Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Best "Bullet Proof" commuting tires?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Best "Bullet Proof" commuting tires?

Old 03-11-12, 11:11 AM
  #1  
Doane
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Doane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: California
Posts: 227

Bikes: Specialized Sirrus with fenders, rack

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Best "Bullet Proof" commuting tires?

Just curious if there have been any reviews of how effectively different tire brands can actually hold up against punctures, cuts, etc. Or opinions from those familiar with different tires?

I have a fairly short commute back and forth to work of less then 10 miles.. all down hill in the mornings, all up hill in the evenings and they are sometimes wet. Mostly asphalt on the roads while the town streets are cement with lots of patched cracks and joints for off the seat jolts. The asphalt shoulder riding area has a lot of stones, glass, nails, and other debris that so far have not given me flats on three bikes, but I try to keep a sharp eye out for obstacles and am just wondering if there might be a better tire brand then what I have now.. weight isn't that big a consideration, but rolling resistance and traction are.
My current bike is a Specialized Sirrus Sport with 700x32c specialized "All condition" wire bead 60TPi with "Flak Jacket" protection tires that are fairly smooth. The tubes are listed as Standard Presta valve types. Also, what does the tire term, "60TPI" and "wire bead" refer to and what exactly is puncture protection (?) "flak jacket"?

Thanks,
Doane is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 11:38 AM
  #2  
Schwinnrider
Mirror slap survivor
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Sunny Florida
Posts: 1,297

Bikes: Gunnar Sport, Surly Pacer, Access MTB, Ibex Corrida, one day a Simple City

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've had really good results with the Panaracer Ruffy Tuffy, which Rivendell designed. I have had a flat since I've used them, and it's been about seven years and 8000 miles on two sets. Of course, I do use tire liners.
Schwinnrider is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 11:38 AM
  #3  
runner pat
Senior Member
 
runner pat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Turlock, Ca
Posts: 236

Bikes: Greenspeed Hand Magnum

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 6 Posts
I use Continental Gatorskins on the handcycle. However, that's partly due to the limited selection of tires in the 650c size. (not dissatisfied but would like to try other tires) They have turned away everything but goatheads and wear very well.
runner pat is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 12:01 PM
  #4  
LeeG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,958
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by Doane View Post
I have a fairly short commute back and forth to work of less then 10 miles.. all down hill in the mornings, all up hill in the evenings and they are sometimes wet. Mostly asphalt on the roads while the town streets are cement with lots of patched cracks and joints for off the seat jolts. The asphalt shoulder riding area has a lot of stones, glass, nails, and other debris that so far have not given me flats on three bikes, but I try to keep a sharp eye out for obstacles and am just wondering if there might be a better tire brand then what I have now.. weight isn't that big a consideration, but rolling resistance and traction are.
My current bike is a Specialized Sirrus Sport with 700x32c specialized "All condition" wire bead 60TPi with "Flak Jacket" protection tires that are fairly smooth. The tubes are listed as Standard Presta valve types. Also, what does the tire term, "60TPI" and "wire bead" refer to and what exactly is puncture protection (?) "flak jacket"?
60 Threads per inch (TPI) in the casing. If you have a light tire it usually has a high tpi and little rubber, rides supple, good grip and doesn't last long. Cheap tires tend to have low TPI, thick sidewalls and heavy riding. But you can have a tire advertised as 60tpi but it's light casing with multiple layers, and other materials so it can be very durable. It's really not a useful designation for determining quality of tire.

"wire bead" is a bead made out of steel wire, the bead is what seats against the rim and the casing wraps onto. Without the bead the tire would expand with the tube and simply blow off the rim. Steel is heavier and cheaper than Kevlar. Kevlar is a light fabric that can be made into a light cord and allow the tire to weigh less and be more easily folded. For a commuter tire you won't notice the slight increase in weight.

"flak jacket" is Specialized marketing term for their tires with extra sidewall and tread puncture resistance.

