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  1. #1
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    Tire dilemna - Knobby or semi-slick/hybrid. Please help!

    Hi

    I have a hard tail mountain bike, which I only use on roads for my daily commute (18 miles) - I bought it for the extra comfort as I have a bad back and really feel the bumps on londons crappy roads, so a road bike is a definite no

    My tires at the moment are specialized fast trak control 26"x2, and I run them at 35psi for the extra comfort. I want to get tyres that are made for road use, but I'm worried about sacrificing comfort, so am definitely sticking with 2" wide, chunky tyres

    I'm torn between Specialized Crossroads Armadillo's, which are pretty knobbly, and Specialized Hemishere Armadillos, which are semi-slick/hybrid.

    My question is do the knobbly bits provide extra comfort/shock absobrtion? If so the crossroads would be better for me (my back!), but if not then the Hemispheres are better and are more suitable for road use. But comfort is my main concern

    I've searched for days on the internet but cant find any answers

    Can anyone help please?

  2. #2
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    I travel to London on a mountain bike occasionally so I feel your pain. Because I'm lazy I just stick to my Conti Race Kings since they roll reasonably well. If I were doing it more regularly I'd switch to Schwalbe Kojak's. I have a pair of the 26" x 2.00" and they're a treat on the tarmac. I don't think you'll find anything much lighter (460 gm) or faster in a large volume tyre. If you do, let us know.

  3. #3
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    The knobs would really only help you for climbing and gripping onto dirt surfaces. On the road, knobby tires don't really help with that, otherwise you'd see dragsters running knobby tires instead of slicks.

    Likewise, a slick tire will also be smoother on the road. The lower PSI is where you're soaking up some bumps, and while I don't think knobby tires are bad for road use at all, I had a bike with slicks and you COULD tell a little bit of a difference...

    My 2 cents.

  4. #4
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    great thanks for these

    so the knobs dont provide any extra comfort/shock absorbtion on tarmac (london roads have potholes/bumps everywhere)?

  5. #5
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    No. All they do is add a bit more trail buzz into your bike and, potentially, limit your grip. Knobblies are designed for surfaces that deform in some way. On tarmac slicks (or very close) are the order of the day.

  6. #6
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    On the other hand, since you are commuting, the knobbies provide more protection from bits of glass and sharp metal than a slick or semi-slick. I just switched from knobbies to semi slicks this summer and got two flats from a tack laying in the road, and a tiny thorn that would have been avoided if there were knobs on the tire. I never got flats with the knobbies.

  7. #7
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    I'm on the road quite a bit on skinny slicks (on my road bike) and have not got a flat in 2 years. Flat protection is about the same between knobbies and slicks. However, on road performance is far better on slicks. My wife rides her mtb on the road with 1.5" slicks. No flats yet. I wouldn't even bother with those semi/hybrid tires. Just go for the slicks.

  8. #8
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    this is all great info, thanks so much

    both the tyres I'm looking at both have Armadillo flat prevention so flats are less of a worry

    I've attached pictures of both tyres here (Crossroads are on the left). I guess the Crossroads isnt really that Knobbly, especially in the middle

    But it does look more comfortable and looks like it can absorb more shock...
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Last edited by stevewand; 08-04-2010 at 09:04 AM.

  9. #9
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    If you want a bigger volumn tire, check this out:

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...pple+Tire.aspx

    Available in 2.0 or 2.35.

    But if it were me, I'd go 1.5":

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...nith+Tire.aspx

  10. #10
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    sorry for the thread resurrection... been trying to search for info on hybrid tires but mostly outdated and this is the most recent ones. would like to know what are new choices and if they have improved the past years. new to mtb-ing and currently have 1.5' serfas drifters and it's working so far since i'm mostly doing roads and light trails for now. previous owner was doing mostly road and he set it up for commuting. brought to a pretty rugged trail and it held up fine in slow speed and just lost grip on loose dirt/sand. was thinking of going with the 2-inch version of the serfas. any suggestions or even just experiences with other hybrids? i'm aware that these will always be a compromise of road and off-road and won't be excellent in either department. i don't really mind as it's not competitive and just recreational for now.

    sorry again for the thread revival

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