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  1. #1
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    26 in mountain bike with road tires

    Hi,

    I have a Trek 850 26 inch mountain bike and I'm looking for new wheels and tires. I believe it has 1.5 inch road/commuting tires on it right now, but I'd like to put a more road style tire on it.

    Does anyone have any recommendations? I'm wondering if there are any 26 wheels for 23cm tires? My road bike has 700cx23mm and I'm looking for something similar in a 26 inch mtb.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Back in the Saddle
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    I have Innova Swiftor City Tires on one our mountain bikes. Have had no issues with them.

    http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...ftor-city-tire

    R.
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  3. #3
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    wouldn't this be a good time to go to a bike shop, look around, get to know the staff and ask them what's available? You'll establish yourself as a customer, so they'll recognize you when you come in on a Saturday morning with an emergency, and if you buy the tires there, you likely won't pay any more than if you bought online plus shipping. And you'll have the tires that day.
    I don't work in a shop--in fact I buy a lot of stuff online--but I'm often surprised at people who brag about saving $1.50 on a $20 purchase online, but forget to factor in $7 shipping.

  4. #4
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    Shoot, a lot of people would be happy to be able to run a 1.5" tire on their road bike when they're stuck with 23mm tires. 23mm tires give a harsh ride IMO, which I why I sold my old trek 1500 and built a surly LHT with 35mm tires instead.

    They make 26" mountain tires that are 1" (25.4mm) and would give you pretty close to what a road bike does -- have skinny tires which roll a bit faster, but need to be pumped to 100+ psi and give a terrible ride. I'd stick with 1.5" slicks and have the knowledge that you can run 55-70 psi and actually let the tires absorb road shock.....pump them up to 80 or so and they'll ride a lot like road tires also.

    Note- this is a minority opinion - nearly everyone I see in the city rides straight-up road bikes.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the help. I frequent the local shops often, but I thought I'd broaden my colleague base.

    Right now, one of my mountain bikes has these Schwalbe Marathon 26in x 1.5in 100psi tires.

    http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...rathon-26-tire

    They're the best 26in tires I've found so far for a mtb, but I'd still like to have 23c tires if possible. I ride them on my track bike every day and have no problems with the comfort.

    Even a 26in x 1in mtb tire would be fine, but I'm having a hard time choosing wheels. Any suggestions?

  6. #6
    motovation frankenmike's Avatar
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    You could always try some 650c road wheels with road tires. The biggest incompatibility would be the width of the rear hub, may or may not require a new axle/spacing. Actually sounds like a fun project IMO.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Back when I only had a MTN bike I put some very basic slicks on it. I soon found I ran out of gears at the high end. There is absolutely no need to look for a more street bike like tire unless yuo are also going to change out the gearing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    I soon found I ran out of gears at the high end.
    I agree. I run into that on my track bike from time-to-time, but I'm still on a mission.

    This is more for fun than a necessity. I plan on switching other components, but this is phase one. I've had this bike for at least 15 years and thought I'd just fiddle around with it. It's not my main bike.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mvnsnd's Avatar
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    You can try these. They roll just like a road bike tire. Specialized Fatboy I got mine by ordering them from the LBS.
    I think they are 1.25 which is about 32mm.

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    Continental makes the Gran Prix that is a 26"/559 tire that is 1-1/8" wide.
    They used to have a 26" tire that was 1" wide, I think it was the GP from a few years back.

    The smaller tire size tends to mess with your gearing though.
    ~

  11. #11
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    Back when I only had a MTN bike I put some very basic slicks on it. I soon found I ran out of gears at the high end. There is absolutely no need to look for a more street bike like tire unless yuo are also going to change out the gearing.
    Here is a good reason: Doing a major climb on pavement.
    This photo was taken ~12,000' on Mt Evans: http://www.dim.com/~ryoder/MtEvans/IMGP0073.jpg
    Same combination was also handy for doing Magnolia Rd which has a 5 mile section that averages 12%.
    (1.25" slicks)

