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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 06-26-05, 08:01 PM   #1
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23c vs 25c tires for 200lb+ riders?

I currently have 23c tires that need to be replaced and was thinking about trying 25c. I'm a recreationally rider, 6'4" 210lbs, and was wondering if switching from a 23c to a 25c might give me a *noticeably* smoother ride with minimal hit on performance? I've read some previous posts suggesting that big guys might want to try 25's but it seems like most of you ride 23's. Have any of you who are 200lbs+ ridden both and noticed a significant difference between the two sizes?
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Old 06-26-05, 08:07 PM   #2
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At 190, I ride and race 23s. Never a problem. (That is, not an inordinate number of flats.)

But if you're looking for more comfort and peace of mind by having more rubber on the road, then go 25.
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Old 06-26-05, 08:08 PM   #3
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I weight about 230 and have always ridden 23's. Considered 25's before, but it seems like there are fewer high quality 25's available, but maybe I just haven't looked hard enough. 23's have always worked well for me though.
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Old 06-26-05, 08:20 PM   #4
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At 215 lbs, I have had both on the same bike (Lemond Zurich all steel) and noticed a bit more comfort on the 25s and a bit less rolling resistance on the 23s. Nothing huge in either case. If you are unhappy with the comfort of your bike, it might be worth trying the 25s. Otherwise, I don't see any real reason to change.
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Old 06-26-05, 08:36 PM   #5
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I've been using 25's for quite awhile (195-205 lbs.) and I like 'em. I actually notice less rolling resistance with 25's than most 23's, but it might be the nature of the tires - Vred Fortezzas pumped to 128R/118F PSI.

I think for the slight extra weight of 10-20 gm. per, 25's are a definitely good option. Better at handling rough road conditions than 23's.
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Old 06-26-05, 08:59 PM   #6
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28s for me at 215. I hate flats.
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Old 06-26-05, 09:03 PM   #7
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I find a smoother ride with 25's than with 23s and I've found I'm less likely to break a rim when hitting some nasty spots on the pavement. I'm 242lbs.
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Old 06-26-05, 09:56 PM   #8
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280 and riding on Continental 2000s 23s. Last set of tires was 25s, but a big set of Clements. They felt slower then the 23s, probabably all in my mind, but it can't be that much different.
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Old 06-27-05, 12:37 AM   #9
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Nothing wrong with 23mm tyres at around 100kg.
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Old 06-27-05, 12:45 AM   #10
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In my experience, 25s give a noticeably smoother ride. If you feel your current ride is rough, I wouldn't hesitate to put wider tires on. Pretty inexpensive alteration (as far as bike parts go).
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Old 06-27-05, 01:32 AM   #11
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I am over 200, ride and like both (Michelins and Contis), and although the smooth ride edge goes to 25's, I feel faster - downhill and accelerating - on 23's. Psychological? Perhaps, but my bikes do a good job of smoothing the rough edges. Just make sure that you are at max inflation on the rear, especially if you live in an area where the roads are less than optimal. I run a little over max in rear (125-130) and in the front I run at/a little lower than max, between 110 and 120 (120 listed max).
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Old 06-27-05, 03:22 AM   #12
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Bear in mind also that on the rougher courses such as Paris-Roubaix, many of the pros use wider 24-25c tires instead of the usual 21-23c, and most of them are below the 200 lb. mark - guys like Magnus Backstedt notwithstanding.
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Old 06-27-05, 11:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm
Bear in mind also that on the rougher courses such as Paris-Roubaix, many of the pros use wider 24-25c tires instead of the usual 21-23c, and most of them are below the 200 lb. mark - guys like Magnus Backstedt notwithstanding.
??? Was there a specific thought in mind here? I don't know about anyone else, but I don't have a thought or prayer of riding in any pro classics races anywhere near cobbles and, as you pointed out, few are over 200...
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Old 06-27-05, 05:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelrider
??? Was there a specific thought in mind here?
??? Gee...can't you figure out the inference here?

OK, I'll spell it out for you: larger person + rough road = wider tires usually helps. Seems simple enough.

You may not realize it or agree, but "standard" 21-23c roadie tires are not the best size for everyone.

