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Thread: Favorite tires

  1. #1
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    Favorite tires

    I did a search and did not find any recent data.

    Question: for a tandem with 700mm wheels, what are member's current favorites for tires? We have run Continental Gatorskin 700x28s for a long time but we've never really tried anything narrower (e.g. 25mm) or any of the "higher performance" tires. Many have suggested Conti GP 4000s or GP 4 Seasons maybe in 700x25.

    My priorities are: flat/blowout resistance, performance, treadlife, weight, cost. Almost never ride in the wet.

    What are other's current favorites?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Conti 4000 S II in 28mm. 2nd favorite is Michelin PRO4 Endurance 25mm. In winter, we like GP 4-Seasons in 25mm, a slightly tougher tire.

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    Gatorskins are among the best when it comes to flat resistance, so you might want to just stick with them.

    However, you mentioned "higher performance" tires, so maybe the Gatorskins are overkill for you. We have had excellent results from the Continental GP 4-Seasons tires that you mentioned. They're lighter and offer a smoother ride than the Gatorskins we had. We have not had a flat in the 1,000+ miles we have used them (knocking furiously on wood!). The tread life has been excellent.

    On my single bike I have had such good results with the Continental GP 4000s tires that I would really like to try them on our tandem. However, the 4-Seasons are wearing very slowly, so it will be a while before I have a chance to do that.

    At this time I think that most experts would agree that narrow tires don't provide better performance. With that in mind, I would consider 28mm tires to be a minimum width for tandems.

    Just to be complete, I should tell you that we had some Schwalbe Ultremo ZX tires and loved their butter smooth ride and apparent low rolling resistance. Unfortunately, we had several flats, and after only about 1,200 miles they were worn out.
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    We used Gatorskins for a while, but now use Conti GP4000S, 25 rear, 23 front.
    Recently changed to Michelin Pro 4 endurance on the rear and stoker feels it is smoother than GP4000S but definitively wears faster and recently had two flats which is much more than the GP4000S.
    Have not yet tried GP4000S version II, maybe it rides better?

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    I use some cheaper 25mm Continental ultra sports in 700c. They are fine and work well, but they aren't light and they don't usually last very long. I will be changing it up for my next tire, but the width is great and I don't see a need to change either way...be it up to a 28mm to down to a 23mm.


    I use Michelin Pro4 Service Course on my single bike and really enjoy them. they are light folding tires and I have only had one flat on them and that was commuting in a pile of rubble that accumulates in the triangle between a turning lane and the travelled portion of the road-totally my fault for not waiting and riding around it and the construction type debris that sits in those...there is a metal recycling facility next door to my office, so there is usually a lot of crap there. The pro4's in 25c do well on and off road, but they are a performance tire and wear like one. Im a bit over 1000km and im going to be flipping the tires front to back in another 500k or so-life will be shorter with a tandem.

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    I read the reviews here and appreciate the input. I just had a Continental Grandsport Race 700x23 fail on my single bike. It appears that the fabric ply pulled away from the bead. The tire literally blew out. If it had been a front tire and if I was going fast, this could have been serious. Fortunately nothing bad happened. I ordered new for my single & for the tandem and went with what I knew: 700x23 & 700x28 Gatorskins.

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    Currently have Vittoria Rubino Pro 25 mm on front and a Michelin Krylion Carbon 25 mm on rear of our Zona tandem.
    Had couple punctures on the Rubino and a cut that created an instant deflate (booted the cut). The Krylion had 1 puncture. All in the last 850 miles.
    Have had great success with Maxxis Re-Fuse 25 mm tires. Get about 2,000 miles on rear and 2,200 on front tire.
    In 5,000 miles of riding had 3 flats, including one loose patch.
    Just our input/experience.
    Used 23 mm tires until about 10 years ago when we switched to 25 mm.
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    Conti 4000s in 25's for us....on our Robusta. Nice feel, light, fairly tough (I have cut two sidewalls over the past couple of years).

