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  1. #1
    Member ocz800's Avatar
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    Can i swap out tires on a MTB myself?

    I bought a trek 4300 about a year ago, and got little use out of it. Now that im, 80lbs lighter, it's time to get back out there and ride. However, i was always a little uncomfortable with my traveling speed and ride comfort. I bought the MTB thinking i would be out in the wild- yea right. I ended up riding a long paved bike path instead. I'm sure I'll still hit some bumps, but nothing really serious.

    at my LBS today, I asked what I could do for a more comfortable ride. They recommend two options, switch out the tires on my current MTB or move to an intermediate crossover bike. My ultimate goal is cyclocross and road biking, but ive got years of training to do before I'm even close to that.

    Is simply changing the tires going to significantly improve my ride comfort? What would you guys recommend specifically?
    Last edited by ocz800; 08-05-08 at 02:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    Swapping tires will give you a smoother ride. Try putting a pair of slicks on it.
    Changing tires is also, very easy.

  3. #3
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    If you can fix a flat, you can change your tires. If you can't fix a flat, you should learn how. 1.5" Specialized Armadillos are a nice choice for a mountain bike that is used on paved surfaces. Get some narrower inner tubes too.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cannondaler's Avatar
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    All you need is a pump and some tire levers. This article is for fixing flats but the process is the same, you just don't need to patch or replace the tube: http://sheldonbrown.com/flats.html

    You can get a set of 26"x1.5" slick tires that will roll smoother than knobbies, they will also help your overall speed. Here is a cheap example: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5430

    If you want a tire that will be smooth on the road and still give you some traction offroad I suggest these: http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...ntry+Tire.aspx
    The tread on these is inverted meaning it has pits or pockets instead of knobs that stick out. They roll like slicks on the road but will still have decent traction on the dirt. Not as good of traction as a knobbie but pretty good. I recommend them highly for multi-purpose riding and commuting.

  5. #5
    Member ocz800's Avatar
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    Sorry for the newbie , question but do i just look up the size on the old tire, and by a similar sized one, leaving the frame alone?
    Last edited by ocz800; 08-05-08 at 02:50 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cannondaler's Avatar
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    You most likely have 26"x2.1" or so on your bike. The 26 is the diameter and the 2.1 is the width. So you want to look for a tire that is 26" by whatever width you want. Narrower widths will probably need higher air pressure wich makes them a little less "cushy" but makes them roll faster. for slicks I would probably go with something between 1.5 to 1.9 if you want a cushier ride or something 1.0 to 1.5 for more speed.

    Another thing you might want to look at is bike fit. Most comfort problems come from the bike not being fitted to you properly. What kind of discomfort are you having? If you could tell us what parts of the body are experiencing discomfort we may be able to suggest some simple adjustments that might help you feel more comfortable on your bike.

    How tall are you? What size frame do you ride. Did the bike shop take the time to help you dial in the fit?

  7. #7
    Member ocz800's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannondaler View Post
    You most likely have 26"x2.1" or so on your bike. The 26 is the diameter and the 2.1 is the width. So you want to look for a tire that is 26" by whatever width you want. Narrower widths will probably need higher air pressure wich makes them a little less "cushy" but makes them roll faster. for slicks I would probably go with something between 1.5 to 1.9 if you want a cushier ride or something 1.0 to 1.5 for more speed.

    Another thing you might want to look at is bike fit. Most comfort problems come from the bike not being fitted to you properly. What kind of discomfort are you having? If you could tell us what parts of the body are experiencing discomfort we may be able to suggest some simple adjustments that might help you feel more comfortable on your bike.

    How tall are you? What size frame do you ride. Did the bike shop take the time to help you dial in the fit?
    The only thing is the heavy sometimes bumpy ride. The tires just feel like they drag or something. Body comfort itself is fine. I got fitted at my LBS, and i feel they did a pretty good job. I don't remember the exact frame size - i'll check on that today. I'm 6'1 185.

    Those Town and Country Tires look perfect. Would I need to buy new inner tubes as well?
    Last edited by ocz800; 08-05-08 at 03:04 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member daintonj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocz800 View Post
    My ultimate goal is cyclocross and road biking, but ive got years of training to do before I'm even close to that.
    The nuclear fusion forum is right over there, this is the bike riding forum - a sport so simple even little children can manage it. Please, stop listening to experts who insist that cycling is a dark art which requires experts to adjust your saddle position, god like mechanics to change a tyre and the entire staff of nasa to setup your suspension.

    Cyclocross is a bit harder than riding on a road and a lot of work to race competitively, road cycling is so easy even roadies manage it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cannondaler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocz800 View Post
    Those Town and Country Tires look perfect. Would I need to buy new inner tubes as well?
    Considering they are 1.9 and you probably have between 1.9 and 2.1 you probably won't need new tubes but it is always a good idea to have some spares. I would buy a couple 1.5-1.9 tubes just to be safe. That way if you get a flat you are prepared.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cannondaler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocz800 View Post
    The only thing is the heavy sometimes bumpy ride. The tires just feel like they drag or something.
    The Conti's will definitely help with this then.

