|CyclingSite > CO Collected Wisdom > What to Take > Bike Equipment > Tires|
|What tires are good for training and Cycle Oregon?|
|When a tire goes there are only
two alternatives that I am aware of:
First, and preferred, is to replace the tire with a new one - immediately. If you have doubts as to the advisability of this choice, show the tire to an experienced bike mechanic. More than likely, if the hole is something you can see through, the recommendation will be to replace it.
The same is true of sidewall damage. For example if, for some reason you have ridden on a flat tire for some distance, the chances are good that the sidewall will be ruined. Don't fool around. If you ride with such a tire, misery will visit you out in the boondocks.
If a damaged tire is actually recoverable, keep it as a back up for the time when your now new tire becomes less than serviceable.
Second, if you are on the road, away from a new tire, then the only alternative is to use a tire boot. Tire boots are simply some material which is placed between the inside of the tire and the inner tube. Its sole function is to protect the inner tube. The initial step is to repair or replace the tube if needed.
Many materials can be used for a boot. Almost anything handy will do until you get the tire replaced (again, as soon as possible). Any hard-to-rip material will work. Energy bar and gel wrappers work fine. As surprising as it may seem, the dollar bill is a good choice. It is amazingly strong. Just remember to reclaim your currency when the tire is replaced. A piece of Tyvek from a ride number bib, a shipping envelope, or your old STP jacket (!) will do.
When you pump up the tire, do it slowly, checking the area around the hole. The idea here is to avoid a protruding bulge. If nothing untoward happens, carefully pump it up the whole way. If it does not look safe, deflate the tube and start over with a different or more boot material. All of that failing, wave what ever you have for some assistance from another cyclist, or if it happens on Cycle Oregon, one of the sag wagons, staff cars, or mechanics that ply the route each day.
Re: Tire Wear
Tire treads CAN and DO disappear quickly for those of us that are in endurance/hill training now. The GOOD is - We should all have new tire's under us going into CO. The BAD is - Some CO riders will wear their tires too far out because of their base mileage and then use them on CO. The Turkey - those tires are fragile "little Turkeys" and should be considered expendable when in doubt.
If the tire is no more that 1-2 years old, and the casing is structurally sound, one can go until the face of the tire starts to flatten from wear, and yes, rotating the tires front to rear regularly WILL extend the life of your tires. I've noticed 18-28c have very little tread left once the tread pattern starts to flatten across the face. 30-38c have thicker rubber/tread patterns and can last a lot longer, but have a down side of being generally slower/heavier. Each to their own on this topic.
ON ANTHER NOTE - it is wise to walk your bike through the rough stuff to prevent bruises and rim damage. It only takes one good bruise to cause a weak spot - hence a knot or bubble (if noticed) or a blow-out if left un-noticed. (This is a real good reason to spin the tire and do a visual) before riding OFTEN.
CATCH 22 - Heavier/thicker tires are more durable, but slow – sluggish climbers.
- Lighter/thinner tires least durable, but faster – quick climbers.
SO what are your needs? ? ? Your confidence level will determine that!
Capt. Dink ~
PS - Before leaving home - coat the inside of the tire generously with Baby Powder before inserting the tube and the tire will mount and seat easier on and off the rim when road repair is required. Many times a tire tool is not required because of the dry lube effect the powder has. Also, helps prevent snake bite/pinch flats, and other what-ails-you.
Regarding road tires, for the better part of eight years, I have used Continental Super Sport Ultra on my Rodriquez. The rear tire always lasted at 4000-5000 miles. The front lasted more like 6000-7000 miles. Trust me, I got my money's worth out of them. The "SSU" is treadless, producing a very low rolling resistance. I never had any problem with them on wet pavement - or for any other kind of pavement for that matter.
Now that I have the recumbent, the Rodriguez does not get ridden so much. But when those tires need to be replaced, I will use the SSU.
As for the recumbent, the rear tire is a "standard" 700c size Cycle Pro Kevlar. The jury is still out. I put about 1000 miles on the one delivered from the factory, when it de-laminated. That is, an inner layer became disconnected from the outer layer. It was "picturesque". When viewed from the rear while the wheel rotated slowly, the tire looked like it was doing an "S" curve, with the wheel rotating smoothly. I replaced it with a similar tire, which now has about 500 miles on it.
