Tyre choices...

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Tyre choices...

Postby RonK » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:46 am

Well, I'm departing for a back roads tour in New Zealand in a few weeks. I'll be doing plenty of k's on gravel roads, and a fair bit on bitumen too.

Currently I have 26" x 1.6" Marathon Supremes fitted for my local rides. I really like the Supremes, they are fast and light. My quandary is will they be robust enough for the gravel roads I'll encounter in New Zealand.

So I have sitting in front of me a set of 26" x 2.0" Marathon Supremes, and a set of 26" x 2.0" Marathon Duremes, which are quite a bit heavier, but no doubt more durable. Question is, do I really need the added durability? I favour the lighter and faster tyre.

Sigh - decisions, decisions...
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by BNA » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:10 pm

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Re: Tyre choices...

Postby kiwirobbie » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:10 pm

Hi Ronk, I'd be going with the wider more durable tyre, a loaded bike on the Omarama/Naseby route even Danseys Pass or the Movora Lakes road would be quite a bit more comfy and easier on the steering. All the best for the trip hope the weather stays good never a certainty over here in NZ. You mentioned being in Christchurch after the first EQ you wouldn't recognise the central city now a fair bit of it gone and still a large area a no go zone. You would need your wide tyres cycling out in the eastern suburbs the roads are rubbish. Looking for to following your blog cheers Rob
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Re: Tyre choices...

Postby RonK » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:04 pm

Yeah Robbie, I think I will fit the Duremes as originally planned, and if they are a little slower, so be it. At least I won't be worrying about stone damage if the road get a bit rough.

Very sad about Christchurch, and the people who lived there. I though it was a lovely city with so much of its heritage preserved. I have photos I took in front of the cathedral - it was such a beautiful building and now reduced to rubble. Heartbreaking.

Now so much of the city is gone. I'm not going there this trip but I will go back sometime and see for myself how it rises from the rubble.

I'll try to keep my journal interesting and hope you enjoy it.
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Re: Tyre choices...

Postby RonK » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:25 am

Well, yesterday I fitted the 26"x2.0" Marathon Duremes, and this morning I set out to ride over Mt Coot-tha. But right from the get-go I was dismayed how slow these tyres are compared to the 26"x1.6" Marathon Supremes I've been riding on. It started raining partway up, making the descent cold and miserable, which didn't help my frame of mind either.

So I'll fit the 26"x2.0" Marathon Supremes and give them a try, but I'm tempted just to refit the 1.6' Supremes. As I recall il padrone is using 1.6" tyres in Central Australia, so I can't see why they wouldn't be ok in New Zealand
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Re: Tyre choices...

Postby doomith » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:38 pm

I bought new Continental Touring Plus 28's and rode over 1600km in America recently with no flats or problems what so ever.
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Re: Tyre choices...

Postby RonK » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:39 pm

I tried the 2.0" Marathon Supremes on the weekend, and they will be staying on the bike. There is a little more drag than the 1.6" Supremes, but they are a lot easier to push than the Duremes. Fingers crossed they'll be durable enough, but I read a few journals about tourists using Supremes in India, so I think they'll be ok.
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Re: Tyre choices...

Postby DavidS » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:54 pm

I put Marathon Supremes (700 x 28) on my flat bar commuter a week ago. They are great: light, less rolling resistance, very happy with these. We'll see how long they last, the back tyre replaced was a Marathon Plus which lasted about 7 or 8 thousand Ks and the front was a Delta Cruiser which did about 13 thousand Ks. If these do a bit less I still think they are worth it.

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Re: Tyre choices...

Postby RonK » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:33 pm

DavidS wrote:I put Marathon Supremes (700 x 28) on my flat bar commuter a week ago. They are great: light, less rolling resistance, very happy with these. We'll see how long they last, the back tyre replaced was a Marathon Plus which lasted about 7 or 8 thousand Ks and the front was a Delta Cruiser which did about 13 thousand Ks. If these do a bit less I still think they are worth it.

I have done two tours on Marathon Supremes already, and like them very much. But they are much softer and grippier than Marathon Plus and won't last anywhere near as long.
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Re: Tyre choices...

Postby il padrone » Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:30 pm

RonK wrote: As I recall il padrone is using 1.6" tyres in Central Australia, so I can't see why they wouldn't be ok in New Zealand

Not quite. I took 2.15" Marathon Mondials. They were great tyres, rode nicely on tarmac at 50 psi (big tyres need a lot less pressure, even with our substantial load of gear) and I had them down to sub-20 psi on the sandy roads out to Andado station. Zero punctures.... well there was one time when the back tyre bottomed on the corrugations and rocks of the Mereenie Loop. I thought I had a puncture and swapped the tube, but I think I had just let the pressure down too much.

I doubt you'd get the sort of soft sand that caused me to fit the Mondials. 1.6" tyres should be fine for most touring on tarmac and gravel roads.
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Re: Tyre choices...

Postby polishbiker » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:07 pm

just to add another review about supremes, my just finished tour across Oz was on supremes 2.0", on the site it says they last from 5-8K i think, i got 10.000 and would probably last a few more hundred. really enjoyed using them, not a single puncture, the only one i got was internal. recommended to anyone :)
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Re: Tyre choices...

Postby RonK » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:51 am

I have now completed the crossings of Danseys Pass and Hakataramea Pass in New Zealand, over gravel roads that were in places quite rough. Although my narrow 32mm Supremes do have a tendency to wash out in loose gravel, they have handled the surfaces very well and show no signs of damage or wear. And as I'm now facing several hundred kilometres of sealed roads, I'm very glad to have a fast and light tyre to do them on.

Next unsealed section will be the Von River and Mt Nicholas roads from Walter Peak through Mavora Lakes and on to Te Anau. These roads may be rougher, but I'll only know when I get there.
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Re: Tyre choices...

Postby Uncle Just » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:24 pm

Good on you Ron, keep on truckin as they say. FWIW I never use anything bigger than 1.5" for touring (Schwalbe Marathon and or Vittoria Randonneur on 26" wheels) and I've been on some rough tracks and gravel roads. For sealed roads they are great too. Obviously for sandy desert and remote areas with boulder strewn roads you'd go wider but I don't ride those roads.
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