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Old 05-28-09, 09:50 AM   #1
sillylily
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Best touring tires

I am outfitting my road bike with new wheels (Mavic A119s 36h) and tires (700x28c). In terms of tires, I am trying to decide between:

Panaracer Pasela Tg Road Tire
Continental Contact
Schwalbe Marathon Plus

I would appreciate any comments on these tires (or any others), especially regarding puncture resistance, ease of changing a tube on the road, rolling resistance, value, etc.

I plan to use this bike for commuting as well as a Minnesota to Maine tour this summer (on pavement). I weigh 150lbs and will carry ~20 lbs of gear.
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Old 05-28-09, 10:07 AM   #2
mooseblend
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Well I personally swear by vittoria randonneur's. I used them on a 1400 mile tour last summer and didn't get one flat , and continue to use them for commuting and have still never got a flat with them. They have them in 28c and 32c, (I used the 32c's on my touring bike and the 28's on my road/commuter) and are available with a reflective strip on the side for a little added safety. I will admit that they are a little hard to mount which could definitely be frustrating if you have to change a flat on the side of the road.
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Old 05-28-09, 10:33 AM   #3
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i dont ride on 700c, but i've never had a problem with panaracer tires. never once got a flat with them. don't know if they're great for touring or not, but they take miles like a champ. if nothing else they are an exelent commuter tire.
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Old 05-28-09, 10:34 AM   #4
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I run Panaracer Pasela TG's on my road bike. Love them, seem like a very durable tire with good all weather tread.

A word to the wise though, Panaracers run larger than normal, so if your bike has any clearance issues you might want to order the next size down. (27 x 1 1/4 ended up rubbing my front derailuer).
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Old 05-28-09, 12:42 PM   #5
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marathon plus are to heavy,conti citycontacts are good ,that's what im useing , heard great things about tour guards, but if i were in the market for new tyres i would seriously think about schwalble supreams ,these look the business for me ,more like slicks than touring tyres , claim to be as good as the marathon plus for puncture proofness.take a look at the schwalble site good info on them.
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Old 05-28-09, 12:54 PM   #6
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Schwalbe

Hi,

I have the Marathon Pluses on my fixed-gear around-town commuter bike. They've never flatted on me, and our streets glittering minefields of glass. Marathon Supremes on the tourer. Both 700x32. The Pluses are heavy, with a leaden feel to them. They're fine in the rain, and as I already said, virtually flat proof. The supremes are half the weight, supple, easy rolling, long wearing and almost as flat proof. So why not just go with supremes? I paid more for them than I did for the last automobile tires I bought. Shop around, and if you can find them for under $60, you've done well.
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Old 05-28-09, 02:01 PM   #7
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paxtonm thanks for that, your the first person i heard who has and reccommends the supreams. ill put them on my wish list for when next i need tyres and have the bucks to buy them.
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Old 05-28-09, 02:14 PM   #8
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I'm a big fan of Bontrager hard case race lite tires. Don't have any trouble with flats and they are relatively light at 700 x 32.
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Old 05-28-09, 02:25 PM   #9
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Have used the Supremes as well and love them. Not one single flat and they ride great. Two Pittsburgh to DC trips, two somewhat around Lake MI. Getting ready to buy a new set, but in the size I need they are a bit hard to find right now
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Old 05-28-09, 03:08 PM   #10
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I've used all those tires for commuting and around town. They're all good tires and will serve you well. That said, I'd say the Marathon Plus tire is in a league by itself. It has to be the most puncture resistance tire I've ever seen but it is also heavy, hard, and difficult to mount. They also ride like wood. Check out Peter White's website for more about these. I'm not saying they are bad tires - I have a pair mounted on my grocery getter, ie NO FLATS! - but they are totally unlike any other tire I have ever seen. Compare the listed weight of these tires against any other, they are probably > 2x the weight of the next heaviest tire. I would only recommend them if you really, really care about not getting flats.
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Old 05-28-09, 03:41 PM   #11
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I swore by Conti Top Tourings for years...their replacement the Top Contact is even better. (not to be confused with the standard Contact). Expensive, but well worth the cost. I don't skimp on my rubber. Next on my hit parade would probably be the Marathon Supremes.
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Old 05-28-09, 03:49 PM   #12
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Schwalbe marathon supreme

I got them from SJS cycles. ~ 40$ each

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/currency/...559)-19387.htm

but i was ordering a few things, so the shipping per item was less of a hit.

