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Tire width question

Old 06-10-20, 07:46 PM
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Ride@123
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Tire width question

I not familiar with tires. Iím looking at either buying a bike with

700/38c Itís a hybrid
or
26 x 2.3 Says multi use

Iím just doing family trail riding. Either paved or gravel. The shop says either is fine. But there appears to be such a difference in appearance.

Just not sure what criteria to look for with a tire. (I donít want a skinny rode bike but did want a mountain bike tire either... was hoping for something in the middle)
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Old 06-10-20, 09:22 PM
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For the 700 X 38C, 38 mm = 1.49 inches. So, one bike has tires that are 1.5" and the other has a tire that is 2.3 inches wide. There is also a difference in the diameter of the rims. The 700C wheel has a bead seat diameter of 622 mm. The decimal 26 wheel is probably 559 mm for the same measurement.

Comfort is going to be a combination of tire pressure and width. A wider. lower pressure tire takes up more road shock but will be somewhat slower.
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Old 06-12-20, 05:31 AM
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Either is fine. But the wider tire will make a big difference in any loose gravel, mud, or sand. I would suggest go with the one with wider tire, and if you end up doing a lot of miles, and want to go in that direction, then you will have refined your interest and could switch at that point. For now, for around the neighborhood and parks, I suggest the wider tire.

Regarding speed: if you are interested in fun and fitness, speed is not really relevant. Being at one level of exertion for an hour will get you fit whether you do this with a heavier bike for 9 miles or a lighter bike for 12 miles.
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Old 06-12-20, 11:52 AM
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Assuming you are talking about new bikes (you didn't post any information about the bikes except for wheel and tire size), get the one with 700/38c because:
a) this is a good tire size for type of riding you are describing - 2.3 inch is just unnecessary (and will probably be some kind of MTB tires);
b) 26 inch wheel size is obsolete and pretty much dead - it was popular before but nowadays it is pretty mostly reserved to the lowest end of the low end bikes, it is becoming more and more difficult to find decent tires for 26 inch wheels.
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Old 06-12-20, 12:04 PM
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26 inch wheels are not obsolete...

Originally Posted by Oso Polar View Post
Assuming you are talking about new bikes (you didn't post any information about the bikes except for wheel and tire size), get the one with 700/38c because:
a) this is a good tire size for type of riding you are describing - 2.3 inch is just unnecessary (and will probably be some kind of MTB tires);
b) 26 inch wheel size is obsolete and pretty much dead - it was popular before but nowadays it is pretty mostly reserved to the lowest end of the low end bikes, it is becoming more and more difficult to find decent tires for 26 inch wheels.
26 inch wheels are not obsolete...the OP is looking at a mountain bike. as you say. Don't scare the guy.
It is rare for a road bike. Nowhere does the OP say he wants a road bike.
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Old 06-12-20, 01:32 PM
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Of course they are obsolete. And he is not looking into mountain biking, he is looking into "family trail riding. Either paved or gravel" and for this type of riding hybrid with 38 mm tires will be a better choice. But of course it'll be better to know more details about bikes we are comparing, just wheel and tire size is not much info.
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Old 06-12-20, 04:11 PM
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26 inch tires are obsolete. OK, got it.

Originally Posted by Oso Polar View Post
Of course they are obsolete. And he is not looking into mountain biking, he is looking into "family trail riding. Either paved or gravel" and for this type of riding hybrid with 38 mm tires will be a better choice. But of course it'll be better to know more details about bikes we are comparing, just wheel and tire size is not much info.
26 inch tires are obsolete. OK, got it.
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Old 06-13-20, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Ride@123 View Post
I not familiar with tires. Iím looking at either buying a bike with

700/38c Itís a hybrid
or
26 x 2.3 Says multi use

Iím just doing family trail riding. Either paved or gravel. The shop says either is fine. But there appears to be such a difference in appearance.

Just not sure what criteria to look for with a tire. (I donít want a skinny rode bike but did want a mountain bike tire either... was hoping for something in the middle)
700x38.

