Best Size road tires for Mountain Bike?



B

Bill Henry

Guest
Hey everyone.

I've decided to add some skinnier tires to my Gary Fisher Marlin
mountain bike for riding around town. But how thin should I go?

The wheels are 26" and I've found tires online as small as 1" wide. I'm
tempted by these because I love going fast and want to get the best bang
for my buck. Still, I'm worried these might be a little too thin and be
prone to flats. I probably couldn't do much curb jumping, either. ;)

Right now I've got 2.10" tires on there and they really suck on the
pavement (which is where most of my riding is done). I may occasionally
go on the trails, but that'd be probably less than 5% of my riding.

Anyhow, if anyone has any suggestions on good road tires that'll work
for mountain bikes, let me know.

Thanks!
 
D

Dan Birchall

Guest
[email protected] (Bill Henry) wrote:
> Hey everyone.
>
> I've decided to add some skinnier tires to my Gary Fisher Marlin
> mountain bike for riding around town. But how thin should I go?
>
> The wheels are 26" and I've found tires online as small as 1" wide. I'm
> tempted by these because I love going fast and want to get the best bang
> for my buck. Still, I'm worried these might be a little too thin and be
> prone to flats. I probably couldn't do much curb jumping, either. ;)
>
> Right now I've got 2.10" tires on there and they really suck on the
> pavement (which is where most of my riding is done). I may occasionally
> go on the trails, but that'd be probably less than 5% of my riding.
>
> Anyhow, if anyone has any suggestions on good road tires that'll work
> for mountain bikes, let me know.


You may want to look at cyclocross tires. They're typically not too
wide (the widest I'm aware of are maybe 35mm, quite a lot less than
your 2.10's) and the contact patch is relatively treadless, like a
road tire - but they've got a bit of knobs on the sides. I'm currently
using kevlar-belted 30mm Ritchey Speedmax (Cross) Pro tires on my
'cross bike, which sees mostly highway miles with a little bit of
everything else thrown in for fun. ;) Those, I think, only come in
700c, not 26" - but there are probably similar things in your size.

--
Dan Birchall - http://danbirchall.multiply.com/ - images, words, technology
 
R

Ron Hardin

Guest
The drag on tires varies considerably with brand. Cheng Shin is
probably the champion for high-drag tires. They last forever.

The wider tires give a smoother ride. In fact that's why I dropped
the road bike for a MTB, just for street riding. I mean, what's
the hurry.
--
Ron Hardin
[email protected]

On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
 
S

SMS

Guest
Bill Henry wrote:
> Hey everyone.
>
> I've decided to add some skinnier tires to my Gary Fisher Marlin
> mountain bike for riding around town. But how thin should I go?
>
> The wheels are 26" and I've found tires online as small as 1" wide.


Don't use too narrow a tire on wide. I think that your rim is 30mm.
1.95" is fine, 1.5" will likely work too, but 1" should be avoided.
 
C

C.J.Patten

Guest
What's your rim width?

It's in vogue to ship MTBs with narrow rims for weight saving.
Though this puts an upper limit on tire width, it lets you go with skinny,
high pressure tires for road use.

I have a "mountain" bike here but the rims are either 17 or 19mm width
(depending on how you measure). The stock tires were 1.95's (54mm?) but I'm
good to 28 or 25mm (eg: as narrow as an inch)

Tires I'm considering that you might look at as well:

Continental Grand Prix
Continental Sport Contact
Schwalbe Marathon (touring type tread) or Marathon Slick

C.


"Bill Henry" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Hey everyone.
>
> I've decided to add some skinnier tires to my Gary Fisher Marlin mountain
> bike for riding around town. But how thin should I go?
>
> The wheels are 26" and I've found tires online as small as 1" wide. I'm
> tempted by these because I love going fast and want to get the best bang
> for my buck. Still, I'm worried these might be a little too thin and be
> prone to flats. I probably couldn't do much curb jumping, either. ;)
>
> Right now I've got 2.10" tires on there and they really suck on the
> pavement (which is where most of my riding is done). I may occasionally
> go on the trails, but that'd be probably less than 5% of my riding.
>
> Anyhow, if anyone has any suggestions on good road tires that'll work for
> mountain bikes, let me know.
>
> Thanks!
>
 
