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Redshift Stem for touring/training around town?

Old 11-12-23, 11:39 AM
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Redshift Stem for touring/training around town?

Hi,

I recently bought the REI ADV 1.1 tourer and have been working on getting some mileage in on it. Daily rides vary from 12 to 20 miles on suburban roads. I would say about half the roads in my area are in fair to good condition. It's really hard to find a smooth shoulder anywhere. Even the added recent slurry coat over the existing road bed brings in a lot of vibration through the forks to my hands. The handlebars are covered in padded handlebar tape. I have lowered my air pressure from the first day at 70 psi to 45 psi as of right now. The ride still feels harsh.The tires are new 38mm Marathons. It could be that for years I have been riding full suspension mountain bikes on both road and dirt and I just got hugely spoiled.

Many of the roads in my area also have what I will describe as expansion cracks in the asphalt. So, when you are riding about every 15 to 20 feet, there's an expansion crack, so it's a hit on the front tire. These cracks are typically @ an inch tall. Speed bumps on streets feel can be jaring. I am over 60 and the body isn't as forgiving as it used to be. I do ride with my weight balanced and unweight over bumps as much as possible using both my hips, elbows and shoulders. I do not have excessive weight body weight over my handlebars or at least I don't think so.

So, I did some research and discovered Redshift stems and seat posts. They have great reviews on youtube. People really love them. Is anyone riding/touring with them or really like them during the training phase? They are currently on sale before Black Friday for 25% off bringing it down to $139 USD.

An aside, I also looked at the Redshift seatpost. But, my seatpost is 25.4 and Redshift doesn't make the seatposts that narrow.

Cheers,

Rod

Last edited by teachndad; 11-12-23 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 11-12-23, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by teachndad
An aside, I also looked at the Redshift seatpost. But, my seatpost is 25.4 and Redshift doesn't make the seatposts that narrow.
That touring bike has used a 27.2mm seatpost for years now. Decades even.
Check again?
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Old 11-12-23, 09:16 PM
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Easiest way? If you can bump up the tire size some more.
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Old 11-13-23, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by teachndad
Hi,

I recently bought the REI ADV 1.1 tourer and have been working on getting some mileage in on it. Daily rides vary from 12 to 20 miles on suburban roads. I would say about half the roads in my area are in fair to good condition. It's really hard to find a smooth shoulder anywhere. Even the added recent slurry coat over the existing road bed brings in a lot of vibration through the forks to my hands. The handlebars are covered in padded handlebar tape. I have lowered my air pressure from the first day at 70 psi to 45 psi as of right now. The ride still feels harsh.The tires are new 38mm Marathons. It could be that for years I have been riding full suspension mountain bikes on both road and dirt and I just got hugely spoiled.

Many of the roads in my area also have what I will describe as expansion cracks in the asphalt. So, when you are riding about every 15 to 20 feet, there's an expansion crack, so it's a hit on the front tire. These cracks are typically @ an inch tall. Speed bumps on streets feel can be jaring. I am over 60 and the body isn't as forgiving as it used to be. I do ride with my weight balanced and unweight over bumps as much as possible using both my hips, elbows and shoulders. I do not have excessive weight body weight over my handlebars or at least I don't think so.

So, I did some research and discovered Redshift stems and seat posts. They have great reviews on youtube. People really love them. Is anyone riding/touring with them or really like them during the training phase? They are currently on sale before Black Friday for 25% off bringing it down to $139 USD.

An aside, I also looked at the Redshift seatpost. But, my seatpost is 25.4 and Redshift doesn't make the seatposts that narrow.

Cheers,

Rod
Pretty darn hard, who are we kidding, impossible, to know how one rider perceives a whole range of riding " things" vs another rider--but I can point out that if you get a floor pump with a gauge and can play with small differences if pressures, you'll notice how often just 5 psi makes a big difference in a less harsh ride.
One of my bikes that I commute on has 35mm regular Marathons (Marathons come in many many flavours, your might be the "Plus" versions, that are tougher than the regular). Tires that have stiffer sidewalls for protection, and thicker and stiffer main sections, ride more harshly than tires that are more flexible--this could be a factor for you, but I ride in the city all the time, on roads that you folks from the south would be shocked at how potholey and rough they can be, due to our harsh winters and super wide temperature fluctuations during the year (+35c to -35c, maybe 100f to -25f?)

