Best 700c x 25c road wheels



Froze

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Jul 13, 2004
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Like I said before, the reason I run the liners only in the rear of the touring bike with the Marathon Greenguard is for one no tire is flat proof, and for two I don't want to be changing a flat on a bike with fully loaded panniers and fenders, it's a time consuming process to change the rear of a loaded bike, not to mention a huge headache, one that I want to try to avoid as much as possible.

Also in the case of the Kevlar liners those do NOT stiffen up the tire, in fact they actually cushion the ride a bit!

In regards to sealant, yes the initial dose of sealant is about what you said in weight, however that dose only works for about 3 months then you have to add more every 3 or so months adding to the weight.

When you tour you have to take some stuff with you, including a spare tire, a couple of spare tubes, and a spare liner if necessary. I determined, due to weight and space in my panniers, not to carry a spare liner, nor would I buy one if the tire got destroyed. This is what I would do if the rear tire got destroyed while touring. First I would remove both tires front and rear, move the front tire to the rear because the spare tire is not as robust, then I would put the spare on the front. I would go without a liner for the rest of the trip and not buy another one because of the hassle to do all of that, I would more than likely instead look for another more robust tire for the rear than the front one is. A lot of bike shops do not sell the Kevlar liner, but if I found a place that sold the tire then I would ask if they had a Kevlar liner, otherwise forget it. If I cannot find a shop that sells the Marathon then I would buy another lessor robust spare tire and hope I can finish the tour without anymore tire hassles.

The sealant thing, hmm, well the only one that I heard that's any good is the Stans stuff, it stops the leaks the best of any other brand in a test I saw. And quite frankly I'm still undecided that when I do take a major tour if I want to use a sealant or stay with the Kevlar liner. I prefer the idea of not getting a hole in the tube to begin with, so the Kevlar line does that. And I don't want to go crazy with using both either, though some people I've talked to that tour long distances say they use both on top of a robust tire like the Marathon. I'm still on a limb about doing that.
 

BrianNystrom

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Aug 13, 2013
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While Kevlar liners are more flexible than plastic ones, adding any liner increases friction and stiffens the entire tube and tire system, and that negatively affects the ride quality and rolling resistance. Granted, you're not likely to notice the difference with a loaded touring bike.

The reason for adding more sealant is that it dries up, leaving behind just a handful of grams worth of dried latex. The latex coating in the tire actually reduces the amount you need to add to replenish it.

As for sealant brands, the only other one that seems to be universally praised is Orange Seal, but it's considerably more expensive than Stan's. It's supposed to last longer, but I haven't tried it, so I can't comment on that.

I was chatting with "Mrs. Stan" at a 'cross race a couple of years ago and I asked her what she thought was the biggest difference between their products and their competitors'. Her simple reply was "It works." ;)
 

BrianNystrom

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Aug 13, 2013
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I've seen a bunch of other tests, but hadn't seen this one, so thanks for the link.

I've been using Stan's almost exclusively, mainly because I've had really good results with it. I tried the Caffelatex original formula and found it to be completely worthless. It was basically just liquid latex without any particles in it. Apparently, they added particles to the mix a while back and the reviews have been good since then. I've got a lot of it left and I've been meaning to add particles to it to see if I can get it to work. The commonly used particles - believe it or not - are ground black pepper or cornmeal (IIRC, this is what Stan's uses), although some sealants use silica (sand, or possibly fumed silica, which is really light). The reason for using ground material is that the particle size varies, which helps to seal larger punctures. Fumed silica is more consistent in size and very fine, so I'm not sure how it works in tire sealant. I have some for thickening epoxy, but it's not cheap, so I don't think I'll experiment with it.
 

Froze

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If I do decide to use a sealant I would probably go with Stan's unless something else better comes along, but it hasn't in many years, lots of newcomers but nothing better than Stan's overall.
 

cyclintom

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Jan 15, 2011
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Utter nonsense. There's a really good reason the the Conti GP4000S (original and II) has been one of the best selling tires on the market for quite a few years. They handle great, they're light, and they're actually quite durable.


