I'm looking to get some new tires for my upcoming tour, but I have a question about tire size. I currently have a 700X35c up front, and 700X38c in back. Is the second number the width or thickness? The rear tire rubs on my rack and fender when loaded, so I'd like to get a tire that's not as tall to help with clearance.
After researching different tire brands, I've decided that I am gonna buy a schwalbe marathon plus for the back, and something much cheaper for the front because it's easier to change flats on. Schwalbe makes them in 700x28,32,35, and 38. Which size would be the best for the rear. Should I run a different size on the front from what I'm already running as well?
Here's some more info it helps: I ride a hybrid. I mainly ride pavement, occasional hard packed dirt/gravel, I weigh about 150, and I carry at least a gallon of water and 2 loaded panniers on my rack, and a big backpack with all my clothes and camping gear on my back.