Best Tires for commuting?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best Tires for commuting?

    Tried searching, but to no success. If there is a link, sorry, please post. I'm looking for something fast, yet could go off road if I get side tracked on a trail, plus resistant to road debris. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    I commuted for a couple of months last year,plus alot of riding and a week long tour. 3700 miles without a flat. Schwalbe marathon 368 Made me a believer. Mine are 26x1.5, I think next time I'll try the 2" wides, but it looks like i still might have another 4000 miles left in them. They were $38 a piece.

  3. #3
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    I am in the process of converting my mountain bike into a commuter/mountain bike. I read alot of good reviews on the Serfas Drifter City Tire. Im buying them online right now and ill let you guys know how it is.

  4. #4
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    Almost 5,000 miles on my Schwalbe Marathons and a few thousand more to go. More importantly, I've only had one flat (admittedly, I use a tire liner, which I'm sure helps). These tires are on my Surly Cross Check. After about 2,000 miles, I bought a pair of Panaracer Paselas on clearance. I haven't had the need to mount them yet.

    I had Serfas tires on my mountain bike commuter and I got numerous flats (I can't remember if I used a liner or not, that was thousands of miles ago). I won't go back to Serfas. Currently, on the mountain bike commuter, I have about 200 miles on the kevlar Bell tires from my local department store (they're sold as comfort bike tires, 1.5" wide). I also use a liner with them, and have had no flats.
    Last edited by J_Hopper; 01-29-2010 at 09:47 AM.

  5. #5
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    another vote for the Schwalbe Marathons.............commuted for 8 mo. no flats........tons of glass that weekly ate my tires in the big city.

  6. #6
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    The problem that...

    you have is two fold. The very characteristics that make a tire a great road/commuter tire are the exact same characteristics that make them suck off road, and contrawise for off road tires. Any tire that will be suitable for both will be a compromise one way or the other. It just depends on which way you go as to wich will be compromised more, either road performance and durability will suffer, or traction will suffer on dirt.

    The bottom line is, any tire will go off road. Some will do it better than others. My suggestion would be for at least a 2.0 tire with some low tread blocks and a solid center rib. The tread blocks will give traction on dirt, and the solid center rib will run fairly smooth and fast on pavement. Something like the Continental Traffic http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...7&category=179 will work well, and would be my choice for an "oh cool! there's some single track" type situation where you don't know what you'll run into on that trail. If you know the condition of the tracks and tails you'll get "side tracked" on, then you can go smoother or more agressive if you like. Just keep in mind that any tire you choose will be a compromise. If it works reasonably on both road and dirt, it won't be stellar on either surface.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  7. #7
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    schwalbe marathons here too.
    also a big fan of continental town and countrys.

    like squash said, find your focus.
    Commuting quickly onroad or traction offroad, can't have them both.
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  8. #8
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    I'm in the process of building a new commuter/road/dirt road/monster-crossish bike based on a Surly Crosscheck frame and I'm thinking of Schwalbe Marathon Extreme HS 402's. They cost a fortune but I'm willing to bet that they'll last a couple of years. I've included a link to them on the Schwalbe site and a pic of the 26" version. Tread looks pretty versatile...

    http://www.schwalbetires.com/marathon_extreme

    http://www.bikestore.cc/popup_image.php/pID/124462

  9. #9
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    Thanks for replies, got some looking to do now. Feel free to keep the ideas coming. Thanks!

  10. #10
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    http://www.schwalbetires.com/content/title-8

    for 90% road, and gravel/hardpack for the rest...
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  11. #11
    Bedwards Of The West
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    I don't know if they still make them, but Performance Bike's house brand "Forte" has some tires called the Versa Trak. I commuted on them for a couple of years on the MTB. They have a rounded profile with a raised center lug, which makes them pretty fast rolling tires on the street (I ran them at 60psi), and they had a sunken tread pattern (like the tread was what was left over after they hollowed out everything that's not tread, instead of attaching tread to the top of a flat surface...if that makes any sense) They were decent off road, I beat on them pretty good on the trail, then aired them back up and rode to work. A great compromise tire. They came in a Kevlar and non-kevlar version. The best part was that you could get them on clearance for 10 bucks each. They didn't last like a Schwalbe, but I put at least 2000 miles on them, including quite a bit of dirt/singlegrack use.

