Which tires?

I’m having tire issues. I used to just buy the cheapest tires I could find, and I never had any problems. I had several batches of $6 Michelin tires that were awesome.

I almost always run 700x28. They are the biggest tires that will fit the frame and fork. I like the extra air.

Recenty I tried something new: the Michelin Transworld City. But the 700x28 were too big. They are more like 700x35. Not sure if I want to keep them for the Nishiki Olympic twelve or not. They will fit; it has tons of frame clearance (one reason I got that frame). They aren’t super heavy (Bike Tires Direct claim 390g for the 700x28; Michelin is silent on its web site), and the ride is pretty cushy, but the tread is noisy, esp on corners. And I’m not sure I want such deep tread. It seems like it’s just going to collect crud and glass.

And, honestly, while the reflective sidewalls are cool, the tires look a bit dorky on. They are too ... big and fluffy. Or something.

Since the Transworlds didn’t work I put some Serfas Secas (again, 700x28) on. They are really hard and uncomfortable – like riding on solid rubber. I tried them at 100psi and 80psi – same story. Strange. The old Continental Sport 1000s (they don’t make them any more – I think the replacement is the Ultra Sport) were so cushy and comfortable – even at 700x28 – that I often thought the rear tire was low. It never was. That’s what I call a supple ride.

I’m tempted to try the Ultra Sports. REI has the Conti Ultra Sport 700x28 (350g) for $18. Another possibility is the Conti Contact 700x28 (500g) ($25 from Bike Tires Direct).

It seems that “flat protection” tires tend to be hard-riding. I’ve heard that about the Conti Gators, and the Specialized Armadillos. The Transworld are supposed to have some kind of protection but they had a good ride.

Who knew finding decent tires would be so hard?