What Kind Of Bicycle Tires Do You Use?

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People always ask me, “What kind of bicycle tires do you use on your travels all around the world?”

They usually go on to tell me that their friend… or the guy at their local bike shop… or some random stranger on the Internet recommended a particular type of tire (usually the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires), but they want my opinion on the matter.

My response is usually a something like this: “Those tires that you were told about are a good tire to start out with. But if you’re planning to spend several months on your bicycle (like you would during a bike tour across an entire continent… or around the world) then those are simply the tires you are going to start out with. At some point during your bike tour, those tires will need to be replaced. It doesn’t matter how good your tires are – at some point, they will need to be replaced with new ones! And when that time comes, you will have to use whatever types of tires you can find in the part of the world that you are currently in. And you probably won’t be able to find that particular brand/type of tire once you’re away from home. Instead, you’re going to have to use the best tire you can find in the area you happen to be.”


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Luca Librizzi says:

You might not puncture so often since you don’t care much about the tires you put on your bike 😉 For me a good quality tire (not necessarily expensive) with a kind of puncture protection is the way to go

Rh Last Nae says:

I googled them, on Ebay the price is 18 to 25 for one tire.
The tires seem of too hard of a compound, plastic. Does not have that typical fresh porous look of rubber tires.
Thanks for the video

Bruin Doc says:

Darren, do you carry extra tires with you for tire emergencies? If so, how many? How about spare inner tubes?

Tytus El says:

Rubena is much better than cheap chinese rubbers

Space Shadow says:

Though I agree with you – that’s not a complete answer – cause you could buy any tire you want online and have them shipped to you within a week, but that would be added cost of course..:-)

Touring on a Bicycle says:

I am using the Continental Touring Plus 26X1.75 Tires since 2015 in Southern California in the USA on my Surly LHT 26in and no flats yet
and I am getting ready to use Schwalbe Marathon Mondial 26×2.0

Wallace Pelletier says:

that new set is a nice looking pair of tires.

benson420710 says:

I paid almost 30$ a tire for my cult deharts 2.42 (I ride bmx) and ive rode them for almost 4 years straight now and I do alot of long rides with a 170mm crank arm with 25/9 teeth ratio although I do alot of street riding it also contains alot of tricks so its harder on tires and im just now loosing the kenda squeak that most kenda rubber brings, dont cheap out on tires that last 10k miles compared to 40k+ mile tires that they just label as “premium” I used to buy the regular 15$ tires from specialized shops and they lost the tread in a week if that compared to cult or even odyssey tires. the thicker the tire the better for durability:)

David Parker says:

Makes sense to me. Though it is still hard to beat the level six puncture resistance of a Schwalbe Marathon Plus, or the universality, and level 6 longevity of their Marathon Mondial. I was lucky enough to get a set of Schwalbe’s Dureme tandem tires at sell out, which have a super wall, rain grip, and low rolling resistance, and although they only have level 5 puncture protection, I just run Tuffy Liners, like I would if I were running any tire, including their Marathon Plus with level 6 flat protection. { I do not like flats. }  Even though you have to deal with limited selections at times, you still know how to buy to best kind of tire. I can see that. You learn that after riding a lot. I have an advantage though of just being a dedicated commuter, who can only dream of touring. Local bike shops near me only go as high as Specialized tires, which you can hardly wear out. I had to get my Schwalbes on line. You just have to make sure to always get the very best walls, and rubber quality as you can possibly can, not to mention superior weaves, and material such as kevlar, for stability, and puncture protection.

Henrich Hostak says:

Rubena is actually not a bad choice super cheap and very good quality. You won’t be disappointed. 😉

donald walter says:

On some bikes I have Kenda’s but I mostly ride with Schwalbe Marthons. I make it a point to take at least three spare tires and 4 spare tubes on extended tours of 2 weeks or more. I have had three flats and one ruined tire on one day alone so now I go prepared. I’ve tried tube liners also but if you don’t get them seated perfectly they can cause tube flats also. I don’t like the self sealing tubes anymore as they can make a mess of your rims or your pump. If you go cheap you usually get a failure when you can least afford it (remote area). There are fiends of mine that have had 10,000 km on a set of tires. Watch out for porcupines, they nibble tires sometimes at night at campsites.

Senapspiser says:

If I’m not completely wrong your new tires are typical city tires. Will probably serve you well and if they actually are made in CZ, i’ll guess the quality is good too.

The Long Long Trip says:

I know they are expensive, but I have to recommend Schwalbe Marathon plus. I have travelled 3000+km over the past year with zero issues, I have only pumped them up 3-4 times during this period also, rock solid

airgrphxable says:

good tires, but test them in the wet. I’ve got the zirra and sometimes, under heavy breaking, in the wet, my front tire locks before the rear one lifts off the ground

kuladeeluxe says:

I sure like my Marathon Supreme tires. Transformed the bike. I certainly don’t get as far away from home as you. Keep at er.


Bontrager for outside and GLR for hometraining / spinning

umweltingenieur says:

Schwalbe Marathon Mondial: 25’000km 🙂 – Not so good in Snow/Mud, otherwis blablabla good 😉

TheNoratek says:

How often did you have to change your tires on your tour through Sweden?

henry krohn says:

64-305 (16 X2.4)

Skye Izumi says:

I use tires that allow me to ride my bike in the the dry and wet, so I always buy tries with tread block, watched enough motorsport for me to take picking what tires I use seriously.

Ydonkov says:

Rubena is a good tire, should serve you well.

aaron fuksa says:

convenience is key. but im switching to narrow 21 inch x 1.6 inch rim with 2.75 inch wide motorcross tires laced with bike hub. im just going to keep on rolling while you change out your little bike tires. 200 miles electric assist.

Popa Daniel says:

then what bike tires do you like (or , being that you have a great biking experience , which tires did you notice that have a good performance and durability – if any)?

Mark Clouse says:

I Think you have to do your best with the situation you are in, but I think I would reduce the possibility of problems in crummy places by putting the best tires you can get when you are home or in urban places and supply isn’t an issue. Problems aren’t always just wearing out. I think there is a Murphy’s Law on this.

Lex Jenkins says:

Those Innovas look like the set that came with my new-to-me Univega, a new set of Innova IA-2068. Good tires. The tread pattern is nearly identical to my favorites, the Michelin Protek Cross Max, although not as thick (the Michelins are heavy due to the 5mm puncture shield). Chevron center tread for pavement with sharp shoulders to grab turf in loose stuff like gravel. Good to know yours lasted quite a few miles.

Sven Lima says:

I can only advice which tires not (!) to take on a travelling bike: some with deep profile – I don’t know the proper word in English. With typical mountainbike tires you lose a lot of pedalling energy because they have too much resistance. I travelled a couple of years with slick tires – they’re perfect as long as it’s not a steep muddy climb or icy.

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