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Old 09-08-08, 12:37 PM   #1
BengeBoy 
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Anyone regret moving to bigger tires? I'm thinking of 28c

Hi,

The last thread I can find about your preferred tire preferences was here, from this summer, which was helpful:
What tires do people use...

I've been thinking about increasing my tire size on my long-ride bike from 25c to 28c (I'm currently running Continental 4000's but am thinking about going to 28c Continental 4 Seasons or even heavier Gatorskins). While I've had no flats at all on my bike in 2000 miles, my reasoning on moving up to bigger tires is:

- Have been reading lots about wider tires in back issues of Bicycle Quarterly...lots of tests there seem to indicate there are more benefits to bigger tires on long-distance bikes than drawbacks (e.g., gains from increased comfort outweigh any possible negatives).

- In the "real world," the long-distance rides I am on feature pebbles and rocks on the side of the road, questionable pavement / cracks / potholes on rural roads, and miles and miles of chipseal. Seems to me that a 28c tire at slightly lower pressure would deal with this better than the narrower tires.


I *almost* made the switch this weekend before a long mountain ride Sunday, but didn't. While I had no flats on my ride, I saw lots of other riders w/flats, and in some cases the pavement quality was atrocious. On some steep descents, dodging cracks and potholes at high speeds, I found myself missing the 32c tires I have on my commuting bike! And about 95 miles into the ride we ran into 10 miles of chipseal, and I really felt I would have been happier and less fatigued at that point in the ride w/bigger tires.

I hate to switch out a set of tires that still have some good life on them, but I'm ready to pull the trigger on some 28c's.

So: anybody here regret moving up to bigger tires? Has anyone every moved up to 23c to 25c or 25c to 28c and regretted it?

Oops, I hate it when I haven't seen the other threads on this topic; just saw this new one:

Tires, tires, tires )

And another tire thread from January:

Tire suggestions

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Old 09-08-08, 01:32 PM   #2
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I went from 23's to 32's (changed bikes in the process). No regrets at all.
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Old 09-08-08, 01:40 PM   #3
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funny you should ask... i just threw some grand bois "cerf" 28's onto my new pacer (was running gatorskins 25's).

i've only done one ~100 mile ride on the 28's and i can't find anything wrong with them at all. they seemed maybe a tad squishy when climbing, but i think that's just the perception on my part, since the tires flex more and look squished at times (which is by design of course). they certainly didn't slow me down, and definitely felt nice when rolling.

going over cracks & pebbles, you definitey feel less road shock transfered to your hands/arse. i havne't ridden any chipseal on them yet, so i'm curious to see how that feels. (i'll probably find out on this weekend's 600k)

btw BQ sells the grand bois cerfs online, that's where i got mine. http://www.vintagebicyclepress.com/tireoffer.html
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Old 09-08-08, 06:22 PM   #4
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I have moved from 23 to 25 (GP4000's) to 28 (4 Season) on my long distance bike. The most noticable change in comfort seems to be between 23 and 25. A big advantage, also, is the better protection for the rims afforded by the wider (properly inflated) tires. I have experienced fewer rim hits with the wider tires. I have noticed no disadvantages and have no regrets.
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Old 09-08-08, 06:22 PM   #5
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I switched to Grand Bois 30 mm tires last year and ran Panaracer 28's the year before. I see no reason to go back. The comfort of the wider, lower pressure is well worth it.
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Old 09-08-08, 09:23 PM   #6
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...Have been reading lots about wider tires in back issues of Bicycle Quarterly...lots of tests there seem to indicate there are more benefits to bigger tires on long-distance bikes than drawbacks (e.g., gains from increased comfort outweigh any possible negatives)...
IMO you have all the information you need. It's just time to do it!
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Old 09-15-08, 01:11 AM   #7
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IMO you have all the information you need. It's just time to do it!
Thanks all for the confirmation; you're right, I had all the information I needed.

FYI, I got 28c Continental Four Seasons and had just enough time today to hit a 17-mile loop I ride all the time. The tires definitely allowed me to scoot through pavement problems that normally I have to avoid and/or slow down on (one especially troublesome high-speed corner with rough pavement was noticeably easier to negotiate). I definitely felt *faster* because I was safer in some sections of the road.

Good decision...

