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  1. #1
    Air
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    Does tire width = better flat protection?

    I'm riding on my first pair of 700c (Mavic Aksium) wheels, 23mm Gatorskins (500 miles on them). When I had Gatorskins on my 27" wheels I never got a flat from glass. However now riding in the same areas I used to I've gotten about 6 flats from glass in the last month plus a thorn that went right through it - just seems like these aren't nearly as robust as the ones on my other wheels.

    Was talking to another rider who said he bumped the tire up to 25mm and then 28mm and now doesn't get flats but got them constantly on the 23mms. I was wondering if the width of the tire means thicker tread which would make it more flat resistant. I'm also thinking about going to Armadillos but a friend has them and it really does feel like you're dragging an anchor. Not that I'm a speed demon or weight wienie by any stretch but I am doing a few 145 mile rides and that weight will catch up with me. Then again stopping to fix four flats will probably piss me off too. So I'm wondering if I should get a 25mm or 28 mm rear tire, deal with a flat or more a ride, or bite the bullet and go with Armadillos.

    I'm a Clyde at 270 but I keep the tires inflated max and even a bit over (between 130-135).

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    Generally, I would say no, it doesn't influence how often you get flats, but then, you seem pretty heavy to be riding on skinny race-sized tires like 23 mm. It means that to avoid pinch flats, you have to inflate them very hard, and that might make it easier to get flats sometimes. So in your case, you would probably find that 28 mm tires are better. You wouldn't have to inflate them as hard. I don't think there's enough difference between 23 and 25 though to change things much.

  3. #3
    Air
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
    It means that to avoid pinch flats, you have to inflate them very hard, and that might make it easier to get flats sometimes.
    I don't mind a hard ride - but what's the theory on more psi = more flats? I'd think the harder the tire the more likely it will deflect a sharp object.

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    I've put over 3000 miles on a set of 700 x 28 Vittoria Randonneur tires without one flat. I can't say that about any other set of tires I've ever owned, ever! I've also put some Randonneurs on my new RB and have already logged in 1000 miles on my daily commute to and from work without any flats. I moved away from 700 x 23 regular RB tires and have never looked back, since flats were the norm.

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    I think what longfemur may have been driving at is that to support more weight adequately to avoid pinch flats, you need more air. Also, to avoid excessive squashing down of the side wall which slows you down. With a narrow tire, the ideal for someone your weight is way up there in psi's. IRC a Bicycle Quarterly article from a year or two ago, it's a good deal higher than 130. With a wider tire the greater volume of air allows you to run somewhat lower psi's.

    If they fit your frame and brakes, I think you'd be best off using 28s such as Ruffy Tuffy's (IMO, great flat protection and ride but less fast). However, when this has come up before, lots of weighty people have chimed in about how they've successfully riden 23c race tires for years, and they have, so ultimately it will come down to your preference.

  6. #6
    Air
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    In the Clyde section there are plenty of 23mmers.

    That's interesting about the PSI going above 130..what about going up to 140 or 145?

  7. #7
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    The larger the contact patch of the tires, the less pressure per square inch is applied against the road and any debris. Less pressure means a lower chance that debris will penetrate your tire and cause a flat.

    A wider tire generally is inflated to a lower air pressure, resulting in a larger contact patch, thus, it's quite likely that 27x1-1/4" gatorskins would be less prone to flats than 700x23mm tires of the same construction.

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    Harder tire does not absorb as much so object goes in instead of tire rolling around it.
    The Specialized Armadillo elite tire is good for not getting flats. One of the guys at the shop rides them and 2800 miles before first flat commuting an trashed roads with all kinds of debris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom View Post
    The larger the contact patch of the tires, the less pressure per square inch is applied against the road and any debris. Less pressure means a lower chance that debris will penetrate your tire and cause a flat.

    A wider tire generally is inflated to a lower air pressure, resulting in a larger contact patch, thus, it's quite likely that 27x1-1/4" gatorskins would be less prone to flats than 700x23mm tires of the same construction.
    I completely agree with this. For general commuting I use 1 1/4 X 27 and they seem ideal. I weigh 155 and inflate them to just over 60 psi which I can get in with a volume pump. The higher pressure narrower tires have extra problems without even running over anything, just because of the higher pressure. Not all mtn bikes have rims that can take 1.25 inch tires, but I have one now, only because someone wanted to get rid of it. The gears are way too low for the general commute, but if there is uncleared snow, it is a great chance to get some use out of the bike.
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