Recommendation for good 26" touring tyre

lloyd_bower Posts: 664
edited November 2007 in Tour & expedition
The tyres from my last tour are worn out and no longer available new (Conti touring 1000s), I'm looking for recommendations for 26" tyre for touring for my up coming trip to Central America. I'm expecting that 40-50% of the riding will be on dirt roads.

What are peoples recommendations? I'm looking for something that's got good rolling properties for the paved roads, but also upto the job for the unpaved stuff. Ideally wanting something that 1.75" wide of slimmer, though might consider a wider tyre on the back.

Also I'll probably take a back up after previous experience on my last main trip (blow out miles from anyway- though I did get by with a tyre boot for some 50k, till I managed to pick up a local tyre that lasted the remainder of the trip it was pretty much out of shape after only 2 weeks). Therefore this time I'm also looking for a decent 26" touring folder as back up.


  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    For dirt roads there's only one tyre to even consider: Schwalbe Marathon XR. ... on-xr.html

    Pump them up to their max recommended PSI and they'll roll well enough on asphalt.

    IME they are by far the most puncture resistant tyre available - they can even resist acacia thorns. I did a 80% dirt road/track, 9000km tour in Zambia/Namibia/Botswana with them and had only 1 puncture. And there's still easily another 9000km in the tyres.

    They're quite heavy, but then you won't need a spare so you'll save some weight there.
    More problems but still living....
  • I'll second Ama's recommendation. I used the 2.25 XRs on a trip of similar distance and terrain in the opposite corner of Africa and got one puncture. I took a spare tyre but binned it half way. They're still in good condition and are hung up waiting for my next big tour!
  • Third recommendation for the XRs!

  • jibi
    jibi Posts: 857
    XR's Rock
    simply the best

  • Just to be different, Conti TravelContact 26X1.75 have been extemely reliable & they seem to have a very long lifespan. I've no idea if they're better, worse or much the same as XR's but they have been very reliable. I've just put on a folding 1.6 Marathon XR on the front (to replace an emergency tyre I had to buy). It's the first XR I've used so I'll see how it goes. The Conti TrContact on the back wheel has had an incredibly long life. Puncture resistant has been excellent too.

    The Conti & the 1.6 XR both come as folding, appear to be similar weights & similar width once on the wheel & both have rec. max PSI of 85. Different tred styles.

  • stijn
    stijn Posts: 130
    My suggestions:

    Long, heavy and remote off-road touring, Schwalbe Marathon XR folding tire (as wide as will fit your frame)
    Short lightweight mountain bike touring, Schwalbe Hurricane folding tire

    For Central America, I would take the Marathon XR's if you want the option of getting off the Pan American Highway in places like Honduras and Nigaragua.


    If you think you can\'t make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. (H.H. the Dalai lama)
  • pq
    pq Posts: 27
    I always use XRs for touring off road. Nothing else comes close.
  • pq
    pq Posts: 27
    Forgot to mention, I wouldn't bother with a spare. Local people ride cheap mountain bikes in central america so 26" tyres are widely available. With XRs you're very unlikely to need a spare anyway.