Author Topic: New Rider who needs advice on tires  (Read 5072 times)

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Offline sesame.ck

New Rider who needs advice on tires
« on: February 18, 2015, 02:43:20 pm »
Hey folks,
First time posting here and I would like some advice on getting my current bike ready for entry level overnights. Right now, as a young student I have limited funds and what I did have  for money was spent on a Trek Lexa last year which I will not be touring on. So I have a 2005 Giant as my entry bike, but it needs new tires. Right now it has speed bike tires. Super doper skinny! What would be recommended as a good tire to switch to for touring? And is there a need to change spokes as well?

Thank you for reading and I look forward to learning!
_sesame
« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 06:53:48 pm by sesame.ck »

Offline officerdare

Re: New Rider who needs advice on tires
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2015, 05:07:09 pm »
For touring I would strongly recommend the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires.  Pretty much flat proof, great durability.   Used them on a DF, and my recumbents. 
Saepius Exertus, Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas, Fortitudine Vincimus
Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever, By Endurance We Conquer

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: New Rider who needs advice on tires
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 06:04:25 pm »
Need a bit more info from the OP: which model Giant, and how big a tire can the bike take?  Giant is like Ford; do you have a Mustang or a pickup truck?  Skinny tires may mean the bike is designed for nothing bigger than 700Cx23 tires.  I prefer 32s for touring, but I might settle for a 28.  Head down to your local bike shop (LBS) and see just how fat you can go.  They'll likely have some 'cross tires in the 28 to 32 range you can use for sizing.  If you're going to be riding mostly on roads, you'll want smooth tires instead of the knobby 'cross tires.  A good LBS can order some for you.

Check out previous threads on specific models.  The Marathon I used lasted way too long, since I'm too cheap to toss a tire with tread life left just because it rides like a loaded pickup truck in heavy mud.  IMHO, Continental Gatorskins, Specialized Armadillo Nimbus, and Panaracer Paselas are all pretty reasonable compromises between ride feel and tread wear/flat resistance.

The good news is, you shouldn't need to change spokes (unless you've been breaking them).  How many spokes does each wheel of your Giant have?

Offline sesame.ck

Re: New Rider who needs advice on tires
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 06:38:15 pm »
I have a 2005 Giant FCR4 that I bought used back in 2010. It has 32 spokes, and it takes 700 x 28c tires.
Here is a link to the bike in question:
http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/BikeSpecs.aspx?year=2005&brand=Giant&model=FCR+4

I won't be doing any long distance rides. Only some overnight trips. I live in Michigan :) (wishing one day to do the USBR into the UP)

Until then, for someone like myself who is young, frugal, just getting into the game and wanting to have a practice bike, what changes would you recommend for this model or is it a hopeless case?

thank you!
-Sesame

Offline staehpj1

Re: New Rider who needs advice on tires
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 07:41:54 pm »
For touring I would strongly recommend the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires.

I'd only agree if avoiding flats at all costs trumps everything else.  If you care about weight at all or ride feel I'd pass on the Marathon Plus.  We are not talking a little bit heavier or a little stiffer sidewall.  The Plus weighs more than twice as much as many other suitable touring tires and the sidewalls are super stiff.  Supple sidewalls have less rolling resistance and a better ride.

Personally I like Continental Gatorskins pretty well.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: New Rider who needs advice on tires
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2015, 08:20:58 pm »
I have a 2005 Giant FCR4 that I bought used back in 2010. It has 32 spokes, and it takes 700 x 28c tires.

Until then, for someone like myself who is young, frugal, just getting into the game and wanting to have a practice bike, what changes would you recommend for this model or is it a hopeless case?

That looks like a good bike for short (overnight) tours.  The next question is what do you plan to take -- tent or tarp, sleeping bag, stove and cooking gear?  Or a change of clothes and a debit/credit card?  For the latter case, you might get by with a large saddle bag, if you stay at hostels/motels and eat at convenience stores, diners, or restaurants.  If you're going to camp overnight, you'll probably want to get a cheap rack (something like http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_120260_-1___204811), attached with a couple of P-clamps from your local hardware store if the bike lacks eyelets for racks.  You can add some panniers, or pack everything in some reusable grocery bags and lash them on.

