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Upgrading for Touring gears and tires ???

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Upgrading for Touring gears and tires ???

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Old 09-01-16, 06:49 PM
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elizwlsn
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Upgrading for Touring gears and tires ???

I got an estimate today for all the work to get my Specialized Sirrus Comp turned into a full blown touring bike. This included a trekking bar, new fork because mine was carbon and I want a front rack, new 36 spoke wheels with 38 tires (widest I could go). I have 32 spokes now. Also am getting granny gears and a double kickstand.

I was happy with the estimate but the LBS is recommending PANARACER PASELA PROTITE tires and I had wanted Schwalbe Marathons. Does anyone have an opinion on the recommended tires? Or should I insist on the marathons.

I'm also wondering about the granny gears. My bike as is has 12 - 25 teeth and I think he said I couldn't get any lower than 27 or 32. I can't remember which. I wanted 36 teeth. Will the difference from 25 to 27 or 32 be worth the upgrade?
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Old 09-01-16, 07:39 PM
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From my experience you can go up to a 34 tooth cassette with a change to a mtn bike rear derailleur. Your present shifters would still work.


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Old 09-01-16, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by elizwlsn View Post
I'm also wondering about the granny gears. My bike as is has 12 - 25 teeth and I think he said I couldn't get any lower than 27 or 32. I can't remember which. I wanted 36 teeth. Will the difference from 25 to 27 or 32 be worth the upgrade?
Im surprised if your cassette is a 12-25. Thats really compact for that style bike.
Depending on your rear derailleur you could get the 32 on ther without issue, or get a 32 added with a new rear derailleur if your current one cant handle the cassette size.
A simple deore 9speed rear derailleur is $25-40 depending on where you buy it.

You will notice 25 to 32 change. Thats significant.
25 to 27 is really small.



As for tires- do what you want. Its your bike. The Panaracers thry suggest are good. The tires younwant have a lot of variations. Some are heavy, slow, and 'worse' than the Panaracers. Some are lighter, smooth rolling, and 'better'.
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Old 09-01-16, 08:59 PM
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On the tire issue I would go with the Schwalbes, not that the Panaracer is a bad tire but I just think it's a bit too light of a tire for serious long term touring, the Panaracer would be fine for light touring or if you get the Panaracer in a foldable as an emergency back up tire (stored in a pannier) should a Schwalbe go bad. The Schwalbe is a thoroughly tested and proven heavy duty touring tire, the Panaracer is a new tire and has not been thoroughly tested yet.

Gear wise if you're going touring where there will be grades to climb you'll need at least a 32 gear. You can get your bike to work with 36 gear but you'll need to buy a new derailleur with a long cage to it to handle the 36 gear, which then means you'll need a slightly longer chain too. But a good touring long cage derailleur like the Shimano XT is not real expensive...at least not online where they can be had for $60.
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Old 09-02-16, 09:40 AM
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Some people, Like the feel of light weight Tires on a tour, Just bring some spares ..

[ I brought a 3rd rather Heavy tire on my last long tour ,and Used It, when a sidewall burst. ]

Lightest is also Foldable.. Kevlar instead of a steel Bead wire.

Yea, a mix of MTB drivetrains is a common Touring Upgrade .

MY LBS, on a Popular touring Route, stocks Schwalbe and Continental + several other brands.
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Old 09-02-16, 11:26 AM
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I have used both Paselas and Marathons for touring. As others have said, it depends on what is important to you. Marathons have much better flat protection but you sacrifice in terms of weight and a ride quality. Currently, I have Schwalbes on and I really don't think about flats at all and the ride is slightly harsher but I can't say I really notice it much.
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Old 09-02-16, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
From my experience you can go up to a 34 tooth cassette with a change to a mtn bike rear derailleur. Your present shifters would still work.


That's what he's doing for me now. I'm so thrilled I'll have the 34 teeth. Should make a good difference from the 25. I'll love that for touring and even just day rides. It's hilly here in Virginia!
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Old 09-02-16, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Some people, Like the feel of light weight Tires on a tour, Just bring some spares ..

