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Flat resistant, low rolling resistance, 700x38c tires

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Flat resistant, low rolling resistance, 700x38c tires

Old 06-05-21, 01:33 PM
  #1  
Random11
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Flat resistant, low rolling resistance, 700x38c tires

I'm looking for 700x38c tires that are flat resistant and have low rolling resistance. Yes, I'm aware that flat resistant tires tend to have higher rolling resistance, and that low rolling resistance tires are more prone to flats. I'm looking at that trade-off and welcome suggestions.

I'm currently using Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires on my Diverge. I bought them because I was having lots of flats with the tires that came with the bike. I do want to stick with the 700x38c zize. One thought is to just stick with the Marathon Plus tires that have been satisfactory, but buying new tires, I'd like to consider alternatives. What other tires should I consider?

Also, I might consider running different tires on the front and back. I've had lots of flats, but only one has been on the front tire, so maybe flat resistance is more important for the rear tire and I should get something lighter and more responsive for the front. I ride on paved roads almost always, with some off-road riding. What do you think?

Last edited by Random11; 06-05-21 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 06-05-21, 02:13 PM
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John Valuk
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I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but I've given some thought to some Marathon Supremes in 700x35C for my 90's Trek Multitrack.

The Schwalbe web site show those in 700x35C and 700x40C, but not 700x38C.

Last edited by John Valuk; 06-05-21 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 06-05-21, 02:22 PM
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Good news is you can't get much worse than the tires you have now as far as rolling resistance. I would try something like Schwalbe pro one tubeless on the rear. Like you I mostly get flats in the rear so ran tubeless in the rear only during the last winter commuting season and got zero flats. When I took the tire off in the spring I found 5 or 6 small punctures, mostly from wires, which had been sealed. I use 28mm but think you might be able to get a larger size.
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Old 06-05-21, 02:38 PM
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A lot of people like Schwalbe Marathon Supreme and you can find many reviews of them. Another option is the Soma Shikoro.

These tires are on my list to try in the future, but I don't have an personal experience using them.

Last edited by katsup; 06-05-21 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 06-05-21, 02:44 PM
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Panaracer Gravelking slicks in tubeless?

IB4 all the Rene Hearse fanbois show up with their weird cult following.
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Old 06-05-21, 03:04 PM
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If you ride for exercise, why worry about rolling resistance? There is always the E bike option!
gm
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Old 06-05-21, 03:07 PM
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Hey if your Trek is like mine, then it is a steel frame, another reason not to worry about rolling resistance!
Don't worry, just ride!
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Old 06-05-21, 03:45 PM
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One more for the list:

Panaracer Gravelking Slick Plus+

https://www.panaracerusa.com/collect...g-gravel-tires
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Old 06-05-21, 04:34 PM
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It sounds like you just need to switch to tubeless - ? You can probably get a tire with much less rolling resistance and run it tubeless. More fast, less flats. GK Slick+ run tubeless should solve all your problems.
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Old 06-05-21, 08:17 PM
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Thanks to all for your suggestions. I'd be happy to hear more. I'd prefer to stick with the simplicity of tubes, but as many of you suggested, I should probably give tubeless some thought. I ride mostly solo, for fitness, so yes, rolling resistance is not a big issue. But I do ride once a week with a group at a pace I can keep up with, but gets me breathing hard. I might prefer a quicker bike on those rides, but we're not racing, and if I'm riding for fitness I don't need the fastest bike (or tires) for those rides either. I'm just thinking about what alternatives are available before I buy more tires.
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Old 06-05-21, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
One more for the list:

Panaracer Gravelking Slick Plus+

https://www.panaracerusa.com/collect...g-gravel-tires
I've been riding the 28mm and like these a lot.
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Old 06-06-21, 04:35 AM
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I don't think "just riding for fitness" or any other type of riding has much to do with recreational tire selection. Grab yourself a real slug of the tire with poor rolling resistance and it feels like you're constantly riding in sand...going up hill on a 1-2% grade. Heck..even going downhill they feel like you're dragging a brick behind you. Not sure way that's fun "even just riding for fitness".

Compare this experience to riding a low rolling resistance tire and the bike seems to propel itself. Fun factor goes way up..whether you're touring with a full load or riding a hybrid around the block. Life is short..don't ride tires that suck.

I'd cast another vote for Gravelking slicks or the Slick+. Tubeless isn't required. I run GK Slicks with tubes on a half dozen or more bikes and friends have been adopting them too. Very nice tire available at a reasonable cost. I've getting them at a LBS (Bikesmiths in Milwaukee) either through their website or ebay..their pricing is very good with frequent sales and often free shipping. Why mention them?? It's a good shop, they've given me fast service, and they deserve good business. I frequent another LBS for service when required, but tires come from Bikesmiths(or in some cases..Schwalbe.. Bike24 in Germany).
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Old 06-06-21, 09:42 AM
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It must be that Puritanical streak Americans have that keeps feeding into the " MoAr ReZiStAnCe Is BeTtEr WeRkOuT" narrative we keep seeing here.

