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Commuting 20ish miles per day on an MTB

EllisDeeEllisDee Posts: 3
edited January 2019 in Commuting general
Hi all,

I've currently got an old Scott Scale 70 with mostly stock parts -- including big rugged 26x2.3inch tyres: Continental Gravity.
I commute along the A361, which you could label as a mountain bike trail. When it rains, the drains are all blocked so the sides of the road are flooded. Tractors cover the road every day in mud. The pot holes are enormous. And the sides of the road are covered in chunky rocks.

I've been looking at swapping out for a better set of tyres but i don't really know what i'm looking for. People always recommend the sleek things, but i imagine in the wet they'll get me killed. Especially since i'm so used to cornering on the side nobblies.
I've never really rode a non mountain bike, so i have no idea of the feel for other tyres. I just know these big nobbly things make a sound when they roll, which must be killing the distance i cover.

Will i notice a big difference with road oriented tyres in terms of speed and effort/tiredness? Or do i really need a road bike?
I feel like need a tyre that rolls well with good puncture resistance (for the nightmare potholes and road debris). But it needs to be an all-rounder in terms of weather.

I thought the Schwalbe Hurricane maybe?
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/schw ... -prod36216
Looks grippy. But noticeably not so smooth looking like the Schwalbe Land Cruiser Plus.
Really don't know...so any advice is appreciated!

Posts

  • Slicks with a width that transitions nicely from the rims will give an aero benefit at ~15mph+, plus you will lose tyre and tube weight that will help on any climbs. If the internal rim width is ~19mm, a tyre with ~28mm width would work.

    But as you say, as we head into winter, you might want something wider. I'm on 28mm Grand Sport Races on my Voodoo at the mo, but I will soon be moving to something wider like my 38mm Marathon Cross and have spiked 38mm 45Nrth Gravdals ready if snow/ice makes an appearance on the south coast like last winter.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • kirkeekirkee Posts: 369
    edited October 2018
    I recently fitted my 26 rigid hybrid with a pair of Schwalbe Kojaks 26x1.35 and they are the fastest tyres Iv used compared to the Big Apple 2.0 and Michelin Country Rock's 1.75 that are still reasonably fast. All three mentioned are good on tarmac for commuting. The best all rounder of them imo are the Country Rocks as theyre capable of more mixed terrain or even light off road, these may be a good tyre for your mud strewn route, cheap too. The Big Apples are good to ride on giving a plush ride and fairly good rolling speed also no fear at all of pot holes bumping kerbs etc. I think f you want speed generally go narrower.
    Caveat - I buy and ride cheap, however, I reserve the right to advise on expensive kit that I have never actually used and possibly never will
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 5,275
    I've got a schwalbe Durano / geax street runner on my commuter MTB.
    Our routes sound similar (although mine is shorter when I use that bike) and I definitely prefer the fat but almost slick tyres on crappy roads in the winter. You don't have to worry as much about damaging your tyres/wheels from hitting stones/potholes and you can take the odd gravelly shortcut/flight of steps if available - just makes it more fun.
    I can save my road bike for nicer days when I can ride fast on slightly less crappy roads.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Lol at the aerodynamics benefits of tyres on a mountain bike.
    That's the least of your worries.

    Apparently your road is the longest three digit A road in the UK at 195 miles. But strangely they didn't mention it was an MTB trail.

    It's a road. You'll be faster on slick tyres than knobbly tyres. You will have better grip.
  • Swap out the Conti gravity tyres for a set of Schwalbe Rocket Rons, I had the gravitys on before and they're like night and day, you can still use it as a mountain bike but the on road difference is amazing, much much less drag without any loss of grip on or off road.
    If you're staying on road only then the above advice about slick tyres etc is spot on, I also use Schwalbe city jets on another bike (26er) and they're quick, good puncture resistance and grip is good wet or dry.
    I sound like a schwalbe salesman!! I'm not though :D
  • I looked at the City Jets, but the slickness terrifies me. How on earth do they grip?! I feel like i'll corner and slide out like on black ice.

    I also looked at some diamond-tread tyres, but they're always described as being for BMX or freestyle bikes. I really have no idea about tread patterns. Just going with the sales descriptions. The country rocks are cheap though. May be worth a go.
    cougie wrote:
    Apparently your road is the longest three digit A road in the UK at 195 miles. But strangely they didn't mention it was an MTB trail.