M

Mark Hickey

Guest
Bill Henry <[email protected]> wrote:

>Hey everyone.
>
>I've decided to add some skinnier tires to my Gary Fisher Marlin
>mountain bike for riding around town. But how thin should I go?
>
>The wheels are 26" and I've found tires online as small as 1" wide. I'm
>tempted by these because I love going fast and want to get the best bang
>for my buck. Still, I'm worried these might be a little too thin and be
>prone to flats. I probably couldn't do much curb jumping, either. ;)
>
>Right now I've got 2.10" tires on there and they really suck on the
>pavement (which is where most of my riding is done). I may occasionally
>go on the trails, but that'd be probably less than 5% of my riding.
>
>Anyhow, if anyone has any suggestions on good road tires that'll work
>for mountain bikes, let me know.


I've run high-pressure slicks on my MTB in "urban mode" as small as
1", but the ones I currently run are 1.75" Panaracer T-Servs. I've
found that while the skinnier ones do roll a little faster, the fatter
tires provide the ability to do a LOT more dumb things without
worrying so much about snakebiting or denting rims. If you're even
tempted to do "curb jumping", I'd recommend something with a little
more width than the really skinny slicks.

Mark Hickey
Habanero Cycles
http://www.habcycles.com
Home of the $795 ti frame
 
Bill Henry wrote:
(Tire suggestion request).

When I had a 26" wheel bike, I used to get these Avocet 26x1.5 tires
that looked like slicks except for this zig-zagging chasm down the
middle. I forget the model name/number. I'd guess the tread depth was
1/4" to 3/8" deep. They were GREAT for straightaway street riding, but
a bit heavy because the rubber was so thick. They were so-so, but
rideable, for "getting from point A to point B" offroad patches and
worked adequately on the occasional gravel road. In a way, that was an
advantage because casual thorn penetration wasn't so much of a problem.
In wet conditions, they were sometimes problematic when cornering
because the edge of the tire was so square -- but that was a very rare
problem.

Robert Leone
 
F

Fred Barney

Guest
Bill Henry says...

> Hey everyone.
>
> I've decided to add some skinnier tires to my Gary Fisher Marlin
> mountain bike for riding around town. But how thin should I go?
>
> The wheels are 26" and I've found tires online as small as 1" wide. I'm
> tempted by these because I love going fast and want to get the best bang
> for my buck. Still, I'm worried these might be a little too thin and be
> prone to flats. I probably couldn't do much curb jumping, either. ;)
>
> Right now I've got 2.10" tires on there and they really suck on the
> pavement (which is where most of my riding is done). I may occasionally
> go on the trails, but that'd be probably less than 5% of my riding.
>
> Anyhow, if anyone has any suggestions on good road tires that'll work
> for mountain bikes, let me know.
>
> Thanks!


Lots of bad advice so far (sorry guys, but most of it was wrong), but as
somebody who is in the same boat, I'll tell you what I know. First of
all, high quality slicks in MTB size are rare to nonexistent. There are
lots of cheap and heavy ones. For example, none that I know of has a
high thread count. Some are light, like the Hutchinson Top Slick, but
according to MTBR, they don't hold up well to wear or flats. Some are
heavy and impervious, like the Geax Streetrunner at 800g, which would be
weight penalty of more than a half pound per tire over a decent
lightweight knobby. I have used Michelin Jet S tires for the last two
years. This is a high grade cross-country semi-slick racing tire that
is light with a high thread count. Unfortunately, they are still knobby
on the sides, which makes high speed cornering dicey at best, and they
are now discontinued. As far as width goes, you have your choice of 1"
to more than 2", with the width closely related to the final weight.
Don't worry about rim width conflicting with tire width unless you have
very wide downhill or freeride rims. IMO, you may want to think twice
about using a very small tire since it will partly negate one of the
best aspects of using a MTB on the street--the ability to soak up road
hazards the way a road bike can't. There are lots of choices and they
are comparatively cheap because they aren't competition quality.
Nashbar has a variety of inexpensive ones, and biketiresdirect.com has a
few higher end ones in their touring tire section. Pay attention to the
weights and widths. The Vredestein S-Lick appears to be one of the
nicest ones all around.
 
