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Old 11-13-15, 06:50 AM
  #1  
jargo432
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Tires

I'm looking for a good set of 26in mtn bike tires for a touring setup. What I'd like is good traction and puncture resistant. (not worried about a soft ride).

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-13-15, 08:07 AM
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think you'll have to be more specific, are you looking for mtn bike type tires, and "good traction" --on what sort of surfaces, as this is the real sticking point and is the more important factor to decide actual width and tread pattern.
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Old 11-13-15, 08:36 AM
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These days I am riding on Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour tires, 47-559 size. I ride on some gravelly trails and on road shoulders sprinkled with glass fragments. So far I am quite happy with the tires. They certainly belong on your short list!
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Old 11-13-15, 08:47 AM
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I'm very happy with my Schwalbe Mondials in the 2.0 width. I run them at 80-90 psi on pavement and lower the pressure to 40 psi when on gravel and dirt.
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Old 11-13-15, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
2.0 width. I run them at 80-90 psi
That is mighty high pressure for that width! There is risk of wrecking the rims - depending on the width of the rim! My rims have inner well width of 19mm. That's too narrow for such high pressure on a wide tire. Wide tires have a lot more surface tension at a given psi. Then on a narrow rim that tension becomes a force spreading the rim apart.

But hey, if it works for you!
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Old 11-13-15, 09:17 AM
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I've run the Continental Travel Contacts on two 26" MTB conversions, they look like MTB tires but ride like Gatorskins. I think you can get them in 1.6 or 2.0 widths. No flats or issues.
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Old 11-13-15, 09:25 AM
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If you want puncture protection, Schwalbe Marathons are your solution. The Marathon Supreme is their fastest-rolling, but still darn near puncture-proof.

These guys have the cheapest prices on Schwalbe tires that I've seen.
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Old 11-13-15, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim Kukula View Post
That is mighty high pressure for that width! There is risk of wrecking the rims ...
+1

High pressure on wide tires will greatly accelerate rim cracking at spoke holes. No need for 80-90psi on 2.0s.
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Old 11-13-15, 01:54 PM
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Marathon mondials offer the best combination low rolling resistance, puncture protection and on and off road suitability of any tire I know of.
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Old 11-13-15, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jargo432 View Post
I'm looking for a good set of 26in mtn bike tires for a touring setup. What I'd like is good traction and puncture resistant. (not worried about a soft ride).

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
On road? Off road? If a mix about how much of each?
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Old 11-13-15, 02:43 PM
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whatever you get , a 3rd tire , folding type if you wish , is a good thing to have as a spare, on a Long tour.
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Old 11-13-15, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jargo432 View Post
I'm looking for a good set of 26in mtn bike tires for a touring setup. What I'd like is good traction and puncture resistant. (not worried about a soft ride).

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
I'm like Vittorias. The Randonneur and Randonneur Pro have served me well for commuting and I wouldn't hesitate to use them as touring tire. Both come in a 26" version. They cost a lot less then Schwalbe Marathon...about $30 vs $50...but their big advantage is in weight. The 26x1.75 Randonneur has a listed weight of 580g which is kind of portly but the Marathon Plus in the same size weighs an astounding 1000g in that size!

I haven't tried the Marathons...no one has had them in stock when I needed tires...but the Randonneur has good flat protection and wears very well. I can't see what the extra 400g would be used for.

Vittoria also has a number of off-road tires with smoother tread that would be good choices. Still lighter than the Schwalbe.
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Old 11-13-15, 04:22 PM
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i'm using marathon plus 26 x 1,5 and more than 4000km fully loaded (40kg) without a flat, glasses, dirt, gravel, tarmac, loving it.
bikediscount.de has great prices like someone told.

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Old 11-13-15, 05:12 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
think you'll have to be more specific, are you looking for mtn bike type tires, and "good traction" --on what sort of surfaces, as this is the real sticking point and is the more important factor to decide actual width and tread pattern.
Dirt and gravel roads. I have the marathons on it now but find in the loose stuff I'm sliding around a lot.

