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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 02-17-07, 07:33 PM   #1
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Anyone using 23 tires on a road bike?

I just went for a 2-3 mile first ride on my new to me Raleigh Technium. One word can describe the ride, and that's harsh. Pert of it I guess is the aluminum, although the stays are steel. I'm passing most of it off to the small diameter tires, which are 700x23. They were inflated just enough to not deflect out on the sidewalls, and it literally felt like I was riding with two flats. Only way to go was harsher if I gave them more air. The pavement is bad, so I guess I should use something a little fatter eh? Is anyone riding 23's comfortably???,,,,BD
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Old 02-17-07, 07:53 PM   #2
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I went from 1.5 slicks on a mtn bike to 23s on a road bike, so big change. It was tough at first but I got used to it. I think tires like 28s would be better for most rides. Comfort its a comparative thing. If your bike can take wider tires give it a try. I'll go wider next time, but 23s are OK.
Anyone try different size front and rear, and which to change?
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Old 02-17-07, 08:00 PM   #3
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This depends on a lot of factors:

How big are you?
How bad are the roads?
What kind of riding are you doing?
What are you looking to do?

I ride 700x23s--have for years. When I lived in upstate NY (read: lotsa snow & potholes), I would ride 25s in Winter/Spring. I push the scales at 270lbs now, and rode 23s while 300lbs.

Its up to you. But it also sounds like you're tires are under-inflated. Make sure you use a pressure gauge--pinching it with your fingers is notoriously inaccurate. It'll do in a pinch, but...

I used to own a Raleigh Technium. Broke the frame twice before I got a Cannondale. It's not the best bike out there, so to speak, so the ride discomfort could also be the bike. Just make sure it fits you correctly.
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Old 02-17-07, 08:04 PM   #4
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I also ride 23's, im 240, but we have pretty good roads here in the phoenix area, i put about 120psi in them
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Old 02-17-07, 08:19 PM   #5
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I just put 28's on my hybrid, all alum including fork from 38's and it was good. I did not feel any flat feeling or weirdness it was actually quite plush on my first 15 mile ride. I agree with the others, make sure the pressure is at least 120 pounds.
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Old 02-17-07, 08:39 PM   #6
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I use 23's exclusively across the board. I'm 230lbs, and inflate to 120psi. I get a good, solid ride that is responsive, smooth, and comfortable.

One thing - cheaper, low thread count tires aren't as supple as higher quality ones. If your tires feel "flat", something is amiss.
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Old 02-17-07, 08:49 PM   #7
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Hi,
find out how large a tire will fit. A larger tire will allow lower pressure, and soften the ride. The Rivendell Ruffy Tuffy 27c is a great choice if it will fit. Depending on your weight, you should be able to run it at 80-90 psi. Aside from the lower pressure, it's just a sweet riding tire by nature.
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Old 02-17-07, 09:03 PM   #8
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I've been from 220 to 190 and back again (204 now) and have run 23's the entire time. I run mine around 100-105psi (120 is too harsh) and they're just fine. "They were inflated just enough to not deflect out on the sidewalls," what do you mean by that? If you don't have a pump with a gauge, get one, it'll be very very worth it....
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Old 02-17-07, 09:35 PM   #9
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I went from a steel mountain bike with 1.6" slicks @ 65psi to a Bianchi Vigorelli steel road bike with 23c tires @ 120 psi front/130 psi rear. That is quite a change. However, I would say the ride of my road bike is quite comfortable. For riding over bad roads nothing beats the mountain bike. Which is why I stick to decent roads for the road bike. And no way I could do the distances on my mountain bike with as much ease as I could my road bike. The fatter tire is always going to give a more comfortable ride than a thin one.

Are you always going to ride on poor pavement? And what kind of distances will you be doing? If you will always ride distances shorter than 20 miles, and often ride on bad roads, I would suggest getting mountain bike and putting on 1.5-2.0" slicks.
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Old 02-17-07, 09:36 PM   #10
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I mean when I am sitting on the bike, the sidewalls are not visible. Pressure is relative to body weight and comfort. Going by feel rather than a pressure level will yield best results in my opinion. The pavement around is horrible, the second you get off of smaller neighborhood streets. That was when the harsh ride came into play. Cracks in the sidewalks and parking lots were amplified. I'm also using an E3 form gel saddle, Maybe I should put the Brooks gel seat back on. The seat wasn't all that painful, but it did transfer sudden shock quite well.

Get a mountain bike? Point taken, but my 27 x 1 1/4" tired road bikes all feel like beach cruisers compared to this
one bike with 23's. I'd rather switch tire sizes than buy another bike for the wrong reason. I have close to 35 at the moment.,,,,BD
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Old 02-18-07, 12:23 AM   #11
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a) tires are supposed to have deflection with your weight on them
b) so you don't know what psi you're running them at?
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Old 02-18-07, 08:10 AM   #12
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a)Forget I asked. I'll buy some fatter tires and be done with it.
b)My compressor regulator is set at 110 or so.
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Old 02-18-07, 09:38 AM   #13
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When I first started riding, I used the pair of 700x23 tires (Kenda Koncept Lite) that came with my '03 Marin Portofino.

