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  1. #1
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    Reputation: Fuzzy Dunlop's Avatar
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    New question here. Replacement tires and/or wheelset for city riding

    I currently ride a 2000 Velo Sport Banff GS mountain bike my parents bought me when I was 16. The current rims are the 26"x1.5" Rigida (decimals?) that came with it, along with some cheap Maxxis mountain tires of unknown make/model. I'm planning to buy a new bike eventually, probably a hybrid, but for the time being I'm stuck with my $350 beater. My bike weighs in at 37.5 pounds without any luggage or other extras, which seems like a lot even for bike with a 20" chromoly frame. I believe a significant part of that weight lies in the wheels. I've looked at replacing them with something lighter and more appropriate for riding on city streets, but the entry level for new tires and wheel sets from at my LBS's is $300+. I've noticed a number of large cracks in the rubber on my front tire, and in a couple of places the edge of the rims have worn through to the point where I can see the joins.

    I'd like to replace the tires and, if possible, the wheels, with something lighter and faster. I'm not looking to win any races, only to extend the life of my bike by making it a bit lighter and faster. In a rim, I'd need something that's v-brake compatible. For wheels, a smaller tread. Reflective sidewalls would be a nice safety bonus. Appreciate any thoughts/suggestions on where to look and what to buy

  2. #2
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    Check out BikeIsland.com for a wheelset. They aren't expensive and give decent service. Then again if you know how long before buying a different bike I'd hold off buying anything except new rubber, and put that cash to the new bike.
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

  3. #3
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    Buy a new bike. You'll end up kicking yourself if you spend a bunch of money on a bike that isn't worth anything.

    And don't get a hybrid. Hybrids are the worst. They don't do anything well.

  4. #4
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    I don`t know what you mean by seeing the joins. If the part of the rim where your brake pads grab is wearing thin, your rims are probably getting ready to give up the ghost. If you just mean that you can see/feel the little crack where the two ends of the rim meet, that`s normal. Tires are the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to improving a bike. The kinds of tires that would work well for you depend entirely on what kind of riding you do. Fill us in with that info and you`ll probably have us falling all over ourselves to put in a plug for our personal favorite tires- it never fails

    A new wheelset doesn`t sound like a bad idea to me, with a few caveats. Since you`re planning to eventually buy a new bike, it would be silly to spend money you didn`t need to on your current ride, but if you plan on using the same wheel size for your next bike, you`d have a nice set of wheels to swap in and still have the stock wheels to keep mounted with a different type of tires from your day-to-day tires (slicks and knobbies, fat and skinny, studs and no studs, etc). You can get wheels with disc hubs and V-brake rims, so they`ll work with either type of system. The problem is that if you really want a hybrid next time (unlike the guy above, I don`t see anything wrong with that idea), that sort of implies 700c wheels, so you wouldn`t be able to "carry over" the nice wheels you`re dreaming of now to that bike, and you probably wouldn`t be able to recoop much of your investment by selling off the wheels.

    $300 isn`t a bad price as long as they`re good wheels, IMO. If not, you sure can get a good set of wheels (durable, reasonably light, no bling) for that price. See what Junior`s place has, check out Amazon, or maybe another. Though I`ve never bought from them, Bicyclewheelwarehouse.com is supposed to be pretty good. Here`s what they offer for $300 that would work for both disc and rim brakes:
    Mavic 717 V-Brake + Shimano XT 6bolt
    If you still plan on getting a hybrid or some other 700c bike soon and your current wheels blow out in the brake tracks, I wouldn`t spend that much. You might be able to find cheap replacements to see you through at a bike co-op, or look for cheapos online. Ought to be able to dig up a new set of Chinese no-name 26 inch cassette wheels for under $100.
    Recalculating....

  5. #5
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    ^^That sounds like good advice to me. I'd go with the new tires unless the old rims are collapsing or literally have a hole worn through from the brakes. There have been a couple threads here on pavement MTB tires lately, so you might scroll down under commuting and find a bunch of suggestions. Yes, your bike is on the heavy side, but you'll just be that much faster when you can buy the new bike. You may not be in this situation, but I usually convince myself that I should lose 5 lbs before spending big $ to lose a few pounds on the bike.

