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  1. #1
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    Got a new ride, now how should I set it up?

    Just ordered a 2003 Bianchi Volpe today from Jack Johnston Bicycles in Dallas. They gave it to me for $800 (Bianchi lists it for $850) plus 10% of any accessories I bought with it. Then just for grins they threw in 2 free cages and a water bottle. Great shop.

    I would have liked to go nuts with the accessories, but they didn't have all the racks and bags I wanted. But I did buy a Blackburn EX-1 rear rack, a new floor pump, and a third cage.

    Now I need a little help with the set-up. From my old bike, I already have a Brooks Team Pro saddle, Time ATAC pedals, and a computer. They are going to put all that on when they assemble the bike.

    I don't plan on changing any of the gearing unless I find the need to later. It comes with Tiagra up front and Deore in the rear. I forget the exact gearing, but I think the granny gear is 25 gear inches.

    I will probably start with a pair of Arkel GT-30 panniers. I'll put them on the back on days I commute (not as often as I should) and for a few light weekend tours. Then if I ever get the urge to haul myself out on a longer tour I'll move them up front and get the GT-54's for the back.

    What I need help with is tires. It comes with some Bontrager Select 35C's. I'm a firm believer in listening to the advice of people with more experience than me. Most of you have reccommended Continental Top Touring tires for touring. I plan to get a pair.

    The bike will be used for fitness rides, centuries, jaunts to the grocery store, and the occaisional light weekend tour. I am 30 and in good shape. My fitness rides go 25-50 miles at 18-20 mph on my old road bike. I tend to think the 35C's will be sluggish on the days I'm trying to pretend I'm Lance. But then again they will work great on the days I'm hauling gear around. I can say that the fitness rides will definitely outnumber the tours, for now anyway. Should I get a set of skinnier slicker tires for everyday riding, and save the 35C's for the days I load the bike down? Will it make much of a difference when the bike is already 26 pounds?

    I'm looking at the Continental Ultra Gatorskin 700 X 28C for my fitness rides and a par of fat Top Tourings for tours.

    Thoughts???

    Thanks y'all.
    Ned

  2. #2
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Difference between a pair of Ultra Gatorskin 700x28 and TT2K 700x32 is almost exactly one pound. (TT2k's don't come in 700x35, which is a somewhat unusual size).

    Personally, I think swapping tires frequently to save a pound is a waste of time. But then, I don't try to pretend I'm Lance when I'm riding a touring bike. I mean, are you going to take your racks on and off, too? What about your fenders?

    Let the bike be what it is. If you want a lightweight bike for attacking hills, get one. The Volpe -- great all-rounder though it is -- isn't that bike.

    RichC
    Training: 2002 Fuji Roubaix Pro (105 triple)
    Commuting/Daytripping: 2001 Airborne Carpe Diem (Ultegra/XTR, touring wheels)
    Commuting/Touring: 2000 Novara Randonee (Sora/Tiagra/LX, fenders, lights)

  3. #3
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    I would suggest you a very strong tire, Hutchinson globetrotter, in the 32c size. I am sure they are way faster than those continental while offering great protection and comfort. http://tires.hutchinson.fr/
    "It's ironic, I used to ride my bike to make a living. Now I just want to live so that I can ride."
    -Lance Armstrong

  4. #4
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by devinci_freak
    I am sure they are way faster than those continental while offering great protection and comfort.
    You're sure of this? They weigh even more than the Continentals, they have an absolutely useless deep tread pattern, and they specify inflation of less than 60psi. What do you base your certainty on?

    RichC
    Training: 2002 Fuji Roubaix Pro (105 triple)
    Commuting/Daytripping: 2001 Airborne Carpe Diem (Ultegra/XTR, touring wheels)
    Commuting/Touring: 2000 Novara Randonee (Sora/Tiagra/LX, fenders, lights)

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by Rich Clark
    You're sure of this? They weigh even more than the Continentals, they have an absolutely useless deep tread pattern, and they specify inflation of less than 60psi. What do you base your certainty on?

    RichC
    I personnaly have such tires at home and I know the 32c size can be inflated easily to 100psi (94 is the recommended one, but the tire is strong enough to take more). I also know the continental tires are known for sticking to the road, and the thread is more likely to make a slow tire. And about the weight, I'll check this because I really doubt they are heavier than the continental top touring.
    "It's ironic, I used to ride my bike to make a living. Now I just want to live so that I can ride."
    -Lance Armstrong

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys.

    The tire swapping wouldn't be all that frequent, as this will be a training bike more often than a tourer. I wish I could afford two bikes, but I can't and my old road bike is toast with a crack in the frame. So even though I just ride through the city more often than I tour I wanted to get something which would at least give me that option.

    Yes, I plan to ride it without racks and fenders most of the time. Again, it will be an infrequent switch.

  7. #7
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by devinci_freak
    I personnaly have such tires at home and I know the 32c size can be inflated easily to 100psi (94 is the recommended one, but the tire is strong enough to take more). I also know the continental tires are known for sticking to the road, and the thread is more likely to make a slow tire. And about the weight, I'll check this because I really doubt they are heavier than the continental top touring.
    It's nice for you that you recommend tires that you've had good luck with. And I have no reason to doubt that these are good tires. They appear to be very difficult to find at retail in the US, however.

