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23 vs 25mm road tires?

Old 11-23-14, 12:15 PM
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23 vs 25mm road tires?

I bought a Specialized Allez last week, (my first road bike) and it came with Specialized Espoir Sport 700x25c tires. The other day I noticed a bulge in my rear tire after coming back from a ride. Before I could figure out what to do about it, (about 2 hours later) it blew. I took it back to my LBS where I bought the bike, mentioning I had not touched the tire, nor even inflated it in the 6 days I had the bike. The tire, not just the tube was shot, and they replaced the tire and tube for free...

Issue is the new tire they gave me is a 700x23c Maxxis Rouler.. I noticed the different tire and said something to the mechanic. He said this is a better tire, and they don't carry the Specialized OEM tire, also it shouldn't be a problem running two different size tires. I accepted it, considering they didn't try to blame me for the problem and it was free.

My question is, is this actually okay? I took it out for a ride and felt the bike had a little more pep, but I want to test it more. I don't want to keep it the way it is with 2 different tires because it just looks wrong.. But should I get a 23mm rouler for the front to match (the flat was on the back)? or pull the 23mm off the back and put a 25mm on to match the front, or get 2 new tires completely?

Is there a difference between 23 and 25 tires? Which one is a better choice? So much conflicting info on the internet
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Old 11-23-14, 12:19 PM
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I switched from 23mm to 25mm Continental GP4000S tires on my Cannondale and I noticed no difference in speed, but I did notice a small improvement in ride comfort.

YMMV
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Old 11-23-14, 12:24 PM
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I'd just ride as-is if you like the way it rides. I ride 23/25 combo quite often. Nbd.
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Old 11-23-14, 12:25 PM
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There's nothing wrong with mixing tire widths, but I'd prefer to have the wider tire in the back because that wheel carries more of the load.
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Old 11-23-14, 12:56 PM
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If you don't pump up your tires with some air, it's not going to matter what size is on the bike.
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Old 11-23-14, 01:00 PM
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you can mix and match tires from 23-28 on most wheels. the most noticeable difference will be determined by the front tire. best thing to say is to experiment. it's hard to describe all the subtle feelings and differences simply in text.

wider in front would equate to slower handling, less sensitive to steering inputs.. ppl translate this to more stability.

narrow in front would give you faster handling, more responsiveness to steering inputs.. some call this less stable.
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Old 11-23-14, 01:01 PM
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I noticed a huge difference in comfort with the transition. I went from vittora pro slick I think to GP4000 25mm, it's possible tire quality might be due to the perceived difference.
With a bigger tire, you can ride at lower pressure and further increase the comfort. I used to ride at 100-110 23mm now I do 90-100 and it feels so smooth. In fact, I will never go back to 23mm.
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Old 11-23-14, 02:59 PM
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I would move the wider tire to the back because it carries more load. (not much, but some) However I'm pretty sure someone will disagree, after all, BF is the internet. You will find just as much conflicting information here, but it's all good info, you just have to wade your way through it.
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Old 11-23-14, 04:11 PM
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I blew a 25 on my front last week, and a little munchkin of a mechanic put on a 23 without telling me he'd made the change. I weigh 220, so I was not at all pleased.

I let him leave it on, as I'm riding 800 miles this month, and will likely replace it with a 25 on the next change.
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Old 11-23-14, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel
If you don't pump up your tires with some air, it's not going to matter what size is on the bike.
+1
This was my first thought also. Road bike tires need to be pumped up before each ride. This could explain the improved performance from the newly installed tire.

My limited experience with Specialized tires has not been good.

