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  1. #1
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    tire clearances on road bike

    Hi,

    I'm not quite sure which forum this should go on but thought maybe us larger persons would be the most sympathetic. My wife (6' tall but not heavy) got a Fuji Roubaix last year as her first roadbike. But like me, at times, she feels nervous about the thin tires. So today I switch the 23mm tires that came with the bike for 28mms, and she really liked the sense of solidity they gave. The only trouble is that I then noticed that the rear tire was rubbing at the fork, and so changed it back, leaving the thicker one on the front.

    So I'm wondering whether we should (a) sell the Fuji and get (e.g.) a Surly Crosscheck or (b) change to 650 wheels to allow the fatter tires. Option (b) seems a little perverse, but she does like the Fuji a lot (though I expect she'd like ANY nice road bike, esp. it were a bit comfort oriented).

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Changing to 650's would create MAJOR issues....brake reach, etc. Try some 26 MM tires. I ride an Allez, which has extremely tight clearances as well and run Soma Everwears quite easily.
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  3. #3
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Might depend on the brand of tires also. I know Specialized tires have a very wide ridge along the outside of the tire. Heck, I have a hard time squeezing the 23's thru my calipers.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tacfarinas View Post
    Hi,

    I'm not quite sure which forum this should go on but thought maybe us larger persons would be the most sympathetic. My wife (6' tall but not heavy) got a Fuji Roubaix last year as her first roadbike. But like me, at times, she feels nervous about the thin tires. So today I switch the 23mm tires that came with the bike for 28mms, and she really liked the sense of solidity they gave. The only trouble is that I then noticed that the rear tire was rubbing at the fork, and so changed it back, leaving the thicker one on the front.

    So I'm wondering whether we should (a) sell the Fuji and get (e.g.) a Surly Crosscheck or (b) change to 650 wheels to allow the fatter tires. Option (b) seems a little perverse, but she does like the Fuji a lot (though I expect she'd like ANY nice road bike, esp. it were a bit comfort oriented).

    Any thoughts?
    Yeah first I would try a 25mm and see if that fits, otherwise a crosscheck would be really nice, if you can afford it, it makes a nice birthday or anniversary gift ...... Don't forget Surly also sells just the frame, if your good at doing your own bike repair, then just get the frame, and move the parts over from the Fuji, and put the Fuji frame on fleabay.....

    650 wheels will not work, it changes the geometry, handling, the standover height, and brake reach.

    Personally I don't see why any maker makes a frame that can't take at least a 40mm tire, tire width is a function of gross vehicle weight of the bicycle, in other words a bike for a 200kg rider needs a wider tire then a bike for a 100kg rider which needs a wider tire then a bike for a 50kg rider, given the same tire pressure. So when they make super narrow frames, then those bikes are not clyde friendly, even thought the frame may be able to handle the load.

    For you, it's an easy solution, just tell her, because she is so light weight, she can use the narrowest of tires

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    Personally I don't see why any maker makes a frame that can't take at least a 40mm tire
    Well for one thing, I don't ever plan on using 40 mm tires on my road bike, and so I don't want the extra weight or the look of wide clearances. If I wanted a hybrid instead of a sharp handling road bike, that's what I would get. Nothing wrong with road bikes that do have that kind of clearance, but I wouldn't say that all frames should be made to accommodate the very few people who want to ride a road bike with such wide tires.

    To the original poster, you should try 25mm tires. They fit fine on just about any road bike. I know you can put 28mm tires on any rim, but I find the rims on most road bikes sold today are a little on the narrow side for 28's. They tend to flop over from side to side on the rim while riding (assuming they are true 28's), and that makes the handling a little mushy. To make best use of a 28 mm wide tire, you really need a slightly wider rim that can open it up to its full width. But we're only talking a few tiny millimetres of width. The biggest difference is not in width in the sense of it being that much wider a tire (for more secure riding), but rather it's that it holds more air volume and so it doesn't have to be pumped up quite as high -- a bit softer ride.

