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Questions about tyres.

Old 01-07-21, 10:40 AM
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Koulou
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Questions about tyres.

Hey folks,


I recently got a second hand Felt QX 100 (older version with V-brakes) in a decent condition. The only thing I need to take care of is the tyres.


Currently, the bike has a Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700x32c in great good condition at the back. At the front, it has a very old 700x38c tyre (don't remember the model) which needs to be changed ASAP. I use that bike for commuting with an average of ~15 miles per day, and I would say that I am a bit of a fast cyclist. I am located in London where the streets are not in the best condition (although the grip is very good in general) and I usually cycle in wet conditions.


My idea is to end up with two 700x32c tyres. I was thinking to move the Schwalbe Marathon Plus which is currently at the back to the front and put a faster tyre in the back, for example, a Continental Grand Sport Extra. My goal is to make my bike a bit faster in accelerating, but I'd prefer a tyre with decently deep threading at the front because I am afraid that a slick_ish tyre could easily result in slides while cornering due to the condition of the roads here. Apart from that, puncture protection is key to me.


Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.


Cheers.

Last edited by Koulou; 01-07-21 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 01-08-21, 08:53 AM
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timdow
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In six years of commuting 100 miles a week through the city with Marathon Plus tires I have only gotten one flat, and that was a construction staple that went into to the tread (did not cause a puncture), then the other end drove through the sidewall. The weight is worth it, at least to me. My suggestion would be to purchase another one of these tires.
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Old 01-08-21, 09:46 AM
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Koulou
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Thanks for your response, @timdow. That makes total sense. However, I am willing to risk slightly lower puncture protection for some speed, without going to the other end.
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Old 01-08-21, 10:03 AM
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caloso
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post
In six years of commuting 100 miles a week through the city with Marathon Plus tires I have only gotten one flat, and that was a construction staple that went into to the tread (did not cause a puncture), then the other end drove through the sidewall. The weight is worth it, at least to me. My suggestion would be to purchase another one of these tires.
My suggestion too. Put a new Marathon Plus on the front. Note that to maximize grip, you want to maximize tire contact, which means that slicks (despite the name) are the best choice for wet tarmac. https://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#hydroplaning
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Old 01-08-21, 11:06 AM
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Koulou
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My concern is not only the water, but also the dirt which often appears in my routes. Anyways.

So, you believe that the benefit in speed will not be enough for me to move to a sport tyre at the back comparing to the Marathon Plus with its unbeatable puncture resistance. Noted.
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Old 01-08-21, 11:07 AM
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I've never had traction or cornering problems with slicks on pavement. If there's loose dirt, gravel, or wet leaves, the only safe bet is to slow down. Two of my bikes have slicks, a third one has barely enough tread to matter, and then of course the winter bike has studded knobbies, but that's its own beast.
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Old 01-08-21, 11:24 AM
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My experience in traffic is that speed is mostly dictated by traffic lights and congestion, not how fast your bike can go. But having to stop and fix a flat will impact your average speed even more, so for me reliability and puncture protection would take priority over a few watts of rolling resistance.

Of course, I've never commuted in London, only visited, but based on that (and watching Richard trying to beat the Stig) it looks like quite a challenge!
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Old 01-08-21, 11:36 AM
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How long does it take to find and fix a flat? (Including time to find and remove whatever caused the puncture in the first place.)

Your desire to accelerate faster is noted. But before the crit racers pile on with their "rotating weight" concerns, how much faster do you really think you can accelerate, given a normal commuting load (whatever that is for you), normal clothing (including rain gear?), and, I assume, the fact you're not an accomplished racer with a body mass index under 20.

Treat your normal commuting as a chance for interval training, and I expect you'll find you can deal with the traffic AND get to work on time just fine with the heavier tire.
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Old 01-09-21, 01:09 PM
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Your responses make sense. I will change the front to a new Marathon Plus which has already been ordered.

Cheers
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Old 01-09-21, 10:11 PM
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I've been using Marathon Plus tires on my commuter bike for about 10 years and haven't had a flat. This is a folding bike with 20" wheels. I don't notice much increased rolling resistance compared to other Marathon-type ("Racer" and "plain") tires I've used. However, when I'm commuting I value flat resistance over speed, so the "Plus" tires work for me.
FWIW, I have Marathon "Supreme" tires on my road bike, and haven't had flats on those either. These are 700/32, so it's hard to compare rolling resistance with the smaller wheels.
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Old 01-10-21, 07:59 AM
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Koulou
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
I've been using Marathon Plus tires on my commuter bike for about 10 years and haven't had a flat. This is a folding bike with 20" wheels. I don't notice much increased rolling resistance compared to other Marathon-type ("Racer" and "plain") tires I've used. However, when I'm commuting I value flat resistance over speed, so the "Plus" tires work for me.
FWIW, I have Marathon "Supreme" tires on my road bike, and haven't had flats on those either. These are 700/32, so it's hard to compare rolling resistance with the smaller wheels.
After my last response, I was leaning towards the Marathon Supreme, which appears to be a significantly faster tyre than the Marathon Plus, while being decently puncture-resistant (a bit less than the bulletproof Plus), but I found the Marathon Plus very well priced on Amazon (23.44 for 700x32c), and I couldn't resist. I'm keeping the Supreme in mind as a potential upgrade if I am not happy with my bike fitted with a pair of 700x32c Marathon Plus.

Cheers
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Old 01-17-21, 08:33 AM
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Another great tire is the Continental Contact Travel. They are super fast yet robust. I love them because the main part that touches the pavement is slick, like a Schwalbe Marathon Supreme, but the outside is knobby in case you hit dirt. They're also like half the price as the Supremes.
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Old 01-23-21, 08:57 AM
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I am a bigger geek that normal so YMMV, but I find the information at this site fascinating:

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...on-32-37-40-47
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