Low rolling resistance and high traction is usually contrary to high durability and puncture resistance. So it's a compromise. There are a lot of tires that ride nicer than FlakJacket tires but they either cost more or aren't as durable. For the same price you get different.

Schwalbe Marathon Supreme is a good and expensive choice.
LeeG is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 12:38 PM
  #5  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,322 Times in 832 Posts
Higher rolling resistance, but there are Urethane foam tires, captive air..
that are dang near bulletproof , at least small caliber..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 12:41 PM
  #6  
Telly
What, me worry?
 
Telly's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 1,226

Bikes: Corratec / Jamis

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
After putting on more than 1000km without one single flat tire (minus accidental damage done to a Presta valve), I'd suggest my combination of Michelin Pilot tires with Protek Plus and Joe's No Flat tubes along with the best quality rim tape you can get. A bit heavier than your normal combination, but the tires keep their pressure a-lot longer. On the downside, the Joe's No Flat tubes need changing every two years and if you don't use your bike often, make sure that the valve is above the 9 and 3 o'clock position so the foam/jell won't clog it.
Telly is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 02:11 PM
  #7  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 25,338

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r

Mentioned: 105 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3875 Post(s)
Liked 1,061 Times in 742 Posts
here's my plug for 700x28 specialized armadillo all-condition (the slick ones)
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 05:27 PM
  #8  
Zorba
"The Veiled Male"
 
Zorba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Merritt Island, Fl
Posts: 223

Bikes: Biria

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I ride what seems to be the worst road on the planet. Lots of alligatoring, potholes, broken glass, and JUNK of all sorts. There are several junkyards on this road and all kinds of things fall off of trucks going in and out. Onetime I saw a tailgate from a Chevy pickup fall off of a large flatbed truck loaded with junk cars - the tailgate slid along the roadside for about 75 feet, if I had been on that side of the road...

But I digress. I tried several types of increasingly bomb-proof tires, including Specialized Armadillos and Continental Gatorskins. I continued to have flats on a regular basis, even with slime tubes - and the Armadillos also started throwing tread like truck tires do. I'm now running Schwalbe Marathons. Thus far, with emphasis on THUS FAR, no flats or problems. We'll see - solid tires are going to be next if these don't work out.
Zorba is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 05:34 PM
  #9  
AdamDZ
Bike addict, dreamer
 
AdamDZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Queens, New York
Posts: 5,165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
For narrow 700c tires I could swear by Maxxis ReFuse. Those things were literally falling apart after couple of years of abuse and yet refused to be punctured. For everything else, I like Schwalbe Marathon series. I had one flat in almost two years of commuting on mid-range 26" Marathon tires.
AdamDZ is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 05:56 PM
  #10  
rekmeyata
Senior Member
 
rekmeyata's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 8,516
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 679 Post(s)
Liked 55 Times in 49 Posts
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
here's my plug for 700x28 specialized armadillo all-condition (the slick ones)
I plus this. The Conti Gatorskin fails miserably against the Specialized Armadillo All Condition tire when it comes to both flat resistance and tire wear, not to mention cost. There are some other ones out there like the Schwalbe Marathon, Michelin Pilot, Continental Tour Guard and maybe some others but never tried any of those; I did tried the Ruffy Tuffy and wasn't impressed. I use to live in goathead country which meant at least one flat per ride and the only tire that prevented flats 99.9% of the time was the Armadillo. In fact in over 20,000 miles of riding with Armadillos I only had one flat and that was due to riding a tire down to the cords.

