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Looking for tire upgrade suggestions.

Old 09-01-18, 09:24 PM
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Looking for tire upgrade suggestions.

I don't ride my bike very often but foresee riding it a lot more in the future. The one thing about it that I never liked much was that the tires seemed to have more rolling resistance than I would've liked. I don't know much about tires and have never had to fix a flat out on the road. So I'd like suggestions on tires that would improve the rolling efficiency without sacrificing durability. The bike is a year 2000 Trek 520 touring bike and the tires are Continental Top Touring 2000, size of 700c x 32. On subsequent years, this model of bike came with Bontrager AW1 Hard Case tires, having a nice, slick contact patch up the middle and a pattern of scattered, oblique grooves on the sides. Currently I see an AW3 Hard Case Lite tire for sale that looks similar and comes in the right size. Would this be suitable? I'd like the capability of occasionally riding on gravel but don't foresee actually having to do that much. Thanks for reading.

Last edited by Nyah; 09-01-18 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 09-01-18, 09:40 PM
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Compass tires

Get the widest ones you can cram onto your bike.
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Old 09-01-18, 11:02 PM
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What wgscott said. Probably the 32mm (Stampede Pass) is as wide as you can fit. They're a bit pricey, but sooo worth it. Tires That advertise flat protection layers such as the Hard Case are going to have much higher rolling resistance than supple tires like Compass.
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Old 09-02-18, 09:18 AM
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Tire Wipers?

I noticed those tire wipers on the Compass website. I had no idea such a product existed. I've used my gloved hand with my nonfendered bike after rolling over glass to do the same thing. Anyone on BF use tire wipers? What's your perception? Are they worth it?
I did read this article which has me wondering if they're worth trying.

Last edited by mtnbud; 09-02-18 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 09-02-18, 10:10 AM
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I have been extremely satisfied with Schwalbe Marathon tires. (Just Marathon, not Marathon Plus, GT, or Supreme) For many years, I've toured on them, commuted on them (including partially on gravel), and used them for general road riding. Very durable and flat resistant, without feeling like there's excessive rolling resistance.

https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_t...s/marathon_420
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Old 09-02-18, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud
I noticed those tire wipers on the Compass website. I had no idea such a product existed. I've used my gloved hand with my nonfendered bike after rolling over glass to do the same thing. Anyone on BF use tire wipers? What's your perception? Are they worth it?
I did read this article which has me wondering if they're worth trying.
I used them for many years. I then quit using them about 20 years ago. I didn't notice any difference between the number of flats before or after.
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Old 09-02-18, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by axolotl
...without feeling like there's excessive rolling resistance.
I'd just like to point out that you can't "feel" rolling resistance. In fact many people equate hard riding skinny overinflated stiff tires with low rolling resistance when actual tests show that wide, less-inflated, supple soft-riding tires have the lowest rolling resistance.
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Old 09-02-18, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by davester
I'd just like to point out that you can't "feel" rolling resistance. In fact many people equate hard riding skinny overinflated stiff tires with low rolling resistance when actual tests show that wide, less-inflated, supple soft-riding tires have the lowest rolling resistance.
Do you have any links to those supposed tests?
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Old 09-02-18, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by davester
I'd just like to point out that you can't "feel" rolling resistance. In fact many people equate hard riding skinny overinflated stiff tires with low rolling resistance when actual tests show that wide, less-inflated, supple soft-riding tires have the lowest rolling resistance.
Are Axolotl and I are using the wrong terminology, then? On the Conti TopTouring 2000 (which I mentioned above), I can feel the tread pattern as it rolls. Therefore I have been looking to replace it with a slick tire.
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Old 09-02-18, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by axolotl
Do you have any links to those supposed tests?
The most comprehensive testing was published in a very long series of Bike Quarterly articles. You have to buy the magazine since the material is not available on the web though there is a summary here https://janheine.wordpress.com/2016/...ses-confirmed/ . However, there are lots of other articles on this all over the web. Here are a few:

https://www.velonews.com/where-the-r...ing-tires-fast

https://www.bespokecycling.com/blog/...res-are-better

Test: Are wider tyres really faster? 23mm vs 25mm vs 28mm | Cyclist
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Old 09-02-18, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyah
Are Axolotl and I are using the wrong terminology, then? On the Conti TopTouring 2000 (which I mentioned above), I can feel the tread pattern as it rolls. Therefore I have been looking to replace it with a slick tire.
If you can feel the vibration from the bike bouncing up and down over irregularities in the road surface or the tire tread then you are getting an indication that rolling resistance is high since a major contributor to rolling resistance is the energy lost to lifting your bike up and down over those irregularities. The more vibration, the higher the resistance. I suppose that this is a way to "feel" rolling resistance so my prior statement is not quite right. However, many people believe that the "lively" feel of that vibration means that rolling resistance is low when in fact the opposite is true. This is why until ten years ago we had the old wives' tale that skinny hard tires were faster.
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Old 09-02-18, 06:43 PM
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I've been thinking of going with the Schwalbe Kojak tire:
Web schwalbe DOT com/en/tour-reader/kojak DOT AtchTeeEmEl