[ I brought a 3rd rather Heavy tire on my last long tour ,and Used It, when a sidewall burst. ]

Lightest is also Foldable.. Kevlar instead of a steel Bead wire.

Yea, a mix of MTB drivetrains is a common Touring Upgrade .

MY LBS, on a Popular touring Route, stocks Schwalbe and Continental + several other brands.
I guess then I'll probably get the Schwalbe on the bike because I'm really concerned with durability and maybe carry one of the other brand because it's foldable when/if I leave the country. The one problem with my existing bike is that it's 700c which isn't good in terms of getting it fixed internationally so carrying an extra tire then makes sense.

That is what's going to happen with the drivetrain. But I now at least I get the 34 teeth I wanted! I'm so happy.
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Old 09-02-16, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by elizwlsn View Post
I guess then I'll probably get the Schwalbe on the bike because I'm really concerned with durability and maybe carry one of the other brand because it's foldable when/if I leave the country. The one problem with my existing bike is that it's 700c which isn't good in terms of getting it fixed internationally so carrying an extra tire then makes sense.

That is what's going to happen with the drivetrain. But I now at least I get the 34 teeth I wanted! I'm so happy.
1- Just look into all the different offerings by Schwalbe. The entry ones are heavy and rigid. They may be near flatproof, but they feel like you are riding on sticky pavement. The higher end offerings are lighter and more supple, while still being good for flat prevention.
I had a pair of Schwalbe tires that I quickly put on a bike I sold on craigslist. They were the cheaper Marathon GG offering, i believe. Felt like plastic, very rigid, and very slow moving.
My wife has Schwalbe tires that are light, supple, and feel quick when riding. Shock- they werent the cheapies.

2- As for 700c tires internationally- just look into where you are riding first. 700c tires arent a rarity in heavily populated areas of developed nations. Perhaps the specific tire you want isnt available, but some 32c or whatever size should be readily available. Bring an extra tire if you are going out of the country, sure that makes sense. Bring a tire boot too though...weighs almost nothing.
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Old 09-02-16, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
1- Just look into all the different offerings by Schwalbe. The entry ones are heavy and rigid. They may be near flatproof, but they feel like you are riding on sticky pavement. The higher end offerings are lighter and more supple, while still being good for flat prevention.
I had a pair of Schwalbe tires that I quickly put on a bike I sold on craigslist. They were the cheaper Marathon GG offering, i believe. Felt like plastic, very rigid, and very slow moving.
My wife has Schwalbe tires that are light, supple, and feel quick when riding. Shock- they werent the cheapies.

2- As for 700c tires internationally- just look into where you are riding first. 700c tires arent a rarity in heavily populated areas of developed nations. Perhaps the specific tire you want isnt available, but some 32c or whatever size should be readily available. Bring an extra tire if you are going out of the country, sure that makes sense. Bring a tire boot too though...weighs almost nothing.
I'm REALLY glad you mentioned this because I thought the entry level ones were the only ones and that's what I would have gotten. I didn't realize there were higher end ones available. I will for sure want and get the better ones. Thanks!
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Old 09-02-16, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by elizwlsn View Post
I got an estimate today for all the work to get my Specialized Sirrus Comp turned into a full blown touring bike. This included a trekking bar, new fork because mine was carbon and I want a front rack, new 36 spoke wheels with 38 tires (widest I could go). I have 32 spokes now. Also am getting granny gears and a double kickstand.

I was happy with the estimate but the LBS is recommending PANARACER PASELA PROTITE tires and I had wanted Schwalbe Marathons. Does anyone have an opinion on the recommended tires? Or should I insist on the marathons.

I'm also wondering about the granny gears. My bike as is has 12 - 25 teeth and I think he said I couldn't get any lower than 27 or 32. I can't remember which. I wanted 36 teeth. Will the difference from 25 to 27 or 32 be worth the upgrade?
On a budget? no need to increase the front wheel from 32 spokes, just keep your current wheel.

Assuming your bike has a 10 speed or less cassette and Shimano RD, get a Shimano M592 RD and a 12-36 cassette. You will want to add a in-line cable adjuster if your bike does not have them already.
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Old 09-02-16, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
The entry ones are heavy and rigid. They may be near flatproof, but they feel like you are riding on sticky pavement.


