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How to make a road bike ride smoother?

Old 12-03-19, 06:48 AM
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TinyTm
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How to make a road bike ride smoother?

Hi to everyone,
I just purchased a like new Specialized 10 speed road bike Allez Comp with Sram components for what I consider was a great buy. As some here know I was in the market for a Hybrid but once I looked this one over I had to have it. She's very fast and once it was set it up for me I found the ride is very comfy except for the 700x 23c are terrible on rough roads. Has anyone here ever installed 28c on this style of bike and will they fit? If so what make of tire so I'll know I buy the correct ones. I'm also considering just buying another set of rims to set up just for this and have my 23C as a secondary set but I'm not sure how to measure to get the correct width and correct cassette set up. I'm in no way racing just wanting to set it up for fitness and 20 to 30 mile rides weekend 5 to 10 miles weekdays without losing to much speed. Thanks any info would be appreciated.
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Old 12-03-19, 07:31 AM
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Can’t help you on which size tires fit your particular bike. However, as a lot of the roads here in Wisconsin really suck, ditching the 23s, and going with 28s, along with reducing tire pressures a bit, really smoothed out the ride for me.
Tim
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Old 12-03-19, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Canít help you on which size tires fit your particular bike. However, as a lot of the roads here in Wisconsin really suck, ditching the 23s, and going with 28s, along with reducing tire pressures a bit, really smoothed out the ride for me.
Tim
Thanks for the info I believe youíre correct so 28 s is the way Iím going if possible. Thanks
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Old 12-03-19, 08:19 AM
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Even if 28s don't fit, 25s almost certainly will. And some tires, even decent supple-casing tires, are available in 26mm, which also will probably fit.

For example:
https://www.universalcycles.com/shop....php?id=100480
https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...s.php?id=96677
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Old 12-03-19, 08:26 AM
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Depends on model and rim width. A GP5000 on a wide rim is a lot more true to size than a GP4000 on a narrow rim. Almost an entire size difference for the same size tire.

Also, don't forget the F/R ratio of pressure isn't equal. You can run a couple psi less up front since the weight balance isn't 50/50.
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Old 12-03-19, 08:31 AM
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Might be due for a change of tires, or maybe just tire pressure. Here's an informative article: https://www.roadbikerider.com/the-ti...-jan-heine-d1/
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Old 12-03-19, 09:54 AM
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Mentioned above, but worth emphasizing = buy the better tires with supple sidewalls.

A supple 25mm should ride softer than a tough/high mileage 28.
I can recommend Vittoria G+ with latex tubes, and VeloFlex tubulars, if going with a 2nd wheelset.

a light tinytim deserves light wheels for 30mile fl flat fly rides.
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Old 12-03-19, 07:30 PM
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One of my bikes will only fit a 25mm up front and a 28mm in the rear. I went with tubeless Continental 5000 tires and they are smoother than non-tubless. Highly recommend. They will definitely help.
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Old 12-03-19, 08:10 PM
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This gets deep into myth, lore, and unbridled vicious opinion! Likely you have standard (15-16mm) rims, so going with a 25mm tire should go a long way towards smoothing out your ride. If you were able to find a decent priced wheelset with wide rims (20mm) - you'd find that a 25mm tire would have outstanding road feel. A 28mm tire would certainly be cushy, but there is the possibility of too much sidewall flex. Tire quality in that case would be very important.
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Old 12-04-19, 04:14 AM
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Have a custom steel road bike, very comfortable.
when it was built, I had specified 25 mm Conti 4 season tires.
some how I ended up with 23 mm tires, builder foul up.
bike was comfortable, I rode the 23s for a while.
then I ruined the rear tire, made sure it was replaced with 25 mm.
ride on some dirt roads, improved comfort and feel.
soon the front 23 was worn, replaced it with a 25- dirt roads continued to improve,
no loss of handling on pavement - speed no difference.
finally the rear 25 needed replacement, the shop did not have a 25 - but had
a 23 and 28 mm. Didn't want the 23, was not sure the 28 would fit.
by loosening the brake, I could get the 28 on.
been riding the F-25 and R-28 now for a couple years - for me a optimum balance of
comfort and performance. Plus the combo wears better.
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Old 12-04-19, 04:18 AM
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totally tyres will help
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Old 12-04-19, 04:51 AM
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Some other easy ways of softening your ride:
  1. Put on some of the more padded bar tape, like the gel type.
  2. Try out a bike with more "compliant" handlebars, if you like the feel put those bars on your bike.
  3. Try a suspension seat post.
  4. Try out different bike seats - many bike shops will give you a loaner to try.
My road bike is a Trek Domane with some vibration dampening built in at the seat and the headset, and with the "plush" bar tape and 32mm tires - noticeably smoother ride than my Jamis Renegade (35mm tires) , which I guess today would be called my gravel bike. The more plush bar tape goes a long way on making the Jamis ride tolerable on the front end, my personal rear end carries around many layers of vibration dampening so I don't think I'm very sensitive there...
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Old 12-04-19, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by martianone View Post
Have a custom steel road bike, very comfortable.
when it was built, I had specified 25 mm Conti 4 season tires.
some how I ended up with 23 mm tires, builder foul up.
bike was comfortable, I rode the 23s for a while.
then I ruined the rear tire, made sure it was replaced with 25 mm.
ride on some dirt roads, improved comfort and feel.
soon the front 23 was worn, replaced it with a 25- dirt roads continued to improve,
no loss of handling on pavement - speed no difference.
finally the rear 25 needed replacement, the shop did not have a 25 - but had
a 23 and 28 mm. Didn't want the 23, was not sure the 28 would fit.
by loosening the brake, I could get the 28 on.
been riding the F-25 and R-28 now for a couple years - for me a optimum balance of
comfort and performance. Plus the combo wears better.
Iíve heard of mixing mm with the tires to get better wear so I may opt for this. Thanks
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Old 12-04-19, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post
Some other easy ways of softening your ride:
  1. Put on some of the more padded bar tape, like the gel type.
  2. Try out a bike with more "compliant" handlebars, if you like the feel put those bars on your bike.
  3. Try a suspension seat post.
  4. Try out different bike seats - many bike shops will give you a loaner to try.
My road bike is a Trek Domane with some vibration dampening built in at the seat and the headset, and with the "plush" bar tape and 32mm tires - noticeably smoother ride than my Jamis Renegade (35mm tires) , which I guess today would be called my gravel bike. The more plush bar tape goes a long way on making the Jamis ride tolerable on the front end, my personal rear end carries around many layers of vibration dampening so I don't think I'm very sensitive there...
Definitely going to do the plush bar tape!
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Old 12-04-19, 01:04 PM
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After moving from 32mm Conti TopTouring to 35mm Schwalbe Marathons, I'm convinced. Now I want an entirely new road bike that allows for fenders and 47mm WTB Horizon tires.
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Old 12-04-19, 05:16 PM
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I have a 2002 Allez, that replaced a steel frame Bianchi that got killed by a car. Going from the Bianchi to the aluminum Allez really rattled my teeth. My Allez had a aluminum fork, which I changed to an Easton carbon, which made a huge difference. Later I went to 25c Gatorskins, not the smoothest riding tire, but now the ride is acceptable. The geometry on my bike makes the seat tube and FD clamp very close to the 25c tire circumference. I don't have any other clearance issues. Mine are on stock Alex A22 rims. I also changed the handlebar to a Roubaix type with the Zertz insert, and used Roubaix type gel pads under the tape. I have 28c Gatorskins and Paselas on vintage bikes, but my smoothest riding vintage steel bike has some old used 25c Gatorskins. Don't be afraid to exeriment. I don't know how different the frame geometry on a new Allez is, and Im sure you already have a carbon fork. Give the 25s a try.

