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  1. #1
    tn man
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    Tire Choice – Finding the Middle Ground

    I recently went through the process of selecting replacements for the two tires on my touring bike. Because I had few months to consider the different options, I spent a lot of time looking at the various makes and models. My touring bike frame will easily fit tires up to 38-622 and was previously fitted with 35-622 Avocet Cross tires. Money was not a big factor, but like most people, I don’t like to spend a lot of money just to be spending. Perhaps it’s because I’m going through a ratcheting down process in my overall spending as I get closer to retirement, but after initially narrowing my selection down to a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, I pulled back and completely changed directions. I went over to tirerack.com, looked up the price of a Kumho’s 732 Touring Plus radial tire for a Toyota Camry, and found they were quoting these tires for $41 bucks. It just struck me that when all is said and done, bike tires should cost less than car tires. So, then and there, I resolved to find the middle ground in selecting my next bike tires and learn to be happy with what I can get at that price point.

    What did I end up getting? I ended up selecting a pair of Panaracer Pasela Tour Guard 35-622 tires for $19 bucks at wallbike.com. I installed then a week ago and used them on an Easter century. They are JUST FINE.

    Denis K

  2. #2
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denis K
    I recently went through the process of selecting replacements for the two tires on my touring bike. Because I had few months to consider the different options, I spent a lot of time looking at the various makes and models. My touring bike frame will easily fit tires up to 38-622 and was previously fitted with 35-622 Avocet Cross tires. Money was not a big factor, but like most people, I don’t like to spend a lot of money just to be spending. Perhaps it’s because I’m going through a ratcheting down process in my overall spending as I get closer to retirement, but after initially narrowing my selection down to a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, I pulled back and completely changed directions. I went over to tirerack.com, looked up the price of a Kumho’s 732 Touring Plus radial tire for a Toyota Camry, and found they were quoting these tires for $41 bucks. It just struck me that when all is said and done, bike tires should cost less than car tires. So, then and there, I resolved to find the middle ground in selecting my next bike tires and learn to be happy with what I can get at that price point.

    What did I end up getting? I ended up selecting a pair of Panaracer Pasela Tour Guard 35-622 tires for $19 bucks at wallbike.com. I installed then a week ago and used them on an Easter century. They are JUST FINE.

    Denis K
    All I'm going to say about them is just make sure you carry a tire boot and a patch kit when riding on those tires.

  3. #3
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    And all I'll say about this is that I bought the first set of Armadillo tires in the area and got a flat on both of them the same day.

    Most bicycle tires are fine but there are differences in rolling resistance. You can't tell unless you're riding with someone about the same strength as you. With higher rolling resistance you just get tired faster.

    I prefer Avocet Duro tires but they are hard to come by and I live 10 miles from the company.

  4. #4
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    For loaded touring I use Conti TT2000's 700 x 37C, seem to wear forever. Conti's replaced them with a new product, Country Contact (??). You'd have to search around for old stock for TT2000s
    2006 Lemond Sarthe
    2000 Trek 7500FX

  5. #5
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denis K
    It just struck me that when all is said and done, bike tires should cost less than car tires.
    Interesting concept but I fail to see the logic behind it. Do you extend this philosophy to other bike components, like wheels? Is it that all bike tires should cost less than all car tires, or only Toyota Camry tires?

  6. #6
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    Hey halfspeed: What's up with Panaracer Pasela Tour Guards? I got a KHS tandem with those tires and although there not the most expensive top of the line product out there - so far they seem acceptable. What's been your experience with the Panaracer? Thanks

  7. #7
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankieN
    Hey halfspeed: What's up with Panaracer Pasela Tour Guards? I got a KHS tandem with those tires and although there not the most expensive top of the line product out there - so far they seem acceptable. What's been your experience with the Panaracer? Thanks
    Great tires. My first pair had plenty of tread left at 6,500 miles, but the bead tape threads started coming off and getting in the brakes etc. I'm about halfway there on my current set.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  8. #8
    tn man
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    Interesting concept but I fail to see the logic behind it.

