Mountain bike noblies v slicks v road bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Mountain bike noblies v slicks v road bike

    Hey all, I've been doing the commute to work on my full suspension bike, which is a fairly heavy machine, although I've lightened it with Reba race forks and lighter handle bars/stem.
    Been considering putting 26 x 1.75 slicks on it to make the ride easier over my Kendal Komodo tyres, which some friends have agreed will make it easier and mOre efficient and faster.
    However another friend who is a pro reckons I should not waste my money as it will make very little difference to the ride. Others have said unto 30% energy saving and 15-20% speed increase.
    Should I be looking at getting a road bike just for commutes? Don't really want the expense, but if it's going to be a huge difference over slicks, well I might start saving up

    Cheers
    Last edited by xdeity; 05-31-2011 at 12:08 AM.

  2. #2
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    I prefer the mountain bike with knobbies for my commute to my road bike. The road bike is easier to pedal and faster but I like the ability to veer off anywhere on the ride home plus not having to worry about a wet road, cracks, hopping a curb, etc ...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by xdeity View Post
    Hey all, I've been doing the commute to work on my full suspension bike, which is a fairly heavy machine, although I've lightened it with Reba race forks and lighter handle bars/stem.
    Been considering putting 26 x 1.75 slicks on it to make the ride easier over my Kendal Komodo tyres, which some friends have agreed will make it easier and mOre efficient and faster.
    However another friend who is a pro reckons I should not waste my money as it will make very little difference to the ride. Others have said unto 30% energy saving and 15-20% speed increase.
    Should I be looking at getting a road bike just for commutes? Don't really want the expense, but if it's going to be a huge difference over slicks, well I might start saving up

    Cheers
    I run 38mm Conti Sport Contact slicks....makes a huge difference on my Rocky Element.

    You can easily ride them off-road as well....just gotta remember they don't hold on gravel.....pretty good on hard-pack though.

  4. #4
    Which way? Uphill.
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    You'll be surprised how fast your MTB will go once you throw on slicks. Not quite road bike fast, but within 10% in my experience.

    Go to your local Performance and pick up a set of the Forte City Slicks, they are only $10/tire. It's a cheap and easy way to find out what riding slicks are like. The City Slicks are a fast and efficient tire, but don't have puncture resistance, so if you want to commit to slicks you should get a tougher set or some tire liners.

    Oh yeah, and you'll have to pick up some smaller tubes to go with the smaller tires (another $4-$5/wheel).

    When talking about riding on a bike with knobbies on pavement, reducing your rolling resistance will speed up your commute more than lowering the weight of the bike.
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  5. #5
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    26x2.35 Schwalbe Big Apples! It'll roll faster/quieter/smoother and not look silly on a FS bike. It'll be a great urban warrior!
    Jason
    Disclaimer: www.paramountfargo.com

  6. #6
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    How far do you commute?

    My commute is pretty short at about 5 miles, and it's pretty central with lots of turns and stops. So my ride always takes me about 15 minutes, whether I'm on the hardtail or singlespeed or running 1.9s or 2.4s or studs or it's raining or snowing or whatever.

    So I'd say slicks are probably worth it if you've got a long commute with plenty of straight, high-speed stretches. But on a shorter commute with lots of stop-and-go slicks might make things easier, but they probably won't have much effect on your time.

  7. #7
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    The commute is about 11 miles, takes me around 33 minutes there but it's mostly downhill, the ride back adds another 10 - 12 minutes on as a lot of it is fairly steep, hence the wish to make the ride easier

  8. #8
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    If you feel you want something with a little tread for a little more grip when off road, the Intense Micro Knobbies could work well for you. Hundreds of tiny little knobs on the sides. The center strip has a few rows of inverted knobs, or dimples. My jump bike has them and they roll nearly as well as my road bike.

  9. #9
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    If you're thinking about buying nicer slicks for your MTB, kick yourself in the ass and spend the same money on a road bike. Seriously.

    Inexpensive ones, though, like under $30 each or the $10 ones mentioned, are not a bad option.

    You're commuting to work, not contesting the Tour de France. You don't need a carbon fork, STI shifters or clenbuterol. And remember - the Tour de France has been contested since before any of those things existed. If some crazy guys can do a lap around an entire country, and through the Alps and the Pyrenees, on fixed gears, surely you can get to work on a 10-speed. Just try to get it in your size.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    You may notice that you top out the gearing riding your mtb while commuting. I am using an older 21 speed with reasonably fast trekking tires on it and I sometimes wish I had more top end gears. When I ride trails I use a different bike with much knobbier tires and a 2x9 setup as I don't need the top end. I have no money into my commuter and like it that way, but if you are looking at upgrading, you may be happier with something more roadish.
    A commute bike doesn't have to be brand new, especially if it gets locked outside. I know someone riding an old Sears road bike that he found at a garage sale for $5 to work and it's pretty decent.

  11. #11
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    Just bought a pair of cheap 26 x1.75 slicks, 15 total cost and I can use the same innertubes as I have now, not commuting again until Sunday so I'll update on how I find them, taking the kids on an easy off road ride tomorrow though so not changing the tyres just yet.

  12. #12
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    Big Slicks absolutely ROCK!!
    I have the Maxxis Hookworms and definitely recommend - I used some skinny tires before - not only do they look dorky on a MTB, they are not nearly as stable...





