Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Hybrid Bicycles
Reload this Page >

Best tire width for hybrids?

Hybrid Bicycles Where else would you go to discuss these fun, versatile bikes?

Best tire width for hybrids?

Old 09-21-16, 05:33 AM
  #1  
amos77
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Israel
Posts: 51

Bikes: 2000 Specialized Rockhopper. 2010 Marin San Rafael.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Best tire width for hybrids?

My original was 35. now I'm with 28 but next time I think to go back 35 or even 38.
What do you think ? and what tire do you use ?
amos77 is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 05:51 AM
  #2  
memebag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,600

Bikes: 2017 Cannondale CAAD12 105, 2014 Giant Escape City

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 820 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
32.
memebag is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 06:02 AM
  #3  
Roamer2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 81

Bikes: 2015 Giant Roam 2; 1952 Schwinn Green Hornet

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
"Best" is an individual thing depending on your use & needs. IE, where are you riding & what is your goal?

I ride 70% MUP, 20% gravel and 10% street. My needs are decent speed (15mph) w/ a relatively plush ride.

Using a 700x40mm cyclocross tire now, but will probably switch to a high-end touring style 38 or 35 in the winter months. (mostly for the flat protection)

The bike in question is a flat bar, fitness-type, XL frame, 3x9 gears. Rider is 6'-2", 205lbs.

Last edited by Roamer2; 09-21-16 at 06:46 PM.
Roamer2 is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 06:06 AM
  #4  
coominya
Senior Member
 
coominya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Brisbane Aust
Posts: 1,644

Bikes: Giant ToughRoad Giant talon

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 703 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
hybrids covers a range of different types of bikes I know, but there seems to be a trend with the new offerings to go to wider tires. With my Toughroad (a PerformanceHybrid) I stayed with the standard 50mm (2") and love them. The stability over gutters and across grass is reassuring and I have 3 railway crossings that I do twice each, out and back, and on 2 the lines are at a rather oblique angle. I still line them up at around 90-degrees but it's nice to know I have a natural edge.

I did the Goldilocks thing with the pressure, starting at the max, 65, (too hard) Then 45, (too soft/slow) now I have settled at 55-PSI and that seems right. It's one of the easiest mods you can make and one that makes a world of difference. Even a difference of 5-PSI would be a noticeable to some I would think.

Last edited by coominya; 09-21-16 at 05:14 PM.
coominya is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 07:13 AM
  #5  
AU Tiger
Senior Member
 
AU Tiger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: central Pennsylvania
Posts: 367

Bikes: 2018 Fuji Jari 1.5, 2017 Kona Fire Mountain

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
"Best" depends on what type of riding you do.

My riding is about 90% country roads, and 10% rail trails. My bike* came with 28mm tires which were functional for this type of riding, but at 80-100 psi I noticed every bump. For a long time I avoided getting wider tires, thinking it would make the hills more difficult.

But recently I decided to give some 35mm CX tires a try. Wow, what a difference! At 35-65 psi, they really smooth out the road chatter nicely and give me much better control in loose material... all without slowing me down much at all. Running them at 60 psi, there's no appreciable loss in speed compared to my 28mm tires. I think 35mm is the sweet spot for me.

But again, it all depends on the surface conditions you ride on. There's no single "best" tire width.

* As per coominya's suggestion, I'm adding information about my bike. It's a 2014 Fuji Absolute 1.5. I would call it a fitness bike; Fuji calls it a flat-bar road bike. It has an aluminum frame, carbon fork, and 3x9 Deore/Acera drivetrain.

