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Best 700-size tire for commuter hybrid bike?

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Best 700-size tire for commuter hybrid bike?

Old 09-25-08, 09:51 AM
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Little-Acorn
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Best 700-size tire for commuter hybrid bike?

I have a Trek 730 hybrid bike, with 700-size wheels. I use it mostly for commuting, and occasional fun rides. Maybe 80% pavement, 20% off road on hard-packed dirt roads and the occasional flat rocky sections and a length of soft sand. No aggressive offroad hillclimbing, stumpjumping, or stuff like that.

What would be a good tire for this bike? I'm mostly interested in low rolling resistance and good puncture resistance, but don't want to fall on my face during those occasional sandy stretches. OTOH I don't like getting my teeth vibrated out by knobby-tread tires on pavement, which is where I do most of my riding, so a "street" tread or very-small-block offroad tread is preferable. Maybe I'm asking the impossible here. But tires are always a compromise.

I've heard good things about the following:

Specialized Nimbus Armadillo tire, 700x38
Schwalbe Marathon tire, 700x35
Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire, 700x35

Being an ex-roadbike person, I like high inflation pressures (the Specialized goes to 100 psi), though I'll let pressure out for rough areas.

Between the Marathon and the Marathon-Plus, which has lower rolling resistance? I've heard that the Plus has extra puncture resistance. Does that affect its rolling resistance?

Any other tires which would be easy-rolling and puncture resistant, in 700 size?

Thanx all!

Last edited by Little-Acorn; 09-25-08 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 09-25-08, 11:15 AM
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The Schwalbe Marathon Plus is much heavier than the Schwalbe Marathon (890 g versus 650 g). For this reason, I'd probably go for the Schwalbe Marathon rather than the Plus.

FYI, I currently run a Schwalbe Marathon Racer (only 420 g) on the front wheel and a Continental TravelContact (580g) on the rear wheel. I had flats with both, so I'm not sure how much I trust the "flat protection" claims of the manufacturers anymore. For ultra-reliable flat protection you pay a very high price in terms of weight. If you don't feel the need to use a lightweight tire such as the Marathon Racer, Schwalbe's Marathon or Continental's TravelContact may be good choices.
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Old 09-25-08, 11:30 AM
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I've been very pleased with my Continental Contacts.
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Old 09-25-08, 12:22 PM
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I have found my Vittoria Randonneur Pro tires in 700cx35mm to be very nice. $24.99 at Nashbar right now.
Reflective sidewall, very puncture proof (I ride through lots of glass, not by choice.)
In the soft stuff like gravel and sand I have to slow down a lot but I'm not sure anything short of a full knobby would help in such situations.
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Old 09-25-08, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Little-Acorn View Post
I have a Trek 730 hybrid bike, with 700-size wheels. I use it mostly for commuting, and occasional fun rides. Maybe 80% pavement, 20% off road on hard-packed dirt roads and the occasional flat rocky sections and a length of soft sand. No aggressive offroad hillclimbing, stumpjumping, or stuff like that.

What would be a good tire for this bike? I'm mostly interested in low rolling resistance and good puncture resistance, but don't want to fall on my face during those occasional sandy stretches. OTOH I don't like getting my teeth vibrated out by knobby-tread tires on pavement, which is where I do most of my riding, so a "street" tread or very-small-block offroad tread is preferable. Maybe I'm asking the impossible here. But tires are always a compromise.

I've heard good things about the following:

Specialized Nimbus Armadillo tire, 700x38
Schwalbe Marathon tire, 700x35
Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire, 700x35

Being an ex-roadbike person, I like high inflation pressures (the Specialized goes to 100 psi), though I'll let pressure out for rough areas.

Between the Marathon and the Marathon-Plus, which has lower rolling resistance? I've heard that the Plus has extra puncture resistance. Does that affect its rolling resistance?

Any other tires which would be easy-rolling and puncture resistant, in 700 size?

Thanx all!
You are splitting hairs here.

Your commuter bike isn't a performance racer, the rolling resistance between any of the tires will make a negligible difference in your ride. The marathon plus will be an extreme ***** to get on and off if you ever get a flat (which is unlikely, but not impossible). The plus IS much more flat resistant.

Puncture protection and rolling resistance is mutually exclusive.
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Old 09-25-08, 12:46 PM
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Have you considered the Marathon Supreme?
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Old 09-25-08, 12:52 PM
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Al1943
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Are the rims wide enough for tires of those sizes?
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Old 09-25-08, 01:59 PM
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I was given a Trek 730 multitrack. I replaced the old tires with Panaracer pasela tg 700x32 tires they are a great improvement over the old tires. I did have a little difficulty mounting them, but once on, they ride nice. I don't have enough miles on them to comment on flat resistance. I got them on sale through nashbar ($17.56/pr.). I saved enough to justify buying a set of fenders for the bike. Altogether I spent <$53.00 for a pair of freddy fenders and a pair of tires. Perhaps when these wear out I will spring for some Conti gators or Schwalbes.

Good luck with the bike; I love mine.
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Old 09-25-08, 02:11 PM
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The Marathon Plus, while extremely flat resistant has terrible ride qualities; they ride like a brick. The Marathon Supreme has a much better ride, according to my wife who has used both of them. I've only used the Plus.

