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Old 10-12-05, 06:32 AM   #1
killsurfcity
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406 vs 451

i'm doing a lot of research in anticipation of puting a bike together. i'm on the lookout for an old twenty that i plan to customize heavily. i ride a fixed gear conversion right now, and i plan to ride the twenty fixed too. on my current bike i love the speed and agility of the skinny wheels/tires and i'd like to go as skinny as i can with the tire for this folder. of course the 20x1 1/8" size would be the skinniest (451mm) but do you think i'd run into problems eventually with the availablility of tubes and tires? is that size in danger of obsolesence? i see a good deal of skinny tires on bikes here, what sizes are you guys pushing?
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Old 10-12-05, 08:56 AM   #2
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You'll likely end up having to mail order 451-sized tires and inner tubes. It won't take long to decide what type though since you don't have many choices in that size.

406's are available at just about any bike shop, hardware store or outfitter since it's a size that started with BMX and now covers BMX, folders, kids bikes and recumbants. You CAN get very narrow, high pressure 406's as well. (1.125, 1.35, 1.50, 100-120psi)

Can't speak about obsolesence other than to say 406's aren't going anywhere. 451's...who knows?

(I haven't come out and said it but do you get the feeling I'm suggesting one size over the other...? ;)

EDIT: FWIW, I ride 20x1.50 (406) Schwalbe Marathons at 100psi. Likely I'll be ordering a Tioga Comp Pool, Primo Comet and a Conti GP next week to do some experimentation with lowered rolling resistance.
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Old 10-12-05, 09:33 AM   #3
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"Can't speak about obsolesence other than to say 406's aren't going anywhere. 451's...who knows?"

Just a guess but I think it depends on the BMX market. BMX junior and pro use 451 rims so as long as the rims are produced, the tire and tube makers will make tires. If BMX ever gets away from 451 rims, it could be a problem. I'm not sure the industry would still produce 451 size for the fast folder/recumbent market.

Anyone up to speed on the BMX scene? I've always wondered why the junior racers use larger rims...


All of the above being said, I prefer 451's for fast riding. I have absolutely no scientific reason other than the 451s feel better than 406s...It's like 650 vs 700 for "big" bikes.

Last edited by Dave Hickey; 10-12-05 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 10-12-05, 10:10 AM   #4
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Ah well, one must always go with what one prefers. I prefer 405's myself but my experience with the bigger size is limited.

@ AF: I'll be curious to hear about your experiment's results!
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Old 10-12-05, 11:17 AM   #5
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thanks for the info guys. i just want to make sure i can get tires tubes with reasonable ease and cost (b/c if they go out of prod the prices will get baaad). maybe i should look at tire makes and see what i like.
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Old 10-12-05, 09:22 PM   #6
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. . . @ AF: I'll be curious to hear about your experiment's results!
Ditto. Please post your impressions. From what I've read of your posts, I have great respect for your opinion.
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Old 10-12-05, 10:25 PM   #7
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What I really want is the right tire. So while you can get a particular size just about anywhere, I'm not sure that always makes it the best format.

I got some replacement tires when my 700c tires went south, but they burst off my rims at lower than the 65 pounds they were rated for, and even at 50 were so fat that they wouldn't move under the fenders. The same would have been true if I had been able to pick up some 26" for my touring bike, were I running that size.

The replacements rode like the junk they were. So in the end, I would have prefered it if my tire hadn't ruptured. There are a bunch of things I should have done. Put more efort into getting the folding spare, is the one I blame myself for. If the tire broke cause of the one puncture, then I blame the manufacturer, and if it broke from hitting a few rocks, that was my fault up to a point. I really didn't push it all that hard.

At the end of the day, maybe a more available part would be the solution in Somalia, but in NA, I think you can run what you want if you manage your supply a little better than I did.

One assumes the 406s are smaller to run the knobs.
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Old 10-13-05, 11:35 AM   #8
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Actually let me just say, it turns out mine are 406s, so can I change my vote (what a pratt). The Hostel Shoppe, does have quite a lot of 451 (like I care) 6 I think from 28 to 37 mm. The HS, which is a recumbant store, has a lot of odd things that can be quite useful for a variety of bikes from folders to xtracycles.
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Old 10-14-05, 09:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by af895
Likely I'll be ordering a Tioga Comp Pool, Primo Comet and a Conti GP next week to do some experimentation with lowered rolling resistance.
Cast my vote for the Primo Comets. I got a set of 20X1.35 (406) Comet Kevlars for my Swift, and they're awesome. Light and fast (294gm), durable (after a week of potholes, glass, construction debris, and those massive, menacing steel/iron plates they use to cover-up street digs), and with a reflective sidewall (nice touch in conjunction with the safety lights I need to run now that the morning and evening commutes are dark).
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Old 10-14-05, 10:33 AM   #10
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Cast my vote for the Primo Comets. I got a set of 20X1.35 (406) Comet Kevlars for my Swift, and they're awesome. Light and fast (294gm), durable (after a week of potholes, glass, construction debris, and those massive, menacing steel/iron plates they use to cover-up street digs), and with a reflective sidewall (nice touch in conjunction with the safety lights I need to run now that the morning and evening commutes are dark).
James,

Totally cosmic man, I should have a set of Primo Comets in today to try out on my Swift.....ahaha...I'm running the Stelvios now, and like them a lot, fast and no flats yet, but I wanted to do some comparison riding...

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Old 10-14-05, 12:44 PM   #11
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James,

Totally cosmic man, I should have a set of Primo Comets in today to try out on my Swift.....ahaha...I'm running the Stelvios now, and like them a lot, fast and no flats yet, but I wanted to do some comparison riding...

Bruce
I was thinking of the Stelvios at first, but read a lot of mixed opinions about their durability. What I really wanted were the Conti Grand Pris, but at 20X1.125, they seemd a bit too narrow to be rolling into the potholes and busted concrete that line areas of my neighborhood (especially in the dark hours when it's tough to avoid them). I always ran Contis on my road bike years ago, and even without a kevlar belt, they were practically bullet-proof.

The "cosmic Comets" seemed to be the best balance of performance and durability, and in addition I was able to get them for $3.50 less (each) than HostelShoppe (and $4.00 flat-rate shipping) from HPVSupply (total savings of $12.00).
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Old 10-14-05, 01:25 PM   #12
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I'm getting about 1000-1200 miles on a pair of Stelvios(451's)..They do wear out quicker than I prefer.
On my 406 Bike Friday, I get about 2,000 miles on a pair of Marathon Slicks... I wish they made the Marathons in 451.... They are my favorite tire..
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Old 10-14-05, 01:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by CaptainSpalding
Ditto. Please post your impressions. From what I've read of your posts, I have great respect for your opinion.

Wow. I literally blushed when I read that.

Thanks!

On a gear update note, no new tires yet but I picked up a set of Arkel Samurai panniers today. Super lucky - got the end-of-season demos for 10% off retail (which was already a sharp price)

Also ordered a Topeak Digital Morph because my floor pump broke and I hear some folks here are using the Morph as a floor pump.

Highest praise for "Cyclo-sportif G.M.Bertrand" in Hull, Quebec (the French side of Ottawa). They really did good by me today and I'm going to see if they can also get the slicks I was looking at.

It seems all of you guys with 406's have been bitten by the speed bug! I didn't know the Comets had the option of the reflective sidewall - that's a big plus to me and one of the selling points of the Marathons.
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