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Newbie Question re: Tires(8 posts)

Newbie Question re: TiresLAIrish
Oct 1, 2001 1:32 PM
Thanks, everyone, for the advice on gearing a couple of days ago. I moved from the 42/22 to a 39/26 and it does make a difference for these 50 yr old, just getting back into shape, legs.

Next Question: I see occasional discussions re tires on this board. (E.g., should I replace my Michelin Axial Pros with Vredsteins? etc.) I've got what I think are the generic tires the LBS put on when I took my recently-purchased used-bike in for a checkover and tune up 8 months ago. (The brand name on them is "Iso Tech 3," which I haven't seen in any of the catalogs I've collected in the past six months.) They're in great shape though; plenty of rubber left, few (and minor) cuts, strong bead. So, the query: Would I get significant improvement from brand name, higher-end tires, like the Michelin, Vredstein, or Continental? Or am I better off waiting until I wear these out. Also, would it make big difference going from the x25 I have to x23 (since that seems to be the size in which the "performance" tires come.)

FYI: I'm 50 yrs old, weigh 206 (as of last night), and am riding about 120-150 miles per week. (Trying to get ready for the Solvang Prelude metric century on Nov. 3.)

Thanks.
Sounds like you've got a handle on it, but...cory
Oct 1, 2001 3:05 PM
...as a fellow Big Guy (we're officially Clydesdales, if you haven't heard the term), I'd sort of discourage you from going any smaller with your tires. Lots of people will disagree, but I suspect most of them weigh about 137 pounds.
The reasons have been posted here many times (far too many by me, for instance...) but I'm about 15 pounds heavier than you are, and the increased comfort alone from 28- or 32-mm tires (if they'll fit on your bike) is worth the tiny, almost undetectable (some people say it doesn't exist) increase in rolling resistance.
OK, so you'll decide to ignore that...and in that case, I, at least, don't feel a huge difference in performance between tires of comparable size. I'm not saying other people don't; they may ride harder than I do or keep closer track. But to me, all 23 mm tires feel about the same, all 28mm tires feel about the same, all 35mm tires feel...
Like everything else, it's personalmr_spin
Oct 1, 2001 4:07 PM
Tires do make a difference, but how much that difference is depends on many factors. In general, the harder you ride your bike, the more you will notice the differences among tires.

When I switched from Continental Grand Prix to their Grand Prix 3000, I was able to corner a lot better. The rubber is different, which makes a big difference, at least for me. But if you aren't flying down descents and really leaning into your turns, maybe you won't even notice. GP 3000s aren't cheap, so why spend the cash if it isn't going to matter?

When your current tires get towards the end of their life, buy some Contis or Michelins or Vredsteins (On the RBR main page there's a link to www.bikesmart.com which has Axial Pros for $35--a pretty good price). When that pair goes, try a different one. Eventually, in two or three years you'll have a favorite and you can come here and insist it's the best!
Clyesdale, too. And a cheap one.Elefantino
Oct 1, 2001 4:08 PM
At 6-5, 210, I ride 23s because that's what size Performance Forte Kevlars were available when they had them on sale for $14.97 online a few months back. (I have tried their 26s, too, but they just seemed "heavy" for me.) Hard to pin down, but I like the feeling with 23s better. I bought a bunch, so I'll be running them for a while.
As for switching to higher-end tires, my question is, why? I used to run Conti 3000 GPs because they came on my bike as original equipment, and they looked cool and all, but the only difference I noticed between the Conti and my Forte Kevlars is that the Contis wore out quicker and flatted more, particularly through the sidewall. So I went with cheap rubber. I ride your mileage (when I ride; I'm sidelined with an injury right now), and rarely lose sprints or get dropped on hills.
As for the fastest guy in our group — he's a Class 1-2-3 level critter — he runs Nashbar Kevlars, their cheapest folding tires, on his Specialized Team Festina M4.
I also eat Rice Krispies bars (bought at a wholesale club) instead of Power- or Clif Bars. Thirty-three cents vs. more than a buck is a no-brainer, too.
I guess you could say I'm a cheap bast**d.
Thats pretty funny, I am very much in agreement with you. But IMB1
Oct 2, 2001 6:37 AM
am a whole lot smaller than you. I like the Performance Forte Kevlars but run the 26es. I think it may have something to do with the condition of the roads around DC. Bad roads=wider tires. I am always telling people about these tires, a great value.

Miss M likes the Rice Krispies treat bars. Me, I like her cookies and brownies. We mostly gave up on Gag-Bars at a dollar each a long time ago.
hmm, I tried Performance brand once...once.Jules
Oct 2, 2001 7:15 AM
A couple years ago I bought two Performance brand tires for my road bike, I mounted them and while inflating the front tire with a frame pump it blew off the rim. I replaced the tube and inflated both tires to the indicated pressure (I don't recall what they were rated for). I rode the bike to work the next morning with no problem but when I was riding home the rear tire blew off the rim. I changed the tube and finished riding home (about 1 mile) and the tire was bulging on one side and about to blow off the rim again.

I took my bike to Performance that evening and the tech guy in the back replaced them with a pair of Vittoria tires (which I still have on the bike). He also told me that he would not recommend Performance brand stuff for serious riders/rides.
Gotta respectfully disagree here a little...RhodyRider
Oct 2, 2001 8:30 AM
It's not fair to bag "Performance brand" tires. They don't own a tire factory. In fact, if you look at the sidewall of the current Forte Kevlar model (the yellow ones) it clearly states "National Tire Co., Japan". If you then look at a Panaracer Category Elite from last year, you will see the exact same nomenclature. It is the exact same tire, just branded differently. In fact, I'll bet National makes tires for other branded companies too. FWIW, I have been running Cat Elites for a long time, and I love them. Great combo of low $ and high performance (MY OPINION.) Now I'm happy to be able to get them from Perf for around $12 a pop.
I didn't look that closely at themJules
Oct 2, 2001 9:11 AM
I was more than a little annoyed though when both front and rear tires blew off the rims. Sorry, that's just my experience, I can't explain why it happened.

That experience just put me off the brand. I'll spend a little more on a better quality tire.