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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Feb 2014
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    Tyre choices help - MTB to road conversion

    Hi everyone,

    Just need some help choosing some tyres for my Mongoose Tyax Sport bicycle. Bought this around christmas 2013 for $500. I didn't know anything about bikes back then (and still noob now), so I just bought whatever the guy at the store sold me.

    Not long after I realised a XC MTB wasn't the best bike to be riding around the city environment. First hurdle was the pannier rack, then the mudguard fiasco and now the tyre issue. So now I'm just over this and want to convert it to a road bike.

    I have noticed the Kenda Small block 8 tyres (26 x 2.125) isn't the best choice for cement/ashphalt roads in my area. It seems to be adding to the resistance when I pedal, when over inflated it's slightly better but not as good as Schwalbe marathon tyres on my eZee Sprint e-bike.

    So I figured the best way to reduce this rolling resistance and noise is to get thinner tyres that are more "slick" so the contact surface is smaller, hence lower friction and I can also get rid of that annoying droning noise too from the knobbly bits contacting the ground on the tyres I have now.

    So a few tyres I'd like to look into...

    1. Maxxis Overdrive Elite (26 x 1.75)
    2. Schwalbe Marathon PLUS (26 x 1.75... have these on my e-bike)
    3. Continental Sport Contact (26 x 1.6... might need a new tube here)

    I am aiming for lowest rolling resistance possible... and if possible a weight reduction too. Any other tyre recommendations would be great too.

    Any help would be great!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    18,453
    Test ride some actual road bikes. Drop bars and everything. If you don't want to spend a lot, don't. I rode $100 road bikes to get around town for a while. They still outperform a mountain bike in that role. I've sworn off buying those, since any bike old enough or cheap enough to sell for $100 is usually a lot of trouble to maintain. But it'll let you get your feet wet, for about the cost of tires. $300 should be enough for something a lot easier to keep rolling, should you decide you want a full-time road bike later on.

    I'd cross the Marathon Plus off your list right away. They're supposed to have an extra layer of thick rubber for puncture protection. That's going to add a lot to the rolling resistance and the weight.

    Between the Maxxis and the Conti, I dunno. People sometimes complain about weird handling from putting too narrow a tire on their MTBs. Bear in mind that the frame geometry is designed around the outside diameter of a wheel with a fat tire. You'll be going narrower. Personally, I've used Continentals on my road bike for a long time, so I might lean that way. I also like a road slick to have puncture protection. IME, the single-layer belt that's in most nice road tires is enough, I don't need extra or the thick thing in a Schwalbe Plus tire or anything like that. I think tires with high thread counts roll a little smoother. So maybe that can help you choose between the Maxxis and the Conti.

    I wouldn't choose a tire based on compatibility with my existing tubes. A tube is about a $6 part. Tires are a lot more expensive. Tubes are semi-disposable. I guess tires are too, but I expect to live with a tire for thousands of miles. Also, if your tire is narrower than the smallest width the tube says it's compatible with, buy narrower tubes. Packing a too-big tube into a little tire is a huge pain, totally not worth the trouble, IMO.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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