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  1. #1
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    Fastest Large Tires (1.75 to 2.2)? Not knobbies.

    I'm on a search for extremely fast large tires (more than 20 mph steady pace).

    You see, there's a problem when tire manufacturers simply increase the size of a roadie tire. You get twice as much rubber on the road, but it is the super-sticky rubber designed to keep roadies from flipping. This makes incredibly bad friction for MTB owners. Remember 10 speeds and all the frequent crashes? Well, that was fixed some time in the 80's by super sticky rubber, but it is a miserable thing to have a large tire made of this stuff.

    The only extraordinarily fast large 26" tire I can find is Schwinn Typhoon Cord, because it is not made of sticky road bike rubber. Being large, they do stick a tiny bit on glass-smooth concrete, but what a shockingly fast pace you can do on the tarmac (highway shoulders). I'd keep using these, but whitewalls just look goofy.

    Surely there are other fast, hard tires out there that are road and gravel worthy?

    I've seen the mountain bike magazines displaying competition tires, usually on the rear of the bike, and these tires have exactly the same rolling bricks (rectangles with tiny spaces between) as the Schwinn tire. I'm wondering if these are fine, fast, roadie-speed tires (20+ MPH easy pace) or if they are sticky like gum (15-17 MPH with considerable effort)?

    Anybody have some good road/city riding experience with a big 26" tire?

    P.S. I want a big tire because:
    Stopping pedaling and just coasting at 19 MPH (or so) is just fun.
    Big tires maintain the gear ratio and speed of the mountain bike (small slicks slow you down a lot because there are less inches traveled per pedal stroke--Yuk!).
    Big tires maintain the character and comfort of the mountain bike.
    Oh, and I don't want a knobby tire because I live in a city with 90 miles of pavement.

    Help?

  2. #2
    you can go backwards?!
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    have you looked at/tried Ritchey's Moby Bite?
    it's 2.1, but has a wide enough footprint that it gave me some slight issues using it with my magura hs-22 +brake booster, but it definitely fits the description.
    I had a 26" fixed wheel i had put on my mtb to fool around with and the moby's worked great for that (not to hijack), but it's a great tire.

  3. #3
    Senior Member concernicus's Avatar
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    maxxis high roller 1.9s from jenson are nine bucks

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    Tom Ritchey Moby bite is a super-sticky enlarged roadie tire that has double the friction. I'm looking for a tire that will not be able to bring a bike to a screeching stop on a wet manhole lid. I'm plenty willing to skid a bit so I can get those 20 MPH and higher road trips. But, I don't want to work real hard just to get to 17.

    Maxxis High Roller is a knobby. Not what I'm after. However, Maxxis Holy Roller looks like it fits the description (rolling bricks tread). Does anybody have some speed experience with these?

  5. #5
    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    this thread is strange, and begs all sorts of questions. Oh well.

    http://www.bikemania.biz/Cruiser_Tires_s/237.htm Check out the innova Kruise Control.
    Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.

  6. #6
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    Innova Kruise Control?

    Okay, got a couple of questions:

    Fast dry rubber, or the marketing-hype sticky silicone stuff?

    What does your speedometer say about them? More than 20 or less than 17?


    P.S. Sorry the thread is so strange, but I had some big questions after trying out a variety of top-rated 26" tires. . .and finding them all considerably slower than Schwinn Typhoon Cord. So, I was wondering if Schwinn is the only source, or if this kind of high-speed performance is commonly available?

    The only really bizzarre thing about this thread that I can think of would be that this size tire has somewhat clumsy steering, and a 20 to 30 MPH speed with imprecise steering makes for very wide cornering.

    However, the purpose of the thread is to rocket-speed a mountain bike.

    Mountain bikes have very short gears, and they just can't go fast on small slick tires unless you buy new gears. Sure, a small slick tire makes the mountain bike easier to pedal, but a speedometer will put the lie to them fast, because it will tell you that the marketing-hype slicks actually slow down a mountain bike (well, if you re-set the speedometer onto the correct tire size, of course).