    Edit: I'm assuming you're looking for a 26" only because that's what everyone else is assuming. I have great 29/700c suggestions too...
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  12. #12
    jrm
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    Ive had good luck

    Quote Originally Posted by MTI3Rmember
    Tried searching, but to no success. If there is a link, sorry, please post. I'm looking for something fast, yet could go off road if I get side tracked on a trail, plus resistant to road debris. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
    running a WTB terrainasauras upfront and Panaracer Tserv in back on my double cross.

  13. #13
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    Yes, 26". Sorry, my mistake.

  14. #14
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    i use Specialized Armadillo Nimbus, fast rolling, and the best flat protection on the market
    RH SL Pro

  15. #15
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    If you want something both fast rolling and decent off-road, you're probably best served by a fat slick like Schwalbe Big Apples or Maxxis Hookworms. Heavy, but good puncture resistance and decent rolling resistance as well. Don't expect them to be very good on really loose, stuff but more than sufficient on fire roads and rail trails.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010

  16. #16
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    Anyone run Kenda Small Block 8's as a commuter? The 700c x 35 (or even 29 x 2.1) look like they would have a relatively low rolling resistance yet still give some grip off road. As soon as I decide on a size I think that I will order a set.

  17. #17
    a lazy pedaler
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    I have been using bontrager's comfort hardcase and no flats yet in almost a year (knock knock). 26x 1.95" here... they also have a 1.5" version

  18. #18
    Si Señor
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    maxxis ridgeline, I commute 8 miles each way with these on my XC bike, cheap light and can be made tubeless for flat free riding, use 55 PSI on the road and they feel like slicks, 32 PSI on dirt and they work really well.

    an alternative to Hookworms is the Geax Tattoo tire, rolls really good and much lighter not to mention cheaper than a hookworm, also easy to make tubeless.

    Chucho

  19. #19
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    I think any tire thread should be a sticky...
    so since I'm active on this forum I'm asking here, feel free to tell me to bugger off.
    I'm looking at travel bikes more closely, and looking for all-around commuting/touring/offroad tires (yeah i know, dream the impossible dream)
    Originally thinking of the 28x50mm schwalbe marathon xr's (ordered them even), but the more I think about packing a bike for airflight the more I think either 24's or 26's make it that much easier to pack/etc.
    I happened upon a pic of a GORGEOUS ibis tranny with schwalbe marathon extremes, think 2.2's... look perfect for a "one damn tire for the whole trip" idea.

    any other suggestions?

    needs to have JUST enough tread to be usefull offroad (even if I'm dirt-tracking corners), needs to be tough enough to handle crap roads and debris, and thinking of highish volume for comfort since the terrain may be unknown...
    Cheers!
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29Clyde
    Anyone run Kenda Small Block 8's as a commuter? The 700c x 35 (or even 29 x 2.1) look like they would have a relatively low rolling resistance yet still give some grip off road. As soon as I decide on a size I think that I will order a set.
    It's what my mountain bike came with stock, and I decided to put them to the side to use them for trail riding since I only do it every once in a while and bought new wheels and tires specifically for commuting. There's a LOT of meat on that tire, compared to the ones I have now. The tread is very close together and have a nice humming noise, but just thought there was too much rolling resistance for me.

  21. #21
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    I use my Karate Monkey for both commuting and off-road and use the same tyres: rear Schwalbe Marathon XR 29x40 - they never seem to puncture - and on the front WTB Vulpine 29x2.1 - only tiny ridges in the centre so go well on tarmac with side knobs which are great on most established trails

  22. #22
    jrm
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    Theyre Ok

    Quote Originally Posted by 29Clyde
    Anyone run Kenda Small Block 8's as a commuter? The 700c x 35 (or even 29 x 2.1) look like they would have a relatively low rolling resistance yet still give some grip off road. As soon as I decide on a size I think that I will order a set.
    They roll pretty well. However the supple casing has near to none protection from debris.

  23. #23
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by byknuts
    I think any tire thread should be a sticky...
    so since I'm active on this forum I'm asking here, feel free to tell me to bugger off.
    I'm looking at travel bikes more closely, and looking for all-around commuting/touring/offroad tires (yeah i know, dream the impossible dream)
    Originally thinking of the 28x50mm schwalbe marathon xr's (ordered them even), but the more I think about packing a bike for airflight the more I think either 24's or 26's make it that much easier to pack/etc.
    I happened upon a pic of a GORGEOUS ibis tranny with schwalbe marathon extremes, think 2.2's... look perfect for a "one damn tire for the whole trip" idea.

    any other suggestions?

    needs to have JUST enough tread to be usefull offroad (even if I'm dirt-tracking corners), needs to be tough enough to handle crap roads and debris, and thinking of highish volume for comfort since the terrain may be unknown...
    Cheers!
    I just saw this- you really are posting in the wrong place, but I`ve been researching travel bikes too lately. I`m also thinking small wheels (the smallest that will work for what you want) is the way to go and was about to comment on the slim tire choices available for 24 inchers as opposed to 559 and 406, but that last paragraph you wrote sounds like 24 in BMX tires would be right up your alley. People do pack 622 road wheels into suitcases, but it`s got to be tough! And with the way airlines are reducing baggage allowances...
    Recalculating....

