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Availability of 700C tires in Argentina

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Availability of 700C tires in Argentina

Old 03-20-20, 04:20 PM
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kroozer
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Availability of 700C tires in Argentina

I'm planning a tour in northern Argentina and want to take my road tourer with 700x38 wheels. Could anyone comment on the availability of 700C tires (especially the fatter ones)? Thanks.
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Old 03-21-20, 02:54 PM
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Short answer: if you are able my suggestion would be to bring a spare tire, perhaps a fold-able version - particularly if you are looking for a more durable tire such as a schwalbe tire.

Longer explanation: In 2017, I cycled through Argentina as part of a trip across the Americas. At that point I was on a MTB with 26" tires and didn't specifically look for 700c. However, I did spend some of my rest day in Salta doing a quick survey of some of the bike shops near central parts of town - Salta rest day - A bicycle ride across the Americas I wasn't able to find the basic thing I was looking for (a mirror to attached to my glasses). The 26" size seemed to be more popular. I expect you would find some 700c tires in larger place like Salta or Cordoba but width might be harder to find and particularly in a more durable tire. Durable is useful here because there are quite a few thorns.

I did informally look for 26" Schwalbe Marathon+ or equivalent tires and didn't find them near centers of Mendoza or Salta - while I had seen them further north in Latin America. Not the only reason, but I made a short trip back to US from Mendoza and among the things I brought back with me were two Schwalbe fold-able tires.

In summary, in emergency case, I expect you'll find a 700c tires in one of the largest cities in the area. However, they seem to be less prevalent than what I saw in Mexico or Central America. The dry desert has a few thorns so puncture resistance is a useful attribute to have in northern Argentina.
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Old 03-21-20, 05:00 PM
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Experience from 2015

Start with new, high quality, extremely durable, flat resistant tires. Bring more patches than you can imagine using. Bring a boot or two. Bring more spare tubes than you usually would.

In 2015, we biked across Argentina, from Mendoza to Buenos Aires. The west of Argentina was a great place to bicycle. Traffic was sparse and reasonably polite. Bike infrastructure ws developing rapidly. The big cities had decent bike infrastructure, when there had been none 8 years previously. The governor of San Luis province started a program that gave every secondary and university student a mountain bike. We met exactly two other bike tourists; people were curious about us, and very friendly. We were such an oddity that we were on local television 3 times.

However, good touring tires, whether 26 inch or 700c, were unavailable for love or money. Out of curiousity, we visited bike shops everywhere we went. There were parts for racing bikes, including narrow 700c tires, in the biggest cities, though because of high import duties, they were literally three times as expensive as they would be in the US. We looked for tires, because after 16 flats from goat heads (aka puncture vine) in 4 days, we decided we had brought the wrong tires*. Special orders were impossible, because they had to be preauthorized and licensed. One of the other cycle-tourists we met was sponsored by Schwalbe, and he couldn't get new tires; he had to get on a bus to Paraguay or Chile (I forget which) to get new tires. Every bike store, EVERY SINGLE BIKE STORE, had big displays of Slime Tire Sealant because of the goat heads.

Things may have changed since the election of neoliberal Mauricio Macri in late 2015. Part of his platform was reducing import restrictions.

*We've had summer-long tours on those tires, with only two flats each. They're good touring tires -- but not up to the conditions in Argentina.
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Old 03-23-20, 11:34 PM
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I agree with bringing a couple of spares and tubes. Folding tires do not take up much space and it gives you peace of mind. Unless something tragic happens, the tires should last long enough to complete your trip.
Just in case, you can have a couple spare tires ready to ship from home and in an emergency have it couriered to you in several days. If light weight is important to you, you can have a number of spare parts ready to ship.
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Old 03-24-20, 04:23 AM
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While I cannot speak from experience, 700c is an international production standard.

27" was generally only a US standard and is now obsolete for OEM the most part.

650B, 29 and 27 1/2 labeld tires might be a bit more difficult to find.

It would be hard to believe that any bicycle retailer would not stock or have access
to tires and tubes of that size. Even big box type stores.
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Old 03-24-20, 07:01 AM
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By the way, one thing if you aren't aware is the siesta hours between 1pm-5pm when many things are closed - I found this to be much more prevalent in north western bits of Argentina e.g. around Salta than in middle western e.g. Mendoza and not much at all in the south, e.g. Patagonia.

It took me a bit to figure out how to adjust my routine. Previously in Bolivia I had started early to finish in early afternoon. After that finding a place to stay, getting a shower and then getting food. In north western Argentina there were times I didn't find an open grocery until 5pm/6pm and an open restaurant until 7pm/8pm. Fortunately, that became less prevalent as I cycled further south.
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Old 03-24-20, 07:22 AM
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Why not look at websites of Argentine bike shops to get an idea of what's available in the country? Here's a tire page from one online shop in Argentina:

https://www.estacionbike.com.ar/repuestos/cubiertas/

Another idea is to send your question to someone in a larger town in northern Argentina who's a member of warmshowers, assuming you're a member and can access the website.
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