Narrow touring tyres

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Rabbit
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Joined: 19 Aug 2012, 10:43pm
Location: The New Forest

Narrow touring tyres

Postby Rabbit » 21 Sep 2013, 7:36pm

Can anyone recommend a pair of good quality narrow-ish touring tyres please - looking at something around 25mm maybe with not much tread on it. They need to fit under a set of Salmon mudguards which are quite restrictive with the stays very close to the tyre. Looking at previous posts I saw Grand Bois and Hutchinsons mentioned - which seem lovely but pricey - also been looking at some Schwalbes and Conti sports. All suggestions welcome.

uppadine
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Re: Narrow touring tyres

Postby uppadine » 21 Sep 2013, 7:49pm

Have just completed the C2C (Workington to N Shields) via woodland tracks, many miles of awful cinder track, and long urban cycleways of often v rough surface, and the Reivers Route by return, the latter including some very rough tracks and footpaths, farm tracks and unmade tracks, with a pal who is heavy, 6 foot 2ins, loaded bikes and he got through on 23mm Conti gatorskins - yes, amazing. He had one puncture, from a thorn on a smooth tarmac cycle route in Newcastle. I had 35mm Schwalbe Marathons and was equally surprised not to get a puncture myself. I wore out two rear sets of brake pads in 2 days and it would have been three if i'd had another set. V testing but his tyres did work wonderfully over 310 miles.

Edit: I don't want to malign these routes, as they are fantastic, but certainly a challenge if carrying panniers
Last edited by uppadine on 21 Sep 2013, 11:20pm, edited 1 time in total.

Brucey
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Re: Narrow touring tyres

Postby Brucey » 21 Sep 2013, 7:52pm

do you want enhanced puncture resistance or would you trade it for easier rolling? Do you want a really light tyre or would a heavier one be OK? What width rims do you have?

In 700 x 25 (or 23's both of which can measure 24mm in reality....) you can get tyres which range from 'racing' tyres right through to 'commuting' tyres. Very lightweight (190g or less) 23's when run at slightly lower pressures than maximum can (on goodish roads) be pretty comfy and can of course still be pumped up for maximum speed when you want it.

At the other extreme you can get marathon plus in 700x25.

cheers
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PH
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Re: Narrow touring tyres

Postby PH » 21 Sep 2013, 7:57pm

I like Panaracer Passelas, though I haven't tried them in anything narrower than 28s. Depending on where touring, I might be tempted to do away with the mudguard and fit a bigger tyre, on the back at least.

Rabbit
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Location: The New Forest

Re: Narrow touring tyres

Postby Rabbit » 21 Sep 2013, 8:10pm

Uppadine - good lord! Sounds like you've been through the wringer and back again - thanks for that. Brucey, what I think I'm looking for is basically a road tyre which will roll well but give at least some comfort to the rider and moderate to good puncture protection. It's for a Mercian Classic rebuild - sort of half road, half touring bike - so looks quite sporty. I never go off tarmac on it so assuming I don't need a lot of tread. I just don't want to buy a set of tyres and find I can't get them on under these Salmon mudguards! I tried a pair of old Conti Sports at 700 x 25 and they just about fitted.

Vorpal
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Re: Narrow touring tyres

Postby Vorpal » 21 Sep 2013, 8:22pm

I like Conti 4 Seasons. I use them for most on road cycling, including regular commuting and occasional touring. They are very grippy, even in adverse conditions, and reasonably puncture resistant. I have typically not punctured on them until they were very worn. They aren't the cheapest tyres out there, and they also don't have the longest life (I guess I replace them 3 times as often I would something like a Schwalbe Marathon), but I'm happy enough to trade the durability for the ride & handling.
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Brucey
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Re: Narrow touring tyres

Postby Brucey » 21 Sep 2013, 8:43pm

a chum uses gatorskins to commute on and has run for a year or so before now with no punctures before now.

FWIW I think that wider tyres, if built heavy, just get slow. But narrow tyres, if built heavy, tend more to get both slow and uncomfortable. So I tend not to run heavy built tyres on bikes that will only take skinny ones.

BTW IIRC salmon mudguards come in two flavours; ones that pass under the fork crown and brake bridge, and ones that don't. The latter stop short of the fork crown and have an external bridge over the rear brake, to make the most of the clearance available on some frames.

The former type have as standard various fittings that interfere with the clearance to the tyre. I am thinking of the brackets made of wire that support the mudguard at the brake bolts and (to some extent) the eye bolts that hold the stays on. If you are a handy type you could doubtless improve on both of these and gain a few mm more clearance where it matters.

If radial clearance is limited and you must run guards that pass beneath the fork crown and brake bridge, I think that salmons (even with modifications) may offer fractionally less clearance than some other mudguards (e.g. SKS), just because the aluminium extrusion is very slightly thicker than the chromoplastic material that some others use.

