Author Topic: Why are most of the tires wire bead?  (Read 1551 times)

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Offline mamachala

Why are most of the tires wire bead?
« on: December 01, 2013, 01:04:33 pm »
I'm a newbie to touring and am outfitting a bike for some spring time touring. Almost all the tires I look at are wire bead. I would like folding so I can pack them for a trip. I am looking for 700c x 32 at a reasonable cost around $40. Am I looking in the wrong places too cheap or what?

Thanks

Jack

Offline mbattisti

Re: Why are most of the tires wire bead?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2013, 02:20:11 pm »
No need to limit yourself to folding tires on a tour.  There is a simple way to coil your favorite wire-bead tire into thirds, making it small enough to carry in a pannier.  Check out Sheldon Brown's how-to video at http://sheldonbrown.com/video/tire-folding.html

Offline DanE

Re: Why are most of the tires wire bead?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2013, 04:31:05 pm »
Most people are not concerned about saving a few grams that a folding tire offers and use the wire beaded tires on their touring bicycles. I think that you should be able to find the Panaracer Pasela folding tire in your price range. The Vittoria Randenneur Pro is also a folding tire but I believe it might cost a bit more than that. If you only want one for packing and plan to only use it as a true emergency, and you want to be really cheap, look at the tires in Wal-mart. The ones near me carry appropriate sized 700C tires for touring with folding beads for less than $20. No statements of quality coming from me now but I bet they would get you to the next real bicycle shop.

Offline DaveB

Re: Why are most of the tires wire bead?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2013, 06:43:10 pm »
If you are looking at the low price end of the tire spectrum then, yes, most will have wire beads.  For a bit more cost, there are lots of folding tires in touring (700-25 and above) sizes.  As noted, the Vittoria Randenneur Pro is a folding tire available in 700-32 and above and here is a source for $26 each which is the best I've ever seen:

http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/road-track-bike/vittoria-vittoria-tyres-road-tri-track-folding-vittoria-randonneur-pro-folding-tyre/vitttyrf900

I've dealt with Ribble in the UK in the past and they are a highly reliable dealer.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Why are most of the tires wire bead?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2013, 08:46:42 pm »
I think you're looking in the wrong places. Almost all of the tires I look at are folding. I haven't bought a wire bead tire in twenty years.

If you're planning a week-long tour, then almost any tire will do. But if you're planning a trip in the thousands of miles, then I suggest you set your price point higher. I get 3000 miles out of a $40 tire, but I get 8000 miles out of a $70 tire. It's not only more economical per mile to buy the more expensive tire, but the more expensive tire gets almost no flats.

Offline mamachala

Re: Why are most of the tires wire bead?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2013, 07:53:24 am »
Thanks for the feedback folks, there is hope. I was finding mostly Schwalbe tires which were wire bead. The Vittoria are a nice looking tire. I'm just starting so I'm only going weekends or maybe a week at a time.

I forgot about the british connection, I've bought some stuff there before.

Mr Nelson, I'm just curious what tires you use for just for reference.

Again thanks for the help.

Jack

Offline staehpj1

Re: Why are most of the tires wire bead?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2013, 07:57:39 am »
I tend to prefer folding beads for their lighter weight, but as has been pointed out wire beads are easy enough to carry if you use the three ring fold trick.  On the other hand, I'd say that carrying a spare is unnecessary unless you will be touring somewhere really remote.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Why are most of the tires wire bead?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2013, 09:55:49 am »
Mr Nelson, I'm just curious what tires you use for just for reference.
I was referring to the Vredestein Volante TriComp as my $40/3000-mile tire (actually, it's MSRP of $50 and often on sale for $30), and the Schwalbe Marathon XR (no longer made) as my $70/8000-mile tire.


I'd say that carrying a spare is unnecessary unless you will be touring somewhere really remote.
I did the entire TransAm starting out with relatively new Schwalbe Marathon XR tires, did not carry a spare, and had no problems (I didn't even have a single flat in 4600 miles). I started out the Northern Tier with the same set of worn XR tires, this time I did carry a spare, and I needed it as both XRs failed along the way (as I expected them too). So I agree that if you start out with a new tire that will most likely go the distance you have in mind, you don't need to carry a spare. But I've read about enough problems due to bead separation or hitting a large piece of sharp metal that carrying a spare is not that bad of an idea anyway. I carried one spare and when I had to use that one, I had my spare spare at home mailed to me.

Most of the time, folding tires are only marginally more expensive than wire bead. The one (very misleading) exception is the Marathon Mondial (Schwalbe's replacement for the XR), in which the folding tire is twice the cost of the wire bead, but that's not because of the wire bead--it's because the folding version is a completely different tire than the wire bead version, sharing a name and nothing else.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Why are most of the tires wire bead?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2013, 10:23:10 am »
Lately I have not started my tours with new tires.  I don't typically run them all the way to failure though.  As far as catastrophic failure...  I figure that is pretty rare and I am seldom more than a hour of hitch hiking from somewhere that I can get a tire, even if it might have to be a Walmart tire.

Offline TokyoNose

Re: Why are most of the tires wire bead?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2013, 12:36:56 pm »
Three other tires that have not been mentioned and are worth considering:

Panaracer Pasela TG
Panaracer (Pasela) T-Serve
Vittoria Voyager Hyper (formerly known as the Randonneur Hyper)

The Vittorias might be outside of your budget window and are more difficult to find than the Panaracers.  I would also hesitate to use any of these tires for a heavily-loaded, multi-week tour, as the sidewalls and tread compound are probably not as durable as some of the more heavy-duty offerings from Schwalbe and Continental.  For a shorter, less remote tour on a bike not loaded with the gear required to get you across the continent and beyond, though, they would, IMHO, be the preferred option.  They will have less rotational inertia, roll slightly faster, and offer a more comfortable ride.

FWIW, here is a thought based upon my experience:  I doubt that I could tell much of a difference between a $50 and a $100 derailleur, but between a $25 and a $50 tire?  Almost certainly.  It is really worth spending the money to get the tires best suited to your needs. 

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Why are most of the tires wire bead?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2013, 02:11:29 pm »
I'll typically run wire beads on my tires because they're good enough, but I've started carrying a folding tire as a spare.  It's worked; I had to use my wire bead spares (trifold then squeezed down), but I've never had to use the folding spare.  If I did use the spare, I'd probably swap it for a wire bead spare and return the folding tire to spare status at the next bike shop.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2013, 02:57:21 pm by pdlamb »