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Zaphod Beeblebrox 06-07-10 10:49 AM

Tire Talk
 
I've got fairly limited exposure to tires... For the longest time I'd just go with whatever the LBS had in stock that looked good. Usually something from Bontrager. Recently I've become a lot more interested in different tires and how they affect the ride and now I've got the bug to start trying some different things.

So talk about the tires you like and what you'd like to try.

It seems like everyone loves the Panaracer Pasela. With and Without TourGuard. I see that Velo-Orange is now carrying a Creme tread/Gum Wall version of the Pasela. I'd try it but I prefer tires fatter than 28's

Right now top of my list is to try the Schwalbe Delta Cruisers (probably in Creme) in 700x37 to replace the same sized Bontrager Satellite's on my Super Course. I hear the Delta Cruisers are quite a bit lighter and have a little more give in the sidewall than a Schwalbe Marathon. I'm just a bit put off that its part of Schwalbe's "Active Line" and wonder if that means its a fairly low-end tire.

The other I really want to try is the Conti GP4000 for my go-fast bike. The Vittoria Open Corsa tires i've got now are wonderful but offer no flat protection and I'm constantly getting little punctures from road debris.

EjustE 06-07-10 11:18 AM

I do not really have much experience with slick wide tires, since I do prefer some knobbiness on my wides, so I stick with cyclocross-like tires in 35-38.

As far as fast bike tires go, I use to run GP, pretty exclusively (unless there was something on a bike with enough life and used it until needed new ones) and now I really like the gatorskins. They do provide better protection than the GP and the ride is very similar (probably a bit of better braking in the wet as well). The Ultra Gatorskins at 25 are very sweet. The other tire I like a lot, and you might want to give it a shot if you lokle the Open Corsa, is the Vittoria Rubino Pro. What I end up doing these day is to put Rubino Pros on Italian bikes and Gatorskins on the others. I had a bike with 23 inch Pacelas and I did find them ok, but unremarkable (maybe wider Pacelas are better)

cb400bill 06-07-10 11:35 AM

I have had GP4000S on my C-Dale for a couple of riding seasons and really like them. They replaced the Hutchinson Hi-Speed tires that came on it new. Smoother, quieter, lighter....faster. Look cool, too.

Probikekit tends to be the best place to get modern racebike rubber.

illwafer 06-07-10 11:46 AM

when i was a newb, i was so scared of a flat tire (like most ppl in the commuting forum). i bought some specialized armadillo tires, and they worked!

as my tastes become more refined, i went to gatorskins, and then bontrager hard case. both are nice tires. the bontragers seem to last forever and ride nicer the longer you have them.

but then i started going on longer rides, and really wanted to enjoy the ride as much as possible. the panaracer pasela is fantastic. they are thin, light, and cheap. i haven't had a flat in about 1500 miles, but i think thats due to experience. the ride is soooo nice and a lot different from most of the tires out there.

now i put the tourguard models on my commuting bikes and the regular ones on my fun bikes. there are probably better tires out there, but not better tires under $20.

mkeller234 06-07-10 11:46 AM

I have only ever purchased "budget" tires, IE Panaracer paselas, Vittoria Rally Tubulars, Continental Ultra Sports and some Bontragers.

I would like to try a fancier tire to see what they are all about, the Veloflex Paves caught my interest and people seem to like them.

sauze 06-07-10 12:10 PM

I need to purchase some tires today (my front one exploded yesterday afternoon, luckily it was in front of Sbucks rather than me on it attempting to ride with bag of grocery and 3 cups of coffee as was my plan...)and was thinking about this very thing. Do I go with standard , run of the mill type tires or should I drop a little more cash for an upgrade? Seeing as it's my everyday ride I probably won't go for anything too crazy but what performance advantages would there be?

m750rider 06-07-10 12:15 PM

The Conti GP 4000S is so much better than their Ultra Sport - smoother, faster, better handling all around. You won't go back if you change.

