Tyre advice for a beginner

radread

Member
Hi all,

Just been to the shop to get a quote on all the kit I need with my new bike, and I was hoping you could all help me out to make sure I'm not being made to spend more than I need.

The bike I'm getting is a Trek 7.3 WSD, which I'll largely be using for riding in the city, ultimately commuting. As standard it comes with Bontrager AW1 Hard-Case Lite, 700x32c tyres.

At the last shop I went to (which unfortunately turned out not to be signed up to my work's scheme) they insisted that these tyres were so puncture-resistant I would only need to take around a puncture repair kit as a precaution.

At the store I went to today, though, they were very insistent that I'd need new tyres and that these ones were unlikely to last, recommending I get armadillos for both front and rear. Clearly seeing I was sceptical they said I might get away with only getting a new tyre for the rear as that's load-bearing, and so they've put the one tyre in the quote.

Now, am I just getting the hard sell here, or do you think they're right and I should get more heavy-duty tyres?
 

T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
They'll be fine.
 

KneesUp

Guru
I think they are trying to force them on you. Unless you actually carry the spare with you, it's no use to you when you need it - and I suspect you don't live anywhere so remote you couldn't get hold of a tyre pretty quickly if you needed one. Ride it on the perfectly respectable tyres that it comes with - it's a hybrid bike with appropriate tyres.

Ideally buy the bike from somewhere else too. I don't like the sound of the shop you describe - they're trying to take advantage.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
+1, but carry an inner tube or two + tyre levers + a decent mini pump (e.g. Lezyne) + latex gloves with you just in case. I doubt you'll want to be patching tubes at the side of the road in winter :smile: (if ever in my case)
 
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radread

Member
I think they are trying to force them on you. Unless you actually carry the spare with you, it's no use to you when you need it - and I suspect you don't live anywhere so remote you couldn't get hold of a tyre pretty quickly if you needed one. Ride it on the perfectly respectable tyres that it comes with - it's a hybrid bike with appropriate tyres.

Ideally buy the bike from somewhere else too. I don't like the sound of the shop you describe - they're trying to take advantage.
They're not suggesting I take the extra tyre as a spare, but that they fit it onto the bike for me. But yeah, they seemed very confident about the quality of the tyres at the other store so I was a bit surprised at this one when they implied they really weren't worth much. Glad I asked you all - I think I'll just take the cost of the tyres off the quote when I make my application, and stick with the ones included. Thanks!

Unfortunately, though, I do have to use this store. My employer has joined the Halfords bike scheme, who don't stock Treks. I have my heart set on this bike and this is the only independent store anywhere near my home that stocks Trek and is signed up to the Halfords scheme (also the deadline for applying is tomorrow and if I don't do it it'll be another 3 months before I can get a bike!) I'm a bit concerned now though - they were pushing for new pedals as well, saying the plastic ones on there were just for display and would fall apart. That sounded convincing to me but now I'm not sure! What do you think?
 

KneesUp

Guru
They're not suggesting I take the extra tyre as a spare, but that they fit it onto the bike for me. But yeah, they seemed very confident about the quality of the tyres at the other store so I was a bit surprised at this one when they implied they really weren't worth much. Glad I asked you all - I think I'll just take the cost of the tyres off the quote when I make my application, and stick with the ones included. Thanks!

Unfortunately, though, I do have to use this store. My employer has joined the Halfords bike scheme, who don't stock Treks. I have my heart set on this bike and this is the only independent store anywhere near my home that stocks Trek and is signed up to the Halfords scheme (also the deadline for applying is tomorrow and if I don't do it it'll be another 3 months before I can get a bike!) I'm a bit concerned now though - they were pushing for new pedals as well, saying the plastic ones on there were just for display and would fall apart. That sounded convincing to me but now I'm not sure! What do you think?
I have cheap plastic pedals on my bike, and I bought them to replace metal ones.

EDIT - the metal ones were totally worn out.

