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The dominance of the narrow racing tire on bikes is over

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The dominance of the narrow racing tire on bikes is over

Old 08-29-22, 04:57 PM
  #51  
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my new used road bike had 23's on it when purchased. Rode twice and I put on 25's .
Huge benefit was I can run 80PSI ft and rr no problem. The roads are bad , and I'm just 132lbs . Having had the experience of the lower pressure and love it, will not go back down to 23's again.
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Old 09-06-22, 05:11 AM
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I've got new 30mm tubulars coming to go on these:


Weinmann Carrera tubular rims on Zeus hubs

Who says I'm living in the past?
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Old 09-08-22, 12:48 AM
  #53  
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I too agree. I am running 28mm on my road bike.
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Old 09-09-22, 01:39 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by 2ndtimeAround View Post
my new used road bike had 23's on it when purchased. Rode twice and I put on 25's .
Huge benefit was I can run 80PSI ft and rr no problem. The roads are bad , and I'm just 132lbs . Having had the experience of the lower pressure and love it, will not go back down to 23's again.
Do you really imagine that if you can run your 25's at 80psi that you couldn't do the same with 23's?? Are you unaware that some 23mm section tires may actually measure 25mm when you measure them on your rims?
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Old 09-09-22, 02:11 AM
  #55  
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I did try to read every post and I'm hanged if I could find the one that mentioned the fact that often the bike decides how big a tire you can use. How the eff am I supposed to get any bigger tires in 'Little Red'?* Those are 25's and 23's are what she came with. There isn't anything bigger fitting, period, and since I have plenty of other bikes, some with 28, some with 32. One with 2" and the cargo bike has 2.4 I simply don't feel the urge to have my race replica roadbike have 40 or even 32 tires because on asphalt there is no real need for big section tires and if your roads are that bad that you need 40 section tires ... maybe a full carbon racebike replica isn't the best kind of bike for those conditions? Really? 50+ posts ... ...

Oh, as long as y'all got me bothered enough to jump in ... an interesting observation I made last year that is germane to the discussion. It was a windyish day. Nothing I really noticed prior to the 'event', but I had stopped to get a couple of items at a Trader Joe's and I had the racebike. I leaned it against a wall while I was putting my purchases away and getting my gloves on the bike started moving off without me. It took me a moment to realize that the bike was facing into the wind and the tiny frontal area of tire and headtube were catching enough air to move a 20lb bike in less than 10mph of wind. The ground was level and I conducted a full scientific experiment reversing the bike and noting that it went the other way just as easily, completely cancelling out any ground effects. This was purely the result of the frontal area of the bike being significant enough to generate enough force to move a riderless bike.

So, if 25mm tires have that much frontal area, then those of you rocking 40's should think about that when you are feeling superior about how much speed you are getting out of them. Rene Herse had a lot of things but I don't think a wind tunnel was one of them. And with that I am going to grab that bucket o' popcorn and enjoy the rest of the discussion. Do go on.
*Just in case you wanted to see 'Big Red'.
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Old 09-09-22, 04:45 AM
  #56  
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As for bike determining tire width, absolutely correct. My 2015 Giant Propel barely can fit 25s and my 2014 CoMotion Supremo tandem is limited to 28s. My 2021 Colnago can run 30+ widths but through trial and error, I've found the 25s to still be my personal preference.

