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Help in getting a new tire for my commute,r Kenda v Continental v Schwalbe

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Help in getting a new tire for my commute,r Kenda v Continental v Schwalbe

Old 02-08-13, 07:39 PM
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paulbi
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Help in getting a new tire for my commute,r Kenda v Continental v Schwalbe

I'm new to commuting, just started a month ago and have a question about tires.

I got the Diamondback Insight STI-8 (8 internal gear rear hub) and it has a "32h Equation R23 Doublewall" rim. It came with Kenda Kwick tires and they're working well but I'm looking to get something faster but don't want to sacrifice by getting flats all the time. I go 18 miles one way so really hoping to cut down the travel time. I'd like to go faster, but still not have to change any flats (only ahd one flat in the kenda after 500 miles and it was a real slow leak that still got me to work).

The Kenda Kwick's work great, so I'm leaning towards just buying them again when these are done but I'm really thinking about getting slicks. Are the kenda kwick considered slicks? Seems like no since they do have a little tread.

I'm specifically looking at the Continental Grand Prix GP 4000 S. I don't know if they'd fit though since they come in 23 and 25, and the kwick that came with the bike are 32. Seems like they should, but again, I've only been doing this a month so I have no idea.

I'm also thinking to just get what I've heard is a beast and gets no flats, the Schwalbe Marathon Plus. I'm sure that'd fit since it's only a 28, but I'm wondering would it be faster, slower or about the same as the kenda kwick? Would it last a lot of miles, or would I have to change it regularly?

Would I go any faster if I got the Continental? Would it last a long time (seen amazon reviews of them lasting 4000 miles) or get flats all the time? Only got one flat on the kenda after 500 miles and that was because I went right through some glass. Would the Scwalbe go slower? faster? same speed? Would it last longer or the same as the kenda/continental?

Thanks for any thoughts / insight.
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Old 02-09-13, 12:08 AM
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Marathon Pluses are HEAVY and SLOW, but unstoppable. I wouldn't recommend them unless you truly and utterly hate the idea of fixing a flat. If you're looking for a nice blend of speed, comfort, and puncture protection I'd recommend Marathon Supremes or Vittoria Randonneur Pros. They make them in 32s (the rando pros in 35mm actually measure out to be 32) too. Heard a lot of good things about Gatorskins as well.
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Old 02-09-13, 02:36 AM
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I put 962 miles on a set of Kenda Kwick Rollers 700x32 last year on my first bike, before I switched to studded winter tires. I only got one flat, and it was a pinch flat when I hit a weird angled rock going through a construction zone. My miles are pretty much all city street miles, with no shortage of glass, so the Kendas are certainly puncture-resistant.

The winter tires are hellaciously slower than the Kendas, but that goes with winter tires.

I just recently got a second bike, which came with Vittoria Adventure 700x32 tires with puncture protection (which oddly enough I can't find on the Vittoria website, but here they are). I haven't swapped tires from one bike to another, but they are somewhere in the same ballpark for speed I think. Bike #2 is faster for other reasons than the tires. I like the Vittoria's reflective sidewalls a lot, that is a nice safety feature.

The Kendas have been very good to me. My commute is shorter than yours, but it is nice not to have to worry about all the glass on the street when I ride on them. It is literally not even anything I look for anymore. 32 is a nice width for rolling over cracks and potholes, too.

Stick with the Kendas but keep considering the competition, too. The reflective sidewalls are a really nice feature that I like. I wish the Kendas had that. For a 700x32 city tire, it would seem like a pretty obvious design feature to include. Good luck, post any results as you go so we can learn, too.
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Old 02-09-13, 08:03 AM
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I personally prefer the Continental Travel Contact, 700x37. I have around 1000 hard miles on a set of these I through on in December. No flats, surprisingly smooth and fast, look great, and handle any conditions I have thrown at them so far.

