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  1. #1
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    Tires, tire liners, and tubes

    Wondering what some of the preferences for tires are for long distance touring. I'm planning a 10,000 mile trip and normally use Serfas tires on my Fuji Touring bike, typically 700 x 28. I intend to use 700 X 32 on this trip. I usually get 2,000 - 2,500 miles before needing to replace them, and plan to do so on my trip at about the same intervals, unless needed sooner. Anyone have favorites they would like to suggest?

    Also, does anyone have experience with tire liners? I have used the thicker and bulkier "thorn resistant" tubes before and once got over 20,000 miles over a period of two years on the front one before replacing it, while getting over 5,000 on the rear. I'm thinking of using those on my trip. Any thoughts about tubes and tube protection? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bktourer1's Avatar
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    I use Schwalbe "Marathons" and only a Mr. Tuffy linere in the rear as most of the weight & flat tires seem to occur.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Schwables are the gold standard of course and probably have the longest life expectancy. I prefer Maxxis Overdrive for weight, cost, puncture resistance, and ease of on/off. 4000 milers for me. Run 38's, but I think you can get a 32. Tried liners once buy did't like them. Most don't use.

    Hint: run tubes a size or two too small. Much easier to install and lighter.
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  4. #4
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    I formerly toured on Conti Top Touring 2k 700x37c tires. They were nice rolling, but subject to cuts/flats. They are no longer made. In their place I have gone to Conti Sport Contact 700x37c and Vittoria Randonneur Hyper, now called Voyager Hyper 700x37c. Both are nice and light, fast and virtually impervious to flats, at least in my experience. I like slightly fat tires. They roll very nicely and provide a terrific ride.

  5. #5
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    I've had the best luck with Specialized Armadillo tires. I only put them on the rear. On the front, I use a fairly cheap tire.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Used TR tubes in Nokian A10 [622-40] tires after 2.5 mos of Irish west coast roads, rear casing around bead gave, [thicker cord but less TPI.. utility tire, sometimes sold studded]

    but the tube did not burst out the hole, put on tire#3 and continued ..

    have had Mr Tuffy induced flats, maybe they have changed the compound, recently,
    but every time the overlap is at BDC, it moves a little.

    that motion abrades the tube..


    Use Schwalbe M+ in 559-47 and 406-47 now [different bikes obviously]
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-04-13 at 08:51 AM.

  7. #7
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodysroad View Post
    Wondering what some of the preferences for tires are for long distance touring. I'm planning a 10,000 mile trip and normally use Serfas tires on my Fuji Touring bike, typically 700 x 28. I intend to use 700 X 32 on this trip. I usually get 2,000 - 2,500 miles before needing to replace them, and plan to do so on my trip at about the same intervals, unless needed sooner. Anyone have favorites they would like to suggest?

    Also, does anyone have experience with tire liners? I have used the thicker and bulkier "thorn resistant" tubes before and once got over 20,000 miles over a period of two years on the front one before replacing it, while getting over 5,000 on the rear. I'm thinking of using those on my trip. Any thoughts about tubes and tube protection? Thanks.
    I use Mr Tuffy and have for most of the 30 years they have been in business. Some of my Tuffys are almost that old. They don't wear out, you can move them from tire to tire...less waste...and they do a very good job. I've tried other brands like Slime but those had a sharp edge that cut through the tubes in a very short period of time. I've had the Tuffy's wear through a tube only a couple of times but considering that I have them in every bike I've owned and I've used them for thousands of miles, that's not too bad.

    There are places where they have failed me but that's more where I was riding...and a little Karma...then the fault of the liner. I do an annual mountain bike trip to a dinosaur track site in southern Colorado. One year I took someone who had no liners and another person who had tubeless as well as my wife who had a single liner...I forgot to install the other one My bike had both wheels equipped. My friend with the tubeless flatted both tires a couple of times. My friend without liners got 27 flats, my wife flatted on the tire without the liner and I got none. Zero. Nilch. Nada. I lorded it over my poor friend with the 27 flats and the tubeless guy mercilessly. I gloated so much my wife finally made me stop...you know the wives can do that.

    The next year, on the same route, I stopped counting at 63 and had to carry my bike out of the canyon with tires so flat that they fell off the rims. There were so many goathead spikes...hundreds of them...embedded in the tires that I had to throw the tires away. I don't think anything would have worked in that situation. And I don't make fun of my friends anymore
    Stuart Black
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Western Flyer's Avatar
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    When I have been touring mostly on paved roads, I have run Panaracer Ribmos 28f&32r x 700. They have low rolling resistance and weight, excellent cornering ability, and good puncture resistance (not bullet proof) and a moderate price. I got 8000 k (5000 miles) on the rear tire. I donít use tire liners or thorn resistant tubes or Slime type flat fluids. They all add to the weight and rolling resistance. If I want more protection, I want it on the outside of the tire casing.

