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  1. #1
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    How much do tires affect the ride?

    I'm just curious if changing the tires on my bike (tread style) could have much effect on the ridability of my bike. They are fairly new tires but are thinner and have a smaller tread size than I'm used to.

  2. #2
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    Pressure affects the ride. Smaller narrower tyres require higher pressures to avoid sinking/compressing too much and pinching the tube with the rim-edge and causing flats. Bigger tyres can get away with lower pressure for the same sink and will give you a smoother ride.

    As far as handling goes, narrower high-pressure tyres are more responsive while the bigger stuff feels more stable and requires more force to make turn.

  3. #3
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    - you don't say what type bike/size tires you now have and the type of riding you do...

    - for my personal taste, if i ride 26" on smooth pavement, then i'd use these:

    slicks

    - for my 700C road wheels, i use these (in 700x25):

    cheapies

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    Tyres make a huge difference to the feel of the bike but there is no one best type/size, it depends on your weight, load, style, terrain.
    For an average size rider on M bike on normal roads then 25-32mm with a light tread is the usual range of sizes

  5. #5
    J E R S E Y S B E S T Jerseysbest's Avatar
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    If riding on pavement, switch to a smooth or slick tire, rides a lot better.
    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre View Post
    Cheating: a symptom of the problem.

  6. #6
    Senior Member kpumpy's Avatar
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    If you want speed, a big difference. I have one of those comfort/hybrid bikes and switched to road slicks and got an immediate 4-5 mph payoff.

  7. #7
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    IMHO, Tires ARE the bike's ride. Thinner, higher-pressure tires provide lower pedaling resistance, resulting in higher speed for the same exertion (that's why racers use thin, high-pressure tires). Wider, lower-pressure tires provide a more comfortable, shock-absorbing ride and (generally) more stable cornering. I like to keep two sets of wheels with different tires around for my bike. That way, if I'm going on a long ride over mostly straight pavement, I'll use the narrow, high-pressure tires & wheels. If it is just a "training ride," I use the more comfortable and better cornering set.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Oh, and Sheldon says that mountain type lugs do not give better traction on dry pavement, in case you were thinking of going in that direction.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  9. #9
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    The science of tires is complex and simple at the same time.

    Since tires are the only direct contact between the bike and road the contact patch size
    is important, the tire size, the tire pressure, the tire construction, and the tire thread
    design all go into ride and control. Change any one of these variables and the bike
    will handle and ride differently. This is why tire selection and pressure maintance is
    so darned important on a bike.

    All that said, to gain maximum safe performance of your bike (and to a degree your car)
    learn about the variables that make up tires to allow you to select the corrrect tire for the
    job. Just throwing rubber on the wheel isn't a smart way to buy tires.

  10. #10
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nermal
    Oh, and Sheldon says that mountain type lugs do not give better traction on dry pavement, in case you were thinking of going in that direction.
    Agreed. My slicks stick to the road like the camera sticks to Angelina Jolie's thighs.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Interesting imagery, there.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  12. #12
    Senior Member divineAndbright's Avatar
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    This is what I know about tires:

    -riding on old hard/dry rotted tires is a pain in the ass, and results in a slow/uncomfy ride
    -whitewalls look good on just about anything
    -wider tires are comfy, can roll over just about anything and seldom flat!
    -its almost impossible to get replacement tires if you ride "the old time bikes" and not live in a popular 800billion population location
    -gumwalls are monstrously ugly looking (AND in a bad way)
    -reflective sidewalls are tacky
    -the sides of the roads are covered with glass shards so you might want to do away with pneumatic tires altogether.

  13. #13
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by divineAndbright
    -reflective sidewalls are tacky
    But a bike is not a motor vehicle. If reflective sidewalls are tacky, remove:

    - front reflector
    - rear reflector
    - wheel reflectors
    - any pedal reflectors




    Personally won't buy tires that are not reflective because I don't know when I might have to ride in darkness/dimness.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    remove:
    - front reflector
    - rear reflector
    - wheel reflectors
    - any pedal reflectors
    Done!

  15. #15
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Tires don't affect bike performance at all, in fact you should just take them off and ride on the rims.

  16. #16
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    the sides of the roads are covered with glass shards so you might want to do away with pneumatic tires altogether.
    DO NOT do away with pneumatic tires. There is a reason why essentially everything that has tires on this planet has pneumatic tires. They are far superior to solid tires. And if you want to avoid the shards of glass on the sides of the road, get off the side of the road. There is a ton of debris on the shoulder of most roads(dead animals, gravel, glass, tire treads, bottles, boxes, etc..). That is why you need to ride in the right lane, not the shoulder.


    If you do ride on the road slick tires are best, but hard to find since people seem to think we need tread on bike tires. This stems from the hydroplaning issue with cars that have far different tires than bikes with much lower pressure and essentially a square contact patch that must have a way of pushing water out. This simply isn't a problem with bikes. The less tread the better for strictly road riding. Tread is simply a bump that can squish and lose contact with the road causing a squirly feeling as with MTB knobbies. The road itself is a bit knobbie, so the flatter and smoother the tire, the better it can conform to the road.

  17. #17
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apw55
    Done!
    Ok, now:
    - flat black bike
    - all clothes black
    - and order a special pair of goth boots for riding
    Hi 'o Silver away

  18. #18
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady

    If you do ride on the road slick tires are best, but hard to find

    amen, now try to find slick tires with decent flat protection in 700x28 to 700x32
    Hi 'o Silver away

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady
    If you do ride on the road slick tires are best, but hard to find since people seem to think we need tread on bike tires. This stems from the hydroplaning issue with cars that have far different tires than bikes with much lower pressure and essentially a square contact patch that must have a way of pushing water out. This simply isn't a problem with bikes. The less tread the better for strictly road riding. Tread is simply a bump that can squish and lose contact with the road causing a squirly feeling as with MTB knobbies. The road itself is a bit knobbie, so the flatter and smoother the tire, the better it can conform to the road.
    Yeah, the actual contact-patch of a bike-tyre is even smaller than a single tread-block on a car tyre, so it can be slick. The lenticular shape of the contact patch also forces water out to the sides very effectively, unlike the square contact-patch of an auto tyre. Someone did some calculations once on hydroplaning and it required a bike to go around 175mph in order for the hydraulic pressure to build up enough to lift the front-wheel off. So no need for tyre-tread on a bike-tyre. Slicks roll faster with less rolling-resistance, they corner better and actually last longer for the same tread-thickness.

  20. #20
    Videre non videri
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    amen, now try to find slick tires with decent flat protection in 700x28 to 700x32
    Continental SportContact 32-622:
    http://www.conti-online.com/generato...ontact_en.html

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    Ok, now:
    - flat black bike
    - all clothes black
    - and order a special pair of goth boots for riding
    Got me there!
    - bright red bike
    - black shorts, shirts mostly light colored
    - black cycling shoes

    P.S. I don't ride at night. I live on a shoulderless, dimly lighted, hilly, winding road. It would most likely be fatal even with lights and reflectors

  22. #22
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Someone did some calculations once on hydroplaning and it required a bike to go around 175mph in order for the hydraulic pressure to build up enough to lift the front-wheel off.
    Oops! I had better slow down then.

  23. #23
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    My bike's aerodynamic features keep it so glued to the road i could ride upside down.

  24. #24
    Videre non videri
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclepath
    My bike's aerodynamic features keep it so glued to the road i could ride upside down.
    Are those "aerodynamic features" helicopter rotors, perhaps?

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