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Old 05-07-12, 06:11 AM   #1
flippant
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Touring tyre width?

I'm in the process of building a bike (based on the Tout Terrain Silkroad frame). Tout Terrain recommend 2" tyres to go with the bike, but most tyres (like the Marathon series) are not that wide in a 26" (559). The normal consensus on tyre width for touring seems to be around 1.5".

Just so I can get my head around this, what would the difference be if one were to tour using a 1" tyre all the way up to a 2.35" "balloon" tyre?
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Old 05-07-12, 06:21 AM   #2
Erick L
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Bigger tires are more comfortable and "float" better on soft surfaces. I use 1.5" for paved roads and crushed stone path and 2" if a trip has a good amount of gravel roads.
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Old 05-07-12, 06:54 AM   #3
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You'll probably get lots of different replies based on what different people have experience with that either did or didn't work for them. The general attitude I keep seeing is that all tires are the same for any given size and thats just not true.

Just outfitted a guy with 700x40c Schwalbe Marathon Supremes. He had been driving some expensive Michlins the same size and came back a week later to confirm that the ride difference was night and day and that he was thrilled.

Besides a difference in ride quality - the Schwalbes were also about half the weight.

I'll be running 700 x 50c Schwalbe Marathon Supremes on Mavic 719 rims on a rig set up for touring this summer myself. The ability to efficiently run these at a lower pressure minimizes road vibration and shock issues - almost like having a suspension but without the added weight. They also handle sand, gravel and crushed limestone better than whatever I can fit on a road bike.

Last edited by Burton; 05-07-12 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 05-07-12, 06:58 AM   #4
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flippant, Just looking at a picture of the frameset it appears that it's biased towards off road touring/camping. In that environment a 2" mountain bike tire would be ideal. If the bike is to see more paved road or groomed path-like conditions, the 1.5" road tire will be just fine.

Brad

Last edited by bradtx; 05-09-12 at 06:45 AM. Reason: sp
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Old 05-07-12, 07:51 AM   #5
flippant
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Well, I'm building it for a trip down the west coast and across (through Utah where I'll do a bit of trails) - so predominantly road with some off-road thrown in.

Last edited by flippant; 05-07-12 at 07:59 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 05-07-12, 08:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flippant View Post
Well, I'm building it for a trip down the west coast and across (through Utah where I'll do a bit of trails) - so predominantly road with some off-road thrown in.
This doesn't look like the kind of rig where speed is an issue so get the best road tires for the load then carry a spare front tire for the dirt roads. Pick tires size for the load then the road(type). If your bike and gear are closer to to 225lbs than 325lbs you might consider a 1.6" Schwalbe marathon, 1.75 Continental Cross Country etc. with a good mixed tread big tire for the front. If you're closer to 325lbs go for the big road tire for the rear with the largest spare dirt tire for the front that will fit on the forks.
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Old 05-07-12, 10:37 AM   #7
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I'm using 559-47 [26/1/75"] tires on my Koga Miyata WTR
1st tire, Conti Travel contact, OEM fitted, 2nd set Schwalbe marathon plus.

the Travel Contact is Continental's Adventure Touring tire,
where the roads may not be paved, but mostly are..
Tread , a wide slick, easy rolling band down the center , with a row of edge knobs.
it has their 'gator skin' sidewall reinforcing mesh added.
And the kevlar tread band to resist punctures.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-07-12 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 05-08-12, 07:31 PM   #8
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tried 40, 47 and 50 mm marathons on my touring recumbent, primarily riding on paved or dirt roads- my gross vehicle weight was around 135 kg. 50 was bigger than i needed & felt more sluggish. 40 mm was nice, but the 47 felt better, i got more wear out of the tire yet it still felt responsive.
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Old 05-10-12, 05:40 PM   #9
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I agree with Erick L (post 2) and bradtx (post 4). I prefer a 2 inch wide tire for gravel and 1.5 inch wide (or 37mm) for pavement. For pavement I want a tire with a pressure rating of 6 or more atmospheres (87 psig) although I rarely pump them up that hard, but with camping gear on the bike I pump up the rear that hard. Usually run a half to full atmosphere less pressure in the front tire than the back.
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