    I tour with Schwalbe SV18 x-light tubes (105g) which fit 28 to 44 mm tires. They are expensive and hard to find (Wallbike sometimes has them in stock.) but besides being relatively lightweight they hold air better than any tube I have used. They also have replaceable valve cores which I consider a must for touring. They and all Schwalbe tubes have a neat machined stem nut which can be used an adapter for Presta valves on rims drilled for Schraeder.

  9. #9
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I use and like Continental Gatorskins. I prefer light weight tubes and buy them a size or so "too small". That way they are lighter and easier to mount. They do require topping off sooner, but I can live with that. Thorn proof tubes provide a worse ride and weigh much more. The weight becomes an even bigger issue if you carry a spare tube or two, as most folks do when touring.

    My preference is for light and responsive tires with a lively ride and if that means fixing a flat once in a while that isn't a huge deal to me. That said the gatorskins are pretty flat resistant.

    I have never used liners. So I won't speak to them.

  10. #10
    Senior Member boomhauer's Avatar
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    After running over a roofing nail the other night I'm a big fan of tire liners. Half the nail was thru the rubber but never lost air.
    I bought these liners "mr. tuffy" before a tour through thorn country. My last tour through New Mexico and Arizona produced daily flats. This tour, no flats. I'm going on 2500 miles with no flats. Wish I heard of tire liners years ago. They are light and cheap.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodysroad View Post
    Wondering what some of the preferences for tires are for long distance touring....
    Also, does anyone have experience with tire liners?... Any thoughts about tubes and tube protection?
    I'm going to leave tires alone, that's a whole thread by itself.

    Mr Tuffy tire liners work, as others have mentioned. They can also cause a tube to wear/abrade until they leak and are perhaps no longer usable. Make sure the liner is laid down flat with no pressure points, and don't wrinkle/bunch it up when mounting tire after a roadside flat repair.

    I've used Q-tubes for years now, they are a good value and available in many sizes/widths/weights/valve lengths. They are made by Kenda and marketed by QBP, and are thus widely available at LBS and etailers in the USA. I've used about 10 Q-tubes so far in 26" and 700c with no lemons.

    http://classic.aebike.com/model-list...-t554-qc30.htm

  12. #12
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    on this suject has anyone tried the Kenda liners? I got a combination set of tires,tubes and liners coming from an established ebay store, I wont be touring this bike but I still dont want flats, does the slime in the tubes actually work? we get a lot of nails,screws etc dropped in the roads due to the metal scrappers, I just got two flats on the car yesterday as a matter of fact, they do sweep the roads in town, but only once a month on average

  13. #13
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Flat protection, extended milage and ride quality are all important to me and its tough to get all that in one package. Up to this point Schwalbe Marathon Supremes have given the best experience to date. They stick like glue on paved roads, are extremely light and they're in their third flat free year. Pro-rated based on the time I spend on different bikes - they've gone over 6,000 kms and are good for another 6,000.

    I'd expect less milage if used for loaded touring, and thats part of what they'll be doing later this year. In preparation for that I've gone to the new Michlin Protek Max tubes. They're a little heavier, but retain air pressure better as well as being self healing.

    Everyone seems to have their own preferences - thats what works for me.

  14. #14
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    .. .Hint: run tubes a size or two too small. Much easier to install and lighter.
    I agree however beware, this only works with good quality tubes. There are some inexpensive ones that aren't very flexible... they almost feel like plastic and don't stretch uniformly.

    As for tires there are Schwalbe Marathons. Also you may consider Schwalbe Marathons. Oh, did I also mention Schwalbe Marathons?
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Western Flyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
    As for tires there are Schwalbe Marathons. Also you may consider Schwalbe Marathons. Oh, did I also mention Schwalbe Marathons?
    As for tires, the Schwalbe Marathons were recently redesigned for use with electric bicycles. These new Marathon 420 (Greenbelts) are semi-pneumatic like the Marathon Plus so they do match my criteria of putting the protection outside the casing, but they are very hard riding and heavy. I know I would not be happy putting in 5 to 6 hours of road time day after day with them. I use them for winter time commuting. You certainly don't need to use tire liners or extra thick inner tubes with them, so it might be weight saved.
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