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Road Tire (width) Choice?

Old 10-26-15, 10:29 AM
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Road Tire (width) Choice?

I am riding a cx bike here in Lake Tahoe, where I live. Most of my riding is fairly challenging mountain bike trails. Wile it's fun, I would like to do some longer, steady road rides for fitness. So, I am hoping for input regarding road tire width. Will 28mm tires be extremely slow and sluggish? will 25mm be a better choice? While i wont be racing them, I would like to feel a little more smooth for the sake of rhythm and cadence as opposed to grinding everything.
Thanks
Jon
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Old 10-26-15, 10:38 AM
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I ride 28's on my gravel bike on the road, but the reason has more to do with rim width than anything else. With 19mm wide rims (inner measurement), 28's are as narrow as anyone recommends.

With 28's, I average about 1/2 mph slower on the road than with 23's on the same routes. I wouldn't call them extremely slow and sluggish, but I don't expect to win any sprints against roadies with them. For training and group rides, that extra 1/2 mph isn't that important to me.
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Old 10-26-15, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo

With 28's, I average about 1/2 mph slower on the road than with 23's on the same routes. I wouldn't call them extremely slow and sluggish, but I don't expect to win any sprints against roadies with them. For training and group rides, that extra 1/2 mph isn't that important to me.
I would say, not extremely, just a little bit.

I usually run Conti 700x25 GP 4000s on my road bike.

I put the same 700x28 Conti Grand Prix Four Season tires I run on my tandem on my road bike once just to see what it was like.

I would agree with the 1/2 mph or so in difference.

I find no speed difference between 700x23 and 700x25 GP 4000s. Just the ride quality on rough roads is better with the 25s.
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Old 10-26-15, 10:51 AM
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No reason not to run at least 28s on a cross bike. I find I go faster with a slightly wider tire, being a heavy dude, as it is more comfortable to roll over imperfections in the road. I have 30c slicks on my gravel/touring bike now that the gravel racing season is over for me,
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Old 10-26-15, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo
I ride 28's on my gravel bike on the road, but the reason has more to do with rim width than anything else. With 19mm wide rims (inner measurement), 28's are as narrow as anyone recommends.
No, there are plenty of 19mm internal width rims fully intended to be used with 25 and 23mm tires. There's no problem with doing so, and I ride such rims with 23mm tires myself. That said, that's on a road bike. On my cyclocross bike, if I'm running road tires I would go at least with 28s. But that's partly because I have a road bike for when maximum speed is the goal. When I'm not racing cyclocross with it, i.e. most of the year, my cross bike is frequently my winter training and rainy day commuter bike, sometimes my trail riding bike and gravel racing bike. For training in particular, maximizing speed isn't important and I like the versatility of wider tires with some tread on them for those other purposes.
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Old 10-26-15, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by grolby
No, there are plenty of 19mm internal width rims fully intended to be used with 25 and 23mm tires.
Can you refer us to the wheel brands and their recommendation charts? I'm sure I'm not the only one who would be interested. (I'm talking 19mm INternal, not EXternal.)
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Old 10-26-15, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo
With 28's, I average about 1/2 mph slower on the road than with 23's on the same routes. I wouldn't call them extremely slow and sluggish, but I don't expect to win any sprints against roadies with them. For training and group rides, that extra 1/2 mph isn't that important to me.
+1

Be sure to pick a lighter tire with a high TPI (theads per inch) count. Performance on rough pavement is actually better on a wide tire, while a narrow tire at a 110+ PSI can be faster on very smooth surfaces.

I'm running the 700x27 Challenge Parigi-Roubaix on one CX bike, it measures about 29mm ride. It's very fast rolling. If I reduce the air pressure to 85psi at the rear, the ride is superlative. However, the Parigi-Roubaix has a fragile reputation.

I added the 700x32 Compass Stampede Pass. it rides very well, and travels efficiently and rapidly up to about 25 mph, then the aerodynamic penalty becomes a factor.
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Old 10-26-15, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo
Can you refer us to the wheel brands and their recommendation charts? I'm sure I'm not the only one who would be interested. (I'm talking 19mm INternal, not EXternal.)
HED and Velocity offer this recommendation.
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Old 10-26-15, 12:27 PM
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I forgot about HED. Their rim has a little sharper lip on it than most. If I rode HED's wheels and wanted to go "roadie," I wouldn't hesitate to go with a 25mm tire. If I remember correctly, though, they assume that a tire is going to be wider than what's marked on the tire. I'm not sure how valid that assumption is.
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Old 10-26-15, 12:40 PM
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Thanks very much for the replies! I think I'll give the 28's a try. Along with the rim width, the roads here in the mountains are pretty rough.
A short break from the nobbies, along with some longer smoother miles of spinning will probably help my first attempts at cross events this winter.
Again, I appreciate the time you took to share.
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Old 10-26-15, 02:15 PM
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28mm is the narrowest I use on anything. Good tires won't slow you down.
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Old 10-26-15, 05:34 PM
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Continental GP 4000s II 700x28. Actual width ~30mm on a 17mm inner rim. Not any slower than similar 23 or 25mm tires.
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Old 10-26-15, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
28mm is the narrowest I use on anything. Good tires won't slow you down.
Yep, tires with a quality casing and materials still roll exceptionally well at wider widths. Even Zipp who uses the tag line "speed weaponry" recently announced a 30mm wide tire. I personally run the Gravelking from Panaracer in 28's but will likely move up to 32's once these wear out.
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Old 10-27-15, 04:41 AM
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Go for the gold.

Try some Compass Chinook Pass 700x28s.

My son did on his Della Santa and was super pleased.

Rode 3,500 miles on these and a pair of Gravel Kings this season.

I'm sure he would recommend either tire.

