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Ideal 26 tire tread size for mixture of rails to trails loam, mud, pavement, etc?

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Ideal 26 tire tread size for mixture of rails to trails loam, mud, pavement, etc?

Old 05-25-18, 08:38 AM
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markm75
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Ideal 26 tire tread size for mixture of rails to trails loam, mud, pavement, etc?

I recently got my wife a new bike, its a Giant Boulder SE, this an upgrade from my old bike she was ride a 1990 schwinn maximizer (which now is being used by my 15 year old).. we took it for a spin on our usual rails to trails which is often soft loam, spots of mud, then cement/pavement etc, so a good mixture.. she thought the tread seemed harder to go on was kicking up rocks more than the old bike, but i think this makes sense and maybe isnt a bad thing on the kicking out of rocks.. The tire size is wider than the old maximizer, the boulder has 2.10 tires.. here is a photo of the tread/tire:



My bike is a 2001 schwinn with more of a mixture of tread on the bottom i'd say, i think this tread is geared for what we ride on (i could be totally wrong on this).. its a 26x1.95 and listed at 70a.. I personally think my tire does ok and rolls well.. i also pull our youngest in a trailer (30lbs) and she will likely take turns on the other and it fairs ok, maybe we could both do better.. here is a shot of the tread..i think i've had these tires on here a good 8 years now and very little wear (crossroads specialized brand, cant seem to find a similar tread pattern).



The maximizers tread looks like this (again 1.95 like mine):


So i began searching over amazon looking for the right tire but now i'm just not sure.. i also briefly thought maybe paying more and going tubeless made sense, but given we've only had 1 flat in 2 years with lots of riding maybe not, so a durable tire is ideal none the less..
I also assumed her 2.10 were too wide given the mixture, though in reality probably not that much wider than the 1.95, by much anyway.

Any thoughts on the ideal tread/good rolling tire for this situation?

Thanks in advance

Last edited by markm75; 05-25-18 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 05-25-18, 09:06 AM
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Continental travel contact ?


just enough knobby for soft surfaces , but rolls very nicely on hard and paved surfaces..
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Old 05-25-18, 10:54 AM
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+1 on the Travel Contacts, unless you are regularly in mud or really soft sand. I haven't experienced many rail trails that would be in bad enough shape I wouldn't use Travel Contacts, they got me through some fun stuff in Iceland just fine.

That said, before I had those I had Forte Gotham ST, form Performance Bike, other than being a bit heavy they also ran nice over most surfaces: https://www.performancebike.com/shop...26x175-50-1393
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Old 05-25-18, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
+1 on the Travel Contacts, unless you are regularly in mud or really soft sand. I haven't experienced many rail trails that would be in bad enough shape I wouldn't use Travel Contacts, they got me through some fun stuff in Iceland just fine.

That said, before I had those I had Forte Gotham ST, form Performance Bike, other than being a bit heavy they also ran nice over most surfaces: https://www.performancebike.com/shop...26x175-50-1393
I hadnt considered a tire like the Travel Contacts.. i figured not having some "knobs" on the center could be not so great in some spots.. The trail we ride on can be soft loam in spots and those mud sections where it lacks loam.. but maybe its a non issue.. i guess the question is, what do you lose by losing the center structure, just thick soft terrain forward momentum maybe? Only one way to try is to get them and see if she feels a difference.. I just really like the Specialized crossroads i have on my bike, but i only have super knobby old standard mountain bike tires to compare to.


I did see these and thought they looked solid, more structure in the center..

In that forte line at least on amazon i'm only seeing 1.75" wide.. hadnt considered going narrower than the 1.95 but maybe some advantages too
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Old 05-25-18, 02:00 PM
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IME, if you're not mountain biking/cyclocross, tread is fairly overrated. Hard to tell how soft and sandy and how regular you deal with it, though. If it is quite extensive, smooth may not be as good of an idea.
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Old 05-25-18, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
IME, if you're not mountain biking/cyclocross, tread is fairly overrated. Hard to tell how soft and sandy and how regular you deal with it, though. If it is quite extensive, smooth may not be as good of an idea.
That's what I think too.
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Old 05-26-18, 08:16 AM
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I used to have full knobbies on my mtn bike. Don't ride the mtn.bike trails now, and was looking for something for rail-trails, pavement, dirt, a tire that could handle all but full-fledged mtb trails. Currently using a Hutchinson Python 2.00 width. One of the things I like is (at least with the ones I have) is that you could run from 35psi to 80psi. On pavement, I'll run around 60psi. They do make some noise on pavement, but work well on unpaved surfaces.
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Old 05-26-18, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
+1 on the Travel Contacts, unless you are regularly in mud or really soft sand. I haven't experienced many rail trails that would be in bad enough shape I wouldn't use Travel Contacts, they got me through some fun stuff in Iceland just fine.

That said, before I had those I had Forte Gotham ST, form Performance Bike, other than being a bit heavy they also ran nice over most surfaces: https://www.performancebike.com/shop...26x175-50-1393
On these Contacts.. they dont seem to have them in a 1.95.. seems to be 1.75 only.. i would think i'd be better off with the 1.95 like on my bike? Or maybe not much of a difference. Seems either these contacts or the pythons tend to run a little pricey to what i remember.. at least $30-40 a tire vs $20.

Looks like they have a similar style kenda to the contacts here for $27 (1.95 size) (City Komfort) But might not be that great on loose loam/dirt situations.

Last edited by markm75; 05-26-18 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 05-26-18, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by markm75 View Post
On these Contacts.. they dont seem to have them in a 1.95.. seems to be 1.75 only.. i would think i'd be better off with the 1.95 like on my bike? Or maybe not much of a difference. Seems either these contacts or the pythons tend to run a little pricey to what i remember.. at least $30-40 a tire vs $20.

Looks like they have a similar style kendra to the contacts here for $27 (1.95 size) (City Komfort) But might not be that great on loose loam/dirt situations.
To be blunt, I'd be surprised if you could tell the difference in 0.2" on such a platform. I can't.
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Old 05-26-18, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
To be blunt, I'd be surprised if you could tell the difference in 0.2" on such a platform. I can't.
Yeah thats what i figured.. too small to make much of a difference for what we are doing
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Old 05-27-18, 08:46 AM
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I will echo what others jave said about not needed much tread for what you are describing. Even if there are loamy stretches and some mud, unless you are needing to climb or turn aggressively in those places, you donít need much tread, and it slows you down the rest of the time.

A good place for suggestions may be the gravel bike forum.
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Old 05-28-18, 07:21 PM
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Consider the pattern of regular Schwalbe Marathons?
for me, they have worked pretty well across a wide variation of surfaces.
sort of like an all season tire, 47 or 50 mm is a good size.
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