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-   -   Agonizing over tire size: is 32mm hilariously thin in 2021? (https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1226011-agonizing-over-tire-size-32mm-hilariously-thin-2021-a.html)

fishboat 03-17-21 03:51 PM


Originally Posted by fishboat (Post 21971438)
I had a 2006 Volpe and ran Voyager Hypers on it in 35mm(no fenders). Nice, fast, (road) tire with a plush ride..I wish they still made them. The Hypers in 35mm ran 37mm wide on the bike..per my calipers. They just nicely had enough room..an honest 38mm should fit. If I had the bike today, with no fenders, I'd be running Gravelkings in 38mm. With fenders..35mm if they'd fit. The Volpe is a nice ride..great all-rounder bike. I used it for day rides(50ish miles) and for a bit of touring.


Originally Posted by late (Post 21971882)
I used to run them on my Gunnar Sport, best tire I ever owned. They were crazy to stop making them.

If memory serves, I think I contacted Vittoria (couple 2-3 years ago) about "Hyper" replacements and they directed me to the current "Voyager" and sort of implied it was the same tire. It's not..not even close. The last set of Hypers I got was from (??) Planet Cyclery?? in the UK for $15 a tire..cough..should have bought many more than just a set..didn't know then what I know now.. Shortly after that order..5 years ago..they discontinued them.

(not a great tire on a damp/slick off-road rail-trail-ish though)

late 03-17-21 04:20 PM


Originally Posted by browngw (Post 21971939)

I'm convinced the wide tire fashion was created by "Hot Wheels" when we were kids.

Measurement, the skinnier tire feels faster, but it's actually slightly slower, assuming everything is set up properly. Pros would not have switched unless it was better.

I ran Paselas for a decade. It's a good tire, but there are better.

niliraga 03-17-21 06:08 PM

You might try Marathon Supremes in 32. After so long on Marathon Plus, you may find them a revelation.

Also, I've noticed that the less-armored Supreme measure less tall than GreenGuard or Plus. same width, in my experience (the "37 aka 35" width comes out a whisker under 35mm for me) but there's noticeably more headroom under brake calipers with the Supreme. If that's where your fender constraint is, it might be worth trying an install...


Originally Posted by adam.schwartz4 (Post 21971646)
TiHabanero THIS is very helpful. The fact that I'm upgrading from the heaviest tires known to the touring world (Marathon Plus) means I should be able to strike a unique balance between supple/faster and an increase in width for greater load capacity and stability. I am guilty of overloading for tours, so I can probably do better in the weight department.

What tires are your preference?


djb 03-17-21 06:10 PM


Originally Posted by adam.schwartz4 (Post 21970672)
Informal poll here. in 2012 I bought a Bianchi Volpe and at the time it was the most expensive thing I'd ever purchased. Used my FSA which was due to expire and incredibly wrote off the Italian steed as an expense....hope the wrong people don't see this.

Anyway, back then 32mm was a solid sized tire, and my chainstay spacing is proof of that lol. But my things have certainly changed. I've been loyal to Schwalbe Marathons for over a decade, but 5K miles later through all sorts of NYC streets and upstate gravel, it's finally time for a change. I really want to go up in size, but I am SUPER reluctant to remove my fenders just for a test (they get in the way when I try to see the fit with my commuter wheel with Pasela 38s). Adjusting fenders is my nightmare wrench activity...

Either way I highly doubt I can jam anything bigger than 38 in there!

So here's my question: am I really missing out by riding 32s? Is it worth even the nominal gain in tire size to go 35?

I feel like even 38 is considered thin these days and I wanna know if I'm missing out! I do lots of touring over summer, mostly road with some light gravel. I'm deeply inspired by the Jan Heine Bicycle Quarterly way of thinking and if anything want to get some supple shoes with solid flat protection on my Volpe. Thinking the Soma Shikoros....or just saying screw it and buying another pair of Marathons. Discuss!

not sure what you really want, but here is my experience.
Yes, if 38s are tight, and or not possible with fenders (and if you want to keep fenders, very handy I find) then I can say that from commuting on 35s, they do add a bit more cushion and give compared to 32's, and for rough pavement, I like how they feel.

I should add that I ride diff bikes using tires from 28 slicks to 35s, to 45/50's to 45 winter studded, in a city on often crappy roads and also on all kinds of surfaces, dirt, sand, you name it.

I personally use regular 35mm Marathons, Greenguard versions, so not the Plus, which I would find too heavy and stiff. With my 35s, when using not overly high pressures, they do a nice job of absorbing rough stuff, so I'm very happy with them as an inbetween (ie, my riding with 28s and larger 45/50s)

good luck with your choice.
Regular marathons are also a great balance of longevity and flat protection vs cost vs weight , in my opinion.

adam.schwartz4 03-18-21 08:09 AM


Originally Posted by djb (Post 21972538)
not sure what you really want, but here is my experience.
Yes, if 38s are tight, and or not possible with fenders (and if you want to keep fenders, very handy I find) then I can say that from commuting on 35s, they do add a bit more cushion and give compared to 32's, and for rough pavement, I like how they feel.