I regularly run my 35mm tires at 35psi front, and about 40, 45 at rear (depending on how much weight I have in my panniers) and the harshness factor really reduces with about 35psi in front, compared to 40psi or 45.
To be clear, I run 35psi in front because the roads here in Montreal are so crappy and rough.
Yes, I am not a heavy rider, and yes, I "ride light", as you described yourself (I don't smash into stuff fully weighted) and so this 35psi works fine--for me--.

I don't know if you have a standalone tire pressure gauge, or a floor pump with a gauge, but if you can, try to see if the gauge you use is somewhat accurate, and even if it isnt perfect, thats fine too, just use it as a reference so you can try slightly different pressures and do the same route that you are familiar with to compare how things feel.

Its very very common for riders to think that "higher pressures=faster" and part of that is from getting high frequency vibrations back at you feels what one considers "fast"---and doing a known route that you often do is great because you can compare comfort levels AND compare sort of ride times---winds, how you are feeling that day etc all play a big part in how "fast" one rides, but at least you can get a ball park figure, and from my experience of commuting and touring for a long time, a more comfortable pressure is a win-win, because you are less beat up from the jarring, and less tire pressure really doesnt slow you down like you might think.

the more you play with tire pressures, the more you hopefully will get a feel for paying attention to ride quality--and this isn't even touching on how different tires ride differently due to their construction. Marathons have a rep for being well made, tough, long lasting tires--but uncomfortable---Ive ridden a lot on different tires and find regular marathons to be fine enough, but just don't overinflate them, thats the key thing.

what do you weigh btw, and are you carrying weight in rear panniers?
I'm only 135lb, so well under the average male of my height
Yes, one increases the risk of pinch flats with "too" low pressures, but the only way to know what is too low is to experiment with pressures and be observant-- but I realize completely that some people have no interest in doing this. I have good friends and family who have ridden regularly most of their lives, but still are pretty clueless about thinking about putting air in their bike tires (or car tires) and just cannot remember what pressures to pump their bike tires to, and or pump them up in the spring and never think of it again for months and months.

re "too low"--what is too low? You certainly cannot describe in words what "too low" feels like when riding or cornering, but a hopefully good description is when you can feel the tire "moving" around a bit too much, especially when cornering--but man, this is pretty darn hard to quantify in words on the internets--so it comes back to using comparison pressures, lowering pressures by lets say 5psi, start at 50, ride a good section with cracks, bumps, whatever, then drop to 45, repeat etc and try to compare.

and hate to say it, but if you don't ride much, this too is a factor-- the more you ride, the stronger you get, the more. consistent power you'll put out with your legs and along with getting stronger core wise, you'll reduce the weight on your hands because by pedalling slightly harder more consistently, there will be less weight on your arse and hands--but experimenting with tire pressures and how it affects less jarring is really important.

have fun playing around with this.
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Old 11-13-23, 08:15 AM
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hell, didn't add the little I've heard about redshift stems--a bikepacking podcast I listen to has mentioned them. The guy loves his, but he is doing a lot of super long distance bikepacking routes on all kinds of terrain--so yes, they seem to be a very effective doohickey--but I'd be very wary of getting something until you are pretty sure of your bike setup, ie stem length.
The only way to know that is to live with a bike for a while, and I'm pretty certain its you who hasnt ridden a dropbar bike since the 70s right? So a certain amount of adjusting period to begin with, plus you like said, you're an old dude like most of us here, so another factor to want to be sure of your stem length etc before plonking down 200+ bucks for a stem of a fixed length and angle...... (I'm canadian, so the price is way higher here)
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Old 11-13-23, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
That touring bike has used a 27.2mm seatpost for years now. Decades even.
Check again?
You were right. I went back and remeasured. I read the calipers wrong.

