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I never used to believe that fatter tires made much of a difference.

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I never used to believe that fatter tires made much of a difference.

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Old 07-13-07, 12:06 PM
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notfred
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I never used to believe that fatter tires made much of a difference.

So, although I've always heard people on here talking about using fatter tires for comfort, I've basically shrugged them off, thinking "Road tires are fine. Fat 'commuter tires' don't make that much of a difference in ride comfort, and they slow you down."

And then, last week I broke the bottom bracket on my regular commuting bike, which rolls on 110PSI, 23mm tires. I rode my cyclocross bike to work for a week. It rolls on 75PSI 35mm tires. Surprisingly, it didn't feel significantly slower than the road tires.

Then I got the regular commuter back, and rode it to work this morning. Man, that's bumpy. I never noticed it before. Maybe I was better off when I thought the road tires were "just fine", but now I'm thinking of buying something fatter and softer for the commuter. Maybe a 90PSI-ish 32mm touring tire or something. Although, then I have to justify buying new tires when my current ones are still in perfectly decent shape and don't actually need to be replaced.
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Old 07-13-07, 12:09 PM
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I'm considering sticking the 32mm cyclocross tires back on my cross bike, or getting some that are wide with smoother tread. I like the idea of being able to go through gravel without hurting my wheels too much.
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Old 07-13-07, 12:48 PM
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bontrager hard case 700x32s are 110 PSI 32mm slicks, very nice tire for commuting.
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Old 07-13-07, 12:49 PM
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I use 85psi - 32mm tires on an old steel Trek for commuting and they're awesome. I do lose some speed compared to 23mm tires but I never had much to begin with so it doesn't really matter.
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Old 07-13-07, 12:55 PM
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Welcome to the world of FAT
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Old 07-13-07, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by notfred
So, although I've always heard people on here talking about using fatter tires for comfort, I've basically shrugged them off, thinking "Road tires are fine. Fat 'commuter tires' don't make that much of a difference in ride comfort, and they slow you down."

And then, last week I broke the bottom bracket on my regular commuting bike, which rolls on 110PSI, 23mm tires. I rode my cyclocross bike to work for a week. It rolls on 75PSI 35mm tires. Surprisingly, it didn't feel significantly slower than the road tires.

Then I got the regular commuter back, and rode it to work this morning. Man, that's bumpy. I never noticed it before. Maybe I was better off when I thought the road tires were "just fine", but now I'm thinking of buying something fatter and softer for the commuter. Maybe a 90PSI-ish 32mm touring tire or something. Although, then I have to justify buying new tires when my current ones are still in perfectly decent shape and don't actually need to be replaced.
I found that you can get 700x28 and run them about 100 psi... they are a good compromize between comfort and speed... I read that there's little reason to go to max tire pressure because the rolling resistence between running it around 100 to the resistence at max pressure doesn't make much difference.
however, it is much more comfortable in the 95-100 range in terms of ride...

the study was reported in "road bike rider newsletter"... (don't remember the date. you can probably find it in its archives if you want to read it...)
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Old 07-13-07, 02:10 PM
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It's not really a fat vs. narrow debate as the OP implied in the subject but it's more of a high vs. low psi rating. I run wider tires (Marathon Supremes - 37mm) but they inflate to 85psi and while there is a little difference in rolling resistance to my narrower road tires, it's not all that drastically different because the Supremes inflate to such a high pressure.
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Old 07-13-07, 03:16 PM
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I run 28's on the nice weather bike and 32's on the foul weather bike. I see no reason to go any narrower or wider. Both run about 80 psi but I'm a lightweight so I don't need to go any higher.
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Old 07-13-07, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
bontrager hard case 700x32s are 110 PSI 32mm slicks, very nice tire for commuting.
I think those may be the ones that came stock on my Trek 520 touring.
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Old 07-13-07, 03:27 PM
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So what's the disadvantage to fat tires? Surely there must be one, or everyone would be riding them.

I ride 28mm right now, seems to do the job for me. I already know that I wouldn't like 23mm roadies.
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Old 07-13-07, 03:31 PM
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26x3.25, here
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Old 07-13-07, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Nicodemus
So what's the disadvantage to fat tires? Surely there must be one, or everyone would be riding them.