Soooo true. Tire weight does make a huge difference. A screw up on my part left me using the wife's BSO front rim and tire for a few days until the proper tube arrived for my rim/tire combo. Those few days sold me on lightweight tires.

I have Schwalbe Marathon Racers on my commuter right now and they are doing fantastic in every way that I can think of to rate a tire.

I am right now in the start of a "frame-set up" build of a touring specific bike. I don't ride dirt. The Marathon Racer's bit of tread (nor the bit offered in past Supremes) get me faster down the hardpacked, gravel road from my driveway to pavement than a pure smooth tire (Nashbar City Slick) does. I just got a pair of Kojacks for the new bike. $75/pair w/shipping. Woo Hoo!!!.....it's about time for a brake on something.
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Old 09-02-16, 03:10 PM
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When you're touring you already have a load of say 75 pounds of gear on the bike, plus your own weight, and most tourer only travel an average of between 45 to 60 miles a day. As you can tell it isn't a race, getting faster tires won't matter much unless you plan on racing while touring. Even panniers on a bike will slow you down because they're not aerodynamic, so since you can't go fast anyways the heavier tires will not slow you down.

And also realize that most tourers with heavy loads run heavy tires, because the heavier tire can support the load of the tire better whereas a lighter tire will either wear out a lot faster or fail completely.

The Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire is one of the leading touring tires on the market,

The Best Tires For Bicycle Touring | TravellingTwo: Bicycle Touring Around The World
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Old 09-02-16, 03:38 PM
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It's not at all about faster, it's about a pair of tires that don't weight four pounds. Yeah, it's not a race bike its a touring, commuter.....(insert label here).......weight doesn't matter. That's how one gets "a load of say 75 pounds of gear on the bike"!!!

When I road raced motorcycles we said that it's easy to take a pound off a bike......just remove a gram from 454 places. A little off here, a little off there. I'm looking at a touring bike the same way---what doesn't go on doesn't add up.

I've had a pair of Marathon Supremes in the past with no troubles or complaints. It's just that I looked at the Schwalbe site and they have changed a bunch of old, almost standardized models (and complicated the Supreme line). Not wanting to decipher their changes with all else going on these days, I said "Screw It" and ordered the Kojaks. If they work, they work. If they don't, the Fuji MTB commuter will feel like a king wearing 'em.
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Old 09-02-16, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
When you're touring you already have a load of say 75 pounds of gear on the bike, plus your own weight, and most tourer only travel an average of between 45 to 60 miles a day. As you can tell it isn't a race, getting faster tires won't matter much unless you plan on racing while touring. Even panniers on a bike will slow you down because they're not aerodynamic, so since you can't go fast anyways the heavier tires will not slow you down.

And also realize that most tourers with heavy loads run heavy tires, because the heavier tire can support the load of the tire better whereas a lighter tire will either wear out a lot faster or fail completely.

The Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire is one of the leading touring tires on the market,

The Best Tires For Bicycle Touring | TravellingTwo: Bicycle Touring Around The World

errr, this is tough to accept.

That tire, in 35mm size, is 900g. Thats 31oz per tire.
A PAIR of Vittoria Randonneur Pro folding tires weighs 900g.

It isnt so much about getting faster as being unnecessarily heavy. It just isnt needed. You can have really really good flat protection while also having a tire that doesnt weigh almost 2 pounds.

2 extra pounds of rotational weight is significant. It adds up mile after mile and hour after hour.

Marathon Supreme- half the weight, but almost all the flat protection.

Your argument could basically be adopted to most everything. Well whats an extra 2 pounds on the wheelset?...we arent racing. Well whats an extra 2 pounds on the frame?...we arent racing. Well whats an extra 2 pounds on the racks?...we arent racing. Well whats an extra 2 pounds in each pannier...we arent racing.
Oh hell, i have 16 more pounds on the bike now.
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Old 09-02-16, 03:44 PM
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Counting cogs is hard.

