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I love fat tires

Old 04-22-13, 01:17 AM
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bragi
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I love fat tires

What tires do you use for your everyday riding, for commuting, going to the store, or out socially on the bike? I'm not talking about long recreational, club-type rides, but more practical, nuts-and-bolts car-free/lite riding. Do you have a strong preference for a particular type of tire?

I ask this because I recently changed to fatter tires, and it was a bit of a revelation. My older tires were not skinny, 28 x 700 Schwalbe Marathon Plus, but they were still not very comfortable. They were jarring over rough pavement,very rigid, a bit slick on wet roads, and kind of scary on seams while riding on Portland cement. Now I have much fatter, somewhat softer 37 x 700 tires, and it's like I'm on a whole new bike.They may be a bit slower due to increased rolling resistance, but not enough for me to tell, and the ride is way cushier, broken pavement and seams are no longer an obstacle, and I have way better traction on wet roads. I can ride much faster downhill and on crappy roads, and dirt roads are almost as comfortable as paved ones now. I'm still averaging about 15-17 mph on flat roads, and I feel much more comfortable and confident. It's pretty nice to not have to be looking down at the road in front of me at all times...
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Old 04-22-13, 01:40 AM
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I read an article about fat tires being just as fast as high pressure tires (within reason). The fat low pressure tires absorbed many smaller bumps whereas the high pressure tires would bounce up and down over every little road imperfection thus slowing the ride. Comfort is really important in longer rides. If you're worn out or fatigued by a rough riding bicycle you won't want to ride as far as you would on a more comfortable machine. To me this is very true.
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Old 04-22-13, 04:25 AM
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I think the skinniest tires I have are 35mm on my "tour" bike. My city bike has 40's and my 3 speeds 1-3/8" (35-37mm). I have others that are even wider.

Another thing people overlook is that unless you are on the heavy side you don't have to fill the tires up to full pressure, quite often there is a pressure range on the side wall.

Aaron
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Old 04-22-13, 06:32 AM
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Haven't ridden on anything less than 32c in many moons....currently running WTB Slickasaurus 35c (I'm 240# and run 80psi rear/72psi front).
They're getting pretty squared off, so I plan on getting a bit fatter when I replace them.
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Old 04-22-13, 07:43 AM
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23c on road bike, 1.5'' on mtb commuter.
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Old 04-22-13, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by bragi
My older tires were not skinny, 28 x 700 Schwalbe Marathon Plus, but they were still not very comfortable. They were jarring over rough pavement,very rigid, a bit slick on wet roads, and kind of scary on seams while riding on Portland cement. Now I have much fatter, somewhat softer 37 x 700 tires, and it's like I'm on a whole new bike.
You should try an even "newer biking experience" of daily riding on 47 x 700 (47x622 mm) Marathons (not Marathon Plus). I've been doing that for the last 16 years both in Germany and U.S. on paved and unpaved roads. No on the road flats, comfortable ride, exceptional durability and long life.
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Old 04-22-13, 09:17 AM
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I mostly ride a mountain bike, so some of your fat tires seem skinny to me.

For dry weather, summer time street riding, I like a set of fat 2 inch semi-slick tires. These have knobs on the edges only, giving them a big contact patch that works fairly well on dry pavement, and is good for hard pack paths also. These also work great on gravel.

Weirdly, I have found that fatter tires--especially if they have knobs or a lot of tread--are dangerously slick on wet pavement or pavement with debris on it (like salt crystals or slippery leaves). In wet weather, I prefer skinnier tires like 1 inch slicks with higher psi ratings.
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Old 04-22-13, 03:36 PM
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I use 700x32mm touring tires for most of my riding.. During winter months I use 700x40mm studded tires or 700x30mm CX tires
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Old 04-22-13, 04:01 PM
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Yea man bigger is better when it comes to tires. The biggest racy tires I can find are the sublime 42mm Hetres and they are my favourite tire so far. Paselas are also very good, I don't like the Marathons I've tried, though it was only one pair. Too harsh for my liking, I'll trade durability for a cushier ride.
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Old 04-22-13, 04:48 PM
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At 6'1" 270lbs, I roll with Bontrager Satellite Elite Hardcase in 700x38c -- @80-90psi, I couldn't be happier! (no pinch-flats for me, eh?)
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Old 04-22-13, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody
I mostly ride a mountain bike, so some of your fat tires seem skinny to me.

