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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 07-05-07, 06:40 PM   #1
bobk544
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Will going to 700x23 tire from a 700x35 increase speed?

Hello, i finally got a chance to take the Trek-1000 for a test run at Spokes in Vienna Va and now see why i'm continually getting my doors.....mirrors blown off by other bikers in my weight classs, when riding my Trek-7300 hybrid!

I am seriously thinking about getting a road bike, to do some long distance runs on the WOD, but after reading a variety of road bike posts and reviews, i now see that i have alot of homework to do, ie buy
used and upgrade wheels & tires or fork out what's required for someone in my weight class of 230lbs.

So until i can figure out what to buy, i'd like to see if i can increase the peformance of my hybrid and read a post where someone recommended going to a skinnier tire and said if they had a 700 wheel, they
might be able to go to a 700x23!

So my question is, by going to a 700x23 tire from my current hybrid 700x35 tire, should that increase my overall speed performance and would would that also mean that i would be able to increase the
tire pressure from the current max of 90lbs into the 100+ range possibly?

Thanks
BobK, VA

TREK-7300 specifications:
Frame Trek Alpha aluminum
Fork RST CT-COM I T7, 50mm-travel
Rims/Wheels Bontrager Camino
Hubs Front: aluminum; Rear: Shimano RM60
Tires Bontrager Invert Hard Case, 700 x 35c
Crankset Bontrager Sport
Chainwheel 48/38/28
Front Derailleur Shimano C102
Rear Derailleur SRAM X-7
Rear Cogs SRAM 850, 8-speed: 11-32
Shifters SRAM SX4 twist
Handlebars Aluminum
Stem Adjustable
Brake Levers Tektro
Brakes Tektro SD-3
Pedals Dual-density platform
Saddle Bontrager Comfort w/elastomers
Seat Post Aluminum suspension
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Old 07-05-07, 06:53 PM   #2
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I don't see why that wouldn't hurt as long as your rims can take that skinny of a tire. I have huge wide hybrid tires on my bike right now, but next week I'm slapping some skinnier slicks on it. Lookin' to gain at least a little speed.

Probably wouldn't hurt to dump that suspension fork too. They eat up alot of pedaling effort that could be transferred to your rear wheel when you really stomp on it.
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Old 07-05-07, 07:04 PM   #3
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Skinny tires need higher pressure for supporting the same weight or they get too squashed down and roll slower. I don't think you should go down to a 23. Maybe a 25, maybe look for a fast 27/28. And make sure your rims can take the higher pressure as well as the skinnier tire so the tires won't be blowing off of them. Neither your bike nor you are featherweight, better to have an appropriate tire than try to save a couple hundred grams by going too narrow.

I think you'll find you're better off getting a road bike both in terms of satisfaction and cost than trying to make a psuedo road bike out of a hybrid. Most entry level road bikes with don't need any parts swaps for your weight.
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Old 07-05-07, 07:13 PM   #4
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hmmmm.....getting rid of the suspension fork, didn't think about that, bet that unit weighs quite a bit actaully, and yes i would rather get a road bike for sure, what a nice ride that 1000 was, but the only problem was my ride angle, definitely not used to that handle bar being so much lower, felt that in my lower back all day, so that's something to think about as well i quess!

Thanks all for the inputs!

Good riding!
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Old 07-05-07, 08:26 PM   #5
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I copied this info from somewhere. You can probably cheat a bit, but the recommended tire sizes per rim widths are:

15mm 23 - 32 - Alex AT450 (This is whats on my Trek 1000, stock tire was 25mm)
17mm 25 - 37
19mm 28 - 44 - Having trouble measuring, but my Trek 7200 is at least this width rim)

Just looking at the two rims, I would not go smaller then 28mm. The suspension fork should go also. Shop around but appears a cyclocross fork from Nashbar would work. They have a steel one for $40, 1352 grams or carbon for $130, 722 grams. Either material soaks up road buzz. Carbon is 1 1/2 pound lighter, lighter is good, but since your starting with a hybrid bike, not so sure it's so important. My 7200 with fixed steel fork was 10 pounds heavier than the Trek 1000. Don't believe you will ever get weight of 7300 to approach weight of Trek 1000, and some say the Trek 1000 is heavy.

If the dropped road bar gives you a problem, consider a flat bar road bike. That is what I'm riding.
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Old 07-05-07, 11:52 PM   #6
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Most likely your rims won't take too much thinner of a tire. Try switching tires. The Vittoria Randonneur, a touring tire that has little tread, might help. I put 35 mm (could be 37--tires are marked both) Randonneurs on a hybrid, pumped them up to 80 psi, and made the bike significantly faster. I'd think long and hard before sinking money into upgrading the fork on the hybrid. Wouldn't you rather hang on to that cash for a road bike?
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Old 07-06-07, 12:50 AM   #7
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I've been between 210 -230 pounds my entire adult life and never had a problem with 700x23C tyres - just use rim tape.