    Honestly... ahh I give up

  13. #13
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    That's a nice lookin bike mate, very nice!!

  14. #14
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    thanks...I've worked a while on it - the build had been cool
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  15. #15
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    I have a rigid SS 26" bike with 2.2 Continental Race Kings on it. I ride trails with a 32/18 or 32/20 gear, then switch to a 16t cog and pump my tires up to 65 psi to ride on the road. it's a blast and fast enough to get around. i have tried riding a 1x8 hybrid with 28mm tires and it's just not as fun, but probably faster.

  16. #16
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    I was gifted a mountain bike that I used for commuting (fairly short commute). It had 1.95 tires with slick center tread and knobby sides. I made the change to a pair of 26x1.25 panaracer ribmo tires and my bike performed quite noticeably better. Doubling the tire pressure and eliminating all the excess tire made a huge difference. I know people might not like the look of skinny tires on a mtb, but I actually like the way it looks.

    As a bonus, the only flats I've had are one pinch flat from a rogue pothole (I had neglected to fill my tires for far too long), and a few tube failings around the valve (unrelated to the tire).

    My commute is all pavement though, so I could understand if you want the offroad freedom that knobby tires give.

  17. #17
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    I have a spare set of cheap wheels that I keep 26x1.75 semi-slick tires on for commuting. They made a big difference in the noise and ease of peddling departments, but I'm now topping out my 2x8 setup. I also suspect it matters what tires you're coming from. My commute time is down 15% from the Maxxis Larsen TTs I was using before. I'm sure you'd pick up more if you were coming from something more aggressive.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rashidkpc View Post
    I have a spare set of cheap wheels that I keep 26x1.75 semi-slick tires on for commuting. They made a big difference in the noise and ease of peddling departments, but I'm now topping out my 2x8 setup. I also suspect it matters what tires you're coming from. My commute time is down 15% from the Maxxis Larsen TTs I was using before. I'm sure you'd pick up more if you were coming from something more aggressive.
    Geez I topped out a 46 x 11 with a 15k tailwind this morning.....

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll View Post
    thanks...I've worked a while on it - the build had been cool
    Looks neat but that bike has a seriously split personality?????

    Course then so do you????

    I guess maybe a downhill crotch rocket for hard packed clay tracks...kinda like a dirt oval racing?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Looks neat but that bike has a seriously split personality?????

    Course then so do you????

    I guess maybe a downhill crotch rocket for hard packed clay tracks...kinda like a dirt oval racing?
    split personality? I suppose - I have another wheelset w/ Panaracer FireFRs (2.4) for the weekends.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll View Post
    split personality? I suppose - I have another wheelset w/ Panaracer FireFRs (2.4) for the weekends.
    Ahh I see...I have three wheelsets....2.3 for the mountain rides 1.3 for the commute...and a set for studs.

    I like the look of thin tires on the MTB

  22. #22
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    Well i decided to commute this morning instead of tomorrow to try out my new slicks, wow, what a difference!! Including a detour that was supposed to be a shortcut but was blocked off and added about a minute to my time, I knocked 4m13s off my personal best and found the whole thing much easier. Not sure of my top speed as for some reason the new app on my iphone only recorded average speed of 15.3mph, but again that is a good couple of mph faster than previous.

    Quite impressed. If i could afford it i'd get a road bike just to see what improvements could be made on that.

    Just got the ride home, which is mostly uphill to do this afternoon, i dont look forward to that ride, but at least it should be easier, and even if its only a little easier, thats great!!!

  23. #23
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    The ride home was still a killer, knocked 1 minute off my time

  24. #24
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    I ride my MTB for 80% on road and 20% off road. I use a Maxxis Ignitor 195x26. It feels light for pedaling on road and has a great grip on a wet tarmac. Sometimes I go to the off road track and it still has a few grip on a mire.

  25. #25
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    I run Serfas Drifters aired to 55psi on my Marin 29er commuter bike.
    They are 2.0" but roll smooth and fast.
    I average 21mph on my 4.5 mile commute through town.

  26. #26
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    Question: Are you guys also changing your handlebars or are you keeping your wide AM FS bars (presumably 680mm and above). I've been thinking about doing this on my AM FS (BA 2.35 or Kiniptions 2.3, thought about 2.5 hookworms but those are seriously heavy tires although great urban assault kit)

  27. #27
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    Personally, I love my MTB (hardtail) with slicks setup for commuting. 26x2.0 Big Apples, which are surprisingly stable on dirt, small gravel, etc. Just no serious offroading, as they don't grip in anything loose. The bike is beefy enough to take curbs, etc, if needed, without worrying about breaking something. Plus, it's geared pretty well for a commuter.

  28. #28
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    I have been riding Kenda Small Block 8's to work- pumped up to 80 psi. Rolls pretty fast and soaks up the cruddy streets I have on my commute. I rode in a downpour yesterday and they had plenty of traction on my 12 mile ride home.

  29. #29
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    I had a 30 mile round trip commute in San Jose a while back. When I wanted to go fast, I rode the road bike. I had 1.5 slicks mounted on my Ritchey no suspension. Almost as fast. Overall time was about the same because I could bomb over and through everything. More fun to boot!

  30. #30
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    also, what are "noblies"?
    Do I need to get some?
    Honestly... ahh I give up

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