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First time replacing tires - any suggestions?

Old 06-08-13, 10:06 PM
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klepto1
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First time replacing tires - any suggestions?

Hello Everyone,

I am replacing the tires on my bike for the first time. I have not changed any components on my bike since I got it so I dont really know much about what direction to go. I have a 2009 GT Transeo 5.0 with 700 x 38c Kenda tires. I found what I think are the same tires on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Kenda-Rain-V-C...pr_product_top).

I mostly ride in NYC on the roads and paved bike paths. I don't do any off road or dirt trails. Would you recommend any other kind of tire, or should I stick with what I have? What do you take into considerations when selecting tires?
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Old 06-08-13, 10:15 PM
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Those are OK, but not ideal as pavement tires. The cuts running straight across will add a bit of vibration (power loss), and be noisier than a smooth tire. Since you're only on pavements you want the bicycle equivalent of smooth dragster tires. Something more like these. You'll notice that the center line is totally smooth an uninterupted which is what I'm suggesting. The grooves cut into the sides are supposedly for water, but in reality are more about style and having something to say than function.

BTW- I'm not recommending those particular tires. They were just the first picture I found to show you what I was describing.

Also 38c is fine for NYC potholed roads, but if you weigh less than 180#s you can comfortably go smaller, say to 32c or so.
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Old 06-09-13, 06:37 AM
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I have had great luck with Michelin City tires in 700c X 38mm on a hybrid. No flats (I've just jinxed myself!), they roll smoothly and soak up bumps well. I am not sure what the Protek liner is made of but it appears to work well. The reflective sidewalls are a plus at night when we cyclists can use all of the visibility we can get.
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Old 06-09-13, 07:33 AM
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Another tire to consider is the Vittoria Randonneur (wire bead, non-folding) or the somewhat more expensive but lighter Randonneur Pro (Kevlar bead, folding). These are available in 700-28, 32 , 35 and 40. They roll well and have been very durable and puncture resistant.
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Old 06-09-13, 07:40 AM
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Hi,

Fatter tyres run at lower pressure are more comfortable,
thinner tyres are lighter, and can roll a little better on
good surfaces, due to higher pressure and the smaller
contact patch, which also has a little less overall grip.

I use a near slick on the back and semi slick on the front.The front is bigger
than the back. The rear is chosen for good rolling and the front run at lower
pressure to have more grip and more suspension the rear.

My tyres also have puncture protection belts and reflective sidewalls.

These seem a decent enough budget choice though :

https://www.amazon.com/Kenda-Kwest-Hy.../dp/B006GEZSUQ

If those Kenda "Rain" tyres are what came with your bike you
should find the above significantly better. Quieter, smoother,
faster and bizarrely more grip on wet roads and hard surfaces.

rgds, sreten.

Pricier, but premium, kevlar protection and reflective sidewalls :

https://www.amazon.com/CONTINENTAL-CI...shin+tires+700

Its unclear whether it comes with a free inner tube, it did for a while.

Last edited by sreten; 06-09-13 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 06-09-13, 09:57 AM
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IF you ride enough to wear out a set of tires, spend a few extra $ and get a better quality tire.
You can easily go down to a 28mm tire on your rims. Probably 26mm.

These are what I put on my Hybrid to replace the 35mm tires that were on it. The difference in speed & rolling resistance was substantial! They are still considered a "cheap" tire, but I've had excellent luck with them.

https://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...t-tire-folding
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Old 06-09-13, 10:08 AM
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Why do you want to change?

Back when I used to ride with a group, I always bought the brand and model tire the majority of the group used. I don't know it it mattered but, if i got a flat on a group ride, I never had to endure a lecture about what crummy tires I bought while everyone was standing around watching me fix my flat.

For performance I think that slick tires work better for pretty much everything except rocky trails and big gravel.

For puncture resistance, I think that treaded tires work better because they tend to be thicker.
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Old 06-09-13, 10:34 AM
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Folders are a lot lighter than wire bead tires and you may feel a difference in acceleration if you do a lot of stop and go. Remember, with a tire or rim, you have to make it spin as well as go forward.

Some of the narrower, racing style tires may have flimsier sidewalls and you can have a blowout if you scrape against something sharp such as a broken curb. They can have a surprisingly good ride, however, because even though you have to use high PSI, the narrower casing can be easier to deform.
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Old 06-09-13, 02:31 PM
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Thanks for all of the info. I had to spend some time on google and Sheldon Brown's website to understand everything you guys were talking about ...lol

I lost some weight, but I am still at about 240lb so it sounds like I should stick with the 38c.

