Author Topic: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route  (Read 573 times)

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Offline Symmachus

Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« on: January 18, 2019, 02:30:55 pm »
Hi folks!
I’m gearing up for a cross-country shot this spring, via the classic middle TransAmerica route. I’ve done a lot of long tours but never the whole shebang. I’ve heard Schwalbe Marathon Plus are a good standard, tough as nails tire. I’m going self-contained, fully pannier-packed. What tire width do you suggest, that takes into consideration changing conditions across the country? Thanks:)

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2019, 02:40:33 pm »
You're probably going to get a lot of different answers, but my take:
Go with the widest tire you possibly can.

Schwalbe Marathon Plus will be a good choice in the way of durability and flat protection.

Offline Symmachus

Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2019, 03:19:43 pm »
I’ve had success with 32’s on the C&O and GAP trails and currently have brand new 35 width Schwalbe Marathons but I initially thought that might be overkill on roads? On further reflection, I suppose a little more width over the long haul helps with comfort and durability and opposed to losing a smidgen of speed. Sound right to you? I appreciate your input:)


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Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2019, 03:28:28 pm »
I’ve had success with 32’s on the C&O and GAP trails and currently have brand new 35 width Schwalbe Marathons but I initially thought that might be overkill on roads? On further reflection, I suppose a little more width over the long haul helps with comfort and durability and opposed to losing a smidgen of speed. Sound right to you? I appreciate your input:)

Yep! I couldn't feel any speed lost. Anyways, it's touring, not racing.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2019, 03:56:59 pm »
I swear by the 37c Conti Top Contact II. (The II part is the key. The regular Top Contact is not as good. I ride them fully loaded on and off road, including on some rough, hilly/mountainous, unpaved roads. Note that they are marked as 35c, but the true size is 37c. They also make a 42c and 47c.

https://www.biketiresdirect.com/product/continental-top-contact-ii-700c-tire

Offline Symmachus

Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2019, 04:05:20 pm »
Thanks, Can’t lose with Conti’s! I run a pair of Hardshells on my Soma Saga and nary a problem.


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Offline John Nettles

Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2019, 04:40:45 pm »
Since you are on pavement 99.9% of the time on the TA, 30mm to 37mm are fine.  30mm if less than 20# of gear, 37# if you are carrying the kitchen sink.  32 or 35 is a good middle of the road.  I would say the vast majority use either with maybe 40/60 split in favor of 35mm.

Marathon Plus are pretty durable as far as flats go but they are SLOW (more energy for same speed).  I guess due the rubber compound and/or tread design.  The Shwalbe Supreme is a wonderful touring tire.  It is are not quite as flat resistant but is much faster and responsive.  Both require you give up your first born in payment but I think the Pluses may only need indentured slavery for a few years.

Hope you have a wonderful experience!  Tailwinds, John

Offline John Nelson

Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2019, 06:06:28 pm »
My vote would be for 35mm. Choose the Marathon Plus if flat resistance is your number one criteria. Choose the Marathon Supreme or the folding version of the Marathon Mondial if you prefer a faster, more responsive tire at the expense of a little less flat resistance.

Offline Symmachus

Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2019, 11:22:20 pm »
Adventure Pdx, both John’s, Bbabe and everyone else, thanks so much for your input and I’ll go with your recommendations. It’s great to have bikin gurus to lay out the path to success. 

Offline BikePacker

Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2019, 11:32:35 pm »
What tire width do you suggest, that takes into consideration changing conditions across the country? Thanks:)
For me 1.8 to 1.9 inch width has worked optimally.

Offline Inge

Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2019, 01:54:15 am »
I would go for even wider tyres - 50mm - if the bike can handle that. I like the extra comfort it gives. It does not slow you down in speed. If I had to do this trip I would put Almotions on the bike - nice, comfy but sturdy enough tire. Would not go for Marathons for they are "slow" tires - would only use them if I would be cycling way out in the sticks.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2019, 11:20:01 am »
If I had to do this trip I would put Almotions on the bike - nice, comfy but sturdy enough tire. Would not go for Marathons for they are "slow" tires - would only use them if I would be cycling way out in the sticks.
I’m a bit confused by this comment because the Almotion is a Marathon.

Offline TCS

Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2019, 01:36:44 pm »
https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/tour-reviews

Hard to beat the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme:  low rolling resistance & weight, thick tread, 5/5 flat resistance.  37s if they'll fit.
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline Symmachus

Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2019, 01:43:44 pm »
Thanks INGE and TCS. I’ve settled with Marathon Plus in 35c  I’ll let y’all know how they do on the long haul.


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Offline Inge

Re: Best tire width for TransAmerica (middle) route
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2019, 03:04:05 am »
When I think of Marathon tyres I think of the plus or plus tour ones.