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Old 08-10-05, 08:10 PM   #1
GrannyGear
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There's a time and place for fatter tires (28cm and above for me) and that's no doubt. Several miles on chipseal road with high pressure skinnies, or commuting on urban blight streets, will testify to that. But I've found a new angle.

I always liked my sport-touring Rivendell Romulus but thought it a bit "dull"....not "quick" or "exciting"--- more of a road touring sedan than a turn-on-a-thought sports car. 28cm's seemed appropriate tires, like an older man wearing a fuzzy cardigan sweater instead of a t-shirt. Then I put on a pair of 25's (but probably on the narrow side given manufacturer's inaccuracy in labeling tire sizes). The bike feels different...lighter, quicker. And, yes, I know there is less rotating weight and higher pressure.......not to mention my own hopeful expectations. But I'm very pleased.

Anyway, I'm enjoying the bike more now for those 30-40 mile rides up into the hills on reasonable pavement. For crossing the potholed junkyard they call pavement downtown, I'll stick to squishy, belted Paselas.
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Old 08-10-05, 08:45 PM   #2
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Amen, brother! Skinnier, higher pressure tires can put life into a familiar ride! I'm riding on lightweight, Campy rims and 23cm tires and they've put up with me (and the potholes) just fine, thank you.. The faster tires aren't for every ride - I keep a pair of 32cm tires on a spare wheel set when I want comfort. Cheap investment for a whole different-feeling bike!
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Old 08-11-05, 12:48 AM   #3
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I know you are talking road, but the same applies off road aswell. 26" x 2.3 tyres may be comfortable, but to maintain grip are normally run at a lower pressure. This causes drag in a big way, and if you are unfortunate enough to ride them on the road, then you really feel it. To me, the standard offroad tyre is a 1.95 and even this has an effect on speed. If you are brave enough to try a 1.8 then the bike flys. Maybe due to the higher pressure required but even with them pumped up to 50psi (to stop snakebites) I still do not lose any traction. Then in winter, I even go to a 1.5 tyre for the mud, and even this tyre grips well. What I want to find is a 1.0 tyre with tread that does workon rough ground, but I do not think the backside could take 100psi over rocks.
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Old 08-11-05, 04:37 AM   #4
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When I built my SOMA Double Cross, I first put on Panaracer Pasela TG 700x32 tires. I liked them, but I kept wondering how 28s would feel, so I bought a set.

I installed the 700x28 Pasela TGs, and found very little difference in ride quality, but a readily detectable difference in rolling resistance and responsiveness. I think I'll be sticking with the 28s (I don't see going skinnier than that on my Mavic T519 rims as being a good move).
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Old 08-11-05, 05:51 AM   #5
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To me the ideal tire is 700x25

I can go through gravel and some sand, yet they are fast on the blacktop and cement. An all-round tire, IMHO.

I have tried 700x23's, and notice little difference in speed between the 23's and the 25's, but the 23's can't take the gravel.

And to go to a 28 or a 32 seems like driving a tank!

So, I will stick with the 25's.
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Old 08-11-05, 08:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
To me the ideal tire is 700x25
I have tried 700x23's, and notice little difference in speed between the 23's and the 25's, but the 23's can't take the gravel.
And to go to a 28 or a 32 seems like driving a tank!
I agree that 25s are the best all round size for roadies on decent pavement, but I ride 28s regularly as well (they just barely clear the brakes) and do not consider them to be "tanks" when inflated to 100-110 psi. Haven't tried the 23s in some time, probably ought to put them on again for a change.
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Old 08-14-05, 10:03 PM   #7
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I love those Paselas, but you're right...when I swapped down on my Atlantis from 700x35 Paselas at 75 psi down even to Ruffy Tuffys at 100, it was like a different bike. I don't like it as well for a lot of stuff I do, but it was a nice change (incidentally, I went by Rivendell a couple of months ago to talk to them about a Romulus to go with the Atlantis, and I lucked out and scored a used Rambouillet, an ex-demo, cheaper than the Rom. It wears the RTs now, and I keep the Paselas on the Atlantis).
Speaking of Paselas, if you like them, you should know that the sizes and tread designs have changed. I've used them for three or four years, and 700x35s measure about 30mm wide on my wheels. I got a new set last week, and the labeled 35s now are very close to an actual 35 mm, with a knobbier tread. Seem to work fine, but they look fat compared to what I'm used to.
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Old 08-15-05, 08:42 PM   #8
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Ok, other than weight. What difference does it really make if a tire is:

28 mm
30 mm
32 mm
35 mm

Is going fast because a thin long contact patch is more efficient than a wider contact patch. Since both have the same surface area, how does the shape of the patch matter?

Moreover, how much difference is there between a tire designed with Hi rolling resistance vs lower. Michelin has a 5 level scale of a tires rolling resistance. Most manu's do not share this info.

Is there a real difference between speed of a slick tire versus one almost slick, or even with treads? How much is real and how much is imagination?

Anyone know of any real tests. IHPVA had a test about 8 years ago, but mostly of bent tires. Other than heresay, any test data?

Just thought this thread needed bumping. bump...
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Old 08-15-05, 10:43 PM   #9
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The folks at internet-bob@bikelist.org, a retro-bike news group filled with Rivendell types-- and often great believers in fatter tires-- would assert that lower pressure, fatter tires may actually produce better (faster) times because their "softness" keeps them in touch with the road surface more consistently, more stable on descents, loose surfaces, etc. and friction is functionally of minor to non-significance.

