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Is it possible to put narrower tires on my Hybrid?

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Is it possible to put narrower tires on my Hybrid?

Old 07-06-20, 06:17 PM
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littleArnold
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Is it possible to put narrower tires on my Hybrid?

I wasn't sure if tire width was set in stone. I have had my trek fx2 hybrid for like 3-4 years now and very happy with it, I was thinking if I could put faster tires on it... They now have 35 C tires. I didn't know if there was anyway to put on there like 32 tires? or 30 tires? or is 35 set in stone and tire can't go any smaller than that.

Sorry I really know very little about bikes, I just ride them for exercise. I don't know how the rims are and if only 35 tires can fit in those rims or if there is a range of tire widths that can fit in that rim .... like 32- 35?
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Old 07-06-20, 06:29 PM
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Yes.

/thread.
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Old 07-07-20, 07:00 AM
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The lower bound to tire width is really inflation pressure tolerance and rim width...you couldn't go so narrow that the tires wouldn't fit well on the rims. That isn't the case here, so the only practical lower limit is what you'll tolerate in terms of the necessary inflation pressure for narrower tires. For instance, if you currently ride about 60 psi in your 35mm tires, you might need 80 psi in 30mm tires (just as a notional example). As the tire gets narrower (and, thus, shorter), you need more inflation pressure to maintain low rolling resistance and resistance to pinch-flatting.
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Old 07-07-20, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
The lower bound to tire width is really inflation pressure tolerance and rim width...you couldn't go so narrow that the tires wouldn't fit well on the rims. That isn't the case here, so the only practical lower limit is what you'll tolerate in terms of the necessary inflation pressure for narrower tires. For instance, if you currently ride about 60 psi in your 35mm tires, you might need 80 psi in 30mm tires (just as a notional example). As the tire gets narrower (and, thus, shorter), you need more inflation pressure to maintain low rolling resistance and resistance to pinch-flatting.
Ok I was thinking of putting 28mm or 32mm tires on my trek fx 2 hybrid... assuming those tires should fit on there.

The current inner tire tubes I couldnt use then? I would also need to buy inner tubes for a 28mm or 32mm tire?
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Old 07-07-20, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by littleArnold View Post
Ok I was thinking of putting 28mm or 32mm tires on my trek fx 2 hybrid... assuming those tires should fit on there.

The current inner tire tubes I couldnt use then? I would also need to buy inner tubes for a 28mm or 32mm tire?
That's a good point. If going down to 28mm, then you may consider different inner tubes. Just have a look at your current ones -- they'll have a size printed on them in white(ish) paint, probably near the valve stem. Sizes are often listed as a range...it may say something like "700 x 35-45mm" or something similar. In that case, the tube is best used in a 35-45mm tire, and I'd probably buy a smaller tube (perhaps something labeled for a 25-35mm tire) if downsizing. If your current tubes say something like "30-40mm" then you may be okay. You just want to avoid having too much rubber material inside the tire which can then get bunched up when you install the tire. In general, I would err to the smaller size for tubes (ie: use a 25mm tube for 28-30mm tires, etc.).
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Old 07-07-20, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
That's a good point. If going down to 28mm, then you may consider different inner tubes. Just have a look at your current ones -- they'll have a size printed on them in white(ish) paint, probably near the valve stem. Sizes are often listed as a range...it may say something like "700 x 35-45mm" or something similar. In that case, the tube is best used in a 35-45mm tire, and I'd probably buy a smaller tube (perhaps something labeled for a 25-35mm tire) if downsizing. If your current tubes say something like "30-40mm" then you may be okay. You just want to avoid having too much rubber material inside the tire which can then get bunched up when you install the tire. In general, I would err to the smaller size for tubes (ie: use a 25mm tube for 28-30mm tires, etc.).
...and then there is a question should I get an inner tube with a presta or shrader valve? I have Shrader valve on my current trek fx2 hybrid and I think the rims were drilled for shrader....

so this means I should put an inner tube in there that has a shrader valve...but I was reading presta valves are for higher air pressure that road tires need and shrader valves cant get that higher air pressure...so if I put 28mm tires on there that require 100 psi with inner tubes with shrader valves does this mean I wont be able to inflate to the required 100 psi?

I shouldnt put a presta valve in my rim if it was drilled wider for the shrader valve?

