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Old 08-31-08, 08:16 AM   #1
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Older hybrid bike tire recommendations please

I own an older model Giant Nutra bike that needs the OEM tires replaced. My present tires are 700X38C tires with a very moderate tread more suited to roads than off road like mountain bike tires. I am a big guy at 6'3" tall and 260 pounds so is my weight a concern with which tire I choose? I want a kevlar belted tire for flat resistance with a moderate tread pattern not a slick but not knobby at all either. My riding is primarily road and paved paths with an occasional rather gentle limestone trail path. My riding consists of no more than 40 mile trips.

Some tires that have been suggested are:
Schwalbe Marathons and Marathon Plus
Specialized Armadillos

both these tires come highly recommended by users here but at a premium price as well. One brand that I see a lot at reasonable prices but not recommended often are Kenda tires. Are these tires any good or just a cheaper brand? While I want a good reliable tire I am not really looking to spend over 50 bucks a tire. Should I be looking for a wire bead or just a standard bead tire and what are the advantages of one over another. The Marathon Plus while reliable is reported to be difficult for the average person to get on and off some rims.

Nashbar has the Vittorio Radonneur Pro on sale. Is this a good tire for general use?

Your thoughts and suggestions are most appreciated.
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Old 08-31-08, 08:31 AM   #2
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I use Kenda 700 x 35 on my Raleigh hybrid. They aren't on Kenda's website, and I don't remember any model name, but they seem to work just fine. If it matters I am a bit smaller than you at 5'11" 195 lbs.
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Old 08-31-08, 09:17 AM   #3
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You might want to check out Performance online as they are having a big sale on most items. Some fantastic prices on their own label of tires "Forte" as well as major name brands.
Look under Road as well as City Tires :
I shop there often as we have one of their stores in our area allowing me to see first hand before putting down the money.
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Old 08-31-08, 09:52 AM   #4
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The Performance Forte tires would suit your requirements, 700cx35c I think, and as the poster above mentioned, they are also on sale right now. Another tire you might consider is the Kenda Kwick Roller Holiday which has a Kevlar belt. It is available in 700x38c with a street tread.
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Old 08-31-08, 10:10 AM   #5
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I (still) weigh 220 and have been running the Performance 700 x 35 cross tires on my hybrid. Have about 700 miles on them on paved, hard packed and crushed limestone trails up on rides up to 60 miles. For the price they've held up surprisingly well. The front looks new and the rear is starting to show a little light wear and no flats yet. I inflate them to 90 lbs so they roll nicely. They have a kevlar belt but the tread might be a little slicker that what you're looking for. They're on sale for $9.99. I tried them soley because of the price and will probably stick with them if I ever wear them out.

For your question on tire beads - folding tires have kevlar beads and pack nicer for carrying a spare. Wire beads are cheaper and more the standard. They should be fine for the type of day trips you take (IMHO). Not sure if one type is easier to mount than the other.
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Old 08-31-08, 10:44 AM   #6
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Tread on bicycle tires is highly over rated. The only part of the riding you described where some tread will help is on the hard packed limestone or dirt trails where some tread will help if the surface is a bit dusty or slick from being wet. On pavement tread actually does nothing at all for us as bicycle riders. We don't ride fast enough for aqua planing to be an issue and in the dry the more rubber in contact with the road the better anyway.

If you're willing to subscribe to this idea then you'll find that a slicker style of tire rolls faster and rides faster for the same work level or rides the same speed with a little less energy from you.

Along that line I can enthusiastically recommend the Panaracer Tserv's and Continental Ultra Gator. Both have the anti flat belts (kevlar in the Tserv and some other miracle ingredient in the Gators). Both actually do have some vestigal tread to them so look them up and see if you like the looks of them. Both have recieved good reviews on BF as well. And best of all both are priced quite a bit lower than the Schwalbes or Specialized tires.

And those Forte tires from Performance look like a superb deal.

I've commuted on 25's for years now and that includes maybe 5% of the time riding on hard packed dirt or crushed limestone trails and never had any issue with traction or flats from the narrow sizes. So really there's no big requirement to stay with the 35 mm if you want to try a slightly speedier and lighter 28mm. Where you'll feel the difference right away is when pulling away from stops. The lighter tire will let you accelerate far more snappy and make the whole bike feel like it went on a diet.

Oh, and I'm up at 200 lbs to put these tire options into perspective.

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Old 08-31-08, 10:48 AM   #7
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I am about your size and run Specialized Hemispshere EX's on my Trek 8000. I ride city streets, bike paths and some light off road stuff on it. Had them for over 3 years and not a single flat, knock wood.

I am very happy with them.
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Old 09-02-08, 03:14 PM   #8
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My local dealer has the Performance Forte ST Cross/ K Road Tire in stock in 700CX35. There is no kevlar in the sidewall of this tire do I need to be concerned about this for flats? You are right this is a super deal on a kevlar tire.

Performance has free shipping if you have stuff sent to their store for pickup. But it takes 3 weeks they estimate to get the order to the store so where is the advantage in that for most peopl? Who wants to wait 3 weeks for their order? Guess I will pick them up at the store.

Last edited by hy_tek; 09-02-08 at 03:35 PM.
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