I ride 28mm right now, seems to do the job for me. I already know that I wouldn't like 23mm roadies.
Theoretically, if a fatter tire could inflate up to 100psi and weighed exactly the same as a narrower tire, then there wouldn't be any disadvantage. As it stands however, most fatter tires can't inflate to as high of a pressure and there's more material that weighs more. And with most road bikes, you have clearance issues.
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Old 07-13-07, 04:27 PM
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To paraphrase Rivendell Bikes " tire size doesn't determine speed, fitness level determins speed." I ride 35's and find they are alot faster than 23's...I'm 240 and ride gravel paths so 23's would get me along at walking speed...after I punctured them!!!
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Old 07-13-07, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by stevel610
To paraphrase Rivendell Bikes " tire size doesn't determine speed, fitness level determins speed." I ride 35's and find they are alot faster than 23's...I'm 240 and ride gravel paths so 23's would get me along at walking speed...after I punctured them!!!
HHmmm....
' wonder why noone in Le Tour de France uses wide tires, then?
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Old 07-13-07, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DVC45
HHmmm....
' wonder why noone in Le Tour de France uses wide tires, then?
Well, for one thing, they ride tubular tires and not clinchers. For another, narrow tires are more aerodynamic, lighter, and can be inflated to higher pressures.
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Old 07-13-07, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by DVC45
HHmmm....
' wonder why noone in Le Tour de France uses wide tires, then?
Dunno...The other day Bob Roll was talking about the tire pressures they use...110 psi in the dry and 80-90 psi when the conditions are damp to wet. Send VS a question, they answer a few of them every day during the telecasts.
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Old 07-13-07, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
26x3.25, here
You must commute through beach sand!
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Old 07-13-07, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by greenstork
Well, for one thing, they ride tubular tires and not clinchers. For another, narrow tires are more aerodynamic, lighter, and can be inflated to higher pressures.
So the size does determine speed. That was exactly the point.
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Old 07-13-07, 07:49 PM
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Interestingly my opinion is the opposite of the OP's. When I switched the super-fatso low-pressure tires on my beater MTB for 32-mm 95-psi slicks, I noticed a lot of difference in speed and very little difference in comfort.
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Old 07-13-07, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by chephy
Interestingly my opinion is the opposite of the OP's. When I switched the super-fatso low-pressure tires on my beater MTB for 32-mm 95-psi slicks, I noticed a lot of difference in speed and very little difference in comfort.
Pressure's too high
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Old 07-13-07, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by greenstork
Well, for one thing, they ride tubular tires and not clinchers. For another, narrow tires are more aerodynamic, lighter, and can be inflated to higher pressures.
So, tire configuration does affect speed.
I figured, with all the aforementioned advantages of wide, low pressure tires, we should be seeing them in almost every cycling event by now.
If Stevel610's quote is correct, I don't know why Rivendell made such a statement.

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Old 07-13-07, 11:39 PM
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What I was trying to say is that in theory, if you could produce a fatter tire that inflates to 100-110psi then it really wouldn't be all that different than a skinnier tire in terms of rolling resistance. It might be slightly heavier and slightly less aerodynamic but tire pressure is really the primary determinant of agility, comfort, and rolling resistance and not necessarily the size of the tire, although the two are related. I'll admit that I'm splitting hairs here but I think the distinction does matter.

There are a few fatter tires that inflate to pretty high pressures and they perform admirably well at fast speeds.
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Old 07-13-07, 11:58 PM
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...and when you get the bike up to 45-50 MPH on the downhills, MAN, fat tires are SOLID!

I hit a pothole doing 48 MPH on a curve, my buddy following saw the tail end of my bike hop laterally about a foot, and I was loving it!

BOMBER.....
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Old 07-14-07, 12:49 AM
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For a 700c bike, I run 28mm Vittoria Randonneurs. Bigger tyre = better ride and they're bulletproof. Especially for all the city crud that gets chucked into the bike lanes and gutters. Also found no noticable loss of speed changing from the 23mm's I used to run.
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Old 07-14-07, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by greenstork
What I was trying to say is that in theory, if you could produce a fatter tire that inflates to 100-110psi then it really wouldn't be all that different than a skinnier tire in terms of rolling resistance. It might be slightly heavier and slightly less aerodynamic but tire pressure is really the primary determinant of agility, comfort, and rolling resistance and not necessarily the size of the tire, although the two are related. I'll admit that I'm splitting hairs here but I think the distinction does matter.

There are a few fatter tires that inflate to pretty high pressures and they perform admirably well at fast speeds.
Don’t forget that it does take extra effort to obtain and maintain the rotational momentum of the heavier tires.


+1 "There are a few fatter tires that inflate to pretty high pressures and they perform admirably well at fast speeds."
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