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  1. #1
    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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    23 mm versus 25 mm tire widths

    The only tires I'm used to riding on are for hybrid bikes ... 32mm tires and wider. So I have no knowledge about road tires.

    I'm getting Shimano's 7801-SL wheels, which have a 24mm rim width. The only information I could find about recommended tire widths is found in the following (long) thread) ... "Shimano's 24mm rim width is designed to be optimal in wind tunnel tests with a 23mm tire (700 x 23)."
    < http://www.freshairexp.com/thunderba...play.asp?ID=38 >

    Would 24mm-wide rims accommodate both 23mm and 25mm tire widths?

    Which tire width would be better for club rides with a target speed between 14 and 17 MPH?

    What are recommended tires that come in 23mm and 25mm widths that would be good for club rides?

  2. #2
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Your rims should be fine with anything from 20mm to 28mm.
    Any perceived difference between 23mm and 25mm tires would be imaginary.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  3. #3
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Bike tire widths can vary somewhat from manufacturer to manufacturer despite having the same marked width. Variations can be noticable at times, especially as you get up into higher widths like 28,32, etc. Kevlar belts, inflated shape, the pressure you run them at can affect a sense of suppleness or firmness.

    Equally "important" is getting a color combination you can live with!

    In a double blind test, some people would claim they can feel a difference between 23 & 25, others probably not. Wheels can also influence the perception of "ride".

    Of importance to me is finding the right pressure that works for me with any given narrow tire...enough to prevent pinch flats and give the ratio of firmness to comfort that meets personal style and taste.

    Club rides are as much about comfort as performance (unless you jump in with a carnivorous bunch)... don't be inveigled by notions of "skinnier/harder" is always better. Bouncing around with rock hard skinnies on rutted or chip seal roads may wear you out sooner and, because those bounces slow you down, get you slower times as well.
    Last edited by CrossChain; 04-26-07 at 08:33 PM.

  4. #4
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    CrossChain is right. I am running Continental 700Cx28s on my Bianchi right now, and they are about the same width as Specialized 25s.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  5. #5
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    I have recently used 700 x 28, x 25, x 23. They all got me there.
    The big difference was how long they lasted and that was an issue of brand. The Bontragger started acting up under 2000 miles. I have now $50/ea Continentals. No more flats but harder ride I think.
    The LBS said that the Bontragger have better traction but wear fast.

    BTW, I got used to use 110 PSI. Seems as if it is a good compromise.

    700 x 28 should last longer because you got more material. The downside is that they are harder to install because of the brakes. I have to deflate them and inflate after the wheels are installed. I take the wheels off to get the bike stored in a trunk.

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    FWIW, I weigh 230, and I don't mess at all with anything skinnier than 32mm anymore. They may not fit on your bike, but the rims should handle anything you can jam on there. I've used tires from 23mm to 41mm on the same rims for years and never had a problem. Same tubes, too...

  7. #7
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    700 x 28 should last longer because you got more material. The downside is that they are harder to install because of the brakes. I have to deflate them and inflate after the wheels are installed. I take the wheels off to get the bike stored in a trunk.
    Which brings up Rivendellian Law 37A/1(Para. 5), to wit: Current bikes, buying into the super skinny tire, ultra short reach brake, narrow fork racer-boy mindset, make it hard on anyone with divergent or broader needs to get a mid width tire on their $2K bike. Hence poor Will having to deflate and widgie the tire/wheel off and on-- barely. There are really crappy roads around here that carry me up into some pretty amazing scenery; going up and especially coming down those roads I like to switch to some nice, fat, lower pressure mooshy (gulp!) 32's. Thank you, Grant at Riv, my Romulus can do it no problemo with its classic fork, long reach brakes.

    You guys who have beautiful, undulating wives who can also cook and read a newspaper will understand that "foot in both worlds" concept of what a mate should be.

  8. #8
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    If you will go to www.performancebike.com and look at tires, they list recommended specifications for rim size/tire. If you have a 24 mm rim, I wouldn't go any smaller than the rim itself, so 25 mm is probably a minimum size.

    Like CrossChain, one of my favorite bikes has 32mm tires (Schwalbe Marathon plus) but I can ride it forever on chip seal, which a lot of the country roads are, as well as dirt roads.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  9. #9
    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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    Good points everyone about the wider tires, and thanks. I've always been comfortable on 32-38mm tires, and currently riding my Trek 730 on Panaracer's "Pasela Tour Guard (Aramid Belt)" ... 700 x 32 ... 380 grams. The 730 also rides great on snow with 38mm tires. The Trek is now my official winter bike.

    I should be receiving my stock Saluki in a couple of months, and she'll be on 650B x 33mm Maxy Fasty tires. Not for club rides, but for comfortable rides in North Michigan.

    But the club ride setup is all new to me. I followed Monoboraccho's advice, and scouted around on Performance Bike's website. But I was left confused on comments about avoiding tire width that is skinnier than the rim width. The website shortcut I provided in the OP states that "Shimano's 24mm rim width is designed to be optimal in wind tunnel tests with a 23mm tire (700 x 23)."