Thanks DJB for the detailed response. I appreciate your time. While I have had experience those many years ago, there's still a learning curve coming back to it. Here I thought 45 psi was low. I will try it down to 35 psi. Clearly we don't want tire fold over on turns. Playing with air pressure is a lot cheaper than buying new tires. I will try that first. It's a good point that I need to settle in on fine tuning my ride set up. BTW, I weigh 145 lbs.

I had a back surgery a few years ago, so I think I am hypervigilant when it comes to the feedback from the road surface. I want to be able to ride as long as I am able.

Cheers,

Rod
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Old 11-13-23, 01:36 PM
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Look at other brands before you buy.
https://www.cyclingabout.com/best-su...g-bikepacking/
https://www.cyclingabout.com/comfort...ms-handlebars/

I have no connection to the above website and have not used either seatpost or stem, just saying it is easy to get enthusiastic too fast.
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Old 11-13-23, 02:09 PM
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I have a RedShift stem. Several of them actually. They really do work as advertised. I have noticed that when you install it, you need to compensate for the "sag" in relation to your rigidly mounted bars. A 5mm spacer under the RedShift to elevate the bars a smidgeon and rotate the handlebars up a few degrees to compensate for the elastomeren squish. The end goal is to achieve an in-use position that is equivalent to your rigid stem.

A RedShift stem is a no-brainer for rough terrain or jarring rides.

There is a lot of truth to the big poofy tire suggestions mentioned in this thread, too. I'm of the opinion that Marathons are garden hose, one step better than Gatorskins. No pressure is ever going to ride "nice" with those tires. If your rims will support it, tubeless tires in the softest sidewall you can afford as big as will fit in your bike are worth serious consideration. Not just from a comfort perspective but from a better rolling resistance (faster) as well.
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Old 11-14-23, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by teachndad
You were right. I went back and remeasured. I read the calipers wrong.

Thanks DJB for the detailed response. I appreciate your time. While I have had experience those many years ago, there's still a learning curve coming back to it. Here I thought 45 psi was low. I will try it down to 35 psi. Clearly we don't want tire fold over on turns. Playing with air pressure is a lot cheaper than buying new tires. I will try that first. It's a good point that I need to settle in on fine tuning my ride set up. BTW, I weigh 145 lbs.

I had a back surgery a few years ago, so I think I am hypervigilant when it comes to the feedback from the road surface. I want to be able to ride as long as I am able.

Cheers,
Rod
I've never had a tire fold over in a turn, but I have felt that funny feeling that the tire is moving around just a bit too much for my liking, and increased pressure slightly to make it feel better.
Again, one riders perception of things can be really different from another, but hopefully by playing with different pressures you'll feel the differences.
As you say, buying new tires can easily "not be cheap", but I certainly can say that different tires can really change how a bike rides. For your specific back issue, going wider and specifically trying some tires that are known to be more "supple", may very well be the game changer for you.
There are a ton of tire options out there, its pretty hard to know what to choose. Some more "supple" tires can be pretty expensive and not last that long, made more for being light, but there are reasonable options out there--you're just going to have to read up a lot on different tires and get opinions on them--though pretty hard to know what opinions to believe.

I guess given your back thing, trying out playing with pressures is a good start, and then you can look into slightly wider tires that can ride nicer.
For me personally, until I got some wider, more supple, nicer rolling tires on sale, I couldn't appreciate the difference. In the end, trying out different tires is part of biking and I guess how much you want to get into it. I have an older friend who has biking comfort issues, but despite telling her for years to try wider, more supple tires, she just isn't interested , mostly because she is not that detail oriented, also because her husband buys X tires and puts them on, and she's fine with that --- but she still has some comfort issues getting older-- so you can bring a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