Thanks for all the replies.
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Old 11-13-15, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim Kukula View Post
That is mighty high pressure for that width! There is risk of wrecking the rims - depending on the width of the rim! My rims have inner well width of 19mm. That's too narrow for such high pressure on a wide tire. Wide tires have a lot more surface tension at a given psi. Then on a narrow rim that tension becomes a force spreading the rim apart.

But hey, if it works for you!
The front rim is a 36 hole Velocity Mountain Goat in the 25mm width and the rear rim is a 36 hole Sun Rhyno Lite in the 25mm width. When I first got the Schwalbes, I was running them at 40 psi and the ride on pavement was awful. The side wall on the tire says 80 psi max, so I tried that and the ride quality and speed was phenomenally better. I was told it was safe to run those tires at 80psi with the wider rim?

I found I don't have traction issues running them offroad at 40-30 psi, even on wet dirt.
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Old 11-13-15, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jargo432 View Post
I'm looking for a good set of 26in mtn bike tires for a touring setup. What I'd like is good traction and puncture resistant. (not worried about a soft ride).

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
look at Continental touring plus 26x1.75 at bikeman Cool Bike Parts and Accessories from the Coast of Maine since 1976
TR9392 $26.99
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Old 11-13-15, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
The front rim is a 36 hole Velocity Mountain Goat in the 25mm width and the rear rim is a 36 hole Sun Rhyno Lite in the 25mm width. When I first got the Schwalbes, I was running them at 40 psi and the ride on pavement was awful. The side wall on the tire says 80 psi max, so I tried that and the ride quality and speed was phenomenally better. I was told it was safe to run those tires at 80psi with the wider rim?

I found I don't have traction issues running them offroad at 40-30 psi, even on wet dirt.
There are two width measurements for rims, inner and outer. The inner is usually 5 or 6 mm narrower than the outer. 25 mm is sort of medium for an outer width, but it's on the wide side for an inner width.

The high pressure limit on the tire may be more than what the rim can take. This is tricky territory of course! But if you try say 60 psi maybe you will be happy with the middle road!

Here is another mention of the stress on the rim from high inflation: overinflated tires ?

https://sun-ringle.com/wp-content/upl...files_rev_.pdf
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Old 11-13-15, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jargo432 View Post
Dirt and gravel roads. I have the marathons on it now but find in the loose stuff I'm sliding around a lot.

Thanks for all the replies.
perhaps the tread pattern of the mondial is more to your liking.

Marathon Mondial HS 428 | Schwalbe North America


what width marathons are you using, and which marathons?

I have ridden 26x1.5 regular marathons on all kinds of surfaces, and would only go wider and more tready if I knew I were to be predominantly on dirt and gravel--and of course with a load, wider is always going to be easier, wider foot print.
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Old 11-13-15, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim Kukula View Post
There are two width measurements for rims, inner and outer. The inner is usually 5 or 6 mm narrower than the outer. 25 mm is sort of medium for an outer width, but it's on the wide side for an inner width.

The high pressure limit on the tire may be more than what the rim can take. This is tricky territory of course! But if you try say 60 psi maybe you will be happy with the middle road!
[/url]
Thanks Jim,

I'll try a lower pressure and see how it feels. I haven't been able to dig up any pressure limits on my rims when doing a quick web search. I understand the max psi limit decreases with tire width from what I did find.
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Old 11-13-15, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
Thanks Jim,

I'll try a lower pressure and see how it feels. I haven't been able to dig up any pressure limits on my rims when doing a quick web search. I understand the max psi limit decreases with tire width from what I did find.
have you been running those 2 inchers at 80-90 without a load or with one, and if yes, how much weight?
I have used 1.5 marathons regular at about 65psi with about 25lbs on the rear rack only, and that pressure works well. I do only weigh 140, but it seems to me that at 80-90 you are putting a lot more stress into your wheels and spokes.
Ive used 26x2 Supremes a bit and wouldnt run them at 90 unless I was loaded a lot, and frankly, even then in my experience that is simply too much.

