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Which tyres for road bike commuting?

ThrolkimThrolkim Posts: 94
edited February 2009 in Commuting chat
I was originally thinking of Schwalbe Marathons, but I've been told they're not great in the wet; which could prove problematic in Wales.

Marathons, Gator Skins, or something else? I'm open to all comments on Gator Skins especially, as I was considering them most. :D

Posts

  • can't say i've noticed the marthon's being slippy in the wet, i have normal and plus, both fairly wide.
  • akcc05akcc05 Posts: 336
    I use a pair of 28c Specialized Armadillo for my daily ~10 mile commute. They wear so slowly that it seems like they are not wearing at all! Mine are 28c wire bead so they are heavy and the slow acceleration at the lights are noticeable. I can't really comment on it's performance in the wet even though I commute on them regardless of the weather because I generally ride slower and more carefully in the wet, I mean it's not like you are going to slice a corner at 30 mph in your commute, I certainly don't anyway.

    Hope this is what you are looking for.
  • I haven't ridden the Schwalbe, but I have ridden most everything else.

    One of the few tires I am willing to pay retail price for is the Conti 4000s. I got 3000 miles out of my last set, with plenty of hard braking, stop light trackstand starts, and some racing. I only had 1 or 2 flats during that time. It is hard to expect more out of a tire. (I weigh 170lbs)

    Tip: If you go with these, make sure you are using a thinner rim tape. I was using Velox, and it made mounting the tires a nightmare.

    The Contis always seemed to be faster than my other tires. When I switched to the Specialized that I am riding now there was noticeable increase in rolling resistance.

    The tires are more expensive than other brands, but aren't you worth it?

    ps. I didn't like the Gatorskins. They were slick in the wet and the fabric web on the sidewalls would tear away.
    pps. If you are doing loaded commuting, disregard the above.
  • jamescojamesco Posts: 687
    I've been running Marathon Plus 700 x 35 since about October and they're great for punctures (zero so far, riding daily through glass-strewn central London) but very slippery, even in the dry. In the wet a standing start up on the pegs will have the rear slipping. Even a slight angle will cause a skid on manhole covers when it's dry (and likewise, when starting). They also seem to be quicker skid more under braking.

    So, my experience is that if you have them you've gotta be careful, but the payoff (no patching frozen inner-tubes) is worth it. In winter :)
  • AguilaAguila Posts: 622
    Throlkim wrote:
    I was originally thinking of Schwalbe Marathons, but I've been told they're not great in the wet; which could prove problematic in Wales.

    Marathons, Gator Skins, or something else? I'm open to all comments on Gator Skins especially, as I was considering them most. :D

    I ride on Gatorskins and I think they are excellent. I've had 1 puncture only in the 3500 miles I've done on them so far and they have worn very little. I have found grip excellent in dry and wet, and they are quick. Much better than the schwalbe blizzards that came with my bike. I cant understand the negative comments you sometimes hear about them, several of my colleagues use them and we've all had only good things to say. I'd be reluctant to change them for anything else.

    That said I have heard good reports about the spesh armadillos mentioned here. i think the marathons are a very heavy tyre so unless you are going to do proper touring they might be a bit much.
  • Aguila wrote:
    Throlkim wrote:
    I was originally thinking of Schwalbe Marathons, but I've been told they're not great in the wet; which could prove problematic in Wales.

    Marathons, Gator Skins, or something else? I'm open to all comments on Gator Skins especially, as I was considering them most. :D

    I ride on Gatorskins and I think they are excellent. I've had 1 puncture only in the 3500 miles I've done on them so far and they have worn very little. I have found grip excellent in dry and wet, and they are quick. Much better than the schwalbe blizzards that came with my bike. I cant understand the negative comments you sometimes hear about them, several of my colleagues use them and we've all had only good things to say. I'd be reluctant to change them for anything else.

