particular use is different than they can find asked about here, a little patience goes a long way.

    For example: would you still recommend marathon supreme if the dirt/gravel roads they ride turn to mud when it rains twice a week? Because marathon supreme tread sure wouldn't be acceptable for me in that condition.
    I answered the OPs question about a suitable road tire for a MTB. I have the same answer to your question, unless the mud is on a hill, in which case some knobby tires would be better. I use Marathon Supremes on muddy MUPs (the C&O Canal Towpath, to be specific) and while not ideal, once I'm back on pavement, I'm rolling faster and smoother.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    I answered the OPs question about a suitable road tire for a MTB. I have the same answer to your question, unless the mud is on a hill, in which case some knobby tires would be better. I use Marathon Supremes on muddy MUPs (the C&O Canal Towpath, to be specific) and while not ideal, once I'm back on pavement, I'm rolling faster and smoother.
    But in the original question: "My only issue is I ride on a dirt and gravel road for some of my ride to work." So this is a daily thing for the OP, not a rarity.

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    I think Schwalbe Marathon Mondials would be good for the OP's case. They roll well on pavement and dirt, they're puncture resistant, and much lighter than the Marathon Pluses (although heavier than the Supremes). I use them as my winter commuting tire and also on my gravel grinder.

  10. #10
    Senior Member trailmix's Avatar
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    Serfas Drifters are better than Marathons when not on pavement and nearly as good when on. Cheaper too.

  11. #11
    Senior Member FenderTL5's Avatar
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    My mountain bike has Bontrager H2 street tires on it.

    The hybrid has Michelin City Tires
    Nashville, like L.A. without a tan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    Not another tire thread...ugh...Marathon Supremes FTW.
    Show me the thread you are referring to. I have been looking and did not find one for what I need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    I answered the OPs question about a suitable road tire for a MTB. I have the same answer to your question, unless the mud is on a hill, in which case some knobby tires would be better. I use Marathon Supremes on muddy MUPs (the C&O Canal Towpath, to be specific) and while not ideal, once I'm back on pavement, I'm rolling faster and smoother.
    I have mountain bike tires on my bike. I am looking for the best riding tire for the road that won't put me on my ass on a dirt road.

  14. #14
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cncwhiz View Post
    Show me the thread you are referring to. I have been looking and did not find one for what I need.
    Found this one on page 1, a little ways down from yours.

    Would slick tires be worth the cost for me to upgrade?

  15. #15
    High Plains Luddite
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    Quote Originally Posted by cncwhiz View Post
    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 ride an early '90s rigid mountain bike and commute five miles each way. It's probably 25% dirt/fine gravel and 75% pavement and it's hilly.

    I use Forte Gotham street tires available inexpensively at Performance Bike. I think I paid $11 each on sale in a store. I live in goathead burr country and I haven't had a flat yet, although they're still pretty new.

    For me, the much easier/faster riding on paved roads far, FAR outweighs any weakness off-road. I'm not riding technical single-track but just trails and fire roads and these Gothams are perfectly fine for that.

    The only off-road slippage I've noticed is when riding from dirt up onto a cement or pavement - with knobbies, you can approach at just about any angle to hop up on the pavement and the tires will grip fine. With these, a more perpendicular approach to a paved surface that's a higher than the little the dirt is safer.

    I've found if you try to hit that pavement at a very low angle, like say 10 to 30 degrees (I'm just guessing here), the sides of the tires can slip against the pavement and could put you on the ground if you're really unaware or going too fast to recover. But this is rare - I did it once, recovered without wiping out, and now I just watch out for that situation.

    Forté Gotham Road and Mountain Tires
    Last edited by Squeeze; 03-20-14 at 04:26 PM.

  16. #16
    Junior Member chjcb77's Avatar
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    Sometimes i use my randonneur bike (bianchi volpe) as commuter, sometimes it's the hybridized MTB (OEM frame).

    Got Vittoria randonneurs pro (700x32), which are really great, on the bianchi and 26x1.25 kenda kwests (which are ok and inexpensive tires) on the MTB.

    However, the kendas are really slippery on wet non asphaltic pavement (like mud and wet gravel) and feel not very stable on grassy patches.
    Last edited by chjcb77; 03-20-14 at 04:27 PM. Reason: not enough coffee on system…

  17. #17
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    One of the very few tires I would try that is NOT made by Panaracer is the Vittoria Hyper or whatever it's called now. People who like Panaracers and Grand Bois (made by Panaracer) love this tire. I like a light, nimble ride, and I will sacrifice toughness for it. I usually ride Panaracer Pasela tires, which are only about $20 each.

    I'm not sure inverted tread does any good, but it doesn't seem to do any harm, either.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  18. #18
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmilleronaire View Post
    I do see the cause of your frustration, there seems to be a pretty narrow rotation of questions, one of the biggest (behind "which bike is best for me?") being "which tire?".
    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.
    Disclaimer: It's just an opinion that I have. It works for me. I am not the forum "Police (Of Anything)". Others may disagree. And....YMMV.
    Don't use up any brain cells thinking that I care, you don't like anything anyway.