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    Continental Gatorskins in 32mm at 90 psi on Spinergy wheels are our favorite.

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    We run Gatorskins on both tandems and I run them on my single during the winter months. Never had a failure, or even one wear out before I replace them.

    I have run Conti 4000 and 4000s on my single and liked them both in terms of handling. The 4000 have been reliable, the 4000s have all failed prematurely with side wall cuts. I won't buy the 4000s any more and would recommend avoiding them.

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    We've run Schwalbe ZX, and subsequently One, tires the last few years and are extremely happy with them. Currently with Schwalbe One in 700 x 28. Fantastic road feel, although they may not have the tread wear of gatorskins. But then we quit gatorskins during the sidewall failures epidemic a few years ago.

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    Continental Gator Hardshell wire bead 700x28. Not the most supple but wear like iron and impervious to flats.

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    (Feeling left out because we run 406/559 wheels.)
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    We run Pasela TGs 32mm on our tandem since I built the bike from frame and a box of parts. We have had no flats, did have one slow leak in the rear. I guess they aren't the highest performance tire available but they have worked well and give a nice ride.
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    We have found Vittoria Voyager Hypers to be our favorite. Pretty durable, very fast and very comfortable. We ride in a 700x35 but they are available narrower.

    Rudy and Kay, have you tried the Vittorias in your extensive time on the tandem?

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    It used to be the Continental Top Touring 2000. Which isn't made anymore. Continental doesn't seem to make a 700x35 touring tire which makes no sense to me. They make 38s and even 48s (I think) in whatever their different touring tires are called now (TopContact?).

    I used to like Panaracer Paselas on my single, but I'm spooked about how light a tire they are and the issues others have had with sidewall failures. They might still be a great tire for singles, but I think I'll never use them on the tandem again (we're a heavy team).

    My new tire might be Schwalbe Marathon Plus, nothing is supposed to come even close in terms of being impervious to flats. Ended up with some 700x45s that wouldn't fit on our Cannondale tandem. Sold 'em off, I'm now looking for a 700x35. The strange thing is the Marathon Plus has a higher ISO size than its stated size. So a Marathon Plus 700x35 will actually read on the sidewall 622-37. I guess the belting part that makes a "Plus" different than the normal Marathon makes the tire a tad bit taller/wider? Seems strange. I know some tires are wider/narrower than their stated size but I've never heard of a tire being sold as a 35 that is listed on the tire itself as a 37. Madness. If the 700x35(37) Marathon Plus tires don't fit I'll probably go with the regular Marathon in 700x35 to see if those do, before I'd drop down a size.

    I'm not too in the know on Schwalbe's history but I think they are a company that just started spec'g tires to import to Germany from Taiwan factories. I don't think any of their stuff is actually German made, is it? What I liked about my old Continentals was they were German made and had very high quality. The German made gum wall TopTouring2000 tires were beautiful in my mind.
    Last edited by mtnbke; 08-13-15 at 11:01 PM.

  17. #17
    rlp
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    700x28, Gatorskins non-folding on Spinergy at 100lbs have worked great for us. One flat in roughly 3500miles and it was glass that I am sure would have punctured most tires. We are a big team and only get about 1200 miles on the rear but I ike the ride and handling. I do stay away from the folding verson but do carry one as a spare in the car or travel case.

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    Michelin Pro4 Endurance 28mm are nice tires on Spinergy wheels. We immediately noticed a smoother ride over the same tires in the 25mm size. Both sizes run larger than advertised. We run them at 85 - 90 psi. Both 28mm tires weighed 290 grams each on my digital scale.

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    The new Schwalbe one tires in 700 X 25. 105 psi in the front and 110 in the rear. Mounted on HED 3 wheels, around 2500 miles on the front tire and 1800 on the rear. 300 pound team, CalfeeTetra. With latex tubes.

