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  1. #1
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    New question here. MTB Slicks for commuting questions

    So I've been commuting to work for most of the summer on a mountain bike, and just recently learned about road slicks for mountain bikes...
    So after some research I found several that'll fit my rims, but I am unsure whether my rims will handle the higher tire pressure.
    Also I ride trails on the weekends. Do you guys just switch tires and tubes when needed or do you have a spare set of rims decked out with cassette/brake discs for quick transfer?
    Do the slicks really make that much difference?
    Should I just splurge on a new commuter bike? I have been planning to upgrade to a better MTB but could use that money on a more road-type bike...
    Just curious what others would do.

    Thanks for the help,
    Jeremy

  2. #2
    dirtbag
    Reputation: ranier's Avatar
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    Dude, there's an existing thread a couple down about the same subject.
    Amolan

  3. #3
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    kinda

    Yeah that's the thread that kinda got me started on this.....but it really just seems to discuss what tires to use...
    I was wondering if you guys change tires and tubes when switching to trail or do you use separate rims already fitted with tires/cassette/brake disc to make it a quick simple switch and go.

    Sorry if i sound like a retard I'm new!

    -Jeremy-

  4. #4
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    A lot of people have a spare set of wheels that they swap out. Some even go to the trouble of removing and swapping tires and tubes every weekend.

    Slicks really do make a world of difference. Their smooth profile and higher max pressure make for less rolling resistance. You also won't be putting so much wear on your knobbies.

    If I were you, I would just go with a dedicated commuter! If you're going to get a new MTB anyway, you can use your older bike as your commuter. You could also peruse Craig's list or your LBS for a cheap used bike you could run exclusively for commuting/road use. A lot of people on this forum have also opted to go with a cyclocross bike for commuting, since you basically get the best of both world on one.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  5. #5
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    I started to right a response and then the Couger jumped in, what he said basically! Recommend getting the new mtb and commuting on your old one, only problem i see is limited hand positions, which is helped by bar ends.

    Your rims will be fine with higher pressures of slicks.

    Basically here most people will have at least two bikes ...

  6. #6
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Yeah, what they said. Easiest: two bikes. Next best: two sets of wheels. Still doable: swap tires or just deal with slickish on the trail or knobbies on the street. I definitely agree that slicks are easier pedaling and smoother on the street.

  7. #7
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    Look at the thread up above on steel flat bar cross roadie bikes and make sure you get a bike with 700c otherwise known as 29er rims.

    26" wheels are great for off road. Easy to manuever and quick to spin up.

    Theres no advantage to using 26" wheels on pavement. I commuted on a mountain bike with slicks 20 years ago and have learned better. Best bet is to convert long top tube cross/touring frame to upright position with flat or riser bar for riding in traffic. It can be done with drop bars but the upright position is better when you need to be aware of whats around you. Drop bars are better for longer distances and aerodynamic advantage.

  8. #8
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    I disagree, Pedalup. There MAY be an advantage for him to use 700s, there also may be an advantage to 559s. Either way is going to be plenty suitable unless he already has a definite opinion- wheel size isn`t a life or death kind of choice. For me, I stay with 26s because I have a shed full of them and I know I can borrow a tire, or in most cases a whole wheel, from any one and throw it on any other for any reason I want to (and I frequently do that). I also have to stock only one size tube, for whaever that`s worth. If I happened to have mostly 700s on my bikes, I would try to keep it that way too. Another (vain) reason for me to stick with 26s, even on the road, is that I personally think the short headtubes required to fit me on a "road" bike look a bit goofy- with a rigid 26, at least the DT and TT aren`t like siamese twins, so they look better. My opinion about the last part, but I hold firm that 700c, 29er, 622, what-ever wheels aren`t the ONLY way to fly. Just thought I`d put that out there.

  9. #9
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    I ride mountain bikes on the road year round and the best thing i have found is the Continental Town and Country tires. I have learned that Continental tires are very flat proof, it seems like it is the rubber compound they use but whatever i rarely flat with continentals.

    I have ridden by bikes (mainly mountain bikes) over 35,000 miles in the last 5 years and tried all kinds of tires. Like others said, switching to slicks or "semi-slicks" is a vast improvement over knobbies.

    I learned that a WIDE slick like the T & C's are very plush and fast. You can buy a narrower slick but you gain very little in terms of speed and the ride is much more harsh.


  10. #10
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    i compromised on my bike with some 700x40 kenda kross tires... they are smooth in the middle, semi slick with a little lean and then knobbie on the outside... riding though yards/grass they are fine... haven't take em on the trail... but on sand they are a bit scary.... i thought they where skinny till i was looking at real road bike tires...

    they make a HUGE difference... on a 10 mile ride i do about 2mph faster with them vs the "fast rolling" nano raptors that came stock... when i get out of the saddle to get up some speed they speed up much quicker...

    i have the 2 bike method... although i wouldn't have a big problem swapping tires over if it came to it...
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  11. #11
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    If you can ever find them still, I got the Bontrager Revolt SS tires. Nice in street or dirt for the most part.
    Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
    --Arthur Ashe

  12. #12
    Blind biker
    Reputation: harry2110's Avatar
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    Ive decied to get MICHELIN County rock tires. does anyone else run them?

  13. #13
    Braaaapp!
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    Slicks definitely help.

    My girl friend started biking and was considerably slower than me, both of us on mountain bikes, me with 2.1's, her with 2.0 and a solid center tread. I put a set of cheapo 1.5" "slicks" (they have a few tiny channels). Big difference, she could run much closer to my pace for 20-35 mile road rides.

    Then she got an actual road bike. Last ride on the 20 mile loop she dropped 19 minutes off her best time on the mountain bike with slicks. I killed myself to keep up, and didn't do very well.

    I now have dedicated my older bike to road/commute duty, with her old 1.5" slicks taller gearing. Hope I can keep up this weekend. I never would have thought there was such a difference between mild knobbies, slicks, and an actual road bike.

  14. #14
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harry2110
    Ive decied to get MICHELIN County rock tires. does anyone else run them?
    Yes! These are excellent tires, a perfect compromise between speed and comfort. And they corner like a world champ. I put at least 30-50 miles on mine a week and you can still see the wear bar on the front one. My one and only complaint about them is that the deep, cloose tread picks up and retains a lot of little, loose pebbles (and even bits of glass O_O) but it's a tough tire.


    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  15. #15
    I Have Cookies
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    specialized rythim+Control

    thats the combo I use on my commuter. but it does double duty as a skatepark bike. The combo is fast any the rythim front tire has just enough grip to do a little off road if you need to. I accually used the combo in my favorite local trail the UH Training loop and if its dry in there the tires did really good!
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

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    Kimo

  16. #16
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    Short on time but here goes:

    Been commuting all winter in SE Michigan. Runnin an old ridgid with two sets of wheels; one with knobblies and one with FORTE Kevlar city tires.

    We've been getting lots of snow so I just jump back and forth depending on the day. Knobblies will slow you down for sure but no one expects to set time records on hard pack snow. Run minimum air pressure for a bigger contact patch. Feels like riding in sand really-really slippery sand. Nothing to be done about ice but studded tires. Best to look at Nokian and get carbide studs.

    The dry days, the kelvar bits are a breeze and no flats, knock on wood.. Sort of like running a road bike but you can hit the trails a little.

    I average something like 200+ miles a week and have learned a lot the hard way. Still, as long as there's air in the tire...let me at it!!

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