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Old 02-10-08, 01:42 PM   #1
vince hilaire
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What size tyre?

Hi - got my new bike this week after having the other one stolen and am starting to get it ready for my 3week tour across Japan. Its an 08 Dr Dew and it looks mint! However it came with some chunky conti tyres which are slowing me down a tad. I took the forums advice and will get some Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres but which size do you plump for? For touring i need some comfort but also want a fast tyre. Options are 700 x 25/28/32. Thoughts?


thanks
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Old 02-10-08, 02:05 PM   #2
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I've always toured on 28s. I feel that they are a good option for light to moderate touring, but they might be a little too small for really heavy loads. 32s are a lot more common for most people that tour, I think. I think 25s are just too small, unless you are going very light.
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Old 02-10-08, 02:52 PM   #3
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Firstly, I would always suggest that when we talk about tire sizes, we talk about TRUE size measurements. So many manufactures fudge the specs, that what's marked on the tire often has no relation to reality. Example: My Conti Top Touring tires are stamped 37c, but in reality, measure less than 32c. Same for my new 32c Conti Top Contacts; they measure fractionally over 27mm.

As for what is best for which condition, I think that my "37c" (really 32c) are a great all-purpose. I've never packed my bike with 60lbs of gear, so can't really say if they'd stand up to it, but for moderate packing, I'm quite confident in their capability. They've been on my Jamis Coda for over 7 yrs now, and have treated me well...even though I only carry light stuff.

For no loads or light loads (credit card touring) out on smooth roads, I think my 37c's have been holding me back a bit, and that's why I just replaced them with 32c (really 27c) Top Contacts. They ride just a tiny bit harder than the 37's, but they're also a bit faster. If I was looking for the best compromise, I'd probably want a true 30c, but alas, hardly anybody makes 'em.

I would NEVER use anything smaller than 27's for all purpose riding, and 28 is cutting it just a bit thin. At least I can now keep up with my fellow roadies...

Good luck
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Old 02-10-08, 03:41 PM   #4
vince hilaire
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Thats interesting - from where to where are you measuring to get your figures?
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Old 02-10-08, 04:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by vince hilaire View Post
Hi - got my new bike this week after having the other one stolen and am starting to get it ready for my 3week tour across Japan. Its an 08 Dr Dew and it looks mint! However it came with some chunky conti tyres which are slowing me down a tad. I took the forums advice and will get some Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres but which size do you plump for? For touring i need some comfort but also want a fast tyre. Options are 700 x 25/28/32. Thoughts?


thanks
Marathon Plus are very flatproof, but also slow. If you are getting rid of some tires because they are slow I wouldn't jump on some Marathon Plus tires as the solution.

I'd suggest some 32-700 Marathon Supremes - flat resistant and faster than the Marathon Plus.

Enjoy your trip....
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Old 02-10-08, 04:17 PM   #6
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There really is no consistency in tire size, no connection between the number imprinted on the side of the tire and its actual measure. On one bike, I bought new 28 mm tires to replace the ones that had worn out, and they wouldn't fit. It turned out that 28 mm in Brand A is the about same width as 25 mm in Brand B.

I have toured on everything from so-called 23 mm to so-called 32 mm tires, and have been happiest with the wider tires, whatever size they happened to be!
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Old 02-10-08, 05:09 PM   #7
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Thats why you see tubes marked 18c-25c and so on.
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Old 02-10-08, 05:15 PM   #8
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Continental gatorskins are pretty good, as far as rolling resistance goes, too. They are listed by the manufacturer as puncture resistant, and they're not as expensive as some Schwalbes, but they're a lot cheaper and easier to find here in the States. They don't have as good a reputation as Schwalbes, either, though. Specialized armadillos are fairly similar to gatorskins, and a lot of people like those tires, but I had one fall apart on me in the middle of nowhere, once. So I'm not a fan of the armadillos.
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Old 02-10-08, 07:56 PM   #9
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Thats interesting - from where to where are you measuring to get your figures?
I use a digital caliper and slowly narrow the jaws against both sides of the tire until they gently touch. Read measurment.
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Old 02-10-08, 08:03 PM   #10
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I always thought tire width measurements were made by measuring around the outside of the tire, rather than straight across from one bead to the other. Guess I never gave it much thought, though.
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Old 02-10-08, 08:17 PM   #11
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I use a digital caliper and slowly narrow the jaws against both sides of the tire until they gently touch. Read measurment.
Both sides of the tire when inflated and on the rim?

Hmm...my 37-622's commuting tires (contacts) are 35 wide, not bad I guess. I haven't put on the tour tires (travel contacts) yet, so can't emasure them.
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Old 02-10-08, 10:41 PM   #12
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Yes, both sides of the tire when fully inflated and mounted on rim. Side note: Tires will measure ever so slightly different depending on the rim.

Btw, if your 37-622 Contis measure 35mm wide, that is indeed impressive for a Conti. Like I said, my older 37-622 Top Touring measure just a bit wider than 31mm.
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Old 02-10-08, 11:34 PM   #13
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In the parts of Japan that I toured in, the roads were very nice. I had marathon racers that were 700c x30, and they worked out well. I definitely didn't feel the need for a bigger tire. I'd go with the 28's if there is no 30 in the plus. Also, I tried out the Marathon Plus and they were noticeably more sluggish than the racers. The flat protection has been really good with them as well, you may want to consider them as an option.
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Old 02-11-08, 05:56 PM   #14
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On my Cannondale (very stiff frame) I like 32mm tyres, seems to be the right balance for me. I'm pretty heavy (94kg) so maybe thinner would be fine for a lighter person on a less stiff bike.
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