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Is there much difference between a 700x23 and 700x25 tire?

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Is there much difference between a 700x23 and 700x25 tire?

Old 02-25-08, 12:40 PM
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Is there much difference between a 700x23 and 700x25 tire?

My bike has Michelin Pro2 Race Road Tire 700x25 tires now and I need some new ones. Would there be much if any difference going to a 700x23 tire? Sucks being a newbie.
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Old 02-25-08, 12:41 PM
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nope, not much.
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Old 02-25-08, 12:50 PM
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Not much, and across brands one 700x23c may be actually wider than another 700x25c because the nominal measurement doesn't always conform to the actual measurement.

Ceterus peribus, the 23 will need to be pumped to a little higher pressure than the 25 would need (making up for the lesser volume.) Thus the 23 will tend to ride a little harsher. And in most cases the 23 will give a little bit lower rolling resistence, but that may not be true in all circumstances depending on rider weight, inflation, and road condition.

All that said, most racers, and fast recreational riders seem to prefer 23 these days. If you don't care how fast you go, run 25, or even 28 (if they'll fit your frame.)
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Old 02-25-08, 12:50 PM
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Basically there is little difference, but in particular I find that PR2s that are 25 are much taller than 23 PR2s. So much so that one one bike I have clearance for the 23s, but the 25s rub the brake bridge.

So basically no. - aside from this one specific instance of clearance issues I have never seen a major difference between the two.
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Old 02-25-08, 01:07 PM
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Wider tire = lower air pressure = softer ride and more grip in the corners.
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Old 02-25-08, 01:13 PM
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I went the other way - from Michelin PR2's 700 x 23 to 700 x 25. Though it is only 2mm difference, the ride is much, much smoother. The only drawback is the limited color selection (which does not matter to me).
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Old 02-25-08, 01:38 PM
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When I first got my roadbike I asked the dealer to throw in a pair of 25c tires to replace the 23c tires that came with the bike. I was strictly going by what I had read online about smother rides and the like. After a couple of years I decided to give the 23c tires a try. While I didn't feel that the 25c tires were any smoother, I did feel that the 23c tires rolled easier. Obviously, this isn't a scientific evaluation we're talking about here, and there are probably going to be differences between different brands. I'd say they're worth a look. If you like the way your 25c tires ride, I don't think the switch is going to be all that traumatic for you.
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Old 02-25-08, 03:01 PM
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My rear tire is a Continental 700x23, and the front is an IRO 700x25. They are exactly the same size. I either have a large 23, or a narrow 25. Either way, I can't tell the difference.
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Old 02-25-08, 03:24 PM
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I've not noticed much difference, especially with tires of the same brand. As has already been stated, you might find the 25's to be slightly smoother, but that's primarily a function of inflation.

With that said, I prefer to run 23's on my single. I think they "look" and feel a little faster, and there's no doubt I need any psychological boost I can get in that area. I do, however, plan to try a set of 25's on it this summer to see if I notice any difference at all. My thinking is that I would like to have the same tires on my single and our tandem just for the convenience of having spares around. It seems like I've usually got a spare tire hanging in the garage that I took off the front of one of the bikes, but it's not the one I need at the moment.

I do know this...our tandem definately feels more "skittish" with 23's than it does with 25's. It rides and handles much better with the wider tire, and is the bike that chews through rear tires the fastest, so that's the catalyst behind my desire to try 25's on the other one.
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Old 02-25-08, 03:34 PM
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The only reason to use a wider tire is to use a lower tire pressure. (I'm only considering similarly designed performance road tires, not tread vs. slick etc.) How much lower depends on the specific brand and model of tire. As others have said, the nominal tire size is not especially accurate when comparing tires from different brands.
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