Again, more nonsense. There is a substantial difference in quality and consistency, though I agree that the exorbitant prices on some domestic wheels are bordering on insane. That's one reason I've stuck with aluminum. I can build a set of sub-1300 gram clinchers for under $250.


That's because you're buying cheap **** wheels. Carbon fiber parts can be very precisely made, as is common in the aerospace industry, and some carbon fiber bike parts are extremely well-made. However, it takes high quality tooling, experienced workers and a commitment to quality design and construction. While there are certainly some Chinese products that fit that bill, the junk wheels you've been buying don't.


Even spoke tension is critical to long wheel life. If you'd ever actually built wheels, you'd understand that.


Again, nonsense. If you know how to use a tensiometer, you can get accurate and consistent readings on any kind of spoke.


And you keep buying them. Duh!

That would never happen with quality wheels, whether factory or custom built.



I'm curious about how you're getting sidewall cuts on road tires? Are you riding them on dirt or gravel? How much pressure are you riding in them?

FWIW, my experience with the Conti GP4000 series tires has been exactly the opposite. I've been riding them since 2011 and have never had a sidewall cut (even with a few miles on dirt and gravel), and I've even unknowingly ridden a couple of them down to the cords in spots. I only recall one substantial tread cut that reached the casing, but it didn't require replacing the tire.
For a point of reference, my weight varies between 170 and175# and I run my tire pressures pretty low, 70-72 front/80-82 rear with 25mm tires. I don't get pinch flats and actually rarely gets flats at all, as I run sealant in the tubes. I have GP4000S IIs on two road bikes and recently switched my girlfriend's road bike to them after she had problems with a couple of other brands. Overall, I couldn't be happier with them. While they aren't the lightest, the most supple, the fastest or the most durable, they have a nice balance of all of those characteristics and are just a great all-round road tire.

That said, I haven't heard much good about the GP5000 series (tubeless) tires. In fact, Conti recently redesigned them due to complaints about how difficult the were to install. Fortunately, the GP4000S II is still available.
I don't remember the 4000's and they aren't tubeless. So I have to compare the Gatorskins and the 5000's. The hear that the 4seasons Continentals are great too. But I haven't used them.

It isn't that the cornering of the 5000's is bad. They corner VERY well. But going in a straight line on an uneven road they walk all over the place. You also have to be very careful to mount them in the correct direction or they are even worse directionally stable.

The Vittoria's aren't at all sensitive to changes in camber or bumps.

I don't think that weight and pressure are critical save that you have to have enough pressure for your weight.

You absolutely CANNOT get a correct reading if the spoke is of such strength that it will not bend under the spring tension of the tensiometer. And those damn flat "aero" spokes are that way. The tensiometer won't bend the spoke much and so cannot measure the real tension.

After having Wheel Works tell me that they had more than enough tension I tightened them as far as they would go and the spokes still "rang" a little below what I would call acceptable levels but they then worked OK. The same rims with the round or true aero spokes came with the proper tension.

I agree with your comments that you can build aluminum wheels a hell of a lot lighter than the deep section carbon wheels. But they won't be Aero. I CAN tell the difference at high speeds between the aero and the non-aero so that is why I'm using them. I have a set of Campy Neutrons on the shelf that I'm not using because of that. Strangely enough, a good set of Aero wheels reacts less to cross wind gusts than the Campy Neurons which was very thin. I wouldn't have believed that if I didn't experience it many times.

As for your comments about "cheap **** wheels" you may or may not be correct. Perhaps IF you want to pay $5,000 for a pair of top-of-the-line Zipp wheels they may be lighter, stronger and have a flat spoke nipple bed and even spoke tension, but I would have to actually see it. MOST of the cheap Chinese wheels are total copies made in the same molds in the same factories as the $1,000 wheelsets advertised to be "Made in America" - the made part is the labels.

