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  1. #1
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    Are Stelvios Slow?

    I recently switched out the Primo Racers which came with my Stratus XP for Stelvios (20-559), which I thought would be better for touring (had a couple of flats on the Racers on pretty clean road). I read much praise for the Stelvios from Forum posters, but I'm finding that the Stelvios are 2-3 mph slower than the Racers. Is that a reasonable difference? The tires seem pretty close - 1' vs. 1.1", both with minimal tread on the bottom - it doesn't seem they should be that different. Are the Stelvios really that much stickier? Anybody with experience in this? Any recommendations for a tire that would be quicker but have good puncture protection as well to go on my 16-559 rims? Thanks.
    rsbeach

  2. #2
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    My experience is that Stelvios give a better ride than the Primo Racer. They're faster, and they grip better, too;especially in wet. But they don't last for sh1t. Primo Racers in 26x1 are a bit harsh-riding, but the 26x1.25 size rides much better without compromising any speed, as far as I can tell.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    My experience is that Stelvios give a better ride than the Primo Racer. They're faster, and they grip better, too;especially in wet. But they don't last for sh1t. Primo Racers in 26x1 are a bit harsh-riding, but the 26x1.25 size rides much better without compromising any speed, as far as I can tell.
    ??? I had 3000mi on pair of 26x1.1 Stelvios when I swapped 'em out for 26x1.25 Primo Racers, looking for a smoother ride. 3000 puncture-free miles ain't lastin' for s__t? Then what is??? (and BTW, they've still got at least another thou' left in 'em).

    Hafta agree with ya on the 26x1.25 Racers, tho. Nice smooth ride, at least as fast as the Stelvios, and half the price. Only put 1800 mi on the Racers (with minimal wear and no punctures), and swapped them out for Conti Ultra Gators (26x1 1/8) so I could put fenders back on. The Gators are a good compromise in ride comfort, and noticeably faster than either the Stelvios or the Racers. Just wish they came w/ a folding bead.

    If my bike had room for 1.25's AND fenders, I'd keep using the Racers. As it is, I'll prob'ly stick with the Gators. Never thought I'd be saying that about ANY Conti...

    SP
    Bend, OR

    ps - getting back to the original topic, I'd have to say that Stelvios are definitely NOT slow, IME.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I've gone through 8 stelvios, none of which wore out before failing catastrophically. I don't normally get fooled that many times, but I bought several when they first came out. After they all failed, I was assured that, Schwalbe had fixed their quality control problems, and they were relatively cheap; so I loaded up on more because they did ride nicely. One other time I needed a tire NOW, and that's all the LBS had. The last of the 8 failed with a cord separation at about 1500 miles, which was by far the longest any of them lasted for me. The 406s were the worst for self-destructing, but the 559s were only a bit better. People who use the 650c or 700c size don't report these problems. The only one I have left now is a 451 on my V-Rex, which gets maybe 200-300 miles per year. Maybe that size is OK, too.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pockets's Avatar
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    Kind of mute point now that they are no longer made

  6. #6
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Not so moot if some dealers still have them in stock.

  7. #7
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    Not moot for me. I've still got mine - brand new.
    rsbeach

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    I bought a hardly used Greenspeed GTO with almost new stelvio 20 X 1 1/8 tires. In taking a loooooong tour on paved roads in OZ, how long can I expect them to last? Should I switch to my favourite tire: Schwalbe Marathon ?? before starting the trip, or just replace the Stelvios as they wear out. The Marathons have great durability on my 26" two-wheeler diamond frame touring bike.
    Any experience with Schwalbe tubes?

  9. #9
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Given the failure modes I saw, I could expect them to die regardless of mileage. And, as I wrote, my 20x1 1/8 seems to be lasting well, at least in the garage. But I would be very uncomfortable taking them on a tour. I'd have to carry a spare for each one I had on the bike, at which point it would be better putting different tires on in the first place. The excuse for poor longevity was always that the Stelvio was a *racing* tire, and shouldn't be expected to last as long as other tires. But I actually had a nearly-new one fail about halfway into a race; so I don't even buy that argument. Stelvios, at least in 559 and 406, are cr@p in my book.

    To answer the original question more to-the-point, Stelvios have a stickier compound for better traction, especially in wet; whereas Primos have a harder, longer-wearing rubber and aren't all that good in rain. The light supple carcass of a Stelvios which cause all the failures for me, are what gives it lower rolling resistance than the Primo. Between the low RR and stickier compound, the Stelvios are faster.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Timmi's Avatar
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    Here is a link to a comparative table of rolling resistance for several tires.

