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Alternative Stars of Touring Tires and their Virtues

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Alternative Stars of Touring Tires and their Virtues

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Old 09-10-18, 07:01 PM
  #26  
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I have Bontrager T2s on my Fuji (wheelset/tires came on another bike when that bike got new wheelset) and they seem to wear well despite my 'near Clyde' weight, and my rough pavement/pot-holed city commute.

I had gotten a set of Vittoria Randonneur IIs in 28mm for my Miyata, but they were dead-feeling and very heavy. Before I even rode 200 miles, I replaced them with Vittoria Rubino Pro Tech III 700x28. I LOVE those Rubino Pro Techs!!! Light, supple 150tpi... They have their flat-protection belt and are folding. BUT, as #cyccommute says, Vittoria seems to discontinue tires rapidly. Fortunately, I bought a spare set in 700x25 when I bought the 28s, so I'm good, but the latter size is not so good for touring. BUT even after around 15-1800 miles on the 28s, there is almost no perceivable wear.

I will say that ALL of the Vittorias I've had on my various bikes have been very 'fussy' to seat properly on the rim. Just a millimeter off here or there and they'll blow off the rim!

Both of my Univegas have Pasela PTs. The Viva Sport has 27x1-1/8 mounted on narrow Sun M13II rims while the touring-oriented Gran Tourismo has 27x1-1/4 on its stock wider wheels...
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Old 09-10-18, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by raria View Post
One latent item I prize a lot in a tour tire is the abilty to easily mount and easy to sit the bead with.

Nothing says, crapola, than sitting on the side of the road with flat tire and having to wrench it on only to find the bead doesn't sit properly.
I haven't found a tire so tight that bead doesn't fit OK, usually the problem is that tire is hard to remove w/o levers. I tote a Quik Stik which has rounded edges but there's still a chance of wrecking a tube that could be patched otherwise. I read that rim design can often be the cause of tires being hard to remove/mount though obviously tires vary a lot too; seems that better quality tires often fit tighter. With Conti Touring/Schwalbe Marathon Plus/Supreme I've been able to mount them on Sun Rhyno Lite rims w/o levers but IIRC I've generally had to use the Quik Stik to remove them.
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Old 09-10-18, 08:27 PM
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I've been running Vittoria Randonneur tires on my credit card touring bicycle, and like others mention above they are no longer available. An alternative I'm trying are Performance's Gotham St tires on my commuter bike - they are heavy, but puncture resistant and inexpensive. So far no problems. I might stop by their local store and pick one up to use on a short tour I've got planned over Thanksgiving; if that works I might start using them on both wheels. 700 x 32 tires

Continental City Tires - had a pair on my commuter and it wasn't the tread that wore out, but the sidewalls. They split and cracked something bad and I had to trash them. Never again.
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Old 09-11-18, 07:21 AM
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Please elaborate?

Can you elaborate on this idea that gumwall tires give a softer ride?

Originally Posted by d.james View Post
I'll second Panaracer Pasela's. I run 38mm gumwalls and was saddened when I couldn't replace them with the same after the South Dakota chipseal finally finished off the ones I had ridden from Seattle. The replacements are fine, but I miss the cushy ride of the gumwalls. I'll be putting them back on soon.
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Old 09-11-18, 09:48 AM
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It has been my experience the bigger the tire, the less PITA fitment becomes an issue. Can't say I've ever struggled on anything over 28mm. All my 32-40s ahve been relatively pain free.
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Old 09-11-18, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by raria View Post
Can you elaborate on this idea that gumwall tires give a softer ride?

The gumwalls are a lot more flexible than regular sidewalls so they absorb much of the road vibration that otherwise would get transferred to your bike and then you. IME the effect is magnified when you run larger sizes and can drop the pressure a bit to help out even more, but with mudguards my Trek is limited to 28 mm tires, and I still notice it, just not as pronounced as on the 38s my Bianchi has fitted.