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Old 09-15-08, 09:36 AM   #8
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Right on. I've been riding Gatorskin 28mm's since I bought my Cross Check, and I wouldn't go with anything smaller given the combination of bad pavement, roadside gravel/debris and my weight.
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Old 09-15-08, 09:51 AM   #9
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Just say No! 28mm is a "gateway" size tire which will lead you to try every increasing width tires in an escalating addiction to ever more comfortable bike rides.

Your H.S. classmate Ernie who still lives with his parents and makes serious spending money pushing fat tires on his roadie friends will be whispering "Just try a set. You won't be hooked, you can quit any time. They're even legal in Turkmanistan."

You'll try them. You'll get that feeling, no, rush, of comfort and contentment coming up through your seat. You may even notice at the end of the ride that you didn't lose any time; you were just as fast as on the skinny tires. Don't believe it. If they don't feel fast, look fast, or friends tell you they aren't fast; than they're not fast.

Later Ernie will be talking to you. "So you thought those 28mm were good *****. Let me introduce you to something I'll think you'll find quite tastey: Col de Vie's"
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Old 09-15-08, 10:35 AM   #10
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Just say No! 28mm is a "gateway" size tire which will lead you to try every increasing width tires in an escalating addiction to ever more comfortable bike rides.

Your H.S. classmate Ernie who still lives with his parents and makes serious spending money pushing fat tires on his roadie friends will be whispering "Just try a set. You won't be hooked, you can quit any time. They're even legal in Turkmanistan."

You'll try them. You'll get that feeling, no, rush, of comfort and contentment coming up through your seat. You may even notice at the end of the ride that you didn't lose any time; you were just as fast as on the skinny tires. Don't believe it. If they don't feel fast, look fast, or friends tell you they aren't fast; than they're not fast.

Later Ernie will be talking to you. "So you thought those 28mm were good *****. Let me introduce you to something I'll think you'll find quite tastey: Col de Vie's"
It get's really bad when you discover that you can't fit anything wider than 28 mm into your current frame. Now, you're on that slippery slope to Custom City. Soon you'll be debating smooth vs hammered vs fluted fenders and there's no hope for you. You'll belong to the dark side.
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Old 09-15-08, 11:38 AM   #11
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It get's really bad when you discover that you can't fit anything wider than 28 mm into your current frame. Now, you're on that slippery slope to Custom City. Soon you'll be debating smooth vs hammered vs fluted fenders and there's no hope for you. You'll belong to the dark side.
The bike I inquired about is a custom build. It was spec'd to take up to 32c's w/fenders. I'm working my way there, one set of tires at a time. (In fact, my concerns about "future tire size" is one reason I went custom in the first place.)
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Old 09-15-08, 11:55 AM   #12
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My only regret is that I didn't move to fat tires sooner. You may regret stopping at only 28s, unless that's the largest tire that will fit your frame and fork (with room still for fenders, of course).
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Old 09-15-08, 12:18 PM   #13
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No, no regrets; especially as I am not a lightweight.
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Old 09-15-08, 05:00 PM   #14
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If 28mm is the "gateway" tire, I guess I'm a total crackhead: I'm on 42s and don't plan on going back.
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Old 09-17-08, 12:34 PM   #15
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i went from 23 to 32s and man its awsome I don't miss it at all. I once did a loaded tour on 23s bad ideal, really bad ideal. 32 is like perfect size for me expecially since its the fattest my bike will take.
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Old 09-23-08, 08:22 AM   #16
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I see two tires mentioned over and over. The Conti 4 season and the gatorskins. The OP mentioned the Gatorskins are a little heavier. I'm thinking of getting a pair of one of these two in 28's. What should i take into consideration in selecting one over the other?
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Old 09-23-08, 11:19 AM   #17
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I see two tires mentioned over and over. The Conti 4 season and the gatorskins. The OP mentioned the Gatorskins are a little heavier. I'm thinking of getting a pair of one of these two in 28's. What should i take into consideration in selecting one over the other?
Where are you riding? If you're in the southwest, and have to deal with goathead thorns, or if you ride urban streets with lots of road debris, the gatorskins would give some added protection against penetration and popping the tube.
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Old 09-23-08, 02:58 PM   #18
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I chose my tires after reading the specs at Continental's website. There is a fair amount of detail there -- bascially Continental positions the 4 seasons as a "performance" tire with good durability and flat protection. Continental says the 4 seasons tire is for someone who has enjoyed the flat protection of the Gatorskin but wants more "performance" (meaning a bit lighter).