They are excellent tires, the best Ive used hands down
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Old 05-28-09, 03:54 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by sillylily View Post
Panaracer Pasela Tg Road Tire
Continental Contact
Schwalbe Marathon Plus
The Pasela and the Marathon Plus are at opposite ends of the range.

The Marathon Plus is a heavy tank of a tire intended for commuting, (per the mfgr rep), with flat-resistance as priority #1.

I run Marathon Supremes on my touring bike, but carry a Pasela as a spare, because it is:
- low cost (I paid 3x as much for the Supremes)
- light weight
- so thin it rolls up to the size of a baseball

The Pasela is so thin and light that even the Supremes look like truck tires by comparison. I am also impressed by the quality of the Pasela, e.g when you spin the tire, the boundary between the tan and black portions never wavers. So far, I have only run the Pasela on the front for two weeks while waiting for a new Supreme, after a massive chunk of 3/4" plate glass sliced a sidewall open.
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Old 05-28-09, 03:56 PM   #14
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Panaracer Pasela TG foldable are incredibly easy to remove and install. They are also light and reasonably puncture resistant.
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Old 05-28-09, 06:39 PM   #15
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I use the Panaracer Pasela TG Road Tire (folding) for a spare, but do not rely on them for normal touring, they don't hold up for me on long distances. They are really easy to change though.

I used Continental Top Touring on my last tour but they are about out of stock everywhere. I would probably vote for either the Schwalbe or the Continental Contact for you.
Have a good ride.
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Old 05-28-09, 07:39 PM   #16
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I run Continental Touring Plus's. Pretty much Conti's version of the Marathon. I love them.

http://www.conti-online.com/generato...ngPlus_en.html
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Old 05-28-09, 08:04 PM   #17
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Let me suggest a different list. Basically these are tires between 300gr and 400gr.
The Schwalbe and the Ribmo being a bit over 400 but worth the weight. Also Schwalbe's claimed weights are accurate, which is not true of all companies.

1) Pasela TG Folding 32c... the folding means a kevlar bead which makes the tire lighter. This is the tire I use. It's a good value for the money. Bring a couple spares.

2) Schwalbe marathon Supreme 35c.. very good tire, very expensive... The real size is 32c, Schwalbe fibs. This is the tire I'd use to go cross country and I'd bring one spare.

3) Pasela Ribmo 35c... Think of this as an updated Pasela, it's a bit heavier, but longer lasting.

4) Conti Top Contact 32c... another expensive hi tech tire like the Supreme.

IMHO, these are minimum sizes for touring. The Pasela is a bit on the small and wimpy side for cross country. But they do have a 35c which is actually a bit smaller, perhaps 33c.

My preferences would be 2,4,3 in that order, with the Ribmo being the cheap choice and the Supreme being the most desirable.

If you want some suggestions for touring in New England, I'd be glad to suggest a few.

Last edited by late; 05-28-09 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 05-28-09, 08:10 PM   #18
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One month ago, I mounted a set of Continental Top Contact 700x37c tires on my touring bike in preparation for an upcoming trip around Lake Ontario. These are Conti's top of the line, hand made in Germany, touring tires. At prices approaching the cost of automobile tires, I have very high expectations for them. We'll see if they live up to the expectations. So far, on test rides they have been terrific on smooth asphalt, chip seal paving, and concrete roads. Subjectively, they roll well and ride very smoothly. The have a reflective sidewall strip for added nighttime safety. The jury is still out on their performance on a real tour.

I had previously been riding Continental Top Touring 2000 tires exclusively on my touring bike. I was in mourning for months when I found out they were discontinuing that model. I finally exhausted my supply and now I'm trying the Top Contacts.

I've had Panaracer Pasela TG tires on a commuter-type bike. I liked them very well. I especially liked the price. I currently carry a 700-28c folding version of this tire as a (lighter weight) spare when I'm touring. I though the tread pattern and rubber compound made them a bit noisy on asphalt, but that was a minor concern. I got good life out of them.

Schwalbe must make 10 different tires with the name Marathon somewhere in the name. I had a set of Schwalbe Marathons on another bike that I eventually sold. They wear like iron but, to my subjective and imprecise gut feeling, I didn't think they rolled as smoothly as some of the other tires mentioned. They did have a reflective strip on the sidewall. These would have been great tires to use on a mag trainer in the winter. I'm not sure which version of the Marathons I used. There may be big differences between the various versions.
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Old 05-28-09, 10:40 PM   #19
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I have used the regular Marathons and have not had a flat in about 1000 miles. And, they still look new. No wear. I have never seen tires like them
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Old 05-28-09, 11:04 PM   #20
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FWIW-- We have used Continetal Ultra Gatorskins on our touring bikes for several multi-week tours including a 3650 mile cross country trip. We are fullly loaded and ride 28's. We have used them on short stretches of gravel, through lots of construction and over some pretty nasty roads (Iowa). They are a good compromise between weight, minimum rolling resistance and durability. Our weights are about the same and I carry between 35-40 lbs of "stuff". Weight usually is determined by the amount of water that needs to be carried.