Last edited by Wurm; 06-27-05 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 06-27-05, 05:46 PM   #15
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I'm 210-ish, and I love riding 23. I am a pretty terrain-conscious rider, avoiding anything that might pose a threat (when I can). I've currently got 28s on my wheels out of necessity -- worn-out 23s got cut on some glass and all I had were some cheapo 28s. To be honest, I can feel the difference in rolling resistence, but it's fairly negligible. The ride is a bit smoother, but that's the lower pressure, I believe. I'll go back to 23s when my budget allows for a nice set of tires.
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Old 06-27-05, 06:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm
You may not realize it or agree, but "standard" 21-23c roadie tires are not the best size for everyone.
You're right. This is obvious. But you might note that I never said anything about a best size for everyone...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm
??? Gee...can't you figure out the inference here?

OK, I'll spell it out for you: larger person + rough road = wider tires usually helps. Seems simple enough.
Wow. Sorry - no need to get your underwear in a bunch here, no intent to insult you
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Old 06-27-05, 06:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citizen560
... I've currently got 28s on my wheels ... The ride is a bit smoother, but that's the lower pressure, I believe.
And that's the beauty of wider tires. You can run lower pressure for a better ride on less than smooth pavement without risking snakebite flats. Pump them up to higher pressure and get most of the speed of the smaller tires. Not the hot setup for racing or all out club rides, but for my normal riding it's a good choice. More gain than loss.
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Old 06-27-05, 09:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelrider
??? Was there a specific thought in mind here? I don't know about anyone else, but I don't have a thought or prayer of riding in any pro classics races anywhere near cobbles and, as you pointed out, few are over 200...
Then don't ask such dumb questions, or pretend you didn't know what I meant by my P-R example.

One doesn't need to be over 180-200 lbs. OR to be riding on cobbles to be able to appreciate a wider tire. That was my point.


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Old 06-27-05, 09:36 PM   #19
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Then don't ask such dumb questions,


Goes with the territory on here....
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Old 06-27-05, 09:38 PM   #20
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Goes with the territory on here....
Yeah...I guess it does!
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Old 06-27-05, 10:25 PM   #21
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I'm 240lbs and I switched to 23 from 25. I get much fewer flats and I don't have any problem with bike comfort. I pump mine up to spec. It just seems like one of those things where you've got to see what works for you.
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Old 06-28-05, 01:13 AM   #22
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I weigh 220 and I ran 23s all last year, until about a month ago. No flats at all, but the ride was bone-jarring at times, and my bike is Al/CrMo (read: pretty smooth ride).

I switched to 25s last month, and on my first real ride out on them (took a test ride after putting them on the bike to see how they felt), I got a flat about 3 miles from home. Fixed it, went on my way. The ride is noticeably smoother. I ride mine at about 115psi, as opposed to the 130-140 I had to use in the 23s.

As far as speed goes, it seems the 25s are faster than the 23s for me. The 23s I had were skinny 23s, and deflected quite a lot even with 140psi in them. The 25s I have seem to be fat 25s (they almost scrape my fork crown) and barely deflect at all at 115psi. Maybe that has something to do with it. At any rate, unless every last tenth of a mph counts, you get the same workout either way. I say, big guys = big(ish) tires, for comfort's sake. Your arms and back (and arse) will thank you. Mine do.
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Old 06-28-05, 07:50 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Ranger
At 215 lbs, I have had both on the same bike (Lemond Zurich all steel) and noticed a bit more comfort on the 25s and a bit less rolling resistance on the 23s. Nothing huge in either case. If you are unhappy with the comfort of your bike, it might be worth trying the 25s. Otherwise, I don't see any real reason to change.
A larger tyre (25c vs. 23c) has less rolling resistence at the same air pressure than an identical but narrower tyre. This is because the larger tyre will have less sidewall deflection as compared to the smaller tyre when they are identically loaded. Independent testing of rolling resistence factors for bicycle wheels, pretty much discount the contact between the tyre and the road surface as contributing much to rolling resistence. The sidewall fexing as the wheel rotates and the wheel hub bearings contribute most to the resistence.
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Old 06-28-05, 05:18 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Cook
A larger tyre (25c vs. 23c) has less rolling resistence at the same air pressure than an identical but narrower tyre. This is because the larger tyre will have less sidewall deflection as compared to the smaller tyre when they are identically loaded. Independent testing of rolling resistence factors for bicycle wheels, pretty much discount the contact between the tyre and the road surface as contributing much to rolling resistence. The sidewall fexing as the wheel rotates and the wheel hub bearings contribute most to the resistence.
That is a point Don that I've many times tried to impress on people, but the weight weenies and other's don't seem to like hearing it.

Whaddaya gonna do?
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