Stronger legs and a more aerodynamic position will increase your speed, but a 23mm wide tyre will have a contact patch quite a lot narrower than a 35mm tyre, so there'll be less friction between you and the road, you'll find it easier to go the same speed, and may go a little faster.

Last edited by mjolniir; 07-06-07 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 07-06-07, 05:32 AM   #8
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Kind of tough to make a Hybrid bike into a Road Racer. As others have stated, your bike and the Trek 1000 have quite a weight difference. The 1000 is made as an entry level road bike and it does this very very well. It is a LOT of bike for the Money. The Trek 7300 is built for comfort over speed. So many parts on this bike are spec'd for comfort more than speed. I would ditch the Fork and the suspension seatpost and go with some high quality high pressure slicks in a 27-28mm size and probably no less than that size on your rims.

On the comfort area on the Trek 1000, a different stem with more rise to it could have made all the difference. Your body is used to the riding position of your 7300. The Trek 1000 will really feel foreign to you unless it is FIT to you.

Another consideration to look at for your percieved performance over other riders would be to look at the rotating assemblies of the bike. Are the Hubs properly adjusted? Is the Bottom Bracket in good Shape? These are two areas that are many times over looked when dealing with customer complaints.

Tire pressure can also be an issue too. Are your riding at the proper inflation for your tire and for your weight? A lighter rider can deal with a slightly lower pressure and not have adverse effects from it. A larger rider needs to check for proper tire pressure before every ride. Most of the problems that a shops see for flat repair for the most part are under-inflated tires causing pinch flats.

I hope some of this helps...

Chris
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Old 07-06-07, 07:23 AM   #9
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Thanks again all for the very helpful suggestions, going to look into each one!

Have some great riding this summer!
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Old 07-06-07, 09:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjolniir
I've been between 210 -230 pounds my entire adult life and never had a problem with 700x23C tyres - just use rim tape.

Stronger legs and a more aerodynamic position will increase your speed, but a 23mm wide tyre will have a contact patch quite a lot narrower than a 35mm tyre, so there'll be less friction between you and the road, you'll find it easier to go the same speed, and may go a little faster.
I don't have time to get into it now, but I think you should do some reading before you accept the idea that the narrower tire will be faster for someone of your weight, however intuitive that may seem.

And use rim tape or equivalent no matter what you weigh!
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Old 07-06-07, 09:50 AM   #11
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You can spend some money and turn your hybrid into a crappy road bike, or you can buy a road bike and keep your hybrid for whatever it is people do on hybrids?
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Old 07-06-07, 09:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zowie
I don't have time to get into it now, but I think you should do some reading before you accept the idea that the narrower tire will be faster for someone of your weight, however intuitive that may seem.

And use rim tape or equivalent no matter what you weigh!

I weigh 275 and ride 23s, I also have some 25s that actually measure 27. Here is my experience. Once up to speed I can't tell a difference. Getting up to speed and climbing it feels like the 25s scrub off a bit of acceleration. The 25s are way noiser especially when out of the saddle.

The 25s give a bit of a cushier ride.

For awhile in Spring I was running a 23 up front and a 25 in the back that actually measuered 25 and that seemed like a real good combination.

I have no quantitative data to back these claims up though, and seems like everyone's got a different opinion on tires so take it with a grain of salt.
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Old 07-06-07, 10:14 AM   #13
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You have basically the same setup as my bike. I made the following changes for comfort and performance and it made all the difference in the world. I was seriously thinking of dumping the bike, but after I made these changes, it felt so much better, I kept it and now ride it about 3 days a week. I put these in order of best enhancement.

1. Put on a rigid fork: Best thing I even did on this bike. Can not tell you the difference it made. Got the fork for $40.00 or something like that. This also required moving to a threadless headset, but that was a minor issue. Total cost to replace was $125.00

2. Put on rapid shifters and got rid of the SRAM grip shifts, they plain suck.

3. Moved to a 12-23 cassette, I live in a super flat area of the country so no need for the gear range of the 11-32 cassette.

4. Moved to a 700*28 size tire. Be careful trying to put on a 23 or 25 on those rims, 28 is about as small as you want to go. I am riding the Bonty Race Light Hardcase. I also have a set of 32's for different road conditions. To get to 23's you will need to run thinner rims, but most rims at the size don't have the 135mm spacing hubs you need on the back. 28's should do you good. I went from 11-13 avg on 700*38's to 15-17 avg on 700*28's.

5. Got rid of the suspension seat post. It bottomed out anyway, so what the point of keeping.

My bike weighed in at 37 lbs when I first got it, it now weighs in at 28. I just had to replace the BB, as it had a crack in it, but I have about 2300 miles on it so far and will have to replace the cranks at some point in the future since they don't allow for individual sprocket replacement, but will also replace the FD and RD at the same time. Again, this has been a great bike for me and I plan to ride it until the frame dies.
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Old 07-06-07, 10:29 AM   #14
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By the way, here are the rim and tire size recommendations.

