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Seeking advice on 32mm-wide tires

Old 09-06-21, 04:44 PM
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Merrimac
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Seeking advice on 32mm-wide tires

I am considering getting a bike with 32mm-wide tires, after using 25mm and 38mm.
I ride 90% road, 10% dirt and gravel, about 1,000 miles a year (1,609 km). Age 75, ride for pleasure and fitness, usually 7 to 14-mile rides (11–22 km). I liked the safety of 38mm on unpredictable New England road surfaces, but now I want a lighter-weight bike. Carbon frame and 32mm tires seem like worth a try. I'm having trouble getting a test ride because of the supply shortage.
How do others like the 32mm? Is it a good compromise between road and gravel tire widths?

Last edited by Merrimac; 09-06-21 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 09-06-21, 04:54 PM
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Damn, one of my favorite topics.
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Old 09-06-21, 05:26 PM
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Sounds like 32 would be a good choice. In the same GravelKing slick, I can't tell much difference between the 28 and the 32. However, as another elderly rider, more stability and cush appeals to me.
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Old 09-06-21, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
Damn, one of my favorite topics.

I know. Boring.
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Old 09-06-21, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Sounds like 32 would be a good choice. In the same GravelKing slick, I can't tell much difference between the 28 and the 32. However, as another elderly rider, more stability and cush appeals to me.
Thanks!
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Old 09-06-21, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Merrimac View Post
I know. Boring.
Not at all. I was serious and was looking forward to the informed discussion and lively repartee we've become accustomed to around here, but now my hopes have been dashed and I shall have to seek solace elsewhere. Alas.

*edit"

I made that first post when the thread title existed but "Deleted" was the entirety of the original post. Actually, since you've added some info and questions I'll add that I do use 32s exclusively on my road bikes (steel) and I'm 70. I was thinking of going up to 35s or 38s but don't have a frame that'll take them and recall thinking that 35s in the old days felt kinda squishy.

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Old 09-06-21, 06:20 PM
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For the last few years I've been riding only 32mm and 35mm wide tires. Love the added 'cushioning' the wider, softer tires give. And by softer, I mean lower air pressure (usually 70-80 psi vs 110 psi for 25mm tires). And (#2) with lower air pressure in the tire, its easier to pump it up when fixing a roadside flat tire vs a 110 psi tire. No lack of tire choices in the 32-35mm range either.

FWIW: Try a pair out on one of your current bicycles and see how they work before committing to a brand new bicycle. Just make sure there's room enough to fit a slightly wider tire on one of your bicycles!
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Old 09-06-21, 06:38 PM
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I run gravel king slicks 700x35 at 40 psi and can still keep up with the roadies on the faster group rides for the most part.
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Old 09-06-21, 07:40 PM
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Panaracer Tourguard plus 32mm have been the go tire for my rough road bikes for years.
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Old 09-06-21, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Merrimac View Post
How do others like the 32mm? Is it a good compromise between road and gravel tire widths?
This season my main road bike has 32mm Panaracer GravelKing slicks with tan wall. They have been reliable, roll well, and feel good.
I can't imagine going smaller on that bike- it rides fast enough for me and is comfortable.

GK slick or Continental GP5k are two relatively popular/common quality options in 32mm.
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Old 09-07-21, 06:29 AM
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You can do a lot with 32s. That said, maybe get a frame that can handle 38s in case you want to run bigger tires sometimes?

Otto
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Old 09-07-21, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
You can do a lot with 32s. That said, maybe get a frame that can handle 38s in case you want to run bigger tires sometimes?

Otto
Thanks, Otto. Good advice. The Defy Advanced 1 has clearance for 35. If I donít like the 32, I can switch. Might be close enough to the 38, especially if it has some tread, since I do so little off-road.
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Old 09-07-21, 06:55 AM
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My take is that it really depends on the gravel or dirt roads you'll be riding.

Around my fair city, which under a former mayor really did a fine job of maintaining its streets but now has quite a few I dub "allegedly paved streets," 32s are OK; much better than 28s but sometimes I wonder about 35s. And for hard-packed dirt without too many ruts, or well packed fine gravel, 32s are fine.

But! If your dirt roads have a few inches (or more) sand on the surface, or if there's deep mud, or frequent rocks 1" or greater, you'll appreciate wider tires like your current 38s. You might look for a newer gravel bike with a lighter frame that can still handle wider tires if you frequently ride such surfaces.
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Old 09-07-21, 07:59 AM
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Personally, I prefer 28mm for strictly road riding. That is good for me as the bikes I ride the most max out at 28, leaving a couple of mm clearance to the sides and the top. If I am going to mix in a bit gravel, cinder or bad pavement, or carrying more of load I will usually go to 32's and a different bike, I have never gone wider than 37mm.. For where I am ,and what and how I ride, I have no need for more than that.
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Old 09-07-21, 08:10 AM
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32s are great for road riding and dry/packed dirt and gravel. The only downside compared to 25-28mm tires for road is that they're slightly less aero (on some wheels), and a tiny bit heavier. This might matter in crit racing or time trialing, but beyond that I don't see any reason to run narrow tires.
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Old 09-07-21, 02:47 PM
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I think everyone commenting on this thread needs to say how much they weigh. At around 175lb, I am fine commuting on 25mm. 28mm is very comfortable for me. I don't really feel like I need to go beyond 28mm.
One of my sons weigh like <90lb.s, and he was fine on 650x23c tires. I swapped them out for 28mm tires and he said it was a pointless switch because he had no issue on 23's.
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Old 09-08-21, 09:26 PM
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190 now but I've ridden 32C tires at 30 pounds lighter and heavier.
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Old 09-08-21, 10:31 PM
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I moved from 32 to 28's on my Domane, but recently put on 30's and that seems to be the sweet spot for that Bike. I liked the 32 for the plush ride feel though, but the I get the same feel and a little more speed from he 30's.
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