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  1. #1
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    Vredestein Perfect Tour 37mm or Schwalbe Marathon/Plus 32mm

    Hi!

    I have just ordered a Koga Randonneur that comes with "Vredestein Perfect Tour 37mm - Sportex Protection LayerŽ - Side reflection" tyres. I'm planning a cross US trip next summer and wondering whether these tires are good enough or if it is worth changing them to Marathon/Plus and in a smaller size, 32 mm?

    I prioritise longevity och puncture protection. 37mm feels like a little overkill? I will be going mainly on ACA routes and don't expect too rough terrain.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Personally, unless you only care about flat prevention and don't care about ride quality much, I would skip the Marathon Plus. They weigh a ton and ride like anchors.

    I would use 28 mm gatorskins if I were leaving on another coast to coast US tour and packing reasonably light. If carrying more maybe I'd consider the 32mm ones.

    I care more about a lively ride feel and don't really care that much if I need to replace tires a bit more frequently. I also don't consider it the end of the world to fix a flat once in a while. Given that, there is no way I would consider something like the Marathon Plus. Your priorities may be different though.

    I have never tried the Vredestein Perfect Tour so I can't comment on them. That said I am generally inclined to use what came on the bike until they wear out or get soft and start flatting too frequently. I have found that in extremely hot weather some tires compounds turn all soft and start picking up sharp stuff more easily. After a couple weeks of 100+ F weather a Bontrager Hard Case did that for me. Not sure it was a bad batch or if that is typical. We had good luck with ultra gatorskins in extremely hot weather in the Sierras last year.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Personally, unless you only care about flat prevention and don't care about ride quality much, I would skip the Marathon Plus. They weigh a ton and ride like anchors.

    I would use 28 mm gatorskins if I were leaving on another coast to coast US tour and packing reasonably light. If carrying more maybe I'd consider the 32mm ones.

    I care more about a lively ride feel and don't really care that much if I need to replace tires a bit more frequently. I also don't consider it the end of the world to fix a flat once in a while. Given that, there is no way I would consider something like the Marathon Plus. Your priorities may be different though.

    I have never tried the Vredestein Perfect Tour so I can't comment on them. That said I am generally inclined to use what came on the bike until they wear out or get soft and start flatting too frequently. I have found that in extremely hot weather some tires compounds turn all soft and start picking up sharp stuff more easily. After a couple weeks of 100+ F weather a Bontrager Hard Case did that for me. Not sure it was a bad batch or if that is typical. We had good luck with ultra gatorskins in extremely hot weather in the Sierras last year.
    I see. So the Gatorskins have some kind of puncture protection as well, but are lighter? I will be going on the northern tier (temperature) and will be quite loaded with ortlieb classics front/back and on steering post, i.e. tent, sleeping equipment etc.

  4. #4
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Last year I found Marathon Pluses on sale for a great price, I think it was at biketiresdirect.com. I heard all the "boat anchor" warnings but bought them anyway since it was such a good deal, and my bike isn't exactly light anyway. Really glad I did. They ride great. I honestly can't feel the difference between them and the standard Marathons that were on it previously. But I agree - if you aren't so worried about flat protection and prefer light, thin tires, then get something else.

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    Does it make any sense using different tyres in the front and in the back (because of weight distribution)?

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikh View Post
    I see. So the Gatorskins have some kind of puncture protection as well, but are lighter? I will be going on the northern tier (temperature) and will be quite loaded with ortlieb classics front/back and on steering post, i.e. tent, sleeping equipment etc.
    Yes, They also have a much more flexible sidewall and are semi slick. Both a good thing IMO, if staying mostly on paved roads.

    When I mentioned load I was assuming that would be with camping and cooking gear. That can still mean 20, 30, 50, 70, or 100 pounds of gear (not counting food and water, but including the panniers). If carrying less than 40 pounds I'd probably go with the 28mm gatorskins myself. Over 40 pounds, I'd probably go to the 32mm ones. Over 50 pounds I'd definitely be looking to leave some gear behind, but if carrying more than that you probably won't mind big stiff heavy tires as much since the load will already be a bigger factor. I felt like I badly over packed for my Trans America (enough so that I mailed stuff home numerous times to reduce the load). Even then I don't think I ever reached 50 pounds of gear.

    Both the difference in weight and sidewall stiffness are significant. For example the 32mm gatorskin weighs 380 grams while the Marathon Plus in that size weighs 800 grams. So they are more than twice the weight. You could literally carry two spare tires with the gatorskins and still be lighter than with the Pluses.

    Quote Originally Posted by erikh View Post
    Does it make any sense using different tyres in the front and in the back (because of weight distribution)?
    Some people do. I never have. I do tend to run different pressures though (a bit more in the back).

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    Ok, I plan to pack as light as possible, no cooking stuff for instance, clothes, tent, camera, food and water.

    I have also had a look at Marathon Supreme which is lighter and they seem quite popular.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    What ever tire you use have a great trip! I have not done the NT but cycling across the US on the TA was a really great experience. I hope it is as good on the NT for you.

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    Thanks!

  10. #10
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    I am heavy and have had problems with tires in the past. I recently discovered Continental Sport Contact tires. They are essentially slicks, so tread thickness is minimized and rolling resistance is low. I put 700x37c on my touring bike and put 26x1.6" on my expetition touring bike. They seem very fast and equally fast on both bikes. They also provide a very nice ride.

  11. #11
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    Even with a heavy loaded bike, do you really need tyres over 35? After some reading up on the Marathon Supreme, currently considering getting the 700cc32 or 35. This since I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of distances will be travelled over tarmac.

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