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Tire Talk

Old 11-19-13, 09:25 AM
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mdilthey
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Tire Talk

So I just wore through my Schwalbe Marathon Supremes after about 3,000 miles. If you've been in the Colorado thread, goat heads put tons of holes in and a crash compromised my sidewalls; they're done.

I'm in the market for new tires now. Any big changes to the standards or some tires I should consider that aren't obvious? I know lots of people get plenty out of their Schwalbe Marathon Plus, but I prefer a lighter tire.

Also, is there any merit to "hybrid" tread or is it a marketing gimmick?



I'll probably get Supremes again but I wanted to do a state-of-the-market before I pull the trigger.

Thanks!
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Old 11-19-13, 10:45 AM
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I found the Supremes flat prone and easily worn out, both treads and side walls, but were also provided quite a smooth ride. The Schwalbe Mondial HS428 is supposedly the XR replacement, so I would go with those. I still have a couple of years worth of XR's so...
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Old 11-19-13, 11:11 AM
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I didn't find the Supremes flat prone. I got one flat in each on my 2012 tour. This week, I got thorns, and when I replaced my tubes I found the same patched tubes in each tire from a year ago, despite about ~1500 miles of riding since then, and I used pretty high pressures.

I don't know about how the wear is because I haven't owned enough types of tires, but 3000 miles seems to be on the lighter side. They definitely wore, sidewalls and all.
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Old 11-19-13, 11:30 AM
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I found a potential gem: Grand Bois Cerf 700c x 29mm. Great reviews in the randonneuring crowd. Anyone have experience?
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Old 11-19-13, 02:28 PM
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Grand Bois tires are great tires, but if you want durability, I'll recommend Clements X'plor MSO
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Old 11-19-13, 02:52 PM
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I recently put some Vittoria Voyager Hyper 35mm on my bike for road use. I am very impressed by their quality, ease of installation and exceptional ride quality. They are pretty slick but I did a little rocky single track on them the other day and, while I was careful, it worked surprisingly well. Highly recommended.
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Old 11-19-13, 05:04 PM
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That Vittoria is nice. Any experience with the durability over the tire? I don't mind getting only ~3,000 miles, but any less and I'd be better off going with the Grand Bois line. I am wondering how the vittoria voyager hyper compares to the schwalbe marathon supreme, specifically in sidewall strength, since that's the main failure of my schwalbes.

The X'Plor MSO looks a little too off-road, but it's a cool tire. I might pick a pair up to try it but it's not what I'm looking for here. Thanks, though.
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Old 11-19-13, 05:09 PM
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I don't have enough miles on them to speak to durability but they do claim to have serious flat protection built in. The side walls don't seem to be a weak spot but that's just my first impression. Unless I am unpleasantly surprised I think these will become my "normal" road tire for my single bike and tandem.
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Old 11-19-13, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
I found a potential gem: Grand Bois Cerf 700c x 29mm. Great reviews in the randonneuring crowd. Anyone have experience?
No experience but there is no effing way a 250gram tire like that will hold up to load carrying like a 310g-375g-440g Supreme. What you might consider is putting the beefy tire where the load is and the lighter supple tire where hands are.

What tire size?

Last edited by LeeG; 11-19-13 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 11-19-13, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
I found a potential gem: Grand Bois Cerf 700c x 29mm. Great reviews in the randonneuring crowd. Anyone have experience?
Did you also notice the Grand Bois Cypres 700 x 31mm. I have GB tires in both sizes, on different bikes. Fabulous! I've toured once for a few weeks with 31mm on the Rambouillet and they were excellent. I only do credit card tours, however, so the load is much less.
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Old 11-19-13, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post
Did you also notice the Grand Bois Cypres 700 x 31mm. I have GB tires in both sizes, on different bikes. Fabulous! I've toured once for a few weeks with 31mm on the Rambouillet and they were excellent. I only do credit card tours, however, so the load is much less.
Yeah, I noticed both. I like them. I crave the speed. But, I don't want to burn up $120 + shipping if they end up being too light-duty for my needs such indecision....
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Old 11-19-13, 11:05 PM
  #12  
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I have been really pleased with Continental Ultra Gatorskins/Gatorskins since we switched over to them about 7 years ago. They are a good balance between weight and durability.

My wife and I have put a little over 8,000 loaded touring miles on Continental tires, primarily 28mm Ultra Gatorskins. However, we did switch to 32 mm Schwalbe Marathon tires (just the plain Jane Marathons) for awhile, and found them satisfactory, but a little heavy and "dead" feeling. We toured for about 4000 miles on the Schwalbe tires, until last year when the 32 mm Gatorskins finally became available in the U.S. I have to admit the Schwalbe tires performed well on a 3000 mile trip we took 2 years ago. Part of the route took us over more than 400 miles of unpaved roads and trails, and more than 500 miles of cobblestone roads and trails. They are just heavy!

The first time we used the 32 mm Continental Gatorskin tires was last summer on a 1200 mile ride across British Columbia and part of Alberta. They will probably be my main choice for tires on future tours. They seemed durable and the ride was lively (as lively as a touring bike gets) yet comfortable. If I was uncetain about the riding conditions or if I knew for sure a little beefier tire with some tread was going to be needed, I'd consider using the Schwalbe tires again.

If I get 3000-3500 miles on any of my rear tires. I feel pretty good about it. If I have any doubt about how much life is left in the tires when getting the bikes ready for a major tour, I put on new tires. If the old ones are still serviceable, I'll keep them to use for riding around home.

The Gatorskins were even OK on wet muddy roads.