M

maxo

Guest
On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 02:15:54 -0500, Bill Henry wrote:

> Anyhow, if anyone has any suggestions on good road tires that'll work for
> mountain bikes, let me know.


I got the Performance house brand 1.25" slicks a while back for my utility
bike--they roll fabulously. Worth a look for the price.

You might want to get a 1.5" smooth tread tire--plenty of brands to choose
from, and in my limited experience with them, the 1.5 inchers roll pretty
nicely too with tons of cushion.

Anything street oriented is going to blow you knobbies away on the
pavement.
 
C

C.J.Patten

Guest
"Fred Barney" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]

> Lots of bad advice so far (sorry guys, but most of it was wrong),



Would you recommend against the Schwalbe Marathon series Fred?
(ditto the Continentals)

I'm genuinely curious as I'm still deciding on my next tire and I hadn't
heard of the brands & models you mentioned. My use is strictly road,
however, so I'm not concerned about traction on gravel or dirt.

Advice welcome!

Chris
 
M

maxo

Guest
On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 11:48:45 -0400, C.J.Patten wrote:

> Would you recommend against the Schwalbe Marathon series Fred?


I'm not Fred, but I'll heartily recommend them IF you want something to
just mount and forget. Insanely durable and they have a cool reflective
stripe on the side that's a lifesaver. Lots of higher-end city bikes in
Europe come with these.

The downside is that they're a bit heavy and not as nice feeling as some
very high tpi slicks.

Worth considering.
 
C

C.J.Patten

Guest
"maxo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:p[email protected]
> On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 11:48:45 -0400, C.J.Patten wrote:
>
>> Would you recommend against the Schwalbe Marathon series Fred?

>
> I'm not Fred, but I'll heartily recommend them IF you want something to
> just mount and forget. Insanely durable and they have a cool reflective
> stripe on the side that's a lifesaver. Lots of higher-end city bikes in
> Europe come with these.
>
> The downside is that they're a bit heavy and not as nice feeling as some
> very high tpi slicks.
>
> Worth considering.



Thanks very much Maxo!

I was almost decided on the Marathon or Marathon Plus when I came across the
Marathon Slick and Stelvio (smaller size for recumbant, folding bikes and
wheelchairs).

Everyone is saying they get a lot of punctures with the narrow slicks
though. (one fellow has about 3 every 500 miles with his Stelvios and not
much better with the Marathon Slicks...?) That would drive me batty.

Cheers,
Chris
 
F

Fred Barney

Guest
C.J.Patten says...

> Would you recommend against the Schwalbe Marathon series Fred?
> (ditto the Continentals)
>
> I'm genuinely curious as I'm still deciding on my next tire and I hadn't
> heard of the brands & models you mentioned. My use is strictly road,
> however, so I'm not concerned about traction on gravel or dirt.
>
> Advice welcome!
>
> Chris


They look fine to me, similar in most ways to a Continental Top Touring
or the Vredestein I mentioned. The Marathon Cross looks too knobby, so
I would go with the touring versions. The best advice I can offer is to
read as much as you can about the specs and weight. Tread is pretty
much irrelevant IMO (and that of many others), and the slicker the tire
the better for pavement. My concerns are weight, quality and
performance. Weight matters for the hilly area I live in, and low
rolling resistance would be a big plus. But pretty much all of these
tires are made for durability and reliability, not racing performance.
 
S

SMS

Guest
Bill Henry wrote:
> Hey everyone.
>
> I've decided to add some skinnier tires to my Gary Fisher Marlin
> mountain bike for riding around town. But how thin should I go?
>
> The wheels are 26" and I've found tires online as small as 1" wide. I'm
> tempted by these because I love going fast and want to get the best bang
> for my buck. Still, I'm worried these might be a little too thin and be
> prone to flats. I probably couldn't do much curb jumping, either. ;)
>
> Right now I've got 2.10" tires on there and they really suck on the
> pavement (which is where most of my riding is done). I may occasionally
> go on the trails, but that'd be probably less than 5% of my riding.
>
> Anyhow, if anyone has any suggestions on good road tires that'll work
> for mountain bikes, let me know.


You never said what the width of your rims was.

Look at the Panaracer Pasela Kevlar Bead Tourguard, either in 1.5" or
1.75". But 1.5" is pushing it, if you have wide rims.