    Bluesdawg indicates that you can ride tires with 20mm to 28mm widths on the 7801-SL's 24mm rim width. To help me put things in perspective, is the measured rim width ... the inner diameter of the rim ... or ... the outer diameter of the rim?

    Unless I looked at the wrong places, I really didn't see any discussion on Sheldon's website, discussing the range of tire widths that can be used on specific rim widths ... and whether rim widths are based on inner diameter or outer diameter of the wheel. Information about websites that possibly discuss selection of tire widths to rim widths would be appreciated.

    Width- Minimum width is limited by the width of the rim, a tire that is too small increases the risk of rim damage when striking an obstical, or the tire not seating properly and being prone to flats. Maximum tire size is limited by the amount of clearance for the tire within the frame, and the the width of the rim, a very wide tire mounted to a narrow rim will not be very stable and may cause unpredictable handling as the tire rolls over in turns.



  10. #10
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorad
    Unless I looked at the wrong places, I really didn't see any discussion on Sheldon's website, discussing the range of tire widths that can be used on specific rim widths ...
    See the chart near the bottom of this page:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

  11. #11
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I have a bit of gravel and dirt that I ride in occasionally, as a part of some of my trails. I DO find a very noticeable difference between the 700x23's and the 700 x 25's in the same brand in their performance in gravel and dirt. The 25's are noticeably better.

    I keep my pressure at 120 psi.

  12. #12
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    Just my observation:
    I do much of my biking around a big park road. 25 miles for one round-trip. The road is not smooth but not terrible either. I have three bikes.
    The Treck Hybrid, figured like a road bike, with 700 x 35 tires. This bike is smooth as can be and comfortable. However, you cannot compete with a road bike on that road at all.
    The Cannondale Road Bike, Aluminum frame, 700 x 28 tires. This bike is fast but rides harsh regardless the 28 tires. I can compete with other road bikers but feel beaten up after 50 miles.
    The Treck Madone Road Bike, CF frame, 700 x 23 tires. This bike is fast AND the CF frame cushions the bumps in the road so that a 100 mile training ride is hard but no ordeal. The 23 mm tires seem not to be an issue.
    The two road bikes are with 110 PSI, the Hybrid with 80 PSI.
    I use the Hybrid on limestone trail all the time with pleasure. It is the only way to go in or after a rain.

  13. #13
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    I ride pretty good roads and went from 25s to 23s. I think I feel a slight improvement but the biggest difference is that it is easier to get the front wheel off when I rack the bike on top of the car. I keep mine at 110 psi nd use Conti GP 4000s which have been lasting me about 3000-3500 miles on the rear.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

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  14. #14
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    Which brings up Rivendellian Law 37A/1(Para. 5), to wit: Current bikes, buying into the super skinny tire, ultra short reach brake, narrow fork racer-boy mindset, make it hard on anyone with divergent or broader needs to get a mid width tire on their $2K bike. Hence poor Will having to deflate and widgie the tire/wheel off and on-- barely. There are really crappy roads around here that carry me up into some pretty amazing scenery; going up and especially coming down those roads I like to switch to some nice, fat, lower pressure mooshy (gulp!) 32's. Thank you, Grant at Riv, my Romulus can do it no problemo with its classic fork, long reach brakes. ...
    That is another of my motivations for riding classic road bikes, both ca. 1960 racing bikes and ca. 1970 touring bikes. As I have gotten older and the roads seem to have gotten worse, I have completely lost interest in 25mm and narrower tires.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  15. #15
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Not much experience on road but I recently went for a wheel change and a different make of tyre and size. The new wheels and the new tyres work a lot better than the old ones but that is probably down to quality.


    What will affect comfort more is the construction of the wheel. A radial spoked wheel-Direct pull from the hub to the rim- will give a harsh ride on all but the smoothest tarmac. If you have spokes that are crossedx2- then a certain amount of give will come from that wheel but it will still be a stiff wheel. Then onto the tyres- Certain grades of rubber will last long milage and other grades will wear quicker. Then the width and it is obvious that a narrow tyre will wear quicker. Then there is grip. Only noticable on fast cornering but a hard compound rubber will lose grip earlier on the corners than a softer grade. It is not always the case that a wider tyre will give better grip as if the rubber is not as "Sticky" as a narrower tyre, then grip will not be there. Then the width will also have a bearing on comfort- wider the tyre and more "Suspension" through the tyre will be available

    Then there is weight. The tyre has a big effect on this as if you lighten the weight at the extremity of the wheel- i.e. the tyre- then rotating mass is less and the wheel and tyre will accelerate faster.

