Author Topic: Folding tires  (Read 8513 times)

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Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Folding tires
« on: January 07, 2012, 05:20:57 pm »
I hope to take my first tour this spring. It's nothing special for most of you folks -- Baltimore to Bangor -- but it's a big deal to me. I'm getting new Continental Gatorskins. The bike shop recommends folding tires. I understand the advantage of folding tires for spares, but he's recommending I get all folding tires. He was going through all the advantages of folding tires. When he was done, I was wondering why they make wire bead tires/ Are there any disadvantages to folding tires? I noticed the widest tires come only in wire bead (on at least one site).

Offline whittierider

Re: Folding tires
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2012, 05:44:00 pm »
Wire-beaded ones are somewhat cheaper, and to me, they're easier to put on because they hold their shape unlike the folding ones which keep trying to curl up into a figure-8 (or worse) while you're trying to mount them.

Joe B

  • Guest
Re: Folding tires
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2012, 06:03:35 pm »
elCheapo velcro straps are a part of my tool kit , they come free on broccoli around here . I find them useful for all kinds of things in camp. Placing one every 90 degrees or so as you mount a folder keeps it in position and the velcro just falls off as you inflate, they're not that strong...and virtually weightless.
As for the tires,I've only used them as spares so I can't comment on them as an all around product.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 07:25:41 pm by Joe B »

Offline John Nelson

Re: Folding tires
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2012, 06:05:43 pm »
Six of one, half-dozen of the other. It doesn't make any difference.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Folding tires
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2012, 07:54:04 pm »
Wire Kevlar bead tires are about $8 more expensive and 2 ounces lighter.  They are a bit more of a pain to mount.  Are they worth it?  That is up to you. 

As far as spares go...  I wouldn't carry one for touring even in much more remote parts of the US than your tour.  That said wire bead tire can be folded into three rings and carry fine, so weight is the only real advantage for the kevlar bead tires IMO.  See the following for how to fold a wire bead tire:
http://home.comcast.net/~mandmlj/tirefolding/index.html

I found that a "folded" wire bead tire takes up very little space since my cook pot nests snugly inside one.  Also it can be strapped on the outside of a pannier or under a pannier flap.  A moot point for me since I think carrying a spare tire is overkill for touring in the lower 48.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 10:13:29 am by staehpj1 »

Offline DaveB

Re: Folding tires
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2012, 08:28:28 pm »
Wire bead tires are about $8 more expensive and 2 ounces lighter.  They are a bit more of a pain to mount.  Are they worth it?  That is up to you.
I think you have this backwards.  Folding (kevlar beaded) tires are both more expensive and lighter than wire (steel) beaded tires. 

Folding tires are indeed a bit trickier to mount the first time out of the box but not after that.   Once you get them mounted they retain their shape when removed and reinstalled

Offline staehpj1

Re: Folding tires
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2012, 10:12:18 am »
Yes that was a typo.  Sorry.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Folding tires
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2012, 11:07:35 am »
I have toured on folding and non-folding tires. When I buy, I usually buy non-folding tires; cheaper. The biggest advantage I see for folding tires is weight, minor point for touring. Wide folding tires are available.

Offline aggie

Re: Folding tires
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2012, 11:36:37 am »
Are you asking the question because you plan on carrying spare tires?  I remember that I carried a spare tire during my first tour and found I just wound up carrying something that added extra weight and took up space.  I think you'll find you're never going to be very far from a bike shop so that even if you blow out the sidewall you will be able to get a replacement at the next town with a bike shop.  (You can make a temporary patch of the tire with a dollar bill.) 

Or are you asking the question because you're not sure what type of tire to buy?

Offline hem

Re: Folding tires
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2012, 11:51:15 am »
I use both types of Continental GatorSkins and don't see any difference. I believe the folders have "Handmade in Germany" stamped in English on the sidewall though, if that means anything.
I once bought some wire bead tires and they were shipped in the figure eight fold. Proceeded to mount them out of the box and blew three or four tubes before I figured they need to rest unfolded a while before mounting. I am a slow learner.

Offline BigPapaK

Re: Folding tires
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2012, 04:06:32 pm »

I think you have this backwards.  Folding (kevlar beaded) tires are both more expensive and lighter than wire (steel) beaded tires. 

Folding tires are indeed a bit trickier to mount the first time out of the box but not after that.   Once you get them mounted they retain their shape when removed and reinstalled
[/quote]

I agree. I find the wire bead harder to mount. My Conti kevlars go on much easier than my wired Gatorskins and much, much, much easier than Schwalbe Marathon Plus

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Folding tires
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2012, 04:54:20 pm »
Maybe I'm hard on tires, but I've used a spare tire on tour so I'll likely carry one in the future.

I've got a folding tire for future use, but only as a spare.  I found a folder without much tread (which keeps the weight down) that's about 700Cx30.  If, or when, I use it, I'll replace with a heavier tire at the nearest bike shop that carries touring tires, 700cx32 or 35.

I know that sounds backward; why put on a heavier tire?  For me, it's the extra tread thickness, translating into extra tread life, or further until I have to replace the thing.  The replacement tire will probably be wired, depending on what Podunk Bike Shop has in stock.  Wired is nearly negligible for extra weight, but shaves a fair bit off the price.  I'll normally spend $30-40 on a wired touring tire, but the folder costs nearer to $60.

Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: Folding tires
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2012, 06:37:53 pm »
Thanks for the replies. As always, this group has forgotten more about touring than I will ever know.  :)

I am buying 3 tires, including a spare. My takeaway is that it doesn't make much difference. I found out the bike store has these folding tires in stock. I suspect the owner is willing to cut me a deal because they're slow movers.

 I understand the comments about a spare not being necessary on this tour, but:

-- I've never booted a tire. I've read some stories. I've seen some pictures. But sometimes the first time doesn't work so well.

-- There's about a day where the route is in the middle of nowhere. Even under these circumstances, it's easy to get emergency help, but it can be $$$.

-- Since this is my first tour, I would rather be safe than sorry.

-- My weight won't be a problem. I'm not taking cooking supplies and only enough food for an emergency snack. I have a fantasy of stopping at diners and meeting cool people. Besides, if I'm serious about reducing weight, I need to start with my waist.  ;)

Offline pptouring

Re: Folding tires
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2012, 07:45:35 pm »

... I would rather be safe than sorry.


Exactly! It's never to much weight when you need it. We tend to only use foldable tires because of the weight and space savings, but everyone has their favorites. We picked up, just before our last big tour (Aug/Sep 2011), the Randonneur Cross Pro 700X35C from Vittoria and have been very pleased with them. We put these tires to the test while crossing Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria riding over some very, very rough terrain and roads (mostly Romania) and never once got a flat. We still use them during our daily commutes and overnighters here in Florida and still have not got one flat. For the price you can't beat them in my opinion.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Folding tires
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2012, 04:25:41 pm »

-- Since this is my first tour, I would rather be safe than sorry.

--
I've been touring regularly for 32 years and still always carry a spare.  I really like the folding ones for packing.  I'm the kind of guy who likes to be prepared for what can happen without carrying too much.  I've had to use the spare once for sure and maybe twice.
May the wind be at your back!