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Old 07-06-07, 10:51 AM   #15
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I've put ~300 miles on my 700x23C's on some pretty crap roads, including dirt, and had no problems yet @ 240lbs.
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Old 07-06-07, 11:07 AM   #16
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I also ride 23's on my road bike, and I am 295, but what I am referencing are 23's on a 18mm or greater rim size.
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Old 07-06-07, 11:41 AM   #17
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Narrow tires might help but there are a lot of factors that go into the rolling resistance of a tire. A google search on bicycle tires rolling resistance will give you an evenings reading. The rubber compound of the tire, the construction of the casing, inflation, tread design, etc all have a huge effect on the rolling resistance of a tire. But it is possible that you could find a wider tire that rolls just as well as a narrow tire. Now acceleration wise a lighter tire is going to help you in that area.

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Old 07-06-07, 02:45 PM   #18
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jaxqtr......interesting tire grid info! and i see you have a Specialized Allex Comp, seems like alot of people really like the Allez Comp, can i ask you, if you were going to buy another road bike do you have an short list of what bikes you would be thinking seriously about by any chance?

Thanks again all, great forum!
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Old 07-06-07, 04:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobk544
jaxqtr......interesting tire grid info! and i see you have a Specialized Allex Comp, seems like alot of people really like the Allez Comp, can i ask you, if you were going to buy another road bike do you have an short list of what bikes you would be thinking seriously about by any chance?

Thanks again all, great forum!
BobK
Got the tire grid off Sheldon Brown's site.

As far as the road bikes go, I really like the Allez and I would have to say I would look at them again.

Short list of the bikes I have looked at and would consider:
Lemond: Sarthe
Serotta: Custom Steel - Can you go wrong with any one of them
Independent Fabrication - Yet again, Custom Steel.
Co-Motion: Nor'Wester, Espresso
Bianchi: Road Steel models.
Specialized: Allez, Roubaix
Trek: Pilot 5.0 (took a 30 test ride on this bike and it was just outstanding, would have to consider)

As you can tell, I am really leaning toward a steel bike as I am really liking the feel of my steel fork on my hybrid over the feel of the carbon fork on my Allez. I would love to take a long ride on a pure steel bike frame and fork over some of the rough roads I occasionally ride. The hybrid rides much better over those roads as I believe the steel fork absorbs vibration better.

I would even consider just replacing the fork on my Allez with a steel fork as well, I'm sure that would be a subject of conversation at the LBS.
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Old 07-06-07, 06:24 PM   #20
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I weigh 220 and ride a 2004 Fuji Roubais. It has nearly 9,000 miles and the only parts replacements required were chains, two cassettes, brakes, and numerous tires. I also replaced the bars to allow installation of aero bars (due to the shape of the OEM bars). The bike came with 23s and I have not changed the size. I feel that it was a good buy and do not regret the purchase. I suspect that many entry level road bikes are similar in price and quality, just ask about the weight.

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Old 07-06-07, 07:59 PM   #21
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I've ridden a road bike with 700c x 23 tires on the WO&D at 230 lbs and a few more pounds of gear.
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Old 07-06-07, 10:59 PM   #22
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Everything folks have said about the advantages of narrower vs. wider tires is true. However, no one has said anything about the advantages of wider over narrower tires. That fat contact patch may slow you down--but it will help you avoid what really slows you down, namely sliding out and kissing the asphalt. And since I switched from 25s to 35s my rims have quit getting tweaked, I never get a snakebite flat going over railroad tracks at 20mph, and I can forget to pump up the tires for a week or two without the tires getting squirrely & flat-prone.

In other words, nothing's free. Narrow tires are better than wide tires--and vice versa. Before you swap, consider both the pluses & minuses. And remember--we males have trouble thinking when testosterone poisoning sets in...
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Old 07-07-07, 07:52 AM   #23
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Brian! and All! thanks again for the great information!

Very interesting list of bikes Brian! going to take a good look at each one and see if i can arrange for some test rides at my LBSs.

Really glad to hear about your experiences with the steel fork! mainly for safety reasons and hearing that it makes for a better ride is an added bonus!

Ehkzu you are absolutely right about wider tires, i think i've had maybe 2 flats in over 15 years on my Trek hybrids, so that's definitely saying alot about wider tires, maybe i'll try to find a hybrid tire with a pressure rating in the 100+ range, if there is such a tire!

Ok i'm really getting motivated now with all of this great new information and can't wait hop on the Trek today and ride up my LBSs!

Thanks again all for the very helpful inputs!

Good riding this weekend!
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Old 07-07-07, 08:14 AM   #24
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I ride the 700*28 Bonty's at 100 to 105 and they are very plush. The 700*32 up to 100 but typically 95 or so.
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Old 07-07-07, 08:18 AM   #25
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By the way, if you have a Jamis dealer in the area, I heard real good things about them. The Eclipse or Quest.
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