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New Tire Reccomendation - Casual Road Biker - Domane SL5

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New Tire Reccomendation - Casual Road Biker - Domane SL5

Old 06-13-21, 03:48 PM
  #1  
shed
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New Tire Reccomendation - Casual Road Biker - Domane SL5

Context:

Bike: Trek Domane SL5 since April 2020
Me: I'm 50+, 210lb
Rides: Casual Weekend 15-30miles once or twice a week, 85% road/pavied patth, 15% gravel/tow path type patths, very unagressive
Existting Tires: Same as came on bike, Bottinger R1 Hard Case Lite 700/32
Total Ride Distance: ~1200 miles

The Problem

I've had a lot of punctures - yesterday was my 7th - no common theme - back/front different places. Even on the roads I ride broken glass and rough patches
Last one was a screw that put a 3mm gash yesterday
Happy with ride, and in general I love this bike.

Questions:

Is a 3mm gash in tire a problem?
Should I think about new tires regardless?
If yes, any recs, someone suggested gatorskin?
Want to balance comfort, speed, and avoiding punctures?
Should I stick at 32mm, or go lower?
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Old 06-13-21, 04:01 PM
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PeteHski
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I would recommend Pirelli Cinturato Velo 32c. Can be run tubed or tubeless. Loads of puncture protection and reasonably fast rolling. They make these in various widths, but 32 is good for both road and light duty off-road trails.

Last edited by PeteHski; 06-14-21 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 06-13-21, 04:02 PM
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cxwrench
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Gatorskins are pretty good. Given what you've posted I'd go as big a tires that you can get in your frame. Gatorskins max out at 32 AKAIK but there are plenty of others that are durable and come in bigger sizes.
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Old 06-13-21, 05:15 PM
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Mojo31
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I have the Trek R3 Hard Case Lite on my SL5. Very happy with them.
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Old 06-13-21, 08:17 PM
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MudPie
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If you’re like me, I prioritize endurance and longevity over weight and speed. I’d rather pedal than fix flats.
I’ve had great puncture protection with both Continental Gatorskin Hardshell and Specialized Armadillo Elite All Condition.

There are both Gatorskin and Gatorskin Hardshell. I’ve always used the latter. For my rims, the Gatorskins are a bit tough to mount when new. However, I’m always able to mount only using my hands after using tricks like warming the tire in the sun first. They are easier to mount subsequently. I probably get one or two flats during the tires life, say 3500 miles. I’ve used Gatorskins for 8 years.

The Armadillos are much easier to mount, and the flat rate is the same as Gatorskins. I’ve used the Armadillos for the past 2.5 years. The tread seems a bit softer than the Gatorskins and I get micro cuts and nicks on the tread. The Armadillos seems to ride a bit better, but that’s purely subjective. I have a slight preference for the Armadillos, although they cost a bit more. Armadillos are not as available as the Gatorskins, although my local LBS stocks them.
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Old 06-13-21, 08:21 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by shed View Post
Context:

Existting Tires: Same as came on bike, Bottinger R1 Hard Case Lite 700/32

Should I think about new tires regardless?

Some folks say the sole purpose of the stock tires is to protect the rims during shipping.😀
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Old 06-13-21, 09:53 PM
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Yeah stock tires tend to suck. I don't like the hardcase lights and mine wore out quickly.

Continental GP 5000 if you want to go faster. Gatorskins if you want the puncture protection.

On a Domane you've got pretty wide clearance if you want to go wider.
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Old 06-14-21, 06:35 AM
  #8  
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On my Domane, I have a Gatorskin on one wheel and a Schwalbe (not home now and can't remember the model) on the other. They have both worked well for me. I agree with the comment made above that the tires that come with the bike will have a limited road life. I am using 25's but I am a bit smaller/lighter than you if that matters. I really do not know.
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Old 06-14-21, 07:07 AM
  #9  
dmanthree
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Conti GP 4 Seasons are a really nice compromise. Very durable, and surprisingly nice riding. I ride them during the fall/winter season and have never flatted one.
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Old 06-14-21, 08:14 AM
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I'm going to offer a different and seemingly snarky perspective... don't get as many flats. Okay, I'm mostly kidding. I do think newer riders are more likely to suffer flats than seasoned riders (especially if they've got a mtn bike background) - regardless of the tire choice.

Couple things:
- Obviously watch for those potholes, cracks, etc., but also avoid riding too far to the right. The closer you are to the side of the road, and definitely between the white line and the shoulder, the crappier the road is. That's where all the glass, rocks, screws, debris, etc. ends up as cars blow by.
- Think of your body as the bike's suspension and work to mitigate the shock of hitting a crack/pothole. Elbows bent, hands firm but not white-knuckling the bar... riding loose and going LOOSER - not more rigid - when you hit a crack/pothole can make the difference in flatting or not. You can take that one step further by actually unweighting the bike in that instant you hit the pothole - sort of like flinching upward. I'm not saying to bunnyhop the hole (that royally screws the riders behind you)... just quickly absorbing some of that shock.