I should add that I ride diff bikes using tires from 28 slicks to 35s, to 45/50's to 45 winter studded, in a city on often crappy roads and also on all kinds of surfaces, dirt, sand, you name it.

I personally use regular 35mm Marathons, Greenguard versions, so not the Plus, which I would find too heavy and stiff. With my 35s, when using not overly high pressures, they do a nice job of absorbing rough stuff, so I'm very happy with them as an inbetween (ie, my riding with 28s and larger 45/50s)

good luck with your choice.Regular marathons are also a great balance of longevity and flat protection vs cost vs weight , in my opinion.

Super helpful, thank you djb! Curious, what conditions/environments do you use 45/50s for? Not touring, I'm assuming?

adam.schwartz4 03-18-21 08:56 AM


Originally Posted by Doug64 (Post 21971910)
If 32 mm tires were good in 2012 what made the undesirable in 2021?

I did a lot of touring on my Volpe with 28 mm tires, including a ride across the U. S. The 28 mm tires handled everything we encountered without and problems, including a lot of construction gravel.

We went to 32 mm tires when we did a 3-month Europe tour. During that trip we rode over 500 miles of dirt and gravel roads and trails. We also had 35 days of rain during that trip; so we did get our share of wet dirt roads. On the same trip we also road over 400 miles on sett, cobble and paver stone roads and trails.Since then we switched to 32 mm tires for all our touring bikes. They seem to be a good compromise between weight, durability, and comfort.

32 mm tires handled wet cobbles well, and were comfortable on a fully loaded bike.

These pics (which I had to remove since I'm <10 posts deep on bikeforums) are great! Thanks for the insight. Curious about your tire of choice as it looks like we do similar touring. What's your favorite?

robow 03-18-21 12:27 PM


Originally Posted by niliraga (Post 21972536)
You might try Marathon Supremes in 32.

Bought a pair of Supremes 32mm last fall and plan on running them this year. Though they're no Marathon Pluses (thank God), they do seem to be a fairly robust tire but they do measure a little small on my Mavic 719 rims.

djb 03-18-21 01:55 PM


Originally Posted by adam.schwartz4 (Post 21973146)
Super helpful, thank you djb! Curious, what conditions/environments do you use 45/50s for? Not touring, I'm assuming?

I used the 50mm on some trips where I knew the riding surfaces would be all over the map, and I wanted the extra cushion etc of a wider tire.

re 32 vs 35 vs whatever. I just got home from commuting the first time on my bike with 35mm regular Marathons, and I think its fair to say that its really up to you to know if you would prefer wider than 32's. Like Doug, I too have toured a lot on 28's, and have ridden on gravel roads with them, but I do have to say that I like how wider tires make an easier ride over rough and loose stuff---but again, really only you can make the judgement call.

I've found over the years that it was only from basically taking a chance and trying out different tires and or tire widths , that I was able to get more of an idea of what preference I have for a given type of riding / touring weight / different surfaces.
It's pretty much impossible to really know without riding on something to know how you like or not like it, internet opinions can only go so far.

Doug64 03-18-21 03:24 PM

David, Based on a one ride sample, what was your opinion of the 35 mm Marathons vs. the 32 mm tires. I'm currently using the 32 mm, Marathons, but have thought about going to a little wider tire. Last tour, pre-covid 2019, we ended up replacing my wife's rear tire. The closest the shop had to the 32 mm she was riding was a 35 mm. I meant to take it off when we got home, and just realized the other day when airing up her rear tire the the 35 mm was still on her bike. She just read this over my shoulder and said, " that why I'm a little slower than you on the hills" :)

djb 03-18-21 07:33 PM

Well, I guess the differences are small, but fur sure the 35 must be heavier, I'm fairly certain I use a heavier tube, so that adds a bit more weight. I certainly do notice that the 35s have that bit more air volume, and over the rough Montreal roads I ride on I find it takes the edge off jolts a bit.....BUT the bike they are on is an older steel frame bike that has pretty good frame "give", so this is an added factor too.

from touring with the really wide 2inch Supremes, I could see the 35s being faster on rough roads, easier on the rider, and a tiny bit more sure footed over looser stuff.....but geez, how much, who knows?
I suspect the difference is really small 35 vs 32, and on good roads maybe the 32s are faster, from being lighter.

on my bike with 28mm gatorskins, I bought one 32mm supreme to try out, to see if it's smoother and faster. I'm fairly certain that the thinner sidewall supreme should be more supple and nicer riding than the gatorskins, but I'll see.

