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Stay With Wider Tires or Go Skinny?

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Stay With Wider Tires or Go Skinny?

Old 12-02-16, 11:30 AM
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Stay With Wider Tires or Go Skinny?

My non off road tires are 700x38's. They are a little sluggish to say the least. I'm considering going down to something in the 700x28 and more road friendly range. I don't want to go full skinny 23-25ish and 28 seems to be the happy medium. I already have a second wheel set with 700x32 tires for off road purposes so these would be for training/road riding/rough roads. Has anybody gone from wider tires to skinnier ones for training/road riding/rough road purposes?
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Old 12-02-16, 01:12 PM
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Buy better 700 x 38 tires. Lightweight, supple (120 tpi or greater) tires will be fast in just about any width.

Since I've switched to light/supple tires, I hate riding any tire skinnier than a 38 mm. Any skinnier tire will be no faster, but less comfortable.
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Old 12-02-16, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 09box
Has anybody gone from wider tires to skinnier ones for training/road riding/rough road purposes?
I have several road bikes with tires from 23mm to 28mm, and I have a drop-bar conversion of an '83 Stumpjumper with fifty-three millimeter tires. The Stumpjumper is a very heavy build all around, and is thus a bit disadvantaged on hills, but cruising on the flats it trades blows with the other bikes even on smooth pavement. Whether a tire is built like a good road tire matters a lot more than how wide it is.
Otherwise-equal narrower tires will save a bit of weight, and in theory you'll get a bit better aerodynamics. But if your 38mm tire is "sluggish" and you get a 28mm tire that's otherwise built like your 38mm tire, all you'll have is a sluggish tire that happens to be 28mm.

Unless I was building a fancy-schmancy TT or road racing bike (where you'd have to use a narrower tire to be compatible with existing aero rims and such), on a bike with wide clearances I'd tend to want to stick with wide tires. You give up very little in performance even on very good surfaces, cornering is better because of the stabler large contact surface, they can be more comfortable, their width tends to naturally make them more resistant to flats and other damage, and they make a bike more versatile (good wide road tires are a blast on dry rocky gravel).

Last edited by HTupolev; 12-02-16 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 12-02-16, 01:43 PM
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I ride a variety of tires. 24 and 25 for my roadbikes, going to 28s for the offseason. My year 'round fix gear bike is 28. 32 and 35 for bikes that go off road. 28 is a nice compromise for road use. (Note that any "width" dimension varies a lot between anufacturers. I have a 37c Continental Ice tire that is a lot skinnier than ny 35c Panaracer Paselas.)

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Old 12-02-16, 02:00 PM
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Premium rolling tires start at about $60 each ..

You can get faster rolling tires without going narrower & harsher riding , due to Higher PSI

https://www.compasscycle.com/product...ts/tires/700c/
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Old 12-02-16, 02:47 PM
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Your weight is an important consideration. Lighter riders can use a smaller, lighter tire at moderate air pressures with reduced risk of pinch flats. Heavier riders need larger sizes. How much do you weight?

Also, please describe the roughest surface you plan to travel.

I like a road bike tire that provides a smooth ride on damaged pavement and tolerates a little gravel, the 700x27 Vittoria Pave is a great road bike tire for a bike that will cover some firm, well maintained gravel. It's race tire fast and a regular winner of the Pari-Roubaix


https://www.competitivecyclist.com/vi...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds







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Old 12-02-16, 03:14 PM
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I'm in the 150-160 lbs range.

The roughest surface I might be on with these tires is a well groomed limestone gravel rail trail or a rough chip seal road.
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Old 12-02-16, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 09box
I'm in the 150-160 lbs range.

The roughest surface I might be on with these tires is a well groomed limestone gravel rail trail or a rough chip seal road.
You will love the Vittoria Pave! I have them on my carbon Cyclocross bike for fast local riding, including the 40 miles of local gravel rail trail and rural chip seal road that are poorly maintained. I'm 220 lbs and these have ample volume for me. The Pave provides a super supple ride at 85psi, enormous traction on firm surfaces and minimal rolling resistance. Flat resistance must be good, I've never had a flat on mine.

@$30 each, its a great bargain on a Paris Roubaix winning race tire: https://www.competitivecyclist.com/vi...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 12-02-16 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 12-02-16, 04:49 PM
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I've ridden Open Pave, Challenge Parigi-Roubaix, Strada Bianca, Compass 32mm Stampede Pass, and 38mm Barlows.
The Strada Bianca will run at the same pressure as the Stampede Pass and are notably faster (as the Stampedes are notably cushier).

The smaller tires I would only ride on pavement.
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Old 12-02-16, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
Your weight is an important consideration. Lighter riders can use a smaller, lighter tire at moderate air pressures with reduced risk of pinch flats. Heavier riders need larger sizes. How much do you weight?

Also, please describe the roughest surface you plan to travel.

I like a road bike tire that provides a smooth ride on damaged pavement and tolerates a little gravel, the 700x27 Vittoria Pave is a great road bike tire for a bike that will cover some firm, well maintained gravel. It's race tire fast and a regular winner of the Pari-Roubaix


Vittoria Open Pave EVO CG III | Competitive Cyclist


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Originally Posted by bulldog1935
I've ridden Open Pave, Challenge Parigi-Roubaix, Strada Bianca, Compass 32mm Stampede Pass, and 38mm Barlows.
The Strada Bianca will run at the same pressure as the Stampede Pass and are notably faster (as the Stampedes are notably cushier).