Last edited by AU Tiger; 09-21-16 at 07:38 PM.
AU Tiger is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 07:31 AM
  #6  
MrWasabi
Senior Member
 
MrWasabi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Lutz, FL
Posts: 149

Bikes: 2014 Fuji Traverse 1.3, Firmstrong Urban Man, 1995 Giant CFM-4

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Like others here I'd say it depends on the type of riding and terrain you're mostly on. I went from 38s to 35s on my Fuji Traverse for 85% paved trails/15% hard pack trails and I'm happy with the result. I'm thinking going smaller would sacrifice some comfort for me at 200lbs. The 35s seem like the right size for my needs.
MrWasabi is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 10:41 AM
  #7  
mrodgers
Senior Member
 
mrodgers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Western PA
Posts: 1,633

Bikes: 2014 Giant Escape 1

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 233 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Last week I swapped out the stock Giant 32's that I ran at 80 psi with Schwalbe Marathon 28's and pumped them up to 100 psi. I'm thrilled with how it rides. Gained a ton of speed, easily 3-4 mph. I don't find them harsh on the road at all. The trails I ride are all very hard packed limestone and are like riding pavement so they should be fine. I'll find out on the Tour the Montour ride this Saturday.
mrodgers is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 10:43 AM
  #8  
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 30,981

Bikes: 2010 Expedition, 03 GTO

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 709 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I had a neighbor try 28's and he loves them.
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"
10 Wheels is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 12:43 PM
  #9  
Wanderer
aka Phil Jungels
 
Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North Aurora, IL
Posts: 7,989

Bikes: 08 Specialized Crosstrail Sport, 05 Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Do what I did, and mix sizes. I put a 40 on the back for capacity and ride comfort, and a 35 on the front for handling improvement. Works great!

On my Sirrus, I have 30s, because that's the widest that will fit!
Wanderer is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 02:37 PM
  #10  
LHawes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Vista, Ca North San Diego County
Posts: 218

Bikes: Giant ToughRoad SLR1, Giant Trance 2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 103 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've got 700 x 40 Marathon Mondials and love them. Plenty of tread for my off-road excursions and any speed changes are not important to me as I start slow and taper off with most of my riding.
LHawes is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 02:46 PM
  #11  
idiotekniQues
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Jersey City, NJ
Posts: 688

Bikes: Jamis Coda Elite - custom 1x9 setup

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 221 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
I ride 75% MUP & paved bike paths and 25% mostly bumpy potholey urban streets, although some are smooth. I ride with 28's. Started at 35's, went back to 28's and then to 32's and now back to 28's. I don't mind feeling a few bumps - besides the steel frame and carbon fork absorb a lot of street irregularities - I'm going for speed.
idiotekniQues is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 05:12 PM
  #12  
coominya
Senior Member
 
coominya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Brisbane Aust
Posts: 1,644

Bikes: Giant ToughRoad Giant talon

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 703 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hey it would be great if everyone had included in their post the style of bike they are referring to when talking about tire sizes. Cyclocross, MB, city bike, comfort-road, etc. It would make the thread a lot more useful as a future reference. We can all easily go back and edit our posts to include this data in a conspicuous way.

For those visiting the thread and in doubt as to the styles mentioned here is a bit of a rundown on them.
Bicycle Types: How to Pick the Best Bike for You - Century Cycles - Cleveland & Akron OH
Of course these aren't all what are referred to as hybrids but a lot of posters here ride some of them
coominya is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 06:15 PM
  #13  
travbikeman
Senior Member
 
travbikeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Inwood WV, but maybe moving closer to the C&O areas
Posts: 1,260

Bikes: 2015 Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc, Prior bikes owned: 1995 Trek 830, 1988 Schwinn Prelude

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 272 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Currently have 35's for more road usage, but when they are worn out, and 38's for when I ride on gravel trails. I've got a Crosstrail Sport disc, but mountain bike wheels on them, so these wheels really couldn't fit anything less than 35's. My prior wheels could fit 28's and my shop did try to get me to buy into them. Glad I didn't.
travbikeman is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 06:30 PM
  #14  
cycleheimer
Senior Member
 
cycleheimer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New York Metro Area
Posts: 3,983

Bikes: '14 Insight 2, '95 Trek 720 Multi-Track, '94 Cannondale M600; '92 Raleigh Dash Max; '86 Panasonic DX 5000, '81 Fuji S12S, '81 Fuji Royale; '78 Bridgestone Diamond Touring, '78 Motobecane Grand Touring, plus many more!

