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Old 05-25-11, 07:03 AM   #1
Lamabb
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is a 2 inch tire overkill?

For pavement, would a 26 X 2.0 schwalbe marathon supreme be overkill for pavement? I really, really, really don't like flats. I'd be willing to sacrifice a little power for reliability and comfort.

I'm 210 pounds and will be towing a BOB trailer (which are known to be much more flat resistant than weight-on-bike panniers). Will the upgrade from 1.5 inch 26" tire to a 2.0 make me significantly slower?

I also like the ability to see a dirt path and know that my bike could handle it.

Also... is there anything wrong if I were to keep the front tire 1.5 inch and change the rear to 2.0 becuase my fronts last years while the rear will only be good for a few months of heavy riding.
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Old 05-25-11, 08:08 AM   #2
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You don't need a 2.0" tires for pavement, but it will give you a nice comfy ride if you inflate it correctly for your load and if you switch to the same tire in 1.5" you won't be flying along super fast by comparison. 2.0" tires make a 26" bike handle really well and that's what I have on all my 26" bikes.

If you wanted to go faster you could keep the 2.0" tire and go with something more supple from Schwalbe, but with less flat protection. Wider tires [inflated properly] are less flat prone than narrower tires inflated to higher pressures. You can also seriously reduce the # of flats you have by riding as far to the left as is practical where you live/tour and checking your tires for debris once/thrice a day.

My most frequently used tire [a 1000kms+ so far this year] has no flat protection at all, but at 42mm and 50-55psi I haven't had any issues riding on many debris strewn highway shoulders as well as unpaved roads/trails.
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Old 05-25-11, 08:15 AM   #3
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See my comments that I just wrote here on my model preferences for 26X2.0 tires:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post12691172

That said, the wider the tire the greater chance that you will run over a puncture causing item on the road. If you ride 50 miles and have a contact patch of a half inch (I am guessing that my rear 700cX37mm tire at 87psig has a contact patch that wide), your tire rolled over 11,000 square feet of road. A contact patch of three quarters of an inch wide (I am guessing my 26X2.0 rear tire patch width at 4.5 atm is 3/4 inch) is 50 percent wider and therefore you have a greater chance of rolling over something to cause a puncture.

For pavement, I am sticking with 37mm width tires, or narrower when unladen.
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Old 05-25-11, 08:20 AM   #4
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That said, the wider the tire the greater chance that you will run over a puncture causing item on the road.
A 2.0" tire should be inflated to a pressure considerably less than a 1" tire which means the pressure on a sharp object is far less and you'll see less punctures overall.

http://thelazyrando.wordpress.com/20...tire-pressure/
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Old 05-25-11, 08:26 AM   #5
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This is interesting, Vik and I have exactly opposite opinions.

From Vik:
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Wider tires [inflated properly] are less flat prone than narrower tires inflated to higher pressures.
My comment:
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
... ... the wider the tire the greater chance that you will run over a puncture causing item on the road.
I will readily admit that Vik has a lot more miles of experience than I have. I wonder who is right?
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Old 05-25-11, 08:28 AM   #6
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The Supreme in my experience isn't particularly flat resistant. A wide tire helps with pinch flats, but with your rig roughly at 210*60%+1/3*70?=150 lb on the rear wheel, you'd be just fine with 1.5" tires. If you really^3 don't like flats, get the Marathon Plus in 1.35, 1.5, or 1.75 depending on what rotational weight penalty you are willing to suffer for the (IMHO) marginal improvement in comfort. As the "dirt paths" get progressively wetter and sketchier, you might want to consider the Marathon Plus Tour, then the Marathon Plus MTB. BTW, at equal weight, a normally inflated wider tire won't make you slower than a narrower tire until wind resistance (>20 mph) becomes a factor. Not.

The Supreme is a very smooth comfortable tire, whose manufacturer has oversold its flat resistance and durability. A new tire should get one easily through a month's tour, but I sure wouldn't take it across the country (USA) again.

Always put your best tire in front. That's where the tire needs to work on its edges to keep the bike from slipping out from under you when your turn. No kidding here. A wider tire up front helps for this reason too.

