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Commuting/Touring tire recomendations

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Commuting/Touring tire recomendations

Old 07-03-19, 06:43 PM
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N00dle
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Commuting/Touring tire recomendations

So I recently picked up a Motobecane Turino Expert and am looking for new tires for it. A little back story.

Had a 2003 LeMond Big Sky SL with 25c Gatorskins (310g) I sold this bike recently and bought the Motobecane because I wanted to combine my road bike and 2001 Giant Rincon SE with 26x1.5 (620g) I was using for a commuter.

The Motobecane came with 28c Continential Ultra Sport II (410g)

I want to upgrade the tires and move to 32c or 35c (the bike will do up to 45c but I'm putting fenders on it so it will only take up to 700x35c or 27"x1.25 the latter is confusing because 35c is 1.3")

I was looking at the Schwalbe Marathon HS420 Greenguard (640g) but they are heavy on paper but no different weight wise than the Kenda. I was also doing some searching and came across the Panaracer Gravel King (290-310g) and was also slightly considering the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme HS469 (380g) (tubeless compatible) but they are $75 a pop.

Any comments or thoughts on these or others I haven't considered. Looking for something that won't be too heavy and I understand weight isn't everything, but also looking for durable. I'm sure I won't be able to get light, cheap, and durable in one package so I'll have to sacrifice a bit on one of the 3.

Mainly commuting 3 - 4 miles one way and some weekend distance rides.


In summary:

Tires used before:

700x25c Continental Gatorskin (310g)
700x28c Continental Ultra Sport II (410g)
26x1.5 Kenda Kwest High Pressure (630g)

Tires considering:

Schwalbe Marathon HS420 Greenguard (640g)
Schwalbe Marathon Supreme HS 469 (380g)
Panaracer Gravel King (300g)
Other ???

Thanks and sorry for the long post. Probably going to put this up on bikeforums.net too so if you also frequent there you'll probably come across this again.

Last edited by N00dle; 07-06-19 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 07-04-19, 07:49 AM
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My three-season tires are Schwalbe Marathon Plus and my winter tires are Schwalbe Marathon Winter Plus. I haven't had a flat since switching over a few years ago. OTOH, they are really hard to get on and off the rim, so if I ever do get a flat, I'm in for an unpleasant roadside experience. FWIW
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Old 07-04-19, 03:20 PM
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Specialized Armadillos. Either Nimbus or Infinity are available in the sizes you're looking for but the Armadillos ride a bit stiff. The Armadillos are tough as hell and wear like iron but the ride is nothing I would call plush. I ran Armadillos for years before recently switching to Conti Top Contact II's. I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record around here, but the Top Contact II's ride nice, are wearing well, and are easy to mount. They're not the cheapest tire on the rack but they're a whole lot cheaper than Marathon Supremes and weigh a lot less than the Marathon Pluses. The Vectran belting on the Conti is the same flat protection as the Supremes.


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Old 07-04-19, 04:16 PM
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Of the tires listed, I would pick the Panaracer Gravel Kings. They are a great combination of decent weight and toughness. I use them on my randonneuring bike for the reasons mentioned, decent weight and toughness without too much rolling resistance penalty.
I have used 8-10 different Continentals (GP3000, GP4000, Ultra Sport, Contact Sport, Gatorskin, TourRide, Top Touring etc) and to get decent quality, you have to buy the top-shelf models. The bargain models have spotty reliability issues in my experience.
The only Schwalbe model I have tried is the Marathon Plus and I hated them. They were so heavy and had so much rolling resistance that I took them off before they were worn out. I have heard the Marathon Supreme is nice but they come in at a higher cost than the Gravel Kings so I will probably keep running the Panaracers.
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Old 07-04-19, 05:48 PM
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Im also a fan of the gravel Kings for their price (2 @$65). They roll well enough that I do not feel disadvantaged in any way. I tried Marathons and hated them.

If I wanted to spend more Id look at the Schwalbe G one, Continental GP 5000 in 32c, or Compass offerings in tubeless.
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Old 07-04-19, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
Of the tires listed, I would pick the Panaracer Gravel Kings. They are a great combination of decent weight and toughness. I use them on my randonneuring bike for the reasons mentioned, decent weight and toughness without too much rolling resistance penalty.
I have used 8-10 different Continentals (GP3000, GP4000, Ultra Sport, Contact Sport, Gatorskin, TourRide, Top Touring etc) and to get decent quality, you have to buy the top-shelf models. The bargain models have spotty reliability issues in my experience.
The only Schwalbe model I have tried is the Marathon Plus and I hated them. They were so heavy and had so much rolling resistance that I took them off before they were worn out. I have heard the Marathon Supreme is nice but they come in at a higher cost than the Gravel Kings so I will probably keep running the Panaracers.
Nice, I'm kind of leaning towards the Gravel Kings. Not uber expensive like the Marathon Supreme but the more I read about them the more I like them on paper.