    That said I have heard good reports about the spesh armadillos mentioned here. i think the marathons are a very heavy tyre so unless you are going to do proper touring they might be a bit much.

    Swapped after a few visits from the P fairies to Gatorskins from the Armadillos which came with the bike and would never go back. The difference in handling is significant.
  • Ridden the gatorskins all winter this year for both commuting and training and im still running the same set and the only puncture i got was when my wheel dropped into a grate......hardly the tyres fault.

    The only time i found them slippery was in the ice but then what isn't other than a mtb tyre?!
  • flamiteflamite Posts: 269
    I too have been running the gatorskins all winter, no complaints, only one pinch flat when tyre wasnt inflated properly, highly recommend them...
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    I commute on either ContiGP4000S' (because they're on the winter bike and are excellent) or Vittoria Rubino Pro's (basically because they're white). I've had problems with Vittoria in the past but the current ones have been on the Pearson all through winter and have never p*t'd. I'm very impressed with them and at £19 a tire they're cheaper than the Contis, although not as good.

    I'm not sure I buy into all this gatorskin stuff. I rarely have trouble on any of my bikes and the 2 geared roadies both run high end tires (GP4000S and Pro Race3). I think race tires are fine for commuting, light, fast, grippy and have excellent P protection.
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
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  • I second the Rubino Pros, been using the brand for two years and never had a problem other than the "occasional" puncture. They are the same weight and puncture resistance as Michellin Pro Race 2but cheaper. If you look around you can pick them up for around £13.
    "People setting the pace too fast on the front are abused to slow down. Riders that do not share the work are abused. Riders that need abuse get abused and the abuse is done in every language so they get the message"
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    I've just put a pair of Mich Pro Race 3 on mine; only done 100 miles or so on road & rollers so can't comment on wear, but grip seems as good as anything I've used in the past. What really stands out is their smoothness - bowling along this morning at 23-25mph on a nice long straight the phrase 'magic carpet' came to mind - it was eerily smooth, almost like floating. So far no punctures, but then the puncture fairies don't seem to have discovered the back lanes of Oxon & Bucks, and neither have the sniveling second-rate scum who break glass on the roads & cycle paths for their own personal amusement. Where's yer gun when you need it eh?
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    I have an SCR3 - nearly every bike shop has said the bike is for commuting - I run GP4000S I don't think I'll run anything else, ever.

    Anything I say about GP4000S will seem like exaggeration. Its not, they are just that fantastic. Grippy as they are fast as they are p*ture resistant. All of which, I believe, helps increase my saftey when commuting compared to the delivery of performance from other tyres.

    I love them.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    I think race tires are fine for commuting, light, fast, grippy and have excellent P protection.

    +1 - my particular recommendation is for Schwalbe Ultremos - no punctures in 1500 miles so far. And an extra tenner or so per tyre is nothing considering the smoothness and speed gains.
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    My vote goes to Spesh Armadillos.

    Not exactly the fastest tyres around (Pro Race's on the race bike do the speed honours) but they are reasonably grippy, spin up fairly well and (*touch wood*) are very reliable.
  • DonDaddyD wrote:
    I have an SCR3 - nearly every bike shop has said the bike is for commuting - I run GP4000S I don't think I'll run anything else, ever.

    I love them.

    +1 on the GP4000s they are brilliant :)
    26km each way commute on a Decathlon Comp 1 2006 Road Bike

    2009 Communting Totals - Car 112 miles Bike 2,765 miles
  • My experience of the Continental Grand Prix 4000's is completely hastle free riding. They are fast and most importantly for commuting seem to be very puncture resistant! Big thumbs up from me!
  • I moved to Conti gators a few weeks ago at the suggestion of my LBs then had three punctures in 2 week (middle one could have been my fault for not finding the flint). nothing in the last month (400m?). It is a bit slippy on the back but I have not had any really dangerous moments yet. not sure if I'd buy again or try Spec???

    DM
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