Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: Old Guy New Hobby on January 07, 2012, 05:20:57 pm

 
Title: Folding tires
Post by: Old Guy New Hobby 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).
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: whittierider 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.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: Joe B 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.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: John Nelson on January 07, 2012, 06:05:43 pm
Six of one, half-dozen of the other. It doesn't make any difference.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: staehpj1 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.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: DaveB 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
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: staehpj1 on January 08, 2012, 10:12:18 am
Yes that was a typo.  Sorry.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: dkoloko 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.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: aggie 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?
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: hem 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.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: BigPapaK 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
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: Pat Lamb 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.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: Old Guy New Hobby 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.  ;)
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: pptouring 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.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: johnsondasw 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.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: driftlessregion on January 09, 2012, 09:25:40 pm
A lot depends on how long the tour is and where it is.  I wouldn't haul a spare  if my tour was less than 2000 miles and there were any cities nearing that 2000 miles where I can buy a new tire.  I always start with new or almost new tires. Small price to pay for less aggravation later and not needing to carry a spare.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: John Nelson on January 09, 2012, 09:53:23 pm
I don't consider carrying a spare tire as insurance against wearing out a tire. You should be able to predict when your tire is going to be worn out in plenty of time to buy a new one or have one mailed to you.

Rather, I consider a spare tire as insurance against some kind of irreparable damage. Such damage might occur running over a large piece of glass or sharp metal which puts a large gash in the tire. Such damage might also occur if you have separation of the bead from the tire, perhaps due to a manufacturing defect or maybe due to poorly mounting or unmounting the tire. Either of these might not be bootable. Most smaller damages would be bootable.

Having said all that, I don't carry a spare tire. In the last 50,000 miles of riding, I've never had a tire so badly damaged that I could not get home by booting it. That's not to say it could not happen, but it is pretty low down on the list of things that could go wrong. A rim failure is probably more likely, but hardly anybody carries a spare wheel.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: whittierider on January 10, 2012, 12:07:37 am
All of the catastrophic or near-catastrophic tire problems I and my family have had were on tires that were new or nearly new, meaning there was a manufacturing defect.  For this reason, I'm not as confident in a tire until it gets through the first 250 miles without a problem.  I would want to have that many miles on a tire before starting a tour on it.  I've bought and maintained somewhere around 200 tires for myself and my family though, and we've never had a problem that could not be fixed with a boot.  That even includes a full blow-out where there was a big rip down the middle of the tread.  That one did go in the trash after that ride was over; but for smaller cuts (like ones you could stick a pencil all the way through), we've ridden tens of thousands of miles on booted tires, with no problem, and with full confidence to go 55mph on a downhill.  One of the boots we all carry is a 3" piece cut out of a worn-out but otherwise undamaged racing tire, with the beads cut off.  That's the extreme, the big one, and we've never used that one so far although I sure could have used it on the blowout I mentioned above if I had had such a boot back then.  The smaller boots are cut from Mr. Tuffy or similar tire liners.  Patching the inside of a tire is definitely not adequate, as the patch is stretchy and is intended to seal leaks, not give strength.  We just use the pressure in the tube to hold the boot in place, and we never use glue or adhesive.  It stays in place.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: paddleboy17 on January 26, 2012, 01:10:53 pm
Wow. 

I have only been in one situation that merited a boot, and I did not have one.  I have heard that you can use paper money as a boot, but I don't know anyone that has actually done that.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: Joe B on January 26, 2012, 01:40:03 pm
I have never tried the dollar bill fix , or needed to. I do carry a rolled up piece of tyvek ( cut from a 8x10 envelope) as part of my emergency repair kit.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: mcparsons on January 26, 2012, 04:12:00 pm
I've used the dollar bill trick on 2 inch blowout.  It got me 12 miles to the next town and made feel all McGuyver-like.   8)
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: DaveB on January 26, 2012, 09:29:05 pm
I've used the dollar bill trick on 2 inch blowout.  It got me 12 miles to the next town and made feel all McGuyver-like.   8)
Would a $10 bill last 120 miles? :)
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: RussSeaton on January 26, 2012, 09:38:11 pm
I always carry a spare folding tire on tours.  Always.  I've used it on two different tours.  Once the sidewall gave out.  But I was extra fortunate that time because I flatted in front of a house along the road.  The guy came out and hauled me a few miles to the local bike shop to buy a new tire.  Germany, Austria, or Switzerland, I forget which.  Another time the bead would not stay hooked on the rim.  Blew off twice before I figured out it was not holding.  No idea why the tire bead would not stay hooked, but I put on the spare and no more problem.  Tire worked OK for 1000+ miles but would not work the final 50 miles.  Last day of the trip so no need to buy a new tire.  My spare touring tire is kevlar bead.  Michelin HiLite Tour 700x35.  Bought two decades ago.