    So, an extremely fast large tire is an appropriate and inexpensive way to add a huge boost of speed to a mountain bike. It is very fun, very fast (roadie-speed fast), and still retains the character and rough-stuff handling capacity of the mountain bike.

    There IS a performance difference between this approach and a road bike. Acceleration takes slightly longer because of the flywheel effect of a heavier tire; however, once up to speed you may stop pedaling while continuing to coast at the same speed for quite a while, thus illustrating that the extra energy was stored, not wasted. In fact, it is amusing to pass people while you're not pedaling.

    So, what are our options here? And how fast are those Innova Kruise Control? Are they going on the MS 150? I'd love to know.
    Last edited by danielhaden; 04-05-06 at 03:41 AM.

  7. #7
    o.O Seggybop's Avatar
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    Schwalbe Big Apple -- super puffy without the expected drag.
    mi yu mi yu

  8. #8
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    What does your speedometer say about the Schawable Big Apple? Less than 17 MPH or 20+ MPH?

    Has anyone tried the extra-speed version of the Schwable Big Apple--the Schwable Super Moto?
    Last edited by danielhaden; 04-05-06 at 04:22 AM.

  9. #9
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    I would like to find a set of road tires for my road bike that allowed me to ride an average speed of 20+ at an "easy pace". If you find some for your mountain bike please let me know. I'll start using them and my mountain bike in the road races.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  10. #10
    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielhaden
    Innova Kruise Control?

    Okay, got a couple of questions:

    Fast dry rubber, or the marketing-hype sticky silicone stuff?
    Not a clue. You could probably find them in a store and give em a rub.

    What does your speedometer say about them? More than 20 or less than 17?
    This is such a ridiculous question.

    It is very fun, very fast (roadie-speed fast)
    doubtful.

    And how fast are those Innova Kruise Control? Are they going on the MS 150? I'd love to know.
    Nope. The tires going on the MS150 are 21 and 23 mm in width.
    Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.

  11. #11
    Walkafire
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    Continental Town & Country (26 x 1.9)

    Pretty good ratings on the "rolling resistance"

  12. #12
    o.O Seggybop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielhaden
    What does your speedometer say about the Schawable Big Apple? Less than 17 MPH or 20+ MPH?
    umm... it says 0 if I stand still and 35 if I pedal really hard. Not sure what the point of the question would be in this context.
    the tire seems approximately comparable to a 700x32 or x35, which is probably more useful info.
    mi yu mi yu

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    I'm going to sorta neglect some of your question and just stick to stuff that makes sense to me.

    The Kenda K-Rad is a good, smooth and fast rolling mountain bike tire you can get in fat tire sizes. The 1.95" is doing great for me. I think it can be had in 2.5 for urban stunts.

    You'll roll as fast on these as on any tire this width.

    Ron

  14. #14
    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    I second Ronsonic's recommendation. I'm running a set of 2.25" K-Rads, and they're faster than the Moby Bite 2.1s I previously had on the bike.

    I had a set of big apples in 700x60 on my karate monkey, and those things weren't fast tires, at least not for me.

  15. #15
    blithering idiot jhota's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walkafire
    Continental Town & Country (26 x 1.9)

    Pretty good ratings on the "rolling resistance"
    +1

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seggybop
    umm... it says 0 if I stand still and 35 if I pedal really hard. Not sure what the point of the question would be in this context.
    the tire seems approximately comparable to a 700x32 or x35, which is probably more useful info.
    Ooh, that's really exciting!

    The point of the speedometer question is that mountain bikes and their riders seem to peter out at about 17 mph or so. Because rider strength is also a factor, a high rating isn't enough for a recommend; however, a low rating tells more, if the tire is never used past 17 mph or so.

    35? Is that KPH? Was that downhill?


    Most reasonably competent road bikes, powered by a "weekend warrior" can do 20 mph for at least 10 minutes.

