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What are the best tires for commuting?

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What are the best tires for commuting?

Old 07-28-04, 07:31 AM
  #26  
Sloth
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I second (third? fourth?) the Marathon recommendations. I've had Marathons and Marathon Pluses on various bikes and absolutely love them.
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Old 07-28-04, 09:16 AM
  #27  
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I never make claims regarding flats because even with kevlar belted tires, Tuffy liners, AND thorn resistant tubes I have had flats. Nothing is totally impenetrable. Having said that my favorite reasonably narrow tire for commuting is the Avocet Cross II Kevlar in 28 mm. Don't let the nominal 28 mm width put you off. The design makes these tires look and feel almost like slick 25 mm tires. One thing I really like is that these tires have definite tread which means plenty of extra rubber between tube and road. However the tread is designed with a wavy but solid surface right down the middle that minimizes rolling resistance and noise when going straight while giving a little bite going around corners. They aren't cheap at $25-30, and they aren't easy to find. I had to order directly from Avocet. Several online sources carry the 32 and 35 mm widths, but I could not find the 28s when I needed replacements. I also just like the looks of these tires. They look right at home on an urban street fixie.

Specialized Infinity Armadillos run a close second, but they only come as narrow as 32. I run these on my primary commuter, 32 front, 35 rear. I have tried the smoother Specialized Armadillos, but to me they look and and feel wider than their nominal widths. The look just doesn't do any for me. Don't get me wrong when I talk about looks. I will choose function over form (looks) every time. But if I can find something that does the job extremely well and looks good, why not?
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Old 07-29-04, 01:52 AM
  #28  
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I will second (fourth?) the Marathons, either Plus or regular. Have been very happy biker with them. In winter it's all Nokian Hakkapeliitta 106s for me. As far as tubes go, I use whatever brand is available. Even Continentals. I have not had any problems with tubes.

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Old 07-29-04, 04:24 AM
  #29  
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Conti top touring 2000 in summer and Nokian mount and ground 166 stud in winter
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Old 07-29-04, 08:48 AM
  #30  
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on the rear of my bike I have a Bontrager "race-lite" with their flat-protection features. It's a narrow 27-inch tire that I've ridden on it for a few hundred miles without flats. Seems good to me.
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Old 07-30-04, 06:28 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Bryan T
Continental Ultra-Gatorskins, kevlar-belted.
Does anybody have an opinion whether the $51 Continental GP 3000 4-Season would have significantly better wet traction and/or less roll resistance ($20 worth) than the $33 Ultra Gatorskin for the same protection? (I'm talking about the rubber's grip, not the tread pattern) I live in a very rainy climate, and will probably get one or the other. Does anybody measure this stuff scientifically?

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Old 07-30-04, 09:32 PM
  #32  
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Well here's my 1 cent's worth because it ain't worth 2 cents!

Someone mentioned Schwalbe Marathon Plus, these tires have got to be the heaviest tire on the market at around 900 grams per tire!! And I thought the Specialize Armadillos were heavy at 360 grams!

Someone else mentioned the Conti Gatorskin, this is a alright tire but the sidewalls are paper thin; and I estimate that about 1 third of my flats (as well as others I spoke to) are due to sidewall penetrations.

I feel the best tire for flat protection is the Specialize Armadillo. I lived for about 16 years in Goathead flats (Mojave desert region of California), where goatheads roam by the billions and tumbleweeds and their thistle children also roam by the trillions. You also find your usual sort of road debris like glass, pits of steel from shredding steel belted worn car tires and whatever else you can imagine. When I first moved to that region (after a 5 year riding break) I went through over a dozen different brand of tires trying to find one that worked. I averaged 4 flats a week (no misprint), and tire life ranging from 65 to 750 miles before destruction. This was driving me crazy especially flatting while commuting to and from work. Finally a LBS advised using the Specialize Armadillo; after over 14,000 miles I have had only 2 flats, one was a faulty tube and the other was riding on a bald cord showing tire. The tires last about about 3600 miles.