When it came time to replace the tires, however, I went with a pair of 700x25 tires (Continental Ultra Gatorskins) and immediately noticed a softer/less harsh ride. I've even thought about stepping up to a 700x28 tire, but will probably wait until my Continentals give out.

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Old 02-18-07, 09:51 AM   #14
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I have a set of never been mounted Serfa secas I probably won't use. I will see if the LBS will exchange them for 700's in a fatter size. I don't mind the tires not looking the part(IE:super skinny) as long as the ride is improved. The Seca's have purple/white graphics, and the bike is black/purple/white. They will look great I believe.,,,,BD
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Old 02-18-07, 02:19 PM   #15
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I gave up 23s years ago, and rarely ride anything smaller than 32s now (most of them are actually closer to 25-28mm, but they're labeled 32). I'm no slower, and the bike feels a lot better.
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Old 02-18-07, 02:31 PM   #16
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Got the Seca 25's and swapped them out. Rides more like my vintage bikes now. Not as good as steel and 1 1/4's, but close.,,,,BD
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Old 02-18-07, 03:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikedued
I just went for a 2-3 mile first ride on my new to me Raleigh Technium. One word can describe the ride, and that's harsh. Pert of it I guess is the aluminum, although the stays are steel. I'm passing most of it off to the small diameter tires, which are 700x23. They were inflated just enough to not deflect out on the sidewalls, and it literally felt like I was riding with two flats. Only way to go was harsher if I gave them more air. The pavement is bad, so I guess I should use something a little fatter eh? Is anyone riding 23's comfortably???,,,,BD
Yes, I ride 23s with full comfort. I keep them inflated to around 100-105psi, much more than that and they're pretty harsh.

However, I'm also sub-200 (195) and ride a titanium frame. When I was 260 on aluminum the ride was pretty unforgiving.

Tips: get good tires; I use michelin pro2 race's, which while expensive, I seem to get pretty decent mileage out of them. Keep the tires inflated between 100-110psi (I'd recommend 100-105). More than that and you might as well ride concrete.

Good luck!
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Old 02-18-07, 03:48 PM   #18
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I ride an all Al frame, 25s in the winter and 23s the rest of the year. The main reason I use the 25s is it's easire to find them with puncture resistance (kevlar), in the tire. I weigh between 240 and 265 and use to run 145 in back and 120 in with the 23s. I have started using 120 rear and 110 front, I have never had a thing to complain about, ride wise.
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Old 02-20-07, 06:17 PM   #19
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Just mounted a new set of 25c Conti's on my geared bike. There was a noticable difference compared to the Vittora (spl?) 23c on my ss. For what it's worth.
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Old 02-20-07, 06:30 PM   #20
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I'm thinking the old tires had something to do with it too. The rear was bald, and both were pretty stiff. It's also my first 700 wheeled bike. I actually can tell the difference, as crazy as it sounds.,,,,BD
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Old 02-20-07, 06:58 PM   #21
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Some of those old aluminum bikes could shake your teeth out.
Put the biggest tire you can cram in there, and run at the lowest safe pressure.
If you are limited to 25c, the Vredstein Fortezza 25c has a lovely ride. Almost as nice as the 27c Rivendell tires.
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Old 02-20-07, 09:22 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Yes, I ride 23s with full comfort. I keep them inflated to around 100-105psi, much more than that and they're pretty harsh.

However, I'm also sub-200 (195) and ride a titanium frame. When I was 260 on aluminum the ride was pretty unforgiving.

Tips: get good tires; I use michelin pro2 race's, which while expensive, I seem to get pretty decent mileage out of them. Keep the tires inflated between 100-110psi (I'd recommend 100-105). More than that and you might as well ride concrete.
I have read the heavier the rider, the closer to the maximum inflation pressure one should be at.
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Old 02-21-07, 07:13 AM   #23
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I recently bought a bike with some pretty skinny tires. I didn't want to chance it....had to replace the tires anyway due to dry rot, so I put in the widest tires that would fit (27s IIRC).

I typically inflate to max PSI or near max PSI.
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Old 02-21-07, 08:31 AM   #24
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I'm 205lbs on 23's at 90f and 95r since reading this article. http://www.roadbikerider.com/UArant....ire%20Pressure
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Old 02-21-07, 08:48 AM   #25
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I'm 205lbs on 23's at 90f and 95r since reading this article. http://www.roadbikerider.com/UArant....ire%20Pressure
I always bring my Road Morph with me. After I handed it to my tour guide in Italy
to fix a flat ( this is Day One, and we haven't even left the city yet ) and I told him it could get the pressure as high as he wanted. He said he didn't understand why Americans were obsessed with putting so much pressure in. This guy is also a racer.
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