2017 Elite with Big Ben tires: Tuffy or Slime needed?

The only issue I had with liner pinch flats was when I had my liner too long and the overlap bunched up. I have Mr. Tuffy liners in my wife's Radcity Step-Thru with 26X2.3" tires at 55 psi. She is 100% urban paved road rider and I don't think she would have an issue with liner pinch flats at a lower PSI. I think keeping the tires in the max 50-55 psi range on paved to hardpacked trails will help against pinch flats with or without a liner.
The rhinodillos brand have an added yellow rounded tab that suppose to reduce the rubbing from the overlap of the tireliners- they also come in varying sizes to fit specific tire sizes to reduce the amount of overlap. I added them to my road bike last winter after getting my 3rd flat in a month of winter commuting. After getting them, didn’t get any flats until I switched to my summer road tires and opted not to put them on to save weight. (You do feel the added weight at least I could on my road bike) After getting my ST2 last month and knowing that changing the back wheel tire in the rain would be a bad slow experience (due to weight and electric plug) I went ahead and ordered a pair and put them on. So far no flats but don’t really the Big Bens in the rain so will transfer the rhinodillo liners over when I switch to the continental top contact winter tire next week. I currently run the tires at 50psi.
I swapped the Big Bens on my ST2 today for a pair of Marathon GT365s. I kept the Tuffy liners I had been using with the OEM Big Bens, and used Slime tubes. I sanded the edges of the tire liners to smooth out the edges (thanks Ravi for the suggestion). If I get a flat I won’t be upset that I didn’t do everything in my power to prevent it.

I’ve only ridden about 8 miles on the new tires, but wow, do they feel different from the Big Bens. But they don’t ride like I expected- and that’s good. I really hated how poor the traction on the Big Bens was in the rain. The roads were wet today and the GTs were very confidence-inspiring. While they don’t have the Cad-O-Lac ride of the Big Bens, I didn’t expect them to as responsive either. They actually feel much quicker and precise from a handling standpoint. I feel I can take corners faster and they seem to stop quicker. I have them inflated pretty high, around 55 lbs, but they don’t feel harsh. Not as pliant as the BBs, but not bad at all. My guess is that because they are a bit narrower and with a shorter side wall and less volume altogether, they’re stiffer tires. The carbon fork in conjunction with a suspension seat post and Baramind Trek suspension handlebars do a great job of softening the ride without being at all mushy.

I will keep commuting through the fall, and if I can hack riding in the winter, I’ll do that too. I don’t have any interest in riding in really nasty winter weather, so I opted to not get spikes. If things change and I stop being such a wimp I’ll get some spikes later on.

Overall, and without many miles spent on them yet, my impression of the GT 365 is very positive. Plus I think they look really good. Time and weather will confirm or dispute that. I’ll post a follow up when I have some more miles on them.


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