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Favorite Touring Tire?

Old 05-18-10, 07:56 AM
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Favorite Touring Tire?

Time to outfit our bikes with new tires before our upcoming 6,000 mile tour. I'm wondering what tires people particularly like/recommend at this time?
Thanks, Erik
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Old 05-18-10, 09:01 AM
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size of tire? Expected load?
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Old 05-18-10, 10:16 AM
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Isn't this like "What's you favorite food?"
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Old 05-18-10, 10:31 AM
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I like the Schwalbe touring tires, particularly the Marathon XR, but it's been discontinued (you might still be able to find old stock). Some people don't like that tire because it is on the heavy side, but I like it for the durability and puncture resistance. The new Schwalbe Dureme is supposed to be the replacement for the XR, perhaps one to look at if you are doing mostly road touring, or the Extreme if you're doing more rough stuff. I have used neither of those yet. There are always stories of delamination and sidewall failures, but I think overall Schwalbe has a pretty good reputation with bicycle tourists. The new Dureme is supposed to have a slightly nicer rubber compound than the XR (according to Schwalbe) and also "snakeskin" sidewall protection is supposed to be an improvement. Another brand worth considering is Continental, though I haven't used those since they discontinued the original Top Touring.

As with everything, this is a matter of compromise and personal preference. You can't have everything. Durability, weight, puncture resistance - you need to pick what you prioritize. If you really like low weight, then you probably sacrifice some durability and puncture resistance. If you want a bomb proof tire that rolls over glass without a care then it probably won't be light (that would be the Schwalbe Marathon Plus).

See Schwalbe's website for comparison charts - it can be a little confusing, but it gives some idea of what they are aimed at:

https://www.schwalbetires.com/

Neil

Last edited by NeilGunton; 05-18-10 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 05-18-10, 10:34 AM
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I like Schwalbe Marathon Supremes best so far for road use, but I've only tried maybe 4 or 5 current tires for comparison, among them the regular Marathons, Vittoria Randonneurs (again, a road tire), and [EDIT; see below] Armadillos (didn't like the Armadillos; too heavy and sluggish).

I've taken the ordinary Marathons on single track and up rocky dirt hills without problems, but haven't tried the Supremes for this and suspect they aren't really as good just because of the tread (anti-tread, really; recessed lines on a slick tire rather than bumpy tread coming out of it), but I don't know. Will undoubtedly try them for this purpose this summer at some point.

Good luck finding some tires you like!

Last edited by Alekhine; 05-18-10 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 05-18-10, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Garthr
Isn't this like "What's you favorite food?"
Umm, no, because I choose to eat something different every night, but I'd like to buy one tire (times 6 for 3 bikes) that will last for one long tour. I suppose I could've titled this, "What tire do you recommend for a long distance tour"?
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Old 05-18-10, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by LeeG
size of tire? Expected load?
26". Gonna be pulling trailers for this trip. Paved roads.
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Old 05-18-10, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Alekhine
I like Schwalbe Marathon Supremes best so far for road use, but I've only tried maybe 4 or 5 current tires for comparison, among them the regular Marathons, Vittoria Randonneurs (again, a road tire), and Gatorskins (didn't like the Gators; too heavy and sluggish).
I don't get it. In 700x28 the Gatorskins weigh 320 grams, the regular marathons 520 grams, and the Vittoria Randonneurs 500 grams. How can you list the three and then call out the gatorskins for being heavy? Granted the Gatorskins are narrow for their rated size, but even if you compare the 28mm Gatorskin with the other two in 25mm the gatorskins are still substantially lighter, since in 700x25 the marathons and Randonneurs are 500 and 390 grams respectively.

I like my Gatorskins pretty well mostly because they are light and have a lively feeling ride, while still being pretty robust. I have not ridden on the Randonneurs at all and have only ridden on regular marathons in a different size than I have gatorskins so I cannot directly compare the ride. The gatorskins definitely have the edge on weight though and by a substantial margin.
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Old 05-18-10, 11:16 AM
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I like the continental travel contacts 26x1.75.They have a smooth strip down the center for road riding and lugs along the side if you get off road in loose soil.
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Old 05-18-10, 11:36 AM
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having used both 700X25c gatorskins (4000 total miles) and 700X40c vittoria randonneurs (double shield) (1500 total miles) i'm currently favoring the randonneurs. Although they are ridiculously heavy they have proven indestructible and puncture-free for the past 1500 miles.

have a pair of panaracer paslea tg on order (700x35c). hope to find something a bit lighter but just as durable as the vittoria.
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Old 05-18-10, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
700x28 ... Gatorskins ... I like my Gatorskins pretty well mostly because they are light and have a lively feeling ride...
+1

Ride quality is the most undervalued aspect of touring tires. There are huge threads about weight and durability... but does anyone really want to ride on a tire that feels like it is made of concrete for thousands of miles? It makes a huge difference. These are more comfy than many of the 35mm touring/expedition tires, and faster too. If you're offroading, get something else... obviously.
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Old 05-18-10, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I don't get it. In 700x28 the Gatorskins weigh 320 grams, the regular marathons 520 grams, and the Vittoria Randonneurs 500 grams. How can you list the three and then call out the gatorskins for being heavy? Granted the Gatorskins are narrow for their rated size, but even if you compare the 28mm Gatorskin with the other two in 25mm the gatorskins are still substantially lighter, since in 700x25 the marathons and Randonneurs are 500 and 390 grams respectively.