The Armadillos are not racing tires, although the LBS I bought these tires from did race them in the RAAM race with the thinking that no flats meant no down time for flat repairs; it must have worked to some degree they won their class! They are a harder riding tire due to the puncture resistent sidewall, but you can compensate for that by no maxing the air pressure; I weigh 163 and put 100psi in the rear and 90 in the front which softens the ride up pretty good. I also use Specialize Ultralight 65grm tube since the tire is the thing that resist flats thus no need for a heavy tube.

If you don't have the problems I had with nature, then Conti does make a tire called the 4 Seasons that has 2 anti-flat belts and 1 of those extends into the sidewall (the only tire Conti makes that has this feature). It's not as flat resistent as the Armadillo but it only weighs 240 grams and has a softer ride to it.

I have rode the Armadillos in the rain and noticed nothing different about these then any other tire I've had; they handle well for a stiff tire and never had any handling problems. I also use a wider 700x26 tire for more street stability and quicker stopping, plus they last longer but weigh 395 grams. They cost $29 each and Specialize has a price fix on that so your supposely not suppose to find it for less or more anywhere. There is no reflective quality to the tire. You want reflectiveness use the widest reflective leg bands you can buy.
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Old 07-30-04, 09:56 PM
  #33  
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Thx for the input. Only problem with the armor-dillies is I got $$$$ credit to use at Performance. Wish I could handle them side-by-side-and-up-close-and-personal, but I live in total BFE right now and gotta mail-order everything. :/

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Old 07-31-04, 09:10 AM
  #34  
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Just a thought here. I used to use the Performance brand city/K tire 700 x 35. It was $12-13 on sale and I put like 3000 miles on them with no flats. The sidewalls finally cracked after 5 years. Used them for commuting mostly.
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Old 07-31-04, 10:51 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by froze
Someone mentioned Schwalbe Marathon Plus, these tires have got to be the heaviest tire on the market at around 900 grams per tire!! And I thought the Specialize Armadillos were heavy at 360 grams!
.
I passed up the Armadillos in part because 360 grams seemed too flimsy for everyday use I do not notice the extra weight, even on hills, so I consider it a virtue.

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Old 07-31-04, 03:21 PM
  #36  
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Hi Bkrownd,
one of the best commuter tires is the Conti TT, and Performance has them on sale. If they'll fit the frame, get them.
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5420
With the left over bucks you could pick up a jersey or something.
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Old 07-31-04, 03:50 PM
  #37  
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TT 2000 seems like more tread than I need. This bike isn't going off-road.

Might be a good choice for my old Trek 820, though. That's been on the same knobbies for 10 years and could go another 10 easy, but I really shouldstop grinding down the knobbies on 99% pavement use...

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Old 07-31-04, 05:58 PM
  #38  
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Hi,
The TT stands for Top Touring. It's not designed for off road use, but to be a reliable, long lasting tire. It's one of the best choices for a commuter. However, it is not exactly light, which is why my fun bike has lighter tires. It's your call, and no skin off my nose either way. I just wanted you to know what was what.
The only other tire at Performance that fits the bill is the GT2.
Looks blah.
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Old 07-31-04, 06:32 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by late
Hi,
The TT stands for Top Touring. It's not designed for off road use, but to be a reliable, long lasting tire. It's one of the best choices for a commuter. However, it is not exactly light, which is why my fun bike has lighter tires. It's your call, and no skin off my nose either way. I just wanted you to know what was what.
Yeah I saw the one - it's medium-wide and has quite a bit of inverted tread. I'd like to stay minimal on the tread with my main commuter. (My present tires have no tread at all) Another site has them in 27x1.25, which might fit my MTB. (I don't go off-road on my MTB - it's just for all-season curb-jumping and pavement pounding) Performance also has the Gatorskins which are a popular topic here, which is why I was asking about them. I hadn't heard anything about their own store-brand until now.

