Bicycle Mechanics - 38c, 35c or 32c tires on Cannondale Quick 4
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I'm picking up my new Cannondale Quick 4 this weekend and have been given an option between 38c, 35c or 32c tires. The default tire is 38c.
Am I even going to notice the difference?
I ride predominantly on paved bike paths and streets with the occasional ride on crushed limestone. Although the daily path I take requires me to cross a short field of grass and short stretches of dirt.
Thanks, I just want to get it right.
03-15-11, 02:15 PM
It depends. All will be fine. Fatter tires can run with lower pressure, which gives a smoother ride and more 'floatation' over soft surfaces. Narrower tires tend to be lighter and roll a little faster but must be run at higher pressures to keep from pinch-flatting.
You must consider your weight and how rough the surfaces are. But even then, all will be fine. I personally use 700 X 322C tires on my 14 km rough paved and dirt road commute and I weigh 270 lbs (me + bike + gear = over 300 lbs, I am sure) and I have no problems and my bike rolls nice and fast.
If you are riding primarily on pavement then the narrower ones might be a bit faster (but not by much) if they are the same tire other wise. But any one of them will be fine.
03-15-11, 02:47 PM
Have them put something reliable on like a Continental Travel Contact.. its a 35 ish
Or Schwalbe Marathon+, for puncture resistance .
03-15-11, 03:01 PM
Assuming you wont be carrying much weight I would go for the narrowest tire. There will be a noticeable weight difference and your acceleration will be much better with 32s vs 38s. If you are planning on carrying some weight I would be more concerned with the lack of spokes then how wide the tire is.
03-15-11, 03:04 PM
Ditto, amen, on that , have them substitute a normal 32 or 36 spoke wheel set
03-15-11, 03:07 PM
I think it's reasonable to say you'll notice the difference between a 32 and 38 tire. As mentioned, any of those sizes will be fine. Personally I'd go with the 32 or maybe 35, as you'll be faster without (IMO) losing a lot in the durability or comfort areas. If the dirt areas you're talking about are somewhat rougher, the 38 may be the better choice.
Whatever size you choose, request a slick tire. Don't let them put something on like this: http://www.bikesomewhere.com/images/large/954CC572-1D09-7033-84D6142D7BBE08A6.jpg
A tire with a tread pattern like that will be noisy and slow without providing any useful grip on or off the pavement.
03-15-11, 06:44 PM
If the tires are of the same quality, then I would prefer 32. 2nd option is 35. 38 feels like riding a beach cruiser or mini dirt bike.
03-16-11, 05:37 PM
i have 700x32 panaracer ribmo tires on my cyclocross bike. they work well on asphalt, limestone paths, and they even do pretty well in the woods.
03-16-11, 05:56 PM
All else being equal from your description I'd opt for the one that has the thinnest tread and the most supple sidewalls. Thick heavy sidewall tires tend to be slow while thinner tires with thin supple sidewalls tend to roll easier so you can ride faster for the same effort. This isn't a small thing that you won't notice either. If you were to do an A-B test between two bikes that were identical other than tires that are at opposite ends of what I describe you'd be surprised at how "draggy" the bike with the thick and heavy sidewalls behaved compared to the other bike. You really do not need a tread as such unless you ride frequently and for longer distances in fairly soft muddy conditions.
03-17-11, 04:00 AM
It all depends on your weight.
From my experience:
150 to 200lbs? 28Cs are great.
200 to 240lbs? 32C's are great.
240 to 280lbs? 38C's are great.
If your roads are crap, or you ride on gravel trails much, go up a size.
Thinner is fine, unless you're too heavy and need very high pressures (or your roads are bad, you ride in the rain, or want your tires to last longer.)
If you're really heavy on too thin tires, you'll squish them down quite a lot, and end up increasing rolling resistance.
I love Vittoria Randos, the pro version is a good bit lighter, but more expensive. For even lighter with less flat protection, the Hypers are very nice.
osing, Nice thread as I've been considering much the same options. I've 35C now and 38C might not fit and the 32C looks close to the 27X1 1/4 I have on another bike. I'm leaning towards staying with the 35C as the drivetrain is geared pretty low.
This bike isn't quite as focused as my others so compromise is tolerable.
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