Also don't forget a spare tube for the BOB. The Chen Shin tire that comes with it is truely garbage.
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Old 05-25-11, 08:46 AM   #7
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This is interesting, Vik and I have exactly opposite opinions.
I will readily admit that Vik has a lot more miles of experience than I have. I wonder who is right?
I don't know how the Bicycle Quarterly "study" is relevant to punctures from debris. If we can get past the usual straw man that "proper" inflation for wider tires is at a lower pressure than "proper" inflation for a narrower tire, and can accept that the "maximum" pressure printed on the side of all tires, wide and narrow, is not the "optimum" pressure, then I still don't understand how it can be argued that a automoble/truck radial tire wire, aiming to puncture a bicycle tire, would have more success with a smaller target.

A wider tire is less prone to pinch flats, for sure. But I don't see how a properly lined up automobile/truck radial tire wire would have any different level of success with a wider or narrower tire.

Last edited by Cyclesafe; 05-25-11 at 09:27 AM. Reason: Clarifications
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Old 05-25-11, 09:13 AM   #8
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2 inches is 2 much
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Old 05-25-11, 11:59 AM   #9
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Some of you said that a 2.0 can work well if inflated "properly" - Considering my load of 210 rider + 30-50 pound bob trailer, what would be a proper pressure. I was thinking of somewhere in the 60 range. I also don't want to lose much power to an under-inflated tire.
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Old 05-25-11, 01:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
That said, the wider the tire the greater chance that you will run over a puncture causing item on the road. If you ride 50 miles and have a contact patch of a half inch (I am guessing that my rear 700cX37mm tire at 87psig has a contact patch that wide), your tire rolled over 11,000 square feet of road. A contact patch of three quarters of an inch wide (I am guessing my 26X2.0 rear tire patch width at 4.5 atm is 3/4 inch) is 50 percent wider and therefore you have a greater chance of rolling over something to cause a puncture.
this is an interesting statement--some of you read of me getting a new pair of regular old Marathons 368s? last week for my mtn bike. The following day I obviously ran over a narrow grey nail about 2 inches long and the front tire must have grabbed it and tossed it up into my rear, which it skewered like a harpoon into a whale (didnt rip it though, just a hole)

Now, I realize serendipity happens, but as I ride on Montreal streets all the time and have for 25 years now, I do wonder if the fresh "grippy" tread of the 1.5 Marathons was partly responsible, more so than the more "slickish" old Nimbus that I had on it before--and so picking up the nail more than my old tires would have (and more so even than the 700x28s that I have had on my other bikes for all these years too)

I also realize that there is no answer to my wondering, but it is funny that after years of street riding, this happened with the new tires. This model of Marathon
http://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_ti...s/marathon_368
does have more tread blocks than the Nimbus's, and while this is just an idea in my head, I would say that a more slick tire might be better for actually rolling over stuff than stuff getting picked up in "blocks"

That said, I can see how a tire with more tread blocks will help with little tiny glass shards NOT reaching the spaces in between.

In any case, while the OP was asking 2 vs 1.5, this did make me wonder about my new 1.5s, which are wider than the old Nimbus Armadillo 1.5 on it before, and all wider than the 700x28s Ive used so much.

(and yes, this theory is completely ignoring the tread characteristics, thickness, super duper liner thingees in some tires etc)
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Old 05-25-11, 01:54 PM   #11
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In my experience riding, the higher the pressure is in the tire, the greater chance I have of getting puntures on the road. I am riding now with 1.95" tires, but I no longer inflate to the maximum pressure.
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Old 05-25-11, 09:58 PM   #12
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Since you are not as concerned with speed/weight, why not use puncture resistant tubes and Mr. Tuffy's. No pneumatic tire is flat-proof but with the PR tubes and Mr. Tuffy's you should really reduce the amount of flats. I concur the Supremes are not overly flat resistant but they ride nice. I use 26x1.5 on one of my touring bikes with no trouble.
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Old 05-26-11, 05:43 AM   #13
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Is a 2" tire overkill?
It definitely would be for me, but I highly value a lively feeling ride and find fixing a flat once in a while on tour a pretty minor annoyance. If a flat is the end of the world for you and you don't care much about a lively ride then it may not be for you.
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Old 05-26-11, 06:54 AM   #14
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I just finished a tour through Mexico this Winter. I rode 1800kms on 26 x 2.0 Schwalbe Marathon Extremes. I had one flat due to large cactus spike. I had the tires inflated to 80 psi. Rolled smooth and did not slow me down on the trip. I could ride off road when needed. Depending on the terrain you will encounter I do not see them as too wide.
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Old 05-26-11, 07:16 AM   #15
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I really, really, really don't like flats. I'd be willing to sacrifice a little power for reliability and comfort.