(Sorry about the wacky URL. These forums don't allow people to include direct links until they've made ten posts, or something like that.)

The only unknown to me is whether or not the extra 3mm make it too wide for the Bontrager Fairlane rim that the Trek 520 of Y2K came with. If anyone knows whether or not this rim will accept this tire, that would be helpful to me.

Last edited by Nyah; 09-02-18 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 09-02-18, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud
I noticed those tire wipers on the Compass website. I had no idea such a product existed. I've used my gloved hand with my nonfendered bike after rolling over glass to do the same thing. Anyone on BF use tire wipers? What's your perception? Are they worth it?
I did read this article which has me wondering if they're worth trying.
I used to use them long ago. They wore out and I never replaced them. I still have the remnants of one and have, from time to time, thought of replacing the worn out wire but never have. Really no way to tell if they did any good or not. At this point, Iíd only consider on a fendered bike I couldnít wipe with my glove or on the rear tire on a tandem. Are they worth it? Not $18 worth in my view. Iíve come to believe that high thread count is the best defense for punctures.
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Old 09-02-18, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by davester
The most comprehensive testing was published in a very long series of Bike Quarterly articles. You have to buy the magazine since the material is not available on the web though there is a summary here https://janheine.wordpress.com/2016/...ses-confirmed/ . However, there are lots of other articles on this all over the web. Here are a few:

https://www.velonews.com/where-the-r...ing-tires-fast

https://www.bespokecycling.com/blog/road/why-wide-tyres-are-bet

Test: Are wider tyres really faster? 23mm vs 25mm vs 28mm | Cyclist

Thanks for the links, davester.

Don't forget, this is the Touring forum, so I would presume that most of us are already using wider tires that support a lower maximum pressure than the average wannabe racer. At least that's true for me.
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Old 09-03-18, 05:54 AM
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I agree there's a trade-off between tire expense and time spent on repairing flats. For more decades than I care to admit, I used the cheapest tires I could find for commuting. I got, on average, a dozen or two flats per year. About ten years ago, someone gave me a set of Continental Gatorskins, and the flats went down to two or three a year. I rode a 4400-mile XC tour on them with one flat. I love 'em for the safety and reliability.

I'm not saying everyone should be buying $50+ tires. Many of the flats were from tire-destroying road hazards, so there's some value in cheap tires. (It's hard for me to shrug off a torn sidewall on a new Gatorskin.) I got fast at repairing flats (five minutes for a front, seven for rear) and always left enough time in my commute for that, so that wasn't a huge issue. Cash-on-hand was often an issue when it came time to buy tires, several times a year at the miles I was riding.
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Old 09-03-18, 09:02 AM
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Tire wipers are really old things from the desire to not get a flat, riding Sew Ups,
which are not secure on the rim, when spare tire
replaces the ones that were firmly glued on.

safer than using your gloved hand, to do that.. wiping debris off the tire,
before it can work its way in.
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Old 09-04-18, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by axolotl
Do you have any links to those supposed tests?
Bike rolling resistance.

Fairly comprehensive. Schwalbe Almotion ranks best among touring tires (17.7W). Good but no match for the best road tires.
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Old 09-04-18, 10:30 AM
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Stopped by the side of the road, with a flat tire to mend,
really raises the rolling resistance to 100%..

so a tire with puncture resistant features, in the long run , is not that bad ..

This is Touring not racing we are talking about , after all ...




....
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Old 09-04-18, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Stopped by the side of the road, with a flat tire to mend,
really raises the rolling resistance to 100%..

so a tire with puncture resistant features, in the long run , is not that bad ...
Well stated!
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Old 09-04-18, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by gauvins
Thanks for the link. I like that the site groups tires by the type of bike or riding (e.g. Road, Mountain bike, Touring). In the touring category, Schwalbe Marathons are very highly ranked. The website concludes:

"I definitely recommend this tire. It's fast, has a high puncture resistance, more than enough tread and to make it even better, pricing is very decent as well. It will be very hard to beat this tire."