It is worth noting that salmons are an older design and don't have any built-in safety feature that prevents a jam in the front wheel in the event that you pick up a stone or twig (which is quite likely with close set guards). SKS have a good 'secuclip' system which greatly reduces the chances of a bad accident thus arising. It may be possible to limit the stay clamping force at the hub end with the salmons so that the stays will stay put normally, but pull through in the event of an accident; something like a spring washer or two and a nyloc nut might do it. The idea would be to tighen the nut fully, then back it off 1/4 turn or so, so that the spring washers provide the clamping force. If you are using P clips it is a good idea to mount them a couple of inches above the hub because this also lessens the chances of a bad jam.

cheers
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Rabbit
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Location: The New Forest

Re: Narrow touring tyres

Postby Rabbit » 21 Sep 2013, 9:32pm

Yes, the Salmons I have are ones that mount under the brake housing - at least that's where I've fixed them - and I hadn't really thought about a jam! Just assumed that so long as the tyres fitted under them all would be well. I take your point about heavily built narrow tyres. Having seen a previous thread on these things I just wondered what these very expensive tyres - like Grand Bois - had which made them worth the price? Or perhaps they are not?

tatanab
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Re: Narrow touring tyres

Postby tatanab » 21 Sep 2013, 9:51pm

I use Michelin Pro 4 Endurance in 25 for cycle camping. However, they are a tall 25 so may not work for you. Before that I used Continental 4 Seasons in 25, again for cycle camping, and they are a much lower profile. On one machine at present I have Conti of some other flavour and that too is much lower profile than the Michelins. So perhaps Continentals of some sort are the answer for you.

Brucey
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Re: Narrow touring tyres

Postby Brucey » 21 Sep 2013, 10:02pm

re the grand bois tyres;

if you want a wide tyre that is built very light and supple then there are not that many choices and some Grand Bois tyres are (from a limited selection) amongst the best that you can get; they make excellent sense for use on rougher surfaces. But on good roads none roll as well as the best lightweight race-oriented tyres in narrower widths; the question with these tyres is really if they are durable enough for your intended use or not.

BTW small variations in tread and carcass construction have apparently lead to unexpected variations in measured Crr values in Grand Bois tyres; in some cases production tyres have differed from prototypes and not always in the ways you might expect. Jan Heine has done his best to explain these discrepacies for example in his 'off the beaten path' blog.

I have yet to discover a mythic tyre that is as comfy and easy rolling as a really lightweight one and yet has puncture protection etc; it is always a compromise. And it is unlikely that I shall be buying any new skinny tyres for years; I bought a stash of Michelins a while back and as if that wasn't enough a chum had a clear out of part-worn ones prior to emigrating which means I have about a dozen pairs to get through now... :roll:

cheers
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JohnW
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Re: Narrow touring tyres

Postby JohnW » 22 Sep 2013, 3:33pm

PH wrote:I like Panaracer Passelas, though I haven't tried them in anything narrower than 28s..................


For reasons already discussed on other threads, I don't trust 28mm Paselas due to sidewall problems, but I have 23mm and 25mm Paselas on bikes at the moment and I find them comfortable, responsive (or efficient, as some would express it) and as puncture-resistant as any (and more than some). I have ridden them for years, and I really like them.

simonthepostie
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Joined: 13 Sep 2011, 4:59pm

Re: Narrow touring tyres

Postby simonthepostie » 22 Sep 2013, 5:01pm

Vorpal wrote:I like Conti 4 Seasons. I use them for most on road cycling, including regular commuting and occasional touring. They are very grippy, even in adverse conditions, and reasonably puncture resistant. I have typically not punctured on them until they were very worn. They aren't the cheapest tyres out there, and they also don't have the longest life (I guess I replace them 3 times as often I would something like a Schwalbe Marathon), but I'm happy enough to trade the durability for the ride & handling.

+1 from me, use these too, excellent IMO

DavidT
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Re: Narrow touring tyres

Postby DavidT » 22 Sep 2013, 6:51pm

+1 for Panaracer Pasela TGs.

I think this tyre is a very good compromise between weight (low), tread (minimal - but some), puncture resistance (good) and price (sensible). There has been some legitimate debate on this forum about the strength of the sidewalls (weight saving here?), but I continue to happily ride 28s - albeit with some increased attention to routine inspection as a precaution.

beetroot
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Re: Narrow touring tyres

Postby beetroot » 22 Sep 2013, 7:23pm

Continental Grand Prix 4000S

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NUKe
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Re: Narrow touring tyres

Postby NUKe » 22 Sep 2013, 7:26pm

Continenetal Gator skins make a good all round tyre. I persoanlly use Swalbe Durano PLus rear and a normal durano for the front for all round duties light touring Day rides and commuting. Have used Vittoria Rubino's inhe past.
NUKe
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