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    Changing from Hybrid Tires to Road Tires

    I'm sure this has been asked somewhere, but I'm a bit of a biking novice, so I don't even know what to search for.

    I have a hybrid bike. It came w/ tires that fit that bike. I wanted to get road tires so I can go faster. Do I need to get new wheels as well? I thought I could just change the tires but a coworker said I probably could not. I'd rather not have to pay for road wheels.

    Thanks for the help in advance

  2. #2
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Your bike dealer's mechanic should tell you how thin you can go with the wheels that you have. There is a range of tire size for any wheelset.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Trucker_JDub's Avatar
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    What size do you have and what size do you want to use? With out these numbers its imposable to say any thing for sure.

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    Usually the narrowest tyre a hybrid can accept is about 28mm but it depends on the width of your rims.
    28 is a nice balance between speed, comfort and reliability and is my choice for non-competative getting about, fitness rides and day tours.
    See
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Try pumping up your current tires 5 psi beyond the max. It made a very noticeable difference on my "street tired" MB.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trucker_JDub View Post
    What size do you have and what size do you want to use? With out these numbers its imposable to say any thing for sure.
    I have no clue to both questions. I'm a little ignorant to this stuff. I just know I want skinnier tires for faster riding. But I'll check when I get home and relay the info.

    Thanks everyone for the help so far.

  7. #7
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Just measure your rim width - as long as the tyre is the same diameter as the rim and is not narrower than the rim then you'll have no problems
    for example, I have 700c rims with a 19mm width so in theory I could use a 700x20c (20mm) tyre no problem.
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  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    Just measure your rim width - as long as the tyre is the same diameter as the rim and is not narrower than the rim then you'll have no problems
    for example, I have 700c rims with a 19mm width so in theory I could use a 700x20c (20mm) tyre no problem.
    But if you did- It could be a harsh ride. 23's are about the narrowest used on the road- but when you check the tyre size on the bike at present, also look to see if there is a make of rim on the wheel. Then you can go to the wheel- or Rim- website and see what tyre size they recommend. General width for comfort is a 25 or 28 for road use- but also there is the pressure you put in the tyre. High pressure road tyres will roll well- but at the high pressures used- can be a bit harsh. By going to the 28- or larger- you can decrease the pressure for comfort without having the risk of punctures by pinching the Tube between the tyre and the rim. (Called Snakebites)
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  9. #9
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    But if you did- It could be a harsh ride. 23's are about the narrowest used on the road- but when you check the tyre size on the bike at present, also look to see if there is a make of rim on the wheel. Then you can go to the wheel- or Rim- website and see what tyre size they recommend. General width for comfort is a 25 or 28 for road use- but also there is the pressure you put in the tyre. High pressure road tyres will roll well- but at the high pressures used- can be a bit harsh. By going to the 28- or larger- you can decrease the pressure for comfort without having the risk of punctures by pinching the Tube between the tyre and the rim. (Called Snakebites)
    I did say in theory

    useless trivia: 1984 olympics, US Cycling had the minimum tyre width rule changed so they could use 11mm tubulars on the track.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I might quibble with your major premise about narrower tires making you go faster. If everything else is equal (and it never is) a slightly wider tire will have slightly lower rolling resistance.

    The best single thing that you can do to get faster is to work on your position on the bike.

  11. #11
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    Light tires with thin sidewalls have less rolling resistance, and the reduced inertia makes the bike more manoeuvrable.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewP View Post
    Light tires with thin sidewalls have less rolling resistance, and the reduced inertia makes the bike more manoeuvrable.
    If you're talking about putting a tire that's very much smaller on a hybrid rim you're going to give back every single second that you gained, with interest, fixing pinch flats.

    If your goal is just to go faster and you don't mind looking a little goofy to do it, bolt an aero bar onto your hybrid.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lockmat View Post
    I'm sure this has been asked somewhere, but I'm a bit of a biking novice, so I don't even know what to search for.

    I have a hybrid bike. It came w/ tires that fit that bike. I wanted to get road tires so I can go faster. Do I need to get new wheels as well? I thought I could just change the tires but a coworker said I probably could not. I'd rather not have to pay for road wheels.

    Thanks for the help in advance
    My hybrid came fitted with 700c X 35mm tires with a off-road thread. I replaced them with 700c X 28 tires with more of a road thread. It made a significant difference, especially considering that I ride a good 45 miles per day commuting back-and-forth to work. I did not have to replace my rims.

    Cheers,
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RHoude View Post
    My hybrid came fitted with 700c X 35mm tires with a off-road thread. I replaced them with 700c X 28 tires with more of a road thread. It made a significant difference, especially considering that I ride a good 45 miles per day commuting back-and-forth to work. I did not have to replace my rims.

    Cheers,
    I did the same. I have an old Schwinn Crosscut that I swapped out the tires with 28mm road tires. Made a world of difference in the ride of the bike.

  15. #15
    Justin scattered73's Avatar
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    The speed difference between my 35mm cross tires (similar to hybrid tires) and 25mm road slicks on the same bike is not that much maybe a couple of mph. Where I really appreciate the difference between these tires is cornering on the slicks.

  16. #16
    MDScaper MDScaper's Avatar
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    I have 35 mm hybrid tires on my Trek 7.6FX and 28mm road tires on my 7.5FX. I gain about one mile per hour on the 28mm over the 35mm on the bike trails.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I might quibble with your major premise about narrower tires making you go faster. If everything else is equal (and it never is) a slightly wider tire will have slightly lower rolling resistance.
    This is true, as long as you don't go above 700x23c's.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  18. #18
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by lockmat View Post
    I have no clue to both questions. I'm a little ignorant to this stuff. I just know I want skinnier tires for faster riding. But I'll check when I get home and relay the info.

    Thanks everyone for the help so far.
    Don't bother getting the info for that question. The only thing you really need is a measurement of your rim width. That will definitley be able to answer your question.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  19. #19
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scattered73 View Post
    Where I really appreciate the difference between these tires is cornering on the slicks.
    And car racers will tell you that cornering abilities make a huge difference, too.

    It's true, though. I can go nearly as fast in a straight line on my hardtail MTB with knobbies as I can on my Bad Boy with slick 28 mm tires. However, cornering on pavement with the Bad Boy is fun -- while carving the same corners at anywhere near the same speeds on the MTB is frightening.

    Offroad tires, even mixed-tread versions seen on most hybrids, are just not designed for pavement. It's as true for bikes as it is for any other wheeled vehicle.

  20. #20
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    I changed out the treaded tires on my hybrids to 25mm dual compound slicks, since my commute consists of mostly smooth paved roads. There's a considerable difference in rolling resistance and weight over the OE hybrid tires, making for quicker and easier commutes. The softer compound side tread makes for more grip in either wet or dry weather lessening the chance of a crash while cornering, but as I stated in another thread, the softer compound side tread makes for the ablity to pinch shoot small pebbles to a considerable distance and force. Just today, on our weekend family ride, the wife plunked one of our local pigeons at 10 yards,(no major harm done being that they are tough birds) and then later on in the ride,the daughter pinch shoots a pebble and hits me in the leg while riding side by side, as we are still laughing about that incident, the wife again returns a volley for me,(I'm riding the guest hybrid with 35mm OE tires) and nails the daughter in the foot. The only thing hurting after our weekend ride was our sides from laughter.
    Last edited by dynodonn; 03-23-08 at 10:48 PM.

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