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28mm vs 32 mm Tires

Old 12-02-22, 06:13 AM
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28mm vs 32 mm Tires

I've had good luck in the past with Continental Gatorskin tires. It's time for some new ones and I'm replacing a set of 700 x 32 on my Trek FX 7.5 bike. I've found a great price on some 77 x 28 tires and wondered what to expect ride-wise and durability wise for these narrower tires. I'm riding 100% on roads if it matters.
Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 12-02-22, 10:59 AM
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Welcome!

Here's my experiences over the past several years...

Tested multiple new bikes before lucking into my current Quick 1. Most of my testers were lower end bikes with larger tires (700x32 or 700x35). I found them to be more forgiving but not quite as lively and fast as the 700x30s on similar bikes.

My Quick 1 came with the original 700x30s and I put nearly 1500 miles on them before upgrading to 700x35c. The original Schwalbe Spicer KGuard tires were light and fast - it gave the bike a agile and sporty feel. I could keep up with the road bikes easier than I expected.

I then installed 700x35 Schwalbe Marathon GTs and they transformed the bike. It is much easier going on rough surfaces, I appreciate the improved ride due to decreased tire pressures, but notice it is not as nimble or quick. The Marathon GTs are VERY durable tires and have some mass to them and I'd rather deal with weight than a flat. If my memory serves me right, I run the Marathon GTs with 15 lbs less pressure than the Spicer KGuard.

I'm considering 700x32s as a compromise but have also considered going back 700x30s. Too much smaller and I think ride quality would decrease due to higher pressures. Friends that have moved up to 28's from the smaller sizes say that the 28's ride like a dream.

It seems to me the lesson learned is this: It is easier to move up in tire size than go down.
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Old 12-02-22, 12:46 PM
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I bike commuted on 28s for several years. It's a good road bike tire size. That said, my current road bike has 25mm tires & I like them very much.

The family has several hybrids w/ 32mm tires & we use them on vacations. They are just fine for our purposes.

My own hybrid had 40mm tires for a cpl years & now I'll be experimenting w/ a newer weirder hybrid, for other tasks off-road w/ 50mm tires. Not sure what I'll do for my own bike, when I vacation w/ the family next summer. Maybe I'll take the road bike.
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Old 12-02-22, 10:10 PM
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We have three hybrids - including a FX 7.5

recommend 32mm min size for your / a hybrid - even for all road riding

with the larger sizes (especially 35mm and larger) the bike will be more versatile - and the ride and handling especially on compromised road surfaces should be improved

if not riding in areas where flats are too common - consider a tire that rolls and rides better (than a Gatorskin)

for reference - attached pics of two bikes equipped with 28mm and 32mm Continental GP4S

Last edited by t2p; 12-02-22 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 12-02-22, 10:42 PM
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Add a few pounds of air pressure
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Old 12-03-22, 07:16 AM
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Thanks everyone for the feedback.
Trav1s, the Schwalbe Marathon GTs look interesting. I'll definitely look into those.
TP2, I have had issues with flats in the past but this year only a couple in 2,500 mi of riding. What would you suggest in lieu of the Gatorskins?
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Old 12-03-22, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by krawfo
Thanks everyone for the feedback.
Trav1s, the Schwalbe Marathon GTs look interesting. I'll definitely look into those.
TP2, I have had issues with flats in the past but this year only a couple in 2,500 mi of riding. What would you suggest in lieu of the Gatorskins?
You can see more details on my Quick 1 thread: Cannondale Quick 1 Disc
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Old 12-04-22, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by krawfo
Thanks everyone for the feedback.
Trav1s, the Schwalbe Marathon GTs look interesting. I'll definitely look into those.
TP2, I have had issues with flats in the past but this year only a couple in 2,500 mi of riding. What would you suggest in lieu of the Gatorskins?

there are many good options - but I'm familiar with just a few

I have Continental GP5000's on my road bikes - so I went with 32mm GP4S for hybrid pavement / road riding

GP4S is a performance oriented tire - similar to a GP5000 but with additional layer to reduce punctures ... sorta/kinda between a GP5000 and a Gatorskin

I've also used Panaracer GK SS in 32 and 35mm sizes ... both worked well but preferred the 35's

GK slick would weigh less and roll better than the GK SS - but the GK SS is more puncture resistant

