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26 inch Balloons for touring

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26 inch Balloons for touring

Old 02-26-13, 10:01 PM
  #1  
ramseykp
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26 inch Balloons for touring

I have a 26in Surly LHT frame that I'd like to fill out with some fatties.. My original purchase was going to be the Panaracer Paselas, but apparently they do not come in 26 x 2.00, only 1.75. I love the Paselas because they have a soft sidewall that allows for wonderful shock absorption even at higher pressures.

I looked at the Fat Franks but they sound more like a commuter or beach crusin' tire.
Also looked at the Town and Country but they look heavy and "hard" offering little shock absorption (unless I were to let run them at lower pressures).

Does anybody have any tire suggestions?
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Old 02-26-13, 10:06 PM
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Schwalbe Marathon? I've been pleased with the supreme in 26x2", but there are a few other versions available. The 26x2" are a little on the narrow side for the width, though.
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Old 02-26-13, 10:32 PM
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ram- Take a look at Rubena Flash tires, think they might be 26x1.95, look to be well designed, and come with reflective sidewall stripe, @ everybicycletire.com.
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Old 02-27-13, 02:31 AM
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What about Schwalbe Kojak in 2.0"? They are on sale on Amazon for $20 bucks which seems like a steal. Apparently these are very fast tires, but only good for paved roads (not good for going off-road.)
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Old 02-27-13, 04:23 AM
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I'm running 50mm Schwalbe Kojaks on my 26" LHT. They're very nice as long as there is no wet mud or snow.
For more grip off-road, I'd consider the new Schwalbe Big Bens in 50mm. These are like the Big Apples (which are interesting as well) but with a bit more profile.
The standard Schwalbe Marathons will not run as nice since they're designed for durability instead of speed and comfort.
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Old 02-27-13, 05:40 AM
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Actually I have the Big Apples in 26x2.00 and they are great, no doubt but I think that now the Big Ben are the way to go especially if you plan some off-road.
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Old 02-27-13, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by storckm View Post
Schwalbe Marathon? I've been pleased with the supreme in 26x2", but there are a few other versions available. The 26x2" are a little on the narrow side for the width, though.
+1

Best flat protection of any Schwalbe recommendation to date and the lightest to boot!
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Old 02-27-13, 08:38 AM
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I have some big apples on my 26" LHT...I was able to squeeze 2.35's in there without fenders.

I like to tour on my 2.0 Duremes for their flat protection and versatility.
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Old 02-27-13, 11:55 AM
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Local JRA, or planning long adventure tours?

Conti made their Travel Contact, for the latter,
gator skin sidewall mesh for reinforement,
good rolling center + a row of knobs that only become in contact in soft, un paved,
conditions.

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-01-13 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 02-27-13, 12:26 PM
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I've found tires between ~1.4-1.7" (26 or 700) to be the best for general cycling, mostly on pavement with limited off-pavement use. I have used larger tires for off-pavement use, but on pavement anything more than ~1.6-1.7" wide is overkill, with significant rotating-weight / energy-sapping loss.

I'd rather take a chance on flatting once every X,000 miles on <1,000g tires than punish myself with 2,000g of 2" Marathon tires.
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Old 02-27-13, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
I've found tires between ~1.4-1.7" (26 or 700) to be the best for general cycling, mostly on pavement with limited off-pavement use. I have used larger tires for off-pavement use, but on pavement anything more than ~1.6-1.7" wide is overkill, with significant rotating-weight / energy-sapping loss.

