Tyre width for offroad

Tyre width for offroad

Postby kPrdfHTb » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:26 pm

Hi all,

I'm about to embark on a tour, a good part of which is offroad - fire trails, loose rocks, etc. Basically, my question is: how wide do my tyres need to be to get by on this kind of terrain? I have a pair of 700x32 Marathon Supreme for commuting and I do love them, but I'm concerned fire trails might be asking too much of them, in terms of both width and design.

I've been investigating Schwalbe somewhat; looking at their website, it seems as if I can choose between 700x40 Marathon Mondial/Marathon Plus Tour, or 700x45 Marathon (being the widest 700c I could find). I'm digging the puncture protection of the Plus, but am I likely to miss that 5mm of tyre width when I head offroad?

I mention Schwalbe because I've heard excellent things about them, though am quite open to other recommendations.
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by BNA » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:12 pm

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Re: Tyre width for offroad

Postby clackers » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:12 pm

I normally do it all on 28s, but I think the wider the better for offroad - much better comfort.
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Re: Tyre width for offroad

Postby Aushiker » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:53 pm

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For my "Chasing the Dirt" tour through the Gascoyne I had Schwalbe Marathon Mondial HS 428 47-622 tyres on my Surly Long Haul Trucker. They worked a treat on all road surfaces bar deep sand ... had to walk that section.

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Re: Tyre width for offroad

Postby RonK » Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:12 am

kPrdfHTb wrote:I'm about to embark on a tour, a good part of which is offroad - fire trails, loose rocks, etc. Basically, my question is: how wide do my tyres need to be to get by on this kind of terrain? I have a pair of 700x32 Marathon Supreme for commuting and I do love them, but I'm concerned fire trails might be asking too much of them, in terms of both width and design.

I toured New Zealand backroads on 700x32 Marathon Supremes. Not fire trails but very gravelly in places.
Image

You will find Marathon Mondial very heavy and Plus even heavier compared to the light and fast Supremes. Schwalbe have revamped the Marathon range and the Supreme isn't offered any more - the Marathon Deluxe looks a reasonable alternative allrounder.
Last edited by RonK on Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tyre width for offroad

Postby il padrone » Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:13 am

The real advantage of a bigger tyre is that you have the ability to lower the pressure more for loose surfaces without risking a pinch flat. 40-45mm tyres should be excellent for most dirt tracks and gravel, but if it's sand all bets are off. We used 26x2.15" Marathon Mondials on the Finke Rd, running them lower than 20 psi and traction was OK...... mostly

Image


The deep sand did however finally defeat us. Pushing the heavy bikes and load through relentless deep sand with no sign of any change got us beat. We could have done with 4" fatbikes :)

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Re: Tyre width for offroad

Postby Wingnut » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:26 am

I agree with il padrone,

I ride 26" and any tyres I buy in the future will be over 2" in width, if I could afford a fat bike I'd get one now!
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Re: Tyre width for offroad

Postby Cheesewheel » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:50 am

My preference is always at 2" minimum ... regardless whether it is on or off road.

With more narrow tyres there is more of a need to micro-manage the front wheel over irregularities in the bitumen which a wider tyre can handle no problem .... which is kind of a plus if your intent is to take in the scenery beyond the oncoming 3 metres of your front tyre.

Schwalbe has a range of touring tyres (as opposed to the standard knobby ones familiar to the mtb scene) that fit the bill and don't seem to offer too much rolling resistance when pumped up. If you are a staunch narrow tyre person you can always run a fatter one on the front to provide stability (since its a squirrelly front tyre that will judo flip you to the road) and still reap the benefits of a low rolling resistance narrow one on the back.

The largest tyres I have experience with are 2.5" but even these I find to be inadequate for touring that spans any sizeable distance of loose sand (although if I was minus touring gear weight, it might be more tolerable).
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Re: Tyre width for offroad

Postby Uncle Just » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:54 am

OTH I've toured extensively off and on road on my MTB and wanted a tyre that would be fast, strong and grippy. We used 26 x 1.5" with no punctures over some pretty rough roads/tracks at times. Having front suspension helped. If you are carrying heavy loads and going over very rough terrain go wider.
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Re: Tyre width for offroad

Postby Wingnut » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:01 pm

Can anyone suggest a good 2.5" touring tyre for 26"...not sure but I don't think Schwalbe go that wide?
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Re: Tyre width for offroad

Postby Aushiker » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:12 pm

Wingnut wrote:I agree with il padrone,

I ride 26" and any tyres I buy in the future will be over 2" in width, if I could afford a fat bike I'd get one now!


The OP is running 700C not 26" so can one get sutiable 2" + tyres in 700c?

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Re: Tyre width for offroad

Postby trailgumby » Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:52 pm

You'd be looking at 29er tyres in that case.

Professor Google came up with 29x2.0 Marathon Supreme
http://www.amazon.com/Schwalbe-Marathon ... B000QSXXOQ

There's Furious Fred - not the most puncture resistant option, unfortunately
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Re: Tyre width for offroad

Postby Baalzamon » Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:16 pm

But the op hasn't mentioned what frame he is running. He may not get away with large volume tyres in the order of 2" and 2.5" depending on his frame clearance. For instance my CX is limited to 38mm on the front and I could most likely go 45mm on the rear but no wider.
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Re: Tyre width for offroad

Postby RonK » Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:59 pm

Aushiker wrote:
Wingnut wrote:I agree with il padrone,

I ride 26" and any tyres I buy in the future will be over 2" in width, if I could afford a fat bike I'd get one now!


The OP is running 700C not 26" so can one get sutiable 2" + tyres in 700c?

The Marathon Deluxe I've already linked to is offered in 622x50.
But will need a 29er frame to accommodate them.
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Re: Tyre width for offroad

Postby rifraf » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:46 pm

A selection of 622 Schwalbe Mondials can be found here:

http://www.bike24.de/1.php?content=8;na ... duct=63677

Schwalbe Marathon Delux:

http://www.bike24.de/1.php?content=8;na ... duct=63628

Schwalbe Supremes:

http://www.bike24.de/1.php?content=8;se ... duct=62562

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Re: Tyre width for offroad

Postby il padrone » Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:39 pm

Schwalbe have a new tyre called the Almotion that looks interesting - probably not as puncture-resistant as the Plus or the Mondial, but a lighter road tread. Available in 700C x 2.00" and 2.15".
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Re: Tyre width for offroad

Postby Wingnut » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:06 pm

These Schwalbe Marathon Mondial EVO DD Travelstar's appear to come in 26 x 2.4 but I can't find that size available online...

Edit: I think it's an error on the Wiggle site...Schwalbe site says only 2.15.

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/schwalbe-marath ... olding-26/
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