The opinions for and against wider tires are as varied as the number of users on this board.
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Old 09-11-22, 03:01 PM
  #57  
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It doesn't really matter what the science says or what the pros are doing. Three of my four bikes won't fit anything bigger than a 23, so I mostly ride 23s. I like the bikes, so I hope availability doesn't become an issue.
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Old 09-12-22, 01:52 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Oldguyonoldbike View Post
It doesn't really matter what the science says or what the pros are doing. Three of my four bikes won't fit anything bigger than a 23, so I mostly ride 23s. I like the bikes, so I hope availability doesn't become an issue.
I hope so too.
When you go fast, I mean really fast, narrower is faster than wider. Now let me zip up my flame proof suit.
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Old 09-28-22, 10:17 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post
I hope so too.
When you go fast, I mean really fast, narrower is faster than wider. Now let me zip up my flame proof suit.
Depends on the surface being ridden upon. These days, for general road racing, 25 mm is the norm, with wider tires used for rougher roads (like Paris-Roubaix) and gravel (like Strade Bianche). The larger contact patch reduces friction between the tread and the road, and the lower pressures let the tire roll rather than bounce over the texture of the pavement.
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Old 09-29-22, 01:57 AM
  #60  
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there's a tire size for everyone these daze. experiment or don't. mess with tire pressure or don't. u b u. if the body feels better riding skinnier tires, rock on. if the body feels better riding fatter tires, roll on.

if you like them both, you're obviously completely insane and already under surveillance 24/7.
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Old 09-29-22, 07:51 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
These days, for general road racing, 25 mm is the norm
Pros are heading to 26mm now, for example Remco recently won the worlds on 26mm. That might be as big as it gets for the pros, it is harder to make things aero with 28+mm.. the rim depth needs to increase by a square factor to keep the flow attached.
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Old 09-29-22, 02:20 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
Pros are heading to 26mm now, for example Remco recently won the worlds on 26mm. That might be as big as it gets for the pros, it is harder to make things aero with 28+mm.. the rim depth needs to increase by a square factor to keep the flow attached.
Interesting. In the '70s I used Clement Paris-Roubaix silks, 26mm, for long training rides that included gravel. We also had fat cottons, made by D'Alessandro, that rode like tractor tires, for winter training. Generally, most tubulars were under 23 mm in those days.

There was a run of Specialized Roubaixs from 2008 that were hard-pressed to take anything fatter that 24 because of the rear brake bridge, and my Giant TCR C0 never saw 25s because of the small gap to the fared seat tube. It seems that with fatter tires race bikes are returning to the more practical and versatile geometries of the '70s and '80s.

One thing about wider tires is that at some point you need wider rims. After trying 28s on my 10 year-old Madone, I'll either back off to 26s or 25s or rebuild the wheels with wider rims.
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Old 10-06-22, 10:11 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by embankmentlb View Post
25 seems the optimal size for me. I have tried wider but generally do not like the mushiness of the ride, particularly if out of the saddle.
Another factor almost never mentioned is that the wider the tire the more mass. Not your best friend when climbing. I realize that modern technology has reduced wheel and tire weight considerably. It also adds to the complexity.
I am somewhat of a Luddite when it comes to such things. Rim brakes, aluminum 32 spoke handmade wheels, cup and cone bearings are for me. Simple things I can repair and ride! I guess that leaves me in the minority and a bit out of touch. At my age, it’s just fine.
That's me. I regard most of the debate about tire width and other technologies as a tempest in a teapot. Maybe relevant to those that race, but not so much people that don't.

Initially, I rode 28s, because I started on a touring bike and that is what they had. I went to thinner tires (23) as I transitioned to a road bike, and was OK with it. If you asked me, I probably would have guessed there was a small speed benefit, but not much.

What I find interesting is that despite the obvious ride benefits of a larger tire (IMHO, pretty much known for decades), 20 years ago, all of the effort in improving ride was focused on frame materials and geometry. Then, elastic inserts and the like. Not the low lying fruit of larger tires and lower pressures.

Until, that is. we started seeing reports that wider tires were actually faster in most common circumstances. They gained broad acceptance pretty quickly once that was demonstrated.