I like my Gatorskins pretty well mostly because they are light and have a lively feeling ride, while still being pretty robust. I have not ridden on the Randonneurs at all and have only ridden on regular marathons in a different size than I have gatorskins so I cannot directly compare the ride. The gatorskins definitely have the edge on weight though and by a substantial margin.
Doh. The reason is because I confused them with another tire.

I had Armadillos, not Gator Skins. I knew it was some tough animal hide name. Good eye, at any rate. Sorry to make you have to write all that.
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Old 05-18-10, 12:39 PM
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marathon supreme 26 x 40.

I have also used marathons, marathon XR, pasela TG, and big apples.
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Old 05-18-10, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Alekhine
Doh. The reason is because I confused them with another tire.

I had Armadillos, not Gator Skins. I knew it was some tough animal hide name. Good eye, at any rate. Sorry to make you have to write all that.
Ahh OK. That explains it. I wondered if it might be something like that.

Oh and no worries, we all mis-type sometimes.
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Old 05-18-10, 12:59 PM
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uh... this gatorskin y'all talking 'bout... is it this one: https://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Co...re/5300002585/

Thanks, just wanted to be sure before buying a pair (28*700)

I usually ride Conti Contacts or SMPs but need something a bit lighter, faster, (thinner for the same 28mm width?) as I've been roped into a 300km organized ride next month, but will be on my touring bike with A719s so 28mm is the minimum I can use... The Gatorskins fit this bill, right?

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Old 05-18-10, 01:05 PM
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That must be the UK name, but it looks like the same tire.
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Old 05-18-10, 01:08 PM
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thanks staehpj1! I edited my post after you replied, so maybe you could advise on my other question? thanks again
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Old 05-18-10, 01:20 PM
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I've run UltraGatorskin 28s on a couple of bikes for a few thousand miles. I don't believe I ever flatted one. I keep a pair to put on the tour bike for local charity rides. They are very nice riding tires, especially so, given their durability. I"d say they're a top pick for use on 719s for a 300k rando.

On Topic: Conti Top Touring 32's are my favorite touring tire, but supplies are gone. I'll have to find a replacement soon. Looking hard at Top Contacts.
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Old 05-18-10, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by truman
...I"d say they're a top pick for use on 719s for a 300k rando.
...
cheers! that's what I wanted to hear... I need all the help I can get, the longest I've ever ridden before is 100 miles (160 km) fully winter loaded a few months ago... so I have some serious respect for this distance
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Old 05-18-10, 01:28 PM
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Imi: yes, same tire. It measures ~26.5mm at 90psi mounted on a 622-15 rim.
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Old 05-18-10, 02:02 PM
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Imi, experiment with the tire pressure to find a comfortable place before the ride. I ride my 28's at 70-85 psi for a smoother ride. Makes long distances much nicer.
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Old 05-18-10, 02:13 PM
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good idea truman... I'll experiment to find my inflation sweet spot... especially as I've never gone over 90 psi before on either my Contacts or SMPs... hihi I'm a tourer/commuter not a Roadie... uh yet! :/

sorry if this hijacked the thread somewhat
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Old 05-18-10, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by EriktheFish
Umm, no, because I choose to eat something different every night, but I'd like to buy one tire (times 6 for 3 bikes) that will last for one long tour. I suppose I could've titled this, "What tire do you recommend for a long distance tour"?

Hey, no offense intended It's just that it's a highly subjective thing. Some will rave about Conti's, some Schwalbe's, some Vittoria's , some Panaracer and so on..... all have their own reasons.


*Since you are using 26" tires, what width tire will you be using with what rim?

*What tire width can the bike's handle?

*What have you used in the past and/or present?

This will help narrow your answers.

Last edited by Garthr; 05-18-10 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 05-18-10, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Ahh OK. That explains it. I wondered if it might be something like that.

Oh and no worries, we all mis-type sometimes.
Hehe, not even a mis-type. Aging man brain deterioration!

On the plus side, now I'm interested in trying out Gator Skins.
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Old 05-18-10, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by imi
I usually ride Conti Contacts or SMPs but need something a bit lighter, faster, (thinner for the same 28mm width?) as I've been roped into a 300km organized ride next month, but will be on my touring bike with A719s so 28mm is the minimum I can use... The Gatorskins fit this bill, right?
The contis are narrow for their listed size but my guess is that they would still work fine.
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