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Continental Town & Country VS Schwalbe Marathon XR?

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  • Bryan Beretta
    Hello all, quick tire question for you. I m looking to upgrade from my stock 26x2 Bontrager tires that came on my Trek 4300 to something that rolls a little
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 2, 2008
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      Hello all, quick tire question for you.

      I'm looking to upgrade from my stock 26x2 Bontrager tires that came on my Trek 4300 to something that rolls a little nicer. I've seen both the T&C's and the Marathons talked about favorably by Xtracycle riders.

      My LBS has the 26x2.1 T&C's for $30 which seems reasonable. My only concern is that in my research I've found a number of people saying that they're no longer made in Germany and are now made more cheaply in Asia and don't hold up like their older counterparts. Has anyone else heard or experiened this? Devian I'm assuming you've had yours for a while and they're most likely the better made version?

      The 26x2 Marathons seem to get more mention on bikeforums.net but they are also twice the price at $60. Being my first experience with tire buying that seems like more of an investment right now than I want or need. If they really are that much better though it's something to consider. I know Vik is a big fan of them.

      For the most part my Xtracycle riding has all been urban. I haven't really done any offroad as I thought I might when I got the bike. I do however ride on the beach fairly regularly where the paths can get quite sandy which I'm always concerned about in terms of grip. I'm also gearing up to start bike camping this summer but I'm not sure how much real offroad that will entail either. I'm expecting it to be a mix of touring and light paths for the most part which is why these two tires seem like solid choices.

      Anyone have any thoughts on the two? I've searched the archives and bikeforums.net a fair amount but thought someone here might have more current opinions.

      Also if anyone has opinions on liners such as Slime or Mr Tuffy that would be helpful as well.

      Thanks!


      Bryan
      The guy who is way too color coordinated with his orange Xtracycle. =P
    • Devian Gilbert
      the set of T&C s i got where from Performance when i lived in Ventura, so its been less than a year and they ve seen a lot of use. this last trip, i used them
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 2, 2008
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        the set of T&C's i got where from Performance when i lived in Ventura, so its been less than a year
        and they've seen a lot of use.
        this last trip, i used them on fireroad in the late evening, with a bit of a cargo load.

        this set of tyres has actually been to LA a few times, PCH Malibu, use in Ventura, and here in Monterey, to Big Sur a couple of times, and now actually in the Ventana Wilderness, just a bit.

        i think for $30-ish, they ROCK!
        this set is getting a bit beat up, but dont really show any real reasons why they would fail... still lots of life
        i wish they'd make them in a 2.4"

        the other set you might like to try are a set of WTB Vulpine 2.1's

        really... i just got a set, yet to mount up, for the Big Dummy

        currently i am using a 29er set, and I'm amazed how fast they are on the road, as well, as how much traction they actually give in the dirt.
        plus the rubber is something different... it seems pretty hard, and i think the tyre is fairly light, which blows my mind...

        Vulpines go for about $38 each.  Plus they are foldable!  

        it seems like to get a decent foldable semi-slick/commuter/mtb tyre... you pretty much are shelling out $60/tyre
        thats kind of wacky...

        so Vulpines at $38 might be something... i have yet to try them out in 26" and on the Dummy... but it will be soon.

        peace..d

        "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the human race." H.G. Wells


        On Jun 2, 2008, at 10:42 AM, Bryan Beretta wrote:

        Hello all, quick tire question for you.

        I'm looking to upgrade from my stock 26x2 Bontrager tires that came on my Trek 4300 to something that rolls a little nicer. I've seen both the T&C's and the Marathons talked about favorably by Xtracycle riders.

        My LBS has the 26x2.1 T&C's for $30 which seems reasonable. My only concern is that in my research I've found a number of people saying that they're no longer made in Germany and are now made more cheaply in Asia and don't hold up like their older counterparts. Has anyone else heard or experiened this? Devian I'm assuming you've had yours for a while and they're most likely the better made version?

        The 26x2 Marathons seem to get more mention on bikeforums.net but they are also twice the price at $60. Being my first experience with tire buying that seems like more of an investment right now than I want or need. If they really are that much better though it's something to consider. I know Vik is a big fan of them.

