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touring tyre choice

r0mseyr0msey Posts: 31
edited March 2008 in Tour & expedition
I've just recycled my old mountain bike with rigid (carbon) forks, mudgards, rack etc ready to head off to far flung places.

I've replaced all the major components, but one thing left: tyre choice. I'm struggling.

I wanted something that'll do primarily road, but won't by unhappy on national cycle routes that consit of things other than tarmac (i.e. hard packed gravel) and the odd hard packed bridleway.

I've been riding specialized armadillo based tyres on my MTB for years, so turned to specialized for first choice. I borrowed a set of Armadillo Crossroads 26x1.95 for a try out. ( ... sp?id=1875 ). I believe they are less for road and more gravel/path. I did 40miles on them yesterday and was not impressed with;
weight and rolling resistance. Specialized in their infite wisdom don't seem to have tyre (or should I say 'tire') weights on their website (unless I'm being stupid!) which makes comparisons hard, I weighed these personally at 875g! Heavy! I've also got a cheapo pair of slick 26x1.5's lying around which I rode to work today - what a difference! I've had these on the scale at 500g each, and a whole lot more roll!

My personal choice was switching Continental's Top Contact - a fine tyre if ever I saw one: ... tact.shtml but expensive. @690g for the kevlar bead, that's not super light.

Keeping weight in mind I'm now erring towards Panaracer's Pasela Tour Guard - obvioulsy less puncture protection, but at 440g for the kevlar bead that's light for a 26x1.75 tyre. I can get 3 of these easily for the price of the conti's which is good, because I carry a spare tyre too. ( ... 75-(42-559)-3813.htm ])

So - any others I should consider? Any recommendations? 26x1.75's is what I'm aiming for.

Of course I want it all - light and puncture resistant!



  • rdaviesbrdaviesb Posts: 566
    For me, it's got to be the Schwalbe Marathon XR. At 595g in 1.6 inch form not lightest tyre you'll find, (and anyway, you'll be carrying a load more than the difference anyway), but really durable and puncture resistant.
  • I ride Maxxis Overdrive 26 x 1.75. Nice.

    They do kevlar ones, which cost me about 20 quid here in Taiwan.

    I don't know the weight, but they seem light enough to me... By the time you've got some bananas in your pannier and filled your water bottles, it'll make little difference.
    It's an uphill climb to the bottom
  • Here is the Maxxis info - 550 grams.... ... asp?id=225
    It's an uphill climb to the bottom
  • Perhaps too good for bridleways etc but I've used Panaracer hi roads - lightish,very sure footed, good rolling, and 'you know what' resistant!
  • r0mseyr0msey Posts: 31
    Thanks for the replies, some more to conside I guess, although I'm finding it hard to find a UK suppiler of the Maxxis Over Drive - Maxxis MTB tyres aplenty, but touring tyres....erm...

    I checked out what tyres my tandem had last night too, and found it booted with panaracer cross towns, weighing in at 1Kg each, so I might try that as an experiment - i've a feeling the specialized crossroads' rolling resistance was more of an issue than their weight.
  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    +1 for the Schwalbe Marathon. I've been on various widths of these for years and they have all been good, especially for riding on rough tracks when roads become too major or boring to stay on.

    Fast and Bulbous
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • r0mseyr0msey Posts: 31
    I thought I'd a picture of the actual bike might be nice, its make me smile when I ride it ;) now i've gone for thinner tyres I need to pull the mudguards back down closer to the wheels...

  • blorgblorg Posts: 1,169
    I used 700x35 Schwalbe Marathons to do the Camino de Santiago recently, and was very happy with them- let a bit of air out of the front when on the track and they handled these portions OK. Not brilliantly, but OK. TBH it was probably more the bike (drop bar tourer) than the tyres on these bits.

    I'm used to 700x23-25s and these were a bit slower on the road but not a disaster. Pumped them back up at petrol stations when we returned to the tarmac. Overall a good choice I think for mostly road with some track.

    Schwalbe Marathons of course come in 26" sizes also (they seem to come in just about every size.)
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Nice bike r0msey - what is it, is it a Ti frame?
  • CPeacheyCPeachey Posts: 1,057
    I threw out 2 Panaracer Tourgaurds when the sidewalls punctured. They were VERY thin on the sidewall. I use Schwalbe tyres now...Marathons, M~ Racers & [email protected]
    All well made and reassuring.
  • henrichenric Posts: 1
    nice bike. Had the armadillos on our tandem, fully loaded touring and delaminated the rear after 1000km. Recently did tour of Mexico on mtb with 1.75 Conti Contact Security and they held up just fine. Our friends on the same mexico tour had Schwalbe Marathon Plus and though they weigh more thats what I will use from now on. The extra weight is irrelevant when fully loaded, tolerate high tire pressure for road use, sidewalls are double thickness like a downhill mtb tire for offroad, thick rubber for high mileage, side strip for generator...beefy and bulletproof...they were better than the Continentals in every comparison except weight. Thats my two bits worth.

  • r0mseyr0msey Posts: 31
    @alfablue - the frame is CroMo - its a "fuji stout lite" - googling it doesn't bring up much, I bought from new and built it up as a MTB ten years ago. Its done me well, what I really like about it is it always looks like new as the finish is like stainless steel and there's no paint to scratch.

    @all - many thanks for the detailed replies, seems the panaracer TG's don't get the vote (although thinking about this more I had one on the back of my tandem go bang, somewhat inconvinient when you don't carry a spare) I ended up padding the gash out with an inner tube running at low pressure 30psi, whist getting the stoker to put her weight forward!

    It seems the tyre of choice would probably be the schwable marathon xl's, although now I've gone and ordered some panaracers (including a 'folder' as a spare)! I should be a little more patient and wait for more replies to come in next time.

    Meanwhile the bike gets its first proper outing this weekend as I'm going to cycle it from Romsey (Hampshire) to N.E. London - that's 90miles. Should do me some good!

    Cheers - R
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