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  1. #1
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    Best tire size for Triathlons

    Hello Everybody!

    I would like to know the difference between the tire sizes 700x23 and 700x20 when racing triathlons.
    Does it make a big difference? Which is preferred?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    I'm not a fan if ultra narrow tires, and there's good data that shows that narrower tires can have higher road drag than wider tires. The best width depends on your weight and road conditions. Here's a small article discussing tire width, pressure, and rider weight you might find helpful.

    I prefer to chose tires that I'll run at about 100psi or less, and look for tires of the corresponding width. If you want to be very finicky, you can use a slightly narrower tire on the front than rear, but I don't bother.

    If you're on the fence between two tires, go wider. This will buy you more margin of error protecting your rims form road hazards.

    BTW- don't agonize over this too much. Among decent tires the difference best to worst is so tiny compared to wind drag at speed that it won't matter anyway.
    FB
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    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  3. #3
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    i wouldn't take too seriously what most people say about tire width and performance. especially since it is so easy to make a reasonable determination for yourself.

    i imagine most triathletes have various timing and distance measuring equipment, so what i would do is map out a rather flat, wind neutral, low-traffic, minimal stopping route. maybe even a park setting. set a heart rate target and keep it for a specified time interval. when done. see how far you have gone. switch tires and do it again sometime under similar circumstances. maybe a few times, then average and compare.

    i like this approach because i wouldn't have to take some internet strangers hearsay advice.

    BTW, before someone beats me to it, this applies to me too.

  4. #4
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    Read th whole article. No help from the 20's. https://www.adventurecycling.org/res...SIRX_Heine.pdf

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    Read th whole article. No help from the 20's. https://www.adventurecycling.org/res...SIRX_Heine.pdf
    Davidad, thanks for the link to the longer article. I can never find it when doing quick searches. I've always been a firm believer in wider tires (within reason) and am happy to see my belief supported by good test data.

    FWIW- all the data in the world will never convince the higher pressure rolls easier crowd, si I just put it out there and folks can do whatever they will do anyway.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    OK once you sort out width then the brand preference get drug out next..

    how about nice hand made silk casing sew-ups.. ?

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