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Old 04-20-17, 06:51 AM
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rperkins146
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Tires

What width and type of tires do you ride on your touring bike?


The new touring bike came with bontrager aw1 32's, my road bike has aw3 28's. I am considering changing the 32's to something more efficient.
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Old 04-20-17, 07:03 AM
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I enjoy lighter, skinnier tires and higher pressures. I carry a light touring load, seldom over twenty pounds. I've never used anything wider than 28, and recently have been using 25mm Gatorskins.
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Old 04-20-17, 07:03 AM
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Loaded or unloaded? You can buy better riding tires, aren't those Hard Case or something? Most current opinion is that wider is better but in your situation, with new tires, I'd just ride them and try something different next time.
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Old 04-20-17, 07:15 AM
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Last year Schwalbe Marathon, 32/32. (5,000km no flats)
This year Schwalbe Marathon, 28/32. (1,500km no flats) and just starting on my tour. Second bike.

Hope this helps,

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Old 04-20-17, 07:39 AM
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When I am a long way from home, I don't want a flat so I have been touring on Schwalbe Marathon 420s in 35mm. They are pretty flat resistant but are on the heavy side and not as comfortable as a more pliable tire. I also have a pair of 35 mm Panaracer Paselas which aren't as flat resistant but are way more comfortable. I ordered Rhinodillo tire liners to use with the Panaracer for the added flat protection.
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Old 04-20-17, 07:45 AM
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I haven't toured yet. I plan on a few short tours this year (3-6 day) with the longer one having a midpoint at a friends house. so I doubt I'll have a real heavy load. I like the 28's on my road bike, so that is what I am considering. I know I'll give up some comfort, but I expect to gain in my mph average.
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Old 04-20-17, 07:48 AM
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1-1/4" (~32mm) Paselas, same as my everyday bike. Only one flat in two years on the two bikes. They handled everything that I would want to ride those bikes through without issue.

Conti Travel Contact on the 26" MTB wheel, they look good mounted and aired up, but have yet to go outside with them so I can't give any comment. Got decent reviews, though, or I wouldn't have chosen them.
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Old 04-20-17, 07:54 AM
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37c, but I have been incorporating more and more unpaved miles into my tours, some of which are quite rough. I would not go lower than 32c.
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Old 04-20-17, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
37c, but I have been incorporating more and more unpaved miles into my tours, some of which are quite rough. I would not go lower than 32c.
My real life experience would agree with this suggestion.

-Snuts-
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Old 04-20-17, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by rperkins146 View Post
....so I doubt I'll have a real heavy load. I like the 28's on my road bike, so that is what I am considering. I know I'll give up some comfort, but I expect to gain in my mph average.
you'll be touring on a tour bike, rather than a road bike.
not a huge load, but more than you carry on a road bike.
would make more sense to upsize the tires. 38's or 40's.

comfort on long days is bigly more important than speed.
and you will find that those skinny tires will be more
prone to flats, and will greatly restrict your options.

Last edited by saddlesores; 04-20-17 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 04-20-17, 08:24 AM
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I'm currently using 38c. If my bike could take larger I'd certainly upgrade to a larger tire.
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Old 04-20-17, 08:34 AM
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40mm and you can go anywhere. if you like to tour with tarmac and cars 30mm will be fine ;())
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Old 04-20-17, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rperkins146 View Post
I haven't toured yet. I plan on a few short tours this year (3-6 day) with the longer one having a midpoint at a friends house. so I doubt I'll have a real heavy load. I like the 28's on my road bike, so that is what I am considering. I know I'll give up some comfort, but I expect to gain in my mph average.
Clearly everyone is different, as evidenced by the responses. Ill just toss out as food for thought that a quality 35mm tire will not be measurably slower on pavement than a 32 or 28mm tire. A 35mm tire will give more comfort when contacting cracks and rough road due to air volume.

Vittoria Voyager Hyper Folding Tyre | Planet X These 35mm tires are $52 delivered to your door. They are sometimes even cheaper in price. Google the rolling resistance of the tire- its a quality 120TPI folding tire and performs well for rolling resistance. Vittoria Voyager Hyper Rolling Resistance Review
They cost $40-50 per tire domestically.