I only have about a 3 mile commute but the 2nd mile is through a bit of an industrial area where nails and such get dropped off the back of work trucks. I don't want to have to swap ties all the time so weekend distance rides are also a thing. I can swap tires if need be but would prefer something all around.
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Old 07-05-19, 09:04 AM
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If you don't mind, why aren't you considering the Gatorskins? IME they're about as tough as the Panaracer, maybe a bit better, and much more compliant than the Schwalbes.

Of course if you want ultimate flat protection against nails, you might consider solid rubber tires.
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Old 07-05-19, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
If you don't mind, why aren't you considering the Gatorskins? IME they're about as tough as the Panaracer, maybe a bit better, and much more compliant than the Schwalbes.

Of course if you want ultimate flat protection against nails, you might consider solid rubber tires.
More so wanting to try something else. While they were durable I never felt very comfortable cornering with them.
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Old 07-06-19, 06:39 PM
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Tires are all a matter of your preferences and conditions.

For short distance commutes, lightweight tires don't give you much advantage and it sucks when you get a flat. If you want to ride your commuting rig distances on the weekend, I'd think twice before getting big slow tires.

You might consider getting two wheelsets, each mounted with appropriate tires. That way, you have something resistant to that industrial area you ride through, but get a much sportier ride on weekends.
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Old 07-08-19, 03:37 PM
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I've had good luck with Vittoria Randonneurs in the 32 mm width, good puncture resistance and they seem to be pretty long wearing but provide pretty good feel and traction at the pressures I run, about 75 rear and 70 front. I also like the reflective sidewalls for the dark and wet of winter (I'm in Seattle) so that might be a concern for you in Iowa if you plan to commute year round.
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Old 07-08-19, 03:48 PM
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I love my Panaracer Pasaleas
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Old 07-08-19, 11:31 PM
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Upon recommendation from my LBS I started riding the Compass tires. I run 32s on my commuter, and 28s on my road bike. Usually, I have them at 65-70 psi and they are very comfortable.
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Old 07-09-19, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by N00dle View Post
Nice, I'm kind of leaning towards the Gravel Kings. Not uber expensive like the Marathon Supreme but the more I read about them the more I like them on paper.

I only have about a 3 mile commute but the 2nd mile is through a bit of an industrial area where nails and such get dropped off the back of work trucks. I don't want to have to swap ties all the time so weekend distance rides are also a thing. I can swap tires if need be but would prefer something all around.
For a 3 mile commute, weight is a non factor.

But tread pattern and rubber compound make a difference.

I run Michelin Proteks. I had have 1 flat in nearly 2 years, with a similar commute length. And that wasn't tire related. That was a tube problem.

The Proteks have advantages like being cheap. They are $25 regular price and often available online for $20. They roll VERY well for a $20 tire. They are nice and zippy.

They also come in a more robust version with better flat protection called Protek Max, which have a 5mm puncture protection layer instead of a 1mm layer like the normal Proteks. But they have the same rubber and tread pattern. Those might be more suitable to the rougher part of your commute.

I recently tried the Marathon 420's you mentioned and went immediately back to the cheaper Proteks. The Marathons weren't so great for me like everyone told me they would be.

Here is the full product line of Proteks
https://www.biketiresdirect.com/search?kw2=protek

The downside is the tread on my rear tire has worn out once and needed replacing sooner than a Marathon would. But for $20....no big deal.
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Old 07-09-19, 01:27 PM
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my personal favorite commuter tire of all time is the continental grand prix 4 season.

for me, it's the perfect intersection of weight, rolling resistance, durability, puncture protection, wet weather grip, and cost (~$40).

i almost feel like continental made this tire specifically for performance-minded all-weather bike commuters.

i roll 28's on my commuting bike, but they come in 32 if you're looking for something a bit wider.

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Old 07-09-19, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by N00dle View Post
Nice, I'm kind of leaning towards the Gravel Kings. Not uber expensive like the Marathon Supreme but the more I read about them the more I like them on paper.

I only have about a 3 mile commute but the 2nd mile is through a bit of an industrial area where nails and such get dropped off the back of work trucks. I don't want to have to swap ties all the time so weekend distance rides are also a thing. I can swap tires if need be but would prefer something all around.
With that potential for punctures, I'd certainly favor Schwalbe Marathon Plus, which I have on my commuting bike. They aren't the fastest tire on the road (actually they are pretty slow) but they do provide the comfort that you won't often be late for work.

I have Gravel King SKs on a hybrid bike and like them very much. They were a bear to mount on the rims though. Perhaps the kevlar bead will stretch a bit making it easier, but I don't look forward to having a puncture with them.

Tough choice.
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