As for me, the widest tires my bikes will reasonably handle are 25s. And that's fine.
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Old 10-06-22, 06:11 PM
  #64  
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Thanks for sharing that , my Scott Speedster 60 which I acquired in July had 23's and needed replacement -just ordered some Fincci tires on amazon . they are 25's and am able to run 80PSI no problem . So much nicer ride than the 23's at 90-100 PSI . ( I'm 130 Lbs wet , in cycling shoes )

Bike looks to be able to take bigger yet , wont happen anytime soon. Yes I am still running tubes.
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Old 10-06-22, 07:45 PM
  #65  
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Am I the only one who doesn't really notice much difference between 80 and 110 on 25s? I generally ride on pretty good roads so perhaps it matters less.
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Old 10-06-22, 09:50 PM
  #66  
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Must be nice roads in Tallahassee. 80 to 110 is huge.

Modern race bikes are harsher than vintage Columbus or Reynolds with low tension low profile wheels. Wider tires at lower pressure can smooth the modern race bike’s ride. I don’t have any carbon or aluminum bikes but I do notice a difference between vintage steel and modern OS and OOS ceteris paribus.
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Old 10-06-22, 10:58 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by 2ndtimeAround View Post
Thanks for sharing that , my Scott Speedster 60 which I acquired in July had 23's and needed replacement -just ordered some Fincci tires on amazon . they are 25's and am able to run 80PSI no problem . So much nicer ride than the 23's at 90-100 PSI . ( I'm 130 Lbs wet , in cycling shoes )

Bike looks to be able to take bigger yet , wont happen anytime soon. Yes I am still running tubes.
I've found that you have to relate the tire size to the rim width. I currently have 28s on my older Madone, mainly because I couldn't get 26s. But they are too wide for the rims. The cornering is a little mushy because the profile is so much wider than the rim. Also, mounted narrow rims, they measure only about 26.5 mm wide, fully inflated. This is probably why they don't feel appreciably more comfortable than the 25s I had been using. Also, they're difficult to push past the brake pads when fully inflated.
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Old 10-07-22, 05:37 AM
  #68  
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"Am I the only one who doesn't really notice much difference between 80 and 110 on 25s? I generally ride on pretty good roads so perhaps it matters less."

I do notice a huge difference , the roads are bad here. Lots of em have gone decades some much longer without a new surface. At that ,a new surface might be considered slurry seal over gravel on the old miserable road.- not an actually paved & rolled asphalt surface.
Biggest notice of lower pressure is less impact running over the grooves crosswise in the road where a motorbike was laid down or in business driveways where a trailer has gouged the surface . Catches me by surprise sometime - like hitting the rumble strip.

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Old 10-10-22, 05:01 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by 2ndtimeAround View Post
"Am I the only one who doesn't really notice much difference between 80 and 110 on 25s? I generally ride on pretty good roads so perhaps it matters less."
Must be.At 80 I worry about bottoming out. 115 feels like a jackhammer under my perineum. 90-95 feels just right.
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Old 10-10-22, 05:10 PM
  #70  
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That quote was from Jon C on post #65, I just don't have good editing skills. My comment post # 68 following the quote actually says the opposite about whether notice a difference . Just to clear that up .
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Old 10-10-22, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
Depends on the surface being ridden upon. These days, for general road racing, 25 mm is the norm, with wider tires used for rougher roads (like Paris-Roubaix) and gravel (like Strade Bianche). The larger contact patch reduces friction between the tread and the road, and the lower pressures let the tire roll rather than bounce over the texture of the pavement.
Minor point - they never go really fast at Paris-Roubaix, even on the pavement. The route is essentially flat. Now I did some descents in Cycle Oregon three weeks ago that were fast enough for tire width to make a big difference. Close to 50 mph. Aero rules at those speeds.

And yes, narrow is the rule on older race bikes. My Pro Miyata ('83) takes 24 max. Never measured the Fuji Pro I raced in the '70s but I could not get a finger between the tire and seattube, even with Criterium Setas. Of course, non of us knew what width tires we were riding. I could, with full contact with the seattube, just get my cotton training tubular wheels in the horizontal dropout inflated. Rides on both of those bikes were/are superb with decent tubulars that are way too skinny for this age.
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Old 10-10-22, 11:19 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Minor point - they never go really fast at Paris-Roubaix, even on the pavement. The route is essentially flat. Now I did some descents in Cycle Oregon three weeks ago that were fast enough for tire width to make a big difference. Close to 50 mph. Aero rules at those speeds.

