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  1. #1
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    Slick tires for mountain bike commuting

    I was just wondering what your favorite slicks are for mountain bike commuing and also all these guys reporting 5 mph gains just by switching from the big knobbies, could this be a result of changing the tire diameter and not recalibrating the speedometer?

  2. #2
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    2nd question first: Swapping from big knobbies to small slicks will make your speedo read faster than you are actually going, so going the same speed will read faster.

    1st question: true slicks -- Specialized Fat Boys, 26x1.25; commuters -- Kenda Kwest, 26x1.5, or Intense Micro Knobby, 26X2.25, depending on your needs. I run the Intense's.
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  3. #3
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    If you are looking for real speed (after adjusting the computer), I don't think there are many out there that can beat the Ritchie Tom Slick. They are a full slick capable of running at high pressure (provided your rims will take it) and have some pretty thin sizes (I've got a set of 26x1.4" that I can run at the 85psi max listed on the sidewall). D

    on't get near gravel with 'em, but for roadie-tizing a mtb for commuting, I don't know if there is much better out there.

    I've also used the Tioga City Slicker and Bontrager Hard Case (some side knobs, but heavy for serious puncture resistance). Our local police run the Hard Cases and they seem to hold up pretty well.
    Last edited by Psycho Mike; 07-16-2008 at 09:20 AM.
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  4. #4
    viva la v-brakes!
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    I prefer something slightly larger and more durable for commuting. Look for a tire in the 1.5-1.75 range that is designed to be puncture resistance. The skinny tires tend to loose air and pinch flat really easily, plus the bigger tires have a more comfortable ride. My old favorite were continental top touring if you can find those, the new continental street tires, the "Contact" series looks good but I haven't tried them. My LBS is totally sold on the Panaracer UrbanMax. I will be taking a maiden voyage on them today.
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  5. #5
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    Slicked down MTB'muter


    I like the 26X1.40 Michelin XC Road and I commute almost daily 19-miles one way. It is more efficient than knobbies as I was commuting on those for a few months. But a 5-MPH gain... maybe over a few months of building some endurance or maybe it's the excitement of having the smoove rollers... i don't know as I do not have a computer on my bike.


    I just ride...

    I will be putting knobbies back on at some point as I have some side trials I need to explore. Need to stay in ADV-MTB'muter mode, but i'm in recovery right now after breaking my neck in a off-road MX accident: KTM950 - BIG OFF & HOT NEW LOOK - Turkey Day 2007

  6. #6
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    Riding is a lot easier for sure... I didn't pick up 5mph average but I did pick up about a 2mph average (thats calculated distance over time) on my normal 7.46 mile training route. 11.1mph -> 13mph.

    My commute isn't log enough to really notice much of a difference other than being able to roll in high gear a lot easier for a lot longer.

    Geax Roadsters


    Decent traction on loose stuff too - just found their limit the other day pushing too hard into a rutted gravel corner - minor front skid (no fall though)

  7. #7
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    slicks are the way to go

    I don't have a computer yet, so I don't know about the speed increase. But, I know I power through my tallest gear a lot easier with the slicks. I did a 30 mile commute today and chased a roadie for a long time. I think I made him angry though.

    My wheels are at 95psi and the rim allows 113psi and the Maxxis Detonators go up to 100psi.
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  8. #8
    viva la v-brakes!
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    Also bear in mind that the smaller wheel diameter with small slicks will have you in higher gears, not to mention the fact that your on pavement which is a faster surface then dirt.
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  9. #9
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    Peddle Faster Smoother Quciker Longer....

    I agree - you will spin in a higher gear and I could actually use a larger front chain-ring. Need like a 52 to replace the 48, so yea, I must be peddling faster....

  10. #10
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    Bontrager makes a full slick in a 26 x 1.5
    Michelin makes a commuter tire in 26 x 1.8

    Both run right around 20 dollars.

    As far as speed goes both of these tires will roll faster (less resistance). they are lighter than a knobby tire as well and as stated above you are riding on a smooth surface. So imo it is possible to gain an extra 5mph.
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  11. #11
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    Full on slicks make me nervous so I run a tire that has a tread pattern even on my 700c wheels. For a 26" tire, I'm partial to the Specialized Crossroads or Hemispheres, both are 1.95's. If you want a narrower tire, check out the Nimbus or the Borough CX which are 1.5's.
    [SIZE="2"][SIZE="3"]Eat to Live[/SIZE][/SIZE]...[SIZE="3"]not the other way around[/SIZE]

  12. #12
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    MTB'muter Slicked Down

    The Michelin XC Roads are 26X1.40 and top out at 87-psi. Not too fat and not too skinny!



    I'm lacing up some "vintage" never used XTR hubs on some MAVIC 121 rims so I can try the Panaracer Urban Max that is 26X1.25 that max at 100-psi.
    No photo yet.



