Commuter Tyres


Likes Dirt
I need to get some new slicks for my 26 inch commuting bike.

can anyone recommend a good slick with good debris protection that roll well.

or are there any tyres I should avoid.


Lives in a hole
I need to get some new slicks for my 26 inch commuting bike.

can anyone recommend a good slick with good debris protection that roll well.

or are there any tyres I should avoid.
I run Vittoria Rubino 1.5" slicks on my commuter and they're sweet. Very light, nice size and pretty quick and grippy. Not much in the way of puncture protection though, so they may not fit the bill.

Vittoria's Randonneur might not be a bad choice for you though, decent puncture protection, still pretty smooth and not stupid heavy, and only about $60.

Check out Schwalbe's range too. The Marathon Plus is one tough fucker (mad puncture protection and reportedly gets up to 16 000kms!) although it's heavy and probably too rough a tread pattern. The Marathon Supreme looks pretty sweet, although I haven't had any hands on experience with them; they're slicker though, much lighter, still meant to be pretty tough and majorly grippy.

Regardless of what you pick, I wouldn't be going any narrower than 1.5"; mtb drivetrain and 26" wheels just aren't big enough, with smaller tyres, to give you a decent spread of gears for commuting. They're also not going to be much faster, if faster at all, given that most of the tyres I mentioned above will take 80-90psi or more.


Likes Dirt
Currently running Specialized Armadillo Hemispheres. Kinda heavy but tough as old boots. They do a full slick and a bunch of other tread designs as well.


Can hench anywhere any time
For absolute max toughness and reliability the Schwalbe Marathon's are the go but they are heavy as hell.

Maxxis Xeniths with Mr Tuffy tire liners are probably the grippiest and fastest rolling option.

Continental City Contacts are a nice compromise between the 2.


Likes Bikes
i've been enjoying super fat kenda k-rads and a similar schwable (table top?). at 65psi i still find they roll fast, not saying the fastest, but i like the extra comfort and being able to hop gutters, take stairs and so on.


Are you in Brisbane rusty?

I have a pair of 26" Maxxis Overdrive, Kevlar protection etc, not bad

I have ridden maybe 400km on them, not really a fan of road tyres and have gone back to knobbies, as I didn't really see much of an improvement in ride so am not using them anymore, if your in Brisbane you can have em both for $50 as I think they were $40 each


Likes Dirt
I'm using Conti Ultra Gatorskins in 1.125 and loving them.

Only been riding them for a couple of months but no debris punctures yet.

One stupidity related pinch flat as a result of me hitting a driveway much too quickly when I had just put them on and I was used to hammering over everything on the mtb tyres. Learnt my lesson now.


Likes Dirt
check out the vredestein tyres. i've been though a heap of them. if you can get them, get the s-licks, but it looks like they have been superseded. excellent grip (can really lean it over at speed), probably a slightly softer-than-usual compound, so you gotta be careful not to lock the rear too often. i've always got 'em in 1.3". when i couldn't find them anywhere, i'd go some other brand, but always go back to the vredestein tyres. currently running one of the newer models (a moiree), which isn't quite as good as the s-lick, but still better on the front than anything else i've tried (other than the s-lick). maybe i'm just used to the feel of that brand's tyres. next one i'll try is the girando, which looks a little more like the s-lick, so looks good. dunno about the claims that 1.5" is better - the bigger tyres i've tried don't seem to steer as well. dunno what it is, but dodging sydney drivers just seems easier with the sweet spot 1.3 size. just seems to change direction faster - less sidewall flex maybe?

the gearing issue isn't as much a problem for me, as i've set up my hardtail as a dedicated commuter, with slightly higher gearing (46/36 on the front) with a closer ratio road cassette - so i've got about 4 or 5 gears that are usable on the flats, instead of 3 on a usual mtb gear setup.

le chat

Likes Dirt
I have some Michelin rock riders - light, roll well and were nice and cheap, £7.99 each of CRC so like $15 each in your money roughly


Eats Squid
I'm using Conti Ultra Gatorskins in 1.125 and loving them.
These in 700C are great. Only increase the rolling diametre slightly from a 26"wheel with 2.35" knobbly tires. Great on a commuter wheelset. i.e Swap the to the commuter wheelset when commuting, then back to your normal wheelset when riding trails.