If you don't already have them, get some water bottles and holders to mount on the bike.  Even a 40 mile ride can be tough in the summer if you don't have water with you.

Have fun!

Offline RussSeaton

Re: New Rider who needs advice on tires
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2015, 10:00:41 pm »
Giant hybrid bike you linked to.  Looks OK for touring rides.  Especially short ones.  Probably OK for longer ones to if you figure out a way to carry bags.  Frame looks like it can accept a rear rack.  Has holes/braze-ons for the rack.  Front fork even looks like it will accept low-rider rack.  Good.

Original tires were 28mm, maybe want a bit wider for loaded tours or even local tours.  The bike will likely accept up to 32mm tires.  Most likely.  I'd suggest ordering some tires from Nashbar and installing them yourself.  Order some 28, 30, and 32mm tires.  Keep the widest that fit.  Look for smooth road tires that say they are "touring" or "hybrid" tires.  Any will be fine.

If it is hilly in your area, you may want lower gearing on the bike.  Probably easiest to take the bike to a bike shop and pay them to change the inner chainring on the triple crankset.  Probably/certainly accepts a 74mm bolt circle diameter inner chainring that can go down to 24 teeth.  Chainrings of 52-42-24 and an 8 speed cassette of 12-26 will give you low enough gears.  Should be pretty cheap to do this 24 teeth inner chainring change.  $20 for the part and $20-30 for the labor.

Offline PeteJack

Re: New Rider who needs advice on tires
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2015, 10:18:20 pm »
You're young you say. Well get out there and do it with whatever you've got. You can find a way to strap gear to your bike. It won't be purdy but who gives a s***, it's your trip not anybody else's. You don't need fancy tires, as Sta... etc has noted, M+'s weigh a ton and ride like you are going through sand. I've mentioned this before but I'll say it again. I met a man in Virginia on a Schwinn he'd found at the side of the road in LA! He was dumpster diving for food. His weather gear was a garbage bag with three holes in it. His front tire had a bulge in it and when I pointed it out he said it had been like that for a month. So, as they say in Liverpool, on yer bike.

Offline sesame.ck

Re: New Rider who needs advice on tires
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2015, 10:59:43 pm »
Ha thanks Pete Jack! That was awesome and very encouraging. My bike already has a rear rack attached for panniers. :) I do have to swap the tires because the current ones are not suitable for long distance or any type of terrain beside smooth pavement. (I've popped the front one a couple years back.)
Thank you everyone for your suggestions, advice and comments.
I'm excited to begin my adventures in Michigan once this snow calms down! 7 degrees out today.  :D

Offline John Nelson

Re: New Rider who needs advice on tires
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2015, 09:45:24 am »
Giant is like Ford; do you have a Mustang or a pickup truck?
...
The Marathon I used ... rides like a loaded pickup truck in heavy mud.
"Marathon" is like Ford too. Schwalbe makes a dozen different kinds of Marathon tires with wildly different characteristics.

Offline mathieu

Re: New Rider who needs advice on tires
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2015, 12:14:02 pm »
Instead of the Schwalbe Marathon Plus, I would go for the the Schwalbe Marathon Racer. Take 700x30c if your bike can handle it. It is 395 gram per tire  instead of 750 gram. You feel this difference when you are speeding up. Don't be afraid of an occasional flat. It usually happens only every 1000 miles or so, unless you enjoy riding on interstate shoulders full of glass and steel debris.

Offline Huli

Re: New Rider who needs advice on tires
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2015, 08:37:42 am »
If you are still looking for tires.  I have had great luck with continental touring plus on my daily grinder.  They were pretty cheap with wire bead and I have almost worn them bald without a single puncture.

Side note, my touring rig runs Schwalbe marathons.
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