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Who still makes sub 23c clincher tires?

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Who still makes sub 23c clincher tires?

Old 11-26-23, 09:46 AM
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Who still makes sub 23c clincher tires?

My Bianchi TSX with Campy Vento rims will only tolerate sub 23c tires. Do any manufactures still makes tires in the 18c-22c range? Ebay has been a good resource for NOS, but is now getting scarce and expensive. Anybody know of another good NOS source?
Vintage Vittorias in the 18-22c are just joy to ride! I really dont understand the current bigger is better trend, I'm not convinced they are faster. Nothing feels faster than a 700x20c at 140+psi.
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Old 11-26-23, 10:00 AM
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Feels faster. On that bike you are limited, yes.
soma had a 23c tire, might still do. I like the 28c
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Old 11-26-23, 10:07 AM
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I think you're just going to have to spend some time wading through the interwebs. I'm not up to date on what's fashionable, I've pretty much been using a x23 or x25 tire since '87/89ish.

It seems weird that you can't get a x25 tire to stay on your rim since there really isn't that much difference between the two. I'm guessing you've gone to you area bike shop to try different type of tires?
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Old 11-26-23, 10:09 AM
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Before I went to tubulars for my weekend bikes, I used TUFO tubular clinchers. They make a 21mm and you can pump em up to 175
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Old 11-26-23, 10:14 AM
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Vittoria has the Corsa G+ in a "23c" tubular that actually measures out to 22.7mm. Wonderful tires. I rode Cycle Oregon last September with the 23 in back on my Pro Miyata which can handle a 24 (just barely). Rode it again the other day. Yup! It's "the ride". Sweet as it comes.

Vittoria's Corsas in tubular and clincher are identical in materials and construction save the details of bead, tape, inner tube and sewing. Very, very high quality tires with good rolling resistance, excellent road grip and decent on flats. I run the tubulars on an ounce plus of Orange Seal and get very few flats. But - the big "but", you gotta "marry" the concept of tubulars. They are a different way of life. See the "Totally Tubular" tread.
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Old 11-26-23, 10:37 AM
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Continentals run narrower and lower than their callout size, typically about 25-26mm for 700Cx28s. I wonder if their 700Cx25s are more like 23s.

My Bianchi won't take real 28s, such as from Specialized, but Contis are fine.
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Old 11-26-23, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll
I think you're just going to have to spend some time wading through the interwebs. I'm not up to date on what's fashionable, I've pretty much been using a x23 or x25 tire since '87/89ish.

It seems weird that you can't get a x25 tire to stay on your rim since there really isn't that much difference between the two. I'm guessing you've gone to you area bike shop to try different type of tires?
140 psi on the road…. I did that on the track, Clement #3’s
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Old 11-26-23, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by skillasw
My Bianchi TSX with Campy Vento rims will only tolerate sub 23c tires. Do any manufactures still makes tires in the 18c-22c range? Ebay has been a good resource for NOS, but is now getting scarce and expensive. Anybody know of another good NOS source?
Vintage Vittorias in the 18-22c are just joy to ride! I really dont understand the current bigger is better trend, I'm not convinced they are faster. Nothing feels faster than a 700x20c at 140+psi.
Descending a steep, rocky trail on a barely in control unsuspended mountain bike feels way fast, but you'd get left in the dust by someone on a full squish bike.

Obvious with mountain bikes---less obvious but still true with road bikes. There's nothing wrong with preferring the feel of speed to the actuality, of course, and the differences in speed aren't necessarily all that great out on the road, anyway.
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Old 11-26-23, 11:23 AM
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Staying away from the "wider is faster" argument, skinny tires limit the roads I want to ride on.
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Old 11-26-23, 11:26 AM
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I have one bike that I still run 23c tires on. That bike feels quick and I love the “feel of the road” for about an hour , then I realize I’m not in my twenties anymore . I am older and not near as fast or strong as I was but now like longer rides , 3-4 hours . For this reason , I have 25-28c tires on my other bikes. I keep that one bike set up with the 23’s for that blast out to the harbor and I love it for that occasion when I need to relive my youth. Pump them babies up to 115psi and go!
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Old 11-26-23, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by skillasw
My Bianchi TSX with Campy Vento rims will only tolerate sub 23c tires.
Try different rims, even the same model. A 25c Pasela on my older Sun m13ii polished rims measures a true 25mm, but on my new Sun rims that are black anodized, they only measure 24mm.

And a 25c GP5000 measures closer to 23mm.
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Old 11-26-23, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by skillasw
I really dont understand the current bigger is better trend, I'm not convinced they are faster. Nothing feels faster than a 700x20c at 140+psi.
The people at Rene Herse have done some interesting studies on tire width vs speed, including with 20mm tires: https://www.renehersecycles.com/12-m...es-are-slower/
Bike Radar has also done testing, and some other outlets as well. Basically the results have shown that in lab conditions, 25mm-28mm is the faster width range, faster than narrower tires. In real-life conditions where suspension and traction also contribute to overall speed, going up to around 32mm is ideal, especially if using a wider rim to match the tire width for an aerodynamic profile. This is why you see pro teams going up to the 28mm-32mm with aero rims now: https://www.bikeradar.com/features/p...nce-tyre-tech/
Obviously as a vintage rider, speed is not my primary concern - I will use the tire width appropriate for the bike I have. But just know that your feeling that 20mm is faster has been debunked, and is just a feeling.
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Old 11-26-23, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread
... your feeling that 20mm is faster has been debunked, and is just a feeling.
If you're not competing, "feel" is the most important thing.