[IMG]DSCN6669 by gomango1849, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 10-27-15, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo
Can you refer us to the wheel brands and their recommendation charts? I'm sure I'm not the only one who would be interested. (I'm talking 19mm INternal, not EXternal.)
Well known are the Heds, Boyd Altamonts, Pacenti SL23v2, etc.. all built so that tire widths roughly match the exterior rim widths which tend to be 23-25mm for these wheels.
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Old 10-27-15, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tahoe23
I am riding a cx bike here in Lake Tahoe, where I live. Most of my riding is fairly challenging mountain bike trails. Wile it's fun, I would like to do some longer, steady road rides for fitness. So, I am hoping for input regarding road tire width. Will 28mm tires be extremely slow and sluggish? will 25mm be a better choice? While i wont be racing them, I would like to feel a little more smooth for the sake of rhythm and cadence as opposed to grinding everything.
Thanks
Jon
I just wanted to add my experience on this. Fundamentally it really depends on your weight. If your a clydesdale, then 28 is really a must in my opinion. But yes, there will be noticeably little difference (except for fewer pinch flats) and maybe a difference in peak tire pressure feel.

I am just starting to assemble a 28c wheelset on 19 mm internal width rims using Michelin Pro 4 Endurance V2 tires. It is for a road set on a gravel bike, exactly what you are doing.

My favorite road tire in 25c is the Bontrager AW3 hard case. When coupled with Bontrager thorn resistant tubes, this combo has been bullet proof for me. But it does not come in 28c.
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Old 10-28-15, 12:32 PM
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I wouldn't go any lower than a 25. I really like the look of those Gravel King 28's. I might try those or the 32's when my current tires are toast.
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Old 10-28-15, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo
Can you refer us to the wheel brands and their recommendation charts? I'm sure I'm not the only one who would be interested. (I'm talking 19mm INternal, not EXternal.)
Yeah, I know that you're talking INternal not EXternal, thanks for clearing that up.

I was thinking of the HED Belgium, Velocity A23 and Pacenti SL23. As it turns out, the first two are about 18mm internal, not 19mm. Whatever. These are rims intended for use with 23 or 25mm tires. The SL23 V2 is 20.3mm wide internally. I can find no warning to not mount tires below a certain size. And why would I expect to? These are still road rims, designed with road tires in mind. I'd love to know (actually, no I wouldn't) why 23 or 25mm tires on these rims would be such a terrible idea. I have 23s on mine, and the result is they work great. If you can find some scary charts showing that 23mm tires are too tiny for such wide and manly rims, that's cool and all, but I think most people understand that in practice said scary charts tend to be very conservative and in practice you can mostly do what you want. If you're sticking to standard modern sizes, you'll be fine.
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Old 10-28-15, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
Well known are the Heds, Boyd Altamonts, Pacenti SL23v2, etc.. all built so that tire widths roughly match the exterior rim widths which tend to be 23-25mm for these wheels.
Indeed. I have never heard from anyone until reading this thread that 28mm tires were some kind of minimum for wide road rims. Which were developed with standard road tires in mind. You can't fit a 28mm tire into most road frames, which would make that restriction kind of crazy considering that's the market they were aiming at.
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Old 10-28-15, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
I added the 700x32 Compass Stampede Pass. it rides very well, and travels efficiently and rapidly up to about 25 mph, then the aerodynamic penalty becomes a factor.
^ This. The Stampede Pass is nice rolling tire (rolls as good as most any 28mm). 32mm is good size for a cross bike on road. Will be nice and smooth on those mountain roads.
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Old 10-28-15, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by grolby
Indeed. I have never heard from anyone until reading this thread that 28mm tires were some kind of minimum for wide road rims. Which were developed with standard road tires in mind. You can't fit a 28mm tire into most road frames, which would make that restriction kind of crazy considering that's the market they were aiming at.
I've come across this 'wisdom' a few times; it's old school evidently, Sheldon Brown's site exhibits this philosophy as well, exhibited in this chart below from Tire Sizing Systems

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Old 10-28-15, 08:10 PM
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The chart comes from ETRTO recommendations, published in DIN 7800. I think that the scary warnings have come from people passing the data along, not from the source. All that Sheldon said was that your risk of pinch flats might go up. /shrug

It's worth noting that when the first decent 700C clincher tires came out, most were barely wider than the rims, too. Now it's 23-25mm tires on 23mm rims, instead of 18-21mm tires on 20mm rims. (Outer width for both examples.)


P.S. Just as DIN 7800 was revised to accommodate wide tires on MTB rims, I wonder if the next version will address wider road rims...
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Old 10-28-15, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by gomango
Go for the gold.

Try some Compass Chinook Pass 700x28s.

My son did on his Della Santa and was super pleased.

Rode 3,500 miles on these and a pair of Gravel Kings this season.

I'm sure he would recommend either tire.
I am curious to hear your thoughts between the Compass and Gravelkings. I love my Gravelkings but have been temped to give Compass tires a shot out of curiosity.
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Old 10-29-15, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
I've come across this 'wisdom' a few times; it's old school evidently, Sheldon Brown's site exhibits this philosophy as well, exhibited in this chart below from Tire Sizing Systems

Ah yes, I remember that chart! It is quite old, and as it says right on it, quite conservative as well. When it comes down it, I don't think it's worth worrying about. Maybe don't try to run 19mm tires on a wide rim, I guess, but hopefully no one is still hanging onto tires that skinny.
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Old 10-29-15, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
HED and Velocity offer this recommendation.
That's nonsense. In fact the A23 (23mm exterior, 18mm interior) is specifically designed with 23mm clinchers in mind:
Velocity Wheels - Hand Made in USA
"With a wider footprint, the A23 allows for a more aerodynamic rim/tire combination when paired with a 23c tire."
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