Author Topic: Best tires for touring the US  (Read 1962 times)

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Offline brhoward

Best tires for touring the US
« on: December 18, 2018, 12:42:12 pm »
I'm riding long-distance routes across and up and down the US on a trike. My past experiences have been catastrophic tire failure when a flat occurs. I feel that I need to carry spares (foldables) with me to at least get to the next LBS. I've thought about liners, thorn-proof tires for the goatheads, etc. I run 24" tires on the front and a 28' on the rear.  Schwalbe marathons seem to be my best solution to date, although the marathon plus is not foldable and I would have to limp to the next town, bikeshop to locate a replacement. How have other long-distance riders coped with the spare tire issue?

Offline aggie

Re: Best tires for touring the US
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2018, 01:27:29 pm »
I've only had 1 tire failure where the sidewall blew out and that was able to be temporarily fixed with a dollar bill until the next town with a LBS.  I've gotten a few flats so I carry a few spare tubes and a repair kit along with a bike pump.  A leatherman type tool is handy to pull out thorns or wires embedded in the tire.  I've found a spare tire just adds unnecessary weight for me.   I currently run Specialized Armadillos on my  touring bike and have yet to have a flat.  I also like Marathons but couldn't them in in the size I wanted.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 01:31:05 pm by aggie »

Offline brhoward

Re: Best tires for touring the US
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2018, 01:33:41 pm »
Thats my problem as well. Finding a 24" tire for the fronts.

Offline aggie

Re: Best tires for touring the US
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2018, 01:42:24 pm »
On one web site I found a 24 in Kenda tire.  If I couldn't find a more thorn resistant tire I most likely use a liner and feather the end to prevent a bump when riding.  I did find several tires on Amazon.com that might work.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 01:45:44 pm by aggie »

Offline John Nettles

Re: Best tires for touring the US
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2018, 01:45:31 pm »
How often do you experience more than 1 tire destroyed at a time?  I am assuming you are not riding the tires until the threads are showing and then you ride on gravel.  I am also assuming by catastrophic you mean you have no way to repair the tire, i.e. use the dollar bill as Aggie suggests (I have done that too and continued for an additional 1,400 miles), wrap duct tape around it , etc.  I have never, in 40 years of touring, experienced a catastrophic tire failure (unable to use anymore), so I am a little at a loss in that experience.  Probably just jinx it now.

Honestly, I would like to know how/why you are getting more than 1 tire failure, again you are not riding on sharp gravel frequently.  Did you hit a massive hole?  The tire itself was a piece of junk?  A blowout?  Was it on the sidewall, the tread, etc.?

Anyway, if you have never had more than 1 at a time, I would probably just carry one spare tire AND also know the source of where I can call have have another 24" tire shipped to me.  This could be a friend, shop, Amazon, etc.

My thinking is say you only get 1 failure at a time.  Say it takes a week to ship the 4th tire to you (remember, start with two on the trike and one spare).  What are the chances you will have another tire failure within the week you are do not have a spare with you?

Offline brhoward

Re: Best tires for touring the US
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2018, 02:28:34 pm »
It's been 1 at a time so no, I don't need to carry multiples of the same size. I do like the Schwalbe Big Apples for riding comfort. But again, they are wire bead. Failures are usually from glass on higher-pressure road tires. Maybe with the lower pressure on the trikes I'll be fine?

Offline John Nettles

Re: Best tires for touring the US
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2018, 02:52:22 pm »
My wife prefers the skinny high pressure tires on her trike.  Also, there are plenty of videos that show how to fold a wire bead 700c tire so it is about a 12" circle without damaging it so don't feel you can't carry a wire tire.  They are typically just heavier.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Best tires for touring the US
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2018, 09:59:02 pm »
I managed to take a wire bead tire (700C, FWIW) folded in thirds as John suggests, and then squeeze it in the middle so it was mostly linear, maybe 15" long, with loops at both ends.  I had a catastrophic failure, and the replacement worked OK after that folding regime.

Offline BikePacker

Re: Best tires for touring the US
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2019, 11:42:10 pm »
How have other long-distance riders coped with the spare tire issue?
I gave up not carrying one and now just always take one. 
Don't like toting the spare but it is so potentially show stopping to lose a tire that I just find it easier to carry one along.

Offline zerodish

Re: Best tires for touring the US
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2019, 07:38:03 pm »
After more than 100000 miles I have found that tires wider than 38mm always fail at the side wall and tires narrower than 38mm fail from glass cuts through the tread. So 38mm tires are the longest lasting. Walmart Kmart Target and Academy all carry Bell Sports and a few other brands that are all made by the same company that have Kevlar belts fold and are sold folded though the bead is actually steel.  These tires are OK if you have the room for them in your frame.

Offline CorneK

Re: Best tires for touring the US
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2019, 02:56:54 am »
How have other long-distance riders coped with the spare tire issue?
I gave up not carrying one and now just always take one. 
Don't like toting the spare but it is so potentially show stopping to lose a tire that I just find it easier to carry one along.
I agree, not having a spare tire is just too risky for me. I have the Schwalbe foldable tires and one is always at the bottom of my panniers.
Buying spares on route is usually a disappointing experience quality wise.

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Offline BikePacker

Re: Best tires for touring the US
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2019, 08:43:05 am »
Quote from CorneK:
"Buying spares on route is usually a disappointing experience quality* wise."

I was surprised at how hard it can be sometimes to even find somewhere that sells any bike tires.
I suppose that common sense should have told me otherwise but then how much of that do I have - in order to stay on topic I will make that a different post at another time.
Back to Topic ... one time I went into a hardware dealer who said he had no just even good-ole-really-boring-basic 26xAnything>1.5.
Resultingly pondering my rather sobering options ....
I noticed he had a 'kid's' kinda bike hanging in his store street front shopping window that had 26xSomethings on it.
With that in mind, I inquired with him if I could compensate him an even unreasonable amount of money for just one of the tires on the show-window bike.
He said he'd wouldn't want to but he'd have to charge me at least $40 for the trouble. 
Replied that I would gladly pay the $40 (otherwise, the next closest town that might have the tire size [not even thinking *quality :- ) at this point] was 50+ miles).
As a result of being blessed with that show window tire ... the tour 'lived happily on for ever and ever.' 
I never want to have that close of a call due to a tire failure ever again .... it would have probably brought my tour to an end due to time constraints.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 08:08:04 pm by BikePacker »