I just completed a tour on my old mountain bike and decided to look into getting a road bike for next tour.
In the mountain bike world - I am considered a "Clydesdale" (6'1" 220pounds).
LBS has array of road bikes and as many opinions as sales people. Articles on this and other web sites really don't discuss the tires and sizing. Sheldon Brown has super articles on tires, but no real info about how to pick and choose. It is a great place to learn all of the jargon - so you sound like you know what you are talking about at the LBS.
I have already figured out that the bike I buy will be a set of compromises - gearing, tires, bars (I am 67 and there is no way I can lay over bars 10 hours a day for a tour), ...
Thought I would start with tires. All of LBS models have super skinny high pressure tires that just don't look like they would survive on a long tour. I am sold on the Specialized Kevlar Armadillo tires as my current set has about 1400 or 1500 miles with no flats.
What size tires work best for folks who approximate my environment? I'm not sure whether picking a specific bike locks me in on the tire sizing issue. I'm sure there are basics such as which rim sizes will work on what bike, but not sure how much leeway one has in deciding these things.
Any thoughts - opinions - pointers to web sites, etc. will be appreciated. This is first step in what I think will take a while to cut and paste recommendations together to lead to a purchase.
I have found tire combinations that were reliable in 700X23, but for touring, it would just be tiresome (sorry). A big difference in ride comes with the 28 or 32 widths. I commute on 700X32 and I think that they would handle (lightly loaded) touring well. I do not have significant experience with wider tires. Unless I were, off road or heavily loaded, I would not use anything bigger than 32.
Question: I've never ridden bigger than 700x25's. I'm putting together an all-arounder for dirt roads, poorly paved, and some smooth riding with friends who go a little faster than me. I'd like to go up to the lower pressure cushiness of 32's but......
Will I scrub off noticable speed with the extra weight and "softness"?
I'm thinking of using Paselas.
Also, is there much difference between kevlar belted and non belted?
as you get bigger you get heavier. The weight slows you down, but the most noticeable change is that it takes longer to accelerate.
Yes, there is a difference. Belted tires ride a llittle harder, but get fewer flats. I hate flats.
I suggest the tires I use. While they are sold as a 27c they hold almost as much air as some 32c tires. They have a nice ride, and they get very few flats. I have been using them for a year and have yet to get one. If you don't need the belted version, the Roly Poly is really sweet. There is a link to the one I use just above.
Here's another vote for Rivendell. If your bike will fit them (many won't), I don't think you can go wrong with the Panaracer Pasela in 700x35. It's actually about 30.5mm wide, and at 240 lbs. I run mine at 75-80 psi. Nice cushy ride, and they roll well. I've also used them in 700x32 at 95-100 psi, but don't like them as well for most riding.
If there's no room under your brakes or between your fork blades for those, try Riv's Ruffy Tuffy, which I think is labeled 700x27 now. They designed it specifically to fit a wide range of modern bikes (which are generally pretty cramped for tire clearance). Rivendell recommends 95 psi for those, and that's what I use, but they say they'll go to 120 if you want to.
I run the Ruffy Tuffy at about 85 psi for a softer ride.
I often let them get very soft before putting more air in.
I don't see the point of having a big tire and putting high pressure
into it. Seems like you are defeating the whole purpose of having the larger volume.