« on: April 11, 2012, 07:03:15 pm »
I don't think that the bikes you are considerining are good choices especially since the price range you are talking is close to the cost of a Surly Long Haul Trucker. In regards to the tire size, I ride on 32c tires and I would probably ride 35c if my bike with fenders would accommodate them. I have been on many bike tours where I am sitting alongside the road watching someone change a flat because they opted for 28c tires. I am not saying that I never get flats but I have ridden across the country without getting a flat. The other factor that I think has helped is the tire that I use. I ride on Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires (700x32c). I kept a log on the last set that I bought and I got 18,000 miles on the rear tire with one flat at 5,000 miles and on the front tire I got 25,000 miles with no flats. I realize most people will think that I made these numbers up but they are true. The other factor to consider is that the ride is more comfortable with a larger volume tire. Of course the larger the tire the more resistance you encounter, but from my experience, the trade off for reliability and comfort compared to resistance is in the 32c to 35c range if you are planning on riding mostly paved roads on a self-supported tour.