We use Conti GP3000's on Tangerine Dream, and Mike is very happy with how they perform. He's said that they're the sweetest rolling tire he's felt since his tubulars! The 3000 designation may refer to expected durability, because we get about 1000 miles on a rear tire and 1500-2000 on a front, but remember that our tires take more abuse than yours will.
[Note: This is because they ride a tandem.]
The GP 3000's are a fabulous performing set of tires. They are very light and ride oh-so-nice with oh-so-little rolling resistance. They have two major drawbacks, though, IMHO. 1) The sidewalls are very thin, and in a sense, 'unfinished.' This leaves a lot of little threads hanging off the sidewall from the construction of the tire (less glue = less weight). Supposedly, this does not hamper the structural integrity of the tire, but the sidewalls are fragile, and usually break down while there's plenty of tread left. 2) They're usually $45-$50 each. Ouch.
My personal experience: I got about 1200-1300 miles out of my pair before the sidewalls made me so nervous that I took the tires off. There was plenty of tread left. Your mileage may vary.
If you have a pair of 'race day' wheels, GP3000's would be fabulous tires for them. But they're too fragile for everyday use.
Eric "trying not to step on anyone's toes and impersonating Don Bolton" Rutz
QC=Quality Control. Sorry, its a common acronym here in the apparel manufacturing binnis.
Note: I have never FELT this wobble, but when I mount up a new tire and watch it simulate a serpentine wobble between the stays when I rotate the wheel I get bummed. It could be I'm just too anal and will have to learn to live with what are normal "commercial tolerances".
Still, at 50 bucks a copy, I expect more out of the box. I cannot fault the grip, or ride. I have had one puncture wound in my front tire. (just 5 miles after CO). A rock chip had wedged thru the tread and eventually chafed the tube to where it blew. Front tire punctures like this are somewhat rare. I had remounted this from the rear about 700 miles prior and suspect the chip had been embedded in there since then.
I could find no casing damage inside and the cut to the tread area is next to impossible to find on the outside. This tire has about 1,000 miles on it. Given the inside is still smooth, I expect it to go thru normal wear without tube chafing problems in the area of the puncture. So from the puncture resistant side I'd give this real high marks.
Like I said, if I could get a true set I'd be ecstatic with them.
Sizing may not be an issue for you. My GT frames are race designed for a true 23 tire (on a micrometer). They accept a 24 but larger tires require I deflate them in order to get the axle in to the dropouts. (the frames have a cross brace between the chainstays that larger tires hit when mounting/dismounting the wheel). Your bike may have plenty of clearance (seems most others do) but I've had to learn this lesson the hard way (I also have seatstay clearance issues on the aero frame).
Amy has these tires on her bike I've noticed.
I have ridden the Vittoria tires (test riding my new wheel set) they seemed OK, had a supple ride, seemed to have good grip (my test ride included a real rainy day and a dry day also).
I still am leaning toward Continentals for my next go round however.
Don "Looking for Mr. Goodyear" Bolton
A tip for getting more miles out of your tires: as soon as the rear tire shows more wear than the front, rotate 'em. You do it to your car, your rollerblades and your big wheel (well, maybe not), and it serves the same purpose on a bicycle. The reason you don't rotate them on a motorcycle is that the tires are usually different sizes. Many 'bent riders will have this setback, too.
For you aero-geeks, I've heard that a tire that is a bit wider than your rim will direct the airflow away from the spokes enough to decrease wind resistance. (I need to lose 10 pounds before I notice that!)
I'll have to find out what the model of the Michelin tires on my Klein are and let you know. They're Axial Pro's, methinks.
Wasn't someone in this thread switching from the Axial Pro? What didn't you like about them? I love mine (see below), but I've only put about 700 miles on them so far. They're still in good shape, tho.
Whatever model they are, I've been _amazed_ at their supple ride, low rolling resistance, low weight, and they stick to the road _incredibly_ well in the wet as well as dry. And oh, do they corner! I appreciate that since flying through corners is my favorite pasttime on a bike.
They have a dual compound tread, like the Specialized or Vittorias. Hard compound in the middle of the tread surface for long wear, soft on the sides for cornering grip. They have no tread whatsoever.
The tread material seems to cut a little easier that the Conti Gran Prix 3000's, but the cuts haven't hit the casing, either. Anyway, Performance regularly has them on sale for $20 each, $55 for three. Seems like a great buy to me... If you can stand the funky blue color.