If playing with pressures still ends up with you having comfort problems, slightly wider and more flexible tires would be a help, as would perhaps a flexi stem like the fancy red things.
In the end, I guess its how much you want to play around with stuff and how much things help you. Main thing in the big picture is riding more often and being okay physically with it.
Riding regularly is a great life thing, it's why I still commute, it gets me out regularly and off my arse in a car unless I really do need the car.
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Old 11-14-23, 09:39 AM
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Oh, and I'd add that realistically, unless you can do back to back comparisons of tires, with attention to what pressures they are set at, it's pretty hard to feel how a tire "rides".
I got into this whole pressure thing when commuting regularly on about a 10k commute along the same route (6 mi) with a lot of varying city surfaces. Just for fun I started changing pressures and doing the same route regularly made it a lot easier to notice the differences and to note if there was a time difference (generally there wasn't , but in the city with lights and stuff its never going to exact, plus like I mentioned, one day you feel fresher so probably are faster just from that---but it was still a pretty good indicator to me that finding a lower pressure was in fact more comfortable for me and didnt really impact the riding time.

Also, on long touring trips, riding day after day over varying road qualities, it gave me something to do to try diff pressures and see how it was---so gradually over the years, I became more attuned to how things felt and how my bikes went along with diff pressures and or diff tires.

Oh, and a tire with a thin sidewall that gives a nice cushy supple ride, is also more susceptible to being damaged if you ride up against hard or sharp things. So not a good choice if you know you aren't careful about stuff like that, although road riding generally doesnt involve this.-- but something to be aware of.

Yes, the tires I have that ride nicer than others are nice to ride, its a cool feeling to feel the tire absorb bad surfaces much more smoothly, yet still roll along really nicely.
But then, I am okay with riding my regular marathons, but watch the pressures more so the ride is less harsh.
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Old 11-14-23, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by teachndad
You were right. I went back and remeasured. I read the calipers wrong.

Thanks DJB for the detailed response. I appreciate your time. While I have had experience those many years ago, there's still a learning curve coming back to it. Here I thought 45 psi was low. I will try it down to 35 psi. Clearly we don't want tire fold over on turns. Playing with air pressure is a lot cheaper than buying new tires. I will try that first. It's a good point that I need to settle in on fine tuning my ride set up. BTW, I weigh 145 lbs.

I had a back surgery a few years ago, so I think I am hypervigilant when it comes to the feedback from the road surface. I want to be able to ride as long as I am able.

Cheers,

Rod
- Good to see it is still a 27.2mm seatpost. That is about the most standard thing on steel frames and if you ever need to check a seatpost, all seatposts are marked with their diameter number near the bottom of the post.
- Redshift stems are well proven at this point- they are highly regarded and have shown to be reliable/lasting.
- The 'cyclingabout' links are, to me, trash. That website is barely better than clickbait, but I do agree that you should look around for options to ensure your purchases are smart. With that said, Redshift stems and seatposts are very well regarded and most every other seatpost with suspension that I have seen is cheaply made or absurdly expensive and heavy. The Redshift seatpost actually does what its supposed to and isnt junk. NOTE- I dont own redshift products, but I have ridden a lot with friends that have stems and seatposts.
- 145# is featherweight and while everyone is different for pain, tolerance, and fit- I am surprised you hurt when riding 38mm tires on pavement. Frost heaves in pavement are just a reality. I am not suggesting you just tough it out, to be clear.
- Your bike can handle up to 50mm tires. Wider tires allow for lower tire pressure without the being concerned with pinch flats or tire wiggle(wander, fold, whatever else). Wider tires also equal more comfort when run at those lower pressures. Just keep this in mind.



No idea how the back surgery went or what limitations you now have from it, if any. Again, totally get that everyone is different and not suggesting you just tough it out. My wife had surgery on...well her left side(broken left shoulder, torn left acl, fractured lower back, screws in a few bones, jacked up left hip) jsut over 4 years ago when she wanted her horse to jump one way and he decided a different way was better. Anyways, since then its been a slow process back for her riding. She used an old 26" MTB with flat bar for a couple years and only recently got back on her road bike after I made some changes to the fit. Point being, I recognize everyone is different, has different concerns and limitations, and interprets riding feedback differently. I hope you are able to find a setup that works for you that is both comfortable and fun.
Something to consider if you need less back angle or less pressure on your hands- some drop bars have rise to them- Ritchey, Surly, and others have bars that rise up 10-20mm. Heck, the Soma Condor drop bar has 50mm of rise between the clamp and the tops.
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Old 11-14-23, 10:20 AM
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very good point on how there are numerous factors that can make all the difference for a specific persons riding comfort, handlebars and handlebar position being one very important factor

and very good point on how every individual has to figure out what is best for their specific physical issue.
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Old 11-14-23, 04:15 PM
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I went to lighter, more supple sidewall tires: Schwalbe Marathon Supreme vs. Schwalbe Marathons.