    I would like to discover similar results with a mountain bike on a large tire. It is not impossible, but it is not mainstream, and this adds complexity (complexity = frustration for some, entertainment for others).

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    I would like to find a set of road tires for my road bike that allowed me to ride an average speed of 20+ at an "easy pace". If you find some for your mountain bike please let me know. I'll start using them and my mountain bike in the road races.
    It is a fine thing that you asked. With a 700c bike that is slow, there are two common possibilities, including the tire you asked for.
    1) The front tire is too hard, or perhaps it gets too much dry grip (usually combined with not enough wet grip and issues with pavement grooves).
    Replace the front tire with one from the Panaracer Pasela family of tires (or a tubular). For reference, the Japanese are required (their laws) to measure tire height in an odd way, always advertising one size smaller than we expect (28mm = 25mm actual).
    Panaracer T-Serv 28mm for wet weather grip and extreme speed
    Panaracer, Rivendell Ruffy Tuffy for crusier-like ride (tubular feel) and extreme speed.
    Panaracer Pasela Tourguard Folding 28mm or smaller for classic road design and extreme speed
    Panaracer Pasela Tourguard Folding 26 x 1.25 (actual 26mm) ONLY if your mountain bike has narrow rims sized like Sun CR18 or smaller; otherwise this cool instant fix won't work for the mountain bike.

    For reference, a very modest tread decreases friction/traction in dry weather by holding part of the sticky rubber up off the road--preventing contact. In the wet, tread hangs onto road abberations, thus slightly improving stopping power in a noticably helpful way. Rubber compound is the main cause of friction, and a modest tread can only help (large tread blows air forwards like an exercycle fan, causing areo friction, never road friction). The other road friction is the effect of road abberations causing a force upon the bike that pushes against forward momentum, and a cloth-like soft tire (tubulars and the Panaracer Pasela family, and some others) can overcome this while still inflated greatly; however, with any tire, severe overinflation will slow its ability to overcome road abberations, so don't inflate your front tire to its limit. All said, 700c roadie rims have many ideal pavement speed tire selections because the small contact patch doesn't really have to be ideal in order to go fast. Far easier tire selection, not inherent speed, is the main feature of a narrow rim because there is no speed difference from contact patch size, only that it must be balanced with rubber compound grip if you want optimal speed, and that small contact patches reduce the chances that a tire manufacturer can slow you down by putting a large amount of super-grip, super-slow rubber onto the road. Thus, my search for a large MTB tire with the optimal balance is difficult, but not impossible.

    Yet more: Even though the Panaracer T-Serv has the non-slip grip, they are far faster than tires made like the Specialized Armadillo because the T-Serv still has the super soft tubular-like casing that subtracts the slowdowns caused by every little bump and pebble. So, you can have super speed plus the features of comfort, wet weather safety, and some modest off-road capacity, including the ability to handle packed gravel at speed.
    Use it on your front wheel, and put a Pasela TG folding onto the rear wheel for a nice mix of features and speed.
    For speed, flexabile casing matters more on the front, while rubber compound matters more on the back, and I have no idea why.


    2) The bike is undersized (because we all want to avoid smashing our goodies on the top tube), causing the handlebars to be stylishly low, then it is very likely to be putting your body's power into the front wheel. This is marketed as wind resistance, which is true, even though it causes ergonomic power loss. Since the front tire is hypersensitive to load bearing, this can be like riding with the brakes on. A Delta 3" stem riser plus a 90mm stem is a common cure that can increase bike frame size one or two sizes depending on the stem mouting point and angle. It looks obnoxious, but be prepared for a blast of speed and far more comfort. Drop bars are a dual-purpose design that has become malformed by modern design. The top should be easy to reach and somewhere between level with the seat and 1/16 above. Unfortunately, seat and handlebar position are relative, so you will now need to readjust the seat position (several times), because even 1/2 off of your own particular optimal can remove the easy speed you're looking for. It is possible to train around all of these ergonomic issues. As for me, I find it more pleasing to make the bike fit me instead of the other way around.