        For the most part my Xtracycle riding has all been urban. I haven't really done any offroad as I thought I might when I got the bike. I do however ride on the beach fairly regularly where the paths can get quite sandy which I'm always concerned about in terms of grip. I'm also gearing up to start bike camping this summer but I'm not sure how much real offroad that will entail either. I'm expecting it to be a mix of touring and light paths for the most part which is why these two tires seem like solid choices.

        Anyone have any thoughts on the two? I've searched the archives andbikeforums.net a fair amount but thought someone here might have more current opinions.

        Also if anyone has opinions on liners such as Slime or Mr Tuffy that would be helpful as well.

        Thanks!


        Bryan
        The guy who is way too color coordinated with his orange Xtracycle. =P


      • Bryan Beretta
        Hmm those Vulpines sound interesting, I ll have to see if anyone local has them. I just read a few more reviews the T&C s where people complained about their
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 2, 2008
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          Hmm those Vulpines sound interesting, I'll have to see if anyone local has them.

          I just read a few more reviews the T&C's where people complained about their horrible puncture resistance. I don't ride in real debris laden areas but I most definitely do not want to deal with flats, especially on the rear. I know people are also more prone to write a review when their unhappy as opposed to happy though so who we shall see. I'm using you as my real world case study seeing as how you really put your gear through its paces. =)

          Thanks for the info!


          Bryan


          On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 11:05 AM, Devian Gilbert <asanacycles@...> wrote:
          the set of T&C's i got where from Performance when i lived in Ventura, so its been less than a year
          and they've seen a lot of use.
          this last trip, i used them on fireroad in the late evening, with a bit of a cargo load.

          this set of tyres has actually been to LA a few times, PCH Malibu, use in Ventura, and here in Monterey, to Big Sur a couple of times, and now actually in the Ventana Wilderness, just a bit.

          i think for $30-ish, they ROCK!
          this set is getting a bit beat up, but dont really show any real reasons why they would fail... still lots of life
          i wish they'd make them in a 2.4"

          the other set you might like to try are a set of WTB Vulpine 2.1's

          really... i just got a set, yet to mount up, for the Big Dummy

          currently i am using a 29er set, and I'm amazed how fast they are on the road, as well, as how much traction they actually give in the dirt.
          plus the rubber is something different... it seems pretty hard, and i think the tyre is fairly light, which blows my mind...

          Vulpines go for about $38 each.  Plus they are foldable!  

          it seems like to get a decent foldable semi-slick/commuter/mtb tyre... you pretty much are shelling out $60/tyre
          thats kind of wacky...

          so Vulpines at $38 might be something... i have yet to try them out in 26" and on the Dummy... but it will be soon.

          peace..d

          "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the human race." H.G. Wells


        • Devian Gilbert
          ya that seems to be about the situation... the T&C s are good. in my opinion, i cant imagine what would be better, other than a 2.4 in a folding bead for $40.
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 2, 2008
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            ya that seems to be about the situation...

            the T&C's are good.  in my opinion, i cant imagine what would be better, other than a 2.4 in a folding bead for $40.  that would be great

            I dont think the Vulpines would be that great in SoCal, altho this week's LA Trip will probably be on the Hunter with those tyres

            I've had 1 flat with the T&C's
            slime???  well... i put 2 Slime tubes on the Cargo bike, and at first liked them... i like how they balance out after a moment... that is kind of cool.

            i ran over something in Salinas at the AmTrak station, the tyre sealed up...
            in LA, the clot came loose, and Slime went everywhere... i had to patch it at 9pm Downtown LA, Korea Town

            these days, as I'm not in the Urban Jungle, I'm happiest with regular tubes.  if it flats, i just patch it, or replace the tube, and patch things later.

            as to Vulpines, they have my eye in regards to some Adventure Touring
            they seem to be a good tyre to handle a light load, fast on the pave, and able to be in the dirt.  In 2 months that I've had them on the Hunter, the rear shows just a little wear

            how they'd be after 1000miles with light panniers, and some dirt use, i think that will be the first decent marker to gauge them on.