The rear wheel typically caries about 60% of the weight, favoring mounting the larger tire, and or higher pressure on the rear. Bicycle tire pressure calculator
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Old 11-23-14, 05:54 PM
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There's nothing wrong with having two slightly different width tires, in fact, the slightly narrower tire you now have mounted, will give the front wheel more traction on wet pavement. The wider a tire is, the less pounds per square inch on pressure is exerted on the pavement. Even if the tires don't have the same look, the rear tire will wear out more quickly than the new front tire and you can then go back to the LBS and get a new tire that will be the same width and look as the front tire. You'll likely wear out two or even three rear tires for every front tire you wear out.
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Old 11-23-14, 06:03 PM
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Between a 23 and a 25,you'll see way more of a difference in the specific tire(tread compound,casing design),than you will in the 2mm difference in width.
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Old 11-23-14, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TallTravel
I blew a 25 on my front last week, and a little munchkin of a mechanic put on a 23 without telling me he'd made the change. I weigh 220, so I was not at all pleased.

I let him leave it on, as I'm riding 800 miles this month, and will likely replace it with a 25 on the next change.
I'm also 220, are we too heavy for 23s?
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Old 11-23-14, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by RoadTire
I would move the wider tire to the back because it carries more load. (not much, but some) However I'm pretty sure someone will disagree, after all, BF is the internet. You will find just as much conflicting information here, but it's all good info, you just have to wade your way through it.
I will agree: but with a new cyclist a good deal more weight will be on the back. For a big guy, new cyclist, a 23 on the back is really pushing it.

I ride both 23s and 25s, I like how easily 23's spin up. If I had both on the same bike, the 25 would be in the rear. Your original Specialized tires are a magnet for road debris, getting rid of one was a win...now get rid of the other.
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Old 11-23-14, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit
I will agree: but with a new cyclist a good deal more weight will be on the back. For a big guy, new cyclist, a 23 on the back is really pushing it.

I ride both 23s and 25s, I like how easily 23's spin up. If I had both on the same bike, the 25 would be in the rear. Your original Specialized tires are a magnet for road debris, getting rid of one was a win...now get rid of the other.
I had the bike out for a ride today, the second ride with the 23 on the back. I checked the pressure before I went out and interestingly the back only had 80 psi in it, the front had about 110. I filled up the tires 120 in front (max press.) and 130 in the back (max press) to get a good feel for them.......

WOW that 23 rides rough at 130 psi, definitely quicker acceleration than I remember with the specialized 25mm, and feels like it may grip a little better too (wet braking tests). I did get beat up over only about a 40 min ride, might be a little too rough with another Maxxis 23 on the front @ 130 psi, ouch. I will probably lean towards going with a new set of 25s as it does make sense to me that being 220 those tiny tires may be a little too tiny.

Any suggestions on 25s? I don't want to spend too much, and I'd like something grippy in the wet and on loose road surfaces (a lot of gravel and sand patches and beat up tarmac around here)
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Old 11-24-14, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ch35iM
I had the bike out for a ride today, the second ride with the 23 on the back. I checked the pressure before I went out and interestingly the back only had 80 psi in it, the front had about 110. I filled up the tires 120 in front (max press.) and 130 in the back (max press) to get a good feel for them.......

WOW that 23 rides rough at 130 psi, definitely quicker acceleration than I remember with the specialized 25mm, and feels like it may grip a little better too (wet braking tests). I did get beat up over only about a 40 min ride, might be a little too rough with another Maxxis 23 on the front @ 130 psi, ouch. I will probably lean towards going with a new set of 25s as it does make sense to me that being 220 those tiny tires may be a little too tiny.

Any suggestions on 25s? I don't want to spend too much, and I'd like something grippy in the wet and on loose road surfaces (a lot of gravel and sand patches and beat up tarmac around here)
Max pressure is just that--the max. It doesn't have much to do with the ideal pressure for your weight. And you don't need to run the front tire at the same pressure as the rear, since it doesn't carry as much weight.

You might want to try 105 in the front and 115 in the rear--you're likely to have a noticeably more comfortable ride without any performance loss.
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Old 11-24-14, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ch35iM
I'm also 220, are we too heavy for 23s?
It depends. If you can run high enough pressure, you shouldn't have excessive pinch flats. But you may not like the ride at that high pressure.
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Old 11-24-14, 04:09 PM
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My Trek frankenbike, which admittedly didn't cost much, had a 27 inch wheel in the front and a 700C in the back. It rode ok, but soon enough I wanted matching wheels and tires. I ended up with a light weight wheel from a single speed bike with 24 spokes and a 23 mm tire, versus 28 spokes and 25mm tire in the back. Amazing the difference in accelerating from a stop.

