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Old 05-21-07, 07:34 AM   #1
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'Wider is better?'

There's an old car/tire commercial whose tagline is 'Wider is better.' The tires on my bike are 26x1.95's. Would it be possible to put 26x2.15 tires on it, as one example?

Thank you.
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Old 05-21-07, 07:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain_Owl
There's an old car/tire commercial whose tagline is 'Wider is better.' The tires on my bike are 26x1.95's. Would it be possible to put 26x2.15 tires on it, as one example?

Thank you.
Should be no problem, as long as your chainstay is wide enough. Wider may be better in certain conditions(MTB trails), but will likely add more unsprung weight and rolling resistence(road bike)
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Old 05-21-07, 07:46 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Quick_Torch C5
Should be no problem, as long as your chainstay is wide enough. Wider may be better in certain conditions(MTB trails), but will likely add more unsprung weight and rolling resistence(road bike)
I'm probably better off staying with skinny 26x1.95's, though, huh?
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Old 05-21-07, 07:53 AM   #4
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hmmm. I've not heard many people refer to 1.95" tires as "skinny."
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Old 05-21-07, 08:09 AM   #5
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you could go to 1" or 1.25" on 26" rims. Now, that would be skinny.
Skinnier is better, too. Depends on what you're looking for.
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Old 05-21-07, 08:09 AM   #6
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Those commercials aren't referring to the width of the tires, but rather the width of the wheelbase (essentially the width of the vehicle)

Unless you're riding a trike, there is no analogous measurement on a bicycle.
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Old 05-21-07, 08:12 AM   #7
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Oh, you are talking about tire width. Never mind.
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Old 05-21-07, 09:29 AM   #8
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The orignial commercial was for Pontiac's Grand Prix line, I believe. Wider is Better.

I get what you're saying though...
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Old 05-21-07, 09:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain_Owl
There's an old car/tire commercial whose tagline is 'Wider is better.' The tires on my bike are 26x1.95's. Would it be possible to put 26x2.15 tires on it, as one example?...
Yea it would, but if it would help or not would depend on how wide your rims are.

Fatter tires are heavier and accellerate slower, but (theoretically) can be run at lower pressures--but they'll handle well only when mounted on wider rims. How wide are your rims?

A lot of MTB's ome with 1"-wide rims that are really too narrow for MTB use. They're strong enough, but their narrow widths force you to keep the tires inflated too high. Only cruiser bikes seem to come with decent-width rims anymore.
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Old 05-21-07, 09:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain_Owl
There's an old car/tire commercial whose tagline is 'Wider is better.' The tires on my bike are 26x1.95's. Would it be possible to put 26x2.15 tires on it, as one example?
Maybe.

The only way to know for sure is to try some. Sometimes bigger tires will fit the bike frame but the front derailleur will rub when it's in the granny position.

All tires of a given size won't fit the same either. Some have knobs that stick out on the sides that cause interference problems.
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Old 05-21-07, 10:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by JanMM
you could go to 1" or 1.25" on 26" rims. Now, that would be skinny.
Skinnier is better, too. Depends on what you're looking for.
Being a noobie, I'm curious: How is skinnier better for an off-road tire...or any tire?
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Old 05-21-07, 12:44 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=Mountain_Owl]Being a noobie, I'm curious: How is skinnier better for an off-road tire...or any tire?[/QUOTE
Probably worse for off-road but better for on-road. The 1.25x26" 90psi tires on my tandem are MUCH BETTER for riding on paved roads than the 1.75x26" 70psi tires that came on the bike. Less rolling resistance, zippier, lighter, etc.
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Old 05-21-07, 01:07 PM   #13
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Hah, "wider is better" is about wheelbase, not tires. Skinnier is better on the road (19mm at 120psi just flys), but I don't think wider is necessarily better off-road. You're going to have to make compromises which really depend on your specific riding habits. Where are you riding?
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Old 05-21-07, 01:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain_Owl
Being a noobie, I'm curious: How is skinnier better for an off-road tire...or any tire?

How heavy are you? For offroad- the standard fitted tyre used to be 1.95. This was good for an average rider of average weight.

