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Running a slightly wider rear tire than the front, possible?

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Running a slightly wider rear tire than the front, possible?

Old 07-30-09, 10:38 PM
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feetpower
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Running a slightly wider rear tire than the front, possible?

Hey all! I am quite new to the fixie world and just purchased a 2004 Bianchi Pista. Everything is pretty much stock but so far I've replaced the previous owner's rusty ass chain and it looks like the tires are coming close to go too.

My question is: with my stock wheels/rims set up, is it possible to outfit the rear wheel with a slightly wider tire (700/23 stock) in the rear? I figured I'd have a lot more traction and control if the rear was wider than the front. Has anyone done this? I'm sorry if this topic has already been covered but I wasn't sure how to search for such a topic. Thanks in advanced.

John
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Old 07-30-09, 10:40 PM
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its impossible. your bike wont work if you try it
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Old 07-30-09, 10:45 PM
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I actually have seen this work so it can be done.
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Old 07-30-09, 10:47 PM
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Aries, can you elaborate why it's not possible?
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Old 07-30-09, 10:48 PM
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staggering tire size is like dividing by zero...












but really, it works fine and i do it myself. will you feel it? probably not, i know i certainly don't. i just happened to get a good deal on a 23 front tire
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Old 07-30-09, 10:54 PM
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Most people who stagger tire sizes run the wider tire up front. Check out the late Sheldon Brown's sight for some of the reasons. If the tire will fit, run whatever you want.
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Old 07-30-09, 10:55 PM
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aries is just being a smartass.

23/25 pair or similar will cause no problems.
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Old 07-30-09, 11:07 PM
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Im running a 23/28.

Perfectly fine.
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Old 07-30-09, 11:11 PM
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Okay I just found the section in Sheldon Brown's site covering "mixing and matching tires." He does say that a wider front tire provides better cornering. The difference is probably minute anyway right? Anyway my question is answered. I'll just get a matching set. Thanks!
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Old 07-30-09, 11:36 PM
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I used to go with a wider rear tire because I was excessively nervous about pinch flats, given that the majority of your weight is on the rear wheel. Similar to how many bikes go with a higher spoke count on the rear.
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Old 07-31-09, 12:30 AM
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correct me if I'm wrong but I dont think pinch flats have anything to do with tire width; they have more to do with PSI.
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Old 07-31-09, 01:10 AM
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A higher-volume tire at the same PSI (or less) has more room to compress before it bottoms out and pinches on the rim. Think about how mountain bikes run wide tires at low pressure.
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Old 07-31-09, 01:36 AM
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I dont think so.

I keep my mountain bike at the proper psi and I never get pinch flats. I only get them when I forget to pump the tires before riding. and cx riders use tubulars so they can ride with a low psi but avoid pinch flats. if pinch flats occur even at the proper psi, then cx riders would not even bother using tubulars.

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/flats.html#snakebite -- if wider tires = more pinch flats, I think he would have mentioned that, no?
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Old 07-31-09, 02:50 AM
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You somehow interpreted that exactly the opposite of how I intended. Wider (larger volume) tires are less susceptible to pinch flats because there's a greater volume that can compress before the rim bottoms out, and higher PSI will decrease the distance the tire can compress on a given impact, in both cases lowering the chance of the rim bottoming and pinching the tube.

Skinny tires have very little distance they can compress before they bottom out, so even at proper pressure they're easy to pinch flat if you ride in inappropriate terrain. A wider tire at the same PSI will be able to compress more prior to pinching, so the chance of a pinch flat is decreased.
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Old 07-31-09, 05:14 AM
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Take a fast ride down a bumpy, rain eroded dirt road downhill on a mtb. bike and then a road bike with 23c tires.

See which one gets a pinch flat.
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Old 07-31-09, 06:35 AM
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You ought to remember tires sizing differs depending on companies and models. I think you ought to try out the famous 28 Rando. If it doesn't fit, you can sell it to other members. Lucky you, that doesn't fit my frame.
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Old 07-31-09, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Tomo_Ishi View Post
You ought to remember tires sizing differs depending on companies and models. I think you ought to try out the famous 28 Rando. If it doesn't fit, you can sell it to other members. Lucky you, that doesn't fit my frame.
+1. As long as you're swapping out the tires from 23s, consider going up to 28s if the Pista has room for them. I don't know about the Randonneur -- I'm hesitant to try them since they "feature" tread, which I don't dig -- but I do know that running a slightly wider tire can make a world of difference. 23s are great for pros on smooth roads, but 28 is the bare minimum on my bikes that see normal (reliably imperfect) streets.
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Old 07-31-09, 07:45 AM
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Yea I run a 26 out back and a 23 in the front, but I'll probably swap for a 25 in the front soon.
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Old 07-31-09, 07:50 AM
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23 front / 25 back.... but purely cause that's what i had laying around, and because I like larger tires on the back (of anything... my BMX, my truck, cars in general... )
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Old 07-31-09, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by kyselad View Post
+1. As long as you're swapping out the tires from 23s, consider going up to 28s if the Pista has room for them. I don't know about the Randonneur -- I'm hesitant to try them since they "feature" tread, which I don't dig -- but I do know that running a slightly wider tire can make a world of difference. 23s are great for pros on smooth roads, but 28 is the bare minimum on my bikes that see normal (reliably imperfect) streets.
I wouldn't throw around stuff like "bare minimum" too much. I run 25 front and rear on some pretty questionable surfaces. Tons of fun fishtailing on crushed limestone.

Bigger is certainly going to be more comfortable, though.
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Old 07-31-09, 08:04 AM
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It works just fine. I run a 25 on the rear & 23 in the front. I do notice a smoother/more comfy ride.

I'm thinking about trying a 28 just to see...if I can find one cheap, etc.

Good luck & enjoy.
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Old 07-31-09, 08:53 AM
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The rule is to run a larger tire on the back for road use because 70-80% of your weight in on the rear tire. The opposite is true for off road where tire traction is more important. Then you run a wider on the front.
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Old 07-31-09, 09:03 AM
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Also... your weight will have a large effect on the size tire you need. I weigh less than 130, and have no problem on many rough surfaces.

Oh, and the level of weenie you are Some just can't hack a non-glass-like surface.
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Old 07-31-09, 09:11 AM
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i was being a smartass because i wonder where the hell these questions come from. why WOULDNT it work....honestly
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Old 07-31-09, 09:17 AM
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you won't even notice the difference


I run 23 up front and 32 rear and it's fine
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