Author Topic: Is it worth changing tires?  (Read 3080 times)

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Offline cheesehawk

Is it worth changing tires?
« on: November 30, 2010, 10:57:38 pm »
I bought a used Surly LHT. It came with Bontraeger H2 tires, size 26x1.5". I'm at least 4 mph slower on my standard Sunday morning course v. my steel-framed LeMond with Conti Gatorskins 700x23. While I expected the LHT to be slower, I guess I feel like these H2s just do not roll well. I have not typically ridden mountain bikes or 26" wheels, so maybe it's all in my head. Is it worth it to step up to something lighter and allegedly better rolling like the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 26x1.6 folding, or will I likely just be disappointed? I read one post where the writer warned against using a folding tire for loaded touring, is this the main stream opinion or one person's unfortunate anecdote?

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Is it worth changing tires?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2010, 11:42:59 pm »
I've used folding kevlar bead tires on tours and they worked just fine.  The spare tire I carry is of course folding.  Wire bead tires are usually cheaper so its best to start the tour with wire bead tires.  Kevlar beads can sometimes be harder to mount than wire.

The Continental Gatorskin tires come in 26" x 28mm.  So you could easily do a comparison between your bikes.  The Bontrager H2 tires may just be slow tires and another tire would be comparable to your 23mm road tires.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Is it worth changing tires?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2010, 07:41:30 am »
Personally I'd just replace them when they wear out unless they are pretty bad.  That said I did yank a set of Marathon Pluses after a few hundred miles because the ride was so dead feeling and the weight so high.   I guess it boils down to how bad they are.

BTW I do really like Gatorskins, but have not tried the H2 or the Marathon Supreme.

Offline rvklassen

Re: Is it worth changing tires?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2010, 08:45:10 am »
I've used folding kevlar bead tires on tours and they worked just fine.  The spare tire I carry is of course folding.  Wire bead tires are usually cheaper so its best to start the tour with wire bead tires.  Kevlar beads can sometimes be harder to mount than wire.
All the hardest to mount tires I've mounted in the last few years were wire bead.  All the easiest were Kevlar.  You do have to be careful to keep the tire on the rim while inflating it, but you don't get the blisters from trying to mount !*@#&# tires that are too tight for the rims.   Just my experience with several Continental, Schwalbe and Specialized tires in the last few years.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Is it worth changing tires?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2010, 09:25:04 pm »
Comparing an LHT with touring tires to your lightweight road bike?  Like comparing a pickup truck to a sports car, maybe!

If you're intent on turning the LHT into a sporty ride, it may be worth changing tires to something light (and flat-prone).  It won't feel like the Lemon, but it's a step in that direction.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Is it worth changing tires?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2010, 12:38:55 am »
Comparing an LHT with touring tires to your lightweight road bike?  Like comparing a pickup truck to a sports car, maybe!

If you're intent on turning the LHT into a sporty ride, it may be worth changing tires to something light (and flat-prone).  It won't feel like the Lemon, but it's a step in that direction.

The LHT is supposed ride like a panel truck.  If you hop it up, it won't function as a touring bike.  If you are looking to turn your LHT into a more upright ride suitable for weekly club outings, then hop up the wheels too.  Get one of those Mavic radial laced wheel sets for rider that weigh less than 160 LBS.  Your LHT will be zippier, but you won't even be able to credit card tour on it.  You probably won't be able to ride dirt roads either.
Danno

Offline cheesehawk

Re: Is it worth changing tires?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2010, 09:21:19 pm »
Comparing an LHT with touring tires to your lightweight road bike?  Like comparing a pickup truck to a sports car, maybe!

If you're intent on turning the LHT into a sporty ride, it may be worth changing tires to something light (and flat-prone).  It won't feel like the Lemon, but it's a step in that direction.

Don't let the name fool you too much. It's a 7-year-old bottom of the line $500 Le Mond complete with a triple crankset. It's not particularly light, and not even as light as the bikes I had when I was racing 20 years ago. And yeah, the LHT is heavier, but in the grand scheme of things the difference in bike weights is pretty small once you add in the rider weight. So that does lead me to think about the tires. I put the relative times in there so people could either say, "yeah, that does sound a bit off," or, in your case, "yeah, what did you expect?"

The H2's with the triple-ply protection come in at well over 700 grams, compared to the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes (presumably not flat prone) at a hair over 400 grams for the closest size. Of course other things factor into rolling resistance besides weight. But the bottom line is that the SMS's combination of weight and flat protection costs about $80 a tire. For that kind of money, I thought I'd solicit a few opinions.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 09:55:11 pm by cheesehawk »

Offline cheesehawk

Re: Is it worth changing tires?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2010, 09:52:19 pm »
Personally I'd just replace them when they wear out unless they are pretty bad.  That said I did yank a set of Marathon Pluses after a few hundred miles because the ride was so dead feeling and the weight so high.   I guess it boils down to how bad they are.

BTW I do really like Gatorskins, but have not tried the H2 or the Marathon Supreme.

I'm ambivalent about the Gatorskins right now. I put them on last summer before a 1-week supported tour and during the tour and the next month I went through about 5 flats. Got the problem solved when a magnet pointed me to something that looked like metal shavings. Bad luck I guess. The Bontraeger's may be bullet proof but they are they are heavy (740g for a 1.5" v. 410g for a 1.6" Marathon Supreme v. 610 g for a 1.75" Conti Travel Contact) and I don't feel like they roll well, but again, that may be a perception problem on my part.

Offline jfitch

Re: Is it worth changing tires?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2010, 10:12:03 pm »
FWIW, I've been running Schwalbe Marathon Racers on my LHT since May. I've put on just over 3,000 miles in that time, about 1,750 of them fully loaded, with only 1 flat, from a Michelin wire. The Racers are the tire in the Marathon line that Schwalbe rates the best for speed. They feel significantly livelier than the XR's they replaced. I'd have no hesitation getting more Racers in the future.