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  1. #1
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    Best Tires for Touring?

    I know opinions will differ widely, but what do you think (keeping in mind that cheaper is preferable to more expensive, even if quality will suffer a tad)?

  2. #2
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Anecdotes follow.

    I run Schwalbe Marathons.

    There's a version of the Marathon called the "Marathon Plus."

    The "Plus" Marathon has a built in liner that will absorb thumbtacks without puncturing.
    I've seen the "Plus" driven over thorns and broken glass bottles with no ill effect.

    If I were touring anywhere with thorns or generally debris strewn roads, that would be my tire.

    My regular Marathons run at 100psi over sharp rocks and metal shards without problems. Haven't tried glass or thorns.

  3. #3
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    I know I'm a heathen, but I tour on 28mm armadillos.

  4. #4
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=15624

    Just put a TT 2000 on today. I like it a lot, gonna put one on the front wheel next week. Hadn't planned on it, but there is a lot of glass and crap on the roads. There is a 10% Nashbar coupon you can use kicking around.

  5. #5
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    how is cheaper better at the expense of quality anyway?

    Tires are like, 25 or 30 bucks, only a few touring tires cost much more than that....how little do you want to spend?

    I've been a fan of conti TT2000 but recently bought TravelContacts because of the marginally higher psi rating.

  6. #6
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    IMHO Conti TT 2000s are simply the best, but the point may be moot because it seems Continental has discontinued them. (I bought 2 brand new sets when I heard about it). Some claim the sidewalls fail often, but I have never had that problem. If I where to pick a new tire (which I won't have to for another couple of years hopefully) I might try Conti's 'Contact' tire or the Schwalbe Marathon.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    I know I'm a heathen, but I tour on 28mm armadillos.
    I never had a flat with Armadillos on my road bike.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  8. #8
    Senior Member Rogerinchrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by af895
    Anecdotes follow.

    I run Schwalbe Marathons.

    There's a version of the Marathon called the "Marathon Plus."

    The "Plus" Marathon has a built in liner that will absorb thumbtacks without puncturing.
    I've seen the "Plus" driven over thorns and broken glass bottles with no ill effect.

    If I were touring anywhere with thorns or generally debris strewn roads, that would be my tire.

    My regular Marathons run at 100psi over sharp rocks and metal shards without problems. Haven't tried glass or thorns.
    I'll agree here, until I tryed the Marathons, Contis were my brand. Although I must add that the 700x35c Marathons that I'm running go 85psi.

    As far as getting a good deal on a quality Schwalbe tire, follow this link to bicycletouring101.com , & follow the directions for making touring related contribution to the site. It's a small thing to ask for a great deal on a very good brand of tire. Plus you'll be making one of my favorite touring sites even better!

  9. #9
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    28mm Armadillos.

    No Flats = Happy tour

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

  10. #10
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    28mm Armadillos run wide

    more like 30mm tires.

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

  11. #11
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    $30 per tire is cheap considering what you get in return, namely no flats!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

  12. #12
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    I have cheap tires (Continental Grand Prix) on my touring bike and was getting rear tire flats like crazy. I purchased Mr. Tuffy tire liners and the flats stopped. I was afraid the liners would cause pinch flats but it hasn't happened. If you have cheap tires, get tire liners and you'll be invulnerble again.

  13. #13
    Senior Member kesroberts's Avatar
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    Panaracer Pasela TG in 700x35 have done well for me.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerinchrist
    I'll agree here, until I tryed the Marathons, Contis were my brand. Although I must add that the 700x35c Marathons that I'm running go 85psi.
    +1

  15. #15
    ARRRR! hillyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtaylor
    (keeping in mind that cheaper is preferable to more expensive, even if quality will suffer a tad)?
    Tires aren't worth skimping on....But if you can find a good deal then go for it, and Conti TT2000s are on sale at Nashbar

  16. #16
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    Schwalbe marathon slicks. Had one bad tire, so I am a little gunshy, but they roll phenomenal, and everyone else seems to have really great reliability.