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 114 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I ride paved road surfaces. My preference is 35s. I have ridden 38s, but didn't like their cumbersome feel. To each his own.
cycleheimer is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 07:00 PM
  #15  
limbot
Senior Member
 
limbot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Tasmania Australia
Posts: 269

Bikes: 2014 Avanti Cadent ERII 2, 2013 Trek DS 8.4, 2008 Norco Wolverine

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
2.1" suits MY needs ( mostly trail)
limbot is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 08:29 PM
  #16  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 9,077

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 157 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2772 Post(s)
Liked 142 Times in 116 Posts
I'm not fast and never will be again, so I want stability and comfort for my 12 mph average loafing pace on mixed terrain ranging from smooth pavement to chipseal to lumpy gravel. No single track, no tricks, just leisurely rides of 10-50 miles a few times a week. So far I'm satisfied with 700x35 up to 700x40, and may go wider after the current tires wear out.

My Globe Carmel, a compact frame hybrid with simple spring suspension fork, wears 700x40 Michelin Protek Cross Max with chevron pattern most-terrain tread. They're heavy, bulletproof, secure and comfortable once I found the right pressure for me: around 50-55 psi front, 60-65 psi rear, well below the 75 psi recommended by Michelin. These tires look wider than 40, and I might go even wider still after these tires wear out. The bike weighs about 35 lbs as I usually ride it, with rear rack, full 24 oz water bottle, a few basic tools and first aid kit, and handlebar pouch for my phone or camera, etc. I might replace the heavy padded springy saddle with something firmer that should also be a bit lighter. Otherwise I'm satisfied with the bike as-is.

My Univega Via Carisma is an early 1990s mountain bike style -- horizontal top tube, chromo frame, rigid fork, weighs in the mid to high 20s. It came with a new set of Innova tires -- 700x35 front, 700x38 rear -- that were nearly identical to the Michelin Protek Cross Max chevron tread pattern, although I don't know yet whether the Innovas equal the puncture resistance and durability of the Michelins. I do know the Innovas are just as stable and secure on loose gravel, etc. These tires look skinnier than the nominal specs, but ride well. I liked 'em at 55-60 psi front, 60-65 psi rear, below the sidewall specs that were identical to Michelin's suggested 75-85 psi.

However, just out of curiosity, I swapped out the Innovas after a couple of weeks and put on the Specialized Hemisphere tires that originally came with the Globe Carmel. The Hemispheres are lighter, with a thinner 1 mm puncture shield and block tread rather than chevron. They're faster rolling but noisier. At the maximum 95-100 psi the ride was harsh and uncomfortable. At 80-85 psi front, 85-90 psi rear, the ride is much more comfortable yet still feels fast -- and the cycle apps show I'm riding a bit faster than with the Globe Carmel over the past month.

I had four flats in one month last year on the Hemispheres, so I'm not sure yet how long they'll stay on the Univega. The tread is good, but it's a thinner tire between the tread blocks and along the flexible sidewall, compared with the thicker and more rigid Michelins and Innovas. If the Hemispheres prove unsatisfactory I may try something up to 700x50 balloon tires, which should fit the Univega frame and cantilever brakes.
canklecat is offline  
Old 09-21-16, 08:39 PM
  #17  
Beavis5220
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Cape Coral, Fl
Posts: 20

Bikes: BMC Alpenchallenge

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
flat roads in south florida.. switched stock Giant 32s to Conti 28s GP4000 S2s and gained 3-4 mph.....the difference is amazing
Beavis5220 is offline  
Old 09-22-16, 06:07 AM
  #18  
corwin1968
Senior Member
 
corwin1968's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,385
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
For me, 50mm +. Anything less is skinny. I don't care about speed and riding long distances bores the hell out of me. Getting out on my bike and going wherever my impulse takes me is my preferred riding style and fat, cushy tires give me the versatility to do that. I'm to the point where the deciding factor on purchasing a bike is tire clearance. If Schwalbe made a 3" Big Apple, I would be upgrading to a frame that can fit those.

This is a good template, but with regular MTB handlebars:





This is what I'm currently riding:


Last edited by corwin1968; 09-22-16 at 06:43 AM.
corwin1968 is offline  
Old 09-22-16, 09:02 AM
  #19  
king_boru
The Moose
 
king_boru's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 217

Bikes: 2016 Giant Roam 2, 2004 Norco Torrent, 1969 Raleigh Grand Prix

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 107 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Try looking at 650b wheels as well. Can run the same outside diameter of 700c with the plush ride of a thicker tire without sacrificing too much of anything.