For mostly street use, best compromise between light, fast, durable, puncture resistant is the Panaracer TServ, Urban Max, or RibMo's in 700x32's for commuting. I think we have had at least 6 of these in 700c size on our bikes in the past few years. Great tires, fast, reasonably lightweight, very few flats, etc....
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Old 02-09-13, 08:21 AM
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Would the Marathon Plus be all that much slower than my stock kenda kwicks? I feel like if I put a 28 on the front and a 32 on the back that I could be a little quicker or at least compensate for the extra weight (both front and back now are 32 kendas).
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Old 02-09-13, 08:22 AM
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My stock kendas don't have the reflective sidewall, but all the one's I'm finding on amazon do. I'm looking to get some with reflective sidewalls too because my trip home is always int he dark.
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Old 02-09-13, 09:11 AM
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I have about 800 miles on my GP 4000 S, and I have had one flat so far. I am sure you can find more flat resistant tires that the GP 4000 S, but I love them. I have the 25mm width, it would be hard to believe you could not get those on your rims. The pair I have do not have reflective sidewalls, but that might be an option. They are expensive, but I found them for less than $40 each shipped. I recommend this tire.

for reflective sides, I have lightweights for wheels, a bit pricy also but should last much longer than a set of tires. They are individual reflectors for your spokes. I also recommend them.

From your post so far looks like you are leaning toward a tough tire over a lighter tire, which I can understand. But if you are looking to go faster tires can go a long way toward helping there. And lighter is faster in general. Proper inflation is key also.
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Old 02-09-13, 09:59 AM
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I was looking at proper inflation too. Read up on what Sheldon Brown says about it, and the page he links to a Bike Quarterly article on it (here). I'm heavy (312 pounds, which is a large part of why I'm riding to work now) and doing the math about weight distribution (about 60% of me+bike is on the rear tire) I should put my rear tire at 120 psi and the front at about 74 psi. The max recommended on my 32 kenda kwicks is 85....

So according to the Bike quarterly I'm under-inflated if I stick with 85 on the back, but according to the recommended psi from the manufacturer I'm over-inflated if I go with 120 from the bike quarterly recommendation.

Sheldon mentions that bike manufacturers usually put the max pressure at half a blow out psi. Should I try 120? I have to imagine I'll get quicker going from the 85 to 120. That's a big jump though. While I want to be faster, my biggest concern is no flats. But being under-inflated causes pinch flats....

for reference on tire pressure from the bike quarterly:

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Old 02-09-13, 10:16 AM
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I have put more air in than the max PSI on a tire before, I have never had a tire blow out. Experiment with sneaking the pressure up. Start at 100 pounds, then if you feel an improvement after a few days go up to 110 pounds.

At a bike + body weight of 340 pounds, you don't want 25mm or narrower tires. Are these your tires?


If so, you can certainly find something that is more of a slick than these. You might also go a bit wider than 30mm, say 35's if your bike with take them. That way you can run a bit lower tire pressure but still have plenty of air to be firm. I have had good luck with these: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...86513__1586513
Certainly not flat proof, but the kevlar bead goes a long way toward slowing down road debris. I bet others could recommend more flat proof tires which are slicks.

I congratulate you on getting out and riding to loose weight. The best way to improve speed will be to just stick with it, and don't fret over tire selection all that much. You can loose a lot more bodyweight than you can tire weight.

Summary: Try increasing the pressure in the tires you have now, when you need new ones, or just want to try new ones, go for a bit wider and slicker, and keep riding as you will loose bodyweight which will make you faster. I am rooting for you!!!
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Old 02-09-13, 10:34 AM
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Puncture resistant features make a tire roll slower, due to their weight .. ,
but having to stop, half way to the job, in the morning to mend a puncture, replace tube ,
will be perhaps worth avoiding, as it will put you at a dead stop until, resolved.

there is a trade off.. you choose..
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Old 02-09-13, 10:35 AM
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I guess there are different kinds of kenda kwicks sorry. Mine are these, the Kenda Kwick Trax Commuter. They seem pretty void of knobbies, but I know there are some tires that have like no tread at all and are supposed to be quicker.