EjustE 06-07-10 12:20 PM


Originally Posted by sauze (Post 10925362)
I need to purchase some tires today (my front one exploded yesterday afternoon, luckily it was in front of Sbucks rather than me on it attempting to ride with bag of grocery and 3 cups of coffee as was my plan...)and was thinking about this very thing. Do I go with standard , run of the mill type tires or should I drop a little more cash for an upgrade? Seeing as it's my everyday ride I probably won't go for anything too crazy but what performance advantages would there be?

Depending on the way you ride, how long you ride and what kind of roads you ride on. A tire with a bit more flat protection is a must for me for every day riding (esp. commuting). If you are doing any non-asphalt riding or there are a lot of debris (sand, leaves, etc on the roads you ride) you might also want to consider a slightly more agressively threaded tire. "Performance" tires, like the ones that offer better grip in turns taken at 35 mph, would not really serve you that much, unless you are racing or riding at these speeds.

Chris_in_Miami 06-07-10 12:26 PM

I'm in the Pasela camp since I have mostly 27" wheels now; I'll probably try the Schwalbe HS159 soon. They look pretty low end, but might be better than the alternatives from Kenda. I don't have anything against Kenda though, their K141 (Nimbus) are my favorite EA-3 sized tire, and the Kwest is a tough commuter tire.

I also like the look of the Michelin World Tour, but I haven't tried them yet.

Zaphod Beeblebrox 06-07-10 12:29 PM

I've also read that some folks like to use a Tour Guard/Hard Case/Aramid Belt/Whatever Flat Protection tire in the rear and a regular one in the front.

Anyone do this? I can see the reasoning...does it work well in practice?

Young Version 06-07-10 12:37 PM


Originally Posted by mkeller234 (Post 10925229)
I have only ever purchased "budget" tires, IE Panaracer paselas, Vittoria Rally Tubulars, Continental Ultra Sports and some Bontragers.

I would like to try a fancier tire to see what they are all about, the Veloflex Paves caught my interest and people seem to like them.

Yeah, I'm curious to try the Pave (now called Master), as they're only about $70/pair shipped from PBK. That's not too expensive...

sauze 06-07-10 12:43 PM


Originally Posted by EjustE (Post 10925419)
Depending on the way you ride, how long you ride and what kind of roads you ride on. A tire with a bit more flat protection is a must for me for every day riding (esp. commuting). If you are doing any non-asphalt riding or there are a lot of debris (sand, leaves, etc on the roads you ride) you might also want to consider a slightly more agressively threaded tire. "Performance" tires, like the ones that offer better grip in turns taken at 35 mph, would not really serve you that much, unless you are racing or riding at these speeds.

The roads here are notoriously bad, the intense winter freeze/thaw cycle just cracks them all up and while I'm almost always on asphalt one can't guarantee what shape it's in. While some better grip going round a corner at 35 would be nice, chances are I don't need it (on this bike anyway). Any specific brand recommended?

RFC 06-07-10 12:49 PM

Here in AZ I really need flat protection if I want to finish a ride. My favorite tires are:

1) Panaracer Pasela with liners or puncture resistant tubes.
2) Gatorskins
3) The Performance Vredesteins (blue) which can be pumped to 160 psi and can usually be had for about $24.

The problem with most of the Schwalbe tires is that they are VERY heavy.

khatfull 06-07-10 01:05 PM

+1 on the Paselas...IMHO, everything everyone says about them for a $20 tire is correct. Tan wall to boot.
+1 on the GP4000s...best tire I ever ran on my Cdale, bar none. One of these days I'll try a pair on one of the vintage bikes (that doesn't look like it needs tan sidewalls :)

EjustE 06-07-10 01:13 PM


Originally Posted by sauze (Post 10925540)
The roads here are notoriously bad, the intense winter freeze/thaw cycle just cracks them all up and while I'm almost always on asphalt one can't guarantee what shape it's in. While some better grip going round a corner at 35 would be nice, chances are I don't need it (on this bike anyway). Any specific brand recommended?

I've been using the same tire for commuting/city road riding/trail riding for 21 years (Cheng Shin Top Gear Road Hog) but they were discontinued around '93 (bought 20 pairs when they were discontinued). Now I am seriously looking into something like WTB All Terrainasaurus; I think that the fit my bill (but they come on 32 and 37, which could be a problem if you are running skinnier rims)


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