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Old 07-31-04, 07:38 PM
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Hi,
the tread on my TT doesn't seem inverted to me. I had an Avocet
once with inverted tread. In any case, Continentals tend to run a bit small. You'll probably be fine with Gatorskins in the 28c size, but I wouldn't push my luck any harder than that. If the tire is too small it will come off the rim. One other thing about the Gatorskins, I had one on for a day and swapped it out. It has a hard ride compared to the other tires I mentioned.
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Old 07-31-04, 09:58 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by PaulH
I passed up the Armadillos in part because 360 grams seemed too flimsy for everyday use I do not notice the extra weight, even on hills, so I consider it a virtue. Paul
Flimsy? The average road tire is 220grams! You live in Washington DC; you would never encounter the crap I encountered, Goatheads and thistles from tumbleweeds plus all the usual kind of road debris you probably do encounter, glass, potholes, steel bits etc. But it's the goatheads and thistles that are deadlier on tires then even glass. So if Armadillos can survive the Mojave desert, Washington D.C would be a cakewalk.

Try the lighter Armadillos and you will notice a huge difference on hills and flats.
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Old 08-01-04, 03:13 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by late
the tread on my TT doesn't seem inverted to me.
The image at bicycletires.com makes it look like 5/6 of the width is crossed by wide grooves, with a narrow solid centerline. The description also says "inverted tread pattern". I'll keep it in mind though, so thanks for the suggestion.

With 100 psi in it the tear in my damaged tire looks like an ugly wound, and looks like it will grow on its own, so I think I'll be purchasing something tomorrow. I must have hit an impressive shard of glass - I didn't stop to look.

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Old 08-01-04, 03:22 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by bkrownd
Thx for the input. Only problem with the armor-dillies is I got $$$$ credit to use at Performance. Wish I could handle them side-by-side-and-up-close-and-personal, but I live in total BFE right now and gotta mail-order everything. :/

bkr
Performance has their own brand of Kevalr reinforced tires, and they also sell the Michelin Erilium tire, which is Kevalr reinforced. The Michelins still can get flats, but they are better than regular tires.
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Old 08-02-04, 04:53 PM
  #44  
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I used the 20% off coupon and went nuts and got the GP 4-season. There's only one season here, but it's rainy season all year long so I'm hoping these are grippier. If it prevents a wipe-out in the rain it'll be worth it.

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Old 08-02-04, 06:01 PM
  #45  
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Good choice. I might get some for winter. About the poster who likes armadillo over gatorskin because the sidewall is stronger, My experience is opposite. The Specialized side wall kinda splintered on me. My gatorskins last a long time and replaced after the part that touches the road is worn out. I had to trash the specialized before the tread was gone.
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Old 08-06-04, 05:37 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by steveknight
been real happy with bonganger race lite hardcase.
How's the grip on wet pavement with these?

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Old 08-06-04, 11:03 AM
  #47  
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I use the cheapest tire I can find at Performance in stock on my commuter. Nine times out of ten I have been satisfied. Currently I am riding the same pair of Ascent tires I bought for $5.00 each in September of 2002. However, I was considering Schwalbe for my next set. From what I have read in this thread, my consideration is increasing.
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Old 08-06-04, 12:19 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Tree Trunk
I use the cheapest tire I can find at Performance in stock on my commuter. Nine times out of ten I have been satisfied. Currently I am riding the same pair of Ascent tires I bought for $5.00 each in September of 2002. However, I was considering Schwalbe for my next set. From what I have read in this thread, my consideration is increasing.
That's kinda my pattern. I stock up on discounted/discontinues. Flatting is not as much (notice the "as much", thats to ward off the gremlin that'll flat me today) an issue to me as general tire life. I toss a couple pairs of $10-$20 tires on in a year of commuting (2000-3000 miles).
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Old 08-06-04, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by dobber
That's kinda my pattern. I stock up on discounted/discontinues. Flatting is not as much (notice the "as much", thats to ward off the gremlin that'll flat me today) an issue to me as general tire life. I toss a couple pairs of $10-$20 tires on in a year of commuting (2000-3000 miles).
When I get a flat is when I usually change the tire. I haven't had a flat yet this year (I'm not superstitious) and I have been commuting 100-125 miles a week since February.
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