Last edited by littleArnold; 07-07-20 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 07-07-20, 09:24 AM
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I think what's holding you back isn't the 35mm width of your tires. If they are the same quality tire that Giant put on my Sedona in 2018, It's got much more to do with tread, and stiff sidewalls then width. While the Kenda 50mm semi-knobby tires on my bike are durable, Puncture resistant, and have plenty of traction in soft gravel and pavement, They are definitely not fast on pavement. The second I stop peddling, The bike slows down.

A 35mm slick, or semi-slick with supple sidewalls should reduce rolling resistance dramatically on pavement while providing a comfortable ride on your hybrid. Just be careful should you encounter sand or soft gravel. That tread that slows us down is important off road.

I bike for exercise, So I'm OK with the stock slow tires, at least until they wear out. Then I might consider some more efficient tires. At 50mm, I would probably benefit by going to a narrower tire, But 35 mm's is plenty narrow enough with the right tire if you want better performance on the road.

A pair of Schwalbe Marathon Green Guard might be a fine choice. They aren't cheap, But IMO (and apparently many others) are worth every penny.

Last edited by xroadcharlie; 07-07-20 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 07-07-20, 01:48 PM
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You shouldn't have any problem inflating a Schrader valve tube to 100 psi. It may be more difficult to do (you have to push the air passed the spring-loaded valve in a Schrader, which is not the case with Presta), but it's not impossible. The bike will ride like a rock with that sort of pressure, and you may or may not actually be faster. There is a point of diminishing returns regarding tire with and inflation pressure, beyond which you're just making the bike less comfortable. In general, a quality 35mm tire inflated to reasonable levels isn't going to be slowing many non-professional riders down. Narrower tires feel faster (and may even be faster in some settings), but data shows that there just isn't a significant difference. Professional riders have been increasing tire width for a number of years now, even riding 30-32mm tires lately. It's mostly just personal preference.

I agree with xroadcharlie that different tires in the same size will be as transformative as narrower tires.
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Old 07-07-20, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
You shouldn't have any problem inflating a Schrader valve tube to 100 psi. It may be more difficult to do (you have to push the air passed the spring-loaded valve in a Schrader, which is not the case with Presta), but it's not impossible. The bike will ride like a rock with that sort of pressure, and you may or may not actually be faster. There is a point of diminishing returns regarding tire with and inflation pressure, beyond which you're just making the bike less comfortable. In general, a quality 35mm tire inflated to reasonable levels isn't going to be slowing many non-professional riders down. Narrower tires feel faster (and may even be faster in some settings), but data shows that there just isn't a significant difference. Professional riders have been increasing tire width for a number of years now, even riding 30-32mm tires lately. It's mostly just personal preference.

I agree with xroadcharlie that different tires in the same size will be as transformative as narrower tires.
Yeah I went to a bike shop and talked to the guy there, he really discouraged me from going down from 35 mm. He mentioned you got worry if you shave too many mm's off in tire width that you also need to worry about the rims too. Then he mentioned you got make sure its going to fit in your Fork right. He basically shot off a whole lot of reasons why he thought going down to a 28 mm tire or even lower 25 mm on a hybrid he thought was a very bad idea.

He thought I should just stick with the 35mm tire and choose a different kind of tire.

I also talked to a Trek representative and he said I could get down to a 32 mm tire with my rims, but I shouldn't try to go any lower than that.

so the question is what is faster lower rolling resistance... getting my same tire that I have now on the fx2, but in a narrow size 32 mm or getting a different 35 mm tire that is suppose to have less rolling resistance... like the 35 mm hybrid tire that was mentioned in a previous post...
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Old 07-08-20, 06:01 AM
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If you search the internet, there are TONS of articles on bicycle tire rolling resistance. Conventional/historical thought was always "narrower is faster", but modern science (and modern tire materials) are demonstrating that's not necessarily true. It's a pretty complex science.


That's a good video that I recommend watching. It's primarily about tire pressure rather than size, but there is a lot of great discussion included there from someone who used to work with professional cyclists on finding the optimal tire pressure for them. He talks about the material of the tire (and its relationship with rolling resistance) and how to find the right tire pressure for you. Hint: there is not a magic formula, and the "max pressure" on the sidewall is very likely not the one to use.

