I have about 110lbs pressure front and rear, plus they are 23s, plus the Black Lightning is not known for comfort.. Check out the road too.. Plus, I am 73.. wouldn't have it no other way... ;)
Id be off the saddle a lot on roads like that
In practice there's little if any difference in speed between 23's and 25's. I find 25's roll better round corners.
28 and up are progressively slower, but they don't fit most roadbikes..
As for potholes, jump over or swerve them if possible, and if not then get out of the saddle and roll across at full speed with a solid grip on the bars and 19 times out of 20 you'll be OK with the right inflation for your tire and weight.
always been a fan of skinnies due to their superior connection to the road (imo). but i'm an even bigger fan of 25 mm tires on 19 mm internal rims. it's like having the rolling resistance of a 23 with the grip of a 28.
Was searching for a durable road tire and settled on Armadillo All Conditions. Have them in 25, but believe they come in 23 as well. Your ride will be harsher and you will work harder- but they seem to be pretty tough. Had them for 5 months. Haven't hit any big potholes but these things do build confidence ride after ride as far as flat resistance.But as you enjoy light feeling, speedy wheels on group rides, ect- I'm not sure if it's the way to go. Personally will likely swap them out next summer for similar activities. Ideally I'd like to have two sets of tires (Armadillo, and a racy tire) mounted on two sets of wheels, eliminating the need to peel them off the rims!
Skinny tires can have higher rolling resistance. They're for hipsters and roadies.
As mentioned, the superior rolling resistance of a wider tire is "all things being equal," which they seldom are. Narrow tires tend to be faster in my experience. Not necessarily by a massive amount, but why deny it? There's a reasonable case to be made for wider tires. I also have a cyclocross bike that I commute on, with wider tires. It's nice - much cushier on Boston streets. It's also definitely slower than the road bike (not just because of the tires).
There's often a strain of thought running through this board that someone who likes riding a lighter, faster bike to commute is doing it wrong. What's up with that? People have preferences, and the majority of folks posting to BF commute by bike are riding to work because they WANT to, not because they have no choice. So some choose to add a bit of fun. Or maybe they're a bike racer with a small apartment, and they ride a road bike to work because it really is more practical to not have a different bike for every different task.
Now, if someone wants to get a bike specifically for commuting, or wants to optimize their ride for bumpy city streets, of course I would advise going for wider tires. That doesn't mean anyone riding skinny tires is some kind of dupe. I have a fatter-tired bike with fenders, and still regularly choose to ride my race bike, because it's more fun! One of the benefits we get to enjoy as cyclists is that, unlike the poor bastards driving to work in their WRXs or M5s, we can actually enjoy most of the performance offered by our vehicle in traffic.
So skinny tires are a compromise. So are fat ones. I like them both. In general, I think it's wise to steer clear of big potholes or sharp lips. You can still get a nasty surprise on big tires.
To be clear, I have not learned bunny hopping or any of the lifting techniques. I just do the knee suspension thang.
I've commuted on 23/ 25 tires inflated to 100-115 PSI for the last 6 years and can probably count the flats I got during my commute on one hand.
I also used those Specialized Armadillo tires on a century ride and hated them. I got them specifically for their puncture resistance and got three flats that day! I eventually called the SAG wagon because I had ran out of patches and tubes!
It sounds like you have other problems with flats, however. I live in a land of where goat heads...one of Asia's gifts to the southwestern US:rolleyes:... are a problem added to normal road debris and I experience no higher flat rate using 23mm tires than 32mm, 35mm or 53mm tires. True, I do armor my tires with belts to resist the goat heads but I don't run them on my bike with the 23mm tires. I don't run the Armadillos but others out here swear by them.
Flats from sharp objects are difficult to avoid but flats caused by impacts are much easier to avoid. FBinNY's post is a good post on how to avoid flats from potholes (See, I don't just find fault, FB).
I picked up a set of rims a year ago that had 23's (Michelin Pro Race) and I thought, "Oh what the hey, I'll ride them till they go". Well...2500+ miles later (including the STP) I'm beginning to think its regular route picking and riding style. I mostly ride rural roads & MUPs with a combo of chip seal, smooth asphalt, occasional broken glass, bad asphalt patches, hard edge bridge approaches. I used to roll at at 115-120 psi but backed off to 90-95. I know my routes pretty well and steer around (when safe) the bad stuff (potholes and bad asphalt patching) & rarely hit a bad spot without lifting hands lightly off bars, & lean forward with the butt off seat to unload the rear. I weigh 195 and if I hit some of the edges at full weight I'm pretty sure it'd blow the rear, possibly front.
If your regular route has a speed bump, that is a fun way to practice unweighting and/or hopping.
Even as things are now, with a commute on notoriously rough Boston streets, I don't think narrow tires are much of a liability in most conditions. We'll see, although I'm from Mass I've only lived in this area for about six months now, but I'm perfectly happy on my road tires most of the time. I've ridden 23s at about 80-85 psi for the last couple of years now (I'm light), and I've pinch-flatted perhaps once in that time. So experience and technique will do you a lot of good. Back in the day, I pinch-flatted 28s and 32s all the time.
As I said before, I enjoy the sensation of rolling big fat tires at 40 or 50 psi over manhole covers and barely feeling them, but there's no getting around the fact that wider tires at those pressures are slower than 23s at 80 to 90 psi on essentially anything paved. And I like speed, it's fun. The anti-fun brigade would like you to think that wanting to go fast on a bike is somehow uncouth, but really, so what? Do what you want.