            I'm gonna try them on the BD.

            this last trip, i used T&C's, but once i got onto the fireroad, i swapped out to some DH knobs, and actually rode home on them too...
            strangely, the BD with a load, aint too much different with knobs or T&C's.  i think its the "order of significance", that being... the bike is heavy enough to not change character much, bcz of the difference in tyres.  so that kind of makes me think a bit.  something like...

            I'd rather use 3 Vulpines than 4 tyres in total.
            i.e. slicks for the road, and knobs for the dirt

            plus with the 4 tyre system, they don't actually act as replacements for either...
            that is... if for some strange reason you rip open a tyre, and you simply use 1 of your back ups, but its either a knob or a slick

            with 3 Vulpines, all you carry is 1 extra tyre, and that too can actually go thru the wear rotation, especially being that they are bi-directional, and fold.

            tyres for me become like shoes to Imelda Marcos 

            thats enough for me about tyres...

            lates...d



            "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the human race." H.G. Wells


            On Jun 2, 2008, at 11:51 AM, Bryan Beretta wrote:

            Hmm those Vulpines sound interesting, I'll have to see if anyone local has them. 

            I just read a few more reviews the T&C's where people complained about their horrible puncture resistance. I don't ride in real debris laden areas but I most definitely do not want to deal with flats, especially on the rear. I know people are also more prone to write a review when their unhappy as opposed to happy though so who we shall see. I'm using you as my real world case study seeing as how you really put your gear through its paces. =)

            Thanks for the info!


            Bryan


            On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 11:05 AM, Devian Gilbert <asanacycles@ mac.com> wrote:
            the set of T&C's i got where from Performance when i lived in Ventura, so its been less than a year
            and they've seen a lot of use.
            this last trip, i used them on fireroad in the late evening, with a bit of a cargo load.

            this set of tyres has actually been to LA a few times, PCH Malibu, use in Ventura, and here in Monterey, to Big Sur a couple of times, and now actually in the Ventana Wilderness, just a bit.

            i think for $30-ish, they ROCK!
            this set is getting a bit beat up, but dont really show any real reasons why they would fail... still lots of life
            i wish they'd make them in a 2.4"

            the other set you might like to try are a set of WTB Vulpine 2.1's

            really... i just got a set, yet to mount up, for the Big Dummy

            currently i am using a 29er set, and I'm amazed how fast they are on the road, as well, as how much traction they actually give in the dirt.
            plus the rubber is something different... it seems pretty hard, and i think the tyre is fairly light, which blows my mind...

            Vulpines go for about $38 each.  Plus they are foldable!  

            it seems like to get a decent foldable semi-slick/commuter /mtb tyre... you pretty much are shelling out $60/tyre
            thats kind of wacky...

            so Vulpines at $38 might be something... i have yet to try them out in 26" and on the Dummy... but it will be soon.

            peace..d

            "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the human race." H.G. Wells




          • stoutag
            I am an unabashed Schwalbe fan. My reasons being, I ride a lot of mileage (8k-10k per year) and on some rather infamous routes for debris. In my book when I
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 2, 2008
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              I am an unabashed Schwalbe fan. My reasons being, I ride a lot of
              mileage (8k-10k per year) and on some rather infamous routes for
              debris. In my book when I weigh out the total ROI with something like
              most of the schwalbe marathon's they become cheap pretty quickly.

              For example, the most mileage I'd ever gotten out of any tire prior to
              using various Schwalbe marathon's was about 2500 miles, before they
              were either puncturing all the time or were worn down to the casing.
              These are tires that generally cost around 30-35 a piece.

              I now pretty much exclusively use Schwalbe marathon XR's, Surpremes,
              or marathon plus' and none of these tires has gone anything less than
              4,500-5,500 miles on the very bottom end before needing to be
              replaced. So by the time you account for mileage they are already the
              same price per mile if not much cheaper. XR's are renowned for their
              longevity, anywhere between 8,000-14,000 miles before needing
              replacement. So at that point, they are definitely cheaper than the
              alternative option.