The AW1 tire is a 60TPI wire bead weighing 475g in 32mm.
The Hyper tire is a 120TPI folding bead weighing 395 in 35mm.

Lighter, more supple, and larger? No downside.
You would save 5.5oz of rotation weight and have more air volume for comfort.


As for 35s vs your current road bike 28mm tires, the 28s are 200g lighter. At the same time, you will need them to be pumped up a lot more which creates a harsher ride and can slow you down due to deflection instead of rolling over road imperfections.

Last edited by mstateglfr; 04-20-17 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 04-20-17, 10:01 AM
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Schwalbe Big Bens 55-559 (26x2.15). Rolls very well on or off-road.
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Old 04-20-17, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Clearly everyone is different, as evidenced by the responses. Ill just toss out as food for thought that a quality 35mm tire will not be measurably slower on pavement than a 32 or 28mm tire. A 35mm tire will give more comfort when contacting cracks and rough road due to air volume.

Vittoria Voyager Hyper Folding Tyre | Planet X These 35mm tires are $52 delivered to your door. They are sometimes even cheaper in price. Google the rolling resistance of the tire- its a quality 120TPI folding tire and performs well for rolling resistance. Vittoria Voyager Hyper Rolling Resistance Review
They cost $40-50 per tire domestically.


The AW1 tire is a 60TPI wire bead weighing 475g in 32mm.
The Hyper tire is a 120TPI folding bead weighing 395 in 35mm.

Lighter, more supple, and larger? No downside.
You would save 5.5oz of rotation weight and have more air volume for comfort.


As for 35s vs your current road bike 28mm tires, the 28s are 200g lighter. At the same time, you will need them to be pumped up a lot more which creates a harsher ride and can slow you down due to deflection instead of rolling over road imperfections.


This makes sense. I am considering it. They appear to be on sale right now as well, I just don't want to make an impulse buy like the younger me always did.
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Old 04-20-17, 10:52 AM
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I find it interesting that while the trend in pro racing, is to opt for wider tires, some touring folks opt for narrower tires.
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Old 04-20-17, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by rperkins146 View Post
This makes sense. I am considering it. They appear to be on sale right now as well, I just don't want to make an impulse buy like the younger me always did.
They were down to $13-14 or so per tire earlier during the winter, so it doesnt seem like the will jump up too much in the coming weeks.
Totally understand the desire to keep from impulse buying.

Below are a couple links on the topic. Heine has been one of the leaders in wider tires over the last half decade or more. Admittedly, he has a vested interest in wider tires since his company sells wider road tires, but he also employs people with statistical backgrounds who are able to set up repeatable results testing.

https://janheine.wordpress.com/2013/...limeters-make/
https://janheine.wordpress.com/2014/...e-is-too-wide/
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Old 04-20-17, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
They were down to $13-14 or so per tire earlier during the winter, so it doesnt seem like the will jump up too much in the coming weeks.
Totally understand the desire to keep from impulse buying.

Below are a couple links on the topic. Heine has been one of the leaders in wider tires over the last half decade or more. Admittedly, he has a vested interest in wider tires since his company sells wider road tires, but he also employs people with statistical backgrounds who are able to set up repeatable results testing.

https://janheine.wordpress.com/2013/...limeters-make/
https://janheine.wordpress.com/2014/...e-is-too-wide/


do you ride these? I only ask because a part of me is concerned with the puncture rating. I ride AW3 on my road bike and have never had an issue. I only plan on the touring bike riding on paved surfaces.
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Old 04-20-17, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rperkins146 View Post
do you ride these? I only ask because a part of me is concerned with the puncture rating. I ride AW3 on my road bike and have never had an issue. I only plan on the touring bike riding on paved surfaces.
I have these and 2 other Vittoria models which are not nearly as nice- Randonneur Pro and Randonneur.
I havent gotten flats on the Hypers. Admittedly, I have used them for only 500 or so miles with 150mi of that on crushed stone which is certainly rougher on the tires than pavement.
I actually just ordered a 2nd set today when I saw your thread and thought about my bike with the basic level Randonneur tires which will survive in tact along with cockroaches after a nuke hits.

