Author Topic: Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike  (Read 7123 times)

mlipps

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1085
Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike
« on: June 17, 2013, 06:20:03 PM »
I have a hybrid Schwinn that I bought new for $350 about 5 years ago. It's pretty heavy & I basically feel like a grandma riding it, but my commute is only 2 miles, so I can't really justify a new bike, as much as I'd like one. What I can justify is new tires, since I haven't replaced them since I bought it (miracle of miracles, I've never even so much as replaced the tubes).

So I need your help, because I don't know a damn thing about buying bike tires. I'm pretty sure I can figured out how to actually replace them with the help of our local bike coop, but they don't sell new parts there, only used ones.

I ride the bike in rain semi-often & Chicago has atrocious potholes, so those are important factors. I don't ride in the snow much though. The tire sidewall is marked 700x40C and the rim has a sticker that says 700c x 28c/35c ETRTO 622x20

Help! :)

waltertyree

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Location: Northern VA
Re: Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2013, 06:38:17 PM »
The 700c is the normal size of tires for your bike (the other size that is common is 650c but that doesn't apply to you).

So, the 40c is the width of the current tire. The rim says that it can take anything down to a 28c and still hold the bead (the bead is the piece of wire that actually holds the tire in the rim).

35c is going to be a more commonly sold tire. But, if you're going to commute I would look for tires that are less knobby than more knobby. The knobs are great in the snow and the dirt but make riding on the pavement harder. If you look on ebay or nashbar look for "commuter" tire, "city" tire or "slick" tires. They will be easier to use in an urban setting (fewer knobs).

As the tires get more narrow they are easier to pedal, but they can be more prone to flats if you let them get under inflated. Also, the ride is a little rougher as the tires get more narrow. So, because of your "atrocious potholes" I would stick with 35c or 38c and make sure they are always inflated.

I don't know what you want to pay for tires but I usually pay between 20 and 40$ per tire. They last me a few years. The back wheel wears out faster than the front wheel (however, I don't recommend rotating tires).

mlipps

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1085
Re: Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2013, 07:24:21 PM »
Where's the best place to buy them from? Also, dumb question, do they come with tubes or do I need to buy those as well? I don't even have a spare set for the tires I have.

kendallf

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
Re: Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2013, 07:46:16 PM »
They don't come with tubes.  You need to look at your current ones, and see if the valve looks like the one on your car (schrader) or if it is skinnier with a little knob that screws shut on top (presta).  Then just buy tubes that are for 700c and a size range that includes the tires you pick.  They'll typically be marked for a range of tire sizes, like 23-28, 28-35, etc.

Some sources:

www.nashbar.com
www.biketiresdirect.com
www.probikekit.com (UK based, but often free US shipping)
http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ (UK again, often cheap deals)

mlipps

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1085
Re: Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2013, 08:28:01 PM »
Any particular brands a good balance of durability & price?

capital

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
Re: Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2013, 08:30:18 PM »
Do you actually need tires if you ride so few miles, and don't seem to have problems with flats? Bike tires only need to be replaced if you can see the fabric under the tread, the sidewalls are cracking, there is a cut through the tread or sidewall, or they are starting to get a lot of flats. Another reason to replace tires is if they're inappropriate for your intended use, e.g. replacing heavily-treaded MTB tires when the bike is used on the road. Since it doesn't sound like you have trouble with any of those, you might not need tires.

Sticking with fat tires, perhaps 700x38 or so, is probably worthwhile if you are riding on potholed roads.

$20-40 tires often are the sweet spot. Schwalbe Marathons are very nice. I order many bike parts from Amazon and Nashbar, but European-brand tires (Schwalbe and Continental) are often available cheapest from the UK, for some reason:
http://www.wiggle.com/schwalbe-marathon-original-greenguard-rigid-road-city-tire/

Your current tires have tubes in them. Unless you are replacing your tires with much skinnier ones, you can reuse your current tubes. You probably should get an extra one of the same size for a spare in case you get a flat.

