26" Slick Tyre Comparisons
26" slicks are ideal city-bike tyres: fast, good on tarmac, and easy to fit to a mountain bike to make a good street steed. Here are the ones I've used, with my opinions:
|Panaracer||Pasela||28mm||Average responsiveness, nice and comfortable.||Moderate.||Pretty good.||A decent touring-type tyre.|
|Specialized||Nimbus Armadillo||1.5"||A little wooden and "dead".||Excellent.||Very good. Expect a year of commuting.||Superbly robust tyre but not much fun to ride. Idea for a daily commuter.|
|Specialized||Fat Boy||1.5"||Responsive but sketchy, prone to skidding on corners, especially in the wet.||Excellent.||Good.||Designed for dry, grippy Californian roads: screaming death on wet, dieselly British ones. Poor grip lets down a nice ride.|
|Vredestein||S-Lick||1.3"||Pretty lively for such a heavy tyre.||Good.||Very good. Expect a year of commuting.||A nicer ride than the Nimbus, not quite as nice as the Sport Contact but harder wearing. And available in cool colours.|
|Hutchinson||Airlite Top Slick ||1"||Superb: roadie-grade loveliness.||Average||Poor: these are delicate.||A beautiful ride but you'll not get more than 6 months / 1500 miles out of them. Puncture resistance and low volume makes them most suitable for unlade or lightly-loaded riding.|
|Tioga||City Slicker||1" and 1.3"||Good.||Average||Average||Cheap alternatives to the Top Slick, the ride's pretty nice and they wear a little better.|
|Continental||Sport Contact||1.3"||Good. The best 1.3" in terms of liveliness and grip.||Excellent.||Good.||The best 1.3" - great puncture proofing and a great ride offset the shorter lifespan when compared to the Nimbus.|
Overall? The best for ride and reliability, is the Conti Sport Contact, which is highy recommended and even comes with a puncture guarantee - a truly great tyre. The Conti has stolen the S-Lick's crown as the king of city slicks, if you ask me.
The nicest ride is the skinny Hutchinson Airlite Top Slick - real road-bike performance.
The toughest is without doubt the Specialized Nimbus, which is pretty nearly indestructible. That makes it a fine choice for a commuter where a spunky ride is less important than bombproof reliability.