Replace knobbly tires with slicks

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Steve H, 1 May 2010.

  1. Steve H

    Steve H Large Member

    I'm currently riding a mountain bike with big, thick, knobbly tyres (26 x 2.35). I'm doing most of my riding on the roads at the moment, so think I'd like to replace the tyres and tubes with thinner ones to be able to go a bit faster.

    Are there any limits on the size of tyre I can choose to ensure it is still safely held on the wheel? I can't find any information on the wheels of the bike. My bike is a Carrerra Vulcan if that helps.

    Thanks

    Steve
     
  2. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    No limit, any tyre sized 26" will fit although there are always minor variations, meaning that some tyres are easy to fit and others can be a nightmare. New tyres are always squeaky clean and sticky so when you get your new tyres, sprinkle the beads with talc, which is the best dry lubricant for rubber. This will help you fit them.

    Go for a slick or an all-terrain tyre with a narrow central ridge in about 1.6 size. If you go for something smooth and pump it up to the maximum pressure shown on the sidewall you'll be amazed at the difference in speed and probably quite annoyed at all the energy you've been wasting pushing those fat knobblies! All that buzzing noise is the sound of those knobbles squashing around and wasting your energy. Even if you didn't fancy slick and you went from a 2.35" knobbly to a 1.8" knobbly like a Panaracer Fire XC Pro you'd find a big difference and in some conditions a narrow tyre is better off road because the higher ground pressure means it digs down into a soft surface to find grip.

    If you're getting serious about cycling, a track pump is a fantastic investment as it has a gauge and enables you to achieve much higher pressures than a simple hand pump. Have a look a the Topeak Joe Blow, these are very good. Don't make the mistake of buying an MTB-specific track pump because the barrel will be fatter and if you ever go over to road riding you'll find it very difficult to pump up a road tyre to 100-120 lbs
     
  3. cyberknight

    cyberknight Wibble

    Location:
    Land of confusion
    According to the specs on the halfords website you can run 26x1.5s .

    it all depends on the width of your rims.

    I can recommend schwable city jets as a cheap ,kevlar lined slick tyre as i use them on my subway 1 and although they are not the most anti p**nt**e tyre out there i have only had 2 in 2 years and a lot of people here recommend them.



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  4. Steve Austin

    Steve Austin The Marmalade Kid

    Location:
    Mlehworld
    You'll need thinner inner tubes as well.

    You can usually go to about 26x1.0, unless you got silly wide rims.
    26x1.5 is a good width, and still gives some cushioning
     
  5. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    Agreed but don't be blinded by those treads! I really don't believe a slick road tyre needs treads to disperse water as the contact patch is so narrow that it will cut through any surface water. It's not a car tyre several inches wide that needs grooves to allow water to escape at 60 mph or more. I used to have some Continental slicks on my MTB and they were ultra-fast and fine in dry or wet conditions, the rubber was pretty grippy.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Steve H

    Steve H Large Member

    Thanks for the advice - very clear.

    I've had a quick look at the Schwable City Jets on Wiggle. The only ones available have a Presta valve rather than the Car Type valve that I have on my current tyres. Are wheels valve specific or can I put either type on them?
     
  7. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    If it bothers you, you can get a little plastic collar for using Presta valves in a Schraeder rim.
     
  8. cyberknight

    cyberknight Wibble

    Location:
    Land of confusion
  9. Gareth

    Gareth Veteran

    The 26 x 1.9 conti Town & Country tyres I have on my old MTB have now done in excess of 17,000 miles and are almost 14 years old and still going strong with no issues.

    I also have 26 x 1.5 Schwable City Jets on both my second MTB and my partners knock about bike, both have done around 4000 miles in the last 12 months without a problem. My utility trailer also has 16 X 1.9 City jets fitted, and are the best tyres that I have ever used on a trailer; having completed around 2000 miles in about 18 months, again with no issues.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Steve H

    Steve H Large Member

    Thanks Cyberknight - I've now placed the order.

    Looking forward to receiving, fitting and riding a bit faster!
     
  11. Helly79

    Helly79 New Member

    Location:
    Norwich
    I put schwable city jet on my carerra fury mountain bike at the beginning of the week they are perfect!
     
  12. Tyres do not have valves, the tubes do, which are seperate from the tyre. Pick any tyre you like as long as it is 26 inch in diameter, then pick a tube to suit the tyre - any narrower than 1.5 inches will need a a narrower tube to go with it.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Steve H

    Steve H Large Member

    How much of a pain is it swapping between the two?

    I want to put the thinner, slicker tyres on to ride more on the road. Although I have a mate who likes to go off-road every other weekend. I'd probably want the knobblies on for this. Is it a real pain to regular switch tubes and tyres for these different types of riding?

    I know the easy answer here is to buy a road bike as well and I probably will do this eventually, but at the moment the cash flow (and the wife!) won't allow it.
     
  14. cyberknight

    cyberknight Wibble

    Location:
    Land of confusion
    Tyres with practice maybe 10 mins per Tyre i think i reckon.

    Or you could buy a spare set of wheels , you could run into difficulty with chain/casstte wear mismatch though when swapping wheels.

    I used the "must have winter/back up bike " to convince the wife i needed a raod bike for summer .................
    I do commute every day so worked out even after allowing for spares i save £700 a year in petrol .:biggrin:
     
  15. biggs682

    biggs682 Smile a mile bike provider

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    you will find a big differance , i have used city jets for aprox 2 months daily commute
     
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