Q&A Rubber Solution
By Michael Stenning | Thursday, November 15, 2007 12.00am
Q: Can you help please? I ride a Dave Hinde M2 Mtb designed for road use (rigid forks and V brakes). The bike was supplied with Continental Twister 26x1.9in tyres. The tyres were light and behaved well, but were prone to punctures from road junk, hedge clippings and so on. I replaced them with a pair of Halo Twin Rail 26x2.2in puncture resistant tyres that have been excellent, with no punctures, a good volume of air, they roll well and are comfortable, but they weigh a ton. Can you recommend a pair of tyres that is light, puncture proof and comfortable to ride?
Ray Hoare, email
A. Specialized's venerable Nimbus slicks (£19.95 ea) with Armadillo puncture protection are good performers, delivering relatively low rolling resistance, good wear life and comfort. However, given your present choice, maybe their 1.5in width is a touch narrow.
Sticking with Specialized, I've put their Hemisphere 26x1.95s to good use through the mean, glass and pot hole-strewn streets of London with no punctures. They offer a very comfortable albeit slightly ponderous ride, but they will also be good for a bit of light, dry weather, off-road fun.
Hutchinson's City Slick (£13.99 ea) looks to be a reasonable compromise between the two at 1.7in wide; there's plenty of tyre in contact with the road to deliver confidence in most conditions and allow for the unexpected hole. However, if you really wanted to blast along with near road bike performance, I've run their Top Slick (choice of 1in or 1.2in widths, £19.99 each) at 90psi through a few winters with only one puncture. The ride is harsh compared to the others, yet the wear rate seems surprisingly good with the wider version.
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