Oops... I have Michelin Hi-Lite Prestige tires, not Axial Pro's.
I've been following the Road Tire discussion with great interest and thought I'd throw in my 2-cents worth. I have been on many different brands of tires for different intents and purposes. Andrew said it best - it's pretty hard to have a tire that fits the high performance envelope and also get high mileage. I used to like Specialized Transition until the Vittoria. I rode CO X on a Vittoria and loved it until I tried my first set of Continental's (Conti). The Vittoria rides harder and the mileage seems comparable to the Conti. However, each rider is going to get different mileages out of the same tire. Ever hear the tire-slippage as someone was passing you, standing, going up hill? Enough said. By the way, the Conti's ride as smooth as silk. I feel as if I'm riding on a cloud!
I ride an Easy Racer Recumbent (Bent), tires are a VERY important factor because of the higher than average downhill speeds it can acquire. The "no slip when wet or dry " tread compound is a MUST for me, especially in the winter time or even descending in the coastal ranges where the sun never shines on the road bed. However, beware of moss. No tire compound can help you there! Yes, the side walls are somewhat fragile only if one rides in the gravel where the rocks can scuff the side of the casing. I just get off and walk my ride through the roughstuff, do a pre-flite, and ride on. Again, there is a trade-off of high performance vs heavy/ride through almost any type tires.
Let me say that I'm not a brand loyal consumer. I am always looking for the best value for my money. BUT for right now, I have the most confidence in the Conti Grand Prix/front, 3000series/rear to protect my need for safer speed.
Capt. Dink ~
Lemmee see here, $50.00 divided by 3000 miles is $0.016667, now lemmee see, that's one and two thirds cents per mile, amortized over one year, etc. etc., gosh, what's all the fuss, get the tire you really like that sticks to the road the way you like it. I got new tires just before Cycle Oregon anyway, just to have max tread for the ride.
Amy-like my psychological insurance- Ream
I use the Specialized Tri-Sport in various widths. I usually get them from Performance or Nashbar at the end-of-the-season sale for $3.99 to $4.99 per tire. I don't keep real close track of how many miles I get, but I feel comfortable in claiming 3000+ miles, and some of you know that I like to go fast (usually down hill, that is).
You’re not going to believe this story! I went to Performance Bike shop today and they had a section 75% and I totally scored!!!
I went there to return these gloves I bought a while back and to check out the bike tires, still not really sure which tires I was going to walk out with. Did my eyes light up when I saw one 700x20 Michelin Hi-Lite Prestige on that shelf!! Was there a decision? Heck no, I usually run on 700x23 but listen to this, I walked out of the store only paying, are you ready, a whopping $4.98 for that tire! Ok, so I had to settle for the 700x20 instead of the 23, for that bargain basement price I couldn’t say, "No, wrong size". I’ve wanted to experience the difference between the feel of the 20 & 23’s any way. The sales manager said that tire was barely used and then returned that’s why it’s selling so cheap, it’s no longer brand new. I took it out of the box and examined it for several minutes. Looks like brand new to me except a few scuff marks on the sidewall, no big deal.
I only really need to replace my rear tire right now so my original idea was to put the 700x20 Hi-Lite Prestige on the back and keep my fairly new Axial Pro 700X23 on the front. Would that have been a bad idea? Would I have really noticed that much of a difference? Would it have messed up my performance having that little bit of difference it tires? I would appreciate a response to these questions because I’d really like to know.
I thought about it on my way home and decided I’ll buy another Michelin Hi-Lite Prestige and replace them both. Then come spring I’ll only need to buy a new Axial Pro for the back and I’m set for another season.
Oh, I can’t seem to find the Continental Super Sport anywhere. I don’t even see it on the Performance website.
TBB’ers, I want to give everyone a special thanks that contributed to the Road Tire thread I started. I know I’m not the only one that learned from it.
Nanette "anxious to cycle this weekend, rain or shine" Hoheisel
Nanette, It's my understanding that Continential no longer makes the Super Sport. I'm not sure why, I thought it was a great tire. We've been running the Grand Prix 3000's with great luck. Good luck with your Michelin Hi-Lite Prestiges, I'm sure they're great tires.
Interesting Idea. Assuming the two companies tires are sized equally for their stated sizes, then the 20 should be smaller than the 23, both in width and in profile. You should sit slightly lower to the rear. This will create a slight increase in the rake angle on the front forks giving you a slightly more stable ride at speed and decreasing the steering responsiveness slightly.
