A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Tiring Thoughts

Eventually different tires will be mounted on my commuter bike. Presently it wears it's old mountain bike tires, and while serviceable, some street tires would have less rolling resistance and better braking.

Jack "Ghost Rider" Sweeney at Bike Commuters wrote an excellent article regarding commuting on a retired mountain bike. Pun intended.

After a couple of weeks researching the 'net, I decided on the tire I really want. Specialized Nimbus Armadillo tires. At $45 a tire I just tripled what I have invested in the bike itself with the tire swap. The kevlar flat protection might be worth it though.

Another option is the Specialized Hemisphere. Of course, it has "Flak Jacket" protection rather than "Armadillo".

More to read here.

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Blogger Owen said...

a buddy of mine rolled across the country on his dillos and didn't have a flat and i've got 500 miles on mine. good call

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Standard Mischief said...

I too seem to have an unlimited supply of curb-shopped 26 inch knobby MTB tires. Not counting lawns, my off-road riding is only about 20%. I'd like to change out to something with better rolling resistance.

It's not a commuter bike though, and seeing as I've got $10 bike + $3 tube + $3 tube (spare) + elbow grease in on this one, I don't think I'm ready for $90 worth of tires. I do carry a full fresh spare, and I'm not on anyone's clock but my own.

But I will bookmark it.

10:25 PM  
Blogger Jam said...

Got to get one of those skulls on my PURPLE bike.

10:59 PM  
Blogger mjd said...

I had a Trek singletrack MTB converted into a commuting bike a few years back, with Specialized Fatboy slicks. Very tough, put a lot of miles on one set, and the bike was much faster and easier to use on pavement than with knobby tires. Surprising how much difference it made -- aside from the gearing, it felt very much road-ish. The bike ended up being stolen, and I am not sure if the particular model of tire are still made, but despite being slicks, they were tough on broken glass, gravel, etc., though a little squirrelly off smooth pavement..

11:17 PM  
Blogger kbarrett said...

It isn't just braking traction ... knobbies also tend to break traction when turning on wet pavement at speed.

Best traction on wet pavement will always be slicks, unless you are downhilling at over 35 MPH and entering hydroplane territory.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt "never again" quote. I don't remember having a flat because of glass. Ordinary nails, board pins, plant spikes and taking curbs to fast way to often... Anyway test them hard and give your opinion.

Good choice on the smooth tires. They handle better...


11:22 AM  
Anonymous E said...

Xavier, I ride 26"x1.5" armadillos on my "citycross" bike in NYC. They are great tires (VERY hard to get on the rim at first), BUT they are pretty slick in the rain as the rubber is quite hard. The messengers like them, and so do I, but I avoid riding in the rain. Specifically, don't try to corner on a sewer grate in the rain on those tires! Ugh, I took a swim in a flooded NYC gutter trying to hop a steel-lined curb.

On my road/racing rig I have Schwalbe Marathons instead. They have some actual tread, but at full pressure the contact patch is just about continuous and very small. They are much more sure-footed in shoulder sand and give me more confidence in the wet. And the sidewall is reflective.

My 'dillos have given me good service, but when I retire them I'll probably go to Marathons on the citycross bike too.

Good tires are worth it, as is a good saddle. Like a proper monitor on your computer, good equipment where the rubber meets the road (literal and figurative) reduces strain and hassle while increasing safety and enjoyment. If you wouldn't wear cheap throwaway $10 shoes to go jogging, don't do it on your bike either.

Same deal with crappy ammo. You usually get what you pay for (within reason).


4:31 PM  

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