But in my new build the wheels and tires are matched. As a bit of a clyde, I went with 25mm tires.
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Old 11-24-14, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ch35iM
I'm also 220, are we too heavy for 23s?

If you want a comfortable ride, yeah. At 220 (and assuming your bike weighs about 25 lbs), your tire pressure for 23mm tires should be about 125 psi rear, and 115 psi in the front. At that kind of pressure, you need to pump before every ride. I'm 200 and I don't ride tires narrower than 28mm, and I ride wider if I can. A road bike that fits 32's is, IMO, the best of all worlds.
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Old 11-24-14, 05:07 PM
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This year I used Specialized Turbo Pro 23mm tires for my one day STP ride. (Seattle to Portland) All 204 miles. That was at 215 pounds of me. 115psi front 120 rear. Nothing wrong with 23mm tires.
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Old 11-25-14, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect
If you want a comfortable ride, yeah. At 220 (and assuming your bike weighs about 25 lbs), your tire pressure for 23mm tires should be about 125 psi rear, and 115 psi in the front. At that kind of pressure, you need to pump before every ride. I'm 200 and I don't ride tires narrower than 28mm, and I ride wider if I can. A road bike that fits 32's is, IMO, the best of all worlds.
I agree, but I have vintage racer with 20.5 tires, I think they're Panasonics rebranded for Miyata. I road it regularly on smooth roads around my old house, an absolute joy...I was 230 at the time. My roads now are not nearly as pristine. 25mm is a nice sweet spot.
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Old 11-25-14, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ch35iM
I had the bike out for a ride today, the second ride with the 23 on the back. I checked the pressure before I went out and interestingly the back only had 80 psi in it, the front had about 110. I filled up the tires 120 in front (max press.) and 130 in the back (max press) to get a good feel for them.......

WOW that 23 rides rough at 130 psi, definitely quicker acceleration than I remember with the specialized 25mm, and feels like it may grip a little better too (wet braking tests). I did get beat up over only about a 40 min ride, might be a little too rough with another Maxxis 23 on the front @ 130 psi, ouch. I will probably lean towards going with a new set of 25s as it does make sense to me that being 220 those tiny tires may be a little too tiny.

Any suggestions on 25s? I don't want to spend too much, and I'd like something grippy in the wet and on loose road surfaces (a lot of gravel and sand patches and beat up tarmac around here)
I have 23 specialized espoir on my raleigh revinio. If you can order some 25 they are a great tire for 30 dollars.
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Old 11-25-14, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ch35iM
I'm also 220, are we too heavy for 23s?
My weight fluctuates between 220 and 230 and I put many thousands of miles on 23s at 120 psi. Never pinch flatted.
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Old 11-25-14, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mooder
I noticed a huge difference in comfort with the transition. I went from vittora pro slick I think to GP4000 25mm, it's possible tire quality might be due to the perceived difference.
With a bigger tire, you can ride at lower pressure and further increase the comfort. I used to ride at 100-110 23mm now I do 90-100 and it feels so smooth. In fact, I will never go back to 23mm.
+1 I picked up some 25's because they cost about half the price and the sales guy said if I'm not out racing or doing time trials there really isn't a "need" to run 23's. The ride on 25's are just some much nicer and comfortable I actually ride longer!
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Old 11-25-14, 06:30 PM
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My touring bike used 32's and were fine, great for comfort. i slapped on 25's and don't think they did anything for the bike, so i prolly will go back to 32's or 28's. In speed tests it has been founds that 25's are faster than 23's because they tend to absorb road bumps better, keeping the tire on the road more. In fact the wider tires were found not to give a speed penalty up to a point.
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