But tires can be changed if you realise you need bigger/smaller.
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Old 06-13-20, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Oso Polar View Post
26 inch wheel size is obsolete and pretty much dead - it was popular before but nowadays it is pretty mostly reserved to the lowest end of the low end bikes, it is becoming more and more difficult to find decent tires for 26 inch wheels.
That statement is absurd.
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Old 06-15-20, 08:46 AM
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I don't know much but I do know that when my gravel trail turned into a mud puddle I was not feeling too confident about my 700x38 tires.

I think I would prefer a wider tire. I'd rather be a little too wide than a little too narrow.
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Old 07-17-20, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by trestlehed View Post
That statement is absurd.
Perhaps in your experience, but what Oso Polar wrote very much aligns with my experience. Every 2-3 years when I need to get new inner tubes and/or tires for my 26" bike, I find smaller and smaller selection locally. Now I am often left with one model/size and the option to take-it-or-leave it.

700x38c on the other hand is an extremely popular tire size and the selection of tires in this size has just exploded in the last 3-4 years due to the rise of gravel biking.
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Old 07-17-20, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Prodigy4299 View Post
Perhaps in your experience, but what Oso Polar wrote very much aligns with my experience. Every 2-3 years when I need to get new inner tubes and/or tires for my 26" bike, I find smaller and smaller selection locally. Now I am often left with one model/size and the option to take-it-or-leave it.

700x38c on the other hand is an extremely popular tire size and the selection of tires in this size has just exploded in the last 3-4 years due to the rise of gravel biking.
There are still loads of bikes being sold with 26" wheels. Not as many as when it was the MTB standard size, but more than enough for continued industry support. 7 speed cassettes and 27x 1-3/8 tires are still readily available, and neither of those have been commonly sold on new bikes since the 1980s.
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Old 07-17-20, 10:20 PM
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Cruiser tires. Still loads of 26" cruiser (and BMX type) tires being made. Definitely heavier and slower than 700x38s, but semi-slick cruiser tires have a lot of beginner inspiring grip and do well on off road trails without having to get off road or gravel tires.

For me, it would depend on the bike type whether I'd want 700x38 or 26x2.3.

An urban/town/commuting/hybrid type bike? Give me the 38s or bump it up to as wide as 44s.

A cruiser or old school MTB? Give me some semi-slick 26x2.0 to 2.3 tires.
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Old 07-18-20, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
There are still loads of bikes being sold with 26" wheels. Not as many as when it was the MTB standard size, but more than enough for continued industry support. 7 speed cassettes and 27x 1-3/8 tires are still readily available, and neither of those have been commonly sold on new bikes since the 1980s.
Perhaps that is the case in Ottawa (lucky you!). It is far from a universal experience for the rest of us. Neither of what you describe is available in local shops here and have to be special ordered and / bought from an online retailer and paid duties on.
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Old 07-18-20, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Prodigy4299 View Post
Perhaps that is the case in Ottawa (lucky you!). It is far from a universal experience for the rest of us. Neither of what you describe is available in local shops here and have to be special ordered and / bought from an online retailer and paid duties on.
Yeah, no local shop seems to ever have the tires (or parts) I'm looking for. Seems like the shop tire selection around here is mostly for roadies or gravel bikes. Which makes sense as that's where the money is for local shops here. Those two groups wear out their tires at a much faster rate than bike riders like me. Partly due to me buying tires with more tread thickness and partly due to me putting in less miles.

Last edited by FiftySix; 07-18-20 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 07-18-20, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Ride@123 View Post
I not familiar with tires. I’m looking at either buying a bike with

700/38c It’s a hybrid
or
26 x 2.3 Says multi use

I’m just doing family trail riding. Either paved or gravel. The shop says either is fine. But there appears to be such a difference in appearance.

Just not sure what criteria to look for with a tire. (I don’t want a skinny rode bike but did want a mountain bike tire either... was hoping for something in the middle)
I just noticed this quest started over a month ago. I hope you found a good bike and you are enjoying the ride.
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