I also own a set of Gatorskins and a set of Continental 4000's. The differences between them are pretty apparent when you look at them...the 4000's definitely are lighter, and have much thinner sidewalls. The 4 seasons are in between. The Gatorskins are thicker/heavier.
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Old 09-23-08, 05:10 PM   #19
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Hmm, I seem to be the only one who was happy going in the opposite direction. My Trek 1100 had 23s, I went to 25s then 28s. These were on 32 then 36 spokes. On my Mongoose Ti I started with 32 and 36 spoke wheels and a mix of 25s and 28s. Last year I went with a Giant TCR3, it has 24 spoke and only fits 23s. I switched to 160 psi tires and the ride is fantastic! I've had no troubles with wheels going out of true and I've commuted to work with my back pack (not light, total weight 200+ lbs).

Having said all that, it is my opinion that by using good quality wheels and matched tires (i.e. don't try to put 19s on a 25 wheel).
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Old 09-23-08, 05:41 PM   #20
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I'm stuck on 28c I used to ride wider tires but felt I rolled better on the 28s. I tried running on 25s and couldn't stand them.
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Old 09-23-08, 06:37 PM   #21
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Where are you riding? If you're in the southwest, and have to deal with goathead thorns, or if you ride urban streets with lots of road debris, the gatorskins would give some added protection against penetration and popping the tube.
Thanks for the reply. I live in the northeast. Most of my problems come from choppy pavement (New England winters) I've had the gatorskins recommended for "some" flat protection, armadillos recommended for "a high degree" of flat protection, and the Vittoria Radonneur (in a 32) also for a high degree of flat protection. I currently ride Vittoria Roma 25's, which are Kevlar belted. They're worn out and need rto be replaced.
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Old 09-23-08, 07:23 PM   #22
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fan of the conti gp 4 seasons. they measure more like a 27, but roll nice and i've had great luck on NE roads.

i rode some heavy schwalbe tires when i first jumped up to a larger size... they didn't roll or hold the road well. would probably be great for a tour... but not for solo long distance.
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Old 09-23-08, 07:26 PM   #23
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It get's really bad when you discover that you can't fit anything wider than 28 mm into your current frame. Now, you're on that slippery slope to Custom City. Soon you'll be debating smooth vs hammered vs fluted fenders and there's no hope for you. You'll belong to the dark side.
yeah. i'm stuck with 28s, maybe a 30 max with fenders on the shimano long reach (medium reach) brakes. but i like em. took the fenders off and put some wider threads on for a ride this summer and the bike didn't feel the same. maybe i'll drop some $$ for a pair of the gb 28s or 30s... but i'm happy where i'm at. i could do a 650b conversion and replace the brakes and my wheels... sigh. maybe.
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Old 09-23-08, 08:30 PM   #24
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I love the 4 seasons. I had a pair that lasted me a year of daily commuting before some discarded scrap metal cut through one of them (thing giant metal spike, nothing was gonna survive). I've gone through 2 durable specialized tires since. The grip is crap and they got cut apart by things that I swear I wouldn't have noticed with the 4 seasons. I'm back to 4 seasons now. Can't say enough good about them.
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Old 09-26-08, 07:24 AM   #25
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I also my 4 Seasons tires. I'm in the mid-Atlantic, so I too often have to deal with rough pavement and urban detritus (but not with nasties such as goatheads.) The 4 Seasons seem to be a multi-way compromise of flat resistance, wet-weather traction, not-too-heaviness -- and, unusual in such situations, the compromise seems to work pretty well. I have a cyclocross frame that will accommodate 32s that I ride almost exclusively on the road; I typically use 25s, but I've used 28s. I really wish the 4 Seasons came in a 32, I'd put 'em on my touring bike.

Question: do the differences in 23/25/28 still matter if you're inflating all of them to 100 psi? In other words, is it the tire size, or the inflation level, that makes the difference in how a tire feels/performs?

Related: When I got my Trek 520, it came with 32c Bontrager tires that had a listed max inflation of 120 or something. ?? My old Conti Top Touring 32c tires had a max rating of like 80 or 75, I think. Don't you lose some of the "fat tire" benefits if you pump 'em up like racers? There's never a minimum psi listed, but I've never put more than 80 into the Bontragers, no problems so far.
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