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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know a lot of people change their mountain biking tires to commute during the week, but that seems like such a pain. Realistically, are the roads going to harm your tires that badly? Not trying to be insulting, just try to learn before I screw up my tires too badly.
 

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No-Brakes Cougar
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I don't, but I have a dedicated commuter. Keep in mind that pavement will wear out your knobbies faster than dirt. You will also experience more rolling resistance while riding (considered it a training/fitness bonus). Also, the "buzz" from knobbies rolling on pavement bothers some people.
 

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a lazy pedaler
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I do it...yes, is a pain...not too much lately as I've been a lazy winter rider/commuter (*) so the bike has had the slicks for a while. I don't know much about the mtb tires being harmed, to me is about the felling, the couple of times I did the street ride with the mtb tires it WASN´T just right...so I just deal with it...my times changing tires on Sundays were getting better and better...but yes, still a pain.

(*) but I got new gear today!! yeeii...getting close to zero excuses!
 

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...a wiggle theres a way
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guess i am lucky now as i just change out bikes for the condition e.g.
Snowing - Mountain bike with the studded tires
day after snow storm roads clear - cross bike
raining/dry/wet spring summer / fall - road bike

dry/wet/raining grocery getter - mountain bike with panaracer fire xc :)

however when only one bike was the case yes i switched out tires and it was annoying and a pain in the ass especially when the tires were new and hadn't stretched - i can't tell you how many quick sticks/tire levers i broke and went thru my solution now is to also have an extra set of wheels which has been great

joe
 

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Changing out tires is a pain, but if you use expensive mtn specific tires might be worth it for an easier commute, and to reduce wear and tear on pricey tires.

Alternatives include dual purpose tires with a center ridge or smooth zone with knobs on either side for cornering, if they meet your off road needs, a second set of wheels which don't need to be top end for commuting, or a dedicated commuter bike, which also doesn't have to be expensive. For commuting a garage sale bike with some simple upgrades will do, and can be cost justified based on reduced wear on the better bike.
 

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I have the stock set of wheels with the stock Kenda Small Block 8's and cassette in the garage. I use the bike mostly for commuting and terrorizing the streets of downtown late at night and have a lighter set of wheels, commuter friendly tires, and a roadbike cassette. The only pain in the ass thing is swapping over the disc brakes which take 5 minutes at most.
 

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my cheap wheels have all the fixins, el-cheapo bell commuter tires, el-cheapo hayes rotors, el-cheapo singlespeed... yeah they pretty much kick ass. the only trouble was finding a cheap 20mm T/A hub for the front... Quando was my answer! i have one of them on the front of the other, good, freeride wheels... no problems what so ever, good hub. Mavic 117 rims, so bashing on them at my weight is a big fat no-no...

BWW hooked it up for like $120 i think?
 

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This is just too funny reading the responses. "The road will tear up your expensive knobbies" etc. NO IT WILL NOT! Braking the rear tire so it skids a bunch will wear out your tire (rear only) Otherwise it's never ever going to be an issue. Rocks and dirt create more slippage which means more wear-based friction than roads will ever cause.

I had 3 different mtn hardtails in San Francisco for the 6 years I lived there. I road them everywhere, on road, off-road, across the bridge into marin, on the fire trails, in the parks, to my school as a commute, to get groceries etc. At different points I tried tires with full knobbies and tires with a flat or nearly flat center-tread with knobs on the sides.

Conclusion -

The tires with a flat surface down the middle rolled slightly better, allowing better coasting (by a tiny fraction). BUT - they were almost useless off-road whenever things got sandy or squishy. They weren't as dangerous as full slicks, but they really hurt the fun-factor of off-road trail riding.

The tires with full knobbies didn't wear AT ALL over years of abuse and road commuting. BUT - they made more noise, and they rolled marginally slower.

If you do 99% road commuting then just get some semi-slicks with knobs on the side, but if you even do as often as 1 day a week of off-roading, just stick with full knobs or you'll regret it on those days.
 

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john777 said:
I know a lot of people change their mountain biking tires to commute during the week, but that seems like such a pain. Realistically, are the roads going to harm your tires that badly? Not trying to be insulting, just try to learn before I screw up my tires too badly.
Not really too much of a pain, if you have a spare 1/2 hour once a week.

Knobbies will wear out pretty fast on pavement, also cause you will put more miles on them on pavement, but what the hell...

I change out tires sometimes twice a week, sometimes once every 3 months...just depends on how I feel...

I also have a some extra rims that I change out as well....

Trouble is I always want to ride the very best set-up (well whatever is in my head at the time), so if I have the time and care I switch, if not oh well.
 

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Bedwards Of The West
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Before I built a dedicated commuter, I just switched the MTB to a rounded profile 'compromise' tire that rolled well on the road but still performed decently on the trail.

There are some cheap options out there. All I changed for the MTB commute was tire pressure. 60+ PSI on the road with the right tire, and the rolling resistance is great.
 

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My commute is very short so I just leave my knobbies on. (they are OEM tires that I dont like the tread pattern, so I could care less about the wear) Plus I dig the monster truck buzzing I get when I am up to speed. :)
 

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I commute everyday school/work so when i had my first set of tires on the bike, within the first year they were bald. :( So i learned my lesson and invested in two sets of tires at the same time. I went for the Kenda Nevegals for mtb riding, and Kenda Krads for my commuting use. I do change them every time i mtb and commute. I've got it down to a sciene by now that it only takes me a few mins (most of my time is spent hand pumping since im at school and dont have my compressor here)

The first month i got these tires i had them both on for two week intervals...just wanted to get the feel for each, and also from reading previous posts i wanted to test tire wear, rolling resistance and stuff like that. One big thing i noticed when i had the nevegals on ppl in front of me on campus got out of the way much quicker since those things scream on the pavement :D but it came with a cost, just in those two weeks i noticed the tires had already had a small amount of wear on them and from then on i've always changed them each time i mtb.

The Krads are great too, they wear pretty good and they have great grip on the pavement even for not being a dedicated slick. I did try a few times riding them on the trails. Lets just say that was an experience...I was washing out on even semi packed dirt and sand so needless to say im not riding those any more while mtb. They do however work well enough when i need/want to hop off the pavement when im commuting which is what i was going for.

So overall IMO i think you should always change them, or get another wheelset. Up to you. I actually have another wheel-set that just needs a minor repair, but i love my wheels now and im too stubborn to go fix them :p
 
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