And yes, narrow is the rule on older race bikes. My Pro Miyata ('83) takes 24 max. Never measured the Fuji Pro I raced in the '70s but I could not get a finger between the tire and seattube, even with Criterium Setas. Of course, non of us knew what width tires we were riding. I could, with full contact with the seattube, just get my cotton training tubular wheels in the horizontal dropout inflated. Rides on both of those bikes were/are superb with decent tubulars that are way too skinny for this age.
I don't know where you get the idea that Paris-Roubaix is slow. Dylan Van Baarle won the 2022 edition with an average speed of 45.85 kph.He may have had tailwinds. Rik Van Steenbergen won in 1950, with an average speed of 43.99 kph.The lifetime average speed of the race (since 1896) is 37.15 kph. In miles, those numbers are 30, 27, and 23.

As for tire clearances, much depends on the nationality of the builder. In the mid- and early '70s I rode Charles Roberts frames. These easily took 26s, which at the time were the girthiest tubulars available. One Roberts had fastback chainstays, which meant 26 was the absolute limit. At the end of 1979 I started riding a Gios, made in Italy, that easily took 26s, although it was a bit of a pinch to get a fully inflated one past the chainstay bridge. The same goes for my '80 California Masi.

American builders were producing a mixed bag. They were building a lot of special purpose geometries in the '70s, with steep angles, tight clearances, and vertical dropouts. Ben Serotta was doing a lot of this before he got the 7-11 contract. And his 7-11 bikes showed his early tendencies, like relieved fork crowns and seat lugs--the reason Eddy Merckx got the contracts for the following years. A lot of us Cat 3s believed fancy frames would unlock the door to placing high and getting upgraded. Eventually we saw that the guys who were winning, the true all-arounders, were riding standard Italian road bikes, or British, American, Spanish, and French bikes that emulated the Italian all-arounders.

I started to see special Paris-Roubaix builds toward the end of the '80s. These had slightly slacker angles and more fork offset. And Pinarello may have led the way in eliminating the chainstay bridge to facilitate wheel changes. Going into the '90s with alternative materials and sloping top tubes, geometries generally appeared to become more specialized.

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Old 10-11-22, 12:55 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
...Paris-Roubaix)...
Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
Pros are heading to 26mm now, for example Remco recently won the worlds on 26mm...
Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
...Paris-Roubaix...
A post worth repeating:

Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
That's me. I regard most of the debate about tire width and other technologies as a tempest in a teapot. Maybe relevant to those that race, but not so much people that don't.
Note: the forum list for bicycle racing and the equipment that dominates that activity is farther down the menu.
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Old 10-11-22, 01:48 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
A post worth repeating:



Note: the forum list for bicycle racing and the equipment that dominates that activity is farther down the menu.
Well, generally, recreational riders take cues from racing, and racing is choosing wider tires. Really, the only practical reason to use 23 or less is tire clearance on an older frame. And if you're using older, narrow rims, you probably don't want anything bigger than 26. No big deal.

A couple years ago I bought 23s for my fixie, because I thought they looked better. That was a mistake.
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Old 10-12-22, 07:45 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Note: the forum list for bicycle racing and the equipment that dominates that activity is farther down the menu.
I think it is the opposite issue at play here: some people seem to be stuck on 23mm as the greatest tire since that is what the high quality racing bikes had when they were younger. For a recreational cyclist, 23mm is and always has been a non-optimal tire: you get more vibrations, and the grip in turns bumps etc is nowhere near as good. The fact that racing tires are now wider just gives one more argument for wider tires in recreational cycling.

I'm not suggesting anyone get a new bike just to run wider tires. I ran 23s up until a few years ago and I don't feel like anything life-changing happened when I bumped up to 30s. But I'm definitely happier there.
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