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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Best 26" commuter tire?

    I posted this in the wheels and tires forum only to find out that everyone in that forum is concerned with super light racing equipment and could probably care less about mu question So here it goes, although probably slightly breaking forum rules by posting the same thing twice. If a mod sees this and wants to close one, feel free to close the one in the wheels and tires forum!

    BTW, the search function netted no success on this.

    Anyway, I turned my old Trek 930 into a commuter and it works out fine. I've done everything I could to squeeze out more efficiency. I'm still not in the best shape but I can manage the 18 mile ride in about 1h5m to work and 1h20m on the way back and the bike weighs about 40lbs with the panniers loaded up. Right now I'm using Ritchey Tom Slicks which I've heard horror stories about with bead separation. They seem to be a decently fast tire but I'm afraid to run them at 85 psi so I keep them around 70 which is noticeably slower.

    Furthermore, I've had two flats in the past day and I'm running liners. I've also seen horrible reviews for the liners I'm using ($40 Spin Skins) about how they wear through tubes and such. At this point, both the tires and liners (and maybe the bad tubes if I can get away with it) are going back to the store for a refund and I'm going to start over again.

    What is the general consensus here on the best all around 26" tire combining rolling efficiency and puncture resistance? I'd like to keep them under 1.5" too, a 26x1.25 would be nice. Right now I'm looking at:

    * Specialized Armadillo Nimbus
    * Panaracer T-Serv
    * Conti City Contact


    The other option is to just find a good fast tire and try to trust some Tuffy liners and/or Tru Goo. I've had great luck with Tru Goo for mtn bike tubes.

    Right now dependability is key for me as I seriously hate changing tube on the side of the road when I just want to get home or don't want to be late for work. Technically I could drive my truck, but that just defeats the purpose doesn't it Any thoughts, suggestions?

    Thanks a ton!

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I run the Armadillo Nimbus and am pretty happy at 80psi. I also run Tuffy liners and Slime liners in other wheelsets and have had no flats with either. My biggest problem is the bike feels damn slow. I attribute that to the 11-34 cassette with wide gear spacing. Switching to a 12-27 to help tighten things up.
    "All I want in life is to ride my bike and drink good coffee."

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Armadilo's, Tuffy liners and Slime pretty much guarantee's you only get one flat every other leap-year. The bike is gonna feel like you've filled your tires with concrete though. IME the liners and slime really aren't worth the effort because most of the time if something is going to go through a good tough tire (like the Armadillo) it's probably going to go through the liner and goo as well.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I'm leaning on just the nimbus with a standard tube and no liner then. I yanked the Tom Slicks and Spin Skins out last night and put my old cheap-o knobby road tires with super light tubes back on for my trip this morning. I noticed that the Spin Skins really did cause the flats I had and also wore right through the tire casing rubber to the (steel?) fibers, what a horrible product.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I commute on Panaracer Pasela TGs with kevlar bead. My tires are 700 x 28, but they make the Pasela for 26" wheels as well. I've yet to get a flat in more than 1,500 miles of commuting and the tire treads still look like new. The Paselas are very light for a touring type tire if you get the folding version with kevlar bead.

  6. #6
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    I used specialized fatboys (1.25) when I commuted on a MTB. Theyre as durable as anything else in that size and they're fast. I ran them @100 psi most of the time.

  7. #7
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    I'm currently using the Conti City Contacts 26x1.75. They are a little heavy, but they seem pretty durable. I started out with the Performance brand 26x1.25. They sucked. The Michelin 26x1.50 Trans or City? I had to pick the glass, and rocks out after every ride. Just remember for commuting, it's best to go heavy, and durable.

  8. #8
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    I was happily using the continental city slickers on the mtb commuter before I finally threw down and bought myself a crosscheck.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Yeah the Crosscheck is top on my spending list How much did it help your commute time?

  10. #10
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    actually, my commute time was greatly increased due to me buying the crosscheck.

    I work at an office with "flex hours"...so basically I can come and go as I please as long as I put in my 8hrs / day. Now when I ride in to work in the morning, it's quite a frequent occurance for me to pass right by the office and continue riding (I've even got a new loop set out for those mornings - past the office, over to the zoo, and back!).

    For the days where I actually just go right in to the office, I probably cut off somewhere under 5 minutes. I don't have a computer on the commuter, and really don't check the times I'm leaving home / arriving at the office so I don't know exactly how much time has been saved. My commute is around 15km, and takes me about 30 minutes.

    I do know that the CX is so much faster in most circumstances, however that won't become apparent until you've got a nice tailwind behind you and you're spinning out your biggest gear (wow, that's so much faster than I would ever be able to get to on the converted mtb). I found that when I was commuting by converted mtb, I was in one of my biggest gears all of the time (never shifted off the big ring in the front, and really only used 3 of the cogs in the back) - and that even included a decent sized hill at the end of my ride. Now, on the CX I'm typically in around 48x17 for most of my trip (and will be making that my SS gear fairly soon).

    I bought mine in around the middle of December from Jenson as they had a sweet deal on a complete crosscheck for $900 (with free shipping - just checked, and the deal is still going on). So far, I could not be happier (and it finally got me into the world of road bikes, something which I've been toying with for the past few years...but it'll never surpass my first true love of dirt).

    All that being said, don't buy it to improve your commute time. Buy it to increase the size of your smile when you finally show up at the office. Sure it's fun to ride in the converted mtb, but for me the equation has always been more speed = more fun.
    Last edited by x-ker; 02-12-2008 at 01:38 PM.

  11. #11
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    All that being said, don't buy it to improve your commute time. Buy it to increase the size of your smile when you finally show up at the office. Sure it's fun to ride in the converted mtb, but for me the equation has always been more speed = more fun.
    That's always been the idea The whole reason I got into the commuting (other than saving money) was to get faster at mountain biking

    As for the tires . . . I'm going to get my hands on some Panaracer Pasala 1.25s and give those a shot.

  12. #12
    N. Hollywood, CA
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    Geax "Street Runner". 1.25" width, 80 psi. I ran them for a few years on an LA commute through industrial neighborhoods, rail crossings, litter strewn back alleys and such. They still have good tread and roll fairly fast for 26". In 3 years I got two notable flats - one nail puncture and one sharp metal debris slash. I'd buy them again, except I'm tempted to try some 2" Big Apples just for the fun of it.

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