Author Topic: 650B tyres  (Read 381 times)

JohnR

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650B tyres
« on: May 03, 2021, 10:23:02 PM »
With the mucky winter roads now (I hope) not a big worry for the next 6 months I decided it was time to swap the GravelKing SK tyres for something with less tread and good puncture resistance ready for a LEJOG in July. I've been stocking up on tyres when I find something at a good price and had been thinking of fitting Marathon Supremes which I had bought during the winter for 29.99 each (42mm width). However, some 50mm Marathon Almotion tyres appeared in Wiggle's sale for 31.99 each. That size, which suits my bike and mudguards, seems to be discontinued as the Almotions listed elsewhere are 55mm. After a bit of research, I grabbed a pair. They arrived quickly and went straight onto the bike although not the easiest of tyres to fit (I've got a couple of long velcro cable-ties to serve as a second pair of hands).

I pumped them up hard to seat them and then dropped the pressure to a bit over 30 psi (the marking says 30 - 60 psi) and took them for a ride. They definitely have lower rolling resistance than the other tyres I've used on the Mercury but that pressure was too high as the bike was trying to chuck me off at each road imperfection so I've settled for 24 psi (front) + 29 psi (rear) to provide a more comfortable ride.

The attached photo shows the four types of 650B tyre in my collection. Left to right:
(i)   50mm Schwalbe Marathon Almotion
(ii)  42mm Schwalbe Marathon Supreme
(iii) 48mm Panaracer GravelKing SK
(iv)  50mm Schwalbe G-One Speed

The bike came with G-One Speed tyres fitted tubeless and these worked OK as a fairly fast lightweight tyre until I took them off last October as I wanted something with more grip for the winter. The GravelKing SK tyres were then fitted but I was unsuccessul at getting them to seat as tubeless (lack of a big compressor and air tank) so they ended up with inner tubes and, after one puncture, with sealant in the tubes which stopped any further puncture problems. There was a small puncture hole in the rear tube which only became apparent after removal of the tyres (which, I assume, pulled out the plug of sealant). The rear G-One Speed was well worn after 1500 miles (see photo). In comparison, the GravelKing SKs did over 2000 miles during the winter without significant wear.

I suspect that the Marathon Supremes will remain on the shelf as they won't be as comfortable as the fatter tyres (anyone want them?) but I might try and wear out the G-One Speed tyres on day trips while the GravelKing SK tyres will go back on for the winter. As the Almotions are a tight fit I might see if they will seat without tubes although they don't claim to be tubeless.

martinf

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Re: 650B tyres
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2021, 11:04:15 PM »
Marathon Almotion in 50 mm are supposed to be good. But I doubt I'll get to try them, my Supremes are lasting very well.

I have Marathon Supreme in 50 mm on my old 650B. They are very comfortable, with better sandy track performance and a tad better on comfort than the Marathon Supreme in 42 mm I had on the bike before (now on my wifes' bike). But slightly slower than the 42 mm on good roads.

Both sizes of Supremes were significantly better in all respects (except price) than the ordinary Marathons I had before, which in turn were much better than the cheap 650B tyres which were the only ones available till the rebirth of 650B as 27.5 inches a few years ago.


PH

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Re: 650B tyres
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2021, 10:03:22 AM »
My experience is 700c rather than 650b so judge for yourself any relevance.
I've been a fan of Supreme tyres since they first came out, I've used sizes from 32 - 40mm, they last well, few punctures, good grip on-road, reasonable grip hard off-road, very comfortable, reasonably fast.  I put 50/55mm Almotion on my new 29er last year and have been very pleased with them, but had nothing to compare with as I'd had no other tyres on this bike, or any other tyres this wide.  Still, pleased enough that I bought a 40mm pair to try on the Mercury for the winter when the extra bit of tread might be useful.  They're not as fast or as comfortable as the Supreme in the same size, but the differences are marginal, far more so than I expected.  So much so that when I've worn the current Supremes out I'm not sure which to replace them with. I think the Almotion also wins on longevity, those on the 29er have done 4,700 miles and still have loads of tread left. Supremes usually last me around 6,000 on the rear.
With your collection of tyres, one thing I'd try would be the wider Almotion on the rear and a Supreme on the front.