Will the upgrade from 1.5 inch 26" tire to a 2.0 make me significantly slower?

I also like the ability to see a dirt path and know that my bike could handle it.

Also... is there anything wrong if I were to keep the front tire 1.5 inch and change the rear to 2.0 becuase my fronts last years while the rear will only be good for a few months of heavy riding.
$.02 the type of tire matters more than the size of tire regarding puncture resistance. I don't think you'll be significantly slower if your pace is already on the 10-12mph side of things, putting on a heavy,dead, puncture resistant tire with thick tread will feel noticable. The ability to go on dirt is pretty much dependent on size and tread. If I'm setting up tires for street/dirt I'd put the smaller tire on the rear and bigger one on the front.
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Old 05-26-11, 10:36 AM   #16
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A wide tire helps with pinch flats, but with your rig roughly at 210*60%+1/3*70?=150 lb on the rear wheel, you'd be just fine with 1.5" tires.
Curious what methodology you used for this math and to come to this conclusion? If there is a generally accepted formula for this sort of thing I'd love to know it.
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Old 05-26-11, 11:20 AM   #17
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This is interesting, Vik and I have exactly opposite opinions.

From Vik:


My comment:


I will readily admit that Vik has a lot more miles of experience than I have. I wonder who is right?
You are saying "...look you'll run over more stuff with a wider tire..." and I'm saying "...less stuff will penetrate the tire because the pressure forcing the debris through the tire is less on a wider tires inflated properly to a lower pressure..."

There is no way to prove either theory unless you had two identical bikes/riders riding the same roads in the same way. I rarely get flats, but I suspect that has more to do with where I ride on the road than my tires. When I ride with mu buddy on identical bikes I get 10 times less flats than him because I ride as far to the left as I can and he rides as far to the right as he can - so he rides through more debris than I do.

If you check your tires once or twice a day and pull any debris from the tire before it works through the casing you can also reduce your flats - especially if you are riding through a lot of junk on a particular day.

So I think if your goal is less flats you can do a lot without even thinking about your tires.
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Old 05-26-11, 11:21 AM   #18
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I ride on 2" standard Marathons with liners. I do get a flat occasionally but love the tire size. Last tour was 1800 miles, about 100 of those on dirt/gravel. Was glad I was on the 2" tires.

Next tour will be on 1.5" Marathon Pluses with no liners. That one will likely be 100% asphalt though.

Here's an article about a place in Finland that tests things like rolling and puncture resistance, and the sometimes surprising results.
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Old 05-26-11, 01:00 PM   #19
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Im running Schwalbe Marathon Plus 1.75 wide , before that
continental travel contact , a fine road paved, some gravel tire
their adventure loaded touring tire..
reinforced sidewall, Kevlar puncture resistant band
significantly lighter than the Schwalbe
only made in 26-1,75 and 700- 35
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Old 05-26-11, 03:57 PM   #20
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... is there anything wrong if I were to keep the front tire 1.5 inch and change the rear to 2.0 becuase my fronts last years while the rear will only be good for a few months of heavy riding.
Front tires outlast rear tires more than 2:1, due to the fact that weight distribution on upright bikes is typically 30%:70% (F:R). This situation is worsened when touring; people usually load up the rear more than the front.

I am currently using 26x2" tires. In the past I've used everything between 1.0"-2.1". I've slowly transitioned to larger diameter tires, because they roll a little better, the lower pressure absorbs more vibation and shock, but the higher tire weight detracts from these improvements.

I've paid more for folding-bead tires to offset the weight increase of larger tires. These tires tend to have less rubber overall (an intentional design feature to reduce weight), so folding-bead tires usually have a shorter life due to tread wear. The real cost of folding-bead tires is greater than the purchase price, since they last maybe half as long as less expensive wire-bead tires and have to be replaced more frequently.

Back to the topic, if you put a smaller tire on the front only, it will reduce trail and make the bike steering quicker. This may or may not negatively impact the feel of the bike to a specific cyclist. I recommend you try the 1.5"/2.0" tire combination out on your loaded bike before you depart on a long trip, in case you don't like the feel of this tire combination and need to purchase/change tires.