    Do you extend this philosophy to other bike components, like wheels?
    Lets see:

    Frame (Yes)
    Paint (Yes)
    Tires (Yes)
    Rims (Yes)
    Hubs (Yes)
    Axels (Yes)
    Handlebar / Steering Wheel (Yes)
    Fork / Suspension (Yes)
    Brake Controls (Yes)
    Brake Pads (Yes)
    Cables (Yes)
    Seat (Yes)
    Drive Train (Yes)
    Racks (Yes)
    Lights (Yes)
    Helmut / Airbag (Yes)
    Cup Holders (Yes)

    Yes - I guess I do!

    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    Is it that all bike tires should cost less than all car tires, or only Toyota Camry tires?
    Remember supcom, I'm looking for "middle ground". I figured a Camry represents a good middle of the road car. You're welcome to choose whatever model you like. I was trying to be careful when I said "when all is said and done". There are a thousand ways of looking at this issue, but in the final analysis I think it is rarely necessary to spend $40 plus dollars to get a 95% solution. I think your best argument would be that bicycle touring represents the exception to this rule, lest you be left out in nowhere with a blown tire. Others will probable point out that touring folk invariably carry a spare anyway.

    Imagine you and a friend decide to do a bicycle tour across the US from DC to Portland. Your friend buys two shiny new Panaracer Pasela TG tires for $20 each, and you spring for two Schwalbe Marathons Plus tires at $40 each. All goes well until you get into mountains in Wyoming. While racing down a steep mountain pass you both roll over a cattle grate going at such a high speed that you both blow out your rear tires. Fortunately, you are able to coast to a stop at a bicycle shop a few feet past the cattle grate. Hey - coincidence, but it could happen. At the bicycle shop, the owner tells you that the only replacement tires he has in stock are Panaracer Pasela’s TG’s at $20 each. However, at the last minute he tells you that he does have a used and worn Schwalbe Marathon Plus that he removed from the bike of a previous cross county bicycle tourist that stopped in three days ago for a tire replacement. The story is that that tourist was also on a cross county tour and felt he needed to change the tire out as a preventative measure. He will let you have that tire for free. Your friend, of course, purchases a replacement Pasela. The question is, which tire do you choose, the new Panaracer Pasela TG ($20) or the used and worn Marathon (free)?

    Denis K

  9. #9
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankieN
    Hey halfspeed: What's up with Panaracer Pasela Tour Guards? I got a KHS tandem with those tires and although there not the most expensive top of the line product out there - so far they seem acceptable. What's been your experience with the Panaracer? Thanks
    They seemed to flat a lot. For both me and a riding partner. Neither of us run stupid pressures or abuse our tires either. They're light weight, but that's because there really isn't a lot of material there. I'm done with Panaracers and I'll stick with Conti, Schwalbe or even Vittoria.

    Your mileage may vary, but just look at a Pasela and another quality tire of the same size off the rim.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    I've benn running the same tires (Pasala TG'S 700-35 ) for two years now, only a couple of flats, and one rear tire lost a patch of tread. I rode for ~35 miles after I noticed the tread was gone. All in all good tires for the price. If I was on a long tour, I would probably get Contis.

  11. #11
    More Energy than Sense aroundoz's Avatar
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    The new Conti touring tire, Travel Contact, is pretty heavy. Not as heavy as a Marathon plus and not as light as a Pasela but in between. It's always a trade off. I have had great experience w/ Pasela's as well as Avocet. I am looking forward to giving Schwalbe's a try on my next tour.

  12. #12
    LHT Commuter wsexson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denis K
    I ended up selecting a pair of Panaracer Pasela Tour Guard 35-622 tires for $19 bucks at wallbike.com. I installed then a week ago and used them on an Easter century. They are JUST FINE.
    While I don't have any idea what Camry tires have to do with bike tires, I will agree that Pasela TGs work just fine. I commute about 150 miles a week on 700cX28 Pasela TGs and flat about once a month. Good enough for me.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsexson
    While I don't have any idea what Camry tires have to do with bike tires, I will agree that Pasela TGs work just fine. I commute about 150 miles a week on 700cX28 Pasela TGs and flat about once a month. Good enough for me.
    Once a month! That's horrible! Once every two or three years is good enough for me as a daily commuter.

