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MTB Slick tyres

By GiantNut - Posted on 08 February 2010

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

With all the rain was hanging for a ride so went to Centennial Park. I had my Nevegals on at off road pressure and got hosed by some roadies. This won't do. I managed an avg speed of 27.4kp/h over 5 laps - Roadies can get around at 35 kp/h I understand from websites but want to know has anyone got MTB Slick tyres and will it make a noticable difference to speed/rolling resistance for the price. Was thinking of going back with small block 8's I have and jack them up to 80psi and see if I can catch a Cervello or two.
Continental has a few slicks out anyone tried em - what width tyre is best?

I've been commuting with Maxxis Xeniths on my hardtail now for quite a few years. They're a 1.5 full slick, and pumped up to 80psi. The difference in rolling resistance and avg speed is noticeably quicker than running nobblies.


The road bike will always be faster regardless of tyres fitted. When I got my road bike I couldn't believe how much quicker and more responsive it is.

Thats a good clip for a roadie though. A large number of them in there roll round at that pace, but in a bunch, pulling a turn only every minute or two for only 20seconds.

Most of them cruise round there on their own at about 7mins a lap pace - which is somewhere around the 30-32 mark.
dont be too hard on yourself.

FYI - the unofficial record (for a road bike rather than a TT bike) is held by last years National Road Champ - Pete MacDonald - 4mins 42 (or something in the 40's anyway).
That is GUNNING it.

Fastest rolling are Serfas Baristas at 26x1.25, or Conti Sport Contacts at 26x1.3.

Both are a bit of a struggle to mount - very tight. The Baristas are slightly easier to mount but I reckon the Cont's are slightly quicker. These are both significantly quicker than any 2"+ slick tyre, and knobblies just aren't in the contest.

I have a set of Baristas with Presta tubes you can borrow if you want to try before buying.

Quickest of the lot are 700c rims with 23mm tyres like Conti GP4000s, which is what my commuter has. Cool

26 x 1.25 - pure slicks, absolutely excellent and OK in the wet. You'll even sound like a roadie.

In 26 x 1.5 at about 80 psi. Plenty cheap when on sale from T7 (buy cheap slicks = spend cash on knobbies). They're as fast as most, but pick up punctures fairly easily, and grip like buggery to wet or dry bitumen.

27 km/h on low pressure Nevegals is pretty quick!

erm, to clarify, the loan is if you want to see if they make a difference before you buy a set for yourself - I'm keeping mine. Smiling

The Baristas can take up to 100psi, from memory. Much over 90 though and they get a bit harsh - depends on your weight. Both the Conti's and the Baristas have puncture protection. After getting 6 punctures in 5 days just after New year's a couple of years ago, I won't run a tyre without it. Sticking out tongue It's worth the extra - I lost quite a few billable hours that week, about 15 times the $ I saved being a cheapskate on commute tyres.

My 700c tyres I run at 100 -105psi.

I use Schwalbe Marathons - they take everything on Sydney roads Smiling


Thanks for the offer of a loan but as the general consensus is positive - you guys run slicks and are happy and they seem reasonably priced even cheap - so will go and buy a pair. I think it would be satisfying to pass a few roadies on the knobbies but then again you don't go to a gun fight with a knife.
Wow that record time around the park is very, very quick
Thanks for all the help

i have a set of continental sport contact 1.6 if you want to try before you buy ... they are noticably faster ... in hindsight though i should have got the 1.3 even though my rim (mavic xm117 disc) recommends 1.50 to 2.30 ...

slight tangent ... after a while i just got too lazy to change tyres ... i am thinking of buying some 2010 mavic crossmax slr 6 bolts rims ... with race kings on the crossmaxs and xm117s for the sport contacts ...

The Conti's are a PITA to change over, unless you like broken tyre levers, skinned knuckles, and pinch flats! Laughing out loud

Awesome tyre though. And the crossmax slr is an aaaarsome wheelset. I have a set that I'm keeping aside for race duty later this year (yes, I'm an optimist! Sticking out tongue )

Agree with Beroccaboy ..... two sets of wheels is much better if you can afford to go that way. I run Nevegal / SB8 on Crossmax ST's off road and Schwalbe Durano Plus 28's on Speedcity 700c wheels for commuting. Takes 2 minutes to swap over.
700c = very fast ( unfortunately, rider = very slow )


I was running these on my old MTB up until I purchased a road bike, didn't get any flats in the 3 months I was riding on them. Huge difference compared to nobbys but not as good as my road bike Smiling

I've just purchased some Detonators and I'm getting conflicting reports on their puncture resistant-ness (Smiling).

Yet to fit them to my spare set of wheels though as the weather has been good and I haven't needed to. It's like getting wet weather insurance!

I have schw City Jets - they handle 100psi, made a huge difference on the road. usually run wtb weirwolfs, the corner grip on the road compared to nobs is pretty handy too. 26 inch is always going to be a downer - have a question though, i picked up an old hard tail which i now use as a road trainer - has anyone played around with the gearing to get it closer to roady? i recon that a few more cogs here or less there and the average would go up a bit as well.

I've had a set of Innova slicks on my old Kona Dawg for a while now and yesterday (about 30km from home) the rear tyre started splitting along the rim on one side. Probably due to rider weight issues coupled with the physical and verbal abuse involved in getting it on / off / on a deep DT Swiss E540 rim (contrary to the T7 advertising, they are not "puncture proof").

Had fun riding a lumpy rear tyre with fingers crossed for the rest of the ride. The tyre is stuffed and the tube is flat this morning.

Anybody recommend a mtb slick with a bit more beef in the sidewalls that doesn't require divine intervention to get on and off? Or should I just go back to the Kenda K-Rads I pinched off my son's Giant STP1?

Ran the Maxis Detonators for 6 months but had constant punctures with them. Good grip though. Threw them out in disgust when I had 4 flats during one ride.

Ran some Hutchinson City Slickers for the next 6 months. Better puncture resistance but always felt a bit vague around the city.

Now on Maxxis Xeniths and I love em. Lighter and thinner than the Detonators but have not had one single puncture in two months....touch wood. They look sweet and have great grip in wet and dry.

Got em at Bike Addiction. Like the previous poster I'm running them at top PSI (80 I think).


I can count on 1 hand the amount of punctures I've had in 2 years of a daily 35km commute since I've had them. I eventually wore the rear out and have put a new one on a couple of weeks ago. I got mine from T7 and CRC but yeah BA also have them too.

Great tyre - at 1.75inch they are a little wider than the 1.5 Xeniths but the grip is great - especially in the wet. Never lost grip or had a puncture in 2.5 years as they have a kevlar bead and the small tread stops glass getting in. Also they have a reflective strip on the sidewalls which helps cars see you from side on.

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