    So decide what you want- Do you want to have less drag but at the expense of some comfort? OR is comfort your main priority

    Found the spec sheet on your wheels so look at

    http://bike.shimano.com/catalog/cycl...=1177710906712

    Your 7801 SL wheels have a width of 20.8mm and that is external width. The 24 is the brake area height. So you can go as narrow as you like with a recommended tyre width of 19 to 28. But they are also a radial spoked wheel which can give a harsh ride. I personally would not go narrow with high pressure tyres on Radial spoked. My suggestion is to go for a 25 or 28 tyre and go for a quality tyre such as a Michelin or Continental.

    By the way- Don't know the wheel but looks a performance wheel that is going to work.
    Last edited by stapfam; 04-27-07 at 04:56 PM.
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  16. #16
    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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    Thanks for responses everyone. If I had a 23mm versus 25mm choice of tubeless tire, I would choose the wider simply because I'm not used to road bikes. But the Hutchinson fusion 2 tubeless only comes in 23mm width. However, on the plus side is that you can ride on tubeless tires at a lower pressure. The Hutchinson fusion 2 has a maximum PSI of 120, but it should be okay for me to ride on 100 PSI with the tubeless tires ... which hopefully will take the edge out of riding on such skinny tires on radial wheels.

    The verdict isn't in yet on tubeless tires, and apparently others have the same sentiment, because they are riding tubed clincher tires with their 7801-SL wheels. There were quite a few folks in the road cycle forum that recommend the Michelin Pro Race 2.

  17. #17
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorad
    Thanks for responses everyone. If I had a 23mm versus 25mm choice of tubeless tire, I would choose the wider simply because I'm not used to road bikes. But the Hutchinson fusion 2 tubeless only comes in 23mm width. However, on the plus side is that you can ride on tubeless tires at a lower pressure. The Hutchinson fusion 2 has a maximum PSI of 120, but it should be okay for me to ride on 100 PSI with the tubeless tires ... which hopefully will take the edge out of riding on such skinny tires on radial wheels.

    The verdict isn't in yet on tubeless tires, and apparently others have the same sentiment, because they are riding tubed clincher tires with their 7801-SL wheels. There were quite a few folks in the road cycle forum that recommend the Michelin Pro Race 2.
    Tubeless still get punctures and trying to repair a tubeless still requires a tube. Might as well stay tubed in my opinion. I went to the michelin Pro race 2's in 23 but you can get them in 25. The other tyre recommended is the Conti GP4000. Incidentally- lower pressure in a narrow tyre defeats the object of a narrow tyre. They are meant for high pressure and lowering pressure will cause drag which will slow you down and cause increased tyre wear. As to worrying about a narrow tyre as on a road bike- Don't wory. The grip and stability is still there- even on wet roads. Or is that only my experience from years of sliding about on the mud offroad. I changed from a fat knobbly MTB tyre to road slicks with no problems.
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  18. #18
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I concur with stapfam regarding radial spoking, which I tried briefly in the early 1970s and promptly abandoned, but some folks claim that spoke cross pattern does not impact ride harshness.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  19. #19
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Last summer a friend loaned me a pair of radially spoked Alex wheels while I was waiting for my Open Pro's to be built. Hard to say whether the sense of "stiffness" was just my fretful, hide-bound imagination or for reals, but I was glad to put the OP's on....the ride seemed a little more smooth especially on those poorly paved roads I mentioned above.

    So much of what we speak of is a matter of personal perception. I remember years ago listening to some riders at a criterium complain about Vitus alu frames being too "whippy" even as other riders were whooshing by at the front in high gear on.......Vitus alu's. That varying perception is the beating heart of this forum.

  20. #20
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    1) As far as tire and rim combinations go, any wind-tunnel test claims are totally meaningless at cycling speeds.

    2) There will be no difference in "speed" you can achieve with 23 vs 25mm tires.

    3) A 25mm "training tire" gives you a bit tougher and longer-lasting tire, and so might be more useful overall on the normal urban and suburban roads of today.

    4) The 25mm tires (assuming both of the same brand and model) may allow you to inflate to a bit lower pressure, and therefore provide a smoother ride, but other than that, not much difference.

  21. #21
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    I run 700x28 Bontrager HardCase tires, and they have yet to have a flat in almost a year.

  22. #22
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    OM tyres on the giant lasted 3,000 miles before they got a flat and they still have the Mould marks visible. Thats why I wanted to get rid of them- Made me look like a newbie all the time.

    Those Tyres had to go- They didn't roll well- were a hard rubber and were the wrong colour.
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  23. #23
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    OM tyres on the giant lasted 3,000 miles before they got a flat and they still have the Mould marks visible. Thats why I wanted to get rid of them- Made me look like a newbie all the time.

    Those Tyres had to go- They didn't roll well- were a hard rubber and were the wrong colour.
    CrossChain may have a set to sell you. If you like lots of bright colors, of course.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    CrossChain may have a set to sell you. If you like lots of bright colors, of course.
    Sorry, you'll have to wait....I'm so surrounded by young women wanting to know more about my new Speedblend tires and do I have bed sheets to match that I haven't time now. Damn, here they come again, I'd bett................

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