And in that pursuit of flatless life I tried Slime tubes...do not use these in road tires, once you air up past 65psi the goo just blows out even the smallest hole and your flat, plus their presta valves are very cheaply made. I also tried a Mr Tuffy strip and had goatheads penetrate that liner! With the Armadillo I was even able to throw out the liners, and use Specialized ultralight racing tubes.
rekmeyata is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 06:08 PM
  #11  
zonatandem
Senior Member
 
zonatandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 11,016

Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 16 Times in 9 Posts
Agree on the Maxxis Re-Fuse.
Run 700x25s on both tandem and single bikes.Tires are quite light (220 grams), 60TPI, 120 PSI, and Kevlar folding bead. Tire has an Aramid layer (generic name for Kevlar) to resist punctures.
In 2011 had ONE flat in 5,600 miles of riding.
zonatandem is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 06:19 PM
  #12  
CXT
Senior Member
 
CXT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 52
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I ride through a lot of manufacturing areas, so there is a lot of road debris like glass, small metal shavings, screws, nails, misc metal objects. I have had Specialized Fat Boy "Flak Jacket", Continental Gatorskins, and Armadillos and gotten flats with them all. It wasn’t until I started using tire liners that my frequency of flats went down.

When the Gatorskins wear down, I’m going to stick with a cheaper tire and just use liners.

Slime sucks, avoid that stuff. I tried Slime once and not only did it not plug the hole, it created a green mess when changing the tire, and clogged up the valve stem.

Last edited by CXT; 03-11-12 at 06:42 PM.
CXT is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 07:05 PM
  #13  
nashcommguy
nashcommguy
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: nashville, tn
Posts: 2,499

Bikes: Commuters: Fuji Delray road, Fuji Discovery mtb...Touring: Softride Traveler...Road: C-dale SR300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
This is an omnipresent and never-ending topic of discussion here on the Commuter sub of BF. That's not a bad thing either. Keeps us all on our toes.

One thing is for sure. There are about 6 brands that just about everyone will agree are superior in terms of flat resistance. Schwalbe Marathon Plus, Bontrager Hardcase, Vittoria Randonneurs, Continental Gatorskins, Specialized Armadillos and Michelin Pilots. There are others, I'm sure all w/different compounds/construction/tread to insure maximum miles/flat ratio.

That being said the only way to completely insure a flat-free commute is with....drum roll, please...Nu-Teck Airless. I used them for 3 years and wore the tread off them. While they were slower by 2-3mph they were totally worth it from my perspective. I became a much stronger cyclist and never had a single flat. The only reason I stopped using them was I tired of the 'grind' and got SMPs. Gave them to a racing friend of mine and he still uses them for training rides. He says they 'totally suck' and he hates them, but loves the fact that he's gone from a Cat 5 racer to a Cat 3 in the time he's used them and he never has to change a tube on a training ride.
nashcommguy is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 07:17 PM
  #14  
ThermionicScott 
working on my sandal tan
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 20,726

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers), All-City Space Horse (hers)

Mentioned: 93 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3023 Post(s)
Liked 1,066 Times in 729 Posts
Doane, it sounds like you're already in an enviable position, and don't need bombproof tires that will kill the experience of riding. So until you do start having a lot of flats, just use whatever tires put a smile on your face.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 07:33 PM
  #15  
Keith K
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 47

Bikes: Giant Seek1, Rocky Mountain Hammer 29er, Schwinn Varsity

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Been commuting on Schwalbe Marathon plus for over 5 years now. 2 flats in that time. One was a pinched tube. They also take a lot of miles before they wear out.
Keith K is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 08:08 PM
  #16  
frpax
Steel is real, baby!
 
frpax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 2,534

Bikes: 1984 Pinarello, 1986 Bianchi Portofino, 1988 Bianchi Trofeo, 1989 Specialized Allez, 1989 Specialized Hard Rock, 2001 Litespeed Tuscany

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
I commuted for about a year on some 700x25 Bontrager Hardcase tires. Never a flat, but not very grippy when wet.

I've been using some 700x35 Forte Metro K's for about a year now and have never had any punctures, and they seem to work well when wet.
frpax is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 08:21 PM
  #17  
Scooby214
Saving gas on my commute
 
Scooby214's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 511
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I have two bikes fitted with Vittoria Randonneur Pro tires. My hybrid has 26x1.5" tires, while my main commuter has 700x32 tires. The main puncture test I've put them through is sand burr thorns, which they have successfully survived on multiple occasions without flatting. They have very low rolling resistance, and are relatively light for such durable tires.

