Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Bikes: Tsunami Bikes
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
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Quoted: 119 Post(s)
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.