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Old 01-21-13, 02:40 PM   #1
seely
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Best value in a 26" all-purpose touring tire?

Curious what you all would recommend... I'm currently on a fairly tight budget outfitting my Schwinn High Plains for a touring/commuter/gravel road rig. For touring and everyday use, what budget friendly 26" tires would you recommend? Right now, the CST Corporal looks nice (http://www.ebay.com/itm/CST-KEVLAR-M...item460a25b847), but I'm wondering about longterm durability. When the CST brand first started appearing as OEM on some bikes, we had issues at the shop I worked at, though I know the parent company, Cheng Shin, has been making tires forever.

Also, the cheaper Continentals have some appeal, but the reviews are very spotty in terms of quality and flat protection. Suggestions? I'd like to stay around $30-40 for the pair if possible.
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Old 01-21-13, 03:39 PM   #2
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I got a Long use out of Continental's Travel Contact It's their road tested Adventure touring tire.
that also works when the Pavement ends.

Of course Value is a series of low cost tires to some ,
Quote:
I'd like to stay around $30-40 for the pair if possible.
bring more money to replace tires when lowest cost is your priority .


and say 2 or3 of a more expensive long wearing tire.. on a long tour..

suggesting 3rd one is useful, because tire destroying hazards cannot be Predicted,
so I bring a spare Tire. one that folds is compact to stuff inside your kit



you can look and hold tires in your hand if you do in person shopping ..

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Old 01-21-13, 04:46 PM   #3
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I like the basic Schwalbe Marathons, but you'll pay more like $60 for a pair of those. The investment of paying a bit more to get longer life is likely to pay off. I don't have any experience with the CST tires you linked.

There are a few lower-cost tires at biketiresdirect.com that have decent user reviews and might be what you need. I've ordered from them several times and been pleased with selection, price, and speed of shipping.
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Old 01-21-13, 04:51 PM   #4
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Michelin Tracker $25
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=712205

Continental Tour Ride $31
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=506575

Or, the Tracker is cheaper here:
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=28141

and cheaper Tour Ride...
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=80794

and more here
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=18835
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=39389

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Old 01-21-13, 06:22 PM   #5
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Continental Travel Contacts FTW IMO.

Price around.

http://www.probikekit.com/us/tyres-t...ting-tyre.html

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Old 01-21-13, 06:44 PM   #6
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Hm, I always thought the Travel Contacts may have *too little* tread down the middle to be a good all-rounder choice, but they seem to be winning out so far.
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Old 01-21-13, 08:31 PM   #7
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http://www.specialized.com/us/en/ftb...res/hemisphere. not a bad tyre. a bit heavy. seem to ride ok on sealed and unsealed roads.
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Old 01-21-13, 08:36 PM   #8
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Pasela Tourguards, steel bead. 21.45 at Treefort.
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Old 01-21-13, 08:43 PM   #9
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I actually use Tourguards on my singlespeed Miyata 610, from Treefort no less.
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Old 01-21-13, 08:59 PM   #10
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I've been using the Rubena Cityhoppers on my all-rounder mountain bike the last few months. Nice wide tires at 2.0".
http://www.rubenatires.com/v99-cityhopper/
The most basic one retails for about $18 MSRP (USD), but I would advise using the one with puncture protection which brings it to $28.

Rubena also makes the Flash, which is sort of their Marathon equivalent. The 26" x 1.75" size with the basic puncture protection is only $22, so that could be a good option as well.
http://www.rubenatires.com/v66-flash/
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Old 01-21-13, 09:20 PM   #11
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How about Ritchey Tom Slick 26x1.4 ? Anyone have feedback on these for touring use?
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Old 01-22-13, 03:00 AM   #12
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Been using the Continental Cruise Contact (26x2.0) and it is very fast, absorbs road bumps well, and I recommend it. Similar to the Schwalbe Big Apple.
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Old 01-22-13, 07:27 AM   #13
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You might want to consider Vittoria Randonneur Pro 26x1.5" or Conti Sport Contact 26x1.6". Both are basically pavement tires. 26x1.9" is bigger than you need for the street. Ok for the dirt.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vittoria-Ran...item5d35995eb9