If you are running 9sp cassettes friction works. 8 is better but I road S America from bottom to top on 9sp friction. Toss a bar-con or a thumbie on your handlebars and go.

As for gears, running medium fat slicks, off road, and with four bags 22x32 was my max. Anymore granny and walking was better. On tar 22x36 worked.

Edit: The only rear tire that ever survived a 6+week long tour was a marathon+ 1.75x26. Once back home and gear stripped wow did i notice how much of a boat anchor it was.

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Old 09-02-16, 04:21 PM
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Schwalbe Marathon Supremes....wife and I have the 26 X 1.6 version.

I have 4,000 miles on mine and she probably has 2-3,000. One flat total, a metal staple that would have done many tires in.

Schwalbe Marathon Plus are twice the weight of the Supreme in the 26" size.... 1.5" Plus is 870g, the 1.6" Supreme is 440g. In other words the plus tires are about 2 pounds heavier.

Don't know about other sizes, you can compare.

Reflective sidewall is a plus unless you want to go invisible.

I ride glass and trash all the time with this rubber.
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Old 09-02-16, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
A PAIR of Vittoria Randonneur Pro folding tires weighs 900g.
It seems that Vittoria has pulled a Schwalbe move.....a search on their site for "Randonneur Pro" results in a lead to "Randonneur Tech". 26X150 size listed at 1300g/pair.

As you wrote, everything adds up. Three Icerbreaker tees weigh what two Gildan DryBlend cotton/synth tees do. Bring one Icebreaker and win!! The list goes on and on as to the load you don't have to get up the next hill.

I do start with a handicap. When Cheryl died last year I swore to care for her critter......that leaves me with a 7lb faulty show dog and 6lb travel crate/her room to carry along. But, the 1.3lb Marmont bag evens out the score over the 5+lb bag they had for less than ten bucks at Wally World for the crate.

Wait.....maybe Wally wins!
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Old 09-02-16, 06:16 PM
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The Schwalbe Marathon, the plain old Marathon, is a good compromise between weight, durability, and rolling resistance.

I'm not sure where I saw the rolling resistance chart for Schwalbe tires, but the plain Jane Marathons rated very well in low rolling resistance.

Right now they are on sale at Chain Reacion Cycles for $20 with free shipping.
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Old 09-03-16, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
errr, this is tough to accept.

That tire, in 35mm size, is 900g. Thats 31oz per tire.
A PAIR of Vittoria Randonneur Pro folding tires weighs 900g.

It isnt so much about getting faster as being unnecessarily heavy. It just isnt needed. You can have really really good flat protection while also having a tire that doesnt weigh almost 2 pounds.

2 extra pounds of rotational weight is significant. It adds up mile after mile and hour after hour.

Marathon Supreme- half the weight, but almost all the flat protection.

Your argument could basically be adopted to most everything. Well whats an extra 2 pounds on the wheelset?...we arent racing. Well whats an extra 2 pounds on the frame?...we arent racing. Well whats an extra 2 pounds on the racks?...we arent racing. Well whats an extra 2 pounds in each pannier...we arent racing.
Oh hell, i have 16 more pounds on the bike now.
I understand the weight issue, but there's more to it than just weight, there is how many miles a tire will last when loaded, there is how well it will do against flats or destructive forces that can destroy a lesser tire, stuff you want to avoid out in the middle of nowhere or avoid frequency of such things. Sometimes you have to accept a bit of weight to get durability. Since you're so hung up on weight why not suggest they could go touring on racing wheels and save a lot of weight over touring wheels, so what if you break spokes just fix it or replace the wheel.

Here is the stat on the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme, a great tire by the way, but compare the graph to the Marathon Plus:

Marathon Supreme: Marathon Supreme HS 469 | Schwalbe North America
Marathon Plus: Marathon Plus HS 440 | Schwalbe North America

One could compromise a bit and never notice anything bad by putting a Marathon Supreme on the front and the Plus on the rear since most wear and most flats occur on the rear, and this way a person could save a bit of weight yet still have outstanding tire life and flat protection.