I'd rather take a chance on flatting once every X,000 miles on <1,000g tires than punish myself with 2,000g of 2" Marathon tires.
I see what you are saying re tire width, but the Supremes in 26x2 are 565g each BUT are pretty darn expensive, listed at around 80-85 bucks. They look pretty snazzy but would only consider them when I really need tires, as close to 200 dollars to reshod your bike is quite a hefty amount. As Burton has written in the past, if they last a lot longer than other tires, it might be the same in the end, but do they last twice as long as a $40 tire?
And you would hate to damage one with a freak incident, especially at near 100 ea (with taxes)
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Old 02-27-13, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
I see what you are saying re tire width, but the Supremes in 26x2 are 565g each BUT are pretty darn expensive, listed at around 80-85 bucks. They look pretty snazzy but would only consider them when I really need tires, as close to 200 dollars to reshod your bike is quite a hefty amount. As Burton has written in the past, if they last a lot longer than other tires, it might be the same in the end, but do they last twice as long as a $40 tire?
And you would hate to damage one with a freak incident, especially at near 100 ea (with taxes)
Somewhat off topic
One of the bothersome things I've seen with Marathon Supremes after buying two 20"x 1.6", one 26"x 1.6", three 700cx35mm and one 26"x2.0" is that too many can have out of round variability that is discernible on a smooth road. It was really bad on one 20", tolerable on the other 20", tolerable on the 26"x1.6" and noticeable on two 700x35mm. It looks like the kind of thing that occurs where casing overlaps making kind of an indent in the sidewall and a hop in the ride. They're excellent tires but for the money that kind of variability in roundness doesn't make any sense when tires costing 1/3 as much have greater consistency. I've had two 700cx35mm Mondials that were round.
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Old 02-27-13, 05:56 PM
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I have used Big Apple 26x2" for many years on my commuter/shopper. It is nice for cruising along and is fine on tracks and trails but it fails in slippery mud and snow compared to a Marathon. If I had to use Big Apples for touring I would be OK. Ive used 700c Marathon 32 (not the Plus version) and that was fine too. Something inbetween would be ideal.
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Old 02-28-13, 11:43 AM
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You did not say why you want fat tires. I assume for soft ground.

I bought some Town and Country 2.0 width on the advice from a friend who really liked his. Unfortunately, his were the older ones made in Germany, mine are the newer ones made in India. (Although I paid what I would expect to pay for German made tires.) Tread is not as deep and I got a flat from a bit of wood about the size of a toothpick. If a little piece of wood can cause a flat with a new tire, that is not good in my opinion, so I took them off of the touring bike. The Town and Country tires are now on my grocery store bike that I almost never take more than two miles from home.

On my 26 inch wheeled tourer for gravel, I use 2.0 width Dureme tire on the front, it calipers out at about 47mm wide and is rated for 50mm. I use the Schwalbe Extreme on the rear, it calipers out at 49mm, but the Extreme is very noisy on pavement. These tires have the reflective sidewall that I think is really good to have in town at night. The Dureme on front and rear would also be a good set of tires if you want something about this width. Shown with Dureme 2.0 front and Extreme 2.0 rear so you can get an idea of what they look like.



I have run 1.5 width (rated at 40mm width) Schwalbe Marathons with GreenGuard on my 26 inch tourer, they were great on a 500 mile pavement tour I did last summer. I could run them at high pressure for good rolling. This photo has the 1.5 width Marathons.

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Old 02-28-13, 08:14 PM
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Lee, I will keep that in mind if I ever look at getting a pair.
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Old 03-01-13, 01:23 AM
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I'm with everyone on the 50mm Marathon Supremes. Sometimes, you can find them on sale for under $60, with free shipping. Buy a 2nd pair, with the way tire prices have been in the last few years, touring tires of this caliber will cost well over $100 a piece!
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Old 03-01-13, 05:15 AM
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I am hugely skeptical that tourers can actually experience differences among different tire brands. For a given diameter and width and comparable weight and pressure, your options all give you essentially the same experience and you may as well buy the cheapest tire you can find.

Variables like tread pattern, "shock absorption," puncture resistance, "fastness," and "hardness" are the stuff of advertising copy and fantasy. Put a range of comparable tires on a bike and a bunch of blindfolded cyclists in the saddle and I'm confident the cyclists' preferences will average out to noise.

Last edited by Takara; 03-01-13 at 05:17 AM. Reason: Oops
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Old 03-01-13, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Takara View Post
I am hugely skeptical that tourers can actually experience differences among different tire brands. For a given diameter and width and comparable weight and pressure, your options all give you essentially the same experience and you may as well buy the cheapest tire you can find.

