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MrWasabi 04-22-21 05:27 AM

Looking at tires.
I've been doing some searching and reading on tires as I'm looking to make an upgrade. I'm not sure where my bike/riding style fits in so I'm posting here as I'm definitely some form of hybrid lol. My bike is a 2014 Fuji Traverse currently with Marathon Mondial 35c tires on it. I ride on 80% asphalt trails and some hard pack FL trails. I'd like to get out and explore even more off the pavement as I find new places to ride but don't see me doing more than some dry FL hardpack stuff. I need to stick with tubed for now as I'd rather not do a conversion. Should I go with good rolling gravel bike tires? Leaning towards the Specialized Pathfinder Sports but it looks like I'd have to go with a 38c which I believe will fit. I'm also eyeballing some GK SS+ tires in 35c. What are my other best options?

Thanks for any input.

freeranger 04-22-21 08:19 AM

I have a road bike and a, so don't have "multi-purpose" tires. But smooth rolling gravel bike tires sounds like they would be fine. Depending on the off-road riding, if wet or loose and dusty or sandy, might want a not so smooth center tread, something like WTB Riddlers. If hard packed dirt, like riding asphalt, but dirt, then a smoother center tread would be OK. Just be careful how smooth of a center tread you choose, depending on how "slippery" the off-road portion might be. Don't want the tires "washing out" from under you.

AU Tiger 04-22-21 09:38 AM

I run the tubeless version of the Specialized Pathfinder Pro, and I find them to be perfect for riding paved roads with a mix of gravel thrown in. I ran 35mm tires for several years, and recently bumped up to 38mm when I put the Pathfinders on. I cannot detect any penalty in speed or peppiness. I live in an area that has a lot of Amish & Mennonites, and the horse-and-buggies do a number on the back roads. The slightly wider tires help smooth out the ride a little. I will stick with that size for the foreseeable future. They're also very durable: I've got 3,957 miles on my current set, and it's about time to put new ones on. Anything over 3,000 is good in my book.

Another tire that's similar to the Pathfinder is the Hutchinson Override. It is available in 35mm and 38mm if you want to stick with 35mm. I think the 38mm is supposed to have something extra in it that makes it more puncture-resistant. Before putting the Pathfinders on, I ran a set of Override 35mm and got 4,000 miles. So in my experience, they're roughly equivalent tires. In fact, I couldn't find any Pathfinders and ordered a set of 38mm Overrides to put on when I take the Pathfinders off.

hokiefyd 04-22-21 01:52 PM

If you like the Marathons, then you might consider the Continental Ride Tour. They have a solid center rib which makes for a very smooth and quiet ride, but there is some tread on the sides for traction off the road (especially when cornering). What I like about them is it's not a raised "knobby" section -- it's just a tread pattern that blends well with the center rib. They don't self-steer like some of the 'semi slick' style of tires do. I have them in 54mm size on 27.5" wheels, but they make these tires in about every size imaginable. They run small (my 54s are actually about 48mm). The 42-622 size would probably measure out to about 37-38mm on your wheels. They also have a 37-622 size that would probably be closer to 34-35mm. They're relatively heavy and thick touring tires (like your Schwalbes), but they really roll smoothly and feel pretty nice on the road.

They will NOT feel like a traditional road/race tire. They're far heavier than that. On the flip side, however, they support some mixed-terrain riding (though preference towards surfaced terrain) and they should be pretty flat resistant. They're not tubeless tires and my pair mounted very easily on non-tubeless rims. (I don't ride tubeless, and usually prefer non-tubeless tires for easier mounting/dismounting.)

MrWasabi 04-22-21 04:07 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone,

I'm checking out the suggested tires. Also looking at some GK Slicks and Continental GP5000s. The biggest I can get the GP5000s is a 32c and I was hoping for a 35c+. Are either of these going to limit me too much off pavement? The Schwalbe X-One Speeds look good too and they have them (33c) on sale for $43 now. I'm running into being able to find the tires I want so availability is a factor in my decision too. If I'm changing from my Mondials, I'd like to go lighter and better rolling.

fishboat 04-23-21 05:58 AM

GK Slicks or SS (no plus). With FL hardpack I'd think you'd be fine offroad. If doing more offroad, I'd lean toward the SS.

I/we run GK Slicks on many of our bikes..on and off road.

Bikesmiths in Milwaukee typically have good's where I get them.

MrWasabi 04-23-21 06:17 AM

Thanks fishboat,

I just ordered the GK Slicks in 35c from Bikesmiths. They have a $5 off coupon which gave me a pair for $68 shipped. Those GP5000s sound nice and good rolling but I just don't feel comfortable with much under a 35c.

Anybody know what's different with the Plus version outside of being a bit tougher? I notice in 35c they are about 40g heavier per tire.

Now I need to get faster so I can catch up to my new tires. :)

Edit #3/Update: Ok, I screwed up and ordered tubeless tires. I thought tubeless compatible meant they could be used for tubed as well but after emailing Panaracer tech support, who got back to me in a timely fashion, about what tire pressure, I was told the 35c tires don't come in a tubed version and I made a mistake. I'm an idiot/semi-newb, I get it, so I'm punting and stashing my GK Slicks for my next bike and looking for Continental GP5000s in 32c now. They are out of stock everywhere but it looks like in a weekish some will be in. I don't want to attempt the tubeless conversion and after reading a bit, I think I'll be good with a 32c over a 35c.

Thanks again for the excellent input everyone.

subgrade 04-23-21 07:22 AM

As long you're not pushing the limits, any semi-slick type tire will do as long as you're at least halfway competent in bike handling.

MrWasabi 04-25-21 04:43 PM

Can anyone confirm the GravelKing Slicks in 35c won't work with tubes?

I'm assuming the Panaracer tech guy is correct but I've been reading that they may be able to go tubed?

I'm getting confused on the whole clincher/TLC/tubeless ready/compatible thing. My rims would need a conversion to go tubeless. The GK Slicks are on the way and I'd like to use them if I can. If not, I'm pretty sure I can go tubed with the Continental GP5000 tires in 32c.

Thanks for any help.

Edit: Panaracer got back to me and clarified that yes, I can use tubes. Excellent customer support btw. Confusion on my end with the terminology.

hokiefyd 04-26-21 06:21 AM

Yes, they'll work with tubes. I've had one occasion work with Panaracer's customer service department on a warranty issue and they were fantastic. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another pair of tires from them.

MrWasabi 04-26-21 12:23 PM

Yeah, I have been very impressed with their CS. They definitely have a loyal customer here. Can't wait to get my GK Slicks on soon.

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