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Tire size recomendation

Old 08-27-18, 02:15 AM
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Tire size recomendation

I'm sure this topic has been discussed on here, just wanting some experienced opinions on tire sizes for touring. I would most likely carry 30lb max on rear and not sure about front weights but thinking half that max., and I only weight 135lbs-140lbs. Wanting to know the pro and cons of say 35mm tires vs 42mm, or similar sizes. The tires I've been eyeing up are the Continental top contact 2, how would anyone compare these to the more commonly recommended Schwalbe marathons? Any info is useful! Thanks
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Old 08-27-18, 04:11 AM
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Other than weight there is no advantage in going to a narrower tire. Every upgrade I've made to wider tires has been a revelation. I currently use 37mm tires, simply because I can't fit wider tires on my bike with fenders, if 42mm would fit I'd go with 42mm.
Sorry can't help with the different brands, I don't think I've ever used either one.
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Old 08-27-18, 04:57 AM
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First of all, the 35c version of that Conti model is actually 37c. (IIRC. the Conti web site points that out.) I ride them all the time and unpaved roads, some of which are quite rough and hilly. And I weigh far more than you and carry more. If you will be sticking to roads, the 32c size would be fine.
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Old 08-27-18, 08:06 AM
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I weigh about the same as you, and over the years have toured and ridden loaded with 28 slicks, 35, 37, and 50mm tires.
My take on the diff widths is that a 35 (or 37) still rolls along fairly nicely, but has the advantage of the greater volume of air and consequent lower pressures that makes the ride more comfortable on rougher roads, and makes riding in looser gravel roads easier and more sure footed.
Another bonus factor is that with proper pressures (ie not too high) a larger tire like a 35/37 will have more "give" or "suspension effect" and will put less force into your spokes and wheels when going over rough stuff, so easier on your bike also, as well as you.

One thing I'd want to mention is given your weight, trying to keep your total load weight to about 40 or so will just make riding more enjoyable.
If you havent toured before, take that into consideration, as its easy to put too much stuff on the bike when starting out, especially if you havent done self propelled outdoor activities before.

also, if possible, having less than 30lbs on the rear and spreading the weight to front panniers also will most likely make your bike handle better, and be easier on your rear wheel, depending on the bike and wheelset.

what bike?

also, regular greenguard marathons are a good value tire that do not weigh as much as the "Plus" version, and can be had at a reasonable price, yet are a good solid tire that last a long time. Generallly they can be had for about 45 bucks here in Montreal (ish)
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Old 08-27-18, 08:29 AM
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I agree with the above about size. I have been trying to throw more gravel/dirt into my tours. Never felt the need for anything wider than 37c for the unpaved stuff and glad I didn't have anything larger for the paved miles.
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Old 08-27-18, 08:59 AM
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oh, and also going from the number of bikes you have, you have ridden a fair amount, so you probably have the experience of using diff tires--which gets to the topic of how its not just a given tire width that determines how a tire feels riding on it.
Some tires can be much heavier than others, and have much much stiffer sidewalls and carcass in general, so in comparison, will ride much harsher than other tires.
Im not familiar with those contis, but if you ever get into a good bike store in Victoria, feel diff tires by hand, bend the sidewall etc and see how diff they can be.
For example , the conti touring plus tire , that friends have had and I have taken off and put on thier bikes, are stupidly stiff tires, the sidewalls have little give, and this is reflected in how they ride. A long time ago I had some specialized nimbus something or other armoured tires, and lordy they were stiff to ride on, but really only appreciated that when I got some other 1.5in slicks that were more flexible, and the same bike suddenly became more comfortable at the same pressures.

how to quantify these factors reading stuff on the web?? Unlikely, but you can perhaps read up on tire tests , performance rolling tests if possible.
Personal accounts by people are still very personal, and not necessarily indicative of what you would feel or notice.

oh, look at tire weights, that generally shows up how stiff a tire is and how inflexible it may be. Some tires can weigh easily twice another tire , same width.
This is why I mentioned the "regular" greenguard marathon, less heavy than a marathon Plus, cheaper, but still a good balance of all things. Perhaps these contis are similar, but look up stuff to see, or at least try to get an idea of them.
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Old 08-27-18, 09:03 AM
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As big as your frame allows? Going to ride dirt or gravel?
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Old 08-27-18, 09:19 AM
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Panasonic has a similar puncture resistant tire half the cost of schwalbe ,

My local shop caters to the cost conscious..





