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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 01-23-10, 04:41 PM   #1
noterman
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700x23 too small?

I'm getting back into cycling after a 20+ year layoff. I just took delivery of a 1987 TREK Pro 560. I thought I would push the edge and try the original 700x25 size tires (I'm ~300#). It arrived with Panaracer Stradius Elite Z tires sized 700x23. I'll be riding on rural roads in good to excellant condition with little to no traffic. Can I get away with the 23's or should I forget about them and buy different tires before I start riding? If I need new ones, any suggestions? Preferably not over $50/pair.
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Old 01-23-10, 04:49 PM   #2
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They should be OK.
I started with 23's and now only ride 28's.
They give me more security on pot holes and other road debris.
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Old 01-23-10, 04:53 PM   #3
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I'd not go under 28C at your weight. At normal weights the belief is anything under 25C does naught for rolling resistance anyway. I'm 230lbs dripping wet, and 32C tires are wide enough to be comfortable and roll well. 28C's work, at around 110PSI, but comfort goes out the window with anything narrower.

You'd likely get away with it, might pinch flat here and there..
155ish PSI rear, 140ish front for 700x23C tires, 145PSI rear 130ish front for 700x25C. If they can handle that, or a little more, it should work.

Here's a formula that's proven to work well for me, although I prefer slightly higher pressures than it gives.


Also, wider tires tend to grip better, more contact patch and all. Comes in handy when it's time to stop, turn hard, or hit a rough patch.
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Old 01-23-10, 05:30 PM   #4
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Just make sure your bike will accomidate wider tyres. I'm not real up on older bikes but I couldn't run anything over a 25 on either of my bikes.
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Old 01-23-10, 07:37 PM   #5
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Put them on your bike, wear them out and then buy a larger size. They can handle your weight. They may not be the most comfortable tire for you but they will work.
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Old 01-23-10, 08:53 PM   #6
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Put them on your bike, wear them out and then buy a larger size. They can handle your weight. They may not be the most comfortable tire for you but they will work.
I agree with this, and I'll add that you might not get much mileage out of them. The fancy German 700x23 that I started with on my rear wheel only lived about 450 miles.
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Old 01-23-10, 11:03 PM   #7
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Put them on your bike, wear them out and then buy a larger size. They can handle your weight. They may not be the most comfortable tire for you but they will work.
+2. I roll around pothole filled L.A. on 700x23s. They're fine.

If you want a cushier ride, or you find yourself having an unacceptable level of flats, then move up a size, but otherwise, ride them as long as you're having fun on them.
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Old 01-23-10, 11:50 PM   #8
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Im over 250 and run 23's. Just keep them at 110 PSI and all is well. Even on the gravel for me
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Old 01-24-10, 09:32 AM   #9
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Im over 250 and run 23's. Just keep them at 110 PSI and all is well. Even on the gravel for me
+1

All else is F.U.D.
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Old 01-24-10, 09:45 AM   #10
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If your bike will fit them, I'd use Rivendell Ruffy Tuffy 27c. I rode them for
years, and they have a nice ride. You'll need about 90 psi with them,
less up front.

Peter White is a respected wheel builder and has some comments on his website worth reading about big
guys on skinny tires.
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Old 01-24-10, 01:29 PM   #11
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Keep inmind, a Continental Race, IRC Redstorm and a Serfas Seca are all about .100 more narrow than a Continteal GrandPrix which is claimed to be a nice ride. Yeah, i'ts a true 700X23 where the Race is cheaper but not kown as a comfy ride, wonder why!

A 700X25 is just about the same as the 23 of a GrandPrix. For that reason, I avoid the 23 in the mentioned above models. I go with the 25's and a 23 in the GP.

But IMO, the Serfas Seca is a great value in the 25. Wears much better than the GP4000. But, I don't deal with wet conditions so I can't make any wet riding weather claims.

GP's on my wife's ride and she flats far more than I do and I weigh a ton more. Hit a rock, flat! Small grain of glass, Flat! With the Serfas Seca tires, far better cut resistance and visual wear is much better.

Some like the GP400 for weight savings and a smooth ride but $64 a tire at the shop?....I get a 25 (smoother width in a tire but equal to the GP4000) in the Serfas Seca for $22 at REI. Wire bead but is that really going to slow me down on the climbs?

And honestly, I've tried GP4000's and I don't notice a difference at all other than the thinner wallet....even if you get the GP online, still double the price of a Serfas Seca and less durable. Heck, I even ditchd the Gatorskins on the tandem andreplacedthem with Serfas tires, much better!!!
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Old 01-25-10, 12:03 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies. I'll probably try the Panaracer's that are already on it and move to 700x25's when they are shot.
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Old 01-25-10, 11:28 AM   #13
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23's + 100+ psi = Silky smooth ride.....
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Old 01-26-10, 12:48 AM   #14
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You can run 23s, but shouldyou run 23s?
If they are what is on your bike now, then use them, but when the time comes to replace, go with at least 28s. THe added deformation of a 23mm tire under a big rider makes them slightly slower than a wider tire.

The real disadvantage of 23mm tires is that, at 300lbs, there is little room for error when it comes to inflation - run at the max pressure all the time, and reinflate before every ride. If you had 700 X 28 or 700 X 32 you have room to let a bit of air out for more comfort.
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Old 01-28-10, 04:16 PM   #15
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The 23's are just fine. Go max air pressure. The ride will be hard but you'll be fast and that's all that matters!
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Old 01-28-10, 10:53 PM   #16
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Ride them until they wear out, but in my opinion, 700x23 is too small for even an average size (150 lbs?) cyclist in most conditions. There's no reason to go that skinny--the sacrifices in ride quality and traction aren't worth the decrease in rolling resistance, which is minimal if it exists at all. I weigh 240, so I'm biased, but I haven't bought anything smaller than 32 in years, and I do most of my riding on 35s.
Grant Petersen at Rivendell has written convincingly about this at www.rivbike.com.
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Old 01-28-10, 11:03 PM   #17
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Don't forget that sometimes tire manufacturers lie about the sizes. It's not uncommon to take 23's and market them as 25's. This way their "25's" are lighter than the competition! Plenty of shenanigans when it comes to tires.
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