  6. #6
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    I thought as a big man 6'3" 250 that the 23 tires would be a problem. Now that I have lost more fat and gotten better with the bike, I don't have a problem with the 23 tires. Maybe she would be ok with the 23's after a new set.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
    Well for one thing, I don't ever plan on using 40 mm tires on my road bike, and so I don't want the extra weight or the look of wide clearances. If I wanted a hybrid instead of a sharp handling road bike, that's what I would get. Nothing wrong with road bikes that do have that kind of clearance, but I wouldn't say that all frames should be made to accommodate the very few people who want to ride a road bike with such wide tires.

    To the original poster, you should try 25mm tires. They fit fine on just about any road bike. I know you can put 28mm tires on any rim, but I find the rims on most road bikes sold today are a little on the narrow side for 28's. They tend to flop over from side to side on the rim while riding (assuming they are true 28's), and that makes the handling a little mushy. To make best use of a 28 mm wide tire, you really need a slightly wider rim that can open it up to its full width. But we're only talking a few tiny millimetres of width. The biggest difference is not in width in the sense of it being that much wider a tire (for more secure riding), but rather it's that it holds more air volume and so it doesn't have to be pumped up quite as high -- a bit softer ride.
    Well lets see, a 23mm wide tire with a 42mm wide frame, is about 10.5mm on each side, versus a frame that is 27mm wide having 4mm on each side, so 6.5mm difference. That is not a huge space, and we are talking maybe 20-25g additional frame weight. Okay for you Americans reading this, 6.5mm is just a hair over 1/4" and we are talking less then 1 oz in weight. I can't see a big difference in handling on those, especially considering that at the hub it needs to be 130mm wide to accommodate the hubl, so it's just bending the stays a little differently, and a slightly longer brake bridge.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    The true difference between a 23 an 28 is pretty minimal, this is really a mind game she is playing with herself. I say leave the 23's on and just encourage her to keep trying. If she still bawks, then I would move to 25's. I can fit the 28's on my CAAD9, but it is really tight.
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  9. #9
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    28's? That's weak talk. You need the ability to run 2in wide 29er MTB tires, my man - get a LHT!!

    Just kidding . Encourage your wife, as I ran into the same thing last year - with myself. I was running 700x32's and thought I was going to die for the first hundred miles or so. After that, and after building some confidence, I loved 'em. Heck, I test rode a 700x23 equipped roadie for fun and didn't feel at all scared - and I'm well north of 300lbs!

    Anyway, give her time, and she'll probably come around. If not, I'd suggest what others have, swapping the frame for a C-C then put something wide but fast - like a Schwalbe Marathon Supreme - on it.

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    Thanks for these thoughts. I'm sure it's true that she COULD get used to her Fuji, but the fact is that she's only going to ride a road bike if she's confident. And I'd like her to have something she likes.

    I'm a little surprised by the suggestion ghat 23 vs 28 is minimal; it's what I would have thought, certainly, but I have 28s on my touring bike and certainly do find it much more solid and reassuring; I don't feel like a sudden dip in the road or crack in the pavement will throw me (I realize that of course it could happen; I'm talking about FEELING confident.

    That said, I wonder if it's geometry issue as well as tire size issue. Anything she should consider other than a cross check? Would a Long Haul Trucker be better still, for comfort and confidence? Other candidates at @ 1K ?

  11. #11
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    I don't see any problem with running a fatter tire on the front. It is pretty common with rigid mountain bikes. Its not like it is a big enough difference to warrant a different sized tube. (that would make it a pain)
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
    I don't see any problem with running a fatter tire on the front. It is pretty common with rigid mountain bikes. Its not like it is a big enough difference to warrant a different sized tube. (that would make it a pain)
    I'll second this suggestion. Keep the 28mm tire on the front and try a 25mm on the rear. Ideally, you'd probably use the same brand tire both front and rear...

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