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Skinny or fat tires for my commuter?

Old 08-06-13, 10:19 AM
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Skinny or fat tires for my commuter?

I have now had my Cross Check for a few months. I have some cheap CST 700x38 tires that I ride at 75-80 psi. I had the tires on another bike so I put them on this because they seemed better then the cross tires that it came with for road riding. On an average week I ride about 25 miles commuting and 60 miles group/training rides. I feel like I might benefit from thinner high pressure tires when I'm riding for performance. But my commute is in an urban area with road debris and potholes and I don't want to be changing flats all the time. Would I get benefit from something like a 700x25/28 gator skin for example? I hear that most of the skinnier high pressure tires with good flat protection are going to be heavy and slow so I don't know if it would be a huge upgrade over the 700x38 tires in that respect. Curious on feedback from people that have road both types on their commuters
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Old 08-06-13, 10:31 AM
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I ride a 55 kms R/T commute 4 days a week on a rural road with a lot of pothole and débris and I'm on 700X23. I don't get a lot of flats, maybe 3 this year so far after 5300 kms (approx.) I prefer skinnier tires as I feel that they're quicker than fat tires but that's just me.

A lot of people will now tell you how wrong I am. But that's the feeling I get on the road.

By the way Gatorskin is the worst tire I ever bought, I had better mileage and better flat protection from cheap serfas seca tires and cheap michelin tires.
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Old 08-06-13, 10:58 AM
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Generally, the larger tire will provide better service on rough potholed roads. It will give a better ride provided they are not too bulky as weight can become a penalty. Also choose a smooth and shallow tread pattern if possible as this will aid in the rolling resistance. Narrower road bike tires will always be faster and more efficient but your mileage is not very high so you wouldn't realize much benefit.
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Old 08-06-13, 11:08 AM
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Get two sets of wheels, one with skinny tires, the other with fat for commuting. With the same cassette on both wheelsets you're swapping wheels instead of tires.

Personally I have two bikes ... one for commuting/CX and the other a roadie.
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Old 08-06-13, 11:17 AM
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I'm pretty happy with 32mm touring tires on my cross check.
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Old 08-06-13, 11:32 AM
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I have two sets of tires - 700x28 Kenda Kwick cross tires and the stock 700x32 Specialized Nimbus. For riding on rough roads, I much prefer the 700x32 tires. I've never gone above 700x32, so cannot comment on that - but I'm planning to stick to 32 and get 700x32 Panaracer Paselas in a next week.
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Old 08-06-13, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ill.clyde
Get two sets of wheels, one with skinny tires, the other with fat for commuting. With the same cassette on both wheelsets you're swapping wheels instead of tires.

Personally I have two bikes ... one for commuting/CX and the other a roadie.
I do have two bikes but for me one is my CC and the other is a track/fixed gear. Don't want to use the fixed gear on group rides with big hills. I fully plan on getting a dedicated road racer but that's probably a year away because my bike budget is blown for a while because both of my current bikes were purchased in the last 6 months
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Old 08-06-13, 11:58 AM
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As a follow up, any idea how skinny I can go on the stock Alex DA16 rims (622x16)?
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Old 08-06-13, 11:59 AM
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It all depends on the condition of the road (or other) surface that you are commuting on. I commute on my road bike (23 mm) and on a touring bike (28 mm.) Both work just fine since the surface I'm commuting on is in excellent condition for the most part.
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Old 08-06-13, 11:59 AM
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I personally think the sweet spot is about 32mm. I have ridden sizes from 23mm up to 38mm on my commute (about 6 miles each way from Brooklyn to Manhattan), and have settled on the 32's. Below 32, I feel like I am lacking stability and cushion for the unevenly paved portion of the ride. Over 32, and I start to feel like the tires are heavy (YMMV, depending on the tire itself!). For me, 32 is the way to go.
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Old 08-06-13, 12:02 PM
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Sale: Pick your size:

https://www.wiggle.com/schwalbe-marat...oad-city-tire/
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Old 08-06-13, 12:11 PM
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I would try these in the 32's, based on your riding conditions.
I have had excellent results with the panaracer urban/touring tires in 700c size.