For dry weather, summer time street riding, I like a set of fat 2 inch semi-slick tires. These have knobs on the edges only, giving them a big contact patch that works fairly well on dry pavement, and is good for hard pack paths also. These also work great on gravel.

Weirdly, I have found that fatter tires--especially if they have knobs or a lot of tread--are dangerously slick on wet pavement or pavement with debris on it (like salt crystals or slippery leaves). In wet weather, I prefer skinnier tires like 1 inch slicks with higher psi ratings.
Nothing weird about that. The downforce from your bike is "constant", the larger area that this is spread over, the less grip any one spot has. The smaller the area it is spread over, the more grip. It's why bicycles don't hydroplane on water and SUVs do.
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Old 04-22-13, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas
Nothing weird about that. The downforce from your bike is "constant", the larger area that this is spread over, the less grip any one spot has. The smaller the area it is spread over, the more grip. It's why bicycles don't hydroplane on water and SUVs do.
The area isn't the issue...the psi is.

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Old 04-22-13, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc
The area isn't the issue...the psi is.

Aaron
I don't know the scientific answer, but I have noticed that knobby bike tires on pavement tend to slip when cornering sharply and/or at high speeds.
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Old 04-22-13, 09:35 PM
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I run a 26 x 2.125 white wall on my "pickup truck" bike. It hauls trailers and gets groceries and such. I also keep tire pressures relatively low (edit to say that's 35 psi), which does increase rolling resistance no doubt but really gives it a posh ride. My line of thought is that I'm not going as far on this bike, so having a bit more rolling resistance just keeps me a bit fitter when I'm out on the road on my distance bike.

These tires do get pushed around in the snow however, they tend to ride up more then push snow out of the way. I don't push them hard in the rain.
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Old 04-22-13, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
You should try an even "newer biking experience" of daily riding on 47 x 700 (47x622 mm) Marathons (not Marathon Plus). I've been doing that for the last 16 years both in Germany and U.S. on paved and unpaved roads. No on the road flats, comfortable ride, exceptional durability and long life.
Are the "regular" Marathons very much less rigid than the Plus version? (And are they also a b*tch to get on the rims???) I'm not sure if it was the width of the tires or the rigidity, but after a longer ride over rougher roads, I felt pretty beat up. I didn't get as much flat protection as advertised, either, about 2-3 on-the-road flats per year. You're right about the durability, though; I had the Marathon Plus for a few years of 60-100 miles/week riding, and a couple of tours, and they still look almost new.
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Old 04-22-13, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by bragi
Are the "regular" Marathons very much less rigid than the Plus version? (And are they also a b*tch to get on the rims???) I'm not sure if it was the width of the tires or the rigidity, but after a longer ride over rougher roads, I felt pretty beat up. I didn't get as much flat protection as advertised, either, about 2-3 on-the-road flats per year. You're right about the durability, though; I had the Marathon Plus for a few years of 60-100 miles/week riding, and a couple of tours, and they still look almost new.
I've never used Marathon Plus, as I've always been happy with the regular Schwalbe Marathon tires. Never had any problem getting them on or off the rims. Didn't even know the Plus models existed when I was in Germany where Marathons are very popular, and never found a reason to pay the significantly higher price to try the Plus models upon returning to the U.S.
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Old 04-23-13, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody
I don't know the scientific answer, but I have noticed that knobby bike tires on pavement tend to slip when cornering sharply and/or at high speeds.
That is caused by friction loss, and basic physics

Race cars have wide sticky tires for a reason...

