Which bike and tyres for this commute -what would you choose

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Which bike and tyres for this commute -what would you choose

Postby hitch » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:44 pm

I'm moving to Heidelberg in Melbourne soon, and plan to commute along the Yarra trail to the top end of the CBD similar to this route:

https://www.google.com.au/maps/dir/-37. ... m0!1m0!3e1

A reasonable amount of the north/south section at the start is gravel.

I'm not sure which bike to ride, and whether to get new tyres. I have a fixed gear with 700x23c tyres on it that i use to commute a much shorter distance now. While I'd like to think I'll eventually be able to commute on it from Heidelberg, I think initially I'll need to work on the fitness. I also have a Trek Fuel ex8 29er MTB, which I'll probably ride initially to get the fitness up - however it currently has chunky tyres (Rocket Ron's I believe), and given over half the commute will be on bitumen, may wear them out quite quickly.

I'll also be riding along a couple of k's of the gravel section of the trail along the yarra NE of Burke road, and am concerned that as we're heading into winter, 700x23c tyres on a gravel trail may be a bit treacherous.

I'm after some advice as to what to do here. Should I put some (eg.) 700x28 tyres on the fixed gear to get a bit more tread? Should I put some slicks on the MTB and ride it? (if so, can anyone recommend 29er slicks? can't really find any on eg. wiggle.

I also have a road bike, but probably don't really want to ride that every day on the gravel trail.

Any advice appreciated.
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by BNA » Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:38 pm

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Re: Which bike and tyres for this commute -what would you ch

Postby rodneycc » Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:38 pm

Schwalbe Marathon slicks for the 29er in the winter months and then your normal roadie in the summer months I reckon for that route.

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Re: Which bike and tyres for this commute -what would you ch

Postby kb » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:08 am

And be prepared for occasional submergings.
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Re: Which bike and tyres for this commute -what would you ch

Postby alexander » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:24 am

maybe some schwalbe big apples on your 29er.
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Re: Which bike and tyres for this commute -what would you ch

Postby hitch » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:50 am

Thanks for the tips - with regards to the Marathon's, I've read something briefly that 29ers can use 700x<x>c tyres - is that right? (haven't had the 29er for too long...) In that case, what width tyre would I be looking at? I see the marathon's go from 23c up to 38c...
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Re: Which bike and tyres for this commute -what would you ch

Postby rodneycc » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:42 pm

32mm to 40mm generally. I have 38mm Marathons on my 29er and they work really well.

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Re: Which bike and tyres for this commute -what would you ch

Postby alexander » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:49 pm

hitch wrote:Thanks for the tips - with regards to the Marathon's, I've read something briefly that 29ers can use 700x<x>c tyres - is that right? (haven't had the 29er for too long...) In that case, what width tyre would I be looking at? I see the marathon's go from 23c up to 38c...


anything less than a 28c tyre and you're back into road tyre widths. typical* commuting on road type bikes are 28-35c, most road frames won't accept anything bigger than that. obviously mtb frames can accept bigger than that. for your 29er, you'd be best getting a 38c marathon plus slick, it will be wide enough to tackle gravel, and still be thin enough to get decent roll and most important bullet proof and almost impervious to punctures.
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Re: Which bike and tyres for this commute -what would you ch

Postby rodneycc » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:28 pm

I dont think the yarra trail is too bad for glass and that for memory? Maybe a bit twiggy but not overly bad. So I'd maybe just go yhe plain old Marathons rather than the Plus. Still good puncture protection, lighter, better ride and a little cheaper. I ride mainly the Dandy Creek trail a few times a week on the plain Marathons without a puncture so far in the last 12 months. Good tyres.

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Re: Which bike and tyres for this commute -what would you ch

Postby lobstermash » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:49 pm

I've got a set of maxxis overdrive 700x28s on my wife's 29er. Work fine on gravel and pavement, even with the wide rim. Rolls really well on sealed stuff too
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Re: Which bike and tyres for this commute -what would you ch

Postby nezumi » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:18 pm

This is the same area/commute I ride. I have a Merida Cyclo cross 4, which is wearing Conti GP4000s in summer when I ride via the main roads and Schwalbe Marathon Pluses in winter for the MYT commute.

MYT takes about 1 hour versus 40mins by road (total time).
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Re: Which bike and tyres for this commute -what would you ch

Postby Lurkin » Sat May 31, 2014 9:42 am

Give it a go on the weekend with your current tyres first.

I had all but gone and bought new tyres for my 29er MTB, had a go and then commuted all week on it! - Bontrager XR1? 2.5 inch odd tyres!

Won't be changing until they are worn out as it's a very comfy change from the roadie.

Btw also check out Torpedo 7 if you are looking to change. there was some different tyres on there than wiggle which were pretty cheap last time I looked.
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Re: Which bike and tyres for this commute -what would you ch

Postby mick243 » Sat May 31, 2014 1:29 pm

I commute on my 29er.... I use MTB tyres that are "worn out", ie, the knobs are worn down to the point they don't make great MTB tyres anymore, but they do make pretty good road tyres. (Not as good as a proper road tyre, but at that point I can consider them "free")
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