Even spoke tension has nothing to do with long life on a carbon wheel. Even STRENGTH of the rim does. How else could you make a round and true wheel with a rim that varies in local strength other than by having different tensions? Though I do find they really work best if you overload the spoke tension to the upper limit so that the difference in tensions aren't very detectable.

Don't try to argue with me because you're repeating what I always believed because I built aluminum wheels myself. Carbon rims are different and you have to treat them different.

Weight of the Pro-light 40 mm deep aluminum wheelset is slightly less than the carbon 55 mm seep carbon wheelset. Braking on aluminum rims is better. Mixing aluminum braking surfaces on carbon rims seems a bit out of hand to me.

You and I are on the same page except you want to argue that being half way down the page makes me different from you.
 

cyclintom

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Jan 15, 2011
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If I do decide to use a sealant I would probably go with Stan's unless something else better comes along, but it hasn't in many years, lots of newcomers but nothing better than Stan's overall.
Orange is the best sealant I've used but you have to replace it every couple of months so I went to Finish Line with the glitter in it. It doesn't dry up in the wheels as quickly and it cleans out more easily. And its a lot cheaper (or was the last time I bought it) When I used Stan's I had a lot of flats.
 

cyclintom

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I only tested regular Stans since there wasn't any race stuff at that time. Orange sealed high pressure tires (90 psi) immediately on what looked like a 2 or 3 mm hole and it was permanently sealed. There was no pressure loss.

I wonder if Finish Line has a different action with high pressure tires since I discovered holes by seeing little knobs where the sealant started to come out and immediately hardened. Again, these were permanent seals and not a temporary.

I was caught out in a rainstorm a couple of months ago and got a sizeable hole in the tire and it would not seal completely with finish line. I had some CO2 cartridges with me and used them all up to get home. I then partially sealed the tire with "bacon" and the sealant did the rest. But the hole had cut the core a bit and there was a bulge there so I had to end up throwing that $70 tire away.

In any case I will definitely try Stans Race Sealant. By the time I got back home with that hole I had a complete flat and the rear tire was sliding down off of the road camber. Directly in front of my home the bike turned 90 degrees which allowed me to conveniently ride across the street into my driveway. That means that I will ALWAYS carry one of those puncture kits with the rubber plugs.
 

Froze

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This is why I'm hesitant about using sealants in my touring bike, and it's also why I'm not in a rush to go tubeless on my other main road bike, all the different sealants I've heard issues with, one says this brand is good and that brand is not, the next person says the opposite. So I'm not going to jump on the tubeless bandwagon, probably not ever since I'm 66 years old and just don't see the need to do so, by the time they outlaw tubes I'll be too old to be on a bike.

So this is what I heard the government is going to do; because someone in China killed 31 people and wounded over a 100 with a knife it's been decided all knives will be outlawed, so you'll have to figure out how to spread butter without a knife...
 

cyclintom

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I'm 75 and have been using tubeless for a couple of years. They seem to work great for awhile then you begin having problems. On the pictured Colnago I got a set of Fulcrum Race 3 and they were set up for tubeless. They worked fine but now the front wheel gets soft after two days. That's really irritating because I don't know if it might do something untoward in the middle of a ride. The same with a couple of other sets of tubeless. I think that if I'm going to have a pain-in-the-butt flat I would just as soon not have to clean snot out of the tire to put in a tube.

I just did a 38 mile ride and 1666 feet of climbing with a 9% descent for a mile. All the way down I'm worried about my tire. That's not a nice way to ride.
 
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Mr. Beanz

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I'm 75 and have been using tubeless for a couple of years. They seem to work great for awhile then you begin having problems. On the pictured Colnago I got a set of Fulcrum Race 3 and they were set up for tubeless. They worked fine but now the front wheel gets soft after two days. That's really irritating because I don't know if it might do something untoward in the middle of a ride. The same with a couple of other sets of tubeless. I think that if I'm going to have a pain-in-the-butt flat I would just as soon not have to clean snot out of the tire to put in a tube.

