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Kano
07-01-2006, 05:28 PM
Hi! My Specialized Expedition has these knobby tires on it. They've got a smooth area down the middles and they're supposed to be for on and off road riding, but I'm pretty sure they're more for dirt riding than the mostly road riding that we're doing this summer.

The knobby tires seemed like a good idea at the time, since we DO get on the dirt once in a while. I know the bike is never going to perform like a road bike, but I'm thinking about different tires as a way to improve things some. I've heard about these "slicks" and "semi slicks," and that they're faster/better on the road. If I want to go faster, will these make enough of a difference on this bike to be worth doing? Can I do this to my bike and still ride on the dirt road next to the canal by our house?

If this is the case, just how much change can I make to my current 26x1.9 tires with knobs? Is there some point where it just won't do any good? Any tire suggestions from you amazing ladies? Does it help to know the bike's specs? http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=12338&bikeTab=techspec

Yes, I can tell already that there's another bike in my future, but I'm not ready to decide on another bike yet -- I'll keep enjoying this one and learning more about the sport for a while yet!

Karen in Boise

emily_in_nc
07-01-2006, 06:44 PM
Hi~

When I was rehabbing from a pelvic fracture last year, I changed out (well, my husband changed out!) my 2" or so knobby MTB tires for some slick "city" tires. They were either 1.5" or 1.75", probably the latter. I used them so I could ride my MTB on the trainer since it was a lot more upright than a road bike for rehabilitation. I later rode them on the road briefly when I was still recovering, and they worked great for that and were much faster than the wider knobbies. So, sounds like what you might want to look for is 26" city/urban/commuter tires.

Good luck!
Emily

Pedal Wench
07-01-2006, 06:51 PM
You can also become an expert at changing tires by swapping tires based on what ride you have planned. Kind of a pain, but you'll always have the right tires on the bike, and you'll know how to change your tires in your sleep!

Kano
07-02-2006, 03:31 PM
Thank you ladies!

Emily, do you know about how much faster you were on the slicks?

PITA husband's reply when I proposed slicks to him this morning (just for ME mind you) was that we have "mountain" bikes and I'm going to get strong and learn to love riding single track.

I keep trying to explain to him that my aversion to MTB riding has NOTHING to do with the challenge of going UP the hills. Yes, eventually I can conquer getting up just about anything, I'm sure. The challenge is getting back DOWN those same hills! I can't traverse on single track like I can when I'm skiing. (and getting off and walking down those slopes isn't much less spooky for me!!)

Yup, I'm perseveriing on this -- I can tell I'm a roadie at heart, so perhaps I shall have to point out the OTHER solution to my need for more speed -- a second bike!

Karen in Boise

Geonz
07-02-2006, 03:48 PM
I gained about 2 mph going from 35 cc to 28 cc on a hybrid. They weren't even mountain bike tires - just the bigger hybrid kind - and 28 isn't even that small.

Tell PITA it's your butt, it's your bike, it's your choice, you love him dearly :-) (Or wahtever fits... it is yhour PITA too :-)) ... of course, by PITA you mean perplexing, intelligent, tender adult, right?

Kano
07-02-2006, 04:33 PM
Yeah, most days -- today is not one of those days, though, doggone it!

Poor guy -- I probably would have been incredibly happy with my current bike, configured as it is now for a while yet, had we not gone on the group ride with the roadies yesterday. Those bikes were calling my name for sure!

I figure tires is a compromise -- ride this year on this bike, maybe add something lighter and zippier next year, when I know more about bikes and me as a biker! (it could be costly to hang out with this riding group he found!)

Karen in Boise

emily_in_nc
07-02-2006, 05:54 PM
Emily, do you know about how much faster you were on the slicks?

No, sorry, not really. I don't have a computer on my mtb, plus, all my riding with knobbies was on gravel roads and/or "beginner" single track, so I had never ridden on the road with knobbies. However, I can tell you it will make a difference changing to slicks. Maybe 2 mph overall? Just a guess...

That said, being a former dedicated roadie, even slicks on a mtb is not going to equal a road bike's speed. Road bikes are lighter, you ride them (typically) in a more aerodynamic position with drop handlebars), and the tires are skinnier than anything you could use on a hybrid or mtb wheel's rim. If you really want to go fast, you do need a road bike. You're going to work that much harder trying to keep up with roadies on a heavier bike. Of course, riding a heavier bike does make you stronger. Then when you do get a road bike, you'll feel as if you're flying! :)

Good luck and do keep us posted!

Emily

Kano
07-02-2006, 07:32 PM
even slicks on a mtb is not going to equal a road bike's speed. Road bikes are lighter, you ride them (typically) in a more aerodynamic position with drop handlebars), and the tires are skinnier than anything you could use on a hybrid or mtb wheel's rim. If you really want to go fast, you do need a road bike. You're going to work that much harder trying to keep up with roadies on a heavier bike. Of course, riding a heavier bike does make you stronger. Then when you do get a road bike, you'll feel as if you're flying! :)
Emily

Feeling like flying -- was cruising at 18+ mph for 10 and then 20 minutes or so yesterday morning, and yup, it was terrific! Then came the next hill... That 20 minutes, though, it hooked me! (felt a bit sad on the big downhill stretch: intersection with busy road right at the bottom! had to be able to stop, darn it!)

I know I can't get the same sort of speed out of my current bike -- talked about that a bit with DPITA today, as we discussed that the group's next ride will be 40 miles -- they'll be able to do it in two. If we join them, we would be doing exceptionally well to do it in three. (I'll be out of town, can't go. he's planning on it.) I battle big frustration when it comes to trying to keep up with my fellow riders (mostly DPITA and often one of his friends from work) and am trying hard to learn to enjoy the view from the rear, but if I can add an assist from a lighter, smoother rolling tire, so I can feel less like I'm holding things up, I'm up for it!

On the other hand, as you say, our current machines are making us strong, and we do endurance pretty well for newbies. I figure that when I DO get that road bike, I should keep riding this one at least half the time, for just those reasons!

Hmmm, giving yesterday's ride a bit of thought for a moment -- during that first gleeful stretch of speed(which immediately followed a hellish hill that I did NOT have to stop and walk up!)(mighta been faster), DPITA came sailing up behind me hollering that I needed to slow down: I think he figures I'll hurt myself! So maybe he's NOT trying to annoy me after all....

Karen in Boise