  12. #12
    I like 3.14!!! (Y(L|S+'s Avatar
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    I converted one of my MTB's to a "path bike"/rough road bike using the Kenda Kwest Hi-pressure (100psi) 26 x 1.5". A 1.25" is available in Hi-pressure also. I live in SE Michigan in the metro-Detroit area so the roads are terrible around here with broken and narrow shoulders. When I ride unfamiliar routes or exploring new routes, I usually use my MTB with the Kwest. Then I use my road bike when I find this is smooth enough for 700x23/25C. I tried a couple other commuter/path/road MTB tires but almost all are low pressure (~60psi) and the rolling resistance was awful with an annoying hum. I really like the Kenda Kwest Hi-pressure tires. They have low rolling resistance (relatively speaking(, good wear (so far), good traction and are significantly lighter than 1.95 - 2.3" MTB knobbies.
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  13. #13
    17yrold in 64yrold body
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    When I decided to do this on my MTB, I bought a set of Velomax Rogue wheels, and run Continental Ultra Gatorskin 26x1 1/8 on them. Works very well, but the gearing is a bit lower than with the fatter tires.

  14. #14
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    Back when I only had a MTN bike I put some very basic slicks on it. I soon found I ran out of gears at the high end. There is absolutely no need to look for a more street bike like tire unless yuo are also going to change out the gearing.
    I hear this all the time and 100% don't get it. My current daily commuter has a mountain 44/32/22 crankset with 11-32t cassette, which gives a high gear over 100 inches.....and I've NEVER once used that or the next highest gear.

    I've not once in thousands of miles of cycling over different terrain had to use a huge gear like that. You guys must spin at insanely slow cadences or prefer to mash huge gears while going downhill. I've ridden several mountain bikes converted with just slicks (not swapping gears) and they have a great range of gears....I've never even thought about changing them.
    Cyclist, angler and aquarist

  15. #15
    Stealing Spokes since 82' Fizzaly's Avatar
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    I run WTB DX-23 rims i think they are (1.25") but ive in the past ran 1" tires on them, but I didnt like them and have since went back to 1.5" tires

  16. #16
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    No to 1" road tires on an MTB. I made a mistake of putting Continental road tires on mine and even with a suspension fork, the ride was barely tolerable.

    Get a real road bike!

  17. #17
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    It is possible to run 700c or 650B wheels on a 26' MTB frame, but you have to adapt your brakes. One way to do it is with Paul Components linear pull brakes(expensive). There is also an adapter made by Mavic(I think) which fits over the posts. There are other possibilities also, but I don't have the references.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    How wide are your rims?

    There's quite a bit of variation in mountain bike rims and, if you try to use a too narrow tire on a too wide rim you're apt to get frequent pinch flats. Sheldon Brown has posted some recommendations for the minimum tire size to use with various width rims.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
    No to 1" road tires on an MTB. I made a mistake of putting Continental road tires on mine and even with a suspension fork, the ride was barely tolerable.
    Get a real road bike!
    not sure about the 'Get a real road bike!', but running smaller than 1.25" on a real mtb frame is a bit jarring.
    My commuter/shopper is a converted Fisher Tasajara with a rigid fork and works great for that purpose. Road bars, brifters and V-Brakes finish the package.
    with light fenders and good racks, it really is great for that kinda service. Just about every tire manu has a nice 1.25 to 1.5 width 26" tire with no or very light tread for mostly road use. Take your pick.
    Only problem I run into occasionally is grindin the pedals because the tires are so low profile, its easy to hang the pedals on a tight turn.
    Plenty of high gearing for fast sections.
    I really like the 26" wheel for stability when making changes from road to gravel surface.
    Only other issue to deal with was when putting on road bars I had to use a much shorter stem because of the significantly longer top tube. For many, this might still be too much of a a reach, but I luv it.
    And the heftier build of the 1.5 tires makes for significantly less roadside flat repair; for which I'm willing to trade off the slower overall speeds, compared to full-on road machines.
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  20. #20
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
    It is possible to run 700c or 650B wheels on a 26' MTB frame, but you have to adapt your brakes. One way to do it is with Paul Components linear pull brakes(expensive). There is also an adapter made by Mavic(I think) which fits over the posts. There are other possibilities also, but I don't have the references.
    The easiest way is to have a MTB with disc brakes, so when you swap 700c disc wheels you probably won't even have to realign the calipers.