I am convinced that higher pressures like that on a 2 in tire is working against you, less comfort and harder on the wheels. Allow the tire to do some more suspension effect and it wont be slower--within limits of course on pavement, but if you have a good floor pump, try various pressures for a given bike weight and ride the same route to really feel the difference. On rough paved roads, bringing them down from 80 or 90 to 60 or 70 will be a diffference you will really feel in being less beat up, with no real loss of speed.

I ride a route of about 10-12km as a commute and as I take the same roads, with all the potholes and rough stuff here and there, its a great way to try diff tires and diff pressures and really see how they feel, both in ride quality and effort required, and also to roughly compare ride times. Oh, and with diff weights too, so a bunch of factors that I can try out as I am commuting anyway, so fun to try stuff and actually feel the difference.
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Old 11-13-15, 11:51 PM
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Here's another interesting discussion: FLO Cycling - Why Do You Use Less Tire Pressure for a Bigger Tire or Wider Wheel?

He talks about how rim width affects casing tension, but I don't see where he talks about the stress that casing tension puts on the rim, and how that changes with rim width. The casing and bead are pulling the rim in a particular direction. A narrow tire will tend to pull the rim away from the hub. On the same rim, a wider tire is going to pull more and more in line with the axis - the two sides of the rim are getting pulled in opposite directions.

This is all about the maximum safe pressure for the tire, rather than the optimum pressure for efficiency. For efficiency, it does seem like a trade-off between rolling resistance and suspension. There is energy lost when a bumpy ride shakes the bike. If you mostly stand on the pedals then the bumps don't shake you much. Do you have luggage on the bike that is getting shaken and absorbing energy? The most efficient tire pressure depends on all these factors!
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Old 11-13-15, 11:52 PM
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and some more discussion: https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-me...m-failure.html
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Old 11-14-15, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
I'm very happy with my Schwalbe Mondials in the 2.0 width. I run them at 80-90 psi on pavement and lower the pressure to 40 psi when on gravel and dirt.
I concur with Kukula and djb, 2.0 (50mm) width at those pressures is too high. I never go higher than about 60 psi with 2.0 width, and then I usually run the front about a half atmosphere less than the rear.

Originally Posted by jargo432 View Post
Dirt and gravel roads. I have the marathons on it now but find in the loose stuff I'm sliding around a lot.

Thanks for all the replies.
Unfortunately the tires I use are now discontinued, but for that type of riding I use the 2.0 (50mm) width Marathon Dureme on front and 2.0 Marathon Extreme on the back. I have never used the Mondial which replaced the Dureme and Extreme. Since I never tried the Mondial, I am hesitant to make a recommendation.

Lower pressure will increase traction, but there is a limit to how low you can go before you get too much sidewall flex and the tire starts to feel squirmy.
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Old 11-14-15, 05:19 AM
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I have Schwalbe Marathon Dureme.... it was Schwalbe's top of the line tire back in the day. It makes a great all-around pavement and rails to trails tire. Performs well on dirt and gravel, too.
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Old 11-14-15, 06:57 AM
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To put things in perspective with another example, on my drop bar bike with 28mm slicks, bike weighs about 30lbs with water, me at 140 and let's say 10-15 lbs of one pannier of stuff that I commute with--I regularly run 90psi in the rear and 85 in the rear---AND I know it goes down at least 5psi to 10 psi before I get around to pumping up again.

I always used to think the max pressure was best, but reading about losing efficiency over bumps (force going into frame) getting less beast up as the rider, and it being easier on the rims and spokes, made me experiment and consequently reduce pressures.
At whatever the tire width.
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