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  19. #19
    High Plains Luddite
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    Thanks to the veterans for putting up with us newbies and answering the same questions over and over.

    I just found this place last summer after I had started commuting on a department store full-suspension knobby-tired MTB with a backpack and having never owned a bike helmet in my life.

    You guys helped me out so much and I now have a rigid MTB on road tires with a rack, a loud bell, front and rear lights, a helmet, gloves, frame pump, underseat bag with spare tube, tire levers, patch kit, and so on.

    And a road bike!

    Lots of good advice around here. Thanks.

  20. #20
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
    Serfas Drifters are better than Marathons when not on pavement and nearly as good when on. Cheaper too.
    I'm a big fan of Marathon Supremes,but in the OP's case I'll +1 Serfas Drifters. Specialized Crossroads would also be a good choice.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeeze View Post
    I ride an early '90s rigid mountain bike and commute five miles each way. It's probably 25% dirt/fine gravel and 75% pavement and it's hilly.

    I use Forte Gotham street tires available inexpensively at Performance Bike. I think I paid $11 each on sale in a store. I live in goathead burr country and I haven't had a flat yet, although they're still pretty new.

    For me, the much easier/faster riding on paved roads far, FAR outweighs any weakness off-road. I'm not riding technical single-track but just trails and fire roads and these Gothams are perfectly fine for that.

    The only off-road slippage I've noticed is when riding from dirt up onto a cement or pavement - with knobbies, you can approach at just about any angle to hop up on the pavement and the tires will grip fine. With these, a more perpendicular approach to a paved surface that's a higher than the little the dirt is safer.

    I've found if you try to hit that pavement at a very low angle, like say 10 to 30 degrees (I'm just guessing here), the sides of the tires can slip against the pavement and could put you on the ground if you're really unaware or going too fast to recover. But this is rare - I did it once, recovered without wiping out, and now I just watch out for that situation.

    Forté Gotham Road and Mountain Tires
    I live in Northern Nevada and we too have goatheads and all the other fun rural issues. This is the information I am looking for. I have an offroad bike and will ride it out in the blm. This bike will be to commute. I ride mostly blacktop but I ride a friends farm road part of the way.

  22. #22
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    How about instead of complaining about the same questions that I and several others want to know, you make a sticky? Not all of use have years of experience . I have a bunch of questions on bikes that I want to and will ask. If I don't find it at the time I will post it up. I have a amp research b3 that I have looked all over the web about. If you have multiple posts about that please tell me now so I don't waste your time.

  23. #23
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cncwhiz View Post
    How about instead of complaining about the same questions that I and several others want to know, you make a sticky? Not all of use have years of experience . I have a bunch of questions on bikes that I want to and will ask. If I don't find it at the time I will post it up. I have a amp research b3 that I have looked all over the web about. If you have multiple posts about that please tell me now so I don't waste your time.
    Don't get so worked up...just razzing you a bit...starting a new thread is way better than resurrecting a 10 year old zombie.

  24. #24
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Stickies don't work. There, I said it. People don't use the search facility. Questions are repeated forever.

    And I'm OK with all of that. I'm not going to explain chain elongation any more, because I've done it a hundred times, but that's OK, because someone else will.

    The chain lube debate makes me roll my eyes, but it's OK, because it's a rite of passage. You have to take a stand, express your opinion, and eventually get bored and leave it to newcomers.

    I still welcome questions about tires. It hasn't gotten old for me. Tires are still advancing. Moreover, I've discovered that tires make more difference than just about anything you can buy for your bike. I'm curious to know what people like, but I also insist on knowing the context. Some people ride in cities with lots of broken glass and vehemently hate getting a flat in the middle of a ride. Some people have goathead proliferation. I don't think I've ever seen a goathead. Some people would pay almost any price premium or performance loss for the sake of flat protection. Some people want a compromise between that and performance. Some people like the best performance they can get, but among those people, there are lots of different size budgets. I am a performance oriented tire buyer but I'm also a cheapskate, which is why the Pasela is just about the only tire I buy these days. I am also a former bike mechanic, and I can change a flat on the rear in five minutes with my eyes closed. I don't even spend any time thinking about how annoyed it is. It just doesn't bother me. I change my underwear every day, and I change my inner tube every three months or so. No big deal. It's all part of a plan.

    So when you state which tire you like, please also tell us what your criteria are. Some of those Schwalbe tires must be nice, because the prices are pretty astonishing to me.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  25. #25
    Senior Member Slaninar's Avatar
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    My 2 cents. Continental Contact II are good for mixed surfaces, while their 4 Seasons tyres seem good for mostly pavement, but I'm still testing those. Both of which are worth only on sale prices, some 40% lower - I'd never pay the premium price for those.
    Evviva il comunismo e la libertà.

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