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisssss
    i use Specialized Armadillo Nimbus, fast rolling, and the best flat protection on the market
    We had our local commuter paths tore up for a year or so for 'improvements' so I went with the 'Crossroads' for a little more bite in the dirt. If I ever wear them out I'll probably put on a pair of Nimbus.

    We have a chronic puncture weed problem. No flats. Ever.
    '08 Jamis Dakota 29er
    '92 Hardrock Commuter

  25. #25
    I got nothin'
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    I am trying to find the perfect tire as well. The last three years I have been running some Forte City ST with Kevlar lining (now called Metro-K). Never had a flat...ever. The tires still look good with about 3k miles on them. I ran Panaracer Urban Max tires for five months in the winter and had five flats. The texture on the center section of the tires wore out over that five month period too. Never again.

    Now I am looking for tires on the CX build. I have been looking at the Marathons but I am having a hard time justifying the weight. Anything over 600 grams for a road tire seems excesive, maybe I am wrong. Might just go get the 700c version of the Fortes and run those.....465g (700x35) at $12.99 on sale. I was hoping to try something new through.

    Anyone use CST tires? They have the Cuidad model for $16 at Universal.
    I ride at ludicrous speed

  26. #26
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    I like cheap tires for commuting. I've been running WTB Nano Raptors for the past year or so. They're fine. Performance usually has them for dirt cheap ($10-11), or you can sometimes get them on Amazon.

    On a side note...people must have bad luck or something. I've been commuting by bike for over 3 years and have never gotten a flat (I've had one flat with a car I drove in one day...it wasn't even my car).

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    I just saw this- you really are posting in the wrong place, but I`ve been researching travel bikes too lately. I`m also thinking small wheels (the smallest that will work for what you want) is the way to go and was about to comment on the slim tire choices available for 24 inchers.
    yeah, tough.
    right now the only "packable" disc-compatible bike I have is a heckler, and I DO have 24" wheels kicking around. but I'd hoped for something less hurtful if stolen. probably with v's on it like the old schwinn sweet spot I have! (which is why I was aiming at 26er tires).
    while I DO know where in Mexico and Peru I'll be., the travelling between locations is the question.

    I've got some fairly worn 24x 2.6" ".243 racing"duros that spent too much time on the street, so the center knobs are now "low profile", thick dh casing, those'd be perfect on the heckler!
    (yes I know, once again, stepping outside my stated requirements with the non-streetable tires)
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  28. #28
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    +1 for conti traffic 26x1.5 best commuter tires I have personally used.

    Currently running Specialized S-Works Mt. Baldly 26x1.25 which are super fast but pot holes=death
    no chain no gain.

  29. #29
    Ariolimax columbianus
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    Quote Originally Posted by hydrogeek
    I am trying to find the perfect tire as well. The last three years I have been running some Forte City ST with Kevlar lining (now called Metro-K). Never had a flat...ever. The tires still look good with about 3k miles on them. I ran Panaracer Urban Max tires for five months in the winter and had five flats. The texture on the center section of the tires wore out over that five month period too. Never again.

    Now I am looking for tires on the CX build. I have been looking at the Marathons but I am having a hard time justifying the weight. Anything over 600 grams for a road tire seems excesive, maybe I am wrong. Might just go get the 700c version of the Fortes and run those.....465g (700x35) at $12.99 on sale. I was hoping to try something new through.

    Anyone use CST tires? They have the Cuidad model for $16 at Universal.
    i think anything heavy w/a steel bead is pretty bombproof. dont' worry about weight, if you were trying to race to work you could ride your fast roadie. i've gotta ton of miles on some vittoria randonneur cross 700c x 28c (largest i can fit on my commuter right now), i don't think i've had flat in a year (knock on wood). anything schwalbe is good, the germans have the tire thing figured out.

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