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Optimum tire width (700c) for commuting and light touring on paved trails.

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Optimum tire width (700c) for commuting and light touring on paved trails.

Old 01-19-22, 09:39 AM
  #26  
ratell
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I run 32's. I tried 28 and they didn't feel any faster, so I figured the more rubber the better when it's raining.
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Old 01-19-22, 09:42 AM
  #27  
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You are pretty light, do 32mm. I don't think you need wider than that.
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Old 01-19-22, 01:58 PM
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Wider tires have more weight and so more energy is used to accelerate. Doubt there is much of a gain in ride comfort with a tire wider than 28mm. A 38mm is good for gravel roads and dirt trails but overkill on pavement. I have riden on tubular tires or 23mm clinchers all my life. On bad pavement in town a 28mm would be nice but I would need a new set of wheels and tires and the gain for me would be trivial. When I am about to hit a rough patch I stand in the saddle until I am past it.

Go to a bike shop that will let you test ride their bikes and get a feel for the differences with the different tire widths. Decide for yourself and no need to follow the crowd.
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Old 01-19-22, 02:32 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
It really depends on whether or not you'll be doing any CAT 6 racing. That's the most important factor.
...sometimes I need to go fast to catch up with some guy in a car, so I can give him a dirty look.
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Old 01-19-22, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun View Post
Doubt there is much of a gain in ride comfort with a tire wider than 28mm.
I have riden on tubular tires or 23mm clinchers all my life.
On bad pavement in town a 28mm would be nice but I would need a new set of wheels and tires and the gain for me would be trivial.
Decide for yourself and no need to follow the crowd.
1- why do you need a new set of wheels to have 28mm tires?
2- you are definitely living your advice with the fact that you are still on tubs or 23s.
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Old 01-19-22, 08:51 PM
  #31  
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Thank you all for your points of view. Might I add another question? I have two sets of wheels one a 32 spoke with 14mm internal width and one that is 20 spoke 18mm. Has anyone used a 20 spoke wheel for regular commute? Does it stand up to 400 miles of commute a month? The 14mm wheel I'm guessing won't take more than a 28mm tire.

Any thoughts or experiences?
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Old 01-20-22, 12:48 PM
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.
...all other things being equal, more spokage gives you a more durable wheel. Obviously, all other things are not equal in your scenario.

Look at the rims themselves, and the age of them. As a general rule, part of the reason that bicycle wheel development has gone toward fewer spokes is because of improvements in the aluminum extrusions from which aluminum alloy rims are manufactured. So there's insufficient information in you question for a solid answer.

I build up my own wheels, and from that experience, over the years, have found that a relatively modern (read "made within last 5-8 years") alloy rim, laced to a 32 or 36 spoke wheel, provides me with the most durable wheel. But I hear stories all the time about modern, low spoke count, highly tensioned modern wheels, that go a long time for people, and never need truing. Some of them even have CF rims.

Resign yourself to the idea that in most cities, the roads over which you commute will have hazards. You will hit some of them, either because of dim light, rain, fog, or just being a little bleary first thing in the morning. I once hit a pothole in a designated bike lane that sent me to the ER for a skull series. It was broad daylight, and it seemed to come out of nowhere. I have been tossed, ass over teakettle, by an uncovered seam in the rubber crossing pavement for the light rail track. Sometimes, you run into things that eat your wheel, but if you want to commute by bike, it's all in the rules of engagement.

It's a worthwhile endeavor, but stay focused and remain vigilant.
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Old 01-20-22, 01:00 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by blurcovenky View Post
Thank you all for your points of view. Might I add another question? I have two sets of wheels one a 32 spoke with 14mm internal width and one that is 20 spoke 18mm. Has anyone used a 20 spoke wheel for regular commute? Does it stand up to 400 miles of commute a month? The 14mm wheel I'm guessing won't take more than a 28mm tire.

Any thoughts or experiences?
I'm going to preface this below statement that I weigh 250 pounds and shop on my bike so I carry and additional 10-50 pounds depending on the day.