The Supremes are nice riding tires, but as was posted above, the supple side walls seem to be more vulnerable. I think that they discontinued making them recently, which is too bad.

This Schwalbe Supreme was less than a week old and my first ride with the tires. I was returning home from a ride and about 4 miles from home. I booted it up and it got me home. I am giving the Supremes a chance, and will use them on a tour this winter or next summer.
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Old 11-14-23, 10:25 PM
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I tour on a Redshift stem. It's great and I can recommend it.

As for Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires, I've had three of them and none managed to survive until end of life. All died to carcass tears before the rubber wore out. One at 300km, a second at 3000km, the third at a whopping 11000km. They are certainly capable of lasting a long time, but only if you have good luck.
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Old 11-14-23, 10:33 PM
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I don't see why the Supremes are any different from other tires that have thin sidewalls that give a really beautiful ride quality.
Absolutely one has to be careful with a tire like this, but I don't think I'm overly lucky with the supreme 2in and 1.6in versions I've ridden a lot on. I would say that I've just used common sense with them and have ridden on lots of different surfaces, but the majority on pavement.
Touch wood but so far, I've never really damaged a tire over the last 30+ years of riding pretty regularly.
Touch wood again, just for good measure!
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Old 11-16-23, 07:10 AM
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teachndad--yesterday while commuting, I realized that I did not mention that this bike has rather upright handlebars, Jones H bars, so compared to dropbars, there is less body weight on the front end on the whole.
This probably allows me to get away with 35 psi, I'm a bit lighter than you and the bike has less weight on the front anyway due to these bars.
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Old 11-16-23, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
I don't see why the Supremes are any different from other tires that have thin sidewalls that give a really beautiful ride quality.
Absolutely one has to be careful with a tire like this, but I don't think I'm overly lucky with the supreme 2in and 1.6in versions I've ridden a lot on. I would say that I've just used common sense with them and have ridden on lots of different surfaces, but the majority on pavement.
Touch wood but so far, I've never really damaged a tire over the last 30+ years of riding pretty regularly.
Touch wood again, just for good measure!
The difference is expectations. Marathon Supremes are under the Marathon line and are marketed as commuting / touring tires. Continental GP5000s are no doubt far more fragile, but they are marketed as race tires. Nobody expects those to be durable.

Marathon Supreme provides maximum comfort and speed. With elegant, futuristic tread design perfectly suited for fast city and touring bikes. OneStar Compound is fast and extremely reliable. The V-Guard version is lightweight.
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Old 11-16-23, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
The difference is expectations. Marathon Supremes are under the Marathon line and are marketed as commuting / touring tires. Continental GP5000s are no doubt far more fragile, but they are marketed as race tires. Nobody expects those to be durable.
pretty much a moot point and they are no longer in production.
As I've noted over the years, my Supremes very much exceeded my expectations, being pretty damn durable while riding loaded through all kinds of countries, plus having a nice ride-- but very much with the caveat that I've been always very aware of the thin sidewalls and ride accordingly around sharp gravel, curbs etc.