[h=2]RIBMO PT[/h]RiBMo is the newest addition to our urban tire line. Aside from a plethora of sizes, the news on RiBMo is PT puncture resistance technology. PT delivers 3x the puncture resistance of Aramid belted technologies.
[TABLE="width: 313"]
[TR]
[TH]SIZES[/TH]
[TH]BEAD[/TH]
[TH]ETRO[/TH]
[TH]TPI[/TH]
[TH]WEIGHT[/TH]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]700 x 23c[/TD]
[TD]Aramid[/TD]
[TD]23-622[/TD]
[TD]27[/TD]
[TD]300g.[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]700 x 25c[/TD]
[TD]Aramid[/TD]
[TD]25-622[/TD]
[TD]27[/TD]
[TD]330g.[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]700 x 28c[/TD]
[TD]Aramid[/TD]
[TD]28-622[/TD]
[TD]27[/TD]
[TD]370g.[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]700 x 32c[/TD]
[TD]Aramid[/TD]
[TD]32-622[/TD]
[TD]27[/TD]
[TD]400g.[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]700 x 35c[/TD]
[TD]Aramid[/TD]
[TD]35-622[/TD]
[TD]27[/TD]
[TD]490g.[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]26 x 1.25[/TD]
[TD]Aramid[/TD]
[TD]32-559[/TD]
[TD]27[/TD]
[TD]330g.[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]26 x 1.50[/TD]
[TD]Aramid[/TD]
[TD]38-559[/TD]
[TD]27[/TD]
[TD]440g.[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]26 x 1.75[/TD]
[TD]Aramid[/TD]
[TD]42-559[/TD]
[TD]27[/TD]
[TD]490g.[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]26 x 2.0[/TD]
[TD]Aramid[/TD]
[TD]48-559[/TD]
[TD]27[/TD]
[TD]540g.[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]700 x 23c[/TD]
[TD]Steel[/TD]
[TD]23-622[/TD]
[TD]27[/TD]
[TD]360g.[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]700 x 25c[/TD]
[TD]Steel[/TD]
[TD]25-622[/TD]
[TD]27[/TD]
[TD]390g.[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]700 x 28c[/TD]
[TD]Steel[/TD]
[TD]28-622[/TD]
[TD]27[/TD]
[TD]420g.[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]700 x 32c[/TD]
[TD]Steel[/TD]
[TD]32-622[/TD]
[TD]27[/TD]
[TD]450g.[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
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Old 08-06-13, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13
As a follow up, any idea how skinny I can go on the stock Alex DA16 rims (622x16)?
You should have no problems from 23c up to 35c if your frame will allow them.

Last edited by nyrikki; 08-06-13 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 08-06-13, 12:20 PM
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I had 700x23 and went up to 700x25 Vittoria Randonneurs. I like the feel much better on the 25's, and I don't think I've increased my rolling resistance (at least not enough for me to worry about).
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Old 08-06-13, 12:30 PM
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thanks for all the suggestions
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Old 08-06-13, 12:56 PM
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I have some cheap CST 700x38 tires
Try expensive supple 32 tires. Grand Bois or RBW Jack Brown 33.3 wide ones.
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Old 08-06-13, 01:21 PM
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38s at 75lbs (or lower if you don't pump them for a week) sounds like a slow option

you might feel better with 28s at 110 (and keep them pumped)
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Old 08-06-13, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
38s at 75lbs (or lower if you don't pump them for a week) sounds like a slow option

you might feel better with 28s at 110 (and keep them pumped)
I do pump every 2 days at the minimum. But the tires are rated 65-80. I pumped to 80 before my ride today and did 20 miles and they look flat when I'm riding. Definitely adding to my rolling resistance.
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Old 08-06-13, 01:36 PM
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yeah try the 28s I think you will be very happy. I started commuting on a mountain bike with knobbies, then got slicks, then got a 700c hybrid with wide textured tires then got wide tires with less texture then got 28 slicks and loved them for years. I only recently moved to 23s cuz they came with a new/used road bike and honestly don't really notice a difference from the 28s, so who knows maybe you'd be happy with 23s! I weigh about 225 lbs. FWIW
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Old 08-06-13, 01:41 PM
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I'm another commuter who uses one (of a few very similar) bikes for just about everything, who's settled on 32s. The incremental increase, if any, between 28 and 32 tires is more than balanced by the increased cushion of the fatter 32s. Anything wider doesn't seem to buy me anything. YRMV (your roads...)
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Old 08-06-13, 01:49 PM
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My other bike has 700x28 Thickslicks. I might swap those onto the Cross Check and see how it goes. Then put my other set of cheapo Forte 25s on the fixed gear. Anyone have any negative experience with the Thickslicks? They are very new and don't have a lot of miles on them so I can't tell how they will hold up commuting
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Old 08-06-13, 02:15 PM
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I never go above 32 for commuting, too much effort wasted otherwise.
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Old 08-07-13, 11:43 AM
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The thing I've always heard is that while wider tires are definitely heavier than narrower tires (no way around that), the decreased rolling resistance and increased traction of the larger tires more than makes up for the weight penalty.

The best I can do to back this up is: https://www.schwalbetires.com/tech_in...ing_resistance. The conclusion seems to be: if you're racing, go smaller tires. If you're not, the fatter the better.
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