Author Topic: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?  (Read 15249 times)

nereo

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what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« on: April 30, 2016, 05:01:32 PM »
I'll be replacing my commuter bike tires soon.  I want something with a medium thickness (700 x 30 or 32) but as durable as possible for riding on surface streets and packed gravel paths (slicks - no knobby tires).
I'm finding a dozen+ options out there and I have no idea which one(s) are better than the others.

Thoughts/ideas?


davisgang90

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2016, 06:02:40 PM »
I've been rolling on Continental Gatorskins for a couple years, they are great!!  No flats!

McStache

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2016, 07:07:26 PM »
I've had the Specialized Armadillo tires on my bike for years and never had a flat

TooManyGuitars

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2016, 07:15:21 PM »
Continental gator skins or schwalbe duranos. 

sol

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2016, 07:17:33 PM »
Gatorskins have a good rep but are kind of spendy.  The Panaracer Ribmo's are typically about $10 cheaper per tire, and are basically the same thing (kevlar belted puncture proof, but slightly heavier than other tires).  I've been riding them for the past 8 years, and have had exactly one flat.  And it was due to a badly overworn tire, not a puncture.

HenryDavid

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2016, 07:03:05 AM »
Schwalbe marathon.
Watch for sales.

nereo

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2016, 10:09:35 AM »
thanks all for the recommendations - seems gatorskins are popular but a bit pricy.  Schwalbe Marathon/Duranos too, plus a vote for Specialized Armadillo and Panaracer Ribmo. 
I'll put out some price alerts and see if i can score one of these on a deal.  I haven't had to replace the tires in so many years I was a bit bummed to find most seem to be selling for $30-45 each online, and both of mine are in need of replacement.  I know I'm just being a cheap bastard but I keep finding entire bikes on craigslist for about what it costs to buy two decent tires.  Well... buy now and ride happy for the next 5+ years.

JJ-

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2016, 07:39:22 PM »
Gatorskins or marathons... Yes, they're somewhat spendy as others have mentioned, but no flats...

Gatorskins have a good rep but are kind of spendy.  The Panaracer Ribmo's are typically about $10 cheaper per tire, and are basically the same thing (kevlar belted puncture proof, but slightly heavier than other tires).  I've been riding them for the past 8 years, and have had exactly one flat.  And it was due to a badly overworn tire, not a puncture.

I'll have to look into these.

Financial Ascensionist

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2016, 09:19:18 PM »
I put Mr Tuffy's tire liners on all my bikes and it has been very effective avoiding flats so far.  With these, any tire becomes very resistant and I usually go for any cheap Continental or Schwalbe that I can lay my hands on.

hollis

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2016, 09:57:57 PM »

Bontrager aw1 hard-case (don't get hard-case lite)

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/equipment/cycling-components/bike-tires-tubes/bontrager-aw1-hard-case-road-tire/p/11024

It's a tough tire.  Retails for $45.   Many of the other tires mentioned are geat too

dragoncar

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2016, 09:59:43 PM »

Bontrager aw1 hard-case (don't get hard-case lite)

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/equipment/cycling-components/bike-tires-tubes/bontrager-aw1-hard-case-road-tire/p/11024

It's a tough tire.  Retails for $45.   Many of the other tires mentioned are geat too

What's wrong w/ hard-case lite?  I think that's what I have and it's held up nicely.

hollis

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2016, 10:21:57 PM »
Oh the hard case lite don't seem nearly as bulletproof as the the hard case (non-lite).  They work fine but if you want extra puncture resistance pay the extra $15.

I work at a bike shop so I handle these tires every day. 

Reynolds531

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2016, 07:03:57 AM »
Is it just me or has the build quality of tires dropped dramatically over the years? I've got a pair of continental cross country MTB tires from the nineties. Badly worn and dry but still soldiering on.

Seems like whatever I buy now, the sidewalls start to go pretty quickly.

patrat

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2016, 07:08:48 AM »
Frugal? Ask the bike shops if they have lightly used takeoffs in the size and tread you want for cheap. When folks upgrade the tire that came on their bike a month later, the original ones go somewhere.

acroy

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2016, 07:21:33 AM »
Schwalbe marathon.
Watch for sales.

^^^ this. The Schwalbes are without peer. 'My humble opinion' is based on 15yrs of commuting 15miles a day across a non-bike-friendly town, on shoulders with gravel, glass, construction debris, etc. I've tried them all, and always return to Schwalbe. In the long run, they are actually the cheapest too, since they last so long. 7,500 miles on the last set!

nereo

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2016, 07:55:01 AM »
Is it just me or has the build quality of tires dropped dramatically over the years? I've got a pair of continental cross country MTB tires from the nineties. Badly worn and dry but still soldiering on.

Seems like whatever I buy now, the sidewalls start to go pretty quickly.
I've been wondering this too - back in the 90s I biked to school every day, plus anywhere else i wanted to go (and not very carefully... over curbs, through the woods, over the railroad tracks, etc).  I can't remember ever replacing the tires. Maybe that's just rose-colored glasses.

GuitarStv

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2016, 08:00:29 AM »
Continental Tour Ride tires are very durable (I've got over 8000 km on a set so far and no problems) and can be had for cheap in a 700Cx32.  The slight tread works well in slippery mud, and they get good traction in the rain.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 01:31:57 PM by GuitarStv »

phwadsworth

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2016, 08:19:04 AM »
I would use Schwalbes, if they were on sale when I purchased.  Otherwise, I have Gatorskins on my road bike (700x28), and I'm on my second set of Hutchinson UrbanTour Ptotect Air (700x32) on my grocery-getter.  I like them all, and they have all proven incredibly durable when compared to other non-"tough" style tires.

