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I've never bought a bicycle tire...

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I've never bought a bicycle tire...

Old 02-23-19, 09:47 AM
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I've never bought a bicycle tire...

Well, almost I remember buying a couple retro-ish 20" bmx tires for my old 80s Schwinn BMX when I was a kid, but that was 25 years ago.

However, I've never, ever bought a new tire for any of the bikes I've ridden since. On all the bikes I've bought, they've either had good tires, or I've gotten wheels or wheelsets that have decent tires on them or been given tires (2 weeks ago, the local co-op was trying to get ride of several pallets worth of mtb tires for recycling, so I grabbed a stack).

I hear of so many great ride experiences from buying certain tires, but being a bottom feeder (buying complete bikes @ <$100), the idea of spending that much or a little less on fantastic tires seems crazy. Even though I believe they have a great influence on the ride. What am I missing?
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Old 02-23-19, 09:52 AM
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probably missing bad roads. I always have to buy for practical reasons: need puncture resistant, and also pinch flat resistant, and at least 25mm. there are probably places one can ride that you don't need this, but no where around my house.
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Old 02-23-19, 10:18 AM
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Like AM and FM.....

Like the OP, I seem to come across enough tires to cover my hoops.

HOWEVER

Advice from folks here, over the years, has had me purchase tires for various bikes, and also helped determine the better tires amongst the ones that did come in....

AND THEY WERE RIGHT

Good tires are noticeably better.
Great tires are even more noticeable .

A really good tire/wheelset combination, on a bike you ride a lot, on roads where they can show their stuff, is like a weight/balance/handling upgrade.

THAT BEING SAID

Bikes that don't get ridden more than every two weeks or so, no need. Not cost efficient. It's not like I'm seeking an advantage , so no reason to spend money that is better suited elsewhere.

Where you need durability, essential.
Where you want performance, an option.
Where you want comfort, a choice.

A need/want thing.

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 02-23-19 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 02-23-19, 10:35 AM
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You can get Continental Grand Prix 4000s II tires for around $35 each. If that seems like a lot, they are definitely a huge upgrade over whatever you’ve been using. If it seems OK but maybe a little expensive, they’re still a big upgrade.
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Old 02-23-19, 10:48 AM
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If you hate the stigma of low price, the Compass/Rene Herse tires ride like a dream.
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Old 02-23-19, 10:50 AM
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I certainly understand your reluctance to spend more on tires than the bike. That being said, it's probably worth it, at least for your main rider. Old tires get stiffer, and harder, long before they become dangerous to use. Depending on just what old tires you're using, you may be shocked at how much smoother new (especially more supple) tires will ride, and how much less road vibration they transmit to you. That comes along with much improved grip, which may or may not matter depending on just how aggressively you ride. That softer ride also translates to rolling faster, or less rolling resistance for a given pressure. The only downside, other than cost, is that softer new tires don't wear as well as old rock hard tires, and you may puncture more often. (That's a whole 'nuther subject. Some folks puncture all the time, others almost never. )

A personal anecdote: My best-est bike ever - a 1976 Centurion Semi Pro - came to me shod in what I assume were original, or close to it tires: IRC Hi-Racers (or some such late 70s, early 80s 27 x 1 1/4 tire that measured maybe 1") They were in remarkably good shape -- the rubber wasn't cracked, the sidewalls looked good. They passed the finger test by not being rock hard when squeezed at low pressures. Lots of tread left. As a person of Scottish descent, being cheap is in my blood. I figured "I'll just ride these for now, rather than wasting $50 to put a set of Panaracer Paselas on there." That sentiment lasted exactly one ride. I don't want to wax poetic about just how poorly they rode, but lets just say, it was bad. If you had told me they were airless tires, I'd have said "I knew it! Air filled tires would never ride that harshly." I promptly replaced them with $25 Paselas (Not the best tires, but pretty good, and great for the money). Wow, what a difference. It felt like riding on a cloud in comparison. (Pressure wasn't a factor -- I don't run tires anywhere near sidewall ratings. Both sets of tires were probably run about 70 psi.)

Now I only ride nice tires. (I'm still cheap, so I only buy them on closeout or other deals.) Most of my nice bikes wear Veloflex Vlaanderen or Schwalbe One tubulars. If you look around, it isn't too hard to find nice tires at ~50% off. Especially if you're ok with last years models. It still bothers me to spend more on a bike tire than one of my car tires, but it makes such a big difference in ride quality, and cornering safety that I feel it's worth it. I find it helps to think of the cost spread out over it's service life. Two of my most expensive tires combined are still only costing me about 50 cents an hour assuming I get 2000 miles of life out of them. That's not so bad for something that makes such a big difference to an activity I really enjoy.
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Old 02-23-19, 10:56 AM
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I go through an average of probably $400 in tires a year. It's called "riding miles." I make every effort to spend as little as possible on tires, but things do happen, and tires do wear out.