    At first glance, I found some Schwalbe tires to have a lower rolling resistance to the Primo Comet.
    But then I took care to look within a same ERD. Within the 406 ERD for example, I found that there is a Primo Comet, slightly fatter tire at 47mm, outperformed a Schwalbe Stelvio 28mm by a significant margin, and this was already within the lowest rolling resistance tires (or tyres as the british would prefer) in the chart.

    What's nice about the chart, is that several tires were tested each at different pressures.
    The rows represent the tire models, while the columns represent the various (increasing) pressures.
    So it makes it easy to compare, and to make sure you're comparing the same thing (and not marketing hype).

    In my personal experience, I have found that the new Schwalbe Stelvio dual-compound tires seemed to be a bit slower than a very inexpensive tire I found with a nylon casing. Nylon casing tires are the cheapest out there, don't tend to be looked at or tested, but they have the most rigid casing and thus are the most energy efficient. And this, regardless of the rubber compound on them. The ones I am referring to are ISO TECH 3, 100psi, 20x1.35 (406x37), made in Taiwan. They seem to be tougher than the Schwalbe or Primo in my personal and very unscientific testing (I've had blowouts on both Schwalbe Stelvio and Primo Comet tires).

    Just thought you might want to know.

    Below, I'm copy-pasting PART of the above-linked table. Everything will be out of alignment here, but you can still see the numbers (just not to what PSI they correspond to).

    Tyre Name Size Rolling Resistance Power (Watts) absorbed at Pressure (PSI)
    ...........................30 40 50 60 80 100 115 120 140 160

    Primo Comet 37-406 - - - 31.4 26.0 23.1 - 21.9 - -
    Primo Comet 37-406 - 40.6 - 31.9 27.4 24.4 - 21.6 20.6 -
    Primo Comet 47-406 - - - 23.4 18.9 17.4 - 15.8 - -
    Schwalbe Stelvio 28-406 - - - 28.2 23.0 20.4 - 19.2 - -
    Tioga Comp Pool 47-406 - - - 26.3 19.5 18.3 - 16.4 - -


    Now since the original question concerned the Schwalbe Stelvio, beware that they have different models of Schwalbe Stelvios now. With or without any of the following chracteristics: kevlar belt, dual compound, puncture resistance, lighter race model...
    Last edited by Timmi; 10-15-08 at 12:49 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Timmi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    Given the failure modes I saw, I could expect them to die regardless of mileage. And, as I wrote, my 20x1 1/8 seems to be lasting well, at least in the garage. But I would be very uncomfortable taking them on a tour. I'd have to carry a spare for each one I had on the bike, at which point it would be better putting different tires on in the first place. The excuse for poor longevity was always that the Stelvio was a *racing* tire, and shouldn't be expected to last as long as other tires. But I actually had a nearly-new one fail about halfway into a race; so I don't even buy that argument. Stelvios, at least in 559 and 406, are cr@p in my book.

    To answer the original question more to-the-point, Stelvios have a stickier compound for better traction, especially in wet; whereas Primos have a harder, longer-wearing rubber and aren't all that good in rain. The light supple carcass of a Stelvios which cause all the failures for me, are what gives it lower rolling resistance than the Primo. Between the low RR and stickier compound, the Stelvios are faster.
    Allow me to make a correction here (mind you, you may be talking of an older generation Stelvio, I don't know):
    the Schwalbe Stelvio is a dual-compound tire. It has a hard rubber center rolling ridge, and a soft rubber compound on the sides for sticky cornering performance.

    However, take note that there is a trade-off beween low weight and low rolling resistance here.
    Lowering the weight of a tire, allowing you to gain better efficiencies through lower rotating mass, makes for a sidewall that is somewhat less efficient (but sells better because the manufacturer can quote weight). Stiffer nylon-walled tires seem to be more efficient, but they are heavier.

    So personally, I'm switching to nylon: it's cheaper, has low rolling resistance, and much more rugged in my experience.

    PS: when I got my recumbent, I had a Primo Comet 20" (406) on the front. Had a blowout. Put Schwalbe Stelvio on, got a blowout, then another, then again. So I put on an ISO Tec, and have been fine since then. I did get some pinch flats, but no blowouts. The Actionbent puts far too much of the rider's weight on the front wheel, hence the problem. Bad design. (60% on the front, I checked with scales)
    The nylon-walled tire is marginally heavier, but seems stronger. I don't know why you guys care about weight, unless you're racing your recumbents. I mean, it's not like you're putting on a knobby MTB tire... it's a little heavier, big deal. You win in terms of rolling resistance. If ever you run a criterium with your recumbent, your accelerations might be a little less zippy because of the added weight... do you plan on doing much criteriums? LOL
    Last edited by Timmi; 10-20-08 at 10:20 AM.

  12. #12
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    Does anybody know what the Primo website address is?
    rsbeach

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