I just did a 38 mile ride and 1666 feet of climbing with a 9% descent for a mile. All the way down I'm worried about my tire. That's not a nice way to ride.


I have never and don't want to try tubeless. My son in law bought a bike that is supposed to be a big deal (cross or gravel not sure but 4K). He was excited about the tubeless but not anymore. Not sure what it is but he has to put air in his tire, ride it for 5 minutes then add more air so that it will hold pressure. Taken it back several times to the shop and can't figure out why. Not that the shop is really that well at solving problems.

I've never had problems with Continental clinchers, staying with them till I do.

BTW, ordered tires from PBK but looking at others like Schwalbe. Some are clincher tubeless but have comments by the seller saying that they are either but for best results, use them as tubeless. Hmm, I'll just stay with clinchers without the mix and match hoping for good results.
 
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Froze

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In the last 15 or so years I've had very good luck with all tires except one, Hutchinson, the glued on tread began to peel off about 400 miles into using them, I contacted Hutchinson a bunch of times and never got a response, that's fine, I'll never buy their tires again. Other than that all tires have been holding up a lot better than they use to 20 years and more back. I haven't had a flat in over two years, so going tubeless for me is just not a thing I want to do. I keep buying new Park glueless patches each year and not used the old ones...I'm not sure how long the adhesive is good for on those Parks...I don't like to take chances, so I just throw them out at the beginning of each season and replace with new ones, their cheap so it's no big deal.
 

cyclintom

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I have never and don't want to try tubeless. My son in law bought a bike that is supposed to be a big deal (cross or gravel not sure but 4K). He was excited about the tubeless but not anymore. Not sure what it is but he has to put air in his tire, ride it for 5 minutes then add more air so that it will hold pressure. Taken it back several times to the shop and can't figure out why. Not that the shop is really that well at solving problems.

I've never had problems with Continental clinchers, staying with them till I do.

BTW, ordered tires from PBK but looking at others like Schwalbe. Some are clincher tubeless but have comments by the seller saying that they are either but for best results, use them as tubeless. Hmm, I'll just stay with clinchers without the mix and match hoping for good results.
There are all sorts of rim tape for tubeless. Trek has the plastic liner but it is really for wide tires. On narrow tires tape takes up too much room and what you have to do to get the tire on and off is use that cellophane-type of take. This USUALLY works well but I have found that after I got a flat and put a tube in it that the tube broke through the see-through tape In a couple of places and that caused one of those slow leaks.

That test above was not representative of high pressure road tires since my tires seal almost instantly without pressure loss with Orange. I am presently having trouble with Finish Line so I will probably go back to Orange in them. Or possibly Stan's Race.

It is really difficult to mount tubes in a tubeless tire without pinching the tube. I just bought a tire jack made by KoolStop and think that will solve the problem.
 
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cyclintom

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In the last 15 or so years I've had very good luck with all tires except one, Hutchinson, the glued on tread began to peel off about 400 miles into using them, I contacted Hutchinson a bunch of times and never got a response, that's fine, I'll never buy their tires again. Other than that all tires have been holding up a lot better than they use to 20 years and more back. I haven't had a flat in over two years, so going tubeless for me is just not a thing I want to do. I keep buying new Park glueless patches each year and not used the old ones...I'm not sure how long the adhesive is good for on those Parks...I don't like to take chances, so I just throw them out at the beginning of each season and replace with new ones, their cheap so it's no big deal.
My problem with tires other than Michelin, Vittoria and Continental is how fast they wear.
 

7tigerwheels

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The best wheel is the right material used in the right way,
If rim brakes the aluminum is the best because there is no need to choose brake pads,
If carbon fiber is used, choose the brake pads dedicated to carbon fiber wheels, 255 ℃ resin,
Of course, if you use disc brakes, it depends on the venue you are using. For ordinary roads, you can use ultra-lightweight ones. If it is a complex road, lightweight is not the best choice.