Likes Dirt
thanks for all the ideas and info.

Im thinking at the moment of getting the ultra gator skins or some maxxis detonators.

has anyone had some tyres that have been a total failure or are just crappy so I can stay away from them.


Likes Dirt
I have Schwalbe City Jet 1.5" on my ss commuter bike. They claim to have some sort of puncture protection. Got them cheeeeap as from your know where. They are pretty sweet and no punctures yet.

I also have a Specialized All Condition Armadillo 700cx28 (rear tyre) on my training bike. Never had a puncture since i put in on (over 3000Kms ago). Specialized make a 26 inch armadillo tyre called the Nimbus in 1.5" width. They are pretty expensive ($70-$85) but if you don't want any punctures they are worth the extra coin.

Specialized Fatboys 1.25" are fast but very prone to punctures.

My recommendation would be to get an Armadillo Nimbus for the rear tyre (where most punctures occur) and pick up a regular Nimbus for the front.

No Judge

Likes Dirt
Specialised "Fat Boys" get my vote. Granted they are a slick tyre, so any puddles or riding during rain and the bike becomes tail happy... But that can be a good thing :) They are only a 1.25", but I haven't had a problem getting tubes at any LBS so far. I pump them up to 100psi, and haven't had any problems with flats. At all.

They are initially very sluppery, but after 20-30 km, they scrub up nicely.

Just my 2c


Likes Bikes
+1 Spec. Fatboys So quick and look awsome :cool:

Done 2 Great Vic Bike Rides on +1000 km on them no punctures although I am only weigh 60kg.

John U

MTB Precision
Schwalbe Kojaks have been very good for me. They are a bit fatter than the others at about 2.0 I think but still handle a reasonable pressure (about 70psi i think) and I have had no punctures since I started using them. They appear to be pretty durable too.

I tried the Fat Boys, and Ritchey Tom Slick 1.0. Both were super fast because of light weight and high pressure but were prone to the odd puncture and not as comfortable.

Keep in mind that a resonable sized hole (or small even) can right off the skinnier higher pressure tyres. You might want to take that cost into account.


Likes Dirt
Just to add my 2cents worth here are the ones I've used on my commute:

GEAX Evolution - 65psi, 1.90. These have a pretty thick carcass with a smooth centre. They're near impervious to glass and other road debris because of the thick rubber. Despite their weight (800g) they roll quite well and have plenty of grip. A pair of these have been on and off my bikes for the last 4 years and still show little sign of wear.

GEAX Streetrunner - 100psi, 1.25. Took a while getting used to the skinny look on an MTB but they roll fast and are reasonably tough. Did have a couple of flats though from riding past a pub with the usual broken bottles.

Serfas Barrista - 100psi, 1.25 - Pretty much the same as above.

Maxxis Overdrive - 50psi, 1.75 - I have a set of these which have also been on and of my bikes for a few years. They don't seem to roll as fast as the other tyres (although obviously faster than knobbies) but they seem to have good cushioning and have pretty thick rubber (they've got puncture protection). Good grip as well with the patterned but reasonably flat tread.

Maxxis Xenith - 80psi, 1.5. These things roll fast and, despite being completely slick, I have not actually had any problems with using them in wet weather. I've started putting tyre liners in one of them as it was getting worn and had a couple of flats as a result.

Maxxis Holy Roller - 65psi, 2.35 - For what they are these tyres roll reasonably well on concrete/bitumen (once you get them rolling). So far I've had no problems with the usual debris you find on roads. I only use these for my shorter commutes and where it might take me past parks and industrial areas where I might ride down stairs etc.

Kenda K-Rad - 80psi, 2.35 - Pretty much the same as the Holy Rollers although I find them to quicker to get going. Maybe it's just me.