  6. #6
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    Although the rim is a little on the wide side lots of mail order places carry a wheel set with Sun Rhyno-Lite rims on Shimano Deore 6 bolt hubs for $100-150 depending on who has a sale. I bought a set of these for my wife's hardtail last year and the worked great. For tires I like the Specialized Nimbus 26x1.5 since they roll well and are reasonably flat resistant.
    2009 Redline Conquest Pro, 2008 Trek Fuel Ex8
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    Yes I spent too much on bikes.

  7. #7
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    Thanks all for the great advice, especially Rodar. The part about the rim is where the two ends meet, so that's normal what a relief! In terms of riding habits, I'm on city streets 98% of the time with the odd bit of dirt and grass. Given the age of the bike and the costs involved, I think it makes the most sense to replace the current MTB tires with a more pavement-friendly 26x1.5. I went to MEC yesterday and had a look at a set of Tioga City Slickers ($21 each), however the tread seemed pretty thin and I read enough complaints about their lack of puncture resistance that I ended up not buying them. As for buying a new bike, I've done a fair bit of looking and reading online and in-store, enough to know that what I'm after falls somewhere between the $800-$1,100 range. I'm a long way off being able to afford that, however. If and when I do get a new ride, I'll keep my current bike for winter riding.

    At this point, I think I should retitle this thread "best 26x1.5 tires for city riding". I'd like to keep the budget under $80 total (i.e. the cost for 2 tires), if possible.

  8. #8
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    Fuzzy, I'm not sure if you have your heart set on 1.5" wide tires, but "balloon" tires are another option, and they are fantastic. I have 2.35" Big Apples mounted on narrow old rims on one of my old mountain bikes, and absolutely love them.

    Even if you don't go all the way to 2.35", any slick in the 2~2.15" range could be a nice choice - they roll really well, are very comfortable, and can be pretty bulletproof. MEC doesn't carry them, but an LBS should be able to get them in, or you can find them online for ~$35/tire.

    They're not super cheap, but they are lots of fun, and will make any bike feel like a whole new bike. I had them on my Canadian Tire bike for a year, and they were nice enough that I almost didn't want to replace it (although I eventually did, and just swapped the tires to the new bike).
    Last edited by newfangled; 04-27-2013 at 03:41 PM.

  9. #9
    weirdo
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    Yeah, slicks or slick-ish for sure if you aren`t riding a lot of offroad. For "city streets with the odd bit of dirt and grass", my preference would be from 1.5 to 1.75, but Newf isn`t alone in his love of BAs and other fat cruiser tiers. Either way you`ll get a quieter and more efficient ride than knobbies.

    Aside from width, give some thought to where you want to go on the "tough/nimble" line. Tough tires (like Kenda Quests, Maxxis Overdrives, and probably those City Slickers) will be durable and very resistant to punctures an pinch flats, while still being quieter and more efficient than knobbies. Foofoo tires, (Paselas, Primo Comets, Kojaks) are smooth as silk, but you pay for it in reliability. I love my foo-foo 1.25 Paselas for the open road on nice days, but the prospect of dealing with a flat on my way to work or on a cold winter night leads me to swap them out whenever I really need the reliability of something tougher.

    Big Apples fall in the middle. They have some kind of magic that lets them avoid punctures like the tough guys in spite of their supreme comfort. They miss the perfection mark by being heavy and expensive, but you might be able to swing it for $80. And with any of the tires mentioned, you have to remember to slow it down when cornering on soft surface compared to what you can do with knobbies. No free lunch
    Recalculating....

  10. #10
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    I recently swapped mine to Schwalbe Marathon Greenguard Tire - 26 x 1.75. They're round, semi-slick, semi-heavy, long wearing and flat resistant, and $33 each to keep you on budget.

  11. #11
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    Yet again, thank you rodar for your incredible wisdom

    According to my rims they fit 1.5" - 1.95" wheels. I don't think my forks are wide enough for anything bigger. On the topic of rims and tubes, mine have Schrader valves. I know Prestas have a thinner valve stem is there some kind of adapter I could buy for my rims so the smaller valves won't rattle around?

  12. #12
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Mountain bike forks that won`t accept a 2 inch tire would be pretty odd, but I guess yours could be some weird exception.
    Yes, you can buy little gromet thingies to use presta valves in rims drilled for schraeders. Some wheelsets come with them when new, and I bought a few from my LBS once for just in case, but never needed to use them. Having trouble finding skinny tubes with fat valves? I had to special order them for quite a while, just found out last year that my local REI stocks them. If you can`t find any in your town, hopefully you can order some from MEC.
    Recalculating....

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