THIS WOULD PROBABLY BE BARELY PERCEPTIBLE! However you might find you like it better. Off road motorcycles use a larger front wheel than on the rear for similar reasons, along with better ride in bumpy terrain.
Don "I can see it now, 650c rears and 700c fronts" Bolton
Mixing Sizes -
The guys at my bike shop have actually recommended the very thing that you are suggesting. I have ridden a 23 front, 20 rear all season long and have liked it just fine. They suggest that the 20 rear is good for speed and rolling resistance, and the 23 front allows for more comfort and better handling.
BTW, I have ridden this 23/20 combination on Michelin Axial Pros, and I love them! The Specialized Turbos that I had been riding were nowhere near as comfortable and "grippy" as the Michelins. In fairness, the Specialized were both 20's, maybe contributing to the difference in apparent comfort. They are both nice tires.
I had trouble with cuts on the sidewalls of Conti's. I never got the chance to wear out the tread due to irreparable sidewall cuts. Maybe I am a magnet for glass shards.
Always check your equipment. Tires should be examined at each rest stop! (on CO X for the first several days you would pass literally dozens of people fixing flats (mass flat repairs) about 5 to 7 miles past the stop. The ground had lots of stickers and they would take a few miles to properly seat in order to stick tube.) Check and brush clean after every stop (unless you like flat repair).
Considering you might be going 30+ miles per hour on them, your tires and wheels should be carefully examined regularly along with the rest of your bike.
Which prompts me to ask, how many people brush their tires after going through an unavoidable patch of suspicious pavement or debris? This is a trick that I had never thought of before meeting Mike, but one that has served us well. We don't get many flats (except in the rain, when glass shards blend into wet pavement, but that's a whole 'nother story!), probably because Mike is quick to call out "Brush!" Obviously, he tends to the front wheel while I get the back on Tangerine Dream, but we also did this when riding singles. I'm very glad that glove makers are stuck in the rut of boring black!
Mike's other trick is to periodically repair cuts in the tire with a tread filler compound, but I wouldn't be surprised if this stuff were on the EPA's ten most wanted list.
Amy C. Buondonno
Given an unlimited budget, I'd probably go for the softest, stickiest compound I could find on the highest TPI casing. Since wallet's terminally thin all the time, I buy what I can afford to re-purchase immediately in the event of a catastrophic failure (sidewall cut, etc.).
I like the Conti Super Sport Ultra, too, but since they've been hard to find, I replaced my front with an Ultra 2000, and like it just fine. It's not completely slick... it has small sipes along the tread edge, but the main contact patch is treadless.
High-dollar tires are only a really good deal if you make sure they survive to the worn-out stage. Cost-per-mile figures tend to be rather optimistic in my experience.
On one extremely bad day, I suffered a massive slice in a brand new tire while in a paceline... it was a piece of sheetmetal that had been tossed up by a rider in front. Too far from home to walk, I booted it with a dollar bill and rode very cautiously. Not cautiously enough... two cars collided right in front of me only a few blocks away from where I repaired the tire, and I ran over a chunk of debris that hadn't even stopped bouncing yet. It punched another 1/8" diameter hole in the same tire. Concentrating more on keeping TWO dollar-bill boots in place than on the remainder of the tire, I missed the glass shard that I'd picked up at the same time, so I was roadside again, making my third repair to the same tire within a mile of the initial problem.
I think that tire ended up costing about $2.50/mile. It kind of hurt to pitch a tire that still had ALL of the mold marks still on it. Imagine how bad I would have felt if I'd paid $40+ for it!
Fortunately, I've only had one other riding day like that... any more and I probably would have given up on cycling.
I rode a mountain bike in CO, though I used 1" slicks. I started the year training with my fat, knobby tires (2.25"). It made a BIG difference when I switched to slicks, and pumped them up to 100 psi. All of a sudden, training rides that had been a real workout were a breeze, so I had to lengthen my rides. But since I was going much faster, they didn't take particularly longer; the scenery just went by faster.
So, hats off to everyone doing this ride with fat, mountain bike tires. I know you put in 50% more than I did.
PS Chip rock roads also seemed to make a big difference. By my unscientific analysis, there seemed to be 2-3 mph difference between chip rock and smooth surfaces.