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Continental-...item4ab7e33398
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Old 01-22-13, 09:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ClemY View Post
You might want to consider Vittoria Randonneur Pro 26x1.5" or Conti Sport Contact 26x1.6". Both are basically pavement tires. 26x1.9" is bigger than you need for the street. Ok for the dirt.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vittoria-Ran...item5d35995eb9

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Continental-...item4ab7e33398
+1 on the Vittoria Rando Pros in 1.5 inch. I've done a little bit of loaded offroad on these and they perform well. Great all around tires, I use them in-city on one of my bikes too. Recently Nashbar had them on sale for about a third off what they normally go for. Knowing Nashbar, they'll likely go on sale again in the not too distant future.

I've been trying out a plain Schwalbe Marathon on my commuting rig for nearly a year, and I have to say I've been impressed. Other than a single puncture right after I got it, it has been bombproof despite my being a Clyde (~275) and usually carrying my load on the rear wheel where I have it mounted. It doesn't show any sign of wear so far, after nearly 2,000 miles. I originally thought I'd need a Dureme or one of the other super Marathons, but when I blew through the sidewall of a Vittoria due to my brakes being poorly adjusted, the plain Marathon was what my shop had in stock. Now I'm glad that's what they had in stock!
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Old 01-22-13, 10:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seely View Post
Curious what you all would recommend... I'm currently on a fairly tight budget outfitting my Schwinn High Plains for a touring/commuter/gravel road rig. For touring and everyday use, what budget friendly 26" tires would you recommend? Right now, the CST Corporal looks nice (http://www.ebay.com/itm/CST-KEVLAR-M...item460a25b847), but I'm wondering about longterm durability. When the CST brand first started appearing as OEM on some bikes, we had issues at the shop I worked at, though I know the parent company, Cheng Shin, has been making tires forever.

Also, the cheaper Continentals have some appeal, but the reviews are very spotty in terms of quality and flat protection. Suggestions? I'd like to stay around $30-40 for the pair if possible.
I'd be a little wary of buying the cheapest tyres you can find because they're less likely to last.

I've had nothing but good experiences of Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres - you won't get two for $40 (you may not even get one for $40) - but they are all but indestructible. I've got a pair on my cross bike that have done over 4000 miles - the front one looks almost new and the rear one probably has another 4000 miles or more left in it. They are heavy, they're a (female dog) to put on and take off, but the bonus is you'll only have to take them off very rarely. In the 4000-odd miles I've ridden them I've had one puncture, and that was caused by a half-inch hawthorn spike. I also used them on my MTB in the 26x2.0 size, ran the rear one until it had almost no tread on it at all. It took less than 4000 miles (couldn't say how many, as I wasn't keeping even loose track of my miles back then), largely because I rode them on gravel and had almost no finesse when it came to things like braking, traction etc. The front one is still going strong.

The Marathon Plus tyres on the MTB have even more plastic guard in them than the 700c version - I've pulled inch-long thorns out of the tyre that haven't gone through, cycled through all sorts of wood cuttings, over broken glass, and to date nothing has gone through the MTB tyres. If you're using them for commuting in the sense of to and from work the puncture protection is worth having - I don't know how many times I'd want to be late for work because I got a puncture, or late home because I got a flat in the dark and the rain.
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Old 01-22-13, 10:16 AM   #16
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Kenda makes decent wire-bead tires at good prices. For all-around riding on pavement and some off-pavement, this one is decent:

Kenda Kwik Trax K1053

If you look around, you can get one for less than $20. Like here:

http://thebikesmiths.com/store/produ...kwick-tire-26/
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Old 01-22-13, 10:58 AM   #17
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Regular 26" Marathons can be had for under $30 each if you keep your eyes peeled......Pasela Tourguards are nice tires for the money.....I ran both for many years on my 27" touring bike,no complaints,Tourguards ride better than Marathons,at least in the 27/700 tires.

When the newer green stripe or whatever they are, Marathons came out,Tree Fort had the old 26" Marathons for $22-$23 a pop....cheap!

