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Any suggestion for lightweight but durable 650b tires

Old 03-27-21, 11:49 AM
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HGuthertz
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Any suggestion for lightweight but durable 650b tires

My new and much appreciated vintage Trek conversion is a 650b rig with many cool and nice-looking features. The bike rides like a dream, but I am concerned about the tires. I am currently riding Pacenti Peri-Moto 650b tires - 38 mm. These ride well but are paper thin.- 2 rides in the city and one flat already.

As this is a conversion, 38 mm is about the widest that I can go.

Any suggestions on a "narrowish" 650b tire that is more durable. I know that I will never get to the peace of mind of a Gatorskin or Schwalbe Marathon but would like to use something that has a bit more protection but doesn't turn the bike into a tank.

Any people with similar experiences out there?

Last edited by HGuthertz; 03-27-21 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 03-27-21, 01:29 PM
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walnutz
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Panaracer Gravelking slicks.
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Old 04-03-21, 09:30 AM
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Schwalbe Marathon Supreme. They are lableled as 1.6" (40mm) but are a little narrower: 35 to 38 mm if your rim is not too wide.
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Old 04-03-21, 06:40 PM
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Tubeless or tubed? Looks like Schwalbe has tubeless-approved versions of many of their tires now, but not all.

The Marathon Supremes test slightly less draggy (16.9W at BRR) than the fastest Gravel King (the slick TLCs @ 17.3W), and the Schwalbes rate MUCH higher for puncture resistance. FWIW they're marked 650x42 on their website but it's definitely worth researching how wide they come out in the real world as yeah, this can vary a lot from specs. And there could be a difference in clearance front & rear on the bike
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Old 04-03-21, 07:59 PM
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Thanks. I am running tubed. I will definitely have a look at the Schwalbe Supremes. I had a look at the Gravel Kings the other day and remain skeptical about the puncture protection. Hopefully, I can fit the Schwalbes on my rig. It's a very small old-school Trek from the early 1980s, so not much room. Will check it out.
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Old 04-04-21, 08:31 AM
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I wrote recently about a new set of 1.6in supremes measuring 36 37 (are marked as 42mm on casing etc), but another option is regular greenguard marathons at 35mm. I have these in 700 on my commuter, and they are a reasonably priced tire that works well, meaxure 35mm. Dont know if they or Supremes are available in 650 sizes.

how did you do 650 with the rim brakes, and why?
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Old 04-04-21, 07:02 PM
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Rim brakes

I am most definitely old school, so I prefer rim brakes. But I want them to work as well. Paul - company out of California makes excellent rim brakes and has a kit for older bikes as well. I specified that the builder who did my retrofit use those brakes. Perfect.

Thanks for the suggestion on the tires.
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Old 04-04-21, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by HGuthertz View Post
I am most definitely old school, so I prefer rim brakes. But I want them to work as well. Paul - company out of California makes excellent rim brakes and has a kit for older bikes as well. I specified that the builder who did my retrofit use those brakes. Perfect.

Thanks for the suggestion on the tires.
I ride rim brake bikes as well as a disc bike, so no issues with rim. I was meaning more if it was a problem with the pads meeting the rim properly. Years ago a friend put 700 wheels on an old 27 bike and the old cantis worked fine on the 700s.

why did you go the 650 route and not stick with 700?

re the Supremes, they are a wonderful tire with both great ride feel and in my experience, excellent flat protection. Pricey though.
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Old 04-04-21, 09:16 PM
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HGuthertz
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650b

The problem was getting wider tires into that little frame without having to stretch it. -Reynolds 531 throughout. The widest I could go was 700 x 28 and that involved letting air out of the tire to remove it.- so 700 x 25.

By going to 650b, I could get a 38 mm tire in there. I actually use these old bikes for fully loaded touring, so having a wider tire is a must when going over stretches of gravel or rough road.

So once I get sturdier tires and the weather warms up, I am off.
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Old 04-04-21, 09:20 PM
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Wow, that's a big jump in how wide you can go, and yes totally worth it.
I'm a huge fan of wider tires on rough and loose roads, I've toured a lot like this.
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Old 04-07-21, 02:08 AM
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Rene Herse Loup Loup Pass are 650x38. Though they don’t appear to offer this in their most durable Endurance casing, I’ve had good luck with the Standard casing in 650x48 format, in terms of puncture resistance in mostly urban riding (college town) and gravel road. I do run tubeless, though, so perhaps punctures seal without me realizing them. The ride quality is sweet, though.
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Old 04-07-21, 07:17 AM
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Doesn't look like Supremes are available in 650, looked quickly but appears not.
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Old 04-07-21, 11:30 AM
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Schwalbe's website (I linked it in post #4) seems to have them in stock. I didn't actually complete the purchase just to find out, but seems available to me?
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Old 04-07-21, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by fourfa View Post
Schwalbe's website (I linked it in post #4) seems to have them in stock. I didn't actually complete the purchase just to find out, but seems available to me?
yes certainly shows them. Not sure what I looked at this morning, could have sworn the page I saw didn't show them.
Good though, as it's another option for a nice riding tire that also happens to be pretty resilient.
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Old 04-11-21, 03:40 PM
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The 650b Supremes measure 38 mm on my Atlas rims. Unfortunately, the Supremes do not show up in the 2021 catalog, so remaining stock may be all there is. That is sad, because they fill a niche between heavy touring tires and light gravel and rando tires.