I've done the 1.5/2.0 combination myself. I noticed the difference in steering but was able to adapt in short time.
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Old 05-26-11, 07:04 PM   #21
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Curious what methodology you used for this math and to come to this conclusion? If there is a generally accepted formula for this sort of thing I'd love to know it.
I think he had an error in his math. But, if you are looking for a methodology, I dug out some notes I had saved on my computer from when I built up my LHT in May 2005. I weighed the bike with racks and heavy duty wheels, it weighed 14 pounds on the front wheel and 18.5 on the rear. With me on the bike, I had a total weight (me and the bike) of 90 pounds on the front wheel and 150 pounds on the rear wheel. I did not weigh it with camping gear, but I suspect that with gear I would be adding 20 pounds to the front and 40 pounds to the rear for a total of 110 pounds on the front tire and 190 pounds on the rear.

If you use the 15 percent tire drop method described here:
http://www.bikequarterly.com/images/TireDrop.pdf
the graph only goes up to 154 pounds. But, if you put a straight edge on the 37mm line (37mm is about 1.5 inches) and extend it out to about 190 pounds, that would result in me needing roughly 84 psig in my rear tire if I follow the 15 percent tire drop theory for the 37mm tire.

I may be taking the math farther than the author would like by extending the method beyond 154 pounds, but I decided to try it and it appears to work. My 700cX37 tires have a max pressure rating of 87 psig, so my rear tire at max pressure has about a 15 percent drop when loaded with camping gear. If however my max pressure rating on the tire was significantly lower than the required 84 psig for a 15 percent drop, that would suggest that the tire won't do the job.

For off of pavement, I however prefer a 2.0 inch tire. Also, I usually run higher pressures than the 15 percent drop unladen, but I think that the 15 percent drop is a useful calculation to see if a tire would be able handle the pressure and provide the support needed on a touring bike with load and rider.
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Old 05-26-11, 08:59 PM   #22
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So I think if your goal is less flats you can do a lot without even thinking about your tires.
this I agree totally with and certainly is my experience. Watching for debris, getting off your bike and checking for stuck in stuff if you know you've run over glass or whatever is absolutely a big factor. I usually get about a flat or two per season, has been like that for as long as I can remember (thats why my "nail-harpoon" in the new Marathon was so unusual)
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Old 05-26-11, 10:11 PM   #23
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I seldom if ever get any flats whether it be my 700x23 road bike tires or 26x2.0/700x50 touring bike tires. The quality of rubber underneath you will make more of a difference in flat protection than the size of the tire (within reason).

2.0 tires are not overkill and they definitely open up more options as far as what kind of ground you can ride on. +1 for what oneredstart said about the Extremes. They roll amazingly well for a larger tire with tons of traction.

I agree with the premise of the BQ article in that maintaining contact with the road helps you roll faster not unlike a full susp mountain bike going over a rough trail. I just don't like the fact it's not explained how they came up with 15 percent being the magic number. There is so much missing in that short article on how they came to the conclusion. If I followed their chart, the only road bike tires I should use would be high pressure tubulars. No thanks.

If you are going with a 1.5 and 2.0, I would put the 1.5 on the rear and the 2.0 on the front to smooth out the road.
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Old 05-26-11, 10:23 PM   #24
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If you are going with a 1.5 and 2.0, I would put the 1.5 on the rear and the 2.0 on the front to smooth out the road.
but again, diff tires of the same size can have quite diff ride characteristics, esp with more harsh/less harsh for same tire pressure.
My recent experience showed a noticeable diff between Schwalbe Marathons and Spec Nimbus Armadillos.

and I prefer a faster steering front end, so would do the opposite 1.5 front, 2 rear)
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Old 05-27-11, 12:07 AM   #25
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this I agree totally with and certainly is my experience. Watching for debris, getting off your bike and checking for stuck in stuff if you know you've run over glass or whatever is absolutely a big factor. I usually get about a flat or two per season, has been like that for as long as I can remember (thats why my "nail-harpoon" in the new Marathon was so unusual)
When you are down to a flat or two per year it's pointless to look for any pattern as the frequency is so low that it's just a random occurrence.
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