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Tires & Tubes ??(7 posts)

Tires & Tubes ??John Evans
Sep 20, 2001 5:16 AM
I know that this horse has been beat to death but I have some questions about tires. Is it safe to assume that in buying tires you get what you pay for cheap tires are just that cheap? Is a Kevlar belted tire much more resistant to small bits of glass and metal? Are the heavier tubes, performance thorn resistant, slime, and the like worth the extra weight and money?


John Evans
Tire selection triangle.nee Spoke Wrench
Sep 20, 2001 6:16 AM
I think of tire selection as a triangle. You can buy a tire with characteristics that fit anywhere inside of the triangle.

One point is marked low cost. I've seen road tires priced below $8.00 each. They won't contain much air pressure and seem to dry rot pretty quickly.

The high performance point will probably be a tubular although some of the lighter weight very supple clinchers will be close. You'll be fast, but your tires will wear out a little sooner and you'll probably have more flats.

The last point is labeled durability. Think Continental Gator Skins and Specialized Armadillos. Heavier than the performance tires, more costly than the cheap tires, but definitely more puncture resistant than either.

Think about what you are trying to accomplish when you make your tire selection. I have two road bikes that I use for different purposes and consequently they have significantly different tires.

If you live in an area of the country that is subject to the infamous "Goat Head" thorns or something similar, you might consider using the thorn resistant inner tubes or something similar. I see no need for them in the St. Louis area where I live.
Size 700X???John Evans
Sep 20, 2001 7:33 AM
Let me add another question. What size should a 240lb man ride? My bike now has 700X25 but some of the tires I've looked at only come in 23 or 26, being a big guy should I step up to the 26's?
Bigger is better, for us Clydesdalescory
Sep 20, 2001 8:12 AM
As a former 240-plus (WAY plus) -pounder now coming down through 215, I urge you to ignore everybody who says you should ride anything smaller than 26-28-32s unless you're racing pretty seriously, and maybe even then.
I've used bigger tires for years because mainly I just ride around and they're way more comfortable. Last spring, though, I finally admitted that I'd gained three pounds a year, which didn't sound bad, for almost 20 years, which did. I've been going hard all summer, lost nearly 50 pounds, and the last few weeks I've been playing around with tires.
Other people may disagree, but for me, there's no advantage to going way skinny, and lots of disadvantages. The ride is harder, the bike is dodgier (lots of crud on the roads here, which makes that important), they're useless on rough pavement or dirt connector roads (lots of those, too) and I seem to have more flats, though I haven't kept close track of that. Plus the air volume is so low that any little leak just goes pfft in a second. I've timed myself several times on my normal rides, and there's no repeatable difference between doing them on 23s and 28s or 32s (I am a little slower on 700x35 Paselas, but they only run 75psi).
I'm waffling now between 28s and 32s (the 32mm Paselas are pretty light--some 32s are thick and heavy), but I don't think I'll ever go smaller than that. Most tires labeled 32 are really only about 25mm wide anyway. Next time I order from Rivendell, I'm going to get a set of Roly Polys. If Grant's telling the truth, they might be the answer for all us big guys.
bigger tiresdzrider
Sep 20, 2001 11:13 AM
I weigh 180 and commute on Avocet 700-35 tires with Mr. Tuffy inside. The bigger tires are a little more comfortable and greatly improve wet weather handling. I use my commuter bike as a handicap when I go for rides with my wife and it slows me by about 10%. Curiously the only flat I've had riding in 2000 or 2001 was an upholstery tack that pushed Mr Tuffy out of the way. I know, Im due! In any case the speed difference is enough to keep 700-23 Michelins or Vittorias on my good bike.
Bigger is better...for everyone.PG
Sep 22, 2001 6:43 PM
The Roly Poly's are excellent fast road tires for someone ranging in weight from 130-225 (or so). They are smooth, fast, corner with confidence, and just wonderful. I have a pair of wheels with these and another with 35mm Paselas for commuting/fire roads/cruising/etc. The RP's are every bit as fast as 25mm Axial Pros but have more volume so they are more comfortable. Great tires.
re: Tires & Tubes ??burdiman
Sep 20, 2001 7:18 PM
For training I like the Axial Select (kevlar belt)on the rear and at 230lbs I never get flats with these tires. I run the Axial carbon on the front and haven't had a flat with that for over 2k miles.

Just my experience.