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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I hear slicks are the way to go for commuting on a mtb. I have a Specialized Rockhopper Disc. I was wondering what slicks would be good for my bike. I ride about 24 miles round trip and my commute to work is about 15 minutes longer than my ride back (stupid hills!). Does anybody know of good slicks I can get? (sorry i am a complete noob to bike accessories/tires etc)
 

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Brackish
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I like the Ritchey Tom Slick because they are rated up to 85 psi, which is what I like my commuter tires at. I've also used the Tioga City Slicker Is and liked them, I don't care for the CS IIs though.
 

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Nice no rass
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682 Posts
Nashbar has house brand 1.5's for $10-$11. If you can fit them, Hookworms are sweet and fat (2.5). They take a ton of abuse. Weenies will say they are too big and slow, but how slow is any tire without knobs when it's pumped up to 60 psi? If I could fit them on my old commuter (fork won't allow it) I'd be running them.

Panaracer Uff Da's (2.3) are online for $16-$17.
 

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Depends on your route

First off, the higher the psi, the harder your tire roles, decreasing resistance but increasing harshness (less flex, so more bump and vibration makes to you). For all of the many nuances of this, Google + "bicycle tire pressure recommendations" should give you all you need.

If your roads are nice, and it's a route you would ride your road bike on, Specialized makes a high pressure tire, ALL CONDITION PRO 26" TIRE that you can run at up to 125psi. It rolls amazingly fast, but is puncture prone.

For a rougher route, and the tire I settled on after many failed brands, is the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme HS 382. I've not flatted once with about 500 miles under their belt, a record for me here on the crap streets of New Orleans. They are very comfy and with a 40lb load in my panniers, they still feel great. At 70 psi, they are fast enough for a fendered commuter, and the reflective sidewalls add that extra bit of visibility at night. They cost, but for no worry rolling, well worth it.
 

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higher the psi the less rolling resistance you get!

I am thinking about doing the same- but I want to look into getting a whole new wheel set to go with the slicks- b/c its got to be a pain in the azz to keeping switching tires. Just my 2 cents..
 

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I've ran a couple hundred miles on both Surfas Drifter 26x1.5 as well as bontrager select invert K 26x1.5 this year... The drifters are no doubt a great tire; I really can't say one bad thing about them!

BUUTTTT, imho, the bontrager is a more 'universal' tire. Great on the street- low rolling resistance, excellent handling, quite and very smooth. But its not bad at all off the pavement either. Considering its a 1.5 width, I think it gets rather good traction, plus a slightly sqaurer profile helps it float better.


But anyway, both great tires.
 

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ONe less gear
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I use Maxxis Detonator 1.25 at 100psi on my Kona blast. They roll really fast with no resistance. Before switching to slicks I dreaded any climb on the road.
 

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It's not the issue of going faster, but the issue of exerting less effort (less effort = less sweat and tiredness). You could go faster (probably 2mph or so) if you wanted, or you could just ride longer.
 

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I bought some roadies.
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I had a set of specialized tires that came standard on my bike. These tires are the only ones I could find in a larger diameter yet still hold 100psi. I used those for about 6 months before they wore out, and that is probably more from my riding style vs. distance rode. I just recently switched to a set of 28mm schwalbe Marathons and have noticed a DRASTIC decrease in what I would describe as rolling resistance as well. On sections where I knew what gear I would typically stay in, I have noticed I now am 1 or two gears higher, with the same amount of effort. Which does translate into speed, but I think both are valuable. If I'm a little winded its also easier to keep the speed up. I can coast and notice less loss of speed as well. These tires are by far not "slicks" but have definately a lower profile tread, and hold 100psi. Riding a friends bike who has a set of big apples (pumped to 60psi) I noticed a difference most in hills, but definitely had to push harder just to keep up with him on my bike. In fact he kicked himself in the butt after riding mine because of how much easier it was.

The only difference between my old set of tires and new set, was the width and maybe a little more aggressive and more "street" tread on the Marathons.
 
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