              As for how well they work. I've never been able to have any tire go
              without flatting at some point or another. The average is probably
              something on the order of 1 flat every 600-800 miles, on relatively
              tough tires. Besides nails (which no bicycle tire will stop) and
              substantial metal staples, I haven't gotten flats on most Schwalbe
              marathon's. On the XR's I'm currently running, I've got right around
              1,000 miles on them now, and have not gotten any flats yet. They also
              don't look any different than the day I mounted them, and thats on a
              cargo bike which does fairly regularly see loads.

              So as far as my wife and I are concerned, $50-$60 a tire is cheap when
              they last this long and work this well.
            • David Chase
              Big Apples are pretty good. I ve had maybe one flat, over several thousand miles with them.
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 2, 2008
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                Big Apples are pretty good. I've had maybe one flat, over several
                thousand miles with them.

                On 2008-06-02, at 4:09 PM, stoutag wrote:
                > I am an unabashed Schwalbe fan.
              • brian
                I put a set of 2.1 town and country tires on about 900 miles ago. I also read the reviews and was leary of buying them. I ended up getting a set because of
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 2, 2008
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                  I put a set of 2.1 town and country tires on about 900 miles ago. I
                  also read the reviews and was leary of buying them. I ended up
                  getting a set because of the price. I have yet to have a flat and
                  I've ridden them on gravel and dirt fire roads with a load, on
                  pavement in the rain, on debris strewn bike lanes, over mown down
                  thistles and weeds. My only complaint is that they seem a little
                  sluggish, although that could just be me. I'm actually thinking of
                  getting a set of schwlabe marathons for my wifes commuter/touring rig,
                  I may slap them on the xtra just to do a comparison.
                • Bryan Beretta
                  That s good to hear, thanks! I think I ve decided on trying out the T&C s. My LBS has them in stock, the price is nice, and I ll get a discount on top of it
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 2, 2008
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                    That's good to hear, thanks! I think I've decided on trying out the T&C's. My LBS has them in stock, the price is nice, and I'll get a discount on top of it for membership in the local bike coalition.

                    Marathon XR's are definitely still on my radar though, especially after stoutag's glowing review. I figure I'll run the T&C's for a while and when it comes time to replace them I'll switch to the Marathons to compare.

                    I do like the Big Apples as well. For some reason I had edged towards the Marathons though and I've read so much the last few days I've forgotten as to why haha.

                    After riding around today I couldn't find anyone stocking Vulpines. But since I'm in SoCal and Devian seems to think they wouldn't be best here anyway I think I'll wait for his field report on those. =)

                    Thanks a lot for the responses guys, you rock!


                    Bryan


                    On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 6:45 PM, brian <laplander@...> wrote:
                    I put a set of 2.1 town and country tires on about 900 miles ago.  I
                    also read the reviews and was leary of buying them.  I ended up
                    getting a set because of the price.  I have yet to have a flat and
                    I've ridden them on gravel and dirt fire roads with a load, on
                    pavement in the rain, on debris strewn bike lanes,  over mown down
                    thistles and weeds.  My only complaint is that they seem a little
                    sluggish, although that could just be me.  I'm actually thinking of
                    getting a set of schwlabe marathons for my wifes commuter/touring rig,
                    I may slap them on the xtra just to do a comparison.


                  • Mark Garvey
                    On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 12:42 PM, Bryan Beretta ... Take alook at Primo Comets about $20 usually and light, high pressure and fairly
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jun 3, 2008
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                      On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 12:42 PM, Bryan Beretta <lists@...> wrote:
                      Hello all, quick tire question for you.

                      I'm looking to upgrade from my stock 26x2 Bontrager tires that came on my Trek 4300 to something that rolls a little nicer. I've seen both the T&C's and the Marathons talked about favorably by Xtracycle riders.

                      Take alook at Primo Comets about $20 usually and light, high pressure and fairly long lasting. I rode nearly all season last year on a pair and I just re installed them after using Kenda 2.125 wide tires most of the winter.  The better ones are the 1.5 x 26  but they make narrower ones as well.  they are 100 PSI tires, that I usually run about 75-80 psi.

                      mark
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