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Old 08-08-20, 02:26 AM
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Wider tires, n=1 test

So i recently converted my old custom steel bike into an all-road bike - got tubeless wheels for it and slapped on a pair of Gravelking 35s and took her out for a checkout spin yesterday. I decided to compare it to a previous ride i had done on the same bike, but with different wheels.

Here's how it played out:

- Tires: Gravelking 35s, WAM - 37mm (new)
- Pressure: 60psi
- Tubeless
- Wheels: Velocity A23, Sapim spokes, Novatec hubs
- Out and back loop, average 30.4kph @ 185W (189W normalized)

5 weeks ago:
- Tires: Vittoria Rubino Pro 25s, WAM - 25mm (new)
- Pressure: 100psi
- Butyl tube
- Wheels: Aksium front, Planet-X rear
- Out and back loop, average 30.5kph @ 185W (190W normalized)

- the new wheels are about 300gm lighter
- the new tires are about 50gm heavier total, once i factor in the tubeless vs tube
- the studly rider was about 1kg lighter

Obviously, the wind plays a big role - while wind conditions were not too different, they likely werent identical either. So that adds an element of error to the results. Obviously, we cant conclude that the 2 tires are identical - but it is safe to say (atleast for me, who is familiar with the route and conditions) that the differences are fairly small.

It was my first time riding fat tires at relatively low pressures - the ride definitely felt different. Maybe it is in my head, but it seemed that i could feel the additional "give" of the tires and it seemed as though they would be slow. But when i looked at my powermeter and speed, it was pretty much in the range of what I expected it to be. It's got me intrigued enough that i plan to do some more controlled testing and also play around with reducing the pressure of my RapidAir 26s (WAM 28mm) down to 70psi, from the 80s i currently run them at.


Last edited by guadzilla; 08-08-20 at 10:35 AM.
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