Arktinkerer

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2016, 11:21:28 AM »
I am not picky about the tires on our bikes.  I have found it most economical to go to a local flea market that has a surplus of bikes.  Checking in weekly I can usually find an entire bike for under $20--often under $10.  Take the tires and maybe the tubes and recycle the metal.  Tires usually last at least a year.

powersuitrecall

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2016, 01:17:21 PM »
I've found the $18 CAD "Kenda K‑198 700 x 35 Wire Bead Tire" to be great.  I'm on my 3rd summer with these things.  They are wide with floppy sidewalls, but as long as the pressure is kept they are fine.  They handle bumps and gravel great.

Northwestie

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2016, 02:06:29 PM »
Schwalbe marathon.
Watch for sales.

^^^ this. The Schwalbes are without peer. 'My humble opinion' is based on 15yrs of commuting 15miles a day across a non-bike-friendly town, on shoulders with gravel, glass, construction debris, etc. I've tried them all, and always return to Schwalbe. In the long run, they are actually the cheapest too, since they last so long. 7,500 miles on the last set!

Would second this.  Plus they re easier to get on and off than some of those Kevlar beaded torture tires.  Lost fingernails on those

Ocelot

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2016, 08:41:11 PM »
A little heads up from the industry - Specialized are having a sale this month (May) through their US dealers, 2 for 1 pricing on a whole bunch of their tires including the Armadillos a few people have mentioned. Half price for the best tough tires in the business IMO (with the Schwalbe Marathon in a close 2nd place)

Ocelot

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2016, 08:52:01 PM »
Is it just me or has the build quality of tires dropped dramatically over the years? I've got a pair of continental cross country MTB tires from the nineties. Badly worn and dry but still soldiering on.

Seems like whatever I buy now, the sidewalls start to go pretty quickly.

A couple of possible reasons why:

- Rubber durometer has become way softer for performance tires in the last ten years especially. This is a good thing in general - it means the tires grip much better - but it does mean they're not as durable as earlier ones. "City" tires are still made fairly hard.

- If your old tires have had occasional use for a long time vs heavy use for a short time, the rubber may have hardened with age and thus have reached a point where it's very tough. This is true even in the sidewalls due to the vulcanized construction.

- Performance tires now tend to be lighter and have a higher threadcount than they did in the 90s. The reason for this is improved manufacturing technology and a general increase in quality at any given pricepoint - what would have been a $100 race tire in '98 is now a $50 training tire now. Again, this is a good thing for performance but can be a bad thing for durability, and again this doesn't apply to city/commuting tires, more to proper road and mountain ones.

In their defense, the Marathon/Armadillo/Gatorskin etc are all much tougher, better tires than anything you could buy 20 years ago.


FiftyIsTheNewTwenty

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2016, 08:59:03 PM »
Armadillos may be the toughest but they're also very slow and ride like rocks.

Schwalbe Marathon are the best super-durable, flat-resistant tire, and roll pretty decently too.

http://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/tour-reviews

Cheap take-offs are also a great idea.

electriceagle

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2016, 01:56:15 AM »
Schwalbe marathon.
Watch for sales.

(Almost) by definition, the most durable bike tires are also the most budget friendly, as you don't have to replace them that often.

If not ordering Schwalbe's direct from the manufacturer, watch out for fakes. I got one from a mixed-market retailer that performed horribly. I'm not totally sure, but I suspect that it might have been counterfeit.

Shor

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2016, 11:03:26 AM »
Is it just me or has the build quality of tires dropped dramatically over the years? I've got a pair of continental cross country MTB tires from the nineties. Badly worn and dry but still soldiering on.

Seems like whatever I buy now, the sidewalls start to go pretty quickly.
I've been wondering this too - back in the 90s I biked to school every day, plus anywhere else i wanted to go (and not very carefully... over curbs, through the woods, over the railroad tracks, etc).  I can't remember ever replacing the tires. Maybe that's just rose-colored glasses.
Sure, I'm also 100-120 lbs heavier though.... wow..

kendallf

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2016, 11:18:38 AM »
Since nobody's mentioned it yet, you can often get tires at substantial discounts from UK retailers, including free shipping to the US.  Some sites to try, Google for links:

Pro Bike Kit
Ribble Cycles (you can get Schwalbe Marathon tires for $18 apiece here currently)
Wiggle (Vittoria Randonneur tires for $16)

I like the Vittoria Randonneur or Adventure tires for a very tough tire that gives a reasonable ride.  For my race bike I buy Michelin Lithion tires from the UK for ~$10 a tire; they're basically like the old Pro Race 2 tires at a hefty discount.  I throw them away after they start to square off in the back and get mystery flats (i.e., small pieces of wire, other tiny punctures).

nereo

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2016, 02:44:30 PM »
Since nobody's mentioned it yet, you can often get tires at substantial discounts from UK retailers, including free shipping to the US.  Some sites to try, Google for links:

Pro Bike Kit
Ribble Cycles (you can get Schwalbe Marathon tires for $18 apiece here currently)
Wiggle (Vittoria Randonneur tires for $16)

I like the Vittoria Randonneur or Adventure tires for a very tough tire that gives a reasonable ride.  For my race bike I buy Michelin Lithion tires from the UK for ~$10 a tire; they're basically like the old Pro Race 2 tires at a hefty discount.  I throw them away after they start to square off in the back and get mystery flats (i.e., small pieces of wire, other tiny punctures).

That's amazing - why are they so much cheaper in the UK?

BlueMR2

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Re: what's a durable bike tire that's also budget friendly?
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2016, 10:02:08 AM »
I went the spendy route with Gatorskins for my road bike after averaging a flat every 100 miles or so on Michelins.  My wife's road bike has some cheap Hutchinsons which have been on the bike for years now (and beat around on in town) with never a flat.  Same for the cheap Kendas on her old cruiser.