I do understand the point about cost relativity, though-- I too might have issue putting $100 in tires on a $100 bike. But I can't experience that relativity directly. I ride the bikes I want to ride, and that has so far incurred a cost penalty.
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Old 02-23-19, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
What am I missing?
For me, it's about confidence.

I ride 20-30 miles into the BWCA (fire roads) on my Yeti (also, my Blackborow) and I don't want to worry about tire issues.

Last edited by gomango; 02-24-19 at 04:30 AM.
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Old 02-23-19, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie
If you hate the stigma of low price, the Compass/Rene Herse tires ride like a dream.
Other than some side wall issues on gravel roads, I agree.

Nice tires, for sure.
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Old 02-23-19, 12:08 PM
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It sounds like you're good at picking up freebies.

I've tried a few co-op tires, and given up on them. It seems that people have tires with critical failures, dump them on the co-op which resells the tires as good. And, only after one gets them home, does one notice major damage.
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Old 02-23-19, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes
Like the OP, I seem to come across enough tires to cover my hoops.

HOWEVER

Advice from folks here, over the years, has had me purchase tires for various bikes, and also helped determine the better tires amongst the ones that did come in....

AND THEY WERE RIGHT

Good tires are noticeably better.
Great tires are even more noticeable .

A really good tire/wheelset combination, on a bike you ride a lot, on roads where they can show their stuff, is like a weight/balance/handling upgrade.

THAT BEING SAID

Bikes that don't get ridden more than every two weeks or so, no need. Not cost efficient. It's not like I'm seeking an advantage , so no reason to spend money that is better suited elsewhere.

Where you need durability, essential.
Where you want performance, an option.
Where you want comfort, a choice.

A need/want thing.
Words from the Bible!
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Old 02-23-19, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
Well, almost I remember buying a couple retro-ish 20" bmx tires for my old 80s Schwinn BMX when I was a kid, but that was 25 years ago.

However, I've never, ever bought a new tire for any of the bikes I've ridden since. On all the bikes I've bought, they've either had good tires, or I've gotten wheels or wheelsets that have decent tires on them or been given tires (2 weeks ago, the local co-op was trying to get ride of several pallets worth of mtb tires for recycling, so I grabbed a stack).

I hear of so many great ride experiences from buying certain tires, but being a bottom feeder (buying complete bikes @ <$100), the idea of spending that much or a little less on fantastic tires seems crazy. Even though I believe they have a great influence on the ride. What am I missing?
Hey can we talk about this self described bottom feeder thing ? OK good I'm going to talk you down , first put on some really mellow tunes maybe some Almond Bros...... The Centurion Ironman Expert , that is in your stable is a very good bike , maybe not supersuplizemo cosmic muffin celest Bianchi good , just trust me it's good . Right , now pony up and get a set of tubular wheels and a set of Continental Giros that right there won't break the bank . And if you wan't to go full cloud 9 get a Selle Concore SuperCorsa saddle ... You won't be sorry , your worth it .
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Old 02-23-19, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cdmurphy
I certainly understand your reluctance to spend more on tires than the bike. That being said, it's probably worth it, at least for your main rider. Old tires get stiffer, and harder, long before they become dangerous to use. Depending on just what old tires you're using, you may be shocked at how much smoother new (especially more supple) tires will ride, and how much less road vibration they transmit to you. That comes along with much improved grip, which may or may not matter depending on just how aggressively you ride. That softer ride also translates to rolling faster, or less rolling resistance for a given pressure. The only downside, other than cost, is that softer new tires don't wear as well as old rock hard tires, and you may puncture more often. (That's a whole 'nuther subject. Some folks puncture all the time, others almost never. )

A personal anecdote: My best-est bike ever - a 1976 Centurion Semi Pro - came to me shod in what I assume were original, or close to it tires: IRC Hi-Racers (or some such late 70s, early 80s 27 x 1 1/4 tire that measured maybe 1") They were in remarkably good shape -- the rubber wasn't cracked, the sidewalls looked good. They passed the finger test by not being rock hard when squeezed at low pressures. Lots of tread left. As a person of Scottish descent, being cheap is in my blood. I figured "I'll just ride these for now, rather than wasting $50 to put a set of Panaracer Paselas on there." That sentiment lasted exactly one ride. I don't want to wax poetic about just how poorly they rode, but lets just say, it was bad. If you had told me they were airless tires, I'd have said "I knew it! Air filled tires would never ride that harshly." I promptly replaced them with $25 Paselas (Not the best tires, but pretty good, and great for the money). Wow, what a difference. It felt like riding on a cloud in comparison. (Pressure wasn't a factor -- I don't run tires anywhere near sidewall ratings. Both sets of tires were probably run about 70 psi.)