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Old 01-22-13, 11:16 AM   #18
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Regular 26" Marathons can be had for under $30 each if you keep your eyes peeled......Pasela Tourguards are nice tires for the money.....I ran both for many years on my 27" touring bike,no complaints,Tourguards ride better than Marathons,at least in the 27/700 tires.

When the newer green stripe or whatever they are, Marathons came out,Tree Fort had the old 26" Marathons for $22-$23 a pop....cheap!
Thanks for the tip. I may go with the Pasela's, seeing as I've had good luck with the 27's. I put about 1,700 miles on a non-"Tourguard" rear before wearing it paper thin and getting chronic flats. It was replaced with a Tourguard, which is negligibly heavier and rides great. Looking forward to even more miles out of that one now.
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Old 01-22-13, 11:18 AM   #19
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My wife commuted with 26x1.5 Panaracer Cross Towns for five years without a single flat. We did some touring around Crater Lake which included gravel roads and even a bit of single track. They are heavy but the price and durability are there.
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Old 01-22-13, 11:22 AM   #20
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Thanks for the tip. I may go with the Pasela's,
Panaracer Pasela's aren't going to cut it on gravel roads. If you are looking for a touring road tire I would suggest the Panaracer Ribmo. I have used both (700s) and the Ribmo is by far the superior tire.
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Old 01-22-13, 10:25 PM   #21
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Maxxis Overdrives: heavy, sluggish, tough as nails, durable, cheap.

I love Paselas for nice pavement when I don`t mind the prospect of fixing a flat or two, but don`t venture off the asphalt with them any more. That`s for 26 x 1.25, maybe offroading the 1.5 or 1.75 flavors wouldn`t be bad.

Of course, if TCs have too little tread for your liking, I think almost all the tires mentioned here have even less. For what its worth, I`ve used a variety of semi-slick tires for mixed surface rides and none have come close to gripping like even chinzy knobbies, but the trade off is worth it to me when I get back on a hard surface. Pick your poison, there`s no free lunch.
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Old 01-22-13, 10:45 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
Regular 26" Marathons can be had for under $30 each if you keep your eyes peeled......Pasela Tourguards are nice tires for the money.....I ran both for many years on my 27" touring bike,no complaints,Tourguards ride better than Marathons,at least in the 27/700 tires.

When the newer green stripe or whatever they are, Marathons came out,Tree Fort had the old 26" Marathons for $22-$23 a pop....cheap!
I've had the regular 26 marathons on my mtn bike now for a few years, but it seems that they are no longer made. Am I wrong on this or have I just not found them when looking online. In stores around here, it seems there are only the ones with the extra puncture layer in them (which are heavier than the old reg ones).
I should remember sometime to look for those Pasella Tourguards to see in person sometime and see how the sidewalls feel-I prefer a tire that isnt stiff as a piece of plywood for feeling nicer to ride on.
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Old 01-23-13, 11:55 AM   #23
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I've had really good luck with Performance Bike's "Forte Metro K" tire (http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400237__400237). It comes in 26x1.25" and is very well priced (between $10 and $15 when on sale). I have thousands of miles on these tires on my touring tandem and my touring single bike, loaded and on all types of surfaces, from blacktop to gravel and even the occasional offroad jaunt. I find it's the perfect all-around width. They are also really good as far as flat resistance. If they hold up on loaded touring on a tandem (I figure we are at or over 500 pounds rolling weight when loaded with panniers on the tandem), then I think they are more than good enough for a single bike.

Also, we use the 700x35c version of this tire on our touring triplet, also with good results. We used them this summer when doing a two-week, loaded tour in Europe and didn't get one flat.
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Old 01-23-13, 12:07 PM   #24
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Kenda Kwest 1.5", Ritchey Tom Slick 2.4", Forte (Cheng Shin) are all slick, inexpensive, good value tires. Kwests in particular are an outstanding value.
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Old 01-23-13, 12:12 PM   #25
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I have been eying Rubena Flash, that line has reflective side wall stripe, @ everybicycletire, but picked up a pair of 26"x2", at Chgo. Winter bike swap for cheep bontrager H2's, so will consider for another bike later on.
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