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  1. #1
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    rebuild

    hey guys wasnt sure where to post this so i'll try here, i have a hardtail mtb im wanting to convert to a road bike/ commuter for longer rides, im wanting to start with the tires, i went to every store in town looking for road tires, my rims use 26x1.75 and the closest tire i can find is going to be 26x 1 3/8 is that to much difference to be usable? any recomendations and suggestions on what works best, also i'd like to know what others have done and pics are a plus, thanks in advance

  2. #2
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    26x 1 3/8 sounds like a fractional tire size to me, which believe it or not is actually a different size than the standard 26" mountain bike tire. While the outside diameters are basically the same, the actual rim itself is a different size. 559mm to be exact. When hunting for tires, be sure and check the side wall to see that it says "ISO559." You can run narrower tires but you may have to use narrower tubes. 26" tubes usually come in three sizes; 26x1/1.25", 26 x 1.5-1.75" and 1.9-2.125". The one you use depends on the width of your tire. Make sure you select one with the correct valve-type (shrader or presta) as your old tube!

    Here is my MTB commuter....



    I am running 26 x 1.75" Michelin Country Rocks. A narrower tire will often be faster, with less rolling and wind resistance, but will make for a bumpier ride. A fat tire might be a bit sluggish climbing, but you will have a softer ride and better traction in corners. My own tire width is kind of a compromise between the two. Which is best for you is a matter of personal preference. If you can't find the tire you're looking for at your LBS, you'll find a much wider selection online.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  3. #3
    weirdo
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    26 x 1 3/8 will NOT fit a rim that is currently wearing 26 x 1.75- I bought a 26 x 1 3/8 tube once because that was all that was available in the supermarket that I flatted in front of and it was so big I couldn`t get it straight in the tire. What Gary says is true. For more info, take a look here: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

    What size are your tires now? It`ll take a little trial and error to find out what you like best, but 1.5 is pretty much a good starting point for all around "middle of the road" street tires. IMO, anything between 1.25 and 1.9 should do the job plenty well, then try something else after they wear out if you don`t quite like the first tires you try.
    Recalculating....

  4. #4
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    My rule on 26" tires is 1.5 or 2.3s. 1.5s are plenty quick and plush, 2.3s look awesome and are obscenely plush. Kinda depends on how you roll.

    And if you are in the "find out what I like" stage, I recommend craigslist. I have a set of 1.6 slicks and worn(ish) 2.1 knobbies that I swap around, depending on the day and need. Worn knobbies are great because they roll pretty decent, they invite you to take every side trail on the commute to see where it ends and they cost five bucks.

    Smaller slicks are sweet because you can really fly on a bike that sits six inches lower than any road bike.

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    thanks for the advice but thats my options a knobby 26 x 1.75, or a slick 26 x 1 3/8, theres only 2 places in town that sells bikes and bike parts, kmart and walmart, and thats all they offer, no bike shops with in 150 miles of here, if there is one they got to be the worlds best kept secret lol,
    looks like it gonna be a mail order build up

  6. #6
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonegunman88240
    looks like it gonna be a mail order build up
    There ya go, then.
    If you need knobbies, you need them. If not, that`ll be a huge improvement for you- probably the biggest single change you can make for street riding. Where are you, anyway?
    Recalculating....

  7. #7
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    no problem getting knobbies, it just getting everything else is a pain, im in hobbs new mexico, southeast corner 5 miles from texas stateline

  8. #8
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Let us know if you need any recommendations for online ordering. Also check the Where are the Best Deals? forum here at MTBR. I'd also go with Umarth's suggestion of picking up a couple sets on Craigslist to see what really works best. Tires are the one thing you rarely get to try out before you commit to buying them new.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  9. #9
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    yea any help is apreciated, online dealers tutorials personal experiences any type of help, i just starting with the tires, so as i move up im sure i'll have lots more questions,

  10. #10
    weirdo
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    As far as vendors go, I`ve probably ordered stuff from a dozen online retailers and never had any major complaints with any of them. As for the tires, I`ve used many sets of 26 x 1.5 semi slicks and found no big differences in performance, but the Serfas Drifters seemed to last longest (no odometer, so I`m going with "seemed to") and were the coolest looking : ) I really liked 1.5s for overall street/pothole use.

    My current beast of burden tires are Panaracer Messenger 1.75s that I stole from my wife`s bike and she ain`t gonna get them back- they`re probably slower than 1.5s, but a little better on rough pavement and much better on the occasional stretches of dirt road that I can`t seem to stay off of. I have a hunch that the Maxxis Overdrives will be very similar and they cost a lot less, so I have a pair of them on order from Niagara to put back on wifey`s ride.

    I have one set of Pasela 1.25s that worked great for impersonating a roadie with my touring bike (they really do seem more efficient), but I don`t like them so much for around town. They`re noticeably rougher than 1.5s on broken up pavement and I got a lot of pinch flats whenever I strayed off the pavement. Now that I have a designated road bike those tires just hang out waiting for an excuse to be mounted.

    I`ve also set up commute/grocery bikes for a few friends and relatives with 2.0 Serfas Drifters. Haven`t used them long term or taken any out on a long ride, but they felt great on test drives. I`d probably try something similar on my daily rider except that I don`t think I could manage any fatter than the 1.75s I currently use unless I ditched my fenders.

    One last thing to bear in mind is that tire widths aren`t as exacting as diameters- each manufacturer has its own method of measuring, so in an extreme case, one company`s 1.5 might be almost the same width as another company`s 1.75. For that reason, don`t sweat the details too much and certainly don`t torture yourself trying to decide between 1.25 and 1.3 or 1.5 and 1.6. It`s ALL gray area.
    Recalculating....

  11. #11
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonegunman88240
    yea any help is apreciated, online dealers tutorials personal experiences any type of help, i just starting with the tires, so as i move up im sure i'll have lots more questions,
    Here are some places to look for tires:

    www.jensonusa.com
    www.biketiresdirect.com
    www.nashbar.com
    www.performancebike.com
    www.ebikestop.com

    Once you get that straightened out, you may or may not want to consider switching to a rigid fork for weight savings, efficiency, etc... Are you going to be commuting after dark/before dawn? Then you'll need some lights. How about inclement weather? Then you'll definitely need fenders. Are you going to carry your stuff in some kind of bag on your back or will you want to install a rear rack and panniers?

    As you can see from the pic of my commuter I posted above, I installed fenders for commuting in the rain. I don't have a rack because I prefer to carry stuff in my backpack. The cockpit was a bit small so I installed a riser quill (old, threaded steer tube) and riser bars with ergon grips for a more upright riding position and comfort. If you are altering your riding position like this, you might also need to go with a wider seat since you'll be altering which area of your posterior sits on the seat. My bike currently has a Schwinn cruiser saddle on it, because that's what the previous owner installed. I'll be switching to a narrower, firmer saddle soon. How about pedals? For commuting you don't really need, or even necessarily want clipless or toe clips. Platforms allow you to wear almost any shoe. I run BMX platforms with pins so I have something wide and grippy when I stand up and pedal. These are all personal preferences, of course but it's something to think about.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

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