Don't know where you are, but Rivendell carries them.

"http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/tires_tubes/10070.html"

If you can go down to 1.5" then the Panaracer High Road V ATB Tire looks
like it would work,
"http://www.nashbar.com/profile_moreimages.cfm?category=&subcategory=&sku=10304&brand=1196"
 
S

Steve McDonald

Guest
I've made my mountain bikes a lot faster and quieter on the road
with Tioga City Slicker straight-tread street tires. I often have a
heavy load, so I use 26 X 1.95 size. Check to see if you can get them
in a narrower version. I've tried several brands of straight-treads of
this type, but the City Slickers are by far the most durable. They cost
$19. and with heavy, thorn-resistant tubes, I average only 1 flat per
year. I put the maximum stated pressure of 65 lbs. in them and have no
trouble cruising at 18 mph with a total weight of 280 lbs. (myself, the
bike and toolbox). With tires this wide, you don't need any more
pressure to support your weight adequately. I can usually get about
12,000 miles of use on the rear tires and 16,000 on the front. Over 10
years, I've only had one that blew out, as a result of a glass cut in
the sidewall.

Steve McDonald
 
M

Mark Hickey

Guest
Fred Barney <[email protected]> wrote:

>Lots of bad advice so far (sorry guys, but most of it was wrong), but as
>somebody who is in the same boat, I'll tell you what I know. First of
>all, high quality slicks in MTB size are rare to nonexistent.


If you don't count...

Hutchinson Top Slick (207 grams) 1.0"
Panaracer T-Serv (1.25", 260g, 1.5", 420g, 1.75", 470g) - my favorite
Panaracer Pasela - 1.25" 280g
Ritchey Moby-bite (if you want a 2.1" 620g tire)
Tioga City Slicker (1.0", 266g, 1.25", 390g, 1.5", 485g, 1.95", 520g)
(had good luck with these too)

Mark Hickey
Habanero Cycles
http://www.habcycles.com
Home of the $795 ti frame
 
T

The Martins

Guest
Steve McDonald wrote:
> I've made my mountain bikes a lot faster and quieter on the road
> with Tioga City Slicker straight-tread street tires. I often have a
> heavy load, so I use 26 X 1.95 size. Check to see if you can get them
> in a narrower version. I've tried several brands of straight-treads of
> this type, but the City Slickers are by far the most durable. They cost
> $19. and with heavy, thorn-resistant tubes, I average only 1 flat per
> year. I put the maximum stated pressure of 65 lbs. in them and have no
> trouble cruising at 18 mph with a total weight of 280 lbs. (myself, the
> bike and toolbox). With tires this wide, you don't need any more
> pressure to support your weight adequately. I can usually get about
> 12,000 miles of use on the rear tires and 16,000 on the front. Over 10
> years, I've only had one that blew out, as a result of a glass cut in
> the sidewall.
>
> Steve McDonald
>
>
>

I second the Hutchinson Top Slicks.
I have a set on my old Mtb Bike, I think they are 1.25" and you can pump
them up to 90PSI. They roll almost as good as a real road bike. My
wife has the same setup on her Mtb bike. We use them around town and
also on the hard packed state trails here in Wisconsin. Those trails
are either hard packed limestone or crushed red granite.
I tried some 1" Top Slicks but my rims are to wide and they didn't fit
right so I got the 1.25 as a replacement set and have never looked back.

Jeff
 
J

JJ

Guest
"maxo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:p[email protected]
> On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 02:15:54 -0500, Bill Henry wrote:
>
>> Anyhow, if anyone has any suggestions on good road tires that'll work for
>> mountain bikes, let me know.

>
> I got the Performance house brand 1.25" slicks a while back for my utility
> bike--they roll fabulously. Worth a look for the price.
>
> You might want to get a 1.5" smooth tread tire--plenty of brands to choose
> from, and in my limited experience with them, the 1.5 inchers roll pretty
> nicely too with tons of cushion.
>
> Anything street oriented is going to blow you knobbies away on the
> pavement.
>

I ran the same Performance 1.25 slicks for about a year with no complaints
and no flats (I weigh 225 lbs.). Performance tires are supposedely made by
Panaracer.
 

Similar threads