Tire for commute/dirt?
My default tire on my 26er is the FireXC, but I was thinking I might try to find something a bit faster this year. This would be for commuting in the mornings, and hitting the trails on the way home. I don't want to go all the way to full slicks like the big apple, but I also don't need anything really aggressive because on wet days I'll take the 29er.
So the wishlist would be fast-rolling, long-wearing, and at least a 2.1 with fairly big volume.
I'm thinking Schwalbe Smart Sam, Kenda SB8, Conti Race King, Geax Sagurao, WTB nano...?
Any suggestions, recommendations or warnings to help me narrow it down?
Hmmm...I haven't tried any of those, but love my Schwalbe Nobby Nics, they made some horrendous noises ripping rocks on the trail, I was sure I would flat, but never did. Tough and wore well. So I vote for the Schwalbes. Probably also depends if you feel like your route needs the extra flat protection layer some offer.
WTB MutanoRaptor 26x2.2 would be a great tire for what you describe. It has a center line and small knobs for low rolling resistance on the pavement. And even with that low rolling resistance, I've been very happy with the grip on the trails. Not bad for $30 a tire either.
"Got everything you need?"
I would actually just go right to the WTB Nano, the tread is long lasting.
I ride a 38mm Conti Sport Contact slick....
It is amazingly good for hard packed clay, I have a fair chunk of that on my summer ride home.
It is amazingly poor on gravel...however I can avoid that on my summer ride home....
I is also amazingly good on dry grass, wet grass is hopeless...
Anyway I quite enjoy the slick ride.
I prefer the slick to the Maxxis Crossmark....well unless it rains then I just take the streets home.
I've been looking at these type of tires, too and here is the list I've "narrowed" it down to.
Halo Twin Rail
Maxxis Holy Roller
Schwalbe Crazy Bob
Schwalbe Marathon Extreme
Schwalbe Table Top
Specialized Rhythm Lite
Pretty much anything with a continuous center rib will roll well on pavement if you run them at higher pressure. Then you can drop pressure on the way home to get better traction in the dirt.
The Serfas Drifters get good reviews, but the inverted tread just doesn't look like enough in my head. I'm sure they are fine, though by the reviews.
There are also the Ritchey Speed Max type tires with a slick-ish center tread and knobs on the sides, but unless you are riding dry hard pack, again, in my head, I don't think they'd have enough traction.
Another vote for the Nano. I have one still on my old bike with a little tread left. This one is over a year old and a little thin in the middle. :-)
Originally Posted by Mr Pink57
These three I have used for my jumping bikes and occasionally commuters over the years:
Holy Rollers are good but a bit heavy, have weaker side walls, tread lasts a long time, grip well on dirt for the type of tire.
K-rads are good-lighter and very affordable but won't last as long, not as good grip on dirt
Halo Twin Rails are awesome! They are my new favorite tire.
Other one's to consider are the Continental Town and Country if you can still get them. This is what I currently have on my commuter. They have an inverted tread pattern and smooth center track that grips alright on dirt but very low rolling resistance and silent on pavement.
Other people swear by Intense Micro Knobbies as superlight and OK all-rounders but they seem to wear quickly, from what I've heard.
I did notice you mentioned the Smart Sams, I actually have a 47c pair I use off and on. They are a ok all around tire but much prefer the dirt, they are rather noisy on the road and definitely notice some resistance vs my 38c Nashbar Comforts.
The Race King would be a decent setup and rather light, I have also used this on my all arounder but I still think the Nano would be a the best.
Thanks folks. I've got to hit the shops to see what I can actually get locally.
Smart Sams pumped up work amazingly well on-road. Off-road, drop a few PSI and they're great. The solid center tread works great on-road.
Right now I just need a front tire, so I ended up getting one 2.25 smart sam since the lbs down the street had the wire bead version in stock. They had folding nanos too, but I figure the smart sam was a cheap way to see if I like the tread. If not then I'll try something else for the back. Still a couple of weeks before the summer bike will be hitting the road, though.
I have a pair of Conti Traffic 2.1's on order, should be getting them in a few days. I'll let you know how they are on the road and trail.
Kenda Small Block 8's roll really well and do good in the dirt. Not great in the wet, but for what you describe I'd consider them.
You have no excuse for driving to work
(unless you don't have studded tires)
(no excuse for that either)