Little clarification on the "loose and going looser" comment. When I'm bombing down a rocky single track on my mtn bike or gravel bike, my grip gets much tighter, but my arms get looser. You definitely don't want the bar to rattle out your hands, but you do want the bike to "rattle around" under you. Ever seen those 150 mph desert race trucks - as the wheels/tires are all over the place but the truck hardly moves. That's the basic idea - using your body to absorb the movement of the bike. I know it's easier on dirt and gravel because you're expecting it. Those surprise potholes are brutal. But getting in the habit of riding loose, makes it happen more naturally and automatically.

Last edited by Zaskar; 06-14-21 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 06-14-21, 08:15 AM
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7 flats in 1200 miles would have me going tubeless... except that those miles came over the course of 14 months so... In that case, I'd look at something like the aforementioned Pirelli or GP 4 Seasons, before going to armored tires. See how those treat you and then reassess. If you're still flatting too frequently for your liking, you can either go armored, giving up some of your soul ride quality and speed, or go tubeless, which can provide speed, comfort, and flat protection, but comes with either the responsibility of learning a new skillset (mounting and maintaining tubeless) or paying someone to do it for you.
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Old 06-14-21, 09:17 AM
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I ride a Domane SL5 since 2017. I ride on Conti GP 4 Seasons. I haven't gotten a flat in two years and the tires wear well. I'll be getting new tires soon and I plan on getting the same ones.
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Old 06-14-21, 09:49 AM
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I ride the SL6 and have 2 wheel sets. One with Gatorskins 25mm for road only (will ride on short sections of dirt roads) and the other with Maxxis Rambler 38mm. I had so many flats on those stock R1's I ditched them as soon as I could. It does seem that a nice, 32mm slick or semi slick rides nicely on most terrain on the Domane. If I had to choose one tire, it would likely be a 32mm semi slick like a Gravelking.
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Old 06-14-21, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
I'm going to offer a different and seemingly snarky perspective... don't get as many flats. Okay, I'm mostly kidding. I do think newer riders are more likely to suffer flats than seasoned riders (especially if they've got a mtn bike background) - regardless of the tire choice.

Couple things:
- Obviously watch for those potholes, cracks, etc., but also avoid riding too far to the right. The closer you are to the side of the road, and definitely between the white line and the shoulder, the crappier the road is. That's where all the glass, rocks, screws, debris, etc. ends up as cars blow by.
- Think of your body as the bike's suspension and work to mitigate the shock of hitting a crack/pothole. Elbows bent, hands firm but not white-knuckling the bar... riding loose and going LOOSER - not more rigid - when you hit a crack/pothole can make the difference in flatting or not. You can take that one step further by actually unweighting the bike in that instant you hit the pothole - sort of like flinching upward. I'm not saying to bunnyhop the hole (that royally screws the riders behind you)... just quickly absorbing some of that shock.

Little clarification on the "loose and going looser" comment. When I'm bombing down a rocky single track on my mtn bike or gravel bike, my grip gets much tighter, but my arms get looser. You definitely don't want the bar to rattle out your hands, but you do want the bike to "rattle around" under you. Ever seen those 150 mph desert race trucks - as the wheels/tires are all over the place but the truck hardly moves. That's the basic idea - using your body to absorb the movement of the bike. I know it's easier on dirt and gravel because you're expecting it. Those surprise potholes are brutal. But getting in the habit of riding loose, makes it happen more naturally and automatically.
The riding "looser" is good advice regardless of flats, as this technique would also reduce hand, wrist, elbow, and bum soreness. But of course it entails paying attention to the road rather than staring at your phone or bike computer.
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Old 06-14-21, 11:38 PM
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While you're shopping for tires, you sound like the perfect candidate to try out these new Tubolito tubes: https://cyclingtips.com/2021/06/tubo...ts-for-a-year/
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Old 06-15-21, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Gatorskins are pretty good. Given what you've posted I'd go as big a tires that you can get in your frame. Gatorskins max out at 32 AKAIK but there are plenty of others that are durable and come in bigger sizes.
Another vote for Gatorskins. You'll always have someone on the forum who will say they are terrible. Try them at lower psi with the widest tire that will fit on your bike. I've had great luck with them as far as handling in dry and wet as well as no punctures.
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Old 06-15-21, 12:10 AM
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Also, don't be afraid of using slicks on gravel. I was pleasantly surprised how well they did especially with lower psi and wider widths.
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Old 06-15-21, 08:15 AM
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Thank you all. Advice much appreciated. I think the ride better advice is also well taken by me.
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Old 06-16-21, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by jackb View Post
I ride a Domane SL5 since 2017. I ride on Conti GP 4 Seasons. I haven't gotten a flat in two years and the tires wear well. I'll be getting new tires soon and I plan on getting the same ones.
Ended up buying the Conti GP 4 Seasons, so will lett you all know in a year's time how itt went.

Thanks All.
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