My reasoning was that they were cheap (and I was skint) and lightweight. I wouldn't set off around the world with them but they're fine for pootling around. After a year or so they might get a bit noisy or stiff, but you can get new ones then - you will have a year of cycling under your belt by then and will know more about what you like and don't like - you might want pedals that are wider, narrower, clipless - whatever. The pedals on it aren't going to fail spectacularly without warning. In my younger (fitter) days I set off from Sheffield to Manchester on a whim having not ridden my bike at all for a few months - this meant that I'd forgotten that one of the pedals was a bit 'gritty' (you could feel it grind when you put pressure on) Roughly half way to Manchester the pedal bit came off the spindle bit, which was inconvenient - but I just put it back on and made sure I pedalled in such a way that I didn't roll my foot around and pull it off - I rode it another 30 hilly miles like that.

So yeah, in summary again, the pedals will also be fine - Trek have built the bike with appropriate components.
 

T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
The shop are extracting the urine. They've seen a clueless newbie female and are trying to fill your head full of nonsensical worry.

The bike, tyres and pedals will be fine..
 
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radread

Member
The shop are extracting the urine. They've seen a clueless newbie female and are trying to fill your head full of nonsensical worry.

The bike, tyres and pedals will be fine..
Well, I like to think I'm not completely clueless, or I wouldn't have come here for a second opinion...

I'm always sure to be suspicious because my Mum always tells me that car mechanics try and get her to pay for repairs the car doesn't need because she's a woman and they assume they can pull a fast one.
 

T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
Well, I like to think I'm not completely clueless, or I wouldn't have come here for a second opinion...

I'm always sure to be suspicious because my Mum always tells me that car mechanics try and get her to pay for repairs the car doesn't need because she's a woman and they assume they can pull a fast one.
Sorry, "someone they think is a clueless newbie" would have been a better term :cheers:
 

13 rider

Guru
Location
leicester
Use what comes with the bike and only replace when required or when you want to up grade . I brought by first bike 4 moths ago done 700 miles on tyres that came with bike with no problems and I have just upgraded the padals in clip in ones at my choice . to start with you just need spare tube or two tyres levers and pump in a saddle bag to keep you on the road if any problems
 

KneesUp

Guru
I'm always sure to be suspicious because my Mum always tells me that car mechanics try and get her to pay for repairs the car doesn't need because she's a woman and they assume they can pull a fast one.
That is exactly what the bike shop are doing. I bet if you went back and said something about the handlebar grips being uncomfortable or the saddle or pretty much anything they'd be telling you that was 'just so you can ride it out of the shop' and whatever it was needed replacing with a better one too.

Buy the bike if they are the only choice, and then find another LBS to buy everything else you will need from. Not that you will need anything until you wear something out.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Armadillos used to be OK but they pick up rubbish like nobody's business since the last compound change a few years ago. I think Bontrager are OK but it's ages since I've seen any. In preference, I buy Schwalbe else Michelin else Continental.

The pedals probably won't be great but they'll do for a while and then you can get either something with decent rubber grips or whatever you like the sound of. Shops aren't allowed to sell bikes which are unsafe, are they? So if they really think the pedals will fall apart, they should switch them at the suppliers' expense... but they won't.
 

shadow master

Well-Known Member
It could just be that the shop knows the trek puncture protected tyres are not that good,and they have more faith in the armadillo's! Seems to me every tyre claims to have some puncture protection in these days,75% of them are crap,some notable exceptions are schwalbe marathon plus,serfsas survivor series,continental contact,and hardshell....most of the bike branded ones are a bit naff....none are puncture proof!
 
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radread

Member
It could just be that the shop knows the trek puncture protected tyres are not that good,and they have more faith in the armadillo's! Seems to me every tyre claims to have some puncture protection in these days,75% of them are crap,some notable exceptions are schwalbe marathon plus,serfsas survivor series,continental contact,and hardshell....most of the bike branded ones are a bit naff....none are puncture proof!
Taking your suggestion into account, I've done a quick google around. From what I can see the AW Bontrager Hard Case tyres seem very well regarded, though the AW1 that comes with the bike does appear one class down from the armadillos they were recommending (price-wise, at least), but the difference between the AW1 and AW3 appears to be related to aerodynamics and reduced resistance, rather than durability.

http://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/...-class-with-new-all-weather-road-tires-37360/
http://road.cc/content/review/94811-bontrager-aw3-hard-case-lite-tyres

To be fair I probably should have just done that in the first place. It's what the internet is there for.
 
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