If I can ever get hold of a low-trail threaded front fork for my old Trek, I'll finally finish its Rando transformation with larger tires.
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Old 09-11-18, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Vittoria has been making me angry lately. ("You won't like me when I'm angry.") I like their products but they keep changing them and/or discontinuing them. The Randonneur was an excellent tire several years ago and came in various widths, weights and thread counts. Not so much now. The Voyager Hyper was an excellent tire but they don't even make it now. Their wider tires that would work for touring have very low thread count (like 30 TPI) and are heavy. Very disappointing.
I'll second this. I ran their Voyager Hyper and whatever the predecessor was called in 38mm since 2012 and loved them. Where are they now? Well, it's ok by me actually since I just got a new bike and it "needs" 50mm tires so I have to move on anyway. But I didn't have to move on from Vittoria except that I no longer trust them to stick with a tire that I like!
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Old 09-11-18, 08:33 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
I wonder how long ago it was....
2005, 2008, 2011. Bitten enough times and recently enough that Iím not about to take another chance. No other tire on the same rims has ever blown off.
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Old 09-13-18, 09:48 AM
  #34  
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[QUOTE=hfbill;20563447]
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Anything by Continental? Nope. Continentals have failed me far too many times for me to consider their product anything but useless. They have literally left me standing by the side of the road after 4 blowouts in 26 miles. Never again!
I ran with Conti Top Contact II's for a while but I had flats from the steel cords popping out on the inside and puncturing the tube. I switched to Schwalbe Marathons and immediately noticed that they rolled so much better and, so far, I've had no flats.
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Old 09-13-18, 06:47 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
I wonder how long ago it was....
Probably nothing recent but who knows. I know I have a friend with some old Grand Prix tires from over 20 years ago that are still in excellent shape granted they are on a bike that doesn't see much riding anymore (80s Battalign) but he is not a small guy and crushed a lot of derailleurs. The tires are still nice, soft and supple. I think now they are starting to dry out little by little but overall not bad.
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Old 09-13-18, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by raria View Post
Can you elaborate on this idea that gumwall tires give a softer ride?
Typically vulcanizing a sidewall will make it stiffer and more rigid so having a natural cotton or poly or mix side wall will give you a nice and soft ride because it has more flex to it. Typically though the natural side walled tires are not as durable and certainly untreated stuff will wear down faster in the elements. A lot of cyclocrossers will treat their tires with vinegar or some sort of sealant so they have better protection from water and mud however it does stiffen things up a touch but not to the point of vulcanized tire. Not all gumwalls are going to have that smooth supple ride some are just rubber but in a gum color. The real supple rides come from tubulars, where the tire has been sewn up around the tube, or from an open tubular which is a clincher tire but made with similar casing to a tubular. Those of course are going to be that cotton or poly or in some cases be made from worms boiled alive. The open tubulars are typically difficult to mount as they come flat and must be shaped onto the rim, they don't call them "Challenge" for no reason!

Challenge FYI is a tire brand that makes open tubular tires (as well as regular sew ups/tubulars and vulcanized clinchers) and they are excellent tires and I have been using them for a bit but they are a pain in the butt to put on.
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Old 09-14-18, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Blood Colored?

It looks like one of the several tires with an inner absorption layer (Schwalbe Marathon Plus, etc).

However, somehow your outer tread slipped on that inner layer.

That is disappointing to see.
Yea, itís the polyethylene protection belt. Essentially, all the tires with a protective belt have Mr. Tuffys molded into the rubber. And it was indeed disappointing which, along with my other history with Continental, is why I donít use nor recommend Continental products.
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Old 09-14-18, 10:27 AM
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My current bike came equipped with Vittoria Evolution tires. I had never heard of them before but I found them to be a great compromise between riding smooth on the road with enough gaps in the tread to be surefooted on dirt or gravel. I also got a ton of use out of them, as they lasted for about 11,000km. If I hadn't been on tour in Mexico at the time I probably would've just kept riding them, but I didn't want to get stuck desperately needing to replace one in the middle of nowhere so I changed them out a tad before total tire death.

I wouldn't say they are especially flat resistant, but they did roll nicely. I think they're good tires if you need something wider that can go off road when necessary but you spend most of your time on pavement.

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Old 09-19-18, 07:51 PM
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I have a 2017 Disc Trucker that cam with 2" Continental Tour Ride tyres as stock. I'm not a big fan so I'm looking to swap them out sometime soon. They look bullet proof but as quite a light rider they're too heavy for me. I'm planning to try a Schwalbe Marathon of some description in 1.75" width so the bike is bit more fun to ride.
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