I may put a set of 700x25 Randonneurs on my steel road bike when the Vittoria Rubino Pro III tires it has wear out. The Rubino III tires have flatted a couple of times due to sand burr thorns.
Scooby214 is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 09:20 PM
  #18  
Doane
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Doane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: California
Posts: 227

Bikes: Specialized Sirrus with fenders, rack

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
LeeG: Thanks for the explanation of the terms and thanks everyone for your input and will look forward to others comments.

I guess I was sort of worried about my Specialized tires because they hardly have any tread and look like they would be really vulnerable to sharp rocks, etc., but I did take the bike up to a local park where there are a lot of dirt bike riders.. very serious riders. Anyway, I managed to get up to the top of a ridge with a friend and coming down I had to go really slowly because I have no suspension and am definitely not a dirt bike, also the trails are hard dirt with very sharp gravel/rocks covering them and I was amazed that I managed to survive with no problems and no sign of damage to the tires at all. I obviously won't try it again though.
Doane is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 09:31 PM
  #19  
ThermionicScott 
working on my sandal tan
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 20,726

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers), All-City Space Horse (hers)

Mentioned: 93 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3023 Post(s)
Liked 1,066 Times in 729 Posts
Tread is (largely) overrated.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 03-11-12, 09:48 PM
  #20  
frpax
Steel is real, baby!
 
frpax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 2,534

Bikes: 1984 Pinarello, 1986 Bianchi Portofino, 1988 Bianchi Trofeo, 1989 Specialized Allez, 1989 Specialized Hard Rock, 2001 Litespeed Tuscany

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Tread is (largely) overrated.
+1

I raced on slicks for many years.
frpax is offline  
Old 03-12-12, 02:05 AM
  #21  
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,268

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 19 Posts
The basic Schwalbe Marathon will get you through pretty much anything but goat heads and one always has to factor in how much they want to sacrifice in the way of speed and ride to reduce the possibility of a flat tyre.

To date I have run a set of Schwalbe Hurricane 26 y 2.0 tyres well past the 12000 km mark with no flats , have run Schwalbe CX Compes beyond 10,000 km with no flats... both sets of tyres show little undue wear and they just keep going and going.
Sixty Fiver is offline  
Old 03-12-12, 06:42 AM
  #22  
jr59
Senior Member
 
jr59's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: the 904, Jax fl
Posts: 2,310
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 7 Posts
I use both SMPs and the Ribmo tires.

The ribmo rides a lot better and is very flat proof that wears very well.

I bought the SMPs because I could get them in 38's.

Both have worked well for me.
jr59 is offline  
Old 03-17-12, 12:10 PM
  #23  
Keith K
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 47

Bikes: Giant Seek1, Rocky Mountain Hammer 29er, Schwinn Varsity

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Tread is (largely) overrated.
Until you go over a painted curb that is wet.......
Keith K is offline  
Old 03-17-12, 12:57 PM
  #24  
stdlrf11
Living the Dream
 
stdlrf11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: DFW Metroplex
Posts: 449

Bikes: 2015 AWOL Frameset with custom drivetrain, 20?? Windsor Tourist, 2010 Specialized Secteur

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Tread doesn't help you there. Trust me. Knobby tires areas just as slippery as slicks in that situation.
stdlrf11 is offline  
Old 03-17-12, 07:47 PM
  #25  
Doane
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Doane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: California
Posts: 227

Bikes: Specialized Sirrus with fenders, rack

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Keith K View Post
Until you go over a painted curb that is wet.......
When I was a kid I had an old Schwinn, big tires, no gears... what do you call those? Anyway, I used to see if I could ride on the curb for a block without going into the gutter or into the park strip.. was lots of fun, but I don't remember ever running into slippery curbs. I can see how they might be slippery when they have several coats of paint on them and are water wet though.. I assume you mean wet with rain, not wet from being painted?
Doane is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.