I use Continental Terra Speed 35mm and 40mm for hybrid mixed riding (dirt/gravel/limestone/pavement) - these tires roll surprisingly fast (especially for a tire with shallow raised knobs)

Last edited by t2p; 12-04-22 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 12-15-22, 07:49 PM
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For a hybrid bike ridden on paved roads or paths, Continental Grand Prix Urban is awesome:

Continental Grand Prix Urban Road Tire Excel Sports | Shop Online From Boulder Colorado

They only come in 35 mm. They replaced the stock Bontrager H2 on my Trek FX 2 which transformed the ride.
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Old 12-15-22, 11:29 PM
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If my bike can fit a wider tire I am going to put the widest tire I can on it. Speed is only fast if you are comfortable. Skinny tires just don't have much comfort they just feel fast because you feel more of the road. A wider tire can be faster and if you are more comfortable on the bike you can go faster and put more effort in. Plus you get the added benefits of lower tire pressure and less chance of flats which is always a good thing. My current hybrid is running a 38mm Continental Travel Contact front and rear and they are fantastic tires, still the same ones I had when I built up the bike. I think the frame maxes at about 40 but with fenders I lose a little space but don't want to ditch the fenders so 38s it is.

My skinniest tire is a 25c and I tried 28s on the bike and they fit a little better at the front but the rear they would rub and the paint is in excellent condition and is rare enough I said ok go narrow and live with it but it is the bike I enjoy riding the least but enjoy looking at the most so go figure.
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Old 12-17-22, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
For a hybrid bike ridden on paved roads or paths, Continental Grand Prix Urban is awesome:

Continental Grand Prix Urban Road Tire Excel Sports | Shop Online From Boulder Colorado

They only come in 35 mm. They replaced the stock Bontrager H2 on my Trek FX 2 which transformed the ride.

great recommend - might try them this summer on wife’s 7.5 FX

35mm Conti’s on the FX rims might only measure 33mm or so installed ? (if they are like 35mm Terra Speed) - but 33 should be sufficient

time to show her FX some love
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Old 12-17-22, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by t2p
35mm Contiís on the FX rims might only measure 33mm or so installed ? (if they are like 35mm Terra Speed) - but 33 should be sufficient
Yes, the GP Urban was noticeably narrower than the stock Bontrager H2, but I am not sure that we have the same stock rim? Mine is a 2016 FX 2 (which was one level up from the very base level), whereas your wife older 7.5 FX would be roughly equivalent to a FX 5 in the same model year, so might have come with better rims? Despite being narrower, it is a much better tire than the stock one.
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Old 12-17-22, 03:49 PM
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I use Schwalbe Marathons in 32 and they are very good tires with very good puncture resistance
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Old 12-17-22, 04:15 PM
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I have Gatorskin 32's which are a good all around. Have had 3 sets.

Bought GP5000's in 28 and 32. The 28's are good, but 32's more comfortable and just as fast. No flats on the GS or GP's.

Only reason I bought the 28's is that is the biggest size the bike would fit. If they would fit my WABI Classic I would replace the GP5000's with the Grand Prix Urbans. Basically a GP5000 in 35c.

Last edited by stevel610; 12-17-22 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 06-15-23, 03:11 PM
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I’ve built up a hybrid/urban bike around a 1984 Miyata 710 frame. I recently moved up to 28c Panaracer GravelKing SK Knobby+ tires which (barely) fit at the chain guards. Seem like a good smooth ride on concrete. I’m hoping they are tougher (more puncture-resistant) than the road tires I’d been using.
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Old 07-25-23, 12:44 PM
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I run a 32c Gravelking slick on rear of my Wabi classic. It's maxing out the rear brake stay so there's no chance of a caliper there but it's a fixed gear and the front brake is enough. I may go tubeless with which the Adventurer2 rim should work and gain a benefit of some flat prevention on the badly littered streets around here (Albany, NY). The ride is already cushy and smooth and will surely get better with a tubeless pressure drop. I am still running a 28c Gravelking on the front mainly because that size came with the frame. But there's plenty of room and I may bump that one up later. I measure the widths (same make tire on different rims) as 25mm and 32mm. So, for a circle cross-section the 32mm tire would have more than 1.6 times the air volume. And more so, with less pressure the bigger tire will be much more comfortable. Old bones appreciate such!
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