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Old 05-21-09, 11:49 PM   #1
sleizure
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26x1.5 enough?

I bought an LHT Complete and I made it through 5 flats in 200km on the WTB Slickasaurus's - and got some Marathons in 26x1.5. I'm wrestling - should these be ok with going on a europe/asia tour next year? Should I be considering moving up to a 1.75"?
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Old 05-22-09, 05:05 AM   #2
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Just my opinion-- since one is carrying a whole lot of weight on a bike that is already heavy to start with (I have an LHT as well) I find no reason to go with anything LESS than the maximum width that your particular bike would allow. The wider the tire- the more comfortable the ride- and the weight or aerodynamics of the wider tire will do next to nothing in slowing you down compared to the vast weight you are already carrying. And you are touring, not racing- so comfort from day after day of riding is of a premium. I run 2.0 Marathon Supremes on my LHT and the ride is a dream. PS- I found those Slickasaurus's pretty awful as well- 7 flats in 4 weeks made me get the Supremes.
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Old 05-22-09, 06:26 AM   #3
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Round is good in a tire. Also, fitting your rims. After that, there's a whole lot of personal taste. On a long tour, you're going to swap tires at least once anyway, so if it turns out these are "too small" you can fix it later.
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Old 05-22-09, 03:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for this -Stewed over this a bit more last nite. Here comes my "noob" question.
What would it take to get 2" tires on my existing rims? Is it possible? Do I need to upgrade pieces?
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Old 05-22-09, 04:16 PM   #5
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"The wider the tire- the more comfortable the ride- and the weight or aerodynamics of the wider tire will do next to nothing in slowing you down compared to the vast weight you are already carrying"

Tire weight is the worst weight there is and a light tire and will make a big difference. How light one can get away with is another mater, but in general most loaded tourists seem to prefer 32-37 mm.

"What would it take to get 2" tires on my existing rims?"

Normally that shouldn't be a big deal. I have had shallow MTB rims as narrow as 19-20 mms, so it is hard to see how a rim would be too small. Though some rims can make getting some tires on a chore, and shouldn't be considered for touring. I wouldn't switch to fatter tires though, particularly if flats are your only problem. Get some decent standard touring tires with kevlar and inflate properly, should be good for thousands of miles. If you have some local thorns or something that are a real trial then look into some tire armour. It will increase the rolling resistence of your tires, but probably no worse than going up a size, and the weight will be more reasonable. I only go to fat tires if I need to float through soft stuff. I do run cheap 1.95" slicks on my city bike so as to deal with grates, streetcar track, potholes, and punctures. They have really thick rubber on them, but there are higher performance options that I just don't choose to bother with on my city bike.
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Old 05-22-09, 05:07 PM   #6
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I don't understand why you're asking if 1.5" is ok when you're already using that size. The Marathon should be more flat resistant, if that's what you're asking. I think 1.5" are a good size for touring. Start with them and see for yourself. You can always change en route.
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Old 05-22-09, 06:12 PM   #7
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You can get an even nicer smoother ride with 2.0's because you can run lower pressures.
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Old 05-22-09, 06:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post

Tire weight is the worst weight there is and a light tire and will make a big difference. How light one can get away with is another mater, but in general most loaded tourists seem to prefer 32-37 mm.

"What would it take to get 2" tires on my existing rims?"

Tire weight difference between a 1.5 and 2.0 tire of the same make is just a matter of a few grams- and when compared to the (up to) 300 pounds of weight (bike and gear bags and rider) those few grams (of rotational weight) make virtually no difference at all on a loaded touring bike going at average touring speeds. On the other hand- a 25% increase (from 1.5 to 2.0) will make a world of improvement on the comfort level of the ride- which is far more important in day after day of touring than the tiny weight penalty. And the OP is using 26" wheels so the 32-37 reference is meaningless to his question.

Now, to respond to the OP's part of the question- 2 inch tires will work splendidly on the original rims that came with you LHT (which happen to be very good rims for loaded touring). I recommend you go with the Schawlbe tires- either the Marathon Supremes or the Marathon XR's.

AND FYI- the LHT will take a tire up to 2.125 width, but most fenders for 26 inch bikes can only cope with a tire up to 2 inches wide (and you will most likely want to add fenders to your rig at some point)- so I suggest you stick with the 2.0's
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Last edited by lifeguardsteve; 05-22-09 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 05-22-09, 08:00 PM   #9
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I've found 26 x 1.75 to be great for hauling camping gear on dirt roads, maybe a little overkill if you don't go off pavement. Schwalbe Marathon Cross in a 26 x 1.75 was great on dirt, maybe a little overkill on pavement. 26 x 1.6 probably would have worked as well.

http://www.schwalbetires.com/node/1320 in a 26 x 1.6 might be worth looking into if the price doesn't upset you (if you have to ask, you can't afford it!).

I'm not entirely sure I agree that tire weight is irrelevant. Save a few ounces here, a few ounces there, and pretty soon you've saved a few pounds. It might not matter when you start out in the morning, but the ounces seem to add up when you're slogging up that last long hill of the day. I try to balance weight against reliability and comfort, but weight seems to become more and more important as I get older.
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Old 05-22-09, 11:45 PM   #10
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I got the 26X1.5 marathons. I wouldn't go any wider than them for mostly road riding. They are smallish for offroadin however, and if 25% or more of my tour were to be on rough paths, I wouldn't hesitate to go wider, and possibly more tread ala Marathon XR.
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Old 05-22-09, 11:49 PM   #11
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You can run the 26 by 1.5 Marathons at a fairly wide range of pressures and this will allow you to modify the ride... they do roll out nicely, are fairly bombproof, and do offer a very nice ride.
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Old 05-23-09, 12:38 AM   #12
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I ride Specialized Armadillo 26x1.5 on an MTB conversion I have had no trouble with flats and I like the way they ride on pavement. The performance on very rough roads or loose gravel leaves something to be desired, so if I were to go on a tour that included a lot of that, I would get something wider.

But I have also done a bit of singletrack on my racing bike (700x23 slicks) so I may not be the best person to evaluate tire quality.
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Old 05-23-09, 01:08 AM   #13
sleizure
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I returned my 1.5's today from the shop down the road and moved up to 1.75 - I plan on doing a bit of offroad (mongolia being part of my world tour) in the future, and figured that I mine as well get up to 1.75's and when I need a new tire, I can simply add another 1.75 rather than upgrade then. Will mount them tommorrow and take it for a 80km run and see how I like it. Thanks for the advice all.
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Old 05-23-09, 11:16 AM   #14
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I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who had a terrible experience with the LHT stock tires. I must have received a dozen flats while riding on those worthless Slickasarous tires within 10 months. I finally upgraded to Armadillo Nimbus tires. Regarding size, I've been happy with 1.5.
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