I had a super sexy set of 32 spoke wheels wheel built with White Industries MI5 rear hub and SON widebody front laced to Mavic Open Elites with DT comps. I rode the wheels for 7 months before the rear wheel had a hop that couldn't be taken out, and the front was battered enough that it couldn't be trued. My other bike the same front hub but a CK R45 laced to a DT Swiss TK 540 and it's held up to double the milage and just as much weight if not more so I clipped the spokes on the Mavic set and had them rebuilt with TK 540's. Never discount the benefits od a good stiff wide wheel.
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Old 01-20-22, 02:57 PM
  #34  
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The problem as I see it is not enough bikes. Anyone asking the question (and it comes up a lot) thinks they have one opportunity to get it right and that just isn't the case when you have all (and more) of the following: a bike (or tandem) with 25mm, for the glide; 28mm, for more than you think; 32mm, for less than you think; 50mm for urban/suburban commuting, and 2.4", because you can. It would SUCK to have just one or two bikes, it really would, but if my world ended one day, and The Grid didn't go down with it*, I would (tearfully) narrow it down to 28mm OR 32mm, then I would flip a coin: heads 32mm, tails 32mm.
*2.4" in that case
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Old 01-20-22, 05:13 PM
  #35  
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If I absolutely had to go one bike with one wheelset, well, while my gravel bike with 33s is fun, convenient and surprisingly quick on light offroad, TT bike with 23s is really quick on the flats when the weather is nice, but it'd be my road bike (which currently has mid depth CF wheels with tubeless 25s) which I'd keep.



Pretty damn quick on the road...


... but also can ride in the snow...

... and on gravel in a pinch...

... and can do the odd sportive or race on it.

​​​​​​It can handle a lot of things, different terrain, weather, long and short distances, while still being fast and comfortable on our (admittedly, rather nice) roads.

​​​​​​However, different strokes for different folks. I imagine you couldn't go wrong with 30-32mm road tires for commuting and light touring.
​​
​​​​​​
​​​​

Last edited by Branko D; 01-22-22 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 01-20-22, 05:58 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Calsun View Post
Wider tires have more weight and so more energy is used to accelerate.
Technically true, but not something to factor into a decision on tyre width for a commuter/tourer bike.
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Old 01-22-22, 12:57 AM
  #37  
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I ride about 500 miles a month in summer, sometimes more. I was just looking to learn from other's experiences here.
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Old 01-22-22, 01:04 AM
  #38  
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Thanks to all of you who posted their inputs and points of view. I went ahead with the Panaracer 700x35c T-Serve. Seems like a good fit. Looking forward to a long relationship with this bike There won't be much riding until spring. Minnesota winters are not kind to bikes and bikers. So, I'll be on my winter bike for now.




I did take the bike out for a test ride in -12 degree weather though. My wife thought I was crazy, but did click a picture.

The picture are from before I changed the tires.

Last edited by blurcovenky; 01-22-22 at 01:06 AM. Reason: to add text.
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Old 01-22-22, 10:36 AM
  #39  
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For what you are describing, Iíd be using 35-38mm high quality tires. Something like one of the Rene Herse offerings. If you want tough, get the endurance casings. Your Pasellas are a fine choice as well for a fraction of the cost.

But thats me. After years on 23-25mm tires, anything under 32mm is now dead to me. I seriously doubt I will ever run anything smaller than 35mm on any bike.

The idea that tires this size are slow it mostly based on peopleís experience with older offerings that were in fact slow. Up until recently, tires over 30mm were either cheap commuter tires or touring tires with bombproof casings. These were heavy and unless you ran high pressure they rolled slow and felt like a garden hose. Nobody seemed interested in producing high performance tires in these sizes. That has changed, and now there are high performance, high volume tires. My 35mm Bon Jon Pass tires weighed 300g. My 32mm Stampede Pass were 250g. Both roll stupid fast, and do so at surprisingly low pressures.

Thatís my $0.02
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Old 01-22-22, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
For what you are describing, Iíd be using 35-38mm high quality tires. Something like one of the Rene Herse offerings. If you want tough, get the endurance casings. Your Pasellas are a fine choice as well for a fraction of the cost.

But thats me. After years on 23-25mm tires, anything under 32mm is now dead to me. I seriously doubt I will ever run anything smaller than 35mm on any bike.

The idea that tires this size are slow it mostly based on peopleís experience with older offerings that were in fact slow. Up until recently, tires over 30mm were either cheap commuter tires or touring tires with bombproof casings. These were heavy and unless you ran high pressure they rolled slow and felt like a garden hose. Nobody seemed interested in producing high performance tires in these sizes. That has changed, and now there are high performance, high volume tires. My 35mm Bon Jon Pass tires weighed 300g. My 32mm Stampede Pass were 250g. Both roll stupid fast, and do so at surprisingly low pressures.