    I did test the above road bike fixes. The very thrilled rider made a steady 15 minute pace of slightly over 24, up from 19. The rider thought there was a tailwind, and so turned around and did it again. I won't say what happened next. . .not for all the tea in China, but that we were both very happy. Woah! Way off the topic! Meanwhile, back at fat tires with rocket power. . .


    The prospect is much more difficult for a mountain bike because wide rims prevent easy high speed tire selections. This makes for wider tires (even a small tire will spread out because of the rim).

    ***Let's say that we're not willing to purchase small rims and tall gears for the purposes of turning the mountain bike into a road bike--at the cost of losing a mountain bike.

    A more-dry rubber compound can make up the speed difference of large tire vs small tire.

    A heavy tire takes away power when the pedals are horizontal and then gives it all back when the pedals are vertical. This is different, but does not subtract speed. I think it is a fun sensation. For reference, look up the racing history of weighted bicycle wheels. The approach makes shoe attachment less useful (less needed).

    A heavier tire usually has a less-flexable casing, and this is a very bothersome problem (especially on the front tire). It is not impossible to defeat this problem, merely very difficult. It involves casting the rider weight towards the back of the bike and then decreasing the front tire pressure to find the optimal.

    Step 1
    Finding a fast, large, dry rubber tire that most everybody thinks is fast
    This would be the Schwable Big Apple (or its lightweight kevlar cousin), and any tire that is responsible for selling crusiers, such as Schwinn Typhoon (their fastest--likes to have 40psi front, 60 back despite the label). To start with, we're after easy-to-pedal, flexable, and efficient, even though this approach is remarkably different. I happened to notice that it works very well, and I am not a strong rider.

    Step 2
    Removing rider weight from the, now, extremely hypersensitive front tire by setting back both seat (Kalloy Uno is very helpful!) and handlebars (Nashbar trekking, H-Bars, North Road, Cut down Dimension aluminum crusier bars--chop about 1.7 inches off ends--add big chunky grips for better MTB style--whatever rings your bell, but get the handlebars in reach) while simultaneously not invalidating ergonomics, and not causing the rider to slouch (but almost!).

    Of course the resulting speed can be no more than a road bike that has a slow tire, such as Specialized Armadillo. This roughly equates to classic road bike speeds. Expect to pass by most, but not all comfort bikes.

    The OTHER results that just happen to make the project worthwhile is that the mountain bike (extremely fine tuned for rider position and equipped with big "roller" tires) is still a mountain bike with all of the features, comfort, safety, and fun of a mountain bike.

    Now at a faster speed, it is even more fun.

    Fast MTB fun on a reasonably intact MTB. That's what this thread is about.


    How is it that the question, asked so efficiently, using only 3 sentences, takes the misdirecting of about 3 billion electrons and about 80 cents worth of electricty to answer? I need to go back to writing school! lol!
    Last edited by danielhaden; 04-10-06 at 03:24 AM.

  18. #18
    o.O Seggybop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielhaden
    35? Is that KPH? Was that downhill?
    MPH. Very slight downhill. I can get 30+ fairly easily but only for a very short period. I could probably maintain it longer if my bike wasn't fixed gear. Average speed disregarding stops is around 19.

    My bike has relatively road-like geometry and bullhorn handlebars, and I don't know how much effect that's having on speed.
    mi yu mi yu

  19. #19
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    Thank You!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Seggybop
    MPH. Very slight downhill. I can get 30+ fairly easily but only for a very short period. I could probably maintain it longer if my bike wasn't fixed gear. Average speed disregarding stops is around 19.

    My bike has relatively road-like geometry and bullhorn handlebars, and I don't know how much effect that's having on speed.
    THANK YOU!!!

    Would you do me the great favor of posting a picture of your bike (side view)?

    This is exactly the news I was looking for.

    I knew it was possible, given an optimal balance of nearly everything, but I'd sure like a photo.

