My road bike currently has 700x23 tires (some flavor of Conti Gatorskins). They're getting a bit old and I want to replace them before I start doing some longer rides this year (MS150, maybe Seagull Century, etc). I'd like to go up a size or two, but the clearance between the rear tire and brake bridge is small, 1/8", maybe less. Would I be able to move up to a 25 or 28 size tire? How much to road bike tires grow in diameter as they get wider? I have plenty of space for extra width.
Also, what's a good general purpose tire for fast recreational riding and general noodling around? I would like something on the tough side since I'm not used to road bikes and don't avoid obstacles as well as I should (pothole, what pothole? ).