For the majority of riding that I do, I'd be happy with a similar type of tire. This summer I found myself on some rather rocky gravel roads with the 1.6in Supremes, and really took it easy when the stones were bigger and it seemed logical that the risk of damaging a sidewall was getting more, so I just took it really easy and carefully over those sections.
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Old 11-16-23, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by teachndad
Hi, .... So, I did some research and discovered Redshift stems and seat posts. They have great reviews on youtube. People really love them. Is anyone riding/touring with them or really like them during the training phase? They are currently on sale before Black Friday for 25% off bringing it down to $139 USD.
I have both the Redshift Stem and Seatpost (I was actually part of the Kickstarter for the seatpost, the only time I have ever done that). Both are great and will do exactly what you want. I also suggest getting rid of your tires and putting on the widest Rene Herse tires you can fit.
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Old 11-16-23, 10:10 PM
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My main touring bike has a Redshift stem. It does help with take the little bumps, cracks, and gravel but it won't absorb big bumps, cracks, or gravel. You can order various stiffness elastomers to customize the feel you get so I guess you could get a softer rider but don't know how it would handle then. No issues with handling with a handlebar bag. Tailwinds, John
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Old 11-16-23, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
pretty much a moot point and they are no longer in production.
As I've noted over the years, my Supremes very much exceeded my expectations, being pretty damn durable while riding loaded through all kinds of countries, plus having a nice ride-- but very much with the caveat that I've been always very aware of the thin sidewalls and ride accordingly around sharp gravel, curbs etc.

For the majority of riding that I do, I'd be happy with a similar type of tire. This summer I found myself on some rather rocky gravel roads with the 1.6in Supremes, and really took it easy when the stones were bigger and it seemed logical that the risk of damaging a sidewall was getting more, so I just took it really easy and carefully over those sections.
What I failed to mention in my post and photo above is that almost any tire would have been badly damaged by the broken base of the bottle I ran over. That is why I'm going to try the Supremes on my next tour. I'm sorry I did not go further into the details of the incident.

I ordered 2 more Supremes the week after my front tire was trashed, now my wife and I have Supreme tires all around, and one spare.

Last edited by Doug64; 11-18-23 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 11-17-23, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64

The Supremes are nice riding tires, but as was posted above, the supple side walls seem to be more vulnerable. I think that they discontinued making them recently, which is too bad.
fyi..The Supremes are gone as of about a year ago. After talking with Schwalbe, they released the Efficiency tire to replace the Supreme. It appears to be all the Supreme was and a little more (has some tread). If memory serves, I think I saw the Efficiency on the rolling resistance site and it rated a little better than the Supreme.
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Old 11-17-23, 11:03 AM
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Hello and thanks for the many responses. I hadn't heard of the Marathon Efficiency until the preceding post.

I did a lot of research on tires to the point that my head was swimming with information. As you all know, tires are a topic that generates A LOT of different opinions. In my research I was looking for a consensus on opinion. No easy task. I do know I will be riding mostly paved roads and needed a supple tire. The goal is to eventually do some overnight tours and then a week or more loaded.

My bike has the Marathon Originals (38mm) which continue to feel hard despite lowering the psi to about 30. I found someone who referred to them as wooden wheels - Sure feels like it. Even at 28 psi up front and 32 psi in back riding empty, the bike still feels taught. No wallowing or tire fold over on turns.

I had narrowed the choice down to the Panaracer Pasela PT or the Continental Ride tires. The Conti Ride Tour was unfortunately missing from the Rolling Resistance site https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...?orderby=brand I decided to try the less expensive Continental Ride tires sized 42mm instead of the larger heavier 47mm just to save a little on weight – kind of a compromise despite suggestions to go with as big a volume tire as possible. So, I got stuck in that area. I am hoping for an increase in volume despite people saying that the Continental tires width was often overstated. I just wondered if those folks had them mounted on narrower rims. I found them two for @ $50 including shipping. I figured it was worth a tire test, without taking a big hit on the cost.

I did also order the Redshift system of seat post and stem. I will try the tires first to see how the ride changes and then add the stem and seatpost one at a time to see what impact it has on the riding. I will report back what I find. Redshift has that generous return policy.

Cheers,

Rod
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Old 11-17-23, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by teachndad
Hi,

I recently bought the REI ADV 1.1 tourer and have been working on getting some mileage in on it. Daily rides vary from 12 to 20 miles on suburban roads. I would say about half the roads in my area are in fair to good condition. It's really hard to find a smooth shoulder anywhere. Even the added recent slurry coat over the existing road bed brings in a lot of vibration through the forks to my hands. The handlebars are covered in padded handlebar tape. I have lowered my air pressure from the first day at 70 psi to 45 psi as of right now. The ride still feels harsh.The tires are new 38mm Marathons. It could be that for years I have been riding full suspension mountain bikes on both road and dirt and I just got hugely spoiled.