To the OP, the Schwalbe Kojak compares unfavorably to the Marathon on that website. The one Compass tire listed under "Touring" doesn't fare well, either.
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Old 09-04-18, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyah
I've been thinking of going with the Schwalbe Kojak tire:
Web schwalbe DOT com/en/tour-reader/kojak DOT AtchTeeEmEl

(Sorry about the wacky URL. These forums don't allow people to include direct links until they've made ten posts, or something like that.)

The only unknown to me is whether or not the extra 3mm make it too wide for the Bontrager Fairlane rim that the Trek 520 of Y2K came with. If anyone knows whether or not this rim will accept this tire, that would be helpful to me.
https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/TYVIVO...r-folding-tyre

$54 for 2 tires delivered to the US. These are very fast, very reliable, and very good quality. They are at a discount price because the tire was discontinued a couple years ago(i think that long).
This is the rolling resistance test- https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...ger-hyper-2016

...or you could pay 2x more for tires that at best perform as well as this Vittoria and likely perform worse.
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Old 09-04-18, 04:34 PM
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Even cheaper if you'll order something else as well (or simply more than 2 tires) because out of these $54 delivery takes $20 (and two tires *together* another $34).
Just wanted to add that these tires seem to run large: marked as ERTO 37x622 = 700x35c = 35mm, on my 23 mm internal width rims they actually measure 39 mm.
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Old 09-04-18, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyah
Are Axolotl and I are using the wrong terminology, then? On the Conti TopTouring 2000 (which I mentioned above), I can feel the tread pattern as it rolls. Therefore I have been looking to replace it with a slick tire.

I think you'll be happy with the ability of the puncture belts on Hard Case tires to prevent a flat. I have run several different HC tires. Some old ones with gray sidewalls and some blue and black racier ones. I am still running a set of 32s on my Tandem. The gray ones grip good. The blue and black ones are obnoxiously slick when wet. They don't have any grooves at all. They are complete slicks. One day I picked over a dozen pieces of assorted glass, metal and rocks out of my gray set. The inner belt stopped it all dead. The blue and black ones have a nasty gash through the outer rubber and again the belt prevented a flat. I have never flatted on either even with how readily the outer rubber seems to cut. Nor has a friend who runs them. Both of my sets roll very well. They run a bit small for their width. Were it not for how poor wet weather traction is on the blue and black set, I'd highly recommend them. Maybe the ones you are considering grip better.
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Old 09-05-18, 03:42 AM
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The Vittoria Hypers recommended above are fantastic tires. Iíve ridden thousands of miles commuting and touring on them, and even bought a back up pair for when I check planetx and they no longer have them. The Schwalbe is Slightly less rolling resistance, but noticeably heavier. I havenít ridden the Schwalbe and maybe itís great, but I know the Hypers ride wonderfully for a touring/commuting tire. Theyíre solidly the best Iíve tried in a 35mm or larger tire(as mentioned above, 35mm do seem larger than 35mm. I havenít measured them, but theyíre big). I wouldnít be surprised if a Compass rode even better, and plan to try them next, but need to research running them tubeless first. Iíve heard so many flat stories. But at the same time, every tire has that. If youíre a rider who doesnít tend to ride over stuff and get flats often, try out Compass. If you want some security, get the Vittoria Hyper. If you get flats often with those, stop plowing through piles of glass(or whatever causes the flats) or accept riding a heavy, stiff, high resistance tire. You canít go wrong with Hypers.

Last edited by 3speed; 09-05-18 at 03:48 AM.
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Old 09-05-18, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed
The Vittoria Hypers recommended above are fantastic tires. Iíve ridden thousands of miles commuting and touring on them, and even bought a back up pair for when I check planetx and they no longer have them...
Agreed. I ran Marathon Plusses for a while, because I believed, as some of the above have said, that anything I could do to avoid a road-side tire repair would be worth it. But one day I tried a Hyper/Randonneur/Randonneur Hyper (I feel like they change the same every year). It was a great feeling tire. I decided I'd willingly change more flats if riding those tires felt so much better. But really, I didn't have many more flats. A few, because as the casing wears out, you start to get flats, and then you change tires. Whereas on the Marathon Plus, the casing starts to wear out, and you start to find yourself looking at that protective core peaking out, and you change tires. These days I'm riding 26+, so no more Hypers for me, but if I went back to 700x40, that's what I would run.
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