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Thread: Wider Tires

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    Syracuse Orangeman 4 Life killerasp's Avatar
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    Wider Tires

    How important is wider tires? I was talking with my friends all they all ride at least 2.5 while im using 2.1. Does it really improve performacne?

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    Esquire
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    YOu mentioned they are downhillers. Wider tires can take a bit more abuse. Narrower tires are lighter weight but won't allow for quite the hits. Unless you are doing big drops or jumps I'd say 2.1's are fine.

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    keep moving forward... jcivic00's Avatar
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    wider tires are more stable, but they also make you slower due to decreased tire pressures. nice for freeride where stability and shock absorption come in handy, but suck for going fast.
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    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    It also depends on weight and terrain. I don't run below 2.3 (2.1 Tioga's are fine but they are huge). I like wider tires because they allow for less air pressure and much better traction. A big must in dh and freeriding (especially in a rain forest). It depends on terrain, you speciality and your skill. I would rather feel stable in corners, skinnies and jumps at speed then be able to go fast on flat stuff but have to be careful in the fun stuff.

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    Senior Member BAC5.2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcivic00
    wider tires are more stable, but they also make you slower due to decreased tire pressures. nice for freeride where stability and shock absorption come in handy, but suck for going fast.

    They are slower due to more rolling resistance because of a larger contact patch. A lot of wide tire riders will run upwards of 50 PSI.

    Wide tires are good for a few things.

    It is great in the wet and the roots where traction is important.

    It offers more bite in high speed turns

    Less prone to pinch flat's (wider tire and larger air volume is harder to bottom out on the rim)

    and much more stable.

    2.3 is the biggest you'd want to go for trail bike use. 2.5 is the minimum for ultimate freeride.
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    Chopped Liver Dannihilator's Avatar
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    2.35 is a happy medium.
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    well i noticed a hellauvalot difference in cornering and stability when i went from 1.95 to 2.1. it adds more confidence to my ride, but still doesn't give enough cornering bite on loose terrain. i am tempted to go 2.5 for recreational semi-technical riding, and when i start racing i will use 2.1 probably. like danka and others mentioned, a 2.3 is probably a good medium.
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

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    I'm currently only using 2.1's on my bike, but the trail conditions around here don't really warrant a BIG FATTY FATTY FAT TIRE.

    I'll probably get some 2.3's when these get old, (or I find a good deal!).

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    Senior Member mindbogger's Avatar
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    ive noticed that some tires that read 2.1 are really 1.95. Depends on teh company cuz different companies had different standards
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    Esquire
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    Just like car tires. 205 doesn't always mean 205 between manufacturers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey
    Just like car tires. 205 doesn't always mean 205 between manufacturers.
    notably, the falken azenis
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

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    I would love to get a bigger size tire for my MTB. I'm currently running 1.95 and my frame wont allow a larger tire. My question is: How did you manage to fit a 2.1 on a frame that came with 1.95 and you still want to go up?

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    Senior Member BAC5.2's Avatar
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    Just because the bike came with 1.95's doesn't mean that's the maximum tire size. Most frames will clear a 2.3" tire. My Specialized HT could clear a 2.35.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuvak
    I would love to get a bigger size tire for my MTB. I'm currently running 1.95 and my frame wont allow a larger tire. My question is: How did you manage to fit a 2.1 on a frame that came with 1.95 and you still want to go up?
    yeah actually i bought the frame and built it up. i just threw on some 1.95's because that's what i had laying around. after riding with those i decided to try 2.1's. like bac5.2 said i think a lot of frames/forks are designed with a max tire clearance of like ~2.3. whether or not i can move up to 2.5's i am not definately sure. but from looking at the current clearance i have now, i think an extra .4 inch can squeeze in there pretty comfortably. on older frames/forks i think a 2.3 might be the max.
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

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    I believe wider tires make riding easier off road but harder on road.

    Wide tires are good but it can be overdone. If your tires are so big that when you get a buckle, your tire will rub, the tire is probably too big. You need some play between your frame/fork and tire. I have also heard that rubbing tires can be very abrasive and cause serious damage.
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    It really depends on what type of riding you're doing and what type of terrain you're doing it on. If you're riding mostly xc on hardpack, a 2.1 is all you need. It will have the least amount of rolling resistance (depending on tread) and weigh less. If you're riding mostly downhill or freeride on a looser or wet surface, you'll want a wider tire for cushion and stability and a more aggresive tread. Weight generally isn't a factor in this type of riding unless you're riding to the top as well.

    The type of riding I prefer is xc hillclimbing and around here the terrain will start out hardpack but become loose with elevation gain. I'm trying out the Panaracer Pyro 2.25 right now and, for me anyway, it's a good compromise. It's an excellent climber in these conditions; it's not any heavier than a 2.1 (Pyro is 610 g compared to 620 g for a 2.1 Smoke); it provides a bit of cushion over rocks and whatnot; and, it's stable on the downhills. However, I prefer ascending to descending, so I tend to take it easy on the downhills. I'm not sure what these tires are like descending at high speed.
    [

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    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Interestingly at the same pressure a wider tyre of the same profile has less rolling resistance than the narrower tyre (they deform less) - but that's assuming you can run them at the same pressure...
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  18. #18
    Ride bike or bike ride? Hopper's Avatar
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    Remember the frame may have a gap of 2.3 inches exactly but you also need to take into account mud clearance and room in case you have minor buckles. Also you don't want ones that are bigger than you need as it gets harder for you to ride as their is more resistsance due to more tyre surface area touching the ground.

    For easy trail riding and XC between 1.95 and 2.3 should be good. In DH and Freeriding you wouldn't want to go below 2.5 if it wasn't neccasary as you need more stability for these disciplines (for most proper DHers and freeriders) .
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    Senior Member BAC5.2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D
    Interestingly at the same pressure a wider tyre of the same profile has less rolling resistance than the narrower tyre (they deform less) - but that's assuming you can run them at the same pressure...
    The reason for wider tires is so that you can run lower pressure....
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    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAC5.2
    The reason for wider tires is so that you can run lower pressure....
    Certainly one of the reasons, but it is a common misconception that a wider tyre has inherently greater rolling resistance than a narrow tyre.
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  21. #21
    Monkey crashing_sux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D
    Certainly one of the reasons, but it is a common misconception that a wider tyre has inherently greater rolling resistance than a narrow tyre.

    I call BS. Assuming deformation of a tire accounts for all of it's rolling resistance is a joke. Wider tires have more rubber on the ground, hence the extra traction you get. More rubber on the ground means more energy losses through both friction and adhesion.

    Simply put, a 2.35 High Roller will have a lower rolling resistance than a 2.7 High Roller. In any tire that has multiple widths and the same tread pattern the wider tire will have more rolling resistance.

    This is at the exact same pressure, but given the fact that realistically if you run a wider tire you will most likely run lower pressures the rolling resistance will be even higher.

    Damn, this has got me thinking, all these years all the XC racers I know and all of the pro's have stayed away from running 3.0" tires, if only someone would have told them about the lower deformation and lower rolling resistance just imagine how much faster they could be

    Don't confuse common sense with common misconceptions.

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