I am open for advise and opinions on quality, light weight road tires. I've used Continental Grand Prix 3000, and Specialized Team Turbo, both 700 x 23, most recently. I seem to be lucky to get 1,000 miles from a set. The Continentals are light, but I continually had side wall problems. The Specialized are about 20 grams heavier, (no big deal) but I just tonight had a tread line blow out...maybe a sharp rock?? I always run called out pressure, and usually check before each ride. I weigh about 175. It is becoming a bit frustrating to have this much trouble. I would appreciate any and all advise.
Thanks in advance,
I ride a 700 X 28 Armadillo in the back to carry my weight (180) and it seems to work well. I ride a 700 X 25 Continental in the front. I get closer to 2K out of these tires and few or no flats.
Tried 'em too, and had similar results to yours. Presently running Michelin Axial Pro's and love 'em. Next best thing to sew-ups. Pro peloton must agree as these clinchers are being used with more frequency in the pro circuit - including the TDF. I believe riders using these clinchers have won some prestigious races lately. An oddity since tubulars and the pros had been synonymous forever.
Enough about the pros. I have had exceptional results in handling and the areas you are concerned with, durability and longevity. They come in the original black/green combo as well as the new all-black (my preference). Pricing and weight are competitive with the Specialized and Conti GP's.
I know this sounds pretty commercial but my enthusiasm for the Axial Pros is something I had to share...
The Michelin Axial Pro is also my favorite racing tire! It's a professional high-performance light-weight racing tire that takes corners unbelievable and has superb rolling resistance. What I love most about the Axial Pro is how they smooth out a rough road surface. As far as durability, the Axial Pro's are light with no thread so they can cut, chip, or slice from road debris fairly easily, but at an average I usually get anywhere from 2,500 to 3,000 miles from a tire.
Amy-like my psychological insurance- Ream
Thanks Amy that was excellent advice so I still enjoy my high performance Axial Pro's to this day!
If I can figure our how to order them "The Fortezza TriComp Racing Tire" will be my next set of tires. I've got to try them! A cyclist I met on our local club event said these tires are better than the Axial Pro, the best tire ever! (He's owned both) As high performance as the Axial Pro but the Fortezza TriComp has tread so it's also durable. Looks like the Axial Pro except it has fine threads running along the outside road surface. Attached is the website for the company that makes the Fortezza TriComp tire if your interested. The website:
Distributor in the US:
Nanette "Still in search of the high performance "durable" racing tire" Hoheisel
Interested to hear you thoughts on the Michelin tyres. I have ridden these for the last couple of years and think they are great. I am considering riding these on CO (or something similar - Hutchinson Kronos) but am concerned they may be a bit fragile as a later posting indicates, they can be susceptible to cuts and small flints. The good bit is they are dead easy to remove and refit!
I reckon the odd puncture comes with the deal!
Have been riding the Vredestein Fortezza TriComp for a while (1300 miles into it). Looks like they'll keep going for a while (I'll replace them before CO). Light weight is great, and if I'm gong to worry about weight it will be on the wheelset/tire/tube combo...the rotating mass thing. 145# inflation makes for low rolling resistance. They handle really well, especially as the weather warms up. Sweet tire!
I've got a set of 700 x 25, Conti GP 3000 on another bike and like them...short life and all. I do like the larger tire for an around-town bike. I wish the Vredestein's came in the 700 x 25 size. I'll probably give the Axial Pro a try in the near future.
I have been riding Conti 3000's for three years now and have had great mileage and over-all acceptable performance with them. I just completed a 600 mile self-supported tour of the Oregon Coast from Portland Oregon via Long Beach WA to the CA border without a flat. All on high pressure road tires. Conti 3000 on the rear, Conti Grand Prix on the front on my Easy Racer Recumbent. Total weight of the rig was 46 lbs. of gear on a 34 lb. bike, I weight in at 170 - total came in 250 lbs.
Mileage reflects a rider's riding habits (as in a car) and punctures are, well let's say, "bikers luck".
Keep trying different brands and you'll find a tire that is right for YOU !
Wear habits and punctures are truly individual to each and every rider.
NOTE ! I never ride through coarse gravel with ANY road tire. Thin side walls is where the manufacture saves grams for the weight factor. The side walls will bruise easily. The trade-off is the performance gain.
Capt. Dink ~
We've been running the Conti Grand Prix 3000's on our tandem, In fact we are on our 2nd set. We only get about a 1,000 miles on our tandem which is not bad, but to me the handling is the best of all the tires we have used. We haven't had any sidewall problems or many flats for that matter. I love these tires.