Now a narrower tyre will require more pressure to stop pinch flats- called snake bites by the way- but will roll better on all surfaces. I mean all surfaces-Tarmac- hardpack- gravel- MUD. The only thing you will lose out on is a bit of Suspension and comfort and Grip across wet rock and tree roots. They take skill to negotiate aswell so wide tyres do not always help here either. I weigh 150lbs and I use 1.8 tyres (Fire XC's) My mate weighs 180lbs and he uses 1.95's Our Tandem all up weight is 400 lbs and we use 2.1's.

People and "Poseurs" think that a wide tyre is cool and works better. You want grip and speed-go narrow. I even use Continental Cross Country 1.5's in winter for extra grip on the gloopy surfaces. A narrow tyre cuts through the gloop to the solid surface below and gives me grip. A wide tyre will float across the surface and not get grip. The only way to get grip on a wide tyre is to run at a lower pressure so causing drag and the chance of snakebites.

Now if you are talking about Trials riding then all the rules go out of the window. Wide tyres- low pressures and lots of riding skill. For general riding- then narrow rules- within reason but Depends on your weight and what sort of riding you do.
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Old 05-21-07, 01:17 PM   #15
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For speed, skinny tires with higher pressure is better but you tend to flat more. For mountain / comfort, wider tires with lower pressure is better and you get less flats.
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Old 05-22-07, 03:48 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by stapfam
How heavy are you?
about 170 pounds

Quote:
For offroad- the standard fitted tyre used to be 1.95. This was good for an average rider of average weight.

Now a narrower tyre will require more pressure to stop pinch flats- called snake bites by the way- but will roll better on all surfaces. I mean all surfaces-Tarmac- hardpack- gravel- MUD. The only thing you will lose out on is a bit of Suspension and comfort and Grip across wet rock and tree roots. They take skill to negotiate aswell so wide tyres do not always help here either. I weigh 150lbs and I use 1.8 tyres (Fire XC's) My mate weighs 180lbs and he uses 1.95's Our Tandem all up weight is 400 lbs and we use 2.1's.

People and "Poseurs" think that a wide tyre is cool and works better. You want grip and speed-go narrow. I even use Continental Cross Country 1.5's in winter for extra grip on the gloopy surfaces. A narrow tyre cuts through the gloop to the solid surface below and gives me grip. A wide tyre will float across the surface and not get grip. The only way to get grip on a wide tyre is to run at a lower pressure so causing drag and the chance of snakebites.

Now if you are talking about Trials riding then all the rules go out of the window. Wide tyres- low pressures and lots of riding skill. For general riding- then narrow rules- within reason but Depends on your weight and what sort of riding you do.
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Old 05-22-07, 05:37 PM   #17
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That was the wide track Pontiac, and it referred to the "track" of the car, the distance between the tires on each axle. I forget now if it's the measurement from tire centerline to centerline or between the outside faces, but it has nothing to do with bikes in any case.
As a couple of other posts have noted, whether wide tires are better on a bike depends on what you want to do. Narrow and smooth 1.25 or 1.4 tires at 85-100psi will give you low rolling resistance, reduced drag and higher speeds, but the ride will be harsh. Wide, soft 1.95s or 2.2s at 40 psi will grip like crazy in dirt and cushion the ride, but they'll be tough to pedal on pavement. Others split the difference--one of my old mountain bikes is a commuter now, and I use Ritchie Cross Bites in 1.4. They're really good on pavement, but if I let the air down to 50 psi I can ride them on fire trails. Just depends on what you want to do.
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Old 05-22-07, 06:18 PM   #18
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Im a big boy (6'3" 280) and I run 2.6" tires on my XC bike.
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Old 05-23-07, 02:52 PM   #19
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Im a big boy (6'3" 280) and I run 2.6" tires on my XC bike.
Try going down to a 2.1. I have a riding mate that weighs 220 lbs and he uses Panaracer Fire XC's at 50 psi front and rear on a Hardtail and no problems. Then on the Tandem we use 2.1's at 60 psi and we have an all up weight of 400lbs on that thing. When we were using 2.3's- we were getting side wall damage, no grip and a lot of drag. And as to durability- This thing eats tyres. 500 miles before the tread goes and that is if they last that long

For those of you talking about cars- If you are talking wheelbase- it should be Longer. Wider would refer to Track- Distance between the wheels on the same axle.
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Old 05-23-07, 03:04 PM   #20
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