    The Cannondale Bad Boy I used to have was basically a MTB frame with 700c wheels and 28mm Conti tires. I could swap 26" MTB wheels on it at any time. I even went the other way and swapped its wheels onto a Cannondale Rush FS MTB (which I still have), which gave me a sort of super-duty full suspension-with-lockouts hybrid bike.

    700c wheels with narrow tires are a bit bigger than 26" wheels with fat knobbies, but not that much bigger. Even so, whether or not I could fit 700c's on the Rush depended on what tires I had. The Bad Boy's 28mm Continental SportContacts cleared a reinforcing bridge in the rear triangle, but a 28mm Marathon Plus simply wouldn't fit.

    But, as I said, disc brakes make it a lot simpler than it would be otherwise.

  21. #21
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    The easiest way is to have a MTB with disc brakes, so when you swap 700c disc wheels you probably won't even have to realign the calipers.
    Yep. Just for S&G's I built my Surly 1x1 back up with the spare 700c wheelset that came with my cross bike. It's now running 700x42's,and still has room for fenders. The cross bike also came with a set of 700x40 studded tires,so if we get another Snowpocalypse this year this may just turn out to be my new snow bike.

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  22. #22
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    My Mountain bike uses a Mavic 717 rim. This takes tyre size up to 2.3 if required but I also ran the Conti Grand Prix slick on the same rim. This is the Road slick that is as narrow as a Road tyre. Probably 23 to 25 sizing and they worked well enough with no rim problems till the tyres wore out.

    I also run an offroad tandem with 26" wheels with Mavic EX729 rims. These are a wide rim and for road use I use a 1.3 tyre on it. Won't go any narrower as I dont think a thinner tyre would take the 400lbs all up weight of the team.

    As you are thinking of new tyres and wheels then you have the chance to get something like the Mavic 717 rim onto an XT hub. The old standard that means a good wheel. For tyres then the Grand Prix is a high pressure tyre that I "Could" recommend. I say could as they used to annoy me as the sidewalls have a habit of fraying the cords and after a short while they look scruffy- but for a lightweight tyre that performs- they are good.


    Edit
    Some have mentioned gearing and we run a 48/36/24 crank with 11/32 cassette on the "T". At a cadence of 100 in 48/11 and the 1.3 tyres that is 30mph. On the flat achievable (Just about) but any higher speed and we would be pointing downhill and coasting.
    Last edited by stapfam; 10-05-10 at 01:59 PM.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    You could ask over in the recumbent section. For reasons unknown to me, recumbent manufacturers continue to put 26" tires on most 'bents, even though they are virtually all considered road machines. But before I get caught up in that particular rant, I'll offer a few more tires.

    1. Primo Racers, in either 32x559 or 25x559. 32s They give a good ride, are light and fairly fast, but somewhat fragile. 25s are harsher.
    2. Schwalbe Durano, in either 28x559 or 37x559. I've got a 20" Durano and like it. Durable and reasonably fast.
    3. Kenda Kwest 32x559 - don't know much about it other than lots of recumbent riders like it. More durable than Racers, at least.
    4. Conti Ultra Gatorskin 28x559 - if you know about the 700c version you know about this.
    5. Conti Sport Contact 33x559 - harsh-riding and slow - a touring tire. Not as durable as they claim.
    6. Schwalbe Kojak 37x559. Again, don't know specifics on it.
    7. Schwalbe Marathon plus 37x559. More of a heavy touring tire.

    As you can see, 25mm is about the skinniest tire you'll find in 26". If you want 23mm, you'll have to go to 650c. Considering there's not enough difference between 23 and 25 to feel, I wouldn't recommend it.

  24. #24
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    my MTB went through some transformations, from std MTB tires; to wide commuting slicks; to kick-ass studded MTBs for winter rides in killer snow and now I have big fat BMX tires for paved trail riding with my kids.

    back to your inclination I would suggest it is time to go +1 and get yourself a road bike dude! oh yeah! :-)
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    back to your inclination I would suggest it is time to go +1 and get yourself a road bike dude! oh yeah! :-)
    Cool. I do have a road bike and I love it.

    My original question though was about wheels, not tires.

    I'm wondering if 26in mtb wheels exist that will take 23cm width road tires?

    Regardless if it's a silly idea. I've seen much nuttier bikes out there.

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