Last edited by Doug64; 11-19-13 at 11:44 PM. Reason: Math correction
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Old 11-20-13, 04:16 AM
  #13  
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Just my 2 cents here. I tour and ride locally with a Surly LHT. I live in the country about 4 miles off of pavement on gravel roads. Moderate goat head country, but my tours have taken me into some regions with greater puncture pressure. Began with the new LHT and the Continental contacts that came with it. Got about 2500 miles on the contacts and could have gone further, but on an 1100 mile tour through Western Nebraska, eastern WY and the Black Hills of SD, I had 5 flats. I replaced those tires with Armadillo Nimbus. I have around 4000 miles on them, with one flat (tire wire). On a recent tour of over 1000 miles, no flats. They don't feel heavy, although I don't feel I'm a great judge of that with the LHT being my ride of choice. I don't notice much drag or rolling resistance difference from the stock tires. When I replace this set, it will probably be with another pair of the same.
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Old 11-20-13, 09:57 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
That Vittoria is nice. Any experience with the durability over the tire?
You can get 3k out of the hypers. The rear tire wore quicker than my last set of supremes but the ride quality is awesome. I very rarely get flats with the hypers, but I use them for commuting and city riding for the most part...never toured on them. BTW they roll very well.

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Old 11-20-13, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
That Vittoria is nice. Any experience with the durability over the tire? I don't mind getting only ~3,000 miles, but any less and I'd be better off going with the Grand Bois line. I am wondering how the vittoria voyager hyper compares to the schwalbe marathon supreme, specifically in sidewall strength, since that's the main failure of my schwalbes.
I haven't experienced any sidewall tears with the Hyper. As I recall, Vittoria's original marketing materials for the Hyper claimed that it was specifically designed to resist tears. Puncture protection is decent, but punctures can happen. As much as I love the Hyper, I've switched to the Vittoria Randonneur Pro. It's slightly heavier, but seems to have better puncture protection as a result. I also found the Hyper to wear pretty quickly. You can get 3,000 miles out of them but probably not a whole lot more. The Randonneur Pro seems to be wearing well, but I only have 1500 miles on them so far so the jury is still out.
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Old 11-21-13, 11:04 AM
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Continental Travel Contacts in 700c, higher end version w/ reflective sidewalls, have also served me well. Had 4 of them. Roll fine, excellent flat resistance, all conditions, loves gravel and dirt, too.
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Old 11-21-13, 11:30 AM
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Grand Bois tires get rave reviews for their ride quality and light weight, but I wouldn't consider them durable enough for touring. They would definitely be more prone to flats and wear out sooner than other tires mentioned here.

I've been running Vittoria Randonneur (Voyager) Hyper 32s on my touring bike for the past year, and they are excellent tires. They are easy to mount, durable, flat resistant and roll very nicely. They also have reflective sidewalls. Weight is not bad for a 32 mm tire, about 350 grams, and mine actually measure 35 mm wide on Dyad rims. I also have Rivendell Jack Browns on one of my cross bikes, which could work as touring tires. Mine are the lighter Green version, which weigh about 300 grams. The more durable Blue version weigh about 350 g. My JB's measure 34 mm wide and roll nicely, similar to the Hypers.
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Old 11-23-13, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
I haven't experienced any sidewall tears with the Hyper. As I recall, Vittoria's original marketing materials for the Hyper claimed that it was specifically designed to resist tears. Puncture protection is decent, but punctures can happen. As much as I love the Hyper, I've switched to the Vittoria Randonneur Pro. It's slightly heavier, but seems to have better puncture protection as a result. I also found the Hyper to wear pretty quickly. You can get 3,000 miles out of them but probably not a whole lot more. The Randonneur Pro seems to be wearing well, but I only have 1500 miles on them so far so the jury is still out.
I only run 26", but I swear by the Vittoria Rando Pros. Seem to last forever, not very heavy, decent ride, excellent flat resistance. One of the few flats I've had in them was due to a goat head, but I don't think you'll stop goat heads with anything less than a Mr Tuffy tire liner or a prohibitively thick and heavy tire. I run Rando Pros fore and aft on my tourer and as a rear tire on my commuter. Up front I've got a Panaracer T-Serv Protex, which IIRC comes in 700c as well. Also a great tire, less stiff sidewall, and higher rubber content makes it a little more cushy, but I don't think it is as durable as the Rando Pro, despite having about equal flat protection.
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Old 11-23-13, 07:40 PM
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I have heard good things about the Jack Brown Blue 700x33. They look classy and are too expensive for my taste, but if comfort, speed and durability is what you are after, these might do. There also other options on www.rivbike.com website with good information about different tire types.
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Old 11-24-13, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I have been really pleased with Continental Ultra Gatorskins/Gatorskins since we switched over to them about 7 years ago. They are a good balance between weight and durability.
I like the Gatorskins quite a bit myself and recommend them for folks who care about performance and ride feel, but also need a good bit of flat resistance.

That said I have been intrigued by the GB line of tires especially since both my gear weight and body weight are reduced from what I used to carry. I really would like to try them. I doubt I will try the GB tires any time soon though since I have a spare set of gatorskins sitting around in reserve.
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Old 11-24-13, 12:39 PM
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Okay, I'll fess first. I'm not your standard tourist. I don't do things the way everybody else does. Year round, here in New Hampshire, I use Bontrager T2 700x25. I generally can get 5-10,000 miles on them without much trouble. Recently I have been running into trouble I'm not sure how much of that is simply being in the wrong place at the right time. At the end of October I got a flat...ran over a roofing nail and it stayed right in the tire. They are semi slicks but they handle well, year round, and I get plenty of wear out of them.
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