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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

Just got my single speed road bike commuter up and running, just need to put on some finishing touches. I currently have some cyclocross tires on it because I figured it would be good for dirt roads and snow-plowed roads on a college campus. Is this the right conclusion that I've come to or would slicker tires still work in these adverse conditions? I want to be able to handle these conditions yet I make riding efficiency pretty high on my list of desires.

What kinds of tires do you all use when you commute?
 

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I guess it depends on your definition of "dirt." If that means "mud" when it rains, slicks won't be much help. On the other hand, I have no issues with using regular road tires across stretches of gravel road (but I would not want to ride miles on gravel with slicks). Likewise, on clear, snow-free streets, slicks work fine. If you have any snow, knobbies are helpful--- and with ice, studs are the only way to go. If you don't have ice, studs are a waste of energy (and studs).

There really is no ONE perfect tire that can handle everything. My slicks are slower "off-road" than knobbies, yet much faster on pavement. My studs are slower on everything in the winter--- except the ONLY way to go on ice. My solution is to have multiple wheelsets (and bikes) to accommodate the weather.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Does anyone ever just have multiple sets of tires and interchange them on the same wheelsets? It's a cheaper way to go which is good for a college student, but I'm sure it's more prone to pinch flats and what-not...
 

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It is a pain in the ass--- especially if ice or weather (or mood or anything else variable enters the mix). I paid $100 each for Nokian Extremes--- and don't want to waste them on dry winter roads. Paying a few hundred for a cheap wheelset and cog is a small price to pay... and how much would a broken collar bone be worth? Even to a student? Extra wheels are always nice. You are already running single speed, which is on the right track.

For my beater commuter, using regular road tires, I placed a wanted to buy ad in craigslist and picked up all sorts of junk people want to get rid of for building up extra wheelsets. We are talking $5 - 20 per wheel. Who cares if they match. Extra hubs? Rims---- you name it.


Colin Y said:
Does anyone ever just have multiple sets of tires and interchange them on the same wheelsets? It's a cheaper way to go which is good for a college student, but I'm sure it's more prone to pinch flats and what-not...
 

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I swap in the winter

I have these http://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;product=1027;group=71;page=1;ID=b5efee616f0e0b9137f61b15b61dd7e6 in 700c that are a fair bit cheaper than 100$ each. I have a hybrid that I put them on and also have a fixed that I use if it's ice free in the winter. I have overlooked black ice before and it was really painfull.
With these tyres you can pump them up hard and not wear out the studs when they're not needed as they're in two rows on the side of the tyre. On ice you just let out a little air and they stick really well.
Another advantage is in the spring when you change them for slicks you feel like you're flying! :D
 

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I think Panaracer Pasela TG (Tourguard) tires are a great all-round commuting tire. They are relatively cheap, tough as heck, and ride pretty well. There's no do-everything tire for the range of applications you mentioned, but I think these are good for many commuting applications. You might be done with school before you wear out a set of these.
 
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