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Old 07-10-09, 04:11 PM   #1
J.Lockdown
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Racing on 700 x 20 instead of 700 x 23. Differances?

So I order 700 x 20's tires instead of the 700 x 23 I currently ride by mistake. What major differences in handling should I expect if there are any (cornering, ect)?

They will be here tomorrow, and it seems yesterdays indoor training ride did my current ones in (almost no tread left). I have a race tomorrow and am trying to decided if its worth riding the new ones (without doing a couple training rides on them to feel there handeling) or would it be better to just ride the current ones with not a ton of tread left on them?
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Old 07-10-09, 04:17 PM   #2
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you wont notice a difference.. they'll be fine.
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Old 07-10-09, 04:19 PM   #3
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you wont notice a difference.. they'll be fine.
Except you'll be like twice as fast.
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Old 07-10-09, 04:53 PM   #4
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oh yea, there's that too.
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Old 07-10-09, 04:56 PM   #5
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No real differences with the cornering then? Whats the real advantage of going with a 20 over a 23 or the other way around then?
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Old 07-10-09, 05:16 PM   #6
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about 3mph.
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Old 07-10-09, 05:41 PM   #7
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Im surprised then I have not come across more 20's on bikes in races, or maybe I am just not looking at the tires ha.
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Old 07-10-09, 06:06 PM   #8
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I've been racing all year on 20's. I can't really tell much difference from the 23's other than it takes a whole lot less air to pump them up to 120 psi.
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Old 07-10-09, 06:13 PM   #9
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I use 21mm tubulars on my racing wheels and 23mm clinchers on my training wheels. I had a 19 up front for a little while and found it increadilby and uncomfortably twitchy. Probably could have gotten used to it but I replaced it with a 21 when it flatted.
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Old 07-10-09, 08:01 PM   #10
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I guess then I will race the new tires (Continental GP 4000) tomorrow and find out how things go on the warm-up lap.
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Old 07-10-09, 08:08 PM   #11
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Part of this depends on rider size, and tubulars are a bit different than clinchers.

However, over time a pretty general consensus has developed that 23mm clinchers are better overall for mass start races. (Time trials are another issue because aerodynamics are more important and grip less.)

Back in the day, the trend was to race on narrower tires, and people rode progessively thinner tires. As people relaized rolling resistence was likely higer, grip lower, and pinch flat risk higher, most people gravitated back to 23 mm.

Now is the difference between 20mm and 23mm huge? No. Is 23mm probably a better choice for most people? Yes.
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Old 07-10-09, 08:33 PM   #12
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I guess then I will race the new tires (Continental GP 4000) tomorrow and find out how things go on the warm-up lap.
Hagerstown?

Might have wanted to have tried them out in a non-racing context first...
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Old 07-10-09, 09:32 PM   #13
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23s are a bit squishier. Because of that they:
- corner better - don't chatter, absorb undulations better
- more comfy
- pinch flat less

I used to get the narrowest tires possible - did crits on 17mm tubulars. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Chattering in every turn, skipping, sliding, uncomfortable, banging away the whole race, praying I didn't flat. I ride 23s for clinchers, 21-22s for tubulars. With tubulars you can go a bit narrower because A) they stretch more and B) no bead so no pinch flats and more squishy for a given width.

If you mix tire sizes, put the wider one up front (23 front, 20 rear). You'll maintain a lot of cornering grip. If your rear wheel skips, chatters, or slides a bit, you can recover fine. Forget it if the front one does it. Plus you'll wear out the 20 quickly and have an excuse to put a 23 on.

I bought a 19mm tubular by accident. I did one race (I only had that tire for my race wheel), took it off, and put it on my track wheel, then hoped I'd be able to race on the track. About 5 years later I finally did.

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Old 07-10-09, 10:46 PM   #14
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In my admittedly limited experience, 20's ride pretty badly. It's surprising the difference those 3mm make.
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Old 07-11-09, 04:46 PM   #15
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Hagerstown?

Might have wanted to have tried them out in a non-racing context first...
Yep and I wanted to but really had no choice due to the lack of tread on my current ones and the tires taking forever to get.


In either case it turns out my friend end up getting me the 700 x 23's since the distributor was sold out of the 20's. Along with that road them in the crit race earlier today which turned out being on wet roads and then handled great. I was not really expecting them to handle to much different since they were the 23's and what I was riding before.

Thanks for the info though.
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