If you ride in the rain regularly and your tires are fine, the same amount of money might be better spent on a set of fenders:
http://www.amazon.com/SKS-Longboard-Coverage-Bicycle-Fender/dp/B004I91WQU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371522463&sr=8-1&keywords=sks+longboard
They keep you (especially your feet) and your drivetrain free from dirty road spray, so you only get wet from clean rain on rainy days.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 08:32:10 PM by ehgee »

mlipps

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1085
Re: Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2013, 09:00:26 PM »
I'm not sure if I need new tires, but I thought I should order them and have them on hand. And I definitely should get tubes, because that's gotta be a ticking time bomb at this point. The tread is getting really thin, but it's not worn through yet, I just want to be prepared and not be in a pickle.

And I have a rear rack, so I usually stay pretty dry on rainy days. My bike has the strangest geometry, so I don't think I could put fenders on if I wanted to; the rack was enough of a puzzle.

capital

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
Re: Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2013, 09:12:04 PM »
Tubes don't really ever go bad, unless you've been yanking on the valve and the valve stem is starting to crack or something. I've reused 30+-year-old ones even after having to replace the tires they were in. Even if you get a flat, a good patch can fix the tube permanently, and adept tube-patchers can keep tires going with 20+ patches.  Just get a spare in case you get a flat. If you do want to have new tires ready to go, just order those Schwalbes, probably in 700x35c. $26 each at Wiggle is a very good price.

A rear rack can keep your butt dry, but a front fender with a mudflap does make a huge difference in how dry your feet stay on rainy days. If you can post a picture or the model of your bike, folks here can give you some in advice on how possible it is to fit fenders-- it's a relatively simple job on most hybrids, unless there's a suspension fork involved.

m8547

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 311
Re: Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2013, 09:56:51 PM »
I like my Panaracer T-serv tires. The steel bead version should retail for about $30, and they are fairly resistant to flats.

mlipps

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1085
Re: Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 08:32:28 AM »


This is my bike. You can see how the tube is really wide, so accessories can't go there. The downtube is too short on my size to be of any use. And the angle of the back triangle is awkward, which is why I had so much trouble getting the rack on. It's also really heavy. Still though, it works and my commute is 2 miles, so I can't really justify replacing it yet, as much as I'd love to. I've thought about paying myself $1 each way everytime I ride my bike to save for a new one. Anyway, I've survived this long w/o fenders, so I probably don't really need them.

Thanks for the advice on the tires. Any other input would be more than welcome! (Including "That bike looks miserable, go buy yourself a new one!") ;)

infogoon

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 840
Re: Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2013, 08:53:04 AM »
I've been using the Nashbar Streetwise 700x32 tires on my commuter for the last few years -- they're cheap, low rolling resistance, and have a kevlar strip on the inside to help prevent punctures. I think they were about thirty bucks a pair last time I ordered some.

LucyBIT

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
Re: Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2014, 07:46:45 PM »
Resurrecting this thread because my question is similar :)

Your current tires have tubes in them. Unless you are replacing your tires with much skinnier ones, you can reuse your current tubes.

How much skinnier is "much skinnier"? I have a mountain bike that was gifted to me and I want to get some slicks for summer commuting, both to decrease drag and save the tread for winter (friend told me I'd wear down the mountain tires with dry city riding, makes sense to me but could be wrong).

I want to keep the tubes if possible. Current knobbies are 26 x 1.95. How skinny can I go before I need new tubes? Should I just stick with 1.95, or is that wider than I would want for commuting 5 miles (one way) on a luxurious concrete/asphalt bike path?

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2014, 07:54:59 PM »
It depends on your rim.

A fat tire is going to be slow. Smooth tread is going to be faster, but I wouldn't worry about wearing the tread blocks down.

A few mm here or there probably won't make a big difference. I'd probably stick with the same tire size and reuse the tubes.

I have no personal experience with MTB slicks. I went from a MTB with knobbies to a hybrid with street tires.

Emg03063

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 458
Re: Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2014, 07:56:27 PM »

LucyBIT

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 99
Re: Help Me Pick New Tires for my Bike
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2014, 08:18:11 PM »
By MTB slicks you mean mountain bike slicks, correct? I didn't know that was a thing, I was just looking at city tires, like these: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_554640_-1___202472

Of course, the 1.95 width is more expensive and I like the price point of 1.5s, but that's 1 cm difference, too skinny?