    Average flat ground pace of 19 MPH on a fixed gear? WOW!!! I wonder what a purposefully high-geared setup using the Nexus 8 Premium road version (to avoid derailer drag) would do to that bike of yours?
    It would probably frighten the daylights out of the roadies.

  20. #20
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    I was about to read your post up there until I saw "replace with tubular". Not sure if you know it or not but there have been a lot of "professional reviews" lately showing that tubulars are actually "slower" than clinchers. It's hard to believe but true. Do a search over on the roadie section of this forum.

    I guess I'll just have to stick with the slow set up that I have.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  21. #21
    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    Without sounding like a jerk (which of course means I'm going to), what professional research are you involved in that causes you to contradict mainstream racing philosophy?
    Weather today: Hot. Humid. Potholes.

  22. #22
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    How about this one?



    The two lines with data markers are for tubulars, the rest are for clinchers.

    Tubies have a higher rolling resistance because the glue that holds them onto the rim is viscoelastic (sticky and gooey). The only way to make tubies better than clinchers is to use track glue. Increasing the pressure of the tubular does not make up for the losses from tacky glue.

    To find more check this thread.

    *Courtesy of Terry Morse.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  23. #23
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eatadonut
    Without sounding like a jerk (which of course means I'm going to), what professional research are you involved in that causes you to contradict mainstream racing philosophy?
    Now having said the above (my previous post). It's probably kind of like the whole what is better campy or shimano, shimano or SRAM. There is no answer.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    I was about to read your post up there until I saw "replace with tubular". Not sure if you know it or not but there have been a lot of "professional reviews" lately showing that tubulars are actually "slower" than clinchers. It's hard to believe but true. Do a search over on the roadie section of this forum.

    I guess I'll just have to stick with the slow set up that I have.
    I was not offering up anything I hadn't personally tried.

    Try the Panaracer Pasela family of tires, with a reputation for speed, the feel of tubulars, and far more flat resistance. Because the front tire of a usual bicycle is hypersensitive, you need only "test drive" one of these on the front--if you wish to limit dollar and time expense.

    Supple tires perform at much faster speeds whenever pavement is a bit rough.
    This includes tubulars and super-supple clinchers.
    Fortunately, I find (from personally testing) that this includes Panaracer's version of Kevlar flat prevention ("tourguard"), and that the combination is remarkably convenient in that you can both lead and finish the race you start.

    Most importantly, I wish for you to decide for yourself.

    In my opinion, believing the marketers will get you riding a bike while nearly standing on your head and running on bald tires.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eatadonut
    Without sounding like a jerk (which of course means I'm going to), what professional research are you involved in that causes you to contradict mainstream racing philosophy?
    Well, if that won't set off a lemming alert, what will? EDIT: Oops. Sorry! I just caught your next post. That (previous) comment wasn't intended as offensive, but it probably was. It was intended to illustrate my thoughts of "mainstream."


    Mainstream in the U.S. equates with marketing.
    Professional research that is not funded by non profit, is necessarily invalid.

    Professional tire speed research is usually foiled by 3 fluctuating variables: road surface conditions, rider position (load bearing), and the optimal match of a tire upon these conditions--as is always clearly explained in the reports. Have you read them?

    As far as the tire advice goes, I would never promote anything I hadn't personally tried.
    The very fastest of the touring tires do work in a wider variety of conditions, exactly as they are meant to, exactly as they always have, although one single tire can never match every road.


    The purpose of this particular thread is NOT to be racing upon super-large tires. . .even though the possibility does exist, application is far more difficult, with far greater risk of mismatching the optimal conditions and getting a rather terrible view of very wide butts in lycra.


    This thread is about the enjoyment of giving a mountain bike a huge boost of speed without mechanically turning it into a road bike. This is possible, and would not be unpopular except for difficulty in tire selection. We seem to have an answer of Schwable.
    Last edited by danielhaden; 04-10-06 at 08:40 AM.

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