Can I/Should I, put slicks on my hybrid?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by andyR00, 11 Jul 2018.

  1. andyR00

    andyR00 Active Member

    I don't know the wheel or current tire sizes, I'll look tomorrow. The current tires are fairly thin with fairly small treads. Not a huge way off being slicks themselves if I understand what slicks are.

    So can I put some real slick tires on them if so do you have any recommendations, the cheaper the better.

    If I do put these on I assume my bike will become more road and less hybrid. So I should avoid more off road riding even if it's light.

    I generally only cycle on the road anyway with a bit of light gravel path stuff here and there. No where near real off road stuff like you would on a MTB.
  2. Schwalbe Marathon plus, would be my recommendation.

    In a 35 or 38 mm size.
  3. OP

    andyR00 Active Member

  4. mcshroom

    mcshroom Bionic Subsonic

    Egremont, Cumbria
    Durano plus tyres are pretty decent. However, what have you got on there now, and why do you feel you need to change?
  5. OP

    andyR00 Active Member

    I'll check tomorrow. I'm thinking about less friction = more speed etc.

    Trying this tune up my bike and get the most out of it.
  6. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    What width tyres are on it at the moment, I run my Hybrid (Ridgeback) on 28s with the theory that a lighter tyre/rim combination spins up faster.
  7. Alan O

    Alan O Über Member

    I have a touring bike that is similar to hybrids in that it has room for wider tyres and works well on what seems to be called "gravel" these days - essentially dry and reasonably smooth off-road surfaces, which I ride a lot.

    I had similar thoughts about tyres, and I now have two pairs of wheels for that bike - a pair with Marathon Greenguard (which have a slightly deeper tread than Marathon Plus), and a pair with Gatorskins, both 32mm. The Gatorskins are slick and they do seem to roll better on hard surfaces - longer road rides seem less tiring that on Marathons, and they just feel lighter and more comfortable. But if the surface is in any way soft, the Gatorskins slide all over the place.

    So, essentially, I'll use Gatorskins on the bike during the summer when all my off-road routes are hard and dry, and on road-only routes all year. The Marathons come into their own when off-road surfaces are starting to get a bit soft, so they'll start getting used again when this hot summer ends and the rains start hitting the canal towpaths again.

    Anyway, yes, if you're riding on roads or other hard surfaces, I'd go for slick tyres every time. Gatorskins aren't that cheap (and a lot of people here don't seem to like Continental tyres), and I don't have much experience of other slicks, so I won't actually recommend anything specific - but I hope this helps.

    Update: Also, yes, as someone else suggested - tell us what tyres (including size) you have now if you want recommendations for something better.
  8. SkipdiverJohn

    SkipdiverJohn Über Member

    You are kidding yourself if you think swapping a pair of treaded tyres for a pair of slicks is going to make your bike significantly faster. Depending what you have now and what you change to, it might well make a small difference, but the bike is still going to be powered by the same engine and is still going to more or less weigh the same. Whatever tyres you choose need to be tough if you ride on gravel or you will be plagued by punctures. Same goes for poor tarmac with cracking up and potholed surfaces. Cycling performance is about reliability as much as speed. "Fast" tyres are no advantage if you have to do more frequent puncture repairs. Flat bar bikes of any variety are ultimately limited in their speed potential by the upright riding position, which for general use doesn't matter, but performance favours drops. Saving a few watts in tyre drag is only going to offer a very small increase in road speed due to rapidly increasing aerodynamic drag.
    bluenotebob likes this.
  9. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    You can use those on any bike. I have on my CX commuter in 32mm and 28mm on my new gravel bike. Roll well on roads. However, if you have a full size bike with 700c wheels CRC don't have them. Spa do though, and possibly Merlin. You need to know what size tyres your rims can take. What bike is it? What wheels?

    I had one puncture with the 32s commuting, thanks to a 2cm screw which would have done for any tyre but then you'll be compromised on paths (although I'll be riding to work through a park shortly on 23mm slicks)

    That said, if you want a roadbike, a roadbike would be a better option than a hybrid especially if it has suspension
    Last edited: 12 Jul 2018
  10. OP

    andyR00 Active Member

    OK the tires say, Cheng Shin tire 37- 622 (700 x 35 C) (50 - 75 PSI).

    I am sure they will be the cheapest you can get. I assume they are 35mm?
  11. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this....

    My hybrid originally came fitted with Schwalbe roadcruisers. These had some tread but rolled well and I used a few set for commuting and some longer 100+ mile rides. 700x35 seemed plenty fast enough to me and I could ride anything except the gnarliest MTB trails or very slippy mud, but that might just be down to me......

    After some quality issues with the last couple of tyres I swapped to something with a smoother tread from an alternative manufacturer. The Vittoria Randonneur II. This tyre is much more like a slick, but with some pattern. Seems quick, tough and capable. I haven't worn a set out yet so can't comment on durability but they don't seem to be made of cheese so should last a good distance (I used to get 2-3000 miles from the Schwalbes).

    The Randonneurs have been abused off-road in a way I am sure they were never intended for and have always come out smiling, except the reflective sidewall tape can get snagged and start peeling. I have two sets and had to take all the tape off one set when it got too rough. I prefer the 35mm size over the 32mm set and once the 32s are worn out both hybrid and road bikes will be running on 700x35. The tyres come in wired carcass at a price of around £12ea or a more expensive folding version. The only difference seems to be weight and the fact that one folds up in a box easily. I run the folding type.

    Puncture resistance is always down to personal experience and luck. I found the schwalbes to be pretty good but would get a bit vulnerable when worn (I'm talking paper thin here, almost exposed canvas!). The Vittorias seem to be even better so far, only a single puncture in a couple of thousand miles but I don't know what they will be like when worn yet.

    I recommend you stick to the 35mm section tyres, there is no discernible speed benefit from downsizing, but the larger tyres are definitely more comfortable and rugged for the potholed roads so actually allow a higher speed as you are not worried about hitting the bumps in the tarmac so much.
    alecstilleyedye and tudor_77 like this.
  12. T4tomo

    T4tomo Veteran

    Not if he wants to go faster.

    Op has also said cheaper the better, which is tricky as you defo need something with decent puncture protection, if you then also want less rolling resistance and presumanly lightness, that means you need to pay a bit more.

    I'd suggest something like continental 4 seasons or gatorskins in 700 x 28mm, but that won't be particularly cheap. Budget option is lifeline brand from Wiggle.
    raleighnut and User13710 like this.
  13. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

  14. OP

    andyR00 Active Member

  15. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this....

    I forgot to mention that! The Marathon plus is renowned for being a pig to fit (incredibly tight) and ludicrously heavy/slow in use. They are also a bit pricy at £25-30 each, but they have legendary puncture resistance status.

    I will take the 'slow' claim with a pinch of salt because they seem smooth enough and speed is mostly down to the engine but I did once pick one off the rack while browsing in a bike shop and it nearly broke my arm! Strewth, it was heavy. I had to double check I hadn't mistakenly picked up a twin pack and getting that much mass up to speed in stop-start traffic is going to take some serious energy.
    Alan O likes this.
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