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  1. #1
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    Questions about rolling resistance and weight

    I'm in the market for tires on my LHT right now, and I know there's another thread right now about tires, but my question is a bit different.

    The tires I have now are 700x38 WTB pathways. My LHT serves as my commuter, and many times after about 20 city miles I feel like I'm having to lug these tires around, as opposed to vice versa. They're great on gravel, but most of my riding and touring will be on pavement. Keep in mind that I have a good amount of saddle to bar drop on my bike, and a Brooks pro. My question is, what's the ideal size for fast touring tire, if that's not an oxymoron. I'm looking at 32c vittoria randonneurs, but they almost seem to small. Something like a gatorskin has too little tread. Would a 32c schwable marathon something or other be good? Any help will be appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  3. #3
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    I run a 32 Schwalbe Marathon on the front and a 35 on the back. My hands wouldn't get as numb with a 35 on the front but I like the extra speed. The 32is fine on hard packed gravel but not in loose.

  4. #4
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    For pavement and loaded weights up to 350 lbs, 25c. As little tread as possible. If you'll be doing a little gravel, but not much, 28c. Try Conti 4 Seasons. You will be amazed at the difference.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Paselas are light , but the trade off is tread life, thin so part of the Light weight.
    and puncture resistance .. the 33mm wide Jack Brown, via Riv Bike, is a Kevlar bead ,
    Panasonic makes both.

  6. #6
    Used to be fast surfjimc's Avatar
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    I ride 35c Vittoria Randonneurs on my touring/town bike. They are comfortable, roll great and seem to last. I think the 32's will roll a bit better and be great all round tires. I've never had a flat on them either. I think mine are the Hypers, but I can't remember. Now that my weight is way down, when it's time to change them, I will probably go with the 32's.

  7. #7
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Don't worry about tread, at all. The Pathways

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
    Don't worry about tread, at all.
    Agreed. I didn't understand the OP's comment about some tires having too little tread if the riding will be on pavement. I can see the advantage when riding in mud or loose sand, but haven't noticed any issues with slicks on pavement, gravel, or hard packed dirt.

  9. #9
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    my question to you is just how bad are the roads where you commute and how much are you carrying when you commute and how much do you weigh. I'm 250lbs and commute on 40c randonneur hypers because the nyc streets are ridiculously potholed and I"m only usually commuting a few miles at a time. IF I'm doing longer rides most of the time I'm on my racing bike though I have done 20 mile rides on the commuter with no major issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Agreed. I didn't understand the OP's comment about some tires having too little tread if the riding will be on pavement. I can see the advantage when riding in mud or loose sand, but haven't noticed any issues with slicks on pavement, gravel, or hard packed dirt.
    The tires he's riding now aren't slicks. I think that is what he meant. They ahve a significant tread too them, kinda like a CX tire which means he's really gonna have poor rolling resistance on smooth pavement

  11. #11
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    The main issue I'm running into is the fact the m tires are 38s with a tread. I'm just trying to find a sensible smaller tire. So i'm going to check out the vittoria randonneur, the offerings from panaracer, and schwable, although I can't make sense of all the different types of marathons. Thanks!

  12. #12
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmikesell View Post
    although I can't make sense of all the different types of marathons
    Welcome to the club . There are currently 9 different Marathon types available apparently. For a complete list, see Schwalbe's home page: http://www.schwalbe.de/gbl/en/produk...lProducts=true

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  13. #13
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    +1
    DP
    04 Specialized Expedition Sport
    08 Surly LHT

  14. #14
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Agreed. I didn't understand the OP's comment about some tires having too little tread if the riding will be on pavement. I can see the advantage when riding in mud or loose sand, but haven't noticed any issues with slicks on pavement, gravel, or hard packed dirt.
    Yeah, I don't see tread as a plus at all for road riding unless you will be on mud or sand. It may be counter-intuitive, but tread is actually more likely to have a negative impact even on wet pavement.

    I'd run gatorskins for the use he describes. 32mm ones are probably the norm for that use, but I personally would probably go narrower. That is after I wore out what came with the bike.

  15. #15
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    My tour (road) and everyday ride tire is Panaracer T-Serv Protex
    http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...-t-serv-protex

    on a trek 520. very light folder that seems strong enough.

  16. #16
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    28 mm BTW

  17. #17
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    Now I'm looking at the marathon and the marathon mondial. The marathon supreme's tread looks too wimpy and the marathon plus seems too slow. I think I've narrowed things down a bit. I need a tire, either 32 or 35 for loaded touring, that's fast on pavement and works alright on light gravel or hard pack. The marathons i'm looking at seem to satisfy those. The vittoria randdoneur is too slim for me i think. Does anybody know about continental's offerings? Tour Ride looks good also. So indecisive!

  18. #18
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmikesell View Post
    The marathon supreme's tread looks too wimpy and the marathon plus seems too slow
    I suspect that you are way too hung up on tread and that a relatively smooth tire would serve your needs best.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    I suspect that you are way too hung up on tread and that a relatively smooth tire would serve your needs best.
    Thanks for the advise. I think I just need to ride some other tires. Off road riding is relatively new to me, and I with smooth touring tires, I just think about what it's like to hit a sand patch on 23c road tires. I suppose the width has a lot to do with off road stability. I'll keep looking.

  20. #20
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Why would you hit a sand patch during your commute?

    Use a pair of slick 28c's for your commute and on-road riding (including tours), and something wider with some tread for trails, bad weather, off-road use.

  21. #21
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    Fat tires can skip the tread and still give you decent traction on anything but full-on sand or mud. And fat is a relative term.

    I'd suggest getting a pair of Paselas in 35 width, and try them for a while. It's a decent tire and won't break the bank. Just ride like you normally do, and see if they're better on pavement and still acceptable in slop. If they're good, move down a size to 32s, and repeat. At some point, you'll start thinking, "This one is too skinny," and you can then lock in on the next fatter size.

  22. #22
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    For pavement and loaded weights up to 350 lbs, 25c. As little tread as possible. If you'll be doing a little gravel, but not much, 28c. Try Conti 4 Seasons. You will be amazed at the difference.
    For pavement a slick tire is best. I use 25c ultra gatorskins. If you go larger you can runs a lower psi. It will be slower, but you'll get more cushioning,but if you are on regular roads I find 25c to be plenty comfortable.

  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Vintage Bike Quarterly goes on and on about rolling resistance and wider Vs Narrow.

    Jan, the Publisher, will sell you a back issue or 2 where they do controlled tests.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    I went from Marathon plusses (35?) to a Vittoria Randonneur Pro (35?) in the front and Vittoria Randonneur Hyper (38) in the back. Both have tread, but not much. I always lean towards fatter tires, and these have been great. Lighter and, more important, I think, more supple than the Marathon Plusses I replaced. While I do prefer a fatter tire, I also like a little pressure when I'm carrying a load. A Randonneur Pro seemed a little too soft in rear with max pressure and a touring load, so I switched to hyper: fatter, lighter (I think), and higher pressure.

    It's possible a thinner tire will also improve your rolling resistance, but I've never been inclined to try. I recommend little or no tread and a supple tire.

  25. #25
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    After over a year now on the Vittoria Randonneur Hyper 32's, I must say I'm impressed. A full 32mm width at less than 400 grams and excellent puncture resistance. These things are quite compliant for a nice ride and they roll very quickly. Can't comment on durability as that particular bike has less than 2000 miles on it but so far so good. I like the reflective sidewall and won't hesitate to buy another set when these eventually wear out.

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