I am currently riding between 40-50 miles a week working on increasing my distance. This is my 3rd year riding and I have about 1100 miles on my bike/tires (looking to double that this year). My front tire is fine. The back tire is worn because when I started riding I didnt know to use the front break. I was overusing my back brake and wearing out the tread. Since I need to replace the back soon I was open to replacing the front at the same time.

Since I am not looking to spend alot I am considering the Kenda and Michelin tires mentioned above in the thread. I had trouble finding some of the others online in the size I was looking for.

can you guys school me on something else? I am confused about rim and bead size compatibility? I thought that since my current rim has a tire with 38c bead size, that I had to get a tire of the same size. However, several of you mentioned getting smaller sizes. And also, based on the above comments I am assuming that smaller tires will not support heavy riders? What actually happens? do they pop?

Last edited by klepto1; 06-09-13 at 02:32 PM. Reason: Forgot something
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Old 06-09-13, 02:46 PM
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Congrats on working off the pounds.

Tire sizing is easier if you use the ISO designation 38-622 where 38mm is the width and 622 the diameter of the bead seat or rim that it fits. So you are free to buy any 622mm tire. Some of the tires you might consider will be called 29", which is the mtn bike world's name for the same 700c or 622mm tire.

Since you already have 38mm and given your weight, you should stay near there in width, though if you find a nice 35mm or 42mm tire that'll be fine (if going wider, make sure there's frame clearance).

As nI said in my first post, look for no tread, or at least a smooth center section, with any tread only to the sides, which is common for so-called hybrid tires.

If you want to see all the options search for 38-622 tires, then look at the pictures.

BTW- others will disagree, but for commuting on NYCs littered and potholed roads, better tires often don't pay for themselves before the glass gets to them, so IMO the best values are near the top of the lower range of tires, or about 1/3 up from lowest to highest.
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Old 06-09-13, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by klepto1 View Post
I lost some weight, but I am still at about 240lb so it sounds like I should stick with the 38c...based on the above comments I am assuming that smaller tires will not support heavy riders? What actually happens? do they pop?
I am 215 and 23s were fine....heavier clydes than me ride 23s. You would have to be more careful on bumps.

What happens is when you hit a sharp edge bump like the edge of a pothole, the tread bottoms out against the rim and the innertube gets pinched between the rim and the bump. It's not a blowout but you can lose the air pretty quickly, or it can actually take overnight because the tube can seal itself against the tire more or less.

The benefit of a narrower tire would be lighter weight and a little less rolling resistance at reasonable pressure. A bigger tire would offer more sidewall puncture resistance.
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Old 06-09-13, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by THE ARS View Post
Fattest slicks.
At 6'1" and 270lbs, I agree. On both my bikes, I run Bontrager Satellite Elite Hardcase 700x38 @90-100psi. For the last pair, I paid $40 each, plus S/H. On-road use, only.
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Old 06-09-13, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by klepto1 View Post
I lost some weight, but I am still at about 240lb so it sounds like I should stick with the 38c.
Any tire 32 mm or above should do fine. There is nothing magic about 38's.

Originally Posted by klepto1 View Post
The back tire is worn because when I started riding I didnt know to use the front break. I was overusing my back brake and wearing out the tread.
No, the braking had nothing to do with it. You wore out the back tire first because the back tire takes well over half the total bike/rider weight and absorbs all of the driving forces. Every rider wears out the back tire first. In fact, front tires barely wear at all and will look nearly new with thousands of miles on them even if the front brake is used properly. Front tires do have to be replaced periodically due to age hardening and eventual cracking from repeated flexing but not because the tread is worn through.

Here's an experiment for any road rider: Weigh two brand new tires. Install them on a bike and ride it until the rear tire is completely worn out and the casing is starting to show. Remove both and weight them again. the rear tire will have lost considerable weight, the front tire will be within a very few grams of it's new weight.

Last edited by HillRider; 06-09-13 at 05:41 PM. Reason: typo, as usual
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Old 06-09-13, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by klepto1 View Post
Thanks for all of the info. I had to spend some time on google and Sheldon Brown's website to understand everything you guys were talking about ...lol

I lost some weight, but I am still at about 240lb so it sounds like I should stick with the 38c.

