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what tires NOT to buy

Old 06-30-11, 07:57 PM
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what tires NOT to buy

I am unfortinately going to need to replace tires on my touring bike, 700x32, before long. What tires do i need to pass on or stay away from. I dont need what people consider the best, but i want to stay away from the crap.
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Old 06-30-11, 08:11 PM
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If you are asking for the best you can probably look at 6 to 10 different tires. Looking for the ones to avoid opens you up to thousands of tires.
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Old 06-30-11, 11:01 PM
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You get what you pay for. Crap tires are cheap, quality tires expensive... Then there are some inbetween. I have found the Continental Contact to be a good, less expensive tire which I've both toured on and have on my commuting bike.

Nowadays 'though I buy what I consider the best tires for my needs, Gatorskins, GatorHardshells and Schwalbe Marathon Plus depending on season and terrain and Conti Contacts for general purpose.

Last edited by imi; 06-30-11 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 07-01-11, 08:57 AM
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All I can say is do not buy the nashbar streetwise unless you enjoy changing worn out tires frequently.
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Old 07-01-11, 11:54 AM
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I like Continental UltraGatorskins.
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Old 07-01-11, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I like Continental UltraGatorskins.
Me too. I've got 28's on my commuter for this summer. Part of my route is gravel and the Gatorskins are not, I repeat not, good for cornering on gravel at high speed... don't ask, guess!

I'll be touring round NZ next winter and will be putting my new Continental GatorHardshell 28mm's to the test. They look like regular Gatorskins, but are slightly heavier due to the puncture protection going all the way round the sidewalls in order to prevent the rips that Gatorskins have (apparently) sometimes suffered. I'm hoping they'll be the ultimate hard and fast asphalt touring tire...
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Old 07-01-11, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by imi
Me too. I've got 28's on my commuter for this summer. Part of my route is gravel and the Gatorskins are not, I repeat not, good for cornering on gravel at high speed... don't ask, guess!

I'll be touring round NZ next winter and will be putting my new Continental GatorHardshell 28mm's to the test. They look like regular Gatorskins, but are slightly heavier due to the puncture protection going all the way round the sidewalls in order to prevent the rips that Gatorskins have (apparently) sometimes suffered. I'm hoping they'll be the ultimate hard and fast asphalt touring tire...
The nice supple sidewall is part of what gives the ultragatorskins their nice lively ride. I am concerned that the Hardshell will lack that nice ride feel.

Also I see that the ultragatorskin is superseded by the gatorskin which I think is 20 grams heavier in 700x28. The new one also comes in a 700x32 which many have hoped for. I hope that I like the new ones, I toyed with trying to buy up a few of the older model, but have not done so.
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Old 07-01-11, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
The nice supple sidewall is part of what gives the ultragatorskins their nice lively ride. I am concerned that the Hardshell will lack that nice ride feel.
This summer I'll be able to ping-pong test both Gatorskins and Hardshells on the same bike with different wheelsets - same rims (Mavic A-719s) different hubs (XT and Ultegra - shouldn't make much difference) - on my commute. I'll report back as to whether staehpj1's concerns seem noticeable to me. I too love the hard, fast, lively feel of Gatorskins, but I highly value bombproofness on tour...

edit: just by doing a highly scientific experiment known as the "squeeze test" it's hard to tell the difference between these tires. The sidewalls on Hardshells pumped to 116 psi are still noticeably suppler than the centre of the tire.

Maybe I can find someone to help me with a double blind test, changing between wheelsets then going for a spin... but most of my friends think I'm weird enough as it is

Last edited by imi; 07-01-11 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 07-01-11, 05:11 PM
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panaracer ribmo .
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Old 07-01-11, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by imi
This summer I'll be able to ping-pong test both Gatorskins and Hardshells on the same bike with different wheelsets - same rims (Mavic A-719s) different hubs (XT and Ultegra - shouldn't make much difference) - on my commute.
Let us know how it goes. I am quite curious.
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Old 07-01-11, 07:36 PM
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If you think about what you're asking your tires to do and for how long, it's not the best place to go cheap. That doesn't mean the most expensive, but it's certainly a place to at least consider the tried and true options.
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Old 07-01-11, 07:56 PM
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IMHO it is better to concentrate on brands that work, rather than ones that don't. I currently run: Schwalbe Marathons, Panaracer Col de Vie, Michelin World Tour, Forte Gotham City, Kenda and Cheng Shin. On my tour bikes and city bikes Schwalbe has usually been my go to tire.

