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Thread: Commuting Tires

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Central Missouri
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    626

    Commuting Tires

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    Okay, so my bike is now being used regularly on trails to commute to/from work and will be out in different conditions than the optimal ones I used to ride in. I am thinking it is time for new tires anyway, so why not get more grippy ones?

    I don't want/need nobby tires, but something more "sticky" than your standard road tire would be good. Problem is I have no clue what I am looking for. I currently ride on 700X23's. Standard bontrager model (don't ask me which one!). They don't need to be super spendy or big name. They just need to work.

    Any suggestions? I can install them myself, obviously, so I don't need to have the LBS do it. I do all my standard maintenance on my own unless it is something super complicated. This is just the first time I have really thought of changing up something as big as tires.
    ***graduate student and avid cyclist***

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Willis, my chiX

    "Carl" - 2010 Kia Soul (when necessary!)

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,391
    Why more sticky? Do you feel like your bike has a problem cornering? Do you feel like you are sliding out?
    You can get grippy tires, but they tend to be more geared to racing and tend to use a softer rubber compound that wears faster and is more flat prone than a more all around tire. Personally I prefer middle of the road for my commuter. Not racing slicks, but not super tough tires like Gatorskins (the ride feels really harsh and slow to me). I've had good luck with vittoria rubinos. The ride is pretty good and they are flat resistant.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    626
    I will look into those, thanks!

    I say more grippy because I do ride on pea gravel to get to work every day and the ride down to the trail from where I live (a private access trail) is pretty rough. I walk a lot of it and then ride the rest. It's a total PITA. I love the trail, but you make a good point about wear. Also, if it does rain, I will be needing some more grip. I had a fall on concrete last year as well and some of the underpasses on the trail can be wet concrete. I could walk them, but I was wondering if a new tire could help that?
    ***graduate student and avid cyclist***

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Willis, my chiX

    "Carl" - 2010 Kia Soul (when necessary!)

    Elle on Wheels - my cycling blog!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    371
    Quote Originally Posted by colorisnt View Post
    ... pea gravel ... trail ... pretty rough ... rain... wet concrete. I could walk them, but I was wondering if a new tire could help that?
    What's the widest tire your bike will fit? Alternate question: What brake calipers does the bike have?

    I'd suggest getting wider tires - they should help in all your sitations. A safe choice would be 700x25c. If there's clearance, 700x28c might be even better.

    Bigger tires would let you run lower pressure which will absorb bumps better and might increase the contact patch. They'll also might roll over the pea gravel instead of "through" it.
    Laura

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    626
    Interesting. I will honestly have to ask the LBS. I have a very tiny bike, so not a lot of clearance and I can be sure that a 28 would be too wide for things to work.

    I have cantilevers. Not sure what that means for tires.
    ***graduate student and avid cyclist***

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Willis, my chiX

    "Carl" - 2010 Kia Soul (when necessary!)

    Elle on Wheels - my cycling blog!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    I really love my Continental Travel Contact tires. Plenty of smooth surface to hit the road but there is something there to dig into gravel, or if you get forced off the road into sketchy stuff. My Gunnar has 26 inch wheels so I've the mtb version, but the 700C has the same tread pattern. Very durable, I've several thousand miles in these tires now and there is a lot of life still left in them. Not one flat so far (knock on wood).

    These are pretty wide (either 26/1.75 or 700C/37) so your fork might not take them but it is worth checking. Rides like a dream, very smooth.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Yep, a wider tire will help you on the pea gravel. Take yourself and your bike to the shop, they can show you how to measure your fork so you will know what tire width you can use. Sounds like you don't have fenders so if you plan on adding fenders they can help you take that into account as well. You may be able to look your bike up on the internet and see if the specs say what tire width it can handle but just as easy to take yourself to the LBS.
    Sky King
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    I have hybrid tires and as you know I used to ride on the Katy Trail all the time when I lived there. I didn't try anything rougher than that but the trail you describe, if it was short, would be ok with my tires. I use schwalbe marathons (from Walts). When I used to go to Cycle Extreme, they put armadillo tires on my bike. I was happy with both of those. A lot of people use schwalbe marathons.

    Oh, I see this thread is from last month, must have missed it the first time through. I hope you already found something that works for you.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

 

 

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