You asked about going narrower, and you absolutely can (it'll still fit fine in the fork!), but I would recommend changing the tire type to something a little nicer. Trek's stock tires are usually pretty inexpensive (and often come with a thick puncture-protection layer, which really slows the tire down). I bet the Continental Speed Rides I have on one of my bikes, that are labeled 42mm and are actually about 38mm installed on the rims, have less rolling resistance than the stock 35mm tires on your FX. Narrower tires designed for speed are usually much lighter than your stock tires and will also be built better. These are good things -- but you don't have to go narrower to find those attributes -- you can buy light, high quality tires in your stock size (and even larger).
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Old 07-08-20, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by littleArnold View Post
Yeah I went to a bike shop and talked to the guy there, he really discouraged me from going down from 35 mm. He mentioned you got worry if you shave too many mm's off in tire width that you also need to worry about the rims too. Then he mentioned you got make sure its going to fit in your Fork right. He basically shot off a whole lot of reasons why he thought going down to a 28 mm tire or even lower 25 mm on a hybrid he thought was a very bad idea.

He thought I should just stick with the 35mm tire and choose a different kind of tire.

I also talked to a Trek representative and he said I could get down to a 32 mm tire with my rims, but I shouldn't try to go any lower than that.

so the question is what is faster lower rolling resistance... getting my same tire that I have now on the fx2, but in a narrow size 32 mm or getting a different 35 mm tire that is suppose to have less rolling resistance... like the 35 mm hybrid tire that was mentioned in a previous post...
So, yes; you can downsize and upsize tires from stock size. There is a limit to this as mentioned based on rim width and frame/fork clearance.

Stock tires are for protecting the rims during shipping, they can be improved on every metric except price. There are many proven brands and models out there. On my gravel bike, I use Soma Supple Vitesse EX 38 and keep up with my friends on road bikes. They are light, supple, and fast. The bike does not feel slower than my road bike with 28c. Bontrager is Trek's house brand; they're not sold outside Trek stores. I don't know anybody who rides aftermarket Bontrager tires. Continental, Vittoria, Schwalbe, and Panaracer are the tires I see the most.
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Old 07-16-20, 06:05 PM
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I once put 700 x 25 Continental tires on a FX. A few year laters, I look back and noted that it did not help make me faster. Made the ride uncomfortable! Fast forward, on my kids FX, I kept the 700 x 35 tires and recently replaced the front with Panracer due to a bad tire. Happy with the 700 x 35s. Will be replace the rear tire eventually.
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Old 07-23-20, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
The bike will ride like a rock with that sort of pressure, and you may or may not actually be faster. There is a point of diminishing returns regarding tire with and inflation pressure, beyond which you're just making the bike less comfortable. In general, a quality 35mm tire inflated to reasonable levels isn't going to be slowing many non-professional riders down.
+1
Several years ago I went from the stock 28mm tires that came on my Fuji Absolute to 35mm tires. What an amazing difference in comfort, and my speed actually increased. It's possible that increase was due to other things, but I do believe that the increase in comfort and confidence in traction made me more willing to go faster on downhills. I would be very surprised if going from 35 to 32 would, by itself, produce any sort of significant increase in speed. As others have mentioned, I think tread makes a bigger difference.

In your quest for speed, one other equipment change you might consider is your shoes. I've been riding clipless for four years and noticed an immediate benefit when I made that change. Then about a month ago I bought a stiffer pair of shoes (mid-level Specialized as opposed to the entry-level Serfas I had been using), and my average speeds increased by about 1 mph.

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Old 07-24-20, 08:06 AM
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[QUOTE=AU Tiger;21604146]+1
Several years ago I went from the stock 28mm tires that came on my Fuji Absolute to 35mm tires. What an amazing difference in comfort, and my speed actually increased. It's possible that increase was due to other things, but I do believe that the increase in comfort and confidence in traction made me more willing to go faster on downhills. I would be very surprised if going from 35 to 32 would, by itself, produce any sort of significant increase in speed. As others have mentioned, I think tread makes a bigger difference.

Great advice........I rode 28's for a time at 110psi and thought I was speed racer until I needed to stop or turn or hit a dirt patch or hit a bump......back to 35's and will never look back
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Old 07-26-20, 07:48 PM
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I think you would be amazed at the improvement, all around, with something approaching a Schwalbe Marathon Supreme, in a 35mm size.
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