  17. #17
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    Anyone try these: Continental Top Touring 2000 700 x 32 Wire Tire? Too much tread for me, but I would like to like them since they are cheap and well distributed around here.

  18. #18
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    The best tyre for longevity is the Marathon XR, not the Marathon or Marathon plus. The rubber is different meaning you get even more kms from a tyre and the newish Evo range are supremely puncture resistant. The Marathon plus is not really intended as a touring tyre, more as a commuting tyre. The plus won't last as long as the XR.

    Expect around 20,000km from a set. Only thing that has punctured mine are viscious african thorns, but only twice. A miracle really.

    They're expensive, but cost per km must be better than any other touring tyre.

  19. #19
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    Anyone try these: Continental Top Touring 2000 700 x 32 Wire Tire? Too much tread for me, but I would like to like them since they are cheap and well distributed around here.
    Yes, put one on yesterday. There is a smooth strip down the center so the tread
    doesn't usually contact the road. It feels very stable, and has a very nice ride.

  20. #20
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    Anyone have any thoughts for the best tire for on and off-road touring for a 700c bike (Trek 520), with fenders? I'm looking for the magic combination of smooth rolling on the road, puncture resisitance, a tread that is OK on dirt and gravel roads, and narrow enough to fit under my fenders.

    Anyone?

    Anna
    ...

  21. #21
    Banned wagathon's Avatar
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    My choice would be, for road bike touring, if it isn't with a credit card, and primarily with most of the load over the rear wheel: 1-1/4" or the meteric equivalent of about 28cm; otherwise, a staggered setup with 28cm on the front and a 1-3/8" on the back. More important, I think, than bigger tires, is some touring wheels. I don't know what is best these days but years ago, you could count on something like Champion rims with 4-cross spokes to stand up to anything.

  22. #22
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    1.25" is closer to 32mm, for what that is worth. 28 is barely 1.1"

    Late, thanks for the review. I noticed the center strip, but it is so narrow, I figured it would depress a much wider area, good to get a field report.

  23. #23
    Banned wagathon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    1.25" is closer to 32mm, for what that is worth. 28 is barely 1.1"

    . . ..
    I know what you mean, as far as applying a conversion table goes, but just by the look of'm and based on my recollection, 23s seem to me to be close to what tubulars used to be, 25s seem about as wide but a little higer sidewall than the old 1-1/8" and the Continental's gators--which seem to me to be more petit than some of the other brands--look a lot to me like the 1-1/4" tires that were the mainstay for years. 1-3/8" tires (e.g., I remember Specialized Expedition tires) are a lot bigger than my 28-gatorskins and seem to be bigger than the 32s that I've seen.
    Last edited by wagathon; 11-08-05 at 10:55 AM.

  24. #24
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl
    Anyone have any thoughts for the best tire for on and off-road touring for a 700c bike (Trek 520), with fenders? I'm looking for the magic combination of smooth rolling on the road, puncture resisitance, a tread that is OK on dirt and gravel roads, and narrow enough to fit under my fenders.

    Anyone?

    Anna
    I did the Steamboat Trace trail and the Katy Trail in 2003 on the east end of the Lewis and Clark Trail with Continental Top Tourings (700x37) on a loaded touring bike. They held up wonderfully. They were a little sketchy in loose sand but I'd expect that from a smooth(ish) tire.
    Stuart Black
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  25. #25
    Florida to Oregon in 2007 lighthorse@eart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtaylor
    I know opinions will differ widely, but what do you think (keeping in mind that cheaper is preferable to more expensive, even if quality will suffer a tad)?
    I found that the Armadillo by Specialized to be the best option for my road bike which I use for touring. I used 700X25s both front and back on my tour across the U.S. with a load and they were great. Next time I am going to try a 700X28 on the rear and a 700X25 on the front. I carry only rear panniers.
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