Another tire to consider is the Marathon Mondial double defense, has better durability and flat protection than the Supreme at only 20 or 40 grams more. Marathon Mondial HS 428 | Schwalbe North America

Some of this tire weight stuff could be avoided with smart planning, you put the best tire for touring on the rear like a Plus or Mondial, then put a lighter lesser weight tire like the Supreme on the front. Some tourers today aren't even carrying loads on the front just handlebar bags, a person like that could easily get away with a light tire like the Panaracer Pasela TG on the front and a Supreme on the rear. A lot of this tire business has to do with how much weight will you be carrying and where will the weight be carried. I do weekend touring and thus my weight load is low (and only on the rear except for a handlebar bag) compared to a multi month tourer would carry, so all I use is Panaracer Pasela TG's all around, then for add flat protection I installed a Panaracer FlatAway flat liner on the rear tire only but I did that because I didn't want to have to remove the panniers, loosen the fenders, and deal with the mechanicals while touring. As a side note the Pasela TG's are holding up wonderfully! No cuts, no flats, no noticeable wear after about 1800 miles on them...but I only carry about 30 pounds of gear and food.
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Old 09-03-16, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Since you're so hung up on weight why not suggest they could go touring on racing wheels and save a lot of weight over touring wheels, so what if you break spokes just fix it or replace the wheel.
Well thats about the first time ive been accused of being hung up on weight.
I am no weight weenie.
My bikes arent lightweight, i am no lightweight, and i dont rock UL gear.

I have simply found that rotational tire weight is amplified and weight difference on the wheels significantly changes the ease or difficulity in riding hills.
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Old 09-03-16, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Well thats about the first time ive been accused of being hung up on weight.
I am no weight weenie.
My bikes arent lightweight, i am no lightweight, and i dont rock UL gear.

I have simply found that rotational tire weight is amplified and weight difference on the wheels significantly changes the ease or difficulity in riding hills.
Right, so go with light weight racing wheels...fine maybe not racing wheels but a good 1400 gram a pair aero low spoke wheel should do the trick. And a set of lightweight tires like Continental 4000's should hold up ok, and use latex tubes to bring down the weight some more and decrease rolling resistance.
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Old 09-03-16, 08:40 AM
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With the amount of money you're spending to retrofit that bike to be a "touring" bike, you could just buy a bike already designed and built for touring.

Fuji Touring
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Old 09-03-16, 08:55 AM
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mstateglfr
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Right, so go with light weight racing wheels...fine maybe not racing wheels but a good 1400 gram a pair aero low spoke wheel should do the trick. And a set of lightweight tires like Continental 4000's should hold up ok, and use latex tubes to bring down the weight some more and decrease rolling resistance.
Like so much in this forum, the discussion has gone to an extreme and absurd place.

What to use when it comes to to components and gear for touring is always a comprimise. Be it a cost compromise, quality compromise, or weight compromise.
You are willing to compromise weight for better flat protection and tread life, and thats cool.

All i did was point out the reality that a tire which is 2x as heavy does not provide 2x the flat protecrion or 2x they tread life.

In no way have i suggested any of the over the top extremes you are sarcastically suggesting i adopt and going to that point of absurdity to dismiss my views is not helpful or necessary.

I continually advocate 36h rims and use them because i find it better to be safe than sorry and the slight weight difference, in my mind, is worth it.

When it comes to tires though, i think that there are great tires which weigh 40-50% less than the Marathons you use which will still provide excellent flat protection and tread life. Heck, one of em thats been discussed in this thread is a Marathon so its not like the model is bad in my mind.


Back to my original comment- there are multiple versions of the Marathon tire. There is a lighterweight model which is still very reliable in heavy duty use.
Thats all my point was.
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Old 09-03-16, 09:33 AM
  #25  
Timequake
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
All i did was point out the reality that a tire which is 2x as heavy does not provide 2x the flat protecrion or 2x they tread life.
I put 3,000 miles on a pair of Panaracer Paselas without a single flat. The tires still have probably 2,000 miles of life left on them, but they're for a 27" wheel and I'm currently riding a bike with 26" wheels. The tires were comfortable, light, supple, and very easy to ride. Oh, and they cost about $30 for the pair!
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