Many of the roads in my area also have what I will describe as expansion cracks in the asphalt. So, when you are riding about every 15 to 20 feet, there's an expansion crack, so it's a hit on the front tire. These cracks are typically @ an inch tall. Speed bumps on streets feel can be jaring. I am over 60 and the body isn't as forgiving as it used to be. I do ride with my weight balanced and unweight over bumps as much as possible using both my hips, elbows and shoulders. I do not have excessive weight body weight over my handlebars or at least I don't think so.

So, I did some research and discovered Redshift stems and seat posts. They have great reviews on youtube. People really love them. Is anyone riding/touring with them or really like them during the training phase? They are currently on sale before Black Friday for 25% off bringing it down to $139 USD.

An aside, I also looked at the Redshift seatpost. But, my seatpost is 25.4 and Redshift doesn't make the seatposts that narrow.

Cheers,

Rod
Some time ago, I spent a lot of time and money making my ride more plush simply because it was getting hard on me as I got older. I ride around 4000 miles a year and it was just starting to add up in wear and tear on me. When I started this project it was the days of 100psi 23 or 25mm tires. So I did it all - I swapped out forks for more compliant forks (carbon vs steel), I went to carbon seat posts and handlebars and I fiddled with saddles. Nothing seemed to really help at all. I got to hate that particular bike with its stiff frame or so I thought that was the problem.

Then the whole thing with tire inflation started and the move to wider tires. I started riding gravel and started following what Josh Poertner was preaching on tire inflation over at Silca based on world tour results and working with world tour teams. Getting the tire inflation right at much lower pressures and wider tires than I had been riding changed that harsh riding bike into a cadillac ride and it was faster to boot. From there, and Poertner says it all the time now, about 90-95% of the plush ride or overall compliance comes from the tires and tire pressure. Getting tire pressure (and as little as 5psi can matter) is the key to riding on rough roads. Anyhow, that "stiff" bike that I had come to hate became my favorite bike probably because it was the only bike I had at the time (other than an mtb) that would accommodate tires wider than 28mm.

I have actually bought the Red Shift stem. There is a slightly noticeable effect but I don't think it's worth the money and the time experimenting to get the right elastomer. You also get an up to 20mm or so deflection in the handlebars which I find a bit disconcerting. It also can become a problem if you have a handlebar pack as it did for me.

So bottom line, if you want a plush ride, fix the tire problem. Your tires are pretty wide but I'd guess that your tire pressure is way too high. Those Marathons are not at all supple so a switch to tubeless tires and sealant will fix most reliability problems you were concerned about and if you get the tire pressure right, you'll have a smooth and plush ride. Like I said, I had exactly the same problem as you did - a very harsh bike that was exceedingly uncomfortable that was changed into a very plush ride all through tire pressure properly adjusted (after a detour of an embarrassingly amount of money).

Silca has a pressure calculator that will help get you in the right ballpark. Sort there and experiment with progressively less in 3-5psi increments to hone in on the right number for you. This is going to do one heck of a lot more in getting a comfortable ride (and likely make you faster) and it's going to do more than the stem which I feel is largely a gimmick.

Last edited by JohnJ80; 11-17-23 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 11-17-23, 02:24 PM
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Given your back issues, you may also wish to consider changing your posture while riding to a more upright position, which helped significantly in my case. The weight on your hands/handle bar is reduced and shifted to seat. A more comfortable seat may need to be added, possibly one with springs, such as Brooks ( canít remember the model name with springs - they make several versions).

Several locally owned bicycle shops in our town will let you try a demo seat or even a stem before you buy it. Perhaps you have some similar shop in your area.

Do not risk your back; relatively speaking, seats and stems are cheap and easily replaceable.
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