  14. #14
    Hooked on Touring
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    After long and arduous searching, I have found "The Middle Ground" for you.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
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    I've had bad luck with the Pasleas too, mine flatted 4 times in the past month! I've said screw it and just ordered some Continental Contacts.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    Great tires. My first pair had plenty of tread left at 6,500 miles, but the bead tape threads started coming off and getting in the brakes etc. I'm about halfway there on my current set.
    Quote Originally Posted by frankieN
    Hey halfspeed: What's up with Panaracer Pasela Tour Guards? I got a KHS tandem with those tires and although there not the most expensive top of the line product out there - so far they seem acceptable. What's been your experience with the Panaracer? Thanks

    The Panaracer Pasela Tour Guards are great tires and the folding model is pretty light too. I've got the 700 x 32c, it measures exactly 28 mm wide and weights 280 grams. I've got 1,000's of Km on mine, never got a flat once and there lots of glass on the roads here. Likewise the bead threads have started to come off, but it's already out lasted many other tires. I've already bought a set of replacements.
    2006 Lemond Sarthe
    2000 Trek 7500FX

  17. #17
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    I've been lucky with Specialized Nimbus EX. At 20$ CAD a piece, they cost less than their Armadillos counterpart, and I presume they're easier to mount and roll better. Had about 1 flat every 3000km or so, on average, mostly commuting and loaded touring, with a bit a unloaded riding. Rear tire lasts me about 5000-6000km. My front tire still looked good after 10 000km... don't know why I changed it!

    I tried an Infinity EX, which has the same protection as the Nimbus EX but with some threads. Specialized claims they last longer, but I had too many flat with it. Now I really think threaded tires are easier to puncture while slicks just roll over road crap.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  18. #18
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bccycleguy
    The Panaracer Pasela Tour Guards are great tires and the folding model is pretty light too. I've got the 700 x 32c, it measures exactly 28 mm wide and weights 280 grams. I've got 1,000's of Km on mine, never got a flat once and there lots of glass on the roads here. Likewise the bead threads have started to come off, but it's already out lasted many other tires. I've already bought a set of replacements.
    Interesting that they now measure 28mm wide. I'm aware that these tyres have never corresponded with the quoted width but I understand the new Panaracers TG's have different widths.
    Anyone know how the new versions measure in width as opposed to the stated width in the 26" range?

  19. #19
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    Once a month! That's horrible! Once every two or three years is good enough for me as a daily commuter.
    Yeah, once a year is my limit. I was going to put Pasela TG on Sis' bike until
    I read this thread... Now I'm back to square one. Oh well...

  20. #20
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onbike 1939
    Interesting that they now measure 28mm wide. I'm aware that these tyres have never corresponded with the quoted width but I understand the new Panaracers TG's have different widths.
    Anyone know how the new versions measure in width as opposed to the stated width in the 26" range?
    The width of your rim can change the width measurement of the tire.

    I'll go measure my 32's after my coffee.(or two)

    I'll measure my rim too, If you don't consider the rim width the measurement can be off a little, compared to someone else.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  21. #21
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    Yeah, once a year is my limit. I was going to put Pasela TG on Sis' bike until
    I read this thread... Now I'm back to square one. Oh well...
    Spring for Schwalbe Marathon Plus. They are a damn fine tire.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    My current Scwable Marathon Plus 700 x 32 (replaces 38's) have 1000 miles on them with nary a bobble of a flat. Did they cost? Yes. Do I feel comfortable on them 20 miles from the nearest town? Yes.

  23. #23
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    Spring for Schwalbe Marathon Plus. They are a damn fine tire.
    Hi,
    they are a great tire. They are also incredibly heavy. I will
    be looking for something between 300-400 grams.

  24. #24
    LHT Commuter wsexson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    Once a month! That's horrible! Once every two or three years is good enough for me as a daily commuter.
    In my experience once a month isn't horrible, it is awesome. Better than regular 700x37s with tuffy strips, better than Avocet Cross 700x32, better than Armadillo 700x32. I guess I am just hard on tires.

  25. #25
    Senior Member kesroberts's Avatar
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    Pasela TGs are the best.

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