    I do have a problem with someone claiming to "know" something about a tire he's never used.

    Your statement about the "thread is more likely to make a slow tire" makes no sense to me. If you mean "tread," the Conti's don't have much of a tread pattern at all, which is how it should be. Tread patterns on road tires are of no benefit.

    As for weight, you're right, the Hutchinsons are all of 10 grams lighter. By mistake I was comparing weights for the 37's; the Hutchinsons are much heavier in that size.

    It's interesting that the tires apparently show a different recommended inflation pressure on their sidewalls than is listed on Hutchinson's site (which says 57psi/4 bar for the 32).

    In any case, I think you'll find that the TT2k is the most widely-recommended touring tire for many reasone, the primary one being that they are so consistently reliable. It's entirely possible the Hutchinson Globetrotter is its equal; having never tried it, I wouldn't "know." You're the first person I've ever seen recommend it, perhaps because it's more commonly sold in Canada and Europe, where it seems to be popular as original equipment on hybrids and such.

    RichC
    Training: 2002 Fuji Roubaix Pro (105 triple)
    Commuting/Daytripping: 2001 Airborne Carpe Diem (Ultegra/XTR, touring wheels)
    Commuting/Touring: 2000 Novara Randonee (Sora/Tiagra/LX, fenders, lights)

  8. #8
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by chuychanga
    The tire swapping wouldn't be all that frequent, as this will be a training bike more often than a tourer. I wish I could afford two bikes, but I can't and my old road bike is toast with a crack in the frame. So even though I just ride through the city more often than I tour I wanted to get something which would at least give me that option.
    Your rims probably won't take anything smaller than a 700x28c which is the biggest size Gatorskin. You might want to measure your rims' interior width, and use the chart on this page: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html
    near the bottom, under "Width Considerations," to be sure that's an appropriate size.

    Keep in mind that getting a narrower tire on and off a wider rim can be a challenge, even if it nominally works.

    Some people keep two sets of wheels, which would allow not just lighter tires, but lighter wheels with shorter gearing for faster, unloaded riding.

    RichC
    Training: 2002 Fuji Roubaix Pro (105 triple)
    Commuting/Daytripping: 2001 Airborne Carpe Diem (Ultegra/XTR, touring wheels)
    Commuting/Touring: 2000 Novara Randonee (Sora/Tiagra/LX, fenders, lights)

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by Rich Clark
    It's nice for you that you recommend tires that you've had good luck with. And I have no reason to doubt that these are good tires. They appear to be very difficult to find at retail in the US, however.

    I do have a problem with someone claiming to "know" something about a tire he's never used.

    Your statement about the "thread is more likely to make a slow tire" makes no sense to me. If you mean "tread," the Conti's don't have much of a tread pattern at all, which is how it should be. Tread patterns on road tires are of no benefit.

    As for weight, you're right, the Hutchinsons are all of 10 grams lighter. By mistake I was comparing weights for the 37's; the Hutchinsons are much heavier in that size.

    It's interesting that the tires apparently show a different recommended inflation pressure on their sidewalls than is listed on Hutchinson's site (which says 57psi/4 bar for the 32).

    In any case, I think you'll find that the TT2k is the most widely-recommended touring tire for many reasone, the primary one being that they are so consistently reliable. It's entirely possible the Hutchinson Globetrotter is its equal; having never tried it, I wouldn't "know." You're the first person I've ever seen recommend it, perhaps because it's more commonly sold in Canada and Europe, where it seems to be popular as original equipment on hybrids and such.

    RichC
    Hi,
    First of all, it appears to me, according to the list available on their website, that hutchinson tires have far more distributors in USA than in Canada. Those tires are even used by Us Postal team... (the road tires of course), so I doubt you really talked about something you "knew".

    It is true, I've never tried the Continental top touring tires and my opinion on these is only based upon reviews I've read of it on the internet. It was said to be a very durable but slow tire. If that point wasn't clear, well I am sorry. I agree that road tires shouldn't have much tread pattern, but Continental top touring are not road tires and do have tread pattern... They are "road worthy" but are by no mean, in my humble opinion, the recommanded tires if road is all the user is going to ride on with the touring bike.

    If you looked carefully at the inflation pressure list, you probably noticed that 54psi/4bars is given for all the sizes, which means a mistake was made. And since you were using this as an argument, I'd say the maximum pressure is 94 for the globetrotter and 80 for continental top touring 2000.

    I really think Hutchinson Globetrotter are great tires, and I tried them because they were both on my touring bike (devinci caribou, 28c, 7000km without problems) and my father's performance hybrid (Devinci sydney, 32c, 5000km without any problems and are still working fine). According to the same reviews claiming they are slow, the top touring 2000 can easily ride thousands of km without any flats.

    I just hope people will take a look at Hutchinson tires, as well as other tires, as there are so many of them.
    "It's ironic, I used to ride my bike to make a living. Now I just want to live so that I can ride."
    -Lance Armstrong

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