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  1. #1
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    Going Bigger Than 32cm?

    I just swapped out some skinny 23cm slicks on the Cross Check that I picked up off CL with 32s Vittaro Randonneur Cross tires. They are much better, but I am thinking maybe bigger would have been even better. I picked them up at REI, so I could always return.

    How much is lost in speed by going bigger? What size do you guys like riding (considering I am not a racer)?
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  2. #2
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by divtag View Post
    How much is lost in speed by going bigger?
    None, unless you're climbing big hills.
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  3. #3
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    You'll have a heckuva time finding a frame to clear 32cm tires!

    I see quite a few guys on the randos riding 32mm tires. Fewer riding 35mm, but there are some. Most seem to be riding 25 or 28mm.

    I have 28mm Gatorskins on my commuter/brevet bike, and 28mm Rando-Cross on my fixie.
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  4. #4
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    The Cross Check will clear 700x45 WITH fenders..
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  5. #5
    TSK
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    I'm among the fewer that ride on 35 mm. tires. Of course speed is not my concern. The wider tires give me a lot more confidence on slipery road, particularly where there are motor vehicles speeding nearby.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rugerben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by divtag View Post
    The Cross Check will clear 700x45 WITH fenders..
    His comment about frame clearance was because you wrote 32cm instead of 32mm. 32cm is about a foot across. that would be a seriously wide tire!!

    I ride 32mm on my C-dale touring bike. I really like this width tire. I think it gives a nice balance between speed and comfort.

    But I am going to switch to 28mm soon because I want something just a hair more zippy.
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  7. #7
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I started with 38mm, then went to 32mm and I'm now using 28mm.

    The rims that were holding a 23mm should also hold a 32mm, but will not be wide enough for anything bigger.

    Unless your roads are really bad, the 32 should be wide enough. I can't think of any benefit to a wider tire on pavement.

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    Last edited by Barrettscv; 07-28-09 at 06:32 AM.
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  8. #8
    Seńior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I, uh, think you mean millimeter, not centimeter. 32cm tires would be over a foot wide.
    I switched from the 38s my bike came with to 32s. I think I might go to 35s next, though it's easier to find 32s. I don't have a lot of feel for how much difference there is. I really don't think there's all that much. I think speed depends more on pressure than on size, but smaller tires usually can hold more pressure.
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  9. #9
    Temporary Earthling supramax's Avatar
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    700x42c (85 max psi) combination tread, here, but I ride on a wide variety of surfaces.
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  10. #10
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    For me, bigger tires are usually better. I smashed my frame's rear chain stays so it would clear 35mm Kenda KWest tires. Reminds me if my old Schwinn with 1 3/8" tires, nice a smooth for the urban road, works great on crushed lime trails.
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  11. #11
    Roll Tide
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    I have had comfy rides on 35 mm.
    Ride More.

  12. #12
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    I run 23 and 35 the 35 are much more comfortable but I do find them a bit more work. I think for me, my ideal is about 25-28.

  13. #13
    Johnny G. Pragmatik's Avatar
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    I switched from 35s to 32s, and these particular tires were actually faster. I guess it depends on what you get. FWIW, the faster 32s are Continental City Rides. Faster tires weren't what I was interested in, just fitting them better under fenders.
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  14. #14
    bulletproof tiger ok_commuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSK View Post
    I'm among the fewer that ride on 35 mm. tires. Of course speed is not my concern. The wider tires give me a lot more confidence on slipery road, particularly where there are motor vehicles speeding nearby.
    I ride 35mm tires (Schwalbe Marathon Supreme) on the La Cruz, with 45mm fenders. It's awesomeness.
    sic

  15. #15
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    I use Panaracer Pacela 700-35 on my two primary commuter bikes. Some tire manufacturers don't accurately mark their tire widths. Panaracer was guilty of this up until a few years ago. What they formerly sold as a 35mm tire was closer to 32mm, and so on down the sizes. Now when you buy a recent vintage of Panaracer 700-35 you get a nice fat round tire, a true 35mm.