    I make sure that I keep my tires aired to the max limit for less rolling resistance - more efficiency. "FREE HORSEPOWER!" I also found that the Michelin's loose about 5-psi a week so keep a check on them.

  13. #13
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    Schwalbe Big Apple 2.0

    Fat enough that it doesn't look stupid, rolls great, corners beautifully, and, even at 60psi (max is 70, but with the wide slicks, I don't trust my rims), they don't ride too rough.

  14. #14
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    Schwalbe Big Apple 29'ers 2.35
    FWIW I also ran 700x32 Michelin Dynamics







    Good thing spesh gave the stumpy sliding drop outs because I could barely slide a credit card between the tire and the front derailleur.
    I noticed a speed increase with the dynamics ( yes recalibrated speedo) shaving time off of a 3 mile ride by an average of 3.5 minutes.
    With the Big Apples I do notice the mass these are I think said to weigh in at 990g + but once rolling I get the same speeds, times etc.. as I did on the 32mm Dynamics.
    The major difference is that they are far more stable and all around useful, I can hop into a trail, go whizzing off the shoulder into rough gravel etc.... even ran them down an unmaintained road full of wash outs and fist sized rock areas at full speed.
    Last edited by portage29er; 07-15-2008 at 08:30 AM.
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  15. #15
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    I'm running Michelin Country Rock tires on my commuter. They're 1.5" and air up to 72psi. They seem to work great on pavement, tho I haven't tried a full slick to compare them too. That'll be my next upgrade, probably put a full slick in the rear and keep the treads up front.

    I want some tread, as my commute can/will hit some single track on the way home. If I go to full slicks I'll have to stay on the road.

  16. #16
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    It's a little unorthodox but I commuted two miles to school and back every day on 2.1" Panaracer Fire XCs. While they're full knobby they roll nice and fast, they're a good tire to check out if you want the best of both worlds

  17. #17
    What could go wrong ...
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    I'm trying these to see if I like them
    http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...il.asp?p=IKSCT
    they have 3 sizes to choose from and the price is right
    or you can browse thru these
    http://www.biketiresdirect.com/searc...sp?so=p&cat=sl
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabidweasel999
    It's a little unorthodox but I commuted two miles to school and back every day on 2.1" Panaracer Fire XCs. While they're full knobby they roll nice and fast, they're a good tire to check out if you want the best of both worlds
    Nah...I'm currently running Rampages and they roll a lot faster than my XC's ever did.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  19. #19
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    I just swapped out my agressive tires for a set of IRC Metro II 26x2.0 (i think).

    Big big difference in the amount of effort it takes to go the same distance compared to my old knobby tires.

  20. #20
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    I like the Forte (Performance) Fast City ST/K's I've been running. They're light, don't get punctures, handle better than I care to push the bike, and they're cheap as heck, too.

  21. #21
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    I just bought a Fisher Tassajara, and since I ride mostly subdivision streets, had the LBS swap the knobby tires out for some Bontrager Hank 2.2s. The larger tires ride extremely smooth, although I admit I have never ridden any other slicks for comparison. Their grip on gravel and dirt washed into the road really surprised me. I have over 300 miles on them now and not had a puncture yet. The only drawback I could see is that they may be heavier than most other slicks.
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  22. #22
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    I read this wrong...editing my stupidity out!
    Replacing the cables and housing on your brakes/shifters feels like getting a new bike for $40.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by portage29er
    Schwalbe Big Apple 29'ers 2.35

    With the Big Apples I do notice the mass these are I think said to weigh in at 990g + but once rolling I get the same speeds, times etc.. as I did on the 32mm Dynamics.
    The major difference is that they are far more stable and all around useful, I can hop into a trail, go whizzing off the shoulder into rough gravel etc.... even ran them down an unmaintained road full of wash outs and fist sized rock areas at full speed.
    I use these on my Kona Kula 2-9. Fantastic tires. Rolling resistance is nil, when compared with the Rampages I was running before. I've taken them off-road a little, and as long as the road less traveled isn't muddy or sandy, I've had good results.

  24. #24
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    I have about 3000 miles on a set of Serfas Drifters 26 x 2.0. Great commuting tires for mtb.

  25. #25
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    Intense Micro Knobby 26x2.25 -- less than 600g, 7,500 L-I-T-T-L-E knobs, and for me and my 819 rims, a perfectly round profile! I'm a clyde, I run 60psi in each, and I can L-E-A-N those puppies over! For the first time, I'm a bit worried about catching a pedal on the asphalt!

    After getting through a week of 'dog days', I was able to do a serious comparison for ride time (no speedo), and I saved 3+ minutes over 5 1/2 miles! And these tires RAIL in nearly ALL conditions (partially cuz of the tire pressure, I do pinball a bit in bigger gravel)!
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

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