Thread: Tire dilemma
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Old 03-07-18, 03:14 PM
herzogone's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Peace Dale, RI
Posts: 42

Bikes: 1992 Trek 820, 1997 Gary Fisher Marlin, 2012 Tern Link D8, 2016 Mongoose Dolomite, 20?? Takara Kabuto

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Originally Posted by dim View Post
get the compass tyres .... (are your wheels 26 inch though, as I think that the rat trap pass are only for 26 inch?)
Thanks for the feedback dim, I should have clarified the Trek 820 is a rigid MTB with 26" wheels.

Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
You don't have to shell out for an exotic premium tire to get a decent ride. There are plenty of very nice supple tires, readily available at reasonable prices, in the 1.6-2.0" range. Pick one.

It may not have equally low rolling drag, as measured in the lab, but it will be close enough not to matter in the scheme of things. After all, total tire drag is but a small percentage of total drag (wind + mechanical + tire), with wind dominating at speeds above 15mph. So some some small reduction of a small source of drag isn't really that significant.

OTOH - width matters, and is how you strike an overall balance between comfort and drag, as does tread and wall suppleness. So, look for a smooth tread tire with decently supple walls,in a width that seems right (1.9") at a price you can live with.

BTW - you might consider me biased. I used to buy H rated tires for my Miata for $85.00ea. I could never bring myself to paying close to that for a bike tire.
FBinNY, I appreciate the suggestion. I can relate, I struggled with paying $50 a tire for my carbide-stud Schwalbe Winters, but they are nearly indestructible and can be partially justified by gas savings. The Compass tires would be strictly recreation. Do you have any specific tires you'd recommend?

CliffordK, you are correct about the bike. My commute is short and I typically commute on a different bike, but I plan to use the Trek with whatever tires I choose for all my recreational road rides, not just the brevet. That mileage is limited to at most a few hundred a year, so it's hard to justify the expense of the Compass. I'll probably pass on the Michelins based on your feedback about the speed.

Originally Posted by clasher View Post
I used schwalbe kojaks for my first year of rando riding, they are fairly supple and I never had any flats on them. They make folding bead in 26 and 700, also a few different widths.
I appreciate the suggestion clasher, I'll add the Schwalbe Kojaks to my list.

Originally Posted by antimonysarah View Post
Compass tires are great. But a compromise tire (I'm not familiar with the ones you're running) might be your best bet. Like I run GravelKings sometimes (I don't think they make a 26", though) when I don't feel like ponying up for Compass/Grand Bois -- IIRC my brevet bike is currently wearing one of each, although I need to get some new rubber.

Do you think the tire speed could be the difference between finishing and not, or between having fun and not?

(I'd disagree with Clifford about not swapping for long rides vs commutes -- if you only have one bike and commute on glass-strewn streets, having more serious puncture-proof tires on for commuting makes sense, and the fancy tires should last a long time if you're only swapping them on for the occasional event.)
Thanks for the perspective antimonysarah, I'm optimistic I can make the time limit (barring injury or severe mechanicals) without the best tires, and I'm sure I'll have fun either way. I think I'm just caught up with the idea of improving my ride in terms of both speed and comfort. I do have a separate commuter bike (1997 Gary Fisher Marlin rigid MTB with touring bars). My commute is short so I'm far less picky about tires for it. These tires would be just for my recreational road riding.

Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Well, some of the randonneurs I know use Compass tires because they're the most wonderful things ever, etc., then you read of their adventures riding a 400k in the rain and having 8 flats in the process or something like that, and it makes you wonder just what they're thinking.

Anyway, my experience- riding Worksman cruiser, using 26x2-1/4" tires that run about $8 each- maybe a flat every 1,000 miles.
Got my Sojourn, it came with Vittoria Randonneur tires 35x700- and very few if any flats.
Switched to Gatorskins, 32mm and 28mm- very few flats.
On my single bike, using Continental 4 seasons- very few flats.
This leads me to believe that wide tires at low pressure don't prevent flats. Having "good" tires, from a flat-proof point of view, does.

Anyway, my advice, use whatever tire you have on there and go ride your 200k, no reason to experiment for that. If you change tires, get in a bunch of local riding before setting off on a 200k, but don't expect it to make a huge difference.
StephenH, that's the first I've heard of Compass tires getting frequent flats, most of the feedback I've seen indicates flats are infrequent at the wider widths (and not unique to Compass). In general, this matches my own experience with frequency of flats. I got more flats on 28mm Panaracer Pasela TourGuards which have puncture protection in fewer miles of riding than my current tires that have no protection whatsoever and have been ridden many more miles over the same roads. Further, I've never gotten pinch flats on tires wider than 32mm, which I have repeatedly on skinnier tires even at 90 psi.

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Another option is to revisit the "road bike".

What happened to the one you had?

I'm not seeing a lot of budget conscious road bikes, but perhaps something like this Sirrus.

Or, even the Vilano.... not the hottest of bikes, but it could be tuned for the road.

Then, for puncture resistance, hunt down some "road tires", with extra puncture resistance, such as Gator Hardshells, Specialized Armadillo, Maxxis Refuse, or similar.

Although, I suppose you didn't really mention your budget, or height/size, so off course, the sky is the limit.
I still have my road bike, a 1984 Bridgestone 400. It's generally a great bike, I think it's the combination of my weight and bad roads that makes it less than ideal for me. It currently has 32mm Bontrager T2s on it which are fairly light and supple for the price point, but I still flat way too frequently (like every hundred miles). Also, I enjoy the generally smoother ride of wider tires. I previously had 28mm Panaracer Pasela TourGuards on it, but still had frequent flats, both pinch and puncture.

Anyhow, thanks everyone for the suggestions. I think I will probably just ride what I have for right now and look to upgrade when they wear out. I probably won't get the Compass tires unless I start doing a lot more riding and feel like I can justify it, which is pretty unlikely. That said, I'd love suggestions for cheaper tires to consider that are still wide, fairly light, and fairly supple. Preferably coming less than $50 per tire and 1.5"-2.3". I have had trouble determining which are supple just from description and specs. I know TPI can give a vague idea, but of course there are exceptions. In searching, I've seen some suggestions of Panaracer Pasela (not Tour Guard), Schwalbe Big Apple, Schwalbe Marathon Racer, Vittoria Randonneur Pro, and Maxxis DTH.
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