Like you mention part of me says just keep going and little by little I'll get faster as I drop the weight. I'm just looking for that magic tire that gives me an extra mile per hour or two to cut down the time I travel


Definitely going to try to increase pressure little by little, hadn't thought of that. I'll let you all know how it works. Thanks
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Old 02-09-13, 10:36 AM
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yeah, i'm leaning towards the never stopping to replace a tube, or at least minimizing it as much as possible. Thanks for the input
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Old 02-09-13, 11:02 AM
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From the amazon ad for your tires, "Numerous water sipes and channel dispersion groves for better grip in wet conditions". I am pretty sure the Sheldon Brown article notes that bike tires require no grooves for water channeling. There is not enough surface area to make a difference. Kenda makes good tires, and yours will likely last a long time.
Start with tire pressure, you may be surprised how much of a difference it can make.

Your original question was can a tire help you increase 1-2 mph in speed. When I road a mountain bike with knobby tires, and then switched to slicks, I did increase my speed by 2 mph easy. I am not sure changing from the Kendas to any other tire will do that for you. But tire inflation may.

One other thing worth checking is your wheels. I bought a new bike last year, and it rode like a dream. I noticed that after a month or so that it was no nearly as fast anymore, and I struggled to figure out why. I found that the cones on the front wheel had tightened up and were binding. Time your wheels off and spin the tire, it should feel very smooth. It it feels rough or gritty at all, you may have the same problem.
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Old 02-09-13, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by paulbi View Post
and doing the math about weight distribution (about 60% of me+bike is on the rear tire) I should put my rear tire at 120 psi and the front at about 74 psi. The max recommended on my 32 kenda kwicks is 85....
120 is going to make that tire hard as a rock. And with the max in the front and that alloy fork and frame,it's going to ride rough.

Couple things. First,you might want to ask this question over in the Clydesdale/Athena forum to see what folks your size are running. I would think you'd do better running wider tires than running the same size overinflated. I'd imagine you've got clearance for at least 35mm tires,if not 38's. These would carry the load better without having to be run at 100+ psi levels. I definitely wouldn't recommend going down to 25mm or narrower tires;not only will the ride quality suffer,but your libel to damage a rim.

As for what brand/model tires,Vittoria Randonneurs are pretty much the standard in urban tires. They have a range of sizes,they ride/handle well,and are very puncture resistant. Most also come with reflective sidewalls. Schwalbe Marathon Supremes are the sportbike radials of the commuter world,and very flat resistant,but are pricey.
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Old 02-09-13, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by paulbi View Post
I guess there are different kinds of kenda kwicks sorry. Mine are these, the Kenda Kwick Trax Commuter. They seem pretty void of knobbies, but I know there are some tires that have like no tread at all and are supposed to be quicker.

Like you mention part of me says just keep going and little by little I'll get faster as I drop the weight. I'm just looking for that magic tire that gives me an extra mile per hour or two to cut down the time I travel


Definitely going to try to increase pressure little by little, hadn't thought of that. I'll let you all know how it works. Thanks
The Kendas I have that I was talking about are these:
http://www.amazon.com/Kenda-Roller-C...+roller+700x32

It looks like yours have a little more tread going on, but not so much that it would be a major difference in speed. A bigger difference is probably the recommended pressure; mine are rated for 75-100 psi, and I run them right on 100. I'm 250 lbs.

I also like the idea of consulting the C&A Forum, they are good folks over there who have helped me with issues before. Good luck.
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Old 02-09-13, 09:00 PM
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I had been using Conti 42s on my Vaya and also the WTB All Terrain 700X37 and both are pretty good tires. I wanted something a little smaller and faster. A friend highly recommended the WTB 700X32 Slick. It isn't really a slick as it has some tread, but it looks like a fast and smooth tire. I put them on today and plan to test ride them tomorrow.
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Old 02-09-13, 09:06 PM
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Thanks for all the input. I found a sale on eBay for the Schwalbe Marathon Plus coming from England and looked up the weight limit Schwalbe has for them. I went with the 28's. They're supposed to hold me plus the bike plus 10 pounds of cargo (all I ever carry is lunch/change of clothes). I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 02-09-13, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
Schwalbe Marathon Supremes are the sportbike radials of the commuter world,and very flat resistant,but are pricey.
I don't carry pumps, tubes etc. since I got these.
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