If you don't ride often in the rain also check out the Conti Ultra Gator Skin. It has a much better ride than the Marathon Plus and is extremely flat resistant.
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Old 09-25-08, 03:33 PM
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i absolutly love specialized tires, so id go with the nimbus. contis are good too, and id also check into michilin. just remember, a tire that has a low rolling resistance and yet the floatation to be able to ride in a sandy patch and not just burrow itself is not going to be easy. id take a second look at specialized's arsonal of tires or pick out a good conti.
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Old 09-25-08, 07:07 PM
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I'm having a good ride on my Panaracer Tserv tires. While I've got the 25's they also make the same thing in 28 and 32mm. Highly flat resistant and roll like a skater on a freshly Zamboni'ed ice rink....

Really though you won't go too far wrong with any of them. Although the couple of times I've hefted a Schwalbe I found them thick and heavy. Not my sort of tire but a lot of folks here swear by them.
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Old 09-26-08, 05:21 AM
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Another happy user of the Continental Contacts here - I've gone through several pairs in the last 10 or so years, and always keep coming back. The 28 mm are are wide enough to handle gravel trails fine and pretty much bombproof on the road.
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Old 09-26-08, 06:33 AM
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I too like the Specialized tires.. I use the Nimbus tires on my Cypress and am very happy with them... With the factory tires I was getting two or three flats a month (goat head thorns) and with the Nimbus I have had one flat in two years... That was from a large tack that would have flattened a car tire... I run them at 90 pounds,,,,
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Old 09-26-08, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
The marathon plus will be an extreme ***** to get on and off if you ever get a flat (which is unlikely, but not impossible).
I see this mentioned every now and then. I've never had this issue with them (I'm using tyre levers). The latest Plus install about a week ago went as smoothly as ever.

I now have Marathon Racer / front and Plus / rear. Before last week I run down three Racers (rear), each lasted approximately 2000-3000km. That's not enough for a rather expensive commuting tyre. At about 2000km I get first puncture, after that it goes downhill fast. On surface the tyre looks worn but OK, but if I remove it and take a closer look it's Swiss cheese. Lots of holes, most invisible until you twist the tyre in your hands. A small shrapnel of stone, glass or whatnot at the bottom of each, working its way towards inner tyre. Removing the shrapnel that caused this particular puncture won't do much good, as there's a dozen more in process.

I do miss the ride, though. The Plus is nowhere near as nice. But for now at least I prefer the better puncture protection.

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Old 09-26-08, 12:15 PM
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I've been riding Specialized CX Pro's, 700x32. Smooth center section with side lugs.
Reasonably light and fast. I find this an excellent multi-use tire.
They mount easily too.
I also have a set of Specialized Armadillo's, you'll invent new swear words when you install them.
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Old 09-26-08, 01:28 PM
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"You are splitting hairs here."

There are so many things to consider here. Do you ride on smooth pavement or with a lot of gravel/litter? How much do you go offroad? is it rough terrain?

Are you well over 6', 250 pounds and really break things or less than 5' 8" and yet to break anything? Do you come out of the saddle on rough terrain?

Have you seen the difference between a 25 x 700C and a 28 x 700C? between a 32 x 700c and a 35 x 700C?

Maybe if the next time you go riding hold the computer up real close to where the tire meets the road then maybe we can make a real evaluation.
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Old 09-26-08, 01:52 PM
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armadillos for that bike--- i love my fortezzas........
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Old 09-26-08, 01:59 PM
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To date, I have put >800 miles on my Marathons. I've had zero flats and they still show little tread wear. I personally don't think it is worth it to upgrade to the Plus or Supreme. They cost more, are harder to get on and off, are heavier, and in the case of the Supreme, less durable.
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Old 09-26-08, 02:01 PM
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more than 1?

Originally Posted by m_yates View Post
To date, I have put >800 miles on my Marathons. I've had zero flats and they still show little tread wear. I personally don't think it is worth it to upgrade to the Plus or Supreme. They cost more, are harder to get on and off, are heavier, and in the case of the Supreme, less durable.
gears suck big rocks, but seriously, gears blow chunks.......
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Old 09-26-08, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by G piny parnas View Post
gears suck big rocks, but seriously, gears blow chunks.......
To each his own I say....unless they are wrong
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Old 09-26-08, 03:16 PM
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+1 for Vittoria Randonneur Pro tires in 700cx35mm from nashbar. i like mine even though they were $35 each when i bought them.

on the road bikes i run conti gator skins 25c and conti GP 4 seasons in 25c for the bike i ride the most
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Old 09-26-08, 03:31 PM
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Maxxis Overdrives are smooth as shaz and have moderate puncture protection. Fast rolling tires, inverted tread, reflective sidewalls - they are my #1 pick for commuting tyres.
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Old 09-26-08, 04:02 PM
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I just put a new set of Marathon Supremes (foldables) on my Hybrid this afternoon. Used only my fingers, no problem. After 1370 miles on the Specialized tires (toooooo many flats.) The rear was flat spotted pretty well, the front was still almost like new. The front will make a good emergency spare. The rear, though holy, is still functional.

It's too early to give a report, but, first impressions are good. The tread is deeper than it appears, and has a nice round profile, so should corner well, without any "knobby" roar or slippage. There is no difference, in feel, going straight or being leaned over, as far as I can tell on a short ride.

They ride nice, but seem a little heavier than the Specialized Burrough Pro's I replaced. I inflated them to 85 PSI, the recommended maximum for my 700X40C's. The tread portion is quite a bit thicker than the Specs I took off.

They have a good, wide, reflective stripe on the sidewalls.

Hopefully, with their "vectran" belt, they will be more puncture resistant.

I'll let you know after a couple hundred miles.

Last edited by Wanderer; 09-26-08 at 04:08 PM.
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