Thatís my $0.02
I'd say that's more than $0.02. From all the digging around, that's (your experience with tire sizes) pretty much what I have arrived at. I believe a 35 or 38 is a balance between comfort and speed for my kind of riding and my weight. I myself am a bike mechanic, being one means I'm pretty decent at fixing bikes but then I have limited experience what each size of tire feels like. For that, among other things, this group has been fantastic.
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Old 01-23-22, 09:13 AM
  #41  
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I would recommend 700x32c as the thinnest option, with a preference for something around 700x40c.
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Old 01-23-22, 07:02 PM
  #42  
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IMHO and experience,,,,,,,,,,, 32 mm provides that optimum balance
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Old 01-23-22, 07:06 PM
  #43  
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get the widest tire possible that will fit your bike frame
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Old 01-26-22, 04:11 AM
  #44  
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Personally for the commute, I use 700- 32 fronts and 35 rears, tubeless. Depending on your weight and what you are carrying, for bike packing, you may want to go 700 - 35f / 40r for bike packing. The speed penalty is negligible at the top end, except in the hill sections. The added comfort in ride will be noticeable. I'm using Marathon Supremes One Star compound.
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Old 01-26-22, 06:48 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
For what you are describing, I’d be using 35-38mm high quality tires. Something like one of the Rene Herse offerings. If you want tough, get the endurance casings. Your Pasellas are a fine choice as well for a fraction of the cost.

But thats me. After years on 23-25mm tires, anything under 32mm is now dead to me. I seriously doubt I will ever run anything smaller than 35mm on any bike.

The idea that tires this size are slow it mostly based on people’s experience with older offerings that were in fact slow. Up until recently, tires over 30mm were either cheap commuter tires or touring tires with bombproof casings. These were heavy and unless you ran high pressure they rolled slow and felt like a garden hose. Nobody seemed interested in producing high performance tires in these sizes. That has changed, and now there are high performance, high volume tires. My 35mm Bon Jon Pass tires weighed 300g. My 32mm Stampede Pass were 250g. Both roll stupid fast, and do so at surprisingly low pressures.

That’s my $0.02

I also think this is a valid summation, worth much much > $0.02c
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Old 02-09-22, 10:19 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by blurcovenky View Post
Thanks to all of you who posted their inputs and points of view. I went ahead with the Panaracer 700x35c T-Serve. Seems like a good fit. Looking forward to a long relationship with this bike There won't be much riding until spring. Minnesota winters are not kind to bikes and bikers. So, I'll be on my winter bike for now.
I got Panaracers 700x35c T-Serve for my bike in November and I have only put around 300 km on them so far, but I love'em. It's a great tire.
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Old 02-10-22, 08:11 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Jor54 View Post
I got Panaracers 700x35c T-Serve for my bike in November and I have only put around 300 km on them so far, but I love'em. It's a great tire.
I agree. They are really good.
What tire pressure do you run them at?
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Old 02-10-22, 09:00 PM
  #48  
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I'm a bit old school here.

I've been riding 23mm or so tires most of my life. I did finally mostly change over to 25mm tires.

Just anything wider just doesn't seem very pleasant to ride. I suppose I had a pair of 35mm X'Plor Ush tires on one bike which were OK, but the heavier tires were just plain slow.

A lot will depend on your riding. For me, a short day might be 20 miles RT, and a good day on the road might be 40+ miles. And, some days a good deal more. I'm not real fast, but every little bit helps.

My current preferred tires are 25mm Gator Hardshells. There may be lighter tires, and heavier tires. But, for me those are a good compromise.
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Old 02-10-22, 10:03 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by blurcovenky View Post
I agree. They are really good.
What tire pressure do you run them at?
55 psi rear and 50 front. I'm still experimenting a bit, but above that tire pressure I start to feel all the bumps on the road, which are not very smooth around here. The idea for me is to find a balance between a comfortable ride and the least rolling resistance. I weigh 240 lb and I am 48 years old, by the way. Nowadays I prefer comfort over speed. But your tire pressures are going to vary depending obviously on how much you weigh (and how much weight you're carrying, if you are bike packing or touring, for example), the kinds of roads or surfaces you're riding on, etc, etc.

Last edited by Jor54; 02-11-22 at 07:24 AM.
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