Hope this helps
I have a question!! Does anybody use the Avocet Cross K 1.5?? They were recommended to me by BG. I don't know how I feel about them yet. Any comments??
I didn't know they were still around, but their corporate website indicates that they are.
I've never had occasion to use them, but suggested them to friends a while back when they got tired of pushing their knobbies around on the road. They liked them a lot with one exception... they don't stick for beans on wet grass. I guess one of them went for a long slide across a dew-covered lawn. No harm done, and the same thing would happen with slicks.
The big question... do you think you'll ever do any real trail riding, or will you stay on the road? If the road is where you'll ride, a slick would be a (slightly) more efficient choice. But, as far as treaded hybrid tires go, they might be the best out there.
If you haven't seen them yet, see: http://www.avocet.com/tirepages/tires.html (second image from the left)
I use Avocet Cross tires on my hybrids (yes I have several of these, too). I don't endorse their off road abilities (having done some "gravel dives" on them) but for road use they are just short of indestructible. They are a bit difficult to get off and on the rim however because of their heavy casing. Scott's comment about wet grass is also quite true.
I'm assuming you are asking about a 1.5 inch width as in mountain bike sized tire? If so your gravel abilities would be better than my experiences as I'm using 700x32Cs which are rather narrow. You should have an additional 1/2 inch or so in width which would help the tire to ride more on top rather than "dive in".
I've seen these tires as std equip on touring bikes.
Don "slip sliding away" Bolton
I used these on my touring bike. Awesome tire. VERY long wearing. I got 4000-5000 miles on them before having sidewall problems. Many of these miles were under a full touring load, so you can imagine I was very pleased!
Well, my beloved Continental Grand Prix tires are showing broken threads on the sidewalls. I've had great success w/them; good mileage and no flats. But, being a bike weenie, I'm always on the lookout for something new. I've been riding the same kind of tires for several years, and were wondering what people thought of other newer kinds of tires, such as the Conti 2000 or the Specialized Armadillo.
Yes, I know I'm a bike junkie, but it's not a harmful addiction except to the budget.
Debi "Not in denial or remission for bike-junkiedom" T.
On CO there were lots of issues with the Armadillos coming apart. I've had similar issues with Team Turbos. I watch mine pretty closely, buy the older Performance stock (cheap). At 12 to 15 bucks a tire its a good deal at 30 to 50 no way.
Don "looking for the perfect 30 dollar tire" Bolton
I LOVE my Tom Richey's. I had the town & country's, but I felt like I had suction cups on my bike, so I special ordered my Richeys. (26 X 1.4). I just LOVE them. I had to order them at BG, but I think River City carries them. I did CO in them, no flats, no probs. I keep them at about 85psi.
When I was researching tires, I went on-line to all of the different sites and saw what each company had to offer. Vredstien, Richey, Conti, etc. Lots of fun if you have time to waste!
Stacey "Rollin' right along" Gray
I went thru major head-aches early on this season in regards to tires. The GP 3000 Continentals would not hold up to side wall abrasions. At $50 + per tire, it was getting old having as many blow-outs as I did. I had blow-outs from small gravel patches in intersections. Commuting, I had a section of fresh chip seal....yup, more blow-outs. I lost count at 24 + flats. I admit, some were legit...glass, staples, etc. Many were not. The side walls are just paper thin. I went to the Specialized Team Comp tire, and had a little better luck. I put a set of Michelan Axial Pro's on just before CO, and am now a believer. Thanks to those on this forum who advised me, I have over 1000 miles with no flats. They are light weight, and seem to handle great. They even come in black now, if you don't like the bright green. That's what has worked for me.
I was a believer in my Vredestien high pressure wonder tires (145# inflation - very low rolling resistance!) until I mounted a set of Axial Pro's. I didn't get them the first time because of the GREEN factor, but now they come in black.
The Axial Pro's ride great, they are sticky in the corners and seem to last pretty well. Oh, and not many flats. Only thing to complain about is the price tag...then it's only 'till you ride them the first couple of times, after that you forget how much you paid and just enjoy them.
Mark (my tires last a lot longer, now that I can't ride until spring!) Ramsby
Just to offer a different point of view ...