I am currently riding between 40-50 miles a week working on increasing my distance. This is my 3rd year riding and I have about 1100 miles on my bike/tires (looking to double that this year). My front tire is fine. The back tire is worn because when I started riding I didnt know to use the front break. I was overusing my back brake and wearing out the tread. Since I need to replace the back soon I was open to replacing the front at the same time.
...
That's normal for every bike. My front tire looks like new, with the center molding ridge barely worn off, when the back tire's tread looks flattened off, and the tire casing is about to show through. ( It's normal for the back tire to look "squared off" and it probably still has some good miles in it.)

It's mostly from the force of pedaling the bike. All that effort goes through the back tire.

If I kept my front tire on until it was worn down, it would be 5 or 8 years old, getting cuts and cracks in the tread. So I throw out the old rear tire, move the old front to the back, and put a new tire on the front. I want the best tire on the front for steering and puncture resistance.

Last edited by rm -rf; 06-09-13 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 06-09-13, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Any tire 32 mm or above should do fine. There is nothing magic about 38's.


No, the braking had nothing to do with it. You wore out the back tire first because the back tire takes well over half the total bike/rider weight and absorbs all of the driving forces. Every rider wears out the back tire first. In fact, front tires barely wear at all and will look nearly new with thousands of miles on them even if the front brake is used properly. Front tires do have to be replaced periodically due to are hardening and eventual cracking from repeated flexing but not because the tread is worn through.
.
+1 it's just about impossible to wear out a front tire. Even after almost 50 years of active cycling, most of it on light tubulars, I've never worn out a front tire. I almost made it last year when my 5 year old tire was worn almost paper thin. I was pretty excited at the miracle first, but unfortunately rain and UV finally got to it and robbed me of a moral victory.
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Old 06-09-13, 05:35 PM
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Stay with 35-40mm in width. If you are riding enough to wear out your tires, that is good. Spend a few extra bucks and upgrade a bit next time. I have some Serfas Tuono tires I picked up super cheap in that size and I really like them. Not the lightest but they feel good and seem to have good puncture resistance.

+1000 get slick tires.
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Old 06-09-13, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by klepto1 View Post
...
I lost some weight, but I am still at about 240lb so it sounds like I should stick with the 38c.
...
can you guys school me on something else? I am confused about rim and bead size compatibility? I thought that since my current rim has a tire with 38c bead size, that I had to get a tire of the same size. However, several of you mentioned getting smaller sizes. And also, based on the above comments I am assuming that smaller tires will not support heavy riders? What actually happens? do they pop?
All the 700c tires fit on the same rim--their beads that lock into the rim are the same size. The 38c is the width of the tire when inflated. (some road bikes can't go much over 25c in size, their frame is too close to the tire to fit)

A larger tire has more square inches of tread to support your weight at a lower air pressure. The pressure is spread out over a bigger contact patch with the road.

If you tried this same low pressure with a small tire, it would be squashed down flat, not steer very well, and be prone to "pinch flats". That's when you hit a pothole and the tire is slammed flat between the rim of the bike and the edge of the pothole. The edge of the rim cuts one or two small "snake bite" holes in the inner tube, and the air leaks out.

With the proper high air pressure, you could use smaller tires, but the ride would be rough. The tires wouldn't have much give at all. At 240 pounds, you could ride even a 23c tire, but the pressure would have to be right at it's design limits--very jarring. And I think the small tire would wear out fast, too.

I think a 32c would be OK, if you mostly ride on reasonably good roads. If they have holes, gravel, patches and bumps all over, then the bigger tires will soak up the rough stuff a lot better. And the 32c tires won't really be any faster than a 38c, if you get slicks or minimal tread tires.

Last edited by rm -rf; 06-09-13 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 06-09-13, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by klepto1 View Post
Thanks for all of the info. I had to spend some time on google and Sheldon Brown's website to understand everything you guys were talking about ...lol

I lost some weight, but I am still at about 240lb so it sounds like I should stick with the 38c.

I am currently riding between 40-50 miles a week working on increasing my distance. This is my 3rd year riding and I have about 1100 miles on my bike/tires (looking to double that this year). My front tire is fine. The back tire is worn because when I started riding I didnt know to use the front break. I was overusing my back brake and wearing out the tread. Since I need to replace the back soon I was open to replacing the front at the same time.

Since I am not looking to spend alot I am considering the Kenda and Michelin tires mentioned above in the thread. I had trouble finding some of the others online in the size I was looking for.

can you guys school me on something else? I am confused about rim and bead size compatibility? I thought that since my current rim has a tire with 38c bead size, that I had to get a tire of the same size. However, several of you mentioned getting smaller sizes. And also, based on the above comments I am assuming that smaller tires will not support heavy riders? What actually happens? do they pop?
Hi,

Tyre width and and bead size are loosely related, you can easily go down or
up two sizes of width with no real issues, if the bigger tyres fits the frame.

