Recommend me a Tyre!

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by punkypossum, 23 Oct 2007.

  1. punkypossum

    punkypossum Donut Devil

    Hi again, I'm looking for some semi-slicks to stick on my mtb for road riding, just so I can at least have the illusion of going fast :evil:.

    They would need to be able to cope with a bit of gravel and also be pretty p*ncture proof as there is often a lot of broken glass on the route that I ride...

    Quite tempted by the Schwalbe Marathon Racer (1.5), the Schwalbe Marathon (1.75) or the Continental Top Contact (1.75). Are any of these any good or has anybody got other suggestions? Also, will they fit on my current rims?

    Any advice appreciated!!! :biggrin:
  2. Membrane

    Membrane New Member

    Note that tyres are always a compromise, there isn't a tyre that's great at everything. For me a good alrounder is the Continental Sport Contact. Very fast for a tyre that will likely fit on MTB rims, decent puncture resistance, good grip. For the maximum puncture protection you could consider Schwalbe Marathon Plus or Specialized Armadillos, but they are more slippery, especially in the wet.

    Personally I don't like tyres with tread (completely pointless on a bicycle tyre), so I don't like the look of the Continental Top Contacts.
  3. woohoo

    woohoo Veteran

    I use Continental Town & Country tyres for my commuting MTB. They seem fast enough and are fine on gravel tracks. I did have a spell of getting a lot of p***tures caused by thorns, which might have been bad luck but as a result I found out that they are an absolute bugger to get off and on the rims. I had to go back to using my metal tyre levers because I broke all of the plastic ones.
  4. bikefettler

    bikefettler New Member

    Swansea by the sea
    For what its worth I have 1.75 marathons on my urban utility bike and they will cope with trails and tarmac and are (so far) !! pretty puncture proof , I have Marathon racers (1.5s) on my fun ride bike and they are a lot more flexible and lighter but still pretty p***ture proof, 1.5 specialised nimbus on my commuter but they seem to be prone to cutting by glass etc , the vredestein moirees (1.4" I think) on my merlin are surprisingly fast and tough but not I would think good on dirt or gravel,My favourite tyres as a general use compromise are the marathon HS366`s in 1.5" size and they take 100psi max, have a reasonably thick tread for cut resistance, and roll fairly well,I did end 2 end on them in summer withme and panniers on board, without even having to pump them up in 12 days , they just went on and on!!
  5. frog

    frog Guest

    The Schwalbe Marathon Supreme is 2.0 wide and is almost slick. It's a very smooth ride and hard wearing. If you fit mudguards on the bike at any time then you might want something a bit smaller as they make a very snug fit. Pricey but worth the money.
  6. Peyote

    Peyote New Member

    Do Specialized still make "Fat Boy" slicks? If so, they used to have a great reputation. I've heard stories of couriers riding around on them down to the canvas without problems!
  7. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Definitely give the Conti Sport Contacts a go, I would almost, but not quite :evil:, give a personal guarantee on these. In any case they come with a one year puncture guarantee replacement policy anyway. They are light but incredibly tough and super fast rolling, almost as quick as the GP4000S tyres I have on my other two steeds. I go across fields etc. with these without any worries, as mentioned above you only need tread if doing serious off roading.
  8. OP

    punkypossum Donut Devil

    Oh no, too much choice, the sport contacts look quite good though and seem to be the cheapest of the bunch so far, especially with a free tube...
  9. baggytrousers

    baggytrousers Well-Known Member

    I can recommend the Schwalbe Marathon Plus - I have been using them for 3 mths now and haven't had any "unplanned rapid deflations" since and still have them on offer at £38.00 a pair!
  10. Your two main decisions should be about tread-pattern and cross-section.

    The deep tread of proper knobbly mountain bike tyres is of use only in soft terrain where the knobs can dig in and/or the knob edges come into play. On the road the spaces between the knobs offer no contact and therefore no grip, you rely on the surface area of the knobs only, a fraction of the tyres total carcass area. In addition, knobs squirm under even mild cornering loads leading to unpredictable handling.

    Tyres with a completely smooth surface, slicks, work best on smooth hard surfaces, tarmac, concrete or slick rock. On uneven terrain the surface of a slick tyre has greatly reduced contact as it skims the high points of the trail.

    Skinny tyres can be run at much higher pressures than fat tyres which reduces carcass flex and therefore reduces rolling resistance. Skinny tyres are lighter so accelerate quicker too.

    Fat tyres run at lower pressures without risking snake bite punctures, lower pressures allow the casing to flex over uneven terrain providing better grip

    Your bike and most mountain bikes use the American Imperial 26 inch rim standard inherited from 1930s cruisers. Modern 26 inch tyres are available in sizes from 1 inch, very skinny slicks, to 3 inch big fat downhill tyres. The narrowness of the tyre depends on the width of your rim and your frame clearances limit the largest size you can fit.

    There is no tyre which excels on both dirt and street conditions. The compromise is to find a tyre with;

    Shallow tread, to limit knob squirm.
    Closely packed knobs, to optimise contact area on the road.
    Medium narrow carcass, between 1.5 and 1.75 inch cross section.
    A rounded rather than square cross section to limit knob squirm and reduce contact point migration on the road.

    I think thats everything.
  11. OP

    punkypossum Donut Devil

    Thanks mickle!!! As usual you managed to get all eventualities in one post - I'm impressed!!! :evil:

    Current favourites are still the conti sport contacts (1.6) which definitely could not lead to "knob squirm", my only concern at the moment is their "glassability", but then again they come with a 1 year guarantee and free tubes, so even if it all went wrong, it wouldn't be too bad...I suppose...Actually, hmmm...really like the reflective sidewalls on the Marathons as well...if I went for them, should I go for the ones with Kevlar bead or not?

    Think I just have this idea in my head that a tyre needs proper thread to work, suppose partly because the ones I've had on bikes in the past always had at least some and partly because normal car tyres (i.e. not the ones used in formula 1) always have it - just find it very difficult to trust the idea of slicks in general... :biggrin:
  12. Membrane

    Membrane New Member

    The version with Kevlar bead is a bit lighter, but if you care about weight then you shouldn't consider the Marathon's at all, they are pig heavy.
  13. OP

    punkypossum Donut Devil

    WAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :evil:
  14. Sport contacts are brilliant. 6000 miles without a flat. If they suit your route.
  15. Panter

    Panter Just call me Chris...

    I used to have exactly the same worry. Thread here if you're interested :blush:

    (Now happily riding on slicks and looking to buy some slicks for the MTB commuter project :evil: )
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