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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-01-07, 06:46 PM   #1
Elusor
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Thinny Tires for Advantage

is thinny tires for advantage for commute than fatty tires?

what advantage

only in start from stop?
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Old 06-01-07, 07:21 PM   #2
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Less frontal mass means less air resistance, they can take higher pressures which means less loss of energy to the road. Downsides: they make for a harsher ride, pinch flats are more common. I go both extremes; I have a set of balloons on one commuter, and 23mm on the other.
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Old 06-01-07, 07:59 PM   #3
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It depends.

For the most part, the answer is yes. However, there is some give and take there. For instance...

I run 28mm tires versus 25mm. A larger tire, AT EQUAL PRESSURE, will have less rolling resistance than a smaller tire. AT EQUAL PRESSURE the contact patch of the larger tire is actually smaller. I used to run 25s, but switched with no noticeable loss in speed, but a big gain in comfort. My 25s were 120 psi tires, but it didn't take much for them to drop to 100-110. My 28s are 115 psi tires, and it doesn't take much for them to drop to 100-110.

A really wide tire will be "slower" than a skinny tire because it isn't even physically possible for the tire to reach the kind of pressures a narrow "road" tire has. Most 2" tires can be pumped up to about 4 atmospheres (60 psi?) max. That tire would be faster than the 28mm IF the 28 were deflated to an unsafe 60 psi.

So, again, it depends. But for the most part you will gain by lowering your rolling resistance with a narrower tire.
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Old 06-01-07, 09:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elusor
is thinny tires for advantage for commute than fatty tires?
what advantage.... only in start from stop?
Thin tires aren't as heavy, and accellerate a lot faster. When rolling, tire weight doesn't matter so much.

For commuting, I say get fatter puncture-resistant tires rather than thin lighter/faster tires. Slower overall but less unscheduled delays on the way to work.
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Old 06-01-07, 09:55 PM   #5
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I've done fat mtn ties, commuted on my road bikew and now have 26x1 on my commuter. Thinner is a lot faster, but the flat/harsh is real. On my commute I hit a lot of curb cuts and similar. I like the 1" more than the road bike (700c x 23)
But I still take the roadie sometimes just cause it's fast and a blast.

No help, huh?
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Old 06-01-07, 10:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug5150
Thin tires aren't as heavy, and accellerate a lot faster. When rolling, tire weight doesn't matter so much.
~
Not true. If anything, The treaded 35 cyclocross tires I use when I want to get dirty are lighter than my 28 slicks. Of course, they are probably higher quality tires.

That said, the 35s are way slower than the 28s. This is probably due both the facts that they are knobbed, and can only be run at about 70 PSI, whereas my 28s can theoretically go to around 120 (though through lack of vigilance they tend to hang around the 100-110 range). And my floor pump is broken, so I have to guess on the PSI with my frame pump for now.

But there is no universal right answer for what is best when it comes to commuting. This isn't something specific like road racing. There's a guy here who commutes on a mountain bike with knobs because he lives in Costa Rica and the roads are crap.

If it's all smooth asphalt on your commute, I'd run 23's. For me the happy medium is 28's, but if I lived somewhere else it might be different.
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Old 06-02-07, 12:52 AM   #7
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25 mm ... no problems.
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Old 06-02-07, 07:48 AM   #8
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23 mm here.

You may find a larger advantage from improving your aerodynamics. That can be very inexpensive (change your setup) to expensive (purchase new bike).

Like M_S said there is no universal answer.

My generalization would be this:
Hauling heavy loads and\or rough streets then use wide tires
Don't haul much and\or smooth streets then narrow tires.

You can still offroad in skinny tires but it is a pain. Skinny tires ride a tad rougher if you are sensitive to that.

Personally, I love them. Not to mention that I am commuting on my tarmac so I have no choice.
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Old 06-03-07, 04:32 PM   #9
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IMO, it depends upon your road and load;
however i always lean toward fatter on a commuter, at least 38 mm.
more comfort, increased reliability and safety from road surface challenges;
a little speed loss is worth getting there more effectively. granted a thinner tire
is usually lighter and accelerates more quickly; however the tread pattern,
tire composition and inflation have as much to do with speed as does
the actual tire width.
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Old 06-03-07, 11:04 PM   #10
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1.75" goods?

2.00" goods?
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Old 06-04-07, 08:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elusor
1.75" goods?

2.00" goods?
All are good, you just have to find what works best for you. My current sweet spot is about 40mm, although if I could fit them on my bike I would try the Big Apple 622x60 (29x2.35").
I think a high quality slick will roll well. A bigger tire with the same construction will be heavier and use a lower pressure. This will take more effort to accelerate and be slightly slower. However if you ride on rough roads the fatter tire may allow you to ride faster, slowing for less obstacles. In addition it will be more comfortable.
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Old 06-04-07, 12:17 PM   #12
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My sweet spot for commuting tyre width is 28mm in the more generous styles. Hybrids always come with fatter tyres and racers with thinner ones.
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Old 06-04-07, 12:31 PM   #13
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Depends on road type.

Streets only = 23 mm fast or 25-28 mm for comfort and speed
MUP+streets = 25-28 mm
off road+MUP+streets = 28mm and above

I also use thorn resistant tubes on my 23 mm tires and so far so good after 1200 miles in 3 months. No pinch flats and I roll over glass shards with confidence.
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Old 06-04-07, 12:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnwalker
Streets only = 23 mm fast or 25-28 mm for comfort and speed
MUP+streets = 25-28 mm
off road+MUP+streets = 28mm and above
I think this is exactly right; I'm running 25s on MUP and streets and finding them really nice.
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Old 06-04-07, 01:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug5150
Thin tires aren't as heavy, and accellerate a lot faster. When rolling, tire weight doesn't matter so much.

For commuting, I say get fatter puncture-resistant tires rather than thin lighter/faster tires. Slower overall but less unscheduled delays on the way to work.
~
I've had exactly one flat during a commute and that was last summer on my ride home. I ride to work 2-3 days a week and have been doing so for almost 2 years now. I ride 700x23c tires and keep them inflated to 110-120psi. I check them prior to every ride.
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Old 06-04-07, 01:34 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by SDRider
I've had exactly one flat during a commute and that was last summer on my ride home. I ride to work 2-3 days a week and have been doing so for almost 2 years now. I ride 700x23c tires and keep them inflated to 110-120psi. I check them prior to every ride.
Plus, it takes all of 5-10 minutes to change a tube. If 5 to 10 minutes will make you late you really should leave earlier. When I flat I tend to take my time. I hate deadlines and show up at home and work when I feel like it.
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Old 06-04-07, 01:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banzai
So, again, it depends. But for the most part you will gain by lowering your rolling resistance with a narrower tire.
I think this sums it up pretty well.

I run 700x25 tires despite some rough roads...
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