This seems counterintuitive, against personal experience, and I don't see many pro's on 28's. Still, these guys put in a lot of miles on bikes that are not racer-boy. In their favor, 60 miles on 28's at 90psi over a mix of road surfaces may not be so tiring as the same on 120psi 23's. And anybody who's leaned into a downhill turn and felt that rear tire go sideways a bit might long for a nice, mooshy bigger contact patch.

With so many marginal variables which may or may not be really signicicant....heck, may as well go with personal biases and what looks cool to you.
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Old 08-22-05, 05:25 PM   #10
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Hi!

I'm a newbie and presently riding 26's. I think the smallest I can get on my rims would be 25's. There probably would not be a significant difference in performance on paved roads.

Would like to see more comment on 23's. I will need new wheels for 23's. Will I get more ease of cycling with 23's? Will it be worth it? I would probablly enjoy building new wheels for the first time.

Sinchi
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Old 08-22-05, 06:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonooka
Hi!

I'm a newbie and presently riding 26's. I think the smallest I can get on my rims would be 25's. There probably would not be a significant difference in performance on paved roads.

Would like to see more comment on 23's. I will need new wheels for 23's. Will I get more ease of cycling with 23's? Will it be worth it? I would probablly enjoy building new wheels for the first time.

Sinchi
Are you, perhaps, getting wheel circumference mixed up with the width of the tire?

Most of us refer, generally, to three or four different wheel circumference:

16" and 20" - used on folding and kids bikes
26" - used on mountain bikes
700mm - used on most newer road bikes
27" - used on older road bikes

There are others (29" on some mtn bikes) but these are the general ones.

For each of the above there are different widths of tires.

For example, 26" mtn bike tires may come in 1.5" or 1.75" or 2" or 2.5", etc. Therefore, they are referred to as 26x1.75 or 26x2.25 or whatever.

Same with the 700mm

700 x 20 or 700 x 23 or 700 x 25 or 700 x 28, etc.

I have never heard of a 700x26, although it maybe out there.

Excuse me if I insulted your knowledge by this lengthy explanation. This is probably all old hat to you, but when you said you could get a 25 on a 26, it seemed like perhaps you had some things a bit out of whack.

Thanks for listening.

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Old 08-22-05, 07:46 PM   #12
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I guess after I lug around on my 28c's for a couple of years while getting into shape.

I should be able to fly and really up my average once on a road bike??? along with the other benifits that come from going from hybrid to road.
But this is about tires.

So I guess my comment is 28c's are good for training.
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Old 08-22-05, 11:08 PM   #13
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Hi denverfox,

Yes, I have 100C rims and tires. I'm sure the tires are marked 26 mm for the cross dia, otherwise there are 25's. I bought a well working vintage bike (1990 ish) that had been sitting in the back for a number of years and the owner of the vintage LBS put on new "no name" tubes and tires (probably made in China) for me. So far they seem to ride well but are wearing noticably. I ride about 100 miles/week. I'm sure they will be work out in a thousand miles.

Went to REI which is a four blocks from my house. The "23" mm cross dia tires were all on the pricey racing road bikes (which were all hanging so the public could'nt fondle them) which also had rims that were a lot less wide than my rims. My rims are the same size as that on the REI Randonee touring bike on the floor (but hanging not as high as the racers). The young-not-too-knowledgeable sounding but pleasant salesperson said 23's would fit on my rims. I have my doubts; but even so to get the full advantage of 23's, I guess one should use the thinner rims which should be much lighter than what I have. I would guess the durability of the 23's would be much less that what I have now.

So, I must conclude since I'm not ever likely to be into racing, I should forget about 23's and the latest racing wheels and settle for the 25's. Maybe try ones with slicker tread patterns.

Sinchi
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Old 08-23-05, 01:47 AM   #14
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Hi,

I took my calipers and checked my wheel width (inside width at the bead). Mine measures 17mm. According to Sheldon Brown's web site, the recommended sizes for that rim are 25 to 37mm. The two smaller standard rim sizes are 13mm for 18 to 23 mm tires, and 15mm for 23 to 32 mm tires.

Will stay with my 17mm wide wheels and 25mm tires until I become a much better biker and purchase a newer road bike. It seems current higher end and some entry level road bikes come fitted with 23 mm tires. The catalog specs do not give rim widths. Some specialty single speed racers come with 18 mm tires. Touring bikes have wider rims and tires(usually equiped with 32 to 37mm tires).

Sinchi
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Old 08-23-05, 01:52 AM   #15
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Dnver and others,
Performance is labeling one of their current house brand tires as a "700x26" but, upon mounting it, it looks like a fairly narrow "25" though I haven't taken any calipers to it. Which reminds us that tire manufacturers take a lot of liberties and their stated measurements often are skewed. Anyone familiar with older Avocets or Paselas recalls that their tires were usually one size smaller than what was labeled.

BTW, my experience so far is the Performance tires above are a pretty good value...$18 on sale, belted, and no more flats this summer than my Conti Ultra Gators or Rivendell Ruffy Tuffy's.
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Old 08-23-05, 05:14 AM   #16
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Guess I opened my mouth and should have been quiet!

Good luck.
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Old 08-23-05, 06:34 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
Guess I opened my mouth and should have been quiet!
Happens to me all the time. "Better to remain silent and be thought an idiot than to speak and remove all doubt."
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Old 08-23-05, 06:36 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by michaelnel
Happens to me all the time. "Better to remain silent and be thought an idiot than to speak and remove all doubt."
Sadly, I have spoken many times in the past, also. I think the secret is already out!

Have a great day.
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