Which Tire to Choose?
I am looking to switch out my older Continental Touring tires for something fresh before I go on my tour from Pitt to DC on the C&O Canal. A majority of the time I use this bike as my daily commuter in the city, so want to make sure it does not have too much drag, but also want something for the 80% hard pack and 20% loose seen on the trail (along with possible rain).
Not looking to bike through the Amazon, yet, but want something that can meet in the middle of the city and country.
Bike is a Surly LHT with 26 x 1.75 tires.
Ive heard alot about the Schwalbe's but not sure which would be appropriate. Or shoulf I just get a new set of Continentals?
Buy whatever you would enjoy most when you aren't on tour... you don't have to be too picky for the GAPCandO as long as the tires are 32mm or wider, the wider the better. I think any 1.75inch (that's over 40mm) would be just peachy!
My personal preference is Panaracer RiBMos but Contis and Vittoria are good options too.
I'm a Panaracer T-Serv or Pasela TG guy I have a set in 35c that I have used on plenty of gravel races ranging from 80mi up to 120mi. They last forever and the folding bead is not too heavy, I prefer a lighter tire with protection vs a heavy beast.
Schwalbe Marathon Plus (or Plus tour): No flats, very durable
Originally Posted by SlickCycles
Schwalbe Marathon Supreme: Smooth, good grip in the rain.
Schwalbe Smart Sam: Durable and somewhat puncture resistant.
Great thank you for the info forum!
I have a Schwalbe 26"x1.6" Supreme on the rear and a Panaracer 1.75" T-Serv on the front. Light and easy rolling for unloaded riding and durable enough for touring. I'd pick different tires for loose dirt and rocks far from home but for pavement and decent handling on dry trails it's a good combo emphasizing light weight, rolling, puncture resistance and cush.
FYI... The C&O doesn't go from PGH to D.C. It goes from Cumberland, MD to D.C. The GAP goes from PGH to Cumberland. The trails are two different animals with mostly different surfaces.
I did the GAP last year fully loaded as part of a cross-PA tour on 32 Conti Contact IIs. No problemo. I also had been commuting on them. FWIW, I just put on a new set of 37c Conti Top Contract IIs in preparation for a tour in MT which may have about 100 miles of unpaved roads (with climbing and descending) ranging in surface from sand to bare rock and everything in between. Been commuting on them for the last week and I like them a lot. Our streets are so banged up after this winter that they are a welcome relief. They are heavy, but I like the ride. Note that the Conact II and Top Contact II are different, and the latter is made in Germany.
I would opt for Compass tires. I use the 26 X 1.75 when touring on a tandem, but much prefer the 26 X 1.5 for all other riding. They've got a lot of rubber, but are more supple than the other tires we have used.
I have a bike with 26" wheels that I originally built for commuting, but transitioned to an Expedition Touring bike. I am a Clyde so you may be much lighter than me, but the tires I like for mine are Conti Sport Contact 26x1.6" and Vittoria Randonneur Pro 26x1.5". Last year I used a touring bike with 700x37c Conti Sport Contact to ride the GAP and C&O Canal. They worked ok, but this year I am riding the Erie Canal and am going to ride the 26" bike probably with the Contis.
Just completed C&O and GAP these past few days.
I would recommend a bit of tread on the C&O as things can get quite muddy.
I would highly recommend Continental Travel Contacts.
Schwalbe Big Bens or Marathon Supremes would work wonderfully as well.
All of them will feel considerably springier than the regular marathons or marathon plus.
Also, would prefer 32's or wider on the GAP and 37's or wider on the C&O.
I ran 700X37 Conti Travel Contacts which were nearly ideal for all conditions encountered.
I did the GAP and C&O to DC during Hurricane Irene on Continental City Contacts and had no issues. I encountered plenty of rain on the C&O. Plenty.