Tyres - puncture protection + performance

EasyPeez

Über Member
Hi,

I know this is probably a bit of a perennial debate on here, but as the threads I found weren't that recent and tyre development continues all the time I thought I'd appreciate the latest collective thinking from Cyclechatters about what the best tyre is to combine performance with puncture resistance?

I've done just shy of 1,500 miles on my stock Conti GrandSport Race tyres, which seems reasonable to me, but over the weekend I seem to have accidentally signed up to ride London-Paris the week after next and the organiser's info stipulates that riders should use puncture-resistant tyres such as Gatorskins or Marathon+ to minimise punctures and thereby disruption to the group progress.

So I feel duty-bound to get something tougher, but am a bit bamboozled by all the options. I realise that whatever I choose will be a compromise on either toughness or weight/speed but would appreciate advice on the most puncture protected tyre that will still allow me to roll easily and maintain a good pace. I'm less than 10stone in weight and currently riding 25" tyres on a steel road bike, and would prefer to stick at that size, though open to going up or down a size if people think that will also help in some way.

Some of the options I am considering based on what my local shops have in. Happy to broaden this out if I'm overlooking any better options (GP 4 Seasons? Michelin Pro4s?) -

Marathon+ - felt very heavy and unsporty in the shop - I don't want anything that's going to slow me down too much. Website says 750g - is that each tyre?!
Gatorskins - haven't seen any of these in the rubber as they were on order - less than half the weight of the M+ according to website so I am guessing much sportier, but not nearly as tough?
Freedom ThickSlicks - Look good. Not esp lightweight. Well rated on road.cc site. More style than substance?
Durano Etape - look fantastic and feel sporty but they only had the standards in, not the Etape Plus. So with a 4/6 puncture protection rating on the Scwalbe-ometer would these would be much better than my current Contis?
Black Mambas - the guy in the shop said these were the most puncture proof of the lot. Still didn't feel anywhere as cumbersome as the M+s to me. Only available in 23" or 28" and can't find any weight specs online.

Also, does anyone use this stuff? The guy in the shop I went to said if he were doing the same ride I am he'd go for the Durano Etapes plus a bottle of this split between the 2 tyres and that should see me right. Is it any good? I've heard some pretty poor reports about the Slime stuff...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/131217192424?limghlpsr=true&hlpv=2&ops=true&viphx=1&hlpht=true&lpid=108&chn=ps&device=c&rlsatarget=&adtype=pla&crdt=0&ff3=1&ff11=ICEP3.0.0-L&ff12=67&ff13=80&ff14=108

Thanks in advance for any help.
Andy
 

fossala

Veteran
Location
Cornwall
I would go for marathon supremes check them out. Don't get gatorskins they don't handle well in the wet
 
I use Durano + etape's on the roady. Once you're used to how they roll, and behave in the corners, they are very good. I've done over 3000 miles on them, and the only deflation I've suffered, was due to a valve failure on the tube. If you run slime tubes, be aware that they won't work unless you stage the re inflation (pump up to about 30 psi, and wait for the hole(s) to seal, then inflate the tyre as far as you can), and don't go above about 65-70 psi tops. A lot of people just jack the deflated tube, straight back up to 110 psi plus, then wonder why the tyre won't stay inflated, and why they have a green stripe down their back.
 

Soltydog

Legendary Member
Location
near Hornsea
I put Gatorskins on in the winter & have suffered 4 times :sad: although 1 of the incidents would have done any tyre. However on my other bike I have Bontrager Hard Cases & they seem to run better & no incidents yet, although my mileage is a considerably less :blush:
 

craigwend

Grimpeur des terrains plats
I use Durano Plus (London older version of what your looking at) & still managed to puncture them once ( to be fair between 3 of us we got 4 punctures on 1 day) - they roll as well as my other tyres as much as I'll ever notice ...

Nothing is 'proof' just resistant ... good luck on the ride

SPA do good prices - http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php?plid=m2b0s121p0
 

zacklaws

Veteran
Location
Beverley
Another good puncture resistant tyre is the Maxxis Re-Fuse, I tried them last year after hearing nothing good about them and got 3500 miles out of the rear with only one slow puncture, the front is in still very good condition.

Also since last July, I have been riding on my Marathon + tyres, I bought them years ago and disliked them because of how difficult they can be to fit and also the weight, but since refitting them, I have come to like them and now have them on my CX bike and do all my long distance Audax's on them and just sail along on them and do not even notice the weight of them.