Aaron
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Old 04-23-13, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bragi
Are the "regular" Marathons very much less rigid than the Plus version? (And are they also a b*tch to get on the rims???) I'm not sure if it was the width of the tires or the rigidity, but after a longer ride over rougher roads, I felt pretty beat up..
You should run with a little less air. Try 80-85 pounds instead of the recommended 95 for the Pluses. I have a set of 32mm Marathon Pluses on my tourer and find them very comfortable.

I also have a set of 28mm Marathons on my other commuter. Yes... a smidge easier to mount. I've only had one flat in 2 1/2years. Also very comfortable.

But I wouldn't recommend either of them to anyone who was in a hurry to get somewhere.
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Old 04-23-13, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
I've never used Marathon Plus, as I've always been happy with the regular Schwalbe Marathon tires. Never had any problem getting them on or off the rims. Didn't even know the Plus models existed when I was in Germany where Marathons are very popular, and never found a reason to pay the significantly higher price to try the Plus models upon returning to the U.S.
I agree. The regular Marathons are reasonable enough.
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Old 04-24-13, 05:20 PM
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I run Marathons on a couple of bikes, Panaracer Col de la Vie on a couple more. I also have Michelin World Tour and Gotham City Kevlar belted, which IIRC were/are Performance Cycles house brand city tires. I got them on clearance sale for something like $5 a piece.

I prefer kevlar belts and reflective sidewalls when I can find them.

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Old 04-26-13, 02:15 PM
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I love my Schwalbe 26x 2.0 Marathon Duremes for all around commuting and touring. Over 8,000k on them and no flats or much sign of wear either. Much lighter and more responsive than my old XRs as well.

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Old 04-28-13, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody
I don't know the scientific answer, but I have noticed that knobby bike tires on pavement tend to slip when cornering sharply and/or at high speeds.
that's because knobbies mean LESS contact with the cement.. the knobs can't dig in to pavement like the dirt that they are designed for.

I love fat 26" slick tires... I've got some 42mm and they seem almost too skinny for me
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Old 04-28-13, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
I've never used Marathon Plus, as I've always been happy with the regular Schwalbe Marathon tires. Never had any problem getting them on or off the rims. Didn't even know the Plus models existed when I was in Germany where Marathons are very popular, and never found a reason to pay the significantly higher price to try the Plus models upon returning to the U.S.
Ive used the regular marathons as well and liked them. They were 26x 1.75 and I really liked the size but got several flats with them. By contrasts I have yet to get a flat with my Duremes but they only come in 2.0 I think they regular marathons would be fine for everyday commuting but I like something a bit more robust for touring. BTW, for whatever reason Korea seemed to be just about the cheapest place on the planet to buy Schwalbe anything. Next time I'm there I guess I should stock up!
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Old 04-29-13, 05:41 AM
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It's funny how 28+ is considered "fat", well i guess if race tires are about 18mm but 28-37 all look pretty skinny to the average person. As a Clyde I can't even imagine what a ride is like on anything smaller than 1.50''@80psi (especially in downtown) and this is with a suspension fork. Yes i'm bending my joints and lifting my butt off the bike and i can still be like "oooow ow ow ow ow" maybe i'm just sensitive?
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Old 04-29-13, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Astrozombie
It's funny how 28+ is considered "fat", well i guess if race tires are about 18mm but 28-37 all look pretty skinny to the average person. As a Clyde I can't even imagine what a ride is like on anything smaller than 1.50''@80psi (especially in downtown) and this is with a suspension fork. Yes i'm bending my joints and lifting my butt off the bike and i can still be like "oooow ow ow ow ow" maybe i'm just sensitive?
You might have a lousy saddle or bad fit. You might benefit from bike shorts. If you don't ride a lot, you might just need to HTFU.
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