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    Compass Bicycles Grand Bois 700 x 32 (80-85 psi) or 26 x 1.75 (55 psi). Fatter tires == fewer flats, lower rolling resistance, better comfort. We generally go about as fat as the tandem will take. With our "formerly paved" roads in Northern California, we gave up on 28mm tires a long time ago and we'd never go back to anything narrower than 32mm.

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    We ran 28 mm non-folding Gatorskins for years on our T2000 with few if any problems. But a few years ago I decided to try some Ultremo ZXs that were on sale. Wow, what an improvement in ride quality! Still didn't get flats but the rear only lasted 1500 miles or so. When the Schwalbe One came out I bought a pair. Ride quality *almost* as good as the ZX. Looked like they would wear a bit better. But I nicked the rear sidewall with some road debris and put a tiny cut in it. The 3 mm bulge never grew, but as it is a tandem, out of an abundance of caution I retired the tire and decided to try the new GP4000S II in 28 mm. No problems so far after more than 1000 miles, some even over gravel/dirt. Wear seems clearly less than the Schwalbes. Nice that they also include a wear indicator. Ride quality comparable to the Schwalbe Ones. 320 lb team, Schwalbe butyl tubes, Bontrager tandem rims, 110/120 psi.

  22. #22
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reburns View Post
    We ran 28 mm non-folding Gatorskins for years on our T2000 with few if any problems. But a few years ago I decided to try some Ultremo ZXs that were on sale. Wow, what an improvement in ride quality! Still didn't get flats but the rear only lasted 1500 miles or so. When the Schwalbe One came out I bought a pair. Ride quality *almost* as good as the ZX. Looked like they would wear a bit better. But I nicked the rear sidewall with some road debris and put a tiny cut in it. The 3 mm bulge never grew, but as it is a tandem, out of an abundance of caution I retired the tire and decided to try the new GP4000S II in 28 mm. No problems so far after more than 1000 miles, some even over gravel/dirt. Wear seems clearly less than the Schwalbes. Nice that they also include a wear indicator. Ride quality comparable to the Schwalbe Ones. 320 lb team, Schwalbe butyl tubes, Bontrager tandem rims, 110/120 psi.
    We run our 4000s II also at higher pressure than a lot of folks, 110 lbs., 282 lb. team. We are running Kinlin 279 23mm rims and find we get flats off the flat protection belt if we run them lower. The wider rim puts more tire width on the ground.

  23. #23
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    We are just over 1k miles on our Conti gatorskins 25mm, I think. Have had a front pinch flat at 30mph after hitting a rock and a rear flat just yesterday after another rock strike. In both cases, I was able to carefully slow down and pull of the road with no drama. For tandems, I think a wire bead is a good idea as the tires stayed mounted and were stout enough to protect the rim. So far they are holding up well with just the rear showing some wear down the center. I need to stop hitting things at speed!
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    I have ridden Continental Gatorskins, Continental GP40000SII's, and Panaracer Pasela PT's on tandems.

    The Gatorskins are no longer tires that I'm too inclined to ride, even though they supposedy provide added puncture protection (and safety is a very important concern of mine). I find that the Gatorskins ride a bit "harsh" and that their grip does not seem to be as stellar as that of the GP4000SII's.

    The new GP4000SII's in 28mm width (which are more like 30mm wide when fully inflated on most standard rims) I find to be a terrrific tandem tire - comfortable and good grip, lightweight and not prone to have too many punctures.

    I like the Panaracer Pasela PT's for more touring-oriented applications. They come in foldable, even in 32mm size (and maybe even wider). The lighter sidewall is suited for a more "classic look". The fairly supple casing provides a decently comfortable ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlp View Post
    700x28, Gatorskins non-folding on Spinergy at 100lbs have worked great for us. One flat in roughly 3500miles and it was glass that I am sure would have punctured most tires. We are a big team and only get about 1200 miles on the rear but I ike the ride and handling. I do stay away from the folding verson but do carry one as a spare in the car or travel case.
    Are the kevlar beaded tires any more prone to problems than the wire bead tires?

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