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Old 08-30-15, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by AlTheKiller View Post
A lot of people will tell you to get skinny slicks. Like 1.5" or less. They're not necessarily wrong, but I think skinny slicks on a MTB aren't all they're cracked up to be on this platform. Wider slicks, however, are amazing. I think the 2" range is probably a perfect mix of size/weight/volume. You can get really fast, light tires in that range(schwalbe kojak), or something with more flat protection(tons of options here). Alternatively, balloon tires are really damn fun, and still a lot faster than knobby tread MTB tires. Schwalbe makes a bunch, and if you ever decide to take it on a bumpy trail you can drop the pressure super low and have fun instead of rattling your fillings out.

Whenever I hear people talk about "fat" tires being slow, it's almost always because they compared a HEAVY fat tire to a much lighter skinny tire. Now, obviously, there's a limit where two tires of equal construction but different sizes must have a weight difference, but it's usually smaller than you think. The problem is most tires stocked in bike shops tend to more extremes. People who want skinny tires want less weight, people who want fatter tires want heavy duty stuff, so that's what you find around, and it makes those highly flawed comparisons very common.

Great example is my room mate who had 700x23 gatorskins on his roadbike commuter. I had 700x33.3 Jack Browns on my CX bike, and they measure noticeably wider than that. Even though he knows bike stuff, his first impression when I told him I tackled a very steep road ride in town was "on THOSE huge tires??", even though his anorexic little gatorskins weighed more and have much more rolling resistance, pretty much less performance in every way (besides flat protection).

Cliffs: fat slicks on MTBs are fun, and keep it versatile. Skinny slicks are theoretically faster, and fine if all you do is sit up straight and pedal along. But if you want to keep some MTB characteristics, go fat and fast.

Not my bike, pulled from the interwebs.
Wide tires are better. Balloon tires are more comfortable than skinny tires and roll faster. On rough roads and trails, the most effective suspension you can put on a bike are tires that can absorb shock and road buzz.

And on a 26" MTB 26 X 1.0 road slicks feel harsh. The narrow tires feel like a jackhammer and the ride is unpleasant. I'd go wide and take comfort over speed any day.
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