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Another Clyde which tire - width, TPI

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Another Clyde which tire - width, TPI

Old 12-27-11, 12:37 PM
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Another Clyde which tire - width, TPI

Specialized Sirrus Sport with the original All-Condition 700x32, well worn after 1000 miles. At this point I've settled into this bike. Changed the wheels to Vuelta Corsa HD, ride 80-100 miles per month on bike paths (90%) and smooth roads (10%).

Trying to decide how narrow to go. Yes, part of it is psychological to feel "sporty but there is a huge jump from 32 to 23. Comments on 23 / 25/ 28? Also, how important is TPI and max inflation (100 vs 120) for a Clyde? Anything else specific to a 260lb Clyde that I should factor while choosing?
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Old 12-27-11, 04:35 PM
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I was around 260 at my max back at the end of last year and I was a fan of 28 and 32mm tires for my longer distance rides of 200k and up. For shorter rides I really dug my 28mm tires, but I've also ridden anything down to a 23mm without any problems.

Here's my feeling on the whole tire selection process; some is fact, some is preferrence.

Fact: Narrow tires at higher pressures give a harsher ride feel. They just do. There's less deformation of the tire when contacting the road, so "chatter" goes right up to the rider.

Fact: (If all other construction is equal) lower TPI tires have tougher inherent resistance to puncture/cuts due to the heavier cording in the tire casing, but give a harsher ride because they are not as flexible.

Preference: For paved path and fast road riding on good conditions (no glass, staples, nails, rocks, thorns, etc.) I prefer a narrower tire with a high TPI casing. Even when inflating to the top of the suggested range, I like the cornering feel of a high TPI road tire in a narrower width like a 23 - 26mm.

Preference: For rough roads and crushed stone or packed grass/dirt paths I like a lower TPI (under 80) and a wider width like a 30 or 32mm tire. The extra volume gives you the option to run the pressure a little lower to absorb chatter and roll over instead of bounce off small rocks and roots and divots. It also helps put a larger contact patch on the ground, giving better traction on what could be a loose surface. The drawback is that larger contact patch means more effort goes into pedaling.

My favourite wide tire (28mm and up) is the Panaracer Pasela TG. It's a 66 TPI casing, but the tan sidewalls are really supple and it rides much more like an expensive high TPI tire, even though it's got a puncture resistance belting and a moderately tough tread area.
I don't like the narrower Pasela TG because I think the tread feels "squishy" on the higher pressure versions of the tire. For narrower high pressures I like the Continental Gatorskin. I feel that the rolling resistance is less than that of the same width versions of the Pasela TG, and the cornering feel at higher speeds is "stickier," if that makes sense.

Of course, tires are almost as personal and polarizing a choice as saddles... so aside from the 2 tire facts listed above, the rest of this is just one dude's opinion.
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Old 12-27-11, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rojeho
Trying to decide how narrow to go. Yes, part of it is psychological to feel "sporty but there is a huge jump from 32 to 23. Comments on 23 / 25/ 28? Also, how important is TPI and max inflation (100 vs 120) for a Clyde? Anything else specific to a 260lb Clyde that I should factor while choosing?
Honestly, I probably couldn't tell the difference between 23, 25, and 28mm tires in a blind test. With an aluminum frame bike, my preference would be for the widest tire that fits: 30mm minimum and ideally 32 or 35mm. You might consider a 700x32 touring tire. You should be able to find one that offers decent puncture protection and will last significantly longer than 1000mi.

I wouldn't worry about TPI. I've run fancy tires with 320tpi and tires with far less. The only difference I notice is in my wallet. Unless you're getting a lot of pinch flats, I also wouldn't worry too much about maximum pressure.

Do make sure that whatever tire you buy will fit your current rims. If they're designed for 32mm tires then a 23 may be too small and a 25 may be tighter than you'd like...
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Old 12-27-11, 07:39 PM
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I don't especially like the feel of very narrow tires. I personally have no use for anything narrower than 25 mm - but there's a caveat: narrow tires are buzzier, and humans tend to equate that kind of buzziness with speed. So if reality is secondary for your purposes (which is perfectly valid, as far as I'm concerned) then get some narrow tires and be happy with your new feelings of speed.

For myself, if the bike will fit them I put on 28 mm Challenge Parigi-Roubaixs and never look back. They combine fantastic performance with great road feel. They won't, however, last as long as something like a Pasela. That's a fine trade-off for my needs but might not be for yours.
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