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Old 03-19-14, 06:12 AM   #1
pizza777
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What is the optimal tire size for my rims?

I have a hybrid bike with a tire that reads 700 x 32c. I used to have a different bike with much thinner wheels that I enjoyed riding much more. Is it possible to put 700 x 23c tires on these rims or will they not fit? Should I stick with the size that on them?
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Old 03-19-14, 08:49 AM   #2
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I have a hybrid bike with a tire that reads 700 x 32c. I used to have a different bike with much thinner wheels that I enjoyed riding much more. Is it possible to put 700 x 23c tires on these rims or will they not fit? Should I stick with the size that on them?
It's likely that they will fit ( see Tire Sizing Systems in the "Width Considerations" section ), but the question is really, what do you hope to gain?

Hybrids are generally used for casual recreational riding on pavement/MUPs/rail trails/etc. Narrower tires are typically used on road bikes, have much less volume, and are run at higher pressures. So you'll get a harsher ( sometimes VERY much harsher ) ride. What exactly is it about the tires in particular that you think you'll be fixing by running narrower ones? What sort of riding and what kind of surfaces are you on now, and do you plan to change that?
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Old 03-19-14, 08:56 AM   #3
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It's likely that they will fit ( see Tire Sizing Systems in the "Width Considerations" section ), but the question is really, what do you hope to gain?

Hybrids are generally used for casual recreational riding on pavement/MUPs/rail trails/etc. Narrower tires are typically used on road bikes, have much less volume, and are run at higher pressures. So you'll get a harsher ( sometimes VERY much harsher ) ride. What exactly is it about the tires in particular that you think you'll be fixing by running narrower ones? What sort of riding and what kind of surfaces are you on now, and do you plan to change that?
That is pretty much my thought.
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Old 03-19-14, 08:59 AM   #4
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I guess I'm just used to riding with really thin road bikes and tires. I live in the city so I only ride on road. I guess I might not do it if there is nothing to gain but I was just curious if it was possible. Thanks for the info!
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Old 03-19-14, 09:13 AM   #5
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I guess I'm just used to riding with really thin road bikes and tires. I live in the city so I only ride on road. I guess I might not do it if there is nothing to gain but I was just curious if it was possible. Thanks for the info!
As they say, its horses for courses. I wouldn't do it. But it is your money. Try it if that is what you want to do and report back how it works out. Check out the link mulveyr posted. IMO it is good advice.
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Old 03-19-14, 04:42 PM   #6
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Check your rims. Somewhere there should be a sticker that says something like "622xNN". NN will be your rim's width in mm. Compare that to this chart to see the range your rims can safely handle.
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Old 03-19-14, 05:35 PM   #7
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Do your tires have knobby tread on them? If so, you may be able to get less rolling resistance and a faster 'feel' on pavement by simply switching to slick tires with no tread. And you could almost certainly run them in a narrower size like 28, even if you don't/can't go all the way down to 23 or 25.
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Old 03-20-14, 05:24 AM   #8
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I'd bet you can put 23 or 25 c tires on there, slicks or something grooved like Panaracer Ribmos, and enjoy a faster, easier, livelier ride. Do it.

I don't think you even need to worry about rim width, really, but a quick stop and question at a bike shop would answer that. What you will need to do is pick your width. As mentioned above, there's a bit of comfort tradeoff as you go narrower and higher pressure, but if you want the most lively ride, and unless you're really heavy (e.g. 240lbs+), I guess you'd be happy with the tradeoff. Probably a 25 or 28 would be good compromises, but you can't beat the feel of a 23 in my mind, especially up front. Slightly wider on the back could be considered if you really want to fine tune the ride and get a little more cushion under the saddle.
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Old 03-20-14, 07:52 AM   #9
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On a hybrid, I'd suggest riding the 32s until they're worn out and then maybe move down to 28s or possibly 25s if your rims allow it. 23s seem to be falling out of favor as people come to terms with the fact that they have higher rolling resistance than 25s, and the aero benefits only make up for it in a limited set of circumstances. For hybrid applications, I'd wager that 25s aren't really going to to provide any benefits over a 28, so you might as well go with a 28 and get the comfort benefits. If you're really pushing it and you want to maximize your speed/cornering, 25s might be a bit faster and more agile, but in that case I have to ask why you're on a hybrid to begin with.
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Old 03-20-14, 08:10 AM   #10
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On a hybrid, I'd suggest riding the 32s until they're worn out and then maybe move down to 28s or possibly 25s if your rims allow it. 23s seem to be falling out of favor as people come to terms with the fact that they have higher rolling resistance than 25s, and the aero benefits only make up for it in a limited set of circumstances. For hybrid applications, I'd wager that 25s aren't really going to to provide any benefits over a 28, so you might as well go with a 28 and get the comfort benefits. If you're really pushing it and you want to maximize your speed/cornering, 25s might be a bit faster and more agile, but in that case I have to ask why you're on a hybrid to begin with.
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Old 03-20-14, 08:32 AM   #11
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a high quality slick, light, 32 tire, for example the Jack Brown 33 that Merry Sales distributes to shops ,
or you get online via Rivendale will ride fine ..

race sew-up like skinny is not the only way to make improvements over the stock tire.

So supple casing, thinner rubber so weigh less , but same width is fine.

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-20-14 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 03-20-14, 01:04 PM   #12
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It's usually more about the rider and the bike than about tires.
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