  16. #16
    No lugs? No hugs. Exit.'s Avatar
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    Skinnier tires are going to be faster, because they weigh considerably less. Tire weight isn't the same as the weight of other components, either; it's much more important, because your tires (along with the rest of your wheels) spin quite speedily. Breaking the inertia of a heavier tire/wheel will be harder, because that's how physics works.

    If there's anywhere on your bike you want to keep the weight down, it's the bits that move, ie. wheels, tires, and to a lesser degree cranks.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    If you're talking about roads I think 32 mm is plenty big and 40 mm would be on the large side. I don't know if there would be that much difference between 32 and 35. As said before, tire manufacturers don't always report sizes accurately so a 35 might actually measure around 32 mm anyway.

  18. #18
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    As said before, tire manufacturers don't always report sizes accurately so a 35 might actually measure around 32 mm anyway.
    I've found most of the larger tire sizes to be pretty close on the stated size. I think the shady reporting is usually on the smaller tire sizes so manufacturers can claim a "lighter than the competitor" advantage, when in reality they're saying it's a 25 but it's a 24.
    I have heard of some going the other way, though. Grand Bois Cypress tires run 1-2mm larger than stated; a buddy of mine couldn't clear a pair in his fenders due to misrepresented sizing.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  19. #19
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    I've found most of the larger tire sizes to be pretty close on the stated size. I think the shady reporting is usually on the smaller tire sizes so manufacturers can claim a "lighter than the competitor" advantage, when in reality they're saying it's a 25 but it's a 24.
    I have heard of some going the other way, though. Grand Bois Cypress tires run 1-2mm larger than stated; a buddy of mine couldn't clear a pair in his fenders due to misrepresented sizing.
    You see some interesting stuff. The 35 mm Nokian W106 I got last year said 35 mm on the cardboard label wrapped around it, but the tire itself said 37 on the sidewall. I believe what was going on there is that the width was 35 mm but it was a bit taller than a normal 35 mm tire so the sidewall said 37.

    Sure enough, it wouldn't fit under the front fender of my old road bike, but a 35 mm Marathon Winter would (barely). The Nokian A10s were listed as 32 mm but they were more like 30 mm.

  20. #20
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    I like 28 as a summer tyre and 32 for winter. My tourer usually has 32 and I ride tracks and trails with a load.
    Regarding accuracy of the specs, the worst offenders are around 25-28mm. I would never buy this size without seeing it first.

  21. #21
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    i think 28-32 tires are ideal in almost all situations (not racing) unless your roads are bad (cobblestone) or you frequently cross tram/train tracks.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    You see some interesting stuff. The 35 mm Nokian W106 I got last year said 35 mm on the cardboard label wrapped around it, but the tire itself said 37 on the sidewall. I believe what was going on there is that the width was 35 mm but it was a bit taller than a normal 35 mm tire so the sidewall said 37.
    Over a year ago I ordered a pair of 28mm Gatorskins.
    When they arrived, I carefully checked the cardboard labels to ensure they both said 28mm.
    After I mounted them, it was clear something was wrong.
    Checking the sidewalls revealed one was a 23mm.

  23. #23
    Comfortably Numb! BA Commuter's Avatar
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    I recently replaced my stock 32mm Kendas for 35mm Schwalbe Marathon Plus'. The MPs are much heavier, but offer better flat protection and I feel they give me a slightly smoother ride. I don't notice any difference in rolling resistance or speed.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I wouldn't bother. I started with 38 hybrid tires on one bike and 2" tires on another. I went back to old school 27 x 1 1/4" for most of my season on two other bikes. I'm bringing the converted hybrid back into service which now runs 35 "city" slicks. I've been thinking about bringing that bike down to 32s and moving to a straight slick like my 27" Armadillos which served me so very well. I'm always looking to make my life easier, cuz I'm a lazy bastard.
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  25. #25
    Cold Rain and Snow Hot Potato's Avatar
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    32's are my largest non-studded size. I can ride the local gravel and crushed limestone paths with the 32's no problem, and they are good for the road as well. For pure road riding I use 23 or 25's, but I have multiple bikes. If I had just one bike, I would make it 32mm for all around versatillity.
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