I run 35c Continental Cyclocross Speed tires on my hybrid. Find them very good indeed.
king_boru is offline  
Old 09-27-16, 12:20 PM
  #20  
Pops1959
Senior Member
 
Pops1959's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Florida
Posts: 120

Bikes: Specialized Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have 700x45 on mine. I like them. I'd like to try something a bit wider, but as it is now I can't remove my front wheel without either deflating the tire, or removing a brake shoe. Specialized goofed on their design and the brakes won't open wide enough when released for the tires they put on the bike. The brake pads hit the fork and won't allow the brake to open all the way. So I may be going to a 38.
Pops1959 is offline  
Old 09-27-16, 12:31 PM
  #21  
practical
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Middelbury, Vermont
Posts: 1,100

Bikes: Giant Escape 1

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 134 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I find that 28s work well for me. I use my hybrid mostly as a "road bike" meaning that I'm on pavement 99% of the time.
practical is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 09:34 AM
  #22  
FamilyMan007
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 174

Bikes: Dream Ti bike to celebrate turning 70 - frame by Seven; Cannondale Synapse carbon Ultegra 3 (2015 model), Cannondale Quick SL-1 (2012 model); Bianchi touring bike (1985 - Sold); Raleigh Super Course (1975 - donated to friend)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Short answer - 35's

Longer answer:

The 'expert independent advice' seems to be trending towards use of wider tires for road/trail cyclists. While there is no uniformity in such opinions, I am a convert - but at 69 yrs I put a premium on comfort.

In addition to tire width, the key criteria for me include:
~ trade-off between suppleness of tire / puncture resistance / durability (I favour 'suppleness');
~ tread pattern (heavily dependent on when/where one is riding);
~ rim width (again, I favour the wider rather than narrow rims)
~ 'actual installed' width of tire vs 'nominal-on-package' width
~ tire pressure (also little uniformity of opinion - I favour lower rather than higher.)
~ price (I am fortunate in being able to regard this as being of lower importance).

General rules I suggest re tires (only my opinions - worth what you pay for them)
(i) get best quality you can afford
(ii) width no narrower than you currently use, and likely wider (upto width accommodated by bike specifications)
(iii) pressure no more than you currently use, and likely lower

Last edited by FamilyMan007; 10-02-16 at 06:12 PM.
FamilyMan007 is offline  
Old 10-09-16, 03:06 PM
  #23  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 22,899

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r

Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3034 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 93 Posts
I like 28s for commuting & paved trails but just rode some 40s on hard packed dirt in the rain & didn't think they were too wide at all
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 10-09-16, 03:17 PM
  #24  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 9,077

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 157 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2772 Post(s)
Liked 142 Times in 116 Posts
Originally Posted by king_boru View Post
Try looking at 650b wheels as well. Can run the same outside diameter of 700c with the plush ride of a thicker tire without sacrificing too much of anything.

I run 35c Continental Cyclocross Speed tires on my hybrid. Find them very good indeed.
I just got a set of those this past week. Conti apparently offered a wider version labeled Speed RIDE for city/trekking, nominally 700x42 but actually closer to a 38 width. At the recommended 50 psi they're comfortable on bumpy roads but don't feel sluggish. On my second ride with 'em, Friday, I logged my quickest ride on a familiar hilly, windy rural route. And I wasn't even feeling well that day, so I'll give some credit to the tires. Good all around tires. Good value at $25/each but I snagged a pair at half price on a one-day sale through Amazon last week, so $25 for the pair.
canklecat is offline  
Old 10-10-16, 06:18 AM
  #25  
amos77
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Israel
Posts: 51

Bikes: 2000 Specialized Rockhopper. 2010 Marin San Rafael.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks a lot for the advices

Ordered today 2
Schwalbe Land Cruiser 700x35 tires
http://www.wiggle.com/schwalbe-land-cruiser-road-tire-700c/
amos77 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.