JohnR

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Re: 650B tyres
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2021, 09:12:12 PM »
With your collection of tyres, one thing I'd try would be the wider Almotion on the rear and a Supreme on the front.
This thought had already crossed my mind as I had noted your comment elsewhere about fitting different sizes front and back. However, I value the peace of mind provided by the extra tread on the Almotion which I think reduces the risk of a front wheel skid on a greasy surface. I still have a strong memory of the front wheel skidding sidewas on some moss on the outside of a bend on tarmac path (there was a pedestrian on the inside of the bend) which resulted in me and the bike on the tarmac.

Matt2matt2002

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Re: 650B tyres
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2021, 09:53:58 PM »
Did someone mention LEJOG in July?
I may be on that route around then.
Raven Tour + tent.
Never drink and drive. You may hit a bump  and spill your drink

JohnR

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Re: 650B tyres
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2021, 10:37:37 PM »
Did someone mention LEJOG in July?
I may be on that route around then.
Raven Tour + tent.
I'm doing it the easy way https://www.bikeadventures.co.uk/product/lands-end-to-john-ogroats-21-days-2021/. Should I find it too easy then I'll have to do it again using a more difficult option. 60 miles per day on a nice day should be pleasant but 60 miles into a headwind with driving rain will be memorable for the wrong reasons.

PH

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Re: 650B tyres
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2021, 08:09:41 AM »
I value the peace of mind provided by the extra tread on the Almotion which I think reduces the risk of a front wheel skid on a greasy surface.
These decisions, including my own, are not always backed up by the science, but doing what gives reassurance has a value in itself.  I read of someone who won't run a new tyre on the front, they'll stick it on the back for a couple of hundred miles first, the theory being that any moulding residue will have worn off and any manufacturing defects are likely to show themselves in that time.  Who's to say they're wrong?  Though it isn't something I'd bother doing.  The three times I've had a tyre let go and deposit me on the ground I'm convinced it would have happened regardless - deep gravel, ice (Maybe studs would have helped), diesel on a roundabout.  I've had a few more clenching moments but I'm still unable to draw any conclusions, other than thin high pressure tyres feel like they're about to give way a lot more frequently than wider lower pressure ones.

steve216c

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Re: 650B tyres
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2021, 11:43:28 AM »
I value the peace of mind provided by the extra tread on the Almotion which I think reduces the risk of a front wheel skid on a greasy surface.
These decisions, including my own, are not always backed up by the science, but doing what gives reassurance has a value in itself.  I read of someone who won't run a new tyre on the front, they'll stick it on the back for a couple of hundred miles first, the theory being that any moulding residue will have worn off and any manufacturing defects are likely to show themselves in that time.  Who's to say they're wrong?  Though it isn't something I'd bother doing.  The three times I've had a tyre let go and deposit me on the ground I'm convinced it would have happened regardless - deep gravel, ice (Maybe studs would have helped), diesel on a roundabout.  I've had a few more clenching moments but I'm still unable to draw any conclusions, other than thin high pressure tyres feel like they're about to give way a lot more frequently than wider lower pressure ones.

I think with exceptions for off road, snow, mud or ice type conditions tread on a bicycle tyre is largely irrelevant. Schwalbe suggest that the rubber compound in contact with the road is all that really matters under normal conditions. https://www.schwalbe.com/en/profil

I remember the time a friend persuaded me to buy some fairly slick Big Apples with him out to replace my MTB tyres on an old bike. Road riding became so much more enjoyable, quick and generally easier to handle. That same MTB (now shot with same size Marathon balloon tyres) still performed fine off the beaten track as long as it wasn't too muddy/slippery.
My Schwalbe Winter spikes have similar tread design to the Almothion but they provide my bike with the stability in icy and muddy winter conditions as well as any MTB type tyre I have ridden. But just like when I ditched the MTB style tyres, changing back to my non-spikes was a pleasure once the winter was over.
If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...

KDean

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Re: 650B tyres
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2021, 09:49:02 AM »
I've tried quite a few 650B tires  2.6"-3"   on my Ribble adventure bike . Richey Z max evolution  have been very good better grip than the Schwable all in  one  but just as fast rolling if not faster & I think they do them in your size .