The smaller tires I would only ride on pavement.
I also use the Open Pave, Challenge Parigi-Roubaix, and the Compass 32mm Stampede Pass. The Parigi-Roubaix is almost as fast as the lighter & more aerodynamic Pave, but not quite. The Parigi-Roubaix is not vulcanized and any error in assembly will cause the tire to delaminate in use. It also lack meaningful flat protection.

The Vittoria Open Tubular tires are among the best tires made in terms of quality and performance. Challenge is a minor producer in comparison.

The Parigi-Roubaix on my Simoncini Cyclocross Special



The Compass Barlow Pass on my Vintage Peugeot



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Last edited by Barrettscv; 12-02-16 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 12-02-16, 05:10 PM
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I put close to 20,000 mi on challenge, mostly Strada Biancas, and never a defect.
I did have a P-R tubie with glue holiday and it was a warranty replacement.


Vittoria does offer 28mm Corsas this year

Challenge tires, btw, don't like wide rims - the bead works best on road rims, like Mavic Open Pro

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Old 12-02-16, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bulldog1935

Vittoria does offer 28mm Corsas this year
I have the new 28mm Corsa (with Graphine) on my Colnago. It's excellent, very fast and incredibly smooth at 85 psi. The Pave is tougher without losing much in terms of ride or low rolling resistance.

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Old 12-02-16, 05:35 PM
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Panaracer Gravel Kings and Clement LLGs are both available in 28s and 32s, with folding beads. They are reasonably priced, relatively light weight and roll well. I don't see any need to run wider tires unless you would be riding off road.
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Old 12-04-16, 12:21 AM
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I dunno if I would recommend gravel kings to ride nice roads with, personally.
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Old 12-04-16, 11:26 PM
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Gravel kings by panasonic are a great off season tyre. 26mm or 28mm. Last a long time pretty puncture free
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Old 12-05-16, 09:14 AM
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I'm looking at trying the new 32mm slick gravel kings as my all-rounder this coming year.
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Old 12-05-16, 03:21 PM
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I think have it narrowed down to either Clement Stradas in 700x28 or Schwalbe Delta Cruiser in 700x32..
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Old 12-05-16, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 09box
I think have it narrowed down to either Clement Stradas in 700x28 or Schwalbe Delta Cruiser in 700x32..
That Schwalbe Delta Cruiser is more than twice the weight of the Clement Strada! The Strada is a great choice for a faster tire. The Schwalbe Durano would be a much faster choice for a Schwalbe tire in 700 x 32.
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Old 12-05-16, 04:19 PM
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I recently switched a bike from 700x35 Schwalbe Marathon Supremes to 700x25 Cont GP 4000S's. The Marathon Supremes are pretty fast rolling tires by touring tire standards, but I've got to tell you switching to the Contis was like adding a jet pack. This should seem obvious. After all, the Contis are essentially racing tires. Even so, I was surprised at how big the difference was.

I think this is pretty well covered in the discussion above, but this isn't really as simple as wider vs. narrower. It's more about how supple the tire is.

I see the Clement Strada LGG is available in a 700x32 version. Why not those?
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Old 12-05-16, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 09box
I think have it narrowed down to either Clement Stradas in 700x28 or Schwalbe Delta Cruiser in 700x32..
The Clement Strada LGG's are a solid tire. I've been using them in 25's on my road bike for about 2 years now. I've tried both the single and dual compound versions (wanted the gumwalls initially for aesthetics). I'd pay the few extra bucks and get the dual compounds.

This particular bike see's mostly paved roads, but I've never hesitated to take it on dirt or gravel because of the tires.

Personally, I'm looking at the newer Strada USH's for a bike I just built up that will see a lot of mixed terrain use.

Big fan of Clement over here.
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Old 12-05-16, 09:13 PM
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The Delta Cruisers might be double the weight but they look like they would be more puncture proof. The extra tread wouldn't be a bad thing for random trips down trails off the beaten path.

I've looked for the 700x32 Clement Strada but it is considerably more expensive than the 700x28. I found the 28's in 60 tpi for a really good price online. That is one reason why I am considering them.
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Old 12-06-16, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by 09box
The Delta Cruisers might be double the weight but they look like they would be more puncture proof. The extra tread wouldn't be a bad thing for random trips down trails off the beaten path.

I've looked for the 700x32 Clement Strada but it is considerably more expensive than the 700x28. I found the 28's in 60 tpi for a really good price online. That is one reason why I am considering them.

Less than this $30? That what the Vittoria Pave cost here: https://www.competitivecyclist.com/vi...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 12-06-16, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
Less than this $30? That what the Vittoria Pave cost here: Vittoria Open Pave EVO CG III | Competitive Cyclist

Great price, great tire.

Thanks for the heads up.

Just ordered two pair.
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Old 12-06-16, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
Less than this $30? That what the Vittoria Pave cost here: Vittoria Open Pave EVO CG III | Competitive Cyclist
$39 shipped for the pair of Clements

PAIR OF CLEMENT PNEUMATICI STRADA LGG 700 X 28C FOLDING BLACK BIKE TIRES 60tpi | eBay
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Old 12-06-16, 03:07 PM
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I doubt the Delta Cruisers would do much to help your sluggishness.
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