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Confused about tires, tires, tires!(10 posts)

Confused about tires, tires, tires!treeman
Jul 26, 2002 5:59 AM
I'm looking for 700 x 25 road tires for my bike. I am a new recreational rider. I am torn between the "$20" tires (Conti Ultra 2000, Panaracer Stradius Sport , IRC,etc) and the $30 to $40 dollar tires (axial pro, GP 3000,etc.). The company web sites imply more durability with the more expensive tires. The reviews on this site imply that the more expensive (grippier) tires have softer rubber and cut more easily.

I know tire choice is subjective, but please give me some more insight. It would really suck to cut up some $40 dollar tires that were only a month old.

Thank you
Define "recreational rider"Ahimsa
Jul 26, 2002 6:13 AM
What kind of riding do you do? Commuting in the city? Weekend century rides? Etc. etc. etc.

This will help us to better understand what type of tire to suggest.


Define "recreational rider"treeman
Jul 26, 2002 6:40 AM
I'm not a racer wanna-be. I hop on my bike in the evenings for an hour or two and do ten to 20 miles, at a "comfortable" pace (enough to get some exercise, but not have a cardiac arrest) -a key point is to enjoy it. I may expand in the future and try a weekend 50 mile ride once in a while. I'm usually on country roads with the usual, occasional broken glass, "sharp" stones, etc.. Comfort, durability, and performance (in that order) are probably my priority in tire selection (and probably not topping $35dollars).

Thank you.
Jul 26, 2002 6:50 AM
Good description, that helps alot.

I'd recommend Continental Top Touring 2000's.

I have ridden them for a long time now and while I do not exactly love them, I never have to think about 'em either.

They ride well, are durable, and thus forgetable for many many miles.

They also fit your $ figure.


things are sort of backwardsDougSloan
Jul 26, 2002 6:26 AM
Actually, higher prices usually just get you lighter weight and less life. Mid priced tires appear to be the longest lasting. The $20-30 range I'd say is the sweet spot for performance and longevity.

Conti Ultra 2000's are good; Conti Gatorskins; Michelin Axial Carbon.

Axial Pros and GP 3000's will wear and cut fast, in my experience. I have a garage full of used tires to prove it.

Me too on the tires, and what are we saving them for?rwbadley
Jul 26, 2002 6:51 AM
A rainy day?

I have more tires than my LBS...cory
Jul 26, 2002 7:43 AM
Well, not any more, but I never can bring myself to throw them away. I made a rack for them in the garage...
I second the Conti 2000s for that kind of riding. You could also try Panaracer Paselas--that's what Rivendell puts on most of its assembled bikes. I've had three sets and really like 'em.
Another possibility: If you haven't tried it and don't have a philosophical objection, try going up a size or two, to a 700x28 or 32. Much nicer ride, higher air volume and not much loss in speed.
trainer duty nmDougSloan
Jul 26, 2002 7:44 AM
agree - higher cost buys lightness, suppleness NOT durabilityDaveG
Jul 26, 2002 8:27 AM
Expensive tires are designed for racing where attributes like traction, lightness, and suppleness are desired. Higher priced tires are normally much less durable due to thinner tread (lightness) and softer more cut-prone tread (traction). I agree with Doug that the under $30 tires are the best buy for training miles. Conti 2000's are decent as are the Specialized Armidillo's (since replaced with a new version which name escapes me). If you are really cheap (like me) I've had good success with the Performance Forte tires (made by National Tire).
Thank you all - let the mid-life crises begin!treeman
Jul 26, 2002 10:57 AM
You cleared up some mis-understandings I had regarding price versus intended use.

I had the honor of contributing to the big bicycle boom of the early 70's. I owned a nice Gitane with sew-up tires. I can't believe how improved clinchers are today. Anyway, a few weeks ago I was lurking in a bicycle store and found a barely used 8 year old Giant road bike for $50. I swear the thing looks like it was riden less than 500 miles. I tore it down and relubed everything and with new tires it will be like new. For an entry level bike, it sure rides nice (it does have all alloy components and wheels).

Last night, while riding, two blondes in a convertible honked at me and tonight starts cheerleader camp on the nearby campus! And my wife wonders why all the new interest in biking!