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Inverted tread tires

Old 07-27-21, 01:10 PM
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2014townie7d
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Inverted tread tires

Anybody running inverted tires? I'm thinking of getting Serfas Drifter City tires for my Electra Townie. I'm now running Schwalbe Big Ben 26 x 2.15.
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Old 07-27-21, 01:31 PM
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It sounds to me like a bunch of marketing hype for an ordinary tire.



"Inverted" apparently means running the chevrons on the tires backwards. In theory, the chevrons are designed to push water and mud away from the center of the tire, and improve traction. Very important for TRACTORS. Probably not a big difference for bicycles.

That tire looks symmetrical, which makes mounting easier, and less mistakes.

What that tire does have is a continuous center bead, which also likely means less flex in the tread bumps.

I like the concept, but keep in mind that the tire does substantially flatten down at the contact patch.

Nonetheless, less flexing of the tread bumps may mean slightly less power loss.

Ultimately, however, a commuter tire on an Electra Townie, you likely won't notice a thing.

  • Our Dual Density Technology uses multiple rubber compounds used to improve feel and durability
  • Harder rubber compounds give you improved rolling resistance and improved longevity, while softer compounds on the outer tire improve grip
I might be concerned with too hard of a rubber compound for traction, but it does seem to indicate a softer rubber on the sides for cornering.
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Old 07-27-21, 01:31 PM
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On what type of surface are you riding?

If it's hard pavement, avoid tires with tread. It serves no purpose and will only slow you down.
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Old 07-27-21, 01:39 PM
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If you insist on running a tread on your tires for pavement, then the Schwalbe Big Ben look like they'll at least channel the water out of the way where the Serfas Drifter City tires look like they'll trap water under the tread.

Are you having problems with your current tire or trying to solve something that isn't an issue for you?
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Old 07-27-21, 01:50 PM
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I used to use Continental Town & Countrys, and they did a nice job on a variety of surfaces, from pavement to crushed granite to hardpack. They were not great for mud, as the "inverted" sections would fill up and turn the tire into a slick.


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Old 07-27-21, 02:15 PM
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I have only ever toured on Conti Top Contact II tires, which have inverted treads. 700x35c, which actually measures 37c. Do both pavement and dirt/gravel. About the ride home from the office on them as well.
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Old 07-27-21, 03:27 PM
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Several old sets; Avocet Cross, Club Roost Cross Terra and a couple of others, all with some sort of center ridge. No problems.
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Old 07-27-21, 06:54 PM
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I've used both the 26x1.5 and 26x2.0 sizes, no problem with either. The 1.5's are on a utility bike I use for commuting, some short distance riding, and utility riding, all on pavement. the 2.0's are on an old MTB used as a beach cruiser/utiity bike. They do make a 'suction cupping' kinda sound when you first ride on them, but that disappears quickly. Nice tires for pavement as they are (were) inexpensive and puncture-resistant. I would buy them again, but REI quit selling them in their stores ($22 - $25) and they are more expensive from online retailers these days.
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Old 07-27-21, 08:37 PM
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I've gone through a couple of sets of Bontrager H2 commuter tires that are inverted tread. It is nothing new or that unusual for commuter / urban / hybrid tires.
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Old 07-28-21, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post


"Inverted" apparently means running the chevrons on the tires backwards.
No, inverted means the tread has pockets instead of knobs, as if the knobs themselves are inverted into the tread rather than atop it.

As noted, it’s a longtime tread design, meant to smooth and ease rolling and transitioning/turning while maintaining loose surface traction.
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Old 07-28-21, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
Several old sets; Avocet Cross, Club Roost Cross Terra and a couple of others, all with some sort of center ridge. No problems.
Those names bring back memories! I don’t remembee the Cross Terra as an inverted tread, but Avocet and Club Roost/Onza recall what was a really awesome period in cycling!
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Old 07-28-21, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
....inverted means the tread has pockets instead of knobs, as if the knobs themselves are inverted into the tread rather than atop it.
This^^^^
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Old 07-28-21, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Those names bring back memories! I don’t remembee the Cross Terra as an inverted tread, but Avocet and Club Roost/Onza recall what was a really awesome period in cycling!
Club Roost was the brand and Cross Terra was the model, as I recall. Had 'em on my wife's old Peugeot Orient Express.

.
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Old 07-28-21, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
Club Roost was the brand and Cross Terra was the model, as I recall. Had 'em on my wife's old Peugeot Orient Express.

.
Yeah, for sure, and your pic is as I remember it…and I would not consider that an inverted tread pattern.
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Old 07-28-21, 05:03 PM
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I've had Avocet Cross IIs and Continental Town & Countrys. Both were great do-80%-of-everything-well tires. The Avocets did wear into a flat-topped profile like a Marine's head, which I wasn't super jazzed about. The Contis wore down pretty evenly... and very, very slowly. For a bombproof, crappy-road-commuting-and-moderate-off-roading tire in 26"/559, they'd be my go-to tire even today. That Serfas looks like the design brief was "make a copy of the T&C that's just different enough so that we won't get sued."

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Old 08-23-21, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
If you insist on running a tread on your tires for pavement, then the Schwalbe Big Ben look like they'll at least channel the water out of the way where the Serfas Drifter City tires look like they'll trap water under the tread.

Are you having problems with your current tire or trying to solve something that isn't an issue for you?
The issue with the current tires on this Walmart purchased Schwinn 12 speed mountain bike is twofold. First, the bike sat idle in my garage for quite some time - long enough for the original 26” X 1.95 tires to go completely flat. Had to replace 1 tube . Reinflated the tires and started using again. Though it’s a mountain bike, I do very little, trail or dirt riding. I also do little to no riding in the rain , so water channeling capabilities are irrelevant.My occasional riding ( sometimes 10 miles or more), is confined to suburban streets and paved bike paths. I’m now wanting to ditch the knobby tires that came with the bike and replace them with something more optimized for hard/smooth surface riding, but not a road or racing type tire, per se.

The OEM tires are 15+ years old and I never did care for the ride quality on pavement. Too much surface feedback when riding which many have described as humming or buzzing, likely due to a higher than average rolling resistance . I sometimes thought a brake shoe was rubbing, and would always stop and check. Plus, now having sat flat in my garage for a long time, they appear to be drying out and cracking, (though still rideable). So I thought to incentivize me to ride more often, I’d replace them with something more pavement friendly. Plus, I don’t want to be far from home when one of those tires decides to give out!

You can almost now guess, with a good degree of accuracy, the attributes I’m after in choosing a replacement set of tires. Decently low rolling resistance, a smooth quiet ride, a fair to above average degree of puncture resistance and at least adequate traction . Lastly, and maybe this is in some way, related to a low rolling resistance, I want to perceive pedaling effort as seeming more efficient, e.g. when pedaling uphill. I hope that makes sense. Any suggestions are welcome. Tires I’ve begun considering,(and poring over reviews for), are the following:

Michelin Protek/ Protek Cross/ Cross Max.
Continental Contact+Travel, Conti Ride Tour
Specialized Hemisphere
Schwalbe Marathon

I also need to factor in that not all of the above tires are necessarily offered in the same exact 26” X1.95 configuration. Though I’m fully aware of the inconsistencies in the various sizing systems, I still don’t want to stray too far away from the above, to avoid any issues with frame tolerances or having to deal with the hassle of multiple returns.
Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated 😉

Last edited by Leisurebiker; 08-23-21 at 01:07 AM.
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