My 2002 Allez with 25c Gators.

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Old 12-05-19, 07:14 PM
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What year/fork/frame material on your Allez Comp?

You dont mention the year or fork/frame material of your Allez Comp.
Owners of the same model/year/frame/bike could give you *much* better feedback if you share that data.

I own a 2011 Allez Elite carbon fork/ aluminum frame.
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Some ideas, in order of increasing expense:

Lower Tire Pressures, under 85 or 90, especially in front.
Some Gel bar tape, possibly double-wrapped or with pads under the tape. ( I prefer a firmer grip and feel, so not for me...).

Tires: 25 to 28(25s fit on my 2011 Allez Elite, but they measure almost 27)

Carbon Handlebars

A more modern Wheelset with a wider internal width...others can elaborate on how this effects 23/25/28 tires' size/shapes/profiles/overall circumfrences, and what internal widths to shop for...

Last edited by chainwhip; 12-06-19 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 12-05-19, 08:20 PM
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Before you do anything, what PSI are you running and what’s your weight? You can likely fix the problem by dropping your PSI by 10-15.
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Old 12-05-19, 10:22 PM
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Change your route
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Old 12-06-19, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by chainwhip View Post
You dont mention the year or fork/frame material of your Allez Comp.
Owners of the same model/year/frame/bike could give you *much* better feedback if you share that data.

I own a 2011 Allez Elite carbon fork/ aluminum frame.
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Some ideas, in order of increasing expense:

Lower Tire Pressures, under 85 or 90, especially in front.
Some Gel bar tape, possibly double-wrapped or with pads under the tape. ( I prefer a firmer grip and feel, so not for me...).

Tires: 25 to 28(25s fit on my 2011 Allez Elite, but they measure almost 27)

Carbon Handlebarstires,

A more modern Wheelset with a wider internal width...others can elaborate on how this effects 23/25/28 size shapes/profiles/overall circumfrences, and what internal widths to shop for...
Thanks for the reply, I've ordered a new set of 700x28c Gatorskin DuraSkin tires. My Allez comp has 23c on it now but appears to have a ton of clearance around the brakes, chain, and seat post so I'm assuming 28c shouldn't be and issue if so I'll return for 25c. I also ordered new gel grip tape, along with some other goodies so I think I'm headed in the right direction! Thanks for the info
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Old 12-06-19, 08:35 AM
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I'm surprised when I see 23 mm these days. I know LBS that don't even carry them anymore, I really think there's no point going smaller than 25.

If you're looking for durable tires in the future, I find the Schwalbe Marathons and the Conti GP 4000 are both more comfortable than the Gatorskins, and about as durable.
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Old 12-06-19, 08:42 AM
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Looks like you got some good replies here. Running 700x43C tires on my Cyclocommuter and not looking back.
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Old 12-06-19, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I'm surprised when I see 23 mm these days. I know LBS that don't even carry them anymore, I really think there's no point going smaller than 25.

If you're looking for durable tires in the future, I find the Schwalbe Marathons and the Conti GP 4000 are both more comfortable than the Gatorskins, and about as durable.
what model of Schwalbe Marathon would you recommend?
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Old 12-07-19, 02:08 AM
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This article gives some info about GP4000S in its various sizes. Other articles on the site might helpful as well.

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...0s-ii-23-25-28
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Old 12-07-19, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by TinyTm View Post
what model of Schwalbe Marathon would you recommend?
I think that depends on how much you want to spend. I have the HS, which are relatively inexpensive, and I have a couple thousand trouble free miles on them.
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