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Old 01-16-16, 03:38 PM   #1
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Tire recommendations for commuting around Vancouver

Hi everyone,

I live in Tsawwassen, BC and I frequently commute from home to work close to downtown Vancouver by a steel framed touring bike. Once in Richmond, I typically ride down #5 road to Westminster Highway and then over to Garden City, down Garden city to the transit bridge, and then up Cambie street towards work. About 50% of the time I'll ride down Steveston highway first and then down #2 road, over towards the airport island, across the Arthur Laing Bridge, and then either up Granville or over towards UBC before heading to work.

This week the side wall blew out on my rear tire and so it's time to replace it. I have been riding on 32cs but I am having difficulty finding 32cs slicks, so I'm debating buying 28cs to replace both the front and rear tire. According to Sheldon Brown bikes don't need tread to have good traction because they aren't affected by water on the road the same way that cars are. So my question is, does anyone have any recommendations / experience / opinions using 28 vs 32 mm tires for commuting in the Vancouver area and tires with medium, small, or no tread, especially considering the weather conditions in winter?

The primary reasons I want to switch to 28s is that I can run them at a higher PSI (I prefer the how it feels), they will be faster, and I can get 28s with less tread more easily than 32s.

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Old 02-14-16, 07:26 AM   #2
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Wow, no replies yet? I have had good luck with Schwalbe Marathon tires in 28 mm. Nothing short of studded tires are useable on ice as far as I am concerned, but the Marathons are comfy and stable in rain and light snow. Much faster than knobbies, but still not a light tire. I find them a security blanket of sorts, though. The puncture resistance and heft are much to my liking.

If you're still looking for recommendations, you might repost in the commuting thread.

Best regards from Indianapolis.
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Old 02-14-16, 03:00 PM   #3
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There are tons of tire choices with a multitude of opinions.

Light tread like on the Marathon tires may or may not make a big difference. I thought my Marathon tires had better climbing traction on my driveway (with a few fir needles) than other slicker tires. However, I'm not sure how much was tread vs grippier rubber.

Anyway, there is no reason to avoid tires with moderate tread, and they do give a quick visual on wear.

I do most of my riding on 25mm tires. I did recently do some experiments with some quality 35mm tires (Clement X'Plor USH 120), and was surprised to find very little difference in my peak performance vs my thinner tires, although I might not choose that as a commuter tire.

The one thing I would encourage you to do is to choose puncture resistant tires.

The Marathon tires are HEAVY, and unfortunately I snagged a big piece of glass with mine early causing significant damage.

For low cost tires, I've been very pleased with my Origin8 Elimin8er tires. A little heavy, but not bad.

Continental has a number of popular tires including their 4-seasons tire, and Gatorskin and Gator Hardshells.

Compass does sell moderately wide tires with a moderately smooth tread, but, they appear to be more of a performance tire than a commuter tire.
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Old 03-18-16, 09:37 PM   #4
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I've had good luck for years commuting on Gatorskins 28's, but last year switched to Specialized All Condition Armadillos 28's because of price, and I like 'em better and the harder composition seems to roll easier. Chose the more rugged 60 tpi and I tour and commute on them. 28's are just big enough you don't have to worry about road seams etc.
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Old 05-12-16, 07:45 PM   #5
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I ride skinnier tires than you do, but have both gatorskins and armadillos and ride a steel road bike. I prefer the gatorskins though am happy to ride the armadillos as well. Frankly, I think the difference is pure placebo effect, since I am biased toward German Technologie. Since I've switched to those two tires, I've not had one puncture/blowout etc. Both hold nicely in the wet, which it used to be in Vancouver once upon a time....

Last edited by wannabemekon; 05-12-16 at 07:47 PM. Reason: for clarity...
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Old 06-06-16, 03:37 PM   #6
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I've commuted on the gatorskins with great success. I bought a cheap serfas tire recently though, because the gatorskins are getting expensive and I'm cheap. (Probably a mistake.)
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Old 06-01-17, 03:10 PM   #7
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gatorskins are great.
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