I have accepted an increased risk of flat for the benefits of larger light and supple tires. I cant put an exact number to the increased risk(apparently the review site I linked can!), but I dont think its a high increased risk. I will never be called a featherweight, but I try to pick smart lines to reduce the chance of flats. I havent had one in a couple years, so the next one I get ill just chalk it up to inevitability!
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Old 04-20-17, 01:37 PM
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60 mm tires on 35 mm wide rims. For a 29er steel mt bike. Lots of my "touring" involves, dirt, gravel, and singletrack of all kinds. Washed out class 6 NH roads, tough for a jeep to get down. They are geax tattoos. Sort of a smooth, kind of file/ inverse tread. Some call it bikepacking.
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Old 04-20-17, 02:25 PM
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We tour on our tandem, 286 lb. team + 44 lbs. gear. We run 28mm tires. I suggest that whatever type and width you decide on, that you look for a tire which has some sort of bead-to-bead flat protection. Touring, one sometimes encounters some nasty bits of road and sidewall protection can be very nice. Doesn't have to mean a heavy tire. We're running Vittoria Rubino Pro Tech 28mm tires for winter and touring use. Try Amazon, as they're out of production. Very reliable tire and fast enough.
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Old 04-20-17, 04:31 PM
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FWIW -- I've compiled a chart using data available at bikerollingresistance.com, on touring tires. It displays rolling resistance measured in Watts at 60psi, puncture resistance and tire weight on a bubble chart and may help understand the tradeoffs involved in tire selection.

Looks like if your priority is puncture resistance, you may want to go with Schwalbe's Marathon +, if you want to minimize weight, you'll go for the Vittoria Voyager Hyper (not possible to fit the name inside the bubble), and if you want to minimize rolling resistance then you'll go for Schwalbe's Almotion.

We've settled on the Supreme as we tend to tour on paved roads/groomed bike paths such that puncture resistance is not top priority. Not clear to me how the weight penalty of the Almotion (610 vs 440g) translates into net speed (the Supreme doesn't roll as well, but is considerably lighter.


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Old 04-20-17, 05:42 PM
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Personally I'd only use 28's on predominately smooth road when touring. If you end your 3-6 day tours thinking...I can't believe people tour for months --> then you need fatter tires. I'd keep the 32's.

BTW: You do want touring grade, as mentioned by others.
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Old 04-21-17, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
FWIW -- I've compiled a chart using data available at bikerollingresistance.com, on touring tires. It displays rolling resistance measured in Watts at 60psi, puncture resistance and tire weight on a bubble chart and may help understand the tradeoffs involved in tire selection.

Looks like if your priority is puncture resistance, you may want to go with Schwalbe's Marathon +, if you want to minimize weight, you'll go for the Vittoria Voyager Hyper (not possible to fit the name inside the bubble), and if you want to minimize rolling resistance then you'll go for Schwalbe's Almotion.

We've settled on the Supreme as we tend to tour on paved roads/groomed bike paths such that puncture resistance is not top priority. Not clear to me how the weight penalty of the Almotion (610 vs 440g) translates into net speed (the Supreme doesn't roll as well, but is considerably lighter.


I love this chart, very helpful. Thank you for the time you put into this.
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Old 04-21-17, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by rperkins146 View Post
Thank you for the time you put into this.
np. Useful to me, too. As I had noted, I had settled on the Marathon Supreme. I will most likely replace with the Almotion when the Supremes wear out -- reading on the impact of tire weight I discovered that I was mistaken thinking that it is critical. A pound on a tire is roughly the equivalent of a pound on a frame, except when you accelerate, where is counts double. Since touring, unlike road racing, is done at a regular pace, there is no reason to obsess over a few grams.

Running numbers through a bike calculator suggest that riding on a pair of Almotion is more efficient overall. Differences are not earth shattering, but things add up. Improved rolling resistance will save 4 minutes over 100kms compared to a pair of Supreme, and 40 minutes compared to a pair of Randonneur.

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