Now I only ride nice tires. (I'm still cheap, so I only buy them on closeout or other deals.) Most of my nice bikes wear Veloflex Vlaanderen or Schwalbe One tubulars. If you look around, it isn't too hard to find nice tires at ~50% off. Especially if you're ok with last years models. It still bothers me to spend more on a bike tire than one of my car tires, but it makes such a big difference in ride quality, and cornering safety that I feel it's worth it. I find it helps to think of the cost spread out over it's service life. Two of my most expensive tires combined are still only costing me about 50 cents an hour assuming I get 2000 miles of life out of them. That's not so bad for something that makes such a big difference to an activity I really enjoy.
I have seen several people say bike tires cost more than car tires. I am confused or paying too much for car tires. Last year I bought 4 mid range tires for my Corvette. They ran close to $1000. Tires for my wife's Traverse aren't much cheaper. I put new top of the line tires on three bikes and spent around $400. All 10 tires I bought last year will probably last several years so the cost per year isn't really that high for any of them. I put more miles on the bikes than I did the Corvette.
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Old 02-23-19, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by TXsailor
I have seen several people say bike tires cost more than car tires. I am confused or paying too much for car tires. Last year I bought 4 mid range tires for my Corvette. They ran close to $1000. Tires for my wife's Traverse aren't much cheaper. I put new top of the line tires on three bikes and spent around $400. All 10 tires I bought last year will probably last several years so the cost per year isn't really that high for any of them. I put more miles on the bikes than I did the Corvette.
Well.... The intersection of "Cheap tires" and "Corvette tires" is probably pretty small. ;-) I don't think anyone is claiming expensive bike tires are "more" expensive than car tires, just that they're more expensive than "some" car tires. I think it's the cost per lb that gets people. My Prius tires were ~$75 each, and weigh something like 25 lbs each. 25lbs of even the cheapest bike tires wold probably put you in the $500-$1000 range.
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Old 02-23-19, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by cdmurphy
Well.... The intersection of "Cheap tires" and "Corvette tires" is probably pretty small. ;-) I don't think anyone is claiming expensive bike tires are "more" expensive than car tires, just that they're more expensive than "some" car tires. I think it's the cost per lb that gets people. My Prius tires were ~$75 each, and weigh something like 25 lbs each. 25lbs of even the cheapest bike tires wold probably put you in the $500-$1000 range.
I am not sure, I think target sells some 25lb "schwinn" bicycle tires for 12.99

PS: I am so cheap I buy used car tires too. I also used to go by the back of performance bike and take the tires out of the recycling bin... often lots of life left. But basically i just bring them to the co-op, on my own bikes.. yeah I need the puncture resistance etc.
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Old 02-23-19, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cdmurphy
Well.... The intersection of "Cheap tires" and "Corvette tires" is probably pretty small. ;-) I don't think anyone is claiming expensive bike tires are "more" expensive than car tires, just that they're more expensive than "some" car tires. I think it's the cost per lb that gets people. My Prius tires were ~$75 each, and weigh something like 25 lbs each. 25lbs of even the cheapest bike tires wold probably put you in the $500-$1000 range.
Yep pound for pound bike tires are a lot more expensive. So are bikes. I think it was Fuji that had a ad that said their bike cost more than a Ferrari, then it broke it down into $ per pound. I'm not sure where they were going with that Still true unless you are shopping at Walmart. You get a lot of lbs. there for not much money.
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Old 02-23-19, 01:55 PM
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I've put better tires on bikes I was sure I didn't like and practically transformed the bikes into one of my new favorites. If I put a Veloflex on a mid range bike, well it jumps quite a bit up that mid range =) Sometimes the difference is so good it takes a straight gauge chromoly and makes it butted
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Old 02-23-19, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by markwesti
Hey can we talk about this self described bottom feeder thing ? OK good I'm going to talk you down , first put on some really mellow tunes maybe some Almond Bros...... The Centurion Ironman Expert , that is in your stable is a very good bike , maybe not supersuplizemo cosmic muffin celest Bianchi good , just trust me it's good . Right , now pony up and get a set of tubular wheels and a set of Continental Giros that right there won't break the bank . And if you wan't to go full cloud 9 get a Selle Concore SuperCorsa saddle ... You won't be sorry , your worth it .
Haha, I appreciate it. Even with some of the finer things, like the Ironman, I get bottom feeder-ish. It came from the co-op, $40. Dirty, broken spoke/wavy back wheel, mismatched parts, frozen seatpost all the way down. It is stripped down to the frame right now. Tried a bunch of stuff and at this point the caustic soda is going to be the least traumatic option for the bike.

I actually serviced the wheels from the bike today and took off an old Specialized wire bead Turbo 23c with tread separation from the front rim. Which got me thinking about this thead, since I have a few used tires in the garage I can replace it with.
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Old 02-23-19, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by carbomb
I've put better tires on bikes I was sure I didn't like and practically transformed the bikes into one of my new favorites. If I put a Veloflex on a mid range bike, well it jumps quite a bit up that mid range =) Sometimes the difference is so good it takes a straight gauge chromoly and makes it butted
Double or triple?
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