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Old 07-06-12, 03:24 PM   #1
NMBuff
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First upgrade and a serious tiring sizing issue

I bought a '12 Forza from REI. I love the bike. I've already made one mod. I changed the stem to the Easton EA50 so that when I ride it's more forward leaning (I've had back issues being too vertical). I'm thinking about making more in the future so I'd like some input.

Here's my components list (taking from rei.com)
Fork: SR NEX, 63mm of travel
Crankset: Suntour XCT, 48/38/28
Shifters: Shimano Acera
Front derailleur: Shimano FD-M191
Rear derailleur: Shimano Alivio
Rear cogs: SRAM PG-830 11-30, 8-speed
Hubs: Joytech Alloy, 32h
Tires: Freedom Ryder Sport, 700x35

On the rims it says 622x14.

I have yet to really do any off roading, although there are light smooth trails near my house. I've mainly used it for commuting and some recreational use on a MUP (~30 mile bike rides every other week). I'd like to do a century ride, but neither my conditioning or my butt would be able to do so yet. I'd like to do a 60 mile tour around Albuquerque by the end of the summer. At some point I'm thinking I'm going to buy a touring bike--looking at the LHT--and making this more for off road use, but that won't be the case for the time being. So I'd rather not change the fork (besides, that seems like it'd be too much of a hassle/expensive).

I've read that hubs are a great first upgrade, others argue wheels and I see tires as well. Given my component list what do you think would be the first thing to upgrade to make a smoother ride? I get irritated that my front derailleur sometimes can't always generate enough power to move my chain from a smaller chain ring to the bigger one; I've had this looked at by a bike tech. Perhaps that might be worth considering for safety. I would like a smoother ride overall though too, so any help on an upgrade path would be much appreciated.


Also, this extends to my next question:

I read the article on Sheldon's site--http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html--about tire sizing and whatnot and it appears that my tires aren't safe for my rim size. This is a little disconcerting since I would trust REI, perhaps my favorite store, to err on the side of caution. Looking at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_5775 as well as Sheldon's site it appears the tires are best used for rims 18-22mm (17-21C is listed on the tire's sidewall). My rims are smaller than that. A smaller tire seems like it'd be not only be safer, but potentially be faster if I went with a tire that would be good for touring. I'm thinking 700x23 or 700x25. Any thoughts and suggestions on a tire that would suit me? I expect to carry loads up to 30-40lbs at some point if that makes any difference (I'm 150lbs). I'm thinking this might have to be my first "upgrade."
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Old 07-06-12, 03:53 PM   #2
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The "14" in 622x14 is probably the rim depth, not the width. If you really want to figure out the width you can remove one of the tires and measure it yourself. But I seriously doubt REI would put a 700X35 tires stock on the wheels if it was unsafe due to liability.

As far as 23 or 25c tire recommendations, it depends on your budget and how much puncture protection you want. You can try searching for tires, there's a lot of good info in older threads.
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Old 07-06-12, 04:08 PM   #3
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Ditto.
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Old 07-06-12, 04:50 PM   #4
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I put 23's on my Giant Cypress ST, and it was definitely a good/bad tradeoff. They rolled much faster, and the steering/handling was much quicker, but the ride was much rougher (as I expected) and despite the kevlar belting, I had multiple flats. I eventually gave up and put my old 38's back on there. I'm thinking when they wear out I'll be replacing them with 35's to see how that goes.
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Old 07-06-12, 05:18 PM   #5
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Yeah, I didn't know much about tires until I started to read a lot more about them. It looks like 28Cs might be the way I go so that I still maintain a comfortable ride, but gain a little speed. I also don't want to have to deal with flats. It's definitely a pro/cons thing. I don't mind spending the cash to go a little bit faster and I'm thinking about putting on pedals to also help me save energy, but again there's pros/cons to that. I'm going to measure my tires tonight and look through old threads based on what I measure.

It seems as if my upgrade path is going to be difficult to determine since this may eventually be used as more of a MTB than what it is being used as now. Things like tires are fine, but upgrading the rest of the bike may not be worth it. Perhaps wheels would be a good change at some point, but even changing things like hubs should wait until I have a different bike.
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Old 07-06-12, 07:11 PM   #6
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With near certainty, I'll say the "14" is your rim's internal width (at the bead seat) in mm. Most say Sheldon's chart is a bit conservative overall, but I'd say 38 is at the upper limit for that rim.

Keep in mind: (1) a narrower rim will tend to result in a slightly narrower inflated tire width than the same tire on a wider rim, and (2) tires tend to be nominally wider than their actual width due to the attractiveness of a lower weight tire. Not always, but very often.

As you exceed the upper boundary, two issues can occur. One is decreased traction during turning due to less sidewall support. The other is possible damage to the rim. Under inflation is a factor in the former, while excess psi can cause the latter.

I rode 28mm tires for many miles on rims with an interior width of 14mm. Personally, 32mm would have bbeen my upper limit on those. I prefer wider rims and now ride 30-32mm tires on rims with 19mm width.

Googling "freedom ryder sport tires" showed me tires in the 600-800g+ range. Those are heavy, and that weight, in combination with knobs, will kill a lively ride on paved roads and trails. You don't need to get 25 or even 28mm tires. What you want first is a lighter tire with better rolling resistance. Panaracer and Vittoria both offer excellent choices for reasonable money. Check the T-serv and Randonneur models from each. You can get down to 350g/tire with these in a 700x32. Higher quality tires in 28-32mm are a real sweet spot IMO.

As for upgrades, address the contact points first: saddle, grips, and pedals/shoes. Then go from there as desired.

With very few exceptions, you upgrade the entire wheel, not just the hub. But better wheels are usually the most expensive upgrade. Unless you've got a deal on something forthcoming, just ride what you've got now.

Front derailleurs are very simple and have no ability to generate anything. If pushing the thumb button doesn't move the derailleur over with enough authority, it's likely a simple cable tension issue. You can DIY, but REI will tend to it on your new bike.
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Old 07-12-12, 01:19 AM   #7
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Bought Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 32C tires. Hot damn they are sweet as hell. Pricey, but I figure I'll probably keep these tires for a while (perhaps on the LHT I plan to get at a point in the future). Beautiful tires and they ride like a dream. Thanks for the help guys.

BTW, my old tires were 650g a piece and now the new ones weigh at ~350g each. That's about 1.3lbs taken off the bike.
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Old 07-12-12, 12:26 PM   #8
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I also have 32mm Supremes. Very nice tires. They run a bit narrow,...probably under 30mm on narrow rims. I find them to be a tad sensitive to minimum tire pressure and not as comfortable nor any quicker than Paselas, but they're long wearing and have tougher sidewalls.
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