Random11 Flat resistance is going to give you a heavier, slower tire, so hedge your bets by picking a tire with a minimal tread pattern, like the Marathon Supreme or the GravelKing. If your 'off-road' is typical crushed limestone / hardpack, near-slick tires can perform pretty well at anything less than 'Race Pace'(I'd probably give the Supreme the edge in durability, with the GK being higher performance)

As it's been said; just because you ride "for fitness" doesn't mean you have to make your bike slow and hard to ride. Turning your bike into a resistance trainer means it'll be a lot less effective when you need it to actually be a bicycle.

Last edited by Ironfish653; 06-06-21 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 06-06-21, 03:36 PM
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I run the Marathons on my converted MTN bike...heavy, but roll nice and pretty darn durable.
ON my old Lemond, 700c, I run Gatorskins Hardshell, in a 32. I'd like to go bigger next time I buy tires. True story, yesterday as I was 15 miles from home I was out of the saddle rocking back and forth, and heard a click..click... stopped and sure enough a good size price of glass was stuck in the tire. No flat. I'm older now and I believe in flat protection.
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Old 06-06-21, 03:43 PM
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Just did a quick search and it doesn't seem the Gatorskins come in anything bigger than 32. Too bad.
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Old 06-06-21, 04:59 PM
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Just since no one ask, do you know that your flats are all caused by punctures from road hazards? Improper installation, improper inflation, improper rim tape or strip (even when it looks good) might be your issues. Tubeless might solve them more so than more puncture proof tires, because those issues are only tube punctures, not tire punctures.

I guess what I just need to hear is that you are determining each time what caused your flat. And not just thinking that it was something that went through the tire and tube.
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Old 06-06-21, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Just since no one ask, do you know that your flats are all caused by punctures from road hazards? ... I just need to hear is that you are determining each time what caused your flat. And not just thinking that it was something that went through the tire and tube.
Short answer: road hazards.

Long answer: I got this bike almost two years ago. I had a lot of flats on my old bike and got two pretty quickly with this bike. Frustrated, I did some internet research and bought Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, which have a good reputation for flat resistance. I've had a good experience with them for a year and a half. Did get some flats running over stuff I didn't see until too late. I can't figure out how all this stuff gets on the residential roads on which I mostly ride. Tools. Blocks of wood. Metal plates. Nails. Anyway, a few weeks ago my rear tire went flat for no apparent reason. I put in a new tube and within a few days, flat again. Same thing twice more. I took the tire and rim to my LBS and they didn't see anything wrong, but a few days later, another flat. So, I moved the front tire to the rear (Marathon Plus) and mounted one of the almost new tires that came with the bike on the front. So far, no flats. I don't need new tires right now. There's plenty of tread left on the tires I have (and those Marathon Plus tires are very durable). But I'm thinking I might like to have new tires ready to go and may swap out before these are completely worn. From the posts above (thanks to all for offering opinions!), Gravelkings look like a promising option. I want the puncture resistance, but also would be happy to have a tire that rolls a little easier. On the flat resistance side of things I've been very happy with the Schwalbe tires, but thinking there may be better options. I like the Schwalbes but have heard them criticized many times in these forums. So my thought is: what would be a better tire for my purposes?
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Old 06-06-21, 07:45 PM
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Not 38s, but Pirelli Cinturatos in 700c x 35mm might be a decent option.

The Schwalbe G-One Speed TLE Addix might exist in 700x38c but is a bit of a unicorn.

I haven't ridden either of these though
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Old 06-07-21, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Good news is you can't get much worse than the tires you have now as far as rolling resistance. I would try something like Schwalbe pro one tubeless on the rear. Like you I mostly get flats in the rear so ran tubeless in the rear only during the last winter commuting season and got zero flats. When I took the tire off in the spring I found 5 or 6 small punctures, mostly from wires, which had been sealed. I use 28mm but think you might be able to get a larger size.
I have to disagree here. I switched to regular Schwalbe Marathons this year when my 5 year old Specialized Armadillos started falling apart, and the Marathons roll much better than the Armadillos did - my average speed has increased by more than 1km/h since I switched tires.
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Old 06-07-21, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Random11 View Post
Short answer: road hazards.