But for the op, even more important than that is fitting the tire in the frame!
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Old 11-26-23, 11:50 AM
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I have some Continental Podiums and Competitions that are 19mm. Not sure if those are still available.

Correction! OP wants clinchers, not tubulars......

Last edited by WGB; 11-26-23 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 11-26-23, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
If you're not competing, "feel" is the most important thing.

But for the op, even more important than that is fitting the tire in the frame!
Sure, but OP wrote "I'm not convinced (wider tires) are faster", so I was posting some info on why.
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Old 11-26-23, 12:15 PM
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Veloflex Record 'open tubulars' come/came in 20mm, and are still offered here, by the looks of it.

Originally Posted by SurferRosa
If you're not competing, "feel" is the most important thing.
+1.

On smooth tarmac a skinny tire feels wonderful.

About ten years ago many shops in my area were getting rid of their old stock and one of the things I bought was a set of Gommitalia 20mm tires, thinking I might need them some day. The fact that they were cheap and came in a nice tin also helped :

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Old 11-26-23, 12:27 PM
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I still have bought many continental gp 4 seasons in 700*23 and 700*25 for my bike projects, michelin, vittoria, hutchinson, panaracer, schwalbe, pirelli, tufo and challenge still manufacture tires in this size.
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Old 11-26-23, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
Veloflex Record 'open tubulars' come/came in 20mm, and are still offered here, by the looks of it.



+1.

On smooth tarmac a skinny tire feels wonderful.

About ten years ago many shops in my area were getting rid of their old stock and one of the things I bought was a set of Gommitalia 20mm tires, thinking I might need them some day. The fact that they were cheap and came in a nice tin also helped :

Nice tire and packaging!

Earlier this year, my car’s spare wheel’s pressure sensors died. The shop wouldn’t change the sensor because the tire was older than 8 years (it was the factory original, never used, always tucked inside the trunk). I was told that even when never used, the synthetic polymers used in manufacturing tires degrade and can become unsafe to use. I ended up buying a new spare tire.
Does the same apply to bicycle tires? 20 mm tire at 120-140 PSI… any compromise in structural integrity couldn’t be a good thing.
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Old 11-26-23, 02:40 PM
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I have seen on that site you mentioned, some N.O.S. IRC Paperlite 155's. They are 20mm and 155g. I use their 23mm Plus version and I swear by them. Mine are 230tpi. They are skinwalls, too, so look nice.
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Old 11-26-23, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
If you're not competing, "feel" is the most important thing.

But for the op, even more important than that is fitting the tire in the frame!
+1 And some of the all-time sweet rides simply don't allow fat tires.
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Old 11-26-23, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by skillasw
My Bianchi TSX with Campy Vento rims will only tolerate sub 23c tires. Do any manufactures still makes tires in the 18c-22c range? Ebay has been a good resource for NOS, but is now getting scarce and expensive. Anybody know of another good NOS source?
Vintage Vittorias in the 18-22c are just joy to ride! I really dont understand the current bigger is better trend, I'm not convinced they are faster. Nothing feels faster than a 700x20c at 140+psi.
Contact Mad Honk ...I believe he has a small excess of tooth-crushers...
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Old 11-26-23, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
I was told that even when never used, the synthetic polymers used in manufacturing tires degrade and can become unsafe to use.
I have been given that line many, many times, by people trying to sell me stuff or by people worried about liability. In those cases I'll rely on my own judgement, thank you.
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Old 11-26-23, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
I have been given that line many, many times, by people trying to sell me stuff or by people worried about liability. In those cases I'll rely on my own judgement, thank you.

In the context of bicycles, it’s not really a problem. One notices drying tires before they might explode (I have never had that happen). But in case cars with sensors of all manners, it’s a little more tricky. My car continually monitors air pressure and reports it for each wheel, including the spare. Sounds like a convenience but if any of the sensors has dead battery - the main computer goes in freak-out mode, I have a warning light that wouldn’t go off and worse, I cannot use cruise control. The tire shops claim that it is safety and liability issue so they are not allowed to simply remove the tire, install a new sensor and put the same tire back.

Plastic tire levers from Park don’t work too well on car tires. 😉

We have a couple of new spare 23mm clinchers for using on Tesch and I have no intention of tossing them in trash.

Here’s one source for 23mm - discounted over 50%.

https://bikecloset.com/product/vitto...SABEgLwLfD_BwE

Amazon has a pair for of Continental Ultrasport for under $50.

https://www.amazon.com/Continental-U...%2C279&sr=8-37

It seems that 23s are still available. Stock up before they disappear.

Last edited by Alan K; 11-26-23 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 11-26-23, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by skillasw
Vintage Vittorias in the 18-22c are just joy to ride! I really dont understand the current bigger is better trend, I'm not convinced they are faster. Nothing feels faster than a 700x20c at 140+psi.
I’m with you, man! Although we are few and far between around here.

I’ve got 700x 23 Veloflexes running at 140 psi. Fantastic ride! And even the oft-quoted Rene Herse articles are very carefully worded, saying simply “wide tires aren’t slower than skinny hard tires.” In the latest Bicycle Quarterly, it’s written, “Today, we know that wide tires roll as fast as narrow ones.” But this often gets twisted into “wide tires are faster.” People here are more interested in comfort than road feel.

Last edited by smd4; 11-26-23 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 11-26-23, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
we are few and far between around here.
Join the club I know how it feels!
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