Talking about favorite tires falls in the same catagory as discussing best saddles, bikes, or fenders vs. no fenders. There are a lot of opinions and most of them are corect. There are several good brands out there, and they all have strengths and weakneses. It is a personal thing, and like most folks I've tried several different brands and landed on the ones that work for me.

Best wishes on your ride this summer.
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Old 05-29-09, 03:38 AM   #21
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i think the puncture thing is all down to luck or even ,bad luck.you can go for miles on any quality tyre without meeting the puncture demon.i don't think i would be doing to many miles off road on my fully loaded touring bike, my god life is hard enough.i haven't seen the supreams in the flesh (or rubber ) but on paper they tick all the boxes for me .i don't know if they will preform as well as a slick road tyre for speed that is ,but i dont think there's another tyre out there that look's as close to a slick as the supreams does. (i could be wrong ).i have my marathon plus tyres hanging in the shed ,i really dont like them especally on wet roads imho ,that is .i got into troble from another poster on another forum for expressing my oponion on the plus tyres ,so i'll try not to condem to much this time.
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Old 05-29-09, 08:00 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by mooseblend View Post
Well I personally swear by vittoria randonneur's. I used them on a 1400 mile tour last summer and didn't get one flat , and continue to use them for commuting and have still never got a flat with them. They have them in 28c and 32c, (I used the 32c's on my touring bike and the 28's on my road/commuter) and are available with a reflective strip on the side for a little added safety. I will admit that they are a little hard to mount which could definitely be frustrating if you have to change a flat on the side of the road.
+1
An excellent tire. I've had no flats yet since switching to these.
I have found that they are a bit under sized though. Or maybe my other tires were oversized?
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Old 05-29-09, 01:36 PM   #23
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Continental Travel Contact. Good rolling on paved road and suitable for loose gravel, too. Try them...You'll like them.
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Old 05-30-09, 05:57 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Iowegian View Post
I've used all those tires for commuting and around town. They're all good tires and will serve you well. That said, I'd say the Marathon Plus tire is in a league by itself. It has to be the most puncture resistance tire I've ever seen but it is also heavy, hard, and difficult to mount. They also ride like wood. Check out Peter White's website for more about these. I'm not saying they are bad tires - I have a pair mounted on my grocery getter, ie NO FLATS! - but they are totally unlike any other tire I have ever seen. Compare the listed weight of these tires against any other, they are probably > 2x the weight of the next heaviest tire. I would only recommend them if you really, really care about not getting flats.
+1 In over 8000 commuter miles I've had one flat(a 2" self-starting screw that NOTHING would've stopped) and one slow leak. Both on the rear. When the slow leak showed up I changed out the rear tire. That was about 1000 commuter miles ago. The front's still rolling along. Plenty of tread left. Have SMPs on all my bikes except one. It has Nu-Teck airless. It doesn't GET flats. I call it 'The Beast'. It's a 90s Specialized Crossroads 3x7.

The 3 commuters w/SMPs are a Motobecane Fantom CX w/28mm, a 1x8 85 C'Dale SR300 conversion w/25mm and an 80s Fuji Del-Rey singlespeed conversion w/25mm. Over 10,000 miles rec/com/utility combined since I made the switch(es) to SMPs w/only the aforementioned flat and slow leak.

They ARE heavy so I run them all at 15-20 psi over recommendation and they ARE a B**** to mount, but a Kool Stop tire lever will do the trick. 11.00US from a variety of online stores. Believe me, it'll save you a world o' hurt.

I "really, really care about NOT getting flats".
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Old 05-30-09, 07:05 PM   #25
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I've used the Schwalbe Marathon Plus, the Schwalbe Marathon, and the Continental Sport Contact. The Marathon Plus were a bit too heavy for my liking. The Marathon were excellent, but still a little heavier than the Sport Contact. I'm currently riding the Sport Contact. If I were going on a long tour, I might prefer the Marathons. For general commuting and touring (especially in the mountains as planned for early June), I prefer the lighter weight of the Sport Contacts.
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