Top 5 Slick Tyres - Intro
I won't go in to detail but slick tires are one of the best upgrades you can make on an MTB that is used mostly for commuting. As well as slick tyres I have included some "semi slick" and "nearly slick" tyres in this list. Tyres with less nobbles roll easier, meaning you get to work, the pub, the shops by expending less energy.
Top 5 Slick Tyres - Things to Consider
- Try and get the widest tyre possible - Unless you wish to alter your gearing as a side effect try and get the same sized tire that you have at the moment. Most slicks are sold right down to 1.3", but most mountain bike tyres are around 2". Try and get as close to 2" as you can. Fatter tires are a comfy ride, and they won't mess with your gearing.
- Buy Cheap Buy Twice - What value do you place on getting to work without having to repair punctures. A cheap tire costs £10, and excellent tire costs £25, spread over 2 or 3 years is it worth buying a cheap tyre?
- Choosing a Tread - A fully slick tyre looks great, but it is not as versatile as a nearly slick or semi slick. If you ever do any rural riding (on or off tarmac) a fully slick tire is a poor choice safety wise, a muddy corner at speed with fully slick tires . . . not pretty.
Top 5 Slick Tyres - Semi Slick, Nearly Slick & Slick?
Slick Tyres - A slick tyre is generally devoid on any type of tread, i.e. knobbly bits. Some will have a token tread pattern continental sports contact for example (below).
Nearly Slick - A tyre such as the Schwalbe Big Apple has a little tread but not very much. This makes the tire roll well, and retains a little grip for off-road surfaces like tow paths, fire trails.
Semi Slick - A semi slick tire has a smooth crest, and knobbly sides. Apart from the slight increase in air resistance (which you will not notice) most semi slicks role just as well as slick, or semi slick cousins, with the added bonus that if you stray on to some muddy terrain you will not have to get off and walk!
Top 5 Slick Tyres - The List (Best First)
Expect to Pay - £25
These tyres are the best you can get. They are tough as nails, expect to have no punctures what so ever for months on end. They roll very well and can be inflated to 70 psi. Older versions such as the tread pattern above come with "Kevlar guard" which is very good, newer variety with the newer tread pattern come with "green guard" which is also very good.
Expect the tread to last for ages, as they are very hard wearing. These tires are also very comfy to ride on, and come in very large sizes up to 2.35" meaning that if you have room in your frame you can increase the rolling circumference of your tires similar to that of a 700c wheel.
2 - Schwalbe Kojak (Slick Tyres)
Expect to Pay - £20
Notice a pattern here? Schwalbe Tires are very good.
Kojaks are completely tread less, and can be inflated to 70 psi. Which means they roll very well. They are available in sizes up to 2" which means you don't loose out on wheel circumference.
Expect to Pay - £20
If you fancy french. Then these may well be the tires for you. very quiet, very smooth. These are available in sizes up to 1.9 " Puncture resistance is not as good as the tires above.
4 - Schwalbe City Jet (Slick Tyres)
Expect to Pay - £10
For £10 you can not go wrong with these tires they are very good value, from a quality manufacturer.
5 - Kenda Cross Plus (K847) (Semi Slick Tyres)
Expect to Pay - £6
These are not particularly good quality tyres. However, their price gets them on this list. For an introduction to slick tires these are a great choice.The roll very well, and you can do a bit of light off road, in comfort.
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