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Tire options question

Old 03-23-21, 06:38 PM
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Tire options question

Well I suspect this might not be a straight forward question, but I have been going back and forth on this one for a while so I figure send the questions to the masses.

A new bike for 2021 is out of the question for a few reasons so I am going to fresh'n up my current road bike and maybe get it a little more ready for the multi surface riding I find myself doing.

So the question:

I am currently running 28c tires with tubes, the manufacture of my bike says it can handle a 30cm tire and some 32s.
I found a tire that is for tubeless set up in a 30c, and my rims are tubeless ready.

Is there enough advantage going up 30c and to tubeless for riding on various surfaces....

Too break it down over 50% of my riding is on city streets of various condition, but this year I plan to adventure out more on some of the many rail trails of various surfaces as well. At times getting as much as 2-3 hours from home base etc. A few of the trails range from pavement to crushed stone to gravel with some serious washouts/ruts..

Last edited by PoorBob; 03-24-21 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 03-23-21, 07:02 PM
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2mm more won't hurt, but doubtful you would notice the size difference.
The biggest change would be tubeless since you could lower the pressure a bit to give more comfort on uneven surfaces.
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Old 03-23-21, 07:34 PM
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You might notice the difference going all the way up to 30mm (not cm), but like above, I doubt 30mm would be enough of a difference to make a significant change.
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Old 03-24-21, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Camilo
You might notice the difference going all the way up to 30mm (not cm), but like above, I doubt 30mm would be enough of a difference to make a significant change.
noted, and corrected.
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Old 03-25-21, 01:41 PM
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Which 30c tubeless tires are you looking at?
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Old 03-26-21, 05:48 AM
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I was leaning towards the Schwalbe G one speed.
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Old 03-26-21, 06:05 AM
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It's not as straightforward as simply going to a wider (as described by the manufacturer) tire. How supple is the tread and sidewall?

- You may be able to get a more supple 28 than what you currently have and immediately see some benefit- comfort and traction. In general wider will improve the ride, but if the carcass is less supple, it may actually be a harsher ride.
- Consider also that the internal width of your rim will impact inflated tire width. The spec'd width of the tire by the manufacturer does not always translate to that width when mounted and inflated.
- Another thing to consider is puncture protection and cut resistance, and in general as those get better the tires can get heavier. Also, just because one tire from a manufacturer is excellent, another may not be.
- Last thing to consider, bike manufactures (assuming you have disc brakes) will spec their frames for a particular width tire, as measured on a rim when inflated, that assumes a certain amount of clearance at the stays and fork legs. The clearance spec is usually not published but tends to be 5-6mm and exists to permit frame flex without rubbing the tire.

Lots of tire reviews to mull over, and if they are done by a reputable site (magazine or blog), they are generally to be trusted. Schwlabe makes good tires, though I've never used a gravel tire from them.
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Old 03-26-21, 08:18 AM
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With a good tire, going wider and going tubeless you will feel a difference. You will probably not loose any speed, gain a more supple ride and gain some grip. Win, win, win.
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Old 03-27-21, 09:43 AM
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Looking at the specs,

I would drop my PSI 20 just going from the current tubed tire max to the schwalbe tires. Not to mention no longer fearing pinch flats I can likely drop the PSI down even further if wanted on washed out rail trails.
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Old 03-27-21, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by PoorBob
I was leaning towards the Schwalbe G one speed.
I have ridden these quite a bit and they’re great for the money. The ride is nice once you drop the pressure, definitely run them tubeless as they’re not great with tubes. They roll fast on pavement and I’ve even taken them on trails and they’ve held up well. The only common complaint is that they wear fairly quickly but they’re pretty cheap so it’s not a big deal.
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Old 03-27-21, 02:56 PM
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For multi-surface riding it sounds like you want the widest tires possible that will fit on your bike.

I don't think the manufacturer-rated clearance is worth using, each manufacturer has a different degree of "chicken" they are willing to play. So, you need to measure it yourself.

How much measured clearance do you have on the 28s? (If you don't know, mount the 28s at your normal pressure, get some long L Alan wrenches and find what is the largest one that clears.). For each mm of tire width larger, you need .5mm more clearance (a 1mm wider tire is .5mm on each side wider).

If you currently have say 6mm minimum measured clearance on the 28s and you want say 4mm minimum clearance (the ISO standard) you can afford 2mm less clearance which is 4mm wider tires, so you should be able to fit 32mm tires.

Of course since tire, rim width, inflation pressure, tubeless or not, etc adds more variance you need to take this with a grain of salt. Fortunately you don't need a full 4mm of clearance in practice so usually it comes out in the wash if you aim for 4mm.
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