Never plan on replacing both tyres at the same time. Because all the drive
goes through the rear tyre it will last typically about a 1/3 as long as the
front. Replacing like for like put the new tyre on the front, and the old
front tyre on the back, is the way most do it, best tyre on the front.

Those of us who like wide tyres think those who like thin tyres have
got it all wrong, thin is a tiny bit faster, but a lot more uncomfortable.
(At higher pressures they feel a lot faster, but actually are not.)

For heavy riders, tyres of all sizes simply need higher tyre pressures.

I'd simply replace the rear tyre with the slicker new Kenda, leaving
the "rain" Kenda on the front, or at much more cost upgrade to the
Continentals front and back, they are nice tyres for that price.

(Recently replaced by a mkII version, that is why they are cheap. If
you are lucky, and the lister clueless, they will come with innertubes.)

rgds, sreten.

Nothing special about 38mm's, but they sound about right, 42mm better.

Last edited by sreten; 06-10-13 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 06-09-13, 06:08 PM
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I have a pair of these on my commuting bike 700x28's Forté Strada Road Tires they have been great for the price!
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Old 06-10-13, 12:03 PM
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Hi,

Nobodies said it so I might as well, skinny tyres and V-brakes
together just look wrong, very wrong, V-brakes are for fat tyres.

Tyres should look like they fit your bike properly and IMO in
this case the the best tyres are the fattest, decent ones that
will fit, near slicks, but a least a near slick central section.

I would be going for the 42mm Conti's personally.

rgds, sreten.

The 40mm version of these is good value :

https://www.amazon.com/Michelin-City-...700+x+47+tires

Puncture protection, reflective strip, tough and very long lasting
tyre. Got the 32mm on the front of my road bike, and it did not
have any of all that rubber swarf hanging off the tyre.

https://www.amazon.com/Michelin-Prote...=Michelin+City

A bit cheaper than the Conti's, heavier, tougher, and
longer lasting, but probably not as nice a tyre to ride.

Last edited by sreten; 06-10-13 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 06-18-13, 12:38 PM
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Sorry I disappeared for a while. Work is a little crazy right now. I had to go out of town for work for a few days, decided to sneak in a quick 12 mile ride the night before. Ended up rolling over a nail and it pierced the tire and tube all the way through. Fortunately I was at the end of my ride and only about 1/2 mile from my house so I just walked back. Unfortunately I didn't have an extra tube and it was 11 pm so I was out of commission until I came back. I wanted to get back on the bike as quickly as possible so I went straight to the bike shop when I returned. I ended up getting a Bontrager AW 1 32c to replace my back tire. I also noticed that I was wrong when I said my original tire was a 700x38c. It was in fact 700x35c. In my original post I was referring to the size it said on bikepedia. The correct side was labeled on the tire (duh). I also got a spare tube for the future. I had the bike shop make the change in the interest of time. But I still might buy another one to replace the tire on the front. Mostly so I can get my hands dirty and teach myself how to do it.

I've only gone on one ride so far, still trying to figure out what I think of the tire. It feels like it takes a little more work to get going, but once I am moving it rolls better than my last tire. It took me a little while to get my peddle rhythm. Kind of felt like there was a portion of my stroke that took more force with the last tire. I was used to it so I was overpowering one part of my strike and it kind of threw me off for a while.
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Old 06-18-13, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Also 38c is fine for NYC potholed roads, but if you weigh less than 180#s you can comfortably go smaller, say to 32c or so.
I weigh about 240-250 and use 700x25 Schwalbe Durano Plus tyres on roads in London (England) and the odd bit of riding on gravel paths. I slow down a lot on gravel though.
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Old 06-18-13, 02:38 PM
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sreten
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Hi,

Pump up the skinnier rear quite a bit harder than the front.

I find it easier to work out when the front is too hard.
It rattles and bounces too much off bumps with poor grip.
Drop pressures until it feels good (depends on your weight).

Once happy with the front pump up the rear harder so
that ridges and bumps in the road seem about the same
when you go over them, you'll be near what is best for you.

rgds, sreten.

IMO running a wider front tyre with a bit more tread than
the rear is a good idea. That is what I have on my bike.
30mm near slick rear, 32mm semi slick front.
Rear for rolling, front for more grip and more suspension.

Last edited by sreten; 06-18-13 at 02:49 PM.
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