The touring bike always has wire bead tires on it.  They are easier to find in wide sizes.  Cheaper.  And usually come in thick tread models.  Kevlar beads seem to be reserved for thinner, lighter tread tires.  Look at the tires on hybride type bikes.  Thick and wide tires.  And wire beads.  Good for touring.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: indyfabz on January 28, 2012, 11:14:03 am
I've used the dollar bill trick on 2 inch blowout.  It got me 12 miles to the next town and made feel all McGuyver-like.   8)
Would a $10 bill last 120 miles? :)

I have booted tires for myself and for others using bills. It has worked well. Once all I had was a $20.  That's why I always try to carry at last one $1 bill on rides.  PowerBar wrappers supposedly work well, too.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: RussSeaton on January 28, 2012, 12:40:06 pm
PowerBar wrappers supposedly work well, too.

I've heard that too.  I suspect Gu packets would work also.  Just eat the Gu first.  Then use the empty packet.  Be cautious of the sharp packet edges.  They will eventually cut the inner tube.  Takes awhile.  I ride with Gu packets usually, not PowerBar type bars.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: Old Guy New Hobby on January 29, 2012, 10:12:46 am
I usually carry a small roll of duct tape. It's versatile, small, and light. Could this be another use? Maybe one could fold it over on itself, sticky sides together, and use that as a boot.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: RussSeaton on January 29, 2012, 04:13:20 pm
I usually carry a small roll of duct tape. It's versatile, small, and light. Could this be another use? Maybe one could fold it over on itself, sticky sides together, and use that as a boot.

Yes it could work as a tire boot.  But maybe not its best use.  Duct tape has fibers in it that form a grain.  The high tire pressure could separate these grains if used as a boot.  PowerBar wrappers, Tyvek envelopes, dollar bills, don't have any grain to get separated by the air pressure.  Duct tape may work OK at 30-40 psi.  60-70 psi, maybe fail.  So....
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: Old Guy New Hobby on January 30, 2012, 07:59:18 pm
Russ -- that's a really great point. Thanks.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: johnsondasw on January 31, 2012, 07:54:43 pm
I've used the dollar bill trick on 2 inch blowout.  It got me 12 miles to the next town and made feel all McGuyver-like.   8)
Would a $10 bill last 120 miles? :)
Good one! that's one of my favorite posts here ever!
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: pacneil on February 12, 2012, 02:06:00 am
I no longer use anything but folding tires. True they are more expensive. So what? The set of Schwalbe Marathon Supremes I have are now on their third year, with something like 6-8,000 miles on them. I don't need tools to change a folding tire. I don't have to fight that #@*& wire bead when I have to fix a flat, I can easily change them with my bare hands. They are lighter than the equivalent non-folding tire. They are more supple than the equivalent non-folding tire, which means less rolling resistance. I'll never go back to you non-folding tires.

YMMV
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: johnsondasw on February 12, 2012, 11:07:11 am
Pacneil, thanks for summarizing the good reasons I also use only folding tires. And, so easy to pack.  You can even carry one in a jersey pocket if you want, and are super easy to pack in panniers or a trailer.
Title: Re: Folding tires
Post by: PeteJack on February 18, 2012, 10:59:30 am
I'm one of those who has given up on carrying a spare. I carry a Park Tool (http://www.parktool.com/product/emergency-tire-boot-tb-2) tire boot. They have an adhesive surface presumably so you don't have to worry about it sliding off the hole. The only time I ever used one was on a club ride when another rider with super light 23 tires had a blow out. It got him home about 10 miles. You may find you have to ride with slightly lower tire pressure to avoid feeling a bump but most of us tourists aren't riding on 120 psi so that's probably not an issue