Tire change = handling change?
I just switched the tires on our Raleigh Companion from 26x1.95 to 26x1.5 on recommendation of my LBS. The new tires are Specialized Nimbus Armadillos, which go up to 100 lbs. A quick spin around the block found more sensitive handling, much less noise, and less rolling resistance, yet the ride wasn't much bumpier. The bike has a bit more of a hybrid feel now...and better clearance of the fenders, which nearly scraped the larger tires even when raised way up.
Anything to watch for or to keep in mind? We'll be riding a day of RAGBRAI on Friday, which should be a good test of the tires.
Iowa City, Iowa
It depends a bit on exactly what tires were on it before. Lots of times knobby tires have kind of poorly supported knobs on the shoulders of the tred. These knobs squirm a lot when you corner on pavement and make the back of the bike feel kind of insecure.
If that's the case, I'm not surprised that the Nimbus Armadillos feel better to you. You could probably gain another increment of performance using a similar tire but one which has a more supple sidewall than the Armadillo. If you did that, however, you'd be sacrificing some of the Armadillo's legendary puncture protection.
Good points...about our previous tires...the rear was a Specialized Hemisphere...a comfort tire...the front was the Kenda look-alike. Not knobbies, but not all that smooth either. I went back and forth between the two Nimbus models and went for the extra security of the Armadillo over the Flakjacket.
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
I'll be brief: Tire selection and air pressure are the suspension system for that are otherwise rigid road bikes and the amount of "tuning" that can be accomplished is huge. Changing tire pressure by 10 psi will alter the "feel" and handling of a tandem. This is always quite evident for off-road bikes and tandems, but often times under appreciated on road tandems.