    It's a road. You'll be faster on slick tyres than knobbly tyres. You will have better grip.

    Hyperbole, but seriously, after i read online about locking out the front forks for better performance, the road's felt so so weird. It randomly goes between bumps where someone's lazily repaired the water pipe under the road and slapped tarmac over it, to massive potholes that feel devastating in a car, let alone on a hardtail.
    I feel like the council in each district i pass through must be smoking all the money they should be spending on road maintenance.
    Another amazing thing is how every other catseye in the road has been torn out for no apparent reason. It means when a car overtakes me, the poor censored gets a massive KADUNK going over a massive hole where a catseye once was.
  • EllisDee wrote:
    I looked at the City Jets, but the slickness terrifies me. How on earth do they grip?! I feel like i'll corner and slide out like on black ice.

    I also looked at some diamond-tread tyres, but they're always described as being for BMX or freestyle bikes. I really have no idea about tread patterns. Just going with the sales descriptions. The country rocks are cheap though. May be worth a go.
    cougie wrote:
    Apparently your road is the longest three digit A road in the UK at 195 miles. But strangely they didn't mention it was an MTB trail.

    It's a road. You'll be faster on slick tyres than knobbly tyres. You will have better grip.

    Hyperbole, but seriously, after i read online about locking out the front forks for better performance, the road's felt so so weird. It randomly goes between bumps where someone's lazily repaired the water pipe under the road and slapped tarmac over it, to massive potholes that feel devastating in a car, let alone on a hardtail.
    I feel like the council in each district i pass through must be smoking all the money they should be spending on road maintenance.
    Another amazing thing is how every other catseye in the road has been torn out for no apparent reason. It means when a car overtakes me, the poor censored gets a massive KADUNK going over a massive hole where a catseye once was.

    I never really saw the point of locking out suspension either, I commute similar distances on a MTB, I did note when switching to the MTB from a road bike that the MTB no surprisingly grips and adsorbs lumps and bumps.

    slicks in theory should give better grip, but all else needs to be equal, ie how wide how sticky the rubber etc.

    I liked the XC tyres like racing ralph though they did wear quickly since my route is glass strewn I use heavy but tough Marathon Plus Touring which cope with that, and more.
  • EllisDee wrote:
    I looked at the City Jets, but the slickness terrifies me. How on earth do they grip?! I feel like i'll corner and slide out like on black ice.

    They have more rubber on the road, it's not like car tyres where you need water clearance, i used city jets most of last winter with no problems at all! :D
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 796
    I echo the others - Slick tyres in 28-40c widths would be best. Look for slightly higher TPI (threads per inch) as this tends to indicate more supple and better qaulity rubber. The grip from a bike tyre is mostly due to rubber compound and pressure (not tread pattern). This is why F1 cars use slicks

    Re grip as Cambuker71 said on tarmac / road its the amount of rubber that contacts the ground (width & pressure) and the type of rubber that makes the difference (Compound & TPI) - A wider slick tyre at lower pressure will give more grip and comfort than any knobbly tyre. Car tyres only have grooves in them to disperse water to avoid aquaplaning - Aquaplaning is not possible on a bicycle (unless you can ride at about 150 mph).

    Avoid the City Jets as they are really poor quality low TPI rubber and poor grip (I know from painful experience), Something like a Conti Sport contact in 1.4" (35mm) would be a good bet - 180 TPI with slick tread and decent flat protection.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    + whatever. I had cheap City Jet slick tyres on my (rigid) MTB when I was making the transition to becoming a roadie. Grip was never a problem. Poor aerodynamics and limited hand positions, and being overtaken by a speeding pensioner were what drove me to buy a proper drop barred road bike.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    EllisDee wrote:
    I looked at the City Jets, but the slickness terrifies me. How on earth do they grip?! I feel like i'll corner and slide out like on black ice.
    You seem to totally misunderstand how tyres work!

    Its not the edges of the blocks that grip on a road its the surface to surface friction, slicks will give you more grip in all conditions (as you have a greater surface area in contact) except ice, mud or snow. The only thing that works on ice is spikers so you'll be no worse off on slicks anyway. Cycle tyres are so narrow you need no water clearance either so no tread needed to stop aqua planing, it just doesn't happen.

    City Jet are a good budget option but do feel a little leaden, for not too much more the Continental Sport Contacts are a great option, you could stick with something around 1.5" or go a little narrower if you want.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Er Guys - he's not been back since October ?
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