Variables like tread pattern, "shock absorption," puncture resistance, "fastness," and "hardness" are the stuff of advertising copy and fantasy. Put a range of comparable tires on a bike and a bunch of blindfolded cyclists in the saddle and I'm confident the cyclists' preferences will average out to noise.
I was part of a group tour last summer, 16 people, 350 miles, loaded down with our camping gear. Three people had flats. Two had one flat each and one of those was unloaded when she got a flat while going to grocery store from campground. One had at least four flats.

Thus more than half of the flats by a group of 16 people were suffered by one person. I do not think this was coincidence.
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Old 03-01-13, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I was part of a group tour last summer, 16 people, 350 miles, loaded down with our camping gear. Three people had flats. Two had one flat each and one of those was unloaded when she got a flat while going to grocery store from campground. One had at least four flats.

Thus more than half of the flats by a group of 16 people were suffered by one person. I do not think this was coincidence.
Neither do I, but I'd suspect poor tire changing or wheel maintenance technique long before blaming the tires. If you randomly reassigned all the tires in your group, it's likely that nobody would notice, and the same people would still be getting all the flats.
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Old 03-01-13, 11:08 AM
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I have 2.1 Regular Marathons.....No complaints.
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Old 03-01-13, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Takara View Post
I am hugely skeptical that tourers can actually experience differences among different tire brands. For a given diameter and width and comparable weight and pressure, your options all give you essentially the same experience and you may as well buy the cheapest tire you can find.

Variables like tread pattern, "shock absorption," puncture resistance, "fastness," and "hardness" are the stuff of advertising copy and fantasy. Put a range of comparable tires on a bike and a bunch of blindfolded cyclists in the saddle and I'm confident the cyclists' preferences will average out to noise.
interesting take on it. Now I do know that when unloaded, I can feel the diff between a tire with a really stiff sidewall and one that does not (at similar pressures) and how a tire can feel compared to another in the wet (to an extent) but perhaps with a whole bunch of weight on a bike, a stiff tire wont be that stiff anymore....maybe....I still prefer a tire that isnt super stiff, as I do believe I can feel the difference.

am I wrong, who knows. I think however that the more you ride the more attune you can be to small differences, but I feel that common sense will show that some tires are less flat prone than others given the same pressures etc etc. Not running over crap helps and being attentive to what you do ride over is a factor.
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Old 03-02-13, 01:45 AM
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I can also feel tire differences on a road or track bike, and I'd pay close attention to tires if I were a racer. But on tour, the number of camera lenses you bring and whether or not you carry a camp stove or a netbook or a tent or a pair of jeans matter far more to comfort and joy than the various performance attributes of tires.
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Old 03-02-13, 02:00 AM
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I would venture further to say that the availability of replacement tire sizes is dispositive on tour. On tour in 1983 in the American South, before the Internet and one-day delivery, I had a long and ultimately wonderful experience waiting for an exotic 700c tire to arrive in the mail because my bike needed one and Alabama bike shops didn't have these yet. I had such a good time waiting that I don't regret a minute of the delay, but this also counts against tire selection decisions for tourists: Where are you going, and what are your options if you blow out a tire?

Last edited by Takara; 03-02-13 at 02:01 AM. Reason: oops
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Old 03-02-13, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Takara View Post
I am hugely skeptical that tourers can actually experience differences among different tire brands. For a given diameter and width and comparable weight and pressure, your options all give you essentially the same experience and you may as well buy the cheapest tire you can find.

Variables like tread pattern, "shock absorption," puncture resistance, "fastness," and "hardness" are the stuff of advertising copy and fantasy. Put a range of comparable tires on a bike and a bunch of blindfolded cyclists in the saddle and I'm confident the cyclists' preferences will average out to noise.
So is your skepticism based on theory or reality? I keep a 700 wheelset mounted with Schwalbe Marathon Supremes in the shop so potential buyers can take a no risk test drive using their own bike. So far everyone can tell the difference. Not everyone's willing to PAY for the difference - but thats a different story.
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Old 03-02-13, 05:25 PM
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I'll bet your customers are reacting to your nice wheels, not your nice tires.
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