Long answer: I got this bike almost two years ago. I had a lot of flats on my old bike and got two pretty quickly with this bike. Frustrated, I did some internet research and bought Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, which have a good reputation for flat resistance. I've had a good experience with them for a year and a half. Did get some flats running over stuff I didn't see until too late. I can't figure out how all this stuff gets on the residential roads on which I mostly ride. Tools. Blocks of wood. Metal plates. Nails. Anyway, a few weeks ago my rear tire went flat for no apparent reason. I put in a new tube and within a few days, flat again. Same thing twice more. I took the tire and rim to my LBS and they didn't see anything wrong, but a few days later, another flat. So, I moved the front tire to the rear (Marathon Plus) and mounted one of the almost new tires that came with the bike on the front. So far, no flats. I don't need new tires right now. There's plenty of tread left on the tires I have (and those Marathon Plus tires are very durable). But I'm thinking I might like to have new tires ready to go and may swap out before these are completely worn. From the posts above (thanks to all for offering opinions!), Gravelkings look like a promising option. I want the puncture resistance, but also would be happy to have a tire that rolls a little easier. On the flat resistance side of things I've been very happy with the Schwalbe tires, but thinking there may be better options. I like the Schwalbes but have heard them criticized many times in these forums. So my thought is: what would be a better tire for my purposes?
Sounds like you have gotten plenty of flats that you failed to figure out why. Just because you have plenty of road hazards don't mean they are the cause of your flat.

Do you lay your tube on the tire after you removed it an find out where the hole or hole are in the tube and match them up to the tire? If the punctures aren't on the side of the tube that goes on the tread portion or the tire, then your flats are something else. And if the hole is on the tread side of the tire, then is the culprit still in the tire tread?

If you have a double puncture then that's from your tire not having enough pressure to keep it from pinching the tube when you go over something like a pot hole, or when asphalt changes to concrete and the edge of the concrete is higher than the asphalt.

You might have the tires inflated to the proper pressure for your weight, but not for the road hazards you encounter if you get snake-bite flats often.
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Old 06-07-21, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by The Chemist View Post
I have to disagree here. I switched to regular Schwalbe Marathons this year when my 5 year old Specialized Armadillos started falling apart, and the Marathons roll much better than the Armadillos did - my average speed has increased by more than 1km/h since I switched tires.
Switch to some GP4000s and you might gain another kph.
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Old 06-07-21, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Good news is you can't get much worse than the tires you have now as far as rolling resistance. I would try something like Schwalbe pro one tubeless on the rear. Like you I mostly get flats in the rear so ran tubeless in the rear only during the last winter commuting season and got zero flats. When I took the tire off in the spring I found 5 or 6 small punctures, mostly from wires, which had been sealed. I use 28mm but think you might be able to get a larger size.
Third season on tubeless for road.....also zero flats.
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Old 06-07-21, 08:51 AM
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Lots of good antidotal info above but why not check a site that scientifically measures and rates tires by your parameters? https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/
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Old 06-07-21, 09:23 AM
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Marathon Supremes run quite narrow. The 700x40 is “probably” just what you want. Try to confirm that before putting your money down.

Getting repetitive flats with Marathon Plus is extremely odd. My city bike has had exactly two flats in past sixteen years. This is City of Chicago, riding alleys, vacant lots, riding at night, riding in rain and snow. Originally used Schwalbe Big Apple. Wore out three rears with one flat. Piece of wire, probably from my own basement. Tire was very near end of life anyway. Currently using Rene Herse Snoqualmie Pass. They do wear out quicker. The one flat was on a tire completely worn through to casing. Front tires do not flat.

Riding ultra stiff casing tires with buckets of tire pressure will force objects into the tire. Once in the tire it stays there until it wears through. Since you won’t likely trust a Herse tire get the Supreme. I have test ridden a 35 and was pleasantly surprised by how well they rode. Fast enough. Twenty years ago if you wanted a tire that good the only option was tubulars. Tires are a real bright spot. Even for those of us completely unimpressed by most current innovations, new tires are wonderful. No reason to suffer with weak tires.
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Old 06-07-21, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Getting repetitive flats with Marathon Plus is extremely odd...
Agreed. My flats fall into two categories. In a year and a half I had three flats. One from a roofing nail in the tire, one from running over a block of wood, and the third from running over a thick rusty metal plate. Didn't see those obstacles before I ran over them. Then a few weeks ago the tire went flat for no apparent reason. New tube, and within a few days flat again. That happened three times (four flats total). Thinking I was missing something, I took the rim and tire to my LBS but they could find no reason for the flats either. So, I moved the front tire to the rear (Marathon Plus) and put one of the barely used tires the bike came with on the front (Specialized tire, but I don't know which one). I've ridden it five days and so far no flat. Seems to have been some problem with the old tire that neither I nor my LBS could uncover.

I'm fairly happy with the Marathon Plus tires and could just get more, but if I'm going to get new tires, I figured I'd post a question here and see what other alternatives I might consider. I do appreciate all the suggestions. Right now I'm leaning toward Gravelkings, but still considering alternatives. The tires I'm running now are far from worn out, but it might not be bad to have some tires ready to go when I need them.
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