I am impressed with how slowly the high-end Schwalbes wear. I have over 900 miles on a pair of Supremes. The rear looks essentially new and the front still has mold flashing.

The regular Marathons are not bad tires. They roll well and are quite puncture resistant, but they are much heavier than the Supremes and wear more rapidly.

I was going to suggest Paselas, but they are 42 mm.
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Old 04-11-21, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Sluggo View Post
The 650b Supremes measure 38 mm on my Atlas rims. Unfortunately, the Supremes do not show up in the 2021 catalog, so remaining stock may be all there is. That is sad, because they fill a niche between heavy touring tires and light gravel and rando tires.

I am impressed with how slowly the high-end Schwalbes wear. I have over 900 miles on a pair of Supremes. The rear looks essentially new and the front still has mold flashing.

The regular Marathons are not bad tires. They roll well and are quite puncture resistant, but they are much heavier than the Supremes and wear more rapidly.

I was going to suggest Paselas, but they are 42 mm.
yes they are heavier, but they aren't horrible.
As for wear, I have a set of regular .1.5in marathons with close to 10,000 kms on them and they still look reasonable.
but I'm easy on tires, bikes, cars, you name it
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Old 04-12-21, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
yes they are heavier, but they aren't horrible.
As for wear, I have a set of regular .1.5in marathons with close to 10,000 kms on them and they still look reasonable.
but I'm easy on tires, bikes, cars, you name it
I agree - I like the regular Marathons for many applications. They are good tires and are more cost-effective than much of the competition.

For the OP's purposes, the current 650b regular Marathons are probably too wide - they are listed as 44 mm. In my experience, Schwalbes tend to run a little narrower than what the sidewall says, but probably not 6 mm narrower.

Your mileage will vary. I got only 2200 miles (3500 kms) on a rear Marathon before the belt started showing. It looks like there is a lot of tire left at that point, but the puncture-resistant belt is very thick - 3mm of rubber. By contrast, I have over 11,000 miles (18,000 kms) on a pair of Marathon Almotions and they are still kicking; this is about twice as many miles as any tire I have used in the past. The Almotions have thicker tread (heavier) than the Supremes, so the Supremes will presumably not last this long, but they share the higher-end rubber compounds so I would expect them to outlast (or at least match) regular Marathons and do so with lighter weight and equivalent puncture resistance (puncture rating from the manufacturer). (I am not recommending Almotions to the OP because thay are too wide; in fact, the current model is wider than the old tires that I have and they will no longer fit on my bike.)
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Old 04-12-21, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Sluggo View Post
I agree - I like the regular Marathons for many applications. They are good tires and are more cost-effective than much of the competition.

For the OP's purposes, the current 650b regular Marathons are probably too wide - they are listed as 44 mm. In my experience, Schwalbes tend to run a little narrower than what the sidewall says, but probably not 6 mm narrower.

Your mileage will vary. I got only 2200 miles (3500 kms) on a rear Marathon before the belt started showing. It looks like there is a lot of tire left at that point, but the puncture-resistant belt is very thick - 3mm of rubber. By contrast, I have over 11,000 miles (18,000 kms) on a pair of Marathon Almotions and they are still kicking; this is about twice as many miles as any tire I have used in the past. The Almotions have thicker tread (heavier) than the Supremes, so the Supremes will presumably not last this long, but they share the higher-end rubber compounds so I would expect them to outlast (or at least match) regular Marathons and do so with lighter weight and equivalent puncture resistance (puncture rating from the manufacturer). (I am not recommending Almotions to the OP because thay are too wide; in fact, the current model is wider than the old tires that I have and they will no longer fit on my bike.)
these were my impressions of using Supremes over a number of trips, your mileage may vary.

Schwalbe Supremes 26x2in wear photos and impressions

Schwalbe Supreme26x2 followup #2 roughly6000kms

Schwalbe Supreme 26x2 followup#3 roughly9000kms
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Old 04-13-21, 08:21 AM
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I know it's not trendy and not what the cool kids are doing but for 700C touring conversions, 650A (26 x 1 3/8, ISO 590, EA3) makes a lot of sense. The tires are narrower (27~37mm), plus there's a better-than-even chance you could find a replacement tire at a Walmart in fly-over country.
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Old 04-13-21, 08:36 AM
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If I remember correctly, the Pari-Motos really are paper thin. Rene Herse tires have a thicker layer of rubber on the tread which makes them last a lot longer and (probably) get fewer flats.

I've had amazing luck with my 700x38 standard casing tires. I've put at least a couple thousand miles on them and not one single flat (yet...) which includes a lot of city riding and broken glass. I also have Rene Herse tires in 700x32 and 26"x52mm with extralight casing. I've had a few flats with those, but not enough to stop me from riding them.

So my point is: I wouldn't count out the Rene Herse tires just because you've had bad luck with the Pari-Motos. But if you really want/need something with a flat protection layer, they're not the tires for you (since they don't offer the Endurance casing in 650bx38mm).
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