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Old 07-01-11, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Let us know how it goes. I am quite curious.
Will do. I am curious myself
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Old 07-02-11, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1

Also I see that the ultragatorskin is superseded by the gatorskin which I think is 20 grams heavier in 700x28. The new one also comes in a 700x32 which many have hoped for.
I've had a pair of the 32's on backorder from REI for what seems forever but am looking to give them a go as they're not but a few grams heavier than the 28's, which tells me that in keeping with other Conti's they'll probably run a little small.
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Old 07-02-11, 04:22 AM
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IMHO - regular Schwalbe Marathons or Continental Contacts provide a good balance of protection, longevity and value. My partner has the Contacts on her touring bike, I have the Marathons - both in 32 mm size. We each have several thousand trouble free km on each set. Ride on dirt roads a lot We have similar "19 mm" rims on our bikes - the Marathons are just a bit wider than Contacts Premium tires such as Schwalbe Suprene tires and the Continental counterpart [whose name i forget] - are great ties - provide extra protection, longevity and are good in a lot of conditions - not sure they are the best value and are often hard to find.

Last edited by martianone; 07-02-11 at 04:27 AM.
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Old 07-02-11, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by robow
I've had a pair of the 32's on backorder from REI for what seems forever but am looking to give them a go as they're not but a few grams heavier than the 28's, which tells me that in keeping with other Conti's they'll probably run a little small.
Yeah, they will probably actually measure more like 28 or 29. At least that would be my guess. I was surprised by how small the weight difference is between the 28 and the 32.
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Old 07-02-11, 10:27 AM
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I don't recommend tubes from Walmart (Bell?). I had two tubes that split at a seam, on the spoke side. Replaced them with Bontrager and have had no problems in 1,000 miles.
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Old 07-02-11, 07:38 PM
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Stay away from Kendas. Both my gf and I have had problems with them. Mine had a bead problem where it wouldn't stay seated after about 500 miles. My gf's developed a bubble and blew out with 300 miles on them. I'm riding on Schwalbe Marathon Pluses now and love them. Some say they are boat anchors, but I haven't found that to be the case at all.
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Old 07-02-11, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by simplygib
Stay away from Kendas. Both my gf and I have had problems with them. Mine had a bead problem where it wouldn't stay seated after about 500 miles. My gf's developed a bubble and blew out with 300 miles on them. I'm riding on Schwalbe Marathon Pluses now and love them. Some say they are boat anchors, but I haven't found that to be the case at all.
I get decent service out the Kenda's on my Raleigh 3 speed, used to be about all I would run. The regular Schwalbe Marathon is the one that people complain about running slow, not the Plus or Supremes.

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Old 07-02-11, 09:18 PM
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I ended up getting a Vittoria Randonneur tire, same thats on the bike. The shop i went to didnt have a matching pair of any tires in the size I was looking for. Its a small shop and they normally stock them but for some reason, even the shop owner didnt know why they didnt have any matching pairs. Marathon plus tires looked good, but they were heavy compared to all the others. Also do they run wider than other tires? The 700x28 looked more like 700x32 in the other brands.
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Old 07-03-11, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by mthayer
I ended up getting a Vittoria Randonneur tire, same thats on the bike. The shop i went to didnt have a matching pair of any tires in the size I was looking for. Its a small shop and they normally stock them but for some reason, even the shop owner didnt know why they didnt have any matching pairs. Marathon plus tires looked good, but they were heavy compared to all the others. Also do they run wider than other tires? The 700x28 looked more like 700x32 in the other brands.
Yes the Schwalbe tires run big. They are heavier for a reason, they last. I have a set on my Raleigh Twenty that have been rolling for almost 3 years with around 5,000 miles on them and they still have most of the tread.

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Old 07-03-11, 06:06 AM
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I'm using Continental Top Contacts on my Canondale T800 touring bike, I use the bike for every thing from commuting, weekend road rides, Rails to Trails touring and morning trail rides with my wife. The Continentals came on the bike originally and I replaced them at 3500 miles, I'm currently on my second set with 5500 miles on them and still have plenty of tread left. Any flats I've ever had were due to tube failures stem seperated from tube, tube split at seam, etc) rather than punctures.
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Old 07-03-11, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc
The regular Schwalbe Marathon is the one that people complain about running slow, not the Plus or Supremes.

Aaron
I disagree, the Marathon Plus are much heavier than the standard Marathons and therefore would be considered slower than slow. In my 26 x 1.5" the Plus weigh in 860 g vs 730 g for the standard Marathons. Both are pigs but the Plus are hawgs.
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Old 07-03-11, 11:56 AM
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Stopping to mend punctures is zero MPH, so make your choice,
OP, given the goat-head thorns they have around the SW,
may find the added puncture barrier Of the Marathon Plus tires worthwhile..

I ran thorn resistant tubes in my tires, they slow the speed,
but so does bringing your tent and sleeping bag

Managed 6 month tour from southern Eire, to Northern Scotland, without any punctures.

and I was slow enough to see the places I was passing thru..
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Old 07-03-11, 11:58 AM
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Vittoria Randonneur is a good, inexpensive tire. Mine have seen 4500mi with no complaint. A good 75% of that mileage is touring, and the wheel rear is starting to look just a bit worn.

This probably isn't at all typical, but in all those miles, I've never had a flat on the road. Giving roadside debris, glass, and car tire wreckage a wide berth probably contributes a lot to that, but I do like the tires.
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