  11. #11
    Senior Member nachomc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daintonj View Post
    road cycling is so easy even roadies manage it.
    I was on a road ride a couple of weeks ago and we had climbed to the top of this hill. The coming descent was 600' in about a mile, and it had a pretty sweet hairpin turn. One of the guys starts talking to this woman riding with us and he's like "just keep your weight back, stay off your saddle, don't grab the brakes too hard, you'll be fine." He looks at me and goes "are you going to be able to get down the hill?" and I say "well, I think I can manage - usually I'm going about the same speed as we'll hit today, only with rocks and dirt and trees and stuff."

    him: oh, you mountain bike? Yeah you're good to go.

    cleanspokes

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  12. #12
    World's slowest cyclist.
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    If you're worried about tire sizes just take your bike, or just the tires, down to your local bike shop and have them help you choose a pair of slicks. They may even mount them for free for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by daintonj View Post
    The nuclear fusion forum is right over there, this is the bike riding forum - a sport so simple even little children can manage it. Please, stop listening to experts who insist that cycling is a dark art which requires experts to adjust your saddle position, god like mechanics to change a tyre and the entire staff of nasa to setup your suspension.

    Cyclocross is a bit harder than riding on a road and a lot of work to race competitively, road cycling is so easy even roadies manage it.
    I read his post to mean that he's too heavy right now to feel comfortable on a road bike (hence the line "now that I'm 80 pounds lighter..."). He expects it will take some time to get his weight down to something more manageable for a road bike.

    Not that you can't ride a road bike while heavy, but there may be comfort issues... I don't know.

  13. #13
    Newbie loefflerw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannondaler View Post
    You most likely have 26"x2.1" or so on your bike. The 26 is the diameter and the 2.1 is the width. So you want to look for a tire that is 26" by whatever width you want. Narrower widths will probably need higher air pressure wich makes them a little less "cushy" but makes them roll faster. for slicks I would probably go with something between 1.5 to 1.9 if you want a cushier ride or something 1.0 to 1.5 for more speed.
    I am also looking to replace my 26 x 2.1 MTB tires with slicks...

    Are you saying I could purchase a set of slicks in the 1.5 to 1.9 range and mount them to the same rims I am currently using?

    I have a Cannondale F300.

  14. #14
    Senior Member TheFlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loefflerw View Post
    I am also looking to replace my 26 x 2.1 MTB tires with slicks...

    Are you saying I could purchase a set of slicks in the 1.5 to 1.9 range and mount them to the same rims I am currently using?

    I have a Cannondale F300.
    Yes

  15. #15
    World's slowest cyclist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by loefflerw View Post
    I am also looking to replace my 26 x 2.1 MTB tires with slicks...

    Are you saying I could purchase a set of slicks in the 1.5 to 1.9 range and mount them to the same rims I am currently using?

    I have a Cannondale F300.
    Should be no problem. But you may want to seek help from your local bike shop anyway. Choosing tires isn't rocket surgery but there are some "gotchas". For example, you don't want to accidently buy tires that are too big around (29"), or tubeless, or sew-ups (do they have these for mountain bikes?), etc. I'd say 90% of the tires you'd be looking at are just fine and will work for you but your bike store guys can help and make sure you don't accidently buy one of those last 10%.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
    If you can fix a flat, you can change your tires. If you can't fix a flat, you should learn how. 1.5" Specialized Armadillos are a nice choice for a mountain bike that is used on paved surfaces. Get some narrower inner tubes too.
    +1 on the fix a flat thing somehting you need to learn to do on the Road/trail.

    They make Armadillos for 26" wheels? How much pressure does a 1.5 take?

    My GF needs something like that. Her Fatboys I gave her are 10 years old and about to blow.

    Jeff

  17. #17
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    Recommended inflation 35-80psi.

  18. #18
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    I've got a set of the Conti's in a 26x1.9 that I have about 200 miles on. They were great for their purpose.

    I pulled them off a couple of weeks ago, when I got my road bike. I don't forsee doing 30 mile rides on the MTB, on the road, anymore.

    If you want them, we can make a deal. email me or PM me, my mail should be in my profile.

  19. #19
    Generic Title ProFail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachomc View Post
    I was on a road ride a couple of weeks ago and we had climbed to the top of this hill. The coming descent was 600' in about a mile, and it had a pretty sweet hairpin turn. One of the guys starts talking to this woman riding with us and he's like "just keep your weight back, stay off your saddle, don't grab the brakes too hard, you'll be fine." He looks at me and goes "are you going to be able to get down the hill?" and I say "well, I think I can manage - usually I'm going about the same speed as we'll hit today, only with rocks and dirt and trees and stuff."

    him: oh, you mountain bike? Yeah you're good to go.

    Thanks for the story.


    To the OP- If you can afford it, just go straight for a road bike. If that's you ultimate goal, of course. You don't need to be a super-fit stick-man to ride a road bike. If anything, road biking will help you lose weight faster than MTBing.


    Uh, flamesuit on..... Not that you can't lose weight MTBing just as fast..... You know what I mean.
    Generic Joke

  20. #20
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProFail View Post
    Thanks for the story.


    To the OP- If you can afford it, just go straight for a road bike. If that's you ultimate goal, of course. You don't need to be a super-fit stick-man to ride a road bike. If anything, road biking will help you lose weight faster than MTBing.


    Uh, flamesuit on..... Not that you can't lose weight MTBing just as fast..... You know what I mean.
    Are you making fun of '66?
    First Class Jerk

  21. #21
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    you have to take your wheel to a tire shop and they will remove it.
    www.teamnrc.com
    When you feel good, racing is hard. When you're not good, its worse.. - Sager

  22. #22
    Generic Title ProFail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by santiago View Post
    Are you making fun of '66?
    What? No?

    Is 66 overweight or something? Either way, no, that wasn't a cheap shot. I thought some people would get pissy and start on how you can lose weight just as easily MTBing as road biking, blah blah blah et cetera.
    Generic Joke

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