I put on two Continental 2000 folding tires the week before the Ride around Clark County (that would be the start of May), about 2500 miles ago. These tires are probably a little heavier than the GP 3000s.
I had one pinch flat in August, hitting a rock at speed. That is the _only_ flat that I have suffered until last Saturday, when I punctured through the side wall in a gravel patch. Yes, the side walls are definitely the weak spot in these tires, but they have not treated me so badly as Larry.
I got a flat on my new Kevlar tire. Haven't fixed the tube yet, but I'm suspecting a leaky patch possibly contributing to a snake bite. Didn't find anything in the tire. I've now installed a 700 X 28 Perf GT**2 wire bead Kevlar on the rear and a700 X 23 Perf Forte' foldable Kevlar on the front. I'm hoping they hold up better than the factory Schwinn tires that came on the bike – I only got about 350 miles on them. One has a hole from a glass cut, and the other apparently has some internal separation.
This was the first time I tried a foldable. It just didn't seem right. Then I read about them, and decided I was just being an ole fuddy-duddy. Now, I'm thinking they're the only way to go, since I can carry a spare, and pack the old one back home.
Any opinions, pro or con?
I have been using foldables for some time now (two seasons) and like them. I took to carrying a spare just this year after getting several bad cuts and having to reboot the gashes several times to get back to start/finish. ("I just rode 60 miles and my arms are tired") ;-)
You may decide to use name brand rubber however and use the Performance as your "disposable" spare.
Try swapping ends with the tires. Larger in front for initial impact absorption, smaller in rear for better power transfer. Also on a quick handling frame the larger front creates a slight increase in the fork "rake" angle and stabilizes steering a tad.
Don "this from a man riding a black rock uphill" Bolton
I splurged on some new tires with Christmas proceeds, too, and I have to say that I'm most pleased so far.
I looked at the local stores and found that the selection of reasonably priced performance tires was sorely lacking, so I (reluctantly) went shopping online. I found Michelin Axial SuperComps on sale for about $24 each. These are Kevlar-beaded folders with the same tread compound as the Pros, but with a different casing. More important (to me) is the fact that these go for about half the price of the Pros. I don't go out of my way to be a cheapskate, but my experience tells me that the more I pay for a tire, the faster I'll get a freakish sidewall cut and have to throw the thing away before the mold marks are gone from the centerline. So, I try to find a middle ground.
Initial thoughts: These are very nice tires! They don't mount as easily as the Contis I've been using for years, but even though the Michelins are nominally smaller (23 vs 25), these have a ride that is discernibly nicer than the Continentals, and they are within a couple of dollars of the same price as purchased.
On slightly rough roads, the Contis (these were Ultra 2000s) would transmit every surface irregularity straight back through the frame and that soft tissue that connects me to it. Chipseal or old asphalt would make my cables rattle. Not so with the Michelins. The ride is quieter and more comfortable.
For the fashion conscious, the Comps are skinwalls, not green or black. If you have a retro-style paint scheme like mine, they look right at home except for that green center stripe.
So, Don, what's your booting technique? A dollar bill? Blue jean material? Do you glue it, and if so, with what? I was reading about the proper technique, and the recommendation was contact cement (NOT rubber cement).
I also read an article (at www.sheldonbrown.com maybe?) that had a good reason for using a wider tire in back, and another reason why one would want the wide tire in front. I need to go find that again, because I can't remember what the reasoning was. I chose to go wide in back, because I know that the rear wheel supports about twice the weight as the front (and with me, that's a lot of weight). It felt like a wider tire would be better able to support the weight. Don't ask me to defend this line of reasoning - it just felt right.
Why would a narrower tire give better power transfer? I would think the greater tire-to-road contact provided by a wide tire would provide greater traction, and less slippage. Most race cars don't run narrow tires to increase traction, as far as I know. Narrow is lower rolling resistance, but why better power transfer?
One reason I might prefer the small tire in back is the fact that I'm still really crappy on hills. One thing I don't need is a higher low gear. (Gee, maybe a 650 rim ...)
Don "Dolly or Rosie?" Gross
Try both. Then try the big tires on both ends. If you are a large guy, this may be your best option. The big question is, did you like the way the bike handled when you bought it?
By using a large tire front, small tire rear, you are altering the geometry of the bike and its' handling...it will be a bit more relaxed due to the slackening of the head tube angle.
When you reverse that, with small tire front and big to the rear, the opposite happens. The head tube is effectively steeper and the steering quickens.