Because both makes of tyres have proved their worth over the past months, I am now torn between, do I do the PBP on Marathon + and buy a new set for it or on Maxxis Re-Fuse, I have two spare sets of them in 23mm as they are cheap but ideally I want 25mm but unless I buy from abroad, 25mm's are like rocking horse dung in this country.
 

mustang1

Guru
Location
London, UK
I would go for marathon supremes check them out. Don't get gatorskins they don't handle well in the wet
I used gatorskin 23mm and they still punctured. Switched to 25mm version of the same model and punctures went to virtually zero (and I go off road with them too). They do not handle as nicely as, say, gp4000s especially in the wet but I'm usually quite slow on the commutes. Harsher ride too but I got used to it.

I use 35mm marathon supreme as well. They're slower but so far bomb proof, though I did have a cut in one tire only a week after buying it. Replaced it with a new tire and three years on they are still working fine.

That's just a general review of tires but I can't comment on the long ride that you have planned since I've never been on one.
 

martinclive

Über Member
Location
Fens, Cambridge
I put Gatorskins on in the winter & have suffered 4 times :sad: although 1 of the incidents would have done any tyre. However on my other bike I have Bontrager Hard Cases & they seem to run better & no incidents yet, although my mileage is a considerably less :blush:
Agree the Bontragers Hard case are good and great value - but I have found that they do cut up much more quickly than Gators
Gators can be a little skittish in the wet when new - but get better - so maybe the Conti 4 seasons (but a little more expensive)
Always a compromise whatever you choose
 
Stuff the organisers and use what you've got.
Tempting isn't it. I did Solihull to Paris on Continental GP4000S tyres. Very sporty types, not much puncture protection. I didn't have a single puncture, others that had "better" tyres like Gatorskins did.

Could quote similar anecdotal stuff for my commute.
 
Tempting isn't it. I did Solihull to Paris on Continental GP4000S tyres. Very sporty types, not much puncture protection. I didn't have a single puncture, others that had "better" tyres like Gatorskins did.

Could quote similar anecdotal stuff for my commute.
Seems daft to me to buy tyres you might not like to ride on just for one event.

I think all the organisers can reasonably expect is for riders to turn up on properly prepared bikes with tyres that are in good condition.
 
I use M+ on all my bikes, 25mm on the road bike and 28mm on the commuter and hybrid. If you think 750g is heavy, in winter I use the marathon ice tyres and they weigh a kilo each.
 
OP
EasyPeez

EasyPeez

Über Member
I think you may mean 25mm
Er, yep - my bad. It had been a long day. 25" FFS - That would be quite some fatty bike, eh?!

Stuff the organisers and use what you've got.
That was my first thought too, especially as my Contis have served me well with only 1 flat in 1,500 miles of hard riding on bad roads, plus some off road.
But then I remembered my first puncture a fortnight ago and how bad I was at changing the tube - I thought it would be just like on my old MTB but with more pumping at the end - I couldn't have been more wrong! Without the help of a couple of fellow club riders I'm not sure if I could have even got the tyre back on the rim. So yeah, I'm going to put some practice in in the garden this weekend, but until I feel confident doing a quick tube change myself I feel it's probably wisest to take all possible precautions to ensure I'm not slowing down a big bunch of people that I barely know.

Seems daft to me to buy tyres you might not like to ride on just for one event.
I agree, but tbh my current tyres are probably a bit too harsh and sporty for my current commute, so if I can find some tougher tyres that ride well I'd get my money's worth out of them with commuting use and can save my Contis for club rides and weekend spins. Assuming I master the art of changing the buggers at some point!

I would go for marathon supremes
Thanks for the pointer, I'd not heard of those at all. They look like a good option for my needs.

If you run slime tubes
I'm thinking of not currently. A lot of anecdotal evidence suggests they can be messy and even if they do serve their purpose they leave flaws/lumps in the tube that you can feel as you ride. If I'm going to be clocking speeds in excess of 40mph at points then I think I'd rather do so on a fresh tube than one stuck together with hard, bumpy slime. Doesn't sound altogether safe to me.
Does anyone know anything about the Schwalbe stuff you put into tubes? Is it basically the same stuff in a different flavour?

top tip,talcum powder in tyre when you 1st fit them
Is that to stop rub/sticking of the tube to the tyre inner?

Thanks for the advice so far everyone. It looks to me like Marathon Supreme, Conti 4 Seasons or Durano Plus are the 3 best contenders. I'll pop back to the shop as the Durano Etapes looked great with the Yorkshire Rose insignia and I would prefer to buy local than online - though I fear he might only have the standard ones in and not the DD or + versions in which case I don't think they'll be much better than what I have now.
 
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