....
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Old 08-27-18, 11:03 AM
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My touring bike is running 38s and they have been quite nice but I do wish I had the forethought to realize wider tires are way better when I got my touring bike built. However even with wider clearance I would probably stick with 38s most of the time unless I was doing so real offroad stuff then I would go 42s or bigger.
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Old 08-27-18, 11:40 AM
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I put the 37 Contis on my wife's bike, and I have another set for myself that'll go on something someday. They seem like nice enough tires, but I only rode her bike less than a mile, so no real opinion from me, other than always buy Conti to help my year end bonus

I've settled on the 35-37 as the sweet spot for myself. I currently have Clement USH in 35, they're everything I could ask for in both road and any realistic off road use I'll have a non-MTB bike on. It came with 40 MSOs, they were just a bit big for dirt road use (again, IMO), although wonderfully plush and comfortable.
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Old 08-27-18, 09:32 PM
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Just got back off a 35 day tour to the Arctic Circle and beyond. We had one guy blow thru 10 Continental Gatorskins in the first 10 days! He switched over too Schwalbe Marathon and never had another flat. 3 Years ago, a group of us road across Canada. One guy had 20+ flats before switching over to Marathon Tour Plus. I ran the Marathons all the way across Canada, and all the way up to the Arctic Sea- same set of tires, 6700 miles plus at least another 1200 or so training miles, and only one flat! That was on the last morning of the cross Canada trip. They are 700 x 35's, and still have plenty of life in them. I use the same tires on my mountain bike which never sees the mountains, but lots of hard packed trails and paved roads, and the same tires on my tandem. On the tandem, never a flat in 6 years and mountain bike never a flat in 10 years of use. Probably shouldn't say this, but it's true, I have only had ONE on the road flat in 30 years of riding. Disadvantage? Each tire weighs 2 pounds. Advantage? Likely no flats, great ride-albeit maybe slightly slower.
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Old 08-28-18, 02:25 PM
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Not sure if you mean he ruined 10 of them, or had ten flats. And the fellow who had 20 flats....in both of these cases, something was going on that is out of the usual. Like you, I have had very little flats touring over the 30 years or so, and in regular city commuting as well, and havent used Marathon Pluses. Have used regular Marathons a fair amount, Supremes, and then other tires going back years when tires werent as good as today.

I am sure that there are others with lots of riding experience who raise eyebrows at so many flats going on. Makes you wonder about all the factors--low pressures leading to pinch flats, bull in a china shop riding technique, not noticing glass and sharp stuff, riding into the side of sharp rocks or whatever, improper rim tape position...a whole slew of stuff it could be---again, comparing to my riding experience of not having such issues.
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Old 08-31-18, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
...

My local shop caters to the cost conscious..





....
i guess Bike Friday is off the menu, then...
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Old 08-31-18, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
I am sure that there are others with lots of riding experience who raise eyebrows at so many flats going on. Makes you wonder about all the factors
+1. 10 flats in 10 days screams some sort of outlier issue to me, and far more likely a user error than a tire issue (did he throughly inspect tires for debris or just toss in a new tube, for example?)
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Old 08-31-18, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra
i guess Bike Friday is off the menu, then...
Bike Friday ships factory direct, Globally ,
I bought a Used 'season' Tikit (i 9 IGH ) & a BTO Reject, Pocket Llama , disc, Rohloff..

saved a lot of money ..
I bought the Tikit from someone in So Cal.

BiFri shipped the pocket Llama,

[I'm only ~ 300 miles from the Eugene factory ]





...

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Old 09-01-18, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Panasonic has a similar puncture resistant tire half the cost of schwalbe ,

My local shop caters to the cost conscious..





....
If you are talking about the TourGard Plus, for me it is not as plush as a Schwalbe Marathon Plus even tho the cost is much cheaper. I have 2 Centurion Pro-tours, an 81 and 83, the 81 has Panaracer Tourgard plus tires a 42mm up front and a 37 in the back with thorn proof tubes. My 83 has Schwalbe Marathon Plus 37mm front and rear with thorn proof tubes. The Schwalbes are much nicer that the Panaracers.
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Old 09-01-18, 06:32 AM
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I smiled at the phrase above, "other than weight." I get the argument, but weight is a very important criterion to me in tire choice. It's the reason my Marathons are dry rotting in the garage while Gatorskins are getting used. (And it's why I use smaller tires than the norm, but I also tour very light, in the sub-15 pound load range.)

Marathons, at least in the 700x25 size, are very hard to install. A third hand or much practice is helpful.
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