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  1. #1
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    Upgrading tires on a Hybrid

    Hi all. I got back into biking last year and bought a Trek 7100. I cannot afford to buy a new bike but I would like to upgrade the tires to go a little faster. I still have the standard Bontrager 700 x 35s on the bike. Am I able to go down to 700 x 32s? And will that really make that much difference? I do plan on buying slicks. Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Should be no problem. Slightly skinnier tire is no guarantee of a significant speed increase. If the new tire is skinnier, lighter, higher pressure, slicker tread, etc., then you would likely feel a little zippier.

  3. #3
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    How about 700 X 28C's?* I put some of these on my hybrid before I built it new wheels. It was made for tires up to 48 or something mountain-bikeish. I especially recommend the Rivendell Rol_y Pol_y or Ruffy Tuffy. Depending on the amount of glass on your streets.

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=10-043

    Fast, nimble, bombproof - Ruffy Tuffy

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=10-034

    Fast, nimble, lightweight - Rol_y Pol_y

    * Or 700 X 27C.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  4. #4
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    There's a lot of room to experiment with tire sizes. On my Atlantis, which is a sort-of hybrid (Rivendell calls it an "all-around bike") I've had tires from 25 to 41mm, with no problems at all.
    I second the recommendation for Riv's Ruffy Tuffy--I have them on two bikes. They're getting expensive, though. Another good road tire, somewhat cheaper, is the Panaracer Pasela or Pasela TG (the TG has Kevlar belts). I use those in 35mm, but I weigh 240. They're available down to 28 for sure, and I think maybe 25mm.
    As a previous post said, don't expect to be a lot faster. The bike will feel different and the ride will be harsher if you pump the tires above the pressures you're using now, but you won't pick up an enormous amount of speed.
    Here's a link to read about the Paselas, but you can probably find them for no more than $25-$30 elsewhere. http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=10-071

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I doubt you'll notice much difference going from 35mm tires to 32mm. I'd second Panthers recommendation to drop down to 28mm tires at about 90psi.

    If your goal is to go faster, however, there is nothing that will approach the benefit of lowering the handlebar.

  6. #6
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    Thanks, guys for all of the responses. I'll try going down to 700 x 28s. I am looking to pick up a little speed but also make the ride a lot smoother. I like to do long rides and hope to do some bike camping this summer. I will also look into the Paselas as those are in the price range I was looking in. Thanks!

  7. #7
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcostel View Post
    Thanks, guys for all of the responses. I'll try going down to 700 x 28s. I am looking to pick up a little speed but also make the ride a lot smoother. I like to do long rides and hope to do some bike camping this summer. I will also look into the Paselas as those are in the price range I was looking in. Thanks!
    If this is the case, you probably need wider tires......

  8. #8
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    I ride 700*28's Bontrager Hard Case on my Trek 7300. I have 2500 miles on them now and have found no issues going to that tire size. In that 2500 miles I have had 1 flat, while they are a little high price than your range, they are well worth a look in my humble opinion. I also ride these at 105-110 and have a fairly smooth ride.
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  9. #9
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    I'm also looking to switch to thinner tires on my Trek 7.2fx - from 35c to 25c or 28c to get a little more speed. I definitely want the new tires to be puncture resistant. I have narrowed my choices to the following base on price and function. Does anyone have any opinions, recommendations, or first hand experiences that they could share? Let me know if I'm off on the prices. Thanks.

    Panaracer Pasela TG $ 29
    Bontrager Hard Case $ 40
    Specialized All Condition Armadillo Tire $ 45
    Continental Ultra Gatorskin $ 40

  10. #10
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roller1000 View Post
    I'm also looking to switch to thinner tires on my Trek 7.2fx - from 35c to 25c or 28c to get a little more speed. I definitely want the new tires to be puncture resistant. I have narrowed my choices to the following base on price and function. Does anyone have any opinions, recommendations, or first hand experiences that they could share? Thanks.

    Panaracer Pasela TG $ 29 Bontrager Hard Case $ 40 Specialized All Condition Armadillo Tire $ 45 Continental Ultra Gatorskin $ 40
    Good Tire

    http://www.nashbar.com:80/bikes/Prod..._200276_200524
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  11. #11
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    My ride buddy with a Trek 7200 has shanged fromm the 35's to Michelin City 700x32c tires and reports a noticeable improvement in "rolling". He also reports an increase in ride harshness. He says next tire change, he's going back to 35's. Note; we are mid 50's guys more interested in the workout than speed. bk

  12. #12
    CAT5 joe_5700's Avatar
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    I have a Trek 7200 and went through the same thing wanting a faster rolling tire. I went with 700X28 Michelin Dynamics. They are a very cheap tire price wise and seem to be holding up well. I haven't put on the stock 700X35s since. I can definately feel a difference in less rolling resistance BUT it is not any smoother due to the higher pressure in the tires. I'd also look at swapping out the suspension fork for a solid one to save some weight.

  13. #13
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    Thanks guys (especially 10 Wheels). I decided to go with the Panaracer Pasela TG for balance between function and price. Someone actually called them the "poor man's gatorskins".

    For those of you that switched from 35c to 28c, have you had any fitting issues with the smaller tires and the stock Trek rims? thanks again. I read elsewhere on the forum that that could be an issue (and could be a dangerous one).

  14. #14
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Your Panaracer TG's will fit the stock rims your Trek came with. I pitched the stock 32's mine came with and installed the 700 X 28C Panaracer's myself. Fit was fine. I have since ditched the wheels though.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  15. #15
    CAT5 joe_5700's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roller1000 View Post
    For those of you that switched from 35c to 28c, have you had any fitting issues with the smaller tires and the stock Trek rims? thanks again. I read elsewhere on the forum that that could be an issue (and could be a dangerous one).
    Nope. I have 500+ miles on my 700X28s on my stock rims on my 7200. Lots of those miles have been on very rough brick roads as well as gravel and I have not had any issues.

  16. #16
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    Thanks guys.

  17. #17
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    My Crosstrail came with 45mm wide tires, and 18mm (internal width) rims. I have 35mm wide on the front now, and it is noticably more nimble in steering, without sacrificing comfort given with the 40mm wide rear tire.. I like this combo better than the OEMs, but narrower than this did not suit me. I run both Schwalbe Marathon Supremes at max pressure of 85 PSI.

    There is "usually" a pretty wide selection of tires for OEM rims.

    Check Sheldon Brown's website for approximate fittment - noting that his scale is erred toward caution. Even it can be exceeded on either end without much fear. Also, most tire mfrs have a fittment chart available for rim size.

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