By increasing the tire size at both ends, the factory geometry is unchanged. For a big person, the increase in tire size will almost always increase the perceived stability (and reliability - remember those snake bites?) of the machine.
Mark "hope this helps, if not, that's what the delete button is for ;-}" Ramsby
Mark: thank you for the elaboration on geometry. I didn't quite explain that properly last night.
Don: Wider tire means greater tractive surface also greater rolling resistance area. This is why road bikes have the pizza cutter style tires in the first place.
Also two otherwise identical tires (same brand, same style) one say 20 and one 25. The 25 will have a lower max PSI rating. More surface area, less pressure, more deflection, even more surface area.
Given the same pressures in both the compression properties of air will be affected by the volume so again the larger volume would have greater compressive properties. There were a lot of articles written in the early motocross days when there was testing using air suspensions the details of which have grown fuzzy in my brain over the years.
Don "20 rear, 23 front" Bolton
I can update my tire boot experience. I mentioned earlier I had gotten a bad sidewall cut, and tried the dollar bill technique. The tire went flat, so I got to check on my boot after only about 30 miles. The flat had nothing to do with the boot patch, but I discovered my nice crisp new $1 bill now has a tear through all four layers. I'm not impressed. I'm now testing a quadruple layer of denim.- let's see how that holds up. In the mean time, I'm now carrying an assortment of denim fabric pieces as part of my patch kit when I ride.
Don "tattered cash and cut-offs" Gross
Or how about an energy-bar wrapper?
The Other Amy [Buondonno]
Try cutting a "good" section out of an old tire and carry it in your patch kit for boot material. It may cause a small lump or a bump in your ride, but it'll get you home.
If you are trying to do a "permanent" boot job, try the old fashioned tube repair sheet material and apply it to the inside of the casing with your patch kit glue. The repair sheet is usually a laminated black and red/orange color and come in sheets that are 2" X 4" or bigger. If you can't find it, go to a shop that repairs big tires that still have tubes - like trucks or machinery.
Be sure to do the abrading bit to both parts, and be comfortable with the condition of the casing. Stick it in there and make sure you are overlapping the cut on the inside by at least 1/2" or so. A little extra material won't hurt because by now you have already made the tire WAY off balance (let's just say, this tire should no longer be used for ultra fast descents...on a couple of counts). ;~)
This kind of a repair does make for the potential for the tube to abrade on the edge of the boot, so don't use your ultralight, 65 gram tube anymore...use the heavy ones (they cost less, too). Also, keep watching the cut for material picked up from the road...it can be a problem if it works into the tire and boot.
I used this repair method successfully several times to repair tires that I couldn't afford to replace at the time due to the poverty inflicted by studenthood and children! (...it was a GOOD kind of poverty!) :~) One tire ended its life with three of these boots. ...but I have to admit, now I just buy a new tire.
Hope this helps. Ride on!
Mark "I don't know where this stuff comes from, it just falls out of my fingers onto the keyboard" Ramsby
My instinct tells me that I'll change from my summer tires and put on winter tires for this ride [CO 14]. Desert, wind blown gravel and tumble weed stickers are no fun with lightweight tires.
I got a flat today on my brand-new-I-thought-they-were-bombproof-Kevlar tire! Don't forget to take your spare tube, pump, patch kit. (Curt, I know for you I'm preaching to the choir, but maybe someone else will need this.) My tire actually ripped, so had I not been near my car, I'd have changed the tube and put a dollar bill inside the tire to cover that rip and protect the tube. I hear tell the wrappers from power bars etc. and Gu (sic) work well, too. So off I went to Bike Gallery to get a new tire.
I HAVE used a GU wrapper to boot a tire. Though it worked to get us home, before long the pressure was forcing the leftover GU out of the package and out through the cut in the tire. Then had to lick it off.... Wasn't very tasty....
Bought some adhesive backed Park tire boots. Hopefully will never be used, but if so won't have to be licking the tire clean...
Bob, TEAM CRAB
I keep a fair amount of duct tape wrapped around my tool box (an old inner tube box), so I can peel off strips if/as needed. You can do the same thing with a pen (like the Sharpie I keep in my camera bag). It collects a lot of dirt and grime, but then it's not there for looks.
It works reasonably well as a temporary patch of rim tape, too, if you have to replace a spoke on the road. Use a couple of thicknesses, though.
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