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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 05-22-09, 04:38 PM   #1
pcmike
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Skinniest but toughest road bike tires

What do you recommend? Want super thin but as tough as possible. I hate flats
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Old 05-22-09, 04:45 PM   #2
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I have been using hutchinson top speed with Kevlar for awhile. the only flats I have had were through the side wall. and it was a brand new tire, shot! they ride good corner well.
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Old 05-22-09, 05:08 PM   #3
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A measurement would be nice.
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Old 05-22-09, 05:11 PM   #4
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The toughest 'skinny' tire would probably be the Schwalbe Marathon Plus in 25x700, although it is extremely heavy and has a harsh ride.

A reasonably tough tire with a decent ride would be either the Conti GatorSkins or 4 Seasons.
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Old 05-22-09, 05:14 PM   #5
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Conti Ultra Gatorskins. I've got 700x23's on my roadie & 700x25's on my commuter, no flats yet.

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Old 05-22-09, 07:48 PM   #6
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I have had excellent results with the Bontrager Race Light Hardcase and the smallest they offer is a 23. Oh and I ride the 25s on my Caad9 and 28's on my hybrid.
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Old 05-22-09, 11:05 PM   #7
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Personally I don't use anything smaller than 32, and if you're posting in the Clyde forum, you probably shouldn't, either. But some friends who haven't outgrown their fascination with skinny tires like Panaracer Pasela TGs. Be sure to get the TG, which has a Kevlar belt. The standard Pasela doesn't.
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Old 05-23-09, 05:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by pcmike View Post
What do you recommend? Want super thin but as tough as possible. I hate flats
Thia depends on a few things:

First of all how heavy is the "load" the bicycle has to carry?
Second how smooth a ride do you want?
Three what do you mean by thin?

Let me explain.

Questions one and two are based on determining the optimum tire width. Only a small part of a tire touches the ground, this contact patch ranges from under 1 square inch for a narrow racing tire to about 5 square inches for a fat mountain bike tire. 60% of the weight of the rider is on the back wheel. So if we take a rider that is 200lbs, then 120lbs is sitting on the rear wheel. This means with a narrow 23mm tire you need 120PSI, for a rock hard tire. Now if we have an Uber-clyde then 180lbs is on that tire, meaning for the same hardness you would need 180PSI. Alternatively you can go to a wider tire, with a 1 square inch contact patch and end up in the same place, a 32mm tire would be about right.

One of the advantages of a pneumatic tire is that at slightly lower pressure you get a smoother ride as the air in the tire absorbs a lot of the vibration and small irregularities in the surface your riding on. The lower the pressure the more comfortable the ride, however there is an equalization at stake here, as you lower the pressure the size of the contact patch must increase to compensate, leading to the familiar bulge at the bottom of the tire. You also lower the rolling resistance of the tire, so it takes more energy to move the bicycle.

A wider tire design can mean less pressure is needed while retaining the same rolling resistance, for example our 200lb rider on a 32mm tire would require only 80PSI.

When I think of thin, I think of the amount of rubber on the tire, not the width of the tire, and puncture resistance is much better on a thicker tire, some tires have belts of Kevlar which is a very tough material under the tread which can help with puncture resistance. You also need to keep in mind though, the thinner the tire, the thinner the tread, and that can mean a shorter tire life.

Super narrow and super thin tires are good for racers where ride comfort and tire life can be sacrificed for a faster time. For everyday riding a nice thick, wide tire can make even an AL frame bike comfortable for distance riding.
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Old 05-23-09, 06:57 AM   #9
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Specialized Armadillos are very high on toughness but they are not good in most other ways. + 1 to Gatorskins as a good compromise between toughness and performace.
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Old 05-23-09, 07:04 AM   #10
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Conti Ultra Gatorskins. I've got 700x23's on my roadie & 700x25's on my commuter, no flats yet.

-DR
I have only had my set on for a few hundred miles; I do like how fast and light they feel.
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Old 05-23-09, 12:08 PM   #11
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I have had excellent results with the Bontrager Race Light Hardcase and the smallest they offer is a 23.
I use these too, and at 320, I have had no problems with the 25s
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Old 05-23-09, 12:12 PM   #12
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specialized armadillo 23s, I run these and am very happy. So the ride isn't amazing - it is quite harsh, but they grip well and have gone over 1000 miles without a puncture - including some rides over glass etc.
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Old 05-23-09, 12:43 PM   #13
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specialized armadillos 700/25 on mine im 320 as of this morning.
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