TiHabanero 03-19-21 01:58 AM

adam.schwartz4, I prefer Continental tires as I get good results with them. All my bikes have Conti's as they wear well and don't flat easily. The current 38's on my touring rig are City Ride. I know, with a name like City Ride who would use them for touring? Thus far they have had one flat and have been on the bike for about 1000 miles. Schwalabe Marathons are well regarded in the touring community, but I have never lived with them. Have ridden others bikes that have them, but that is it.

bikewilltravel 03-19-21 04:34 AM

I tour with 40mm tires, nice balance of speed and comfort for me, but it is a matter of personal preference.

wgscott 03-19-21 04:45 AM


Originally Posted by adam.schwartz4 (Post 21970672)
Informal poll here. in 2012 I bought a Bianchi Volpe and at the time it was the most expensive thing I'd ever purchased. Used my FSA which was due to expire and incredibly wrote off the Italian steed as an expense....hope the wrong people don't see this.

Anyway, back then 32mm was a solid sized tire, and my chainstay spacing is proof of that lol. But my things have certainly changed. I've been loyal to Schwalbe Marathons for over a decade, but 5K miles later through all sorts of NYC streets and upstate gravel, it's finally time for a change. I really want to go up in size, but I am SUPER reluctant to remove my fenders just for a test (they get in the way when I try to see the fit with my commuter wheel with Pasela 38s). Adjusting fenders is my nightmare wrench activity...

Either way I highly doubt I can jam anything bigger than 38 in there!

So here's my question: am I really missing out by riding 32s? Is it worth even the nominal gain in tire size to go 35?

I feel like even 38 is considered thin these days and I wanna know if I'm missing out! I do lots of touring over summer, mostly road with some light gravel. I'm deeply inspired by the Jan Heine Bicycle Quarterly way of thinking and if anything want to get some supple shoes with solid flat protection on my Volpe. Thinking the Soma Shikoros....or just saying screw it and buying another pair of Marathons. Discuss!

I finally feel like I over-did it with his 55mm Antelope Hill tires, but only just. I would cram as wide a tire in there as possible. If you have the cash, get a second wheelset -- 650b, and run even wider tires. That has the merit of giving you a sane outside diameter, so you don't feel like you are riding a clown bike -- the handling will change, presumably for the better, as it will behave more like a bike with anorexic 700c x 32mm tires. Plus, you can keep your fenders in place. Win/win/win.

Tourist in MSN 03-19-21 05:13 AM


Originally Posted by wgscott (Post 21974654)
I finally feel like I over-did it with his 55mm Antelope Hill tires, but only just. ....

57mm Marathon Extemes:

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...2427af95b6.jpg

niliraga 03-19-21 09:21 AM

a few years ago i made exactly that change to my regular commuter - 28mm gators to 32mm supremes. knew nothing about supremes going into it, and I kinda figured it would be interesting but not conclusive change. i remember almost laughing at certain points in my commute, from the heady mix of faster rolling *and* more comfort. sold the gators on craigslist two days later and have never put them on another daily-duty bike since.


Originally Posted by djb (Post 21974320)
on my bike with 28mm gatorskins, I bought one 32mm supreme to try out, to see if it's smoother and faster. I'm fairly certain that the thinner sidewall supreme should be more supple and nicer riding than the gatorskins, but I'll see.


djb 03-19-21 02:32 PM


Originally Posted by niliraga (Post 21975010)
a few years ago i made exactly that change to my regular commuter - 28mm gators to 32mm supremes. knew nothing about supremes going into it, and I kinda figured it would be interesting but not conclusive change. i remember almost laughing at certain points in my commute, from the heady mix of faster rolling *and* more comfort. sold the gators on craigslist two days later and have never put them on another daily-duty bike since.

I've toured a lot on wider Supremes and love the feel and how they roll.
seriously impressed by their wear pattern and my excellent flat experience with them, given where I've used them.
totally love them.

3speed 03-20-21 01:29 AM

OP, I've always been happy with a decent quality 32-35mm tire. The cheap or Heavily armored ones are gonna suck, but something with some protection, but a supple sidewall in the low-mid 30mm range is the sweet spot for me. Big tires are sluggish handling and needlessly heavy. Fat bike tires are like riding on a cloud, but there's a reason you don't see people doing road tours on them.


Originally Posted by fishboat (Post 21971438)
I had a 2006 Volpe and ran Voyager Hypers on it in 35mm(no fenders). Nice, fast, (road) tire with a plush ride..I wish they still made them.

I'm So disappointed they stopped making that tire. I have one brand new pair in 35mm that I've had set aside for a couple years now, waiting for my next big road tour. Have you found anything close as a replacement?


Originally Posted by wgscott (Post 21974654)
the handling will change, presumably for the better, as it will behave more like a bike with anorexic 700c x 32mm tires.

lol Those silly anorexic, better handling, lighter weight tires that are completely sufficient and comfortable for all but Really bad roads, and even perfectly fine for most rail-trails that I've experienced...

Tourist in MSN 03-20-21 06:02 AM


Originally Posted by Doug64 (Post 21973954)
... opinion of the 35 mm Marathons vs. the 32 mm tires. ...

Have you seen this?
https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...on-32-37-40-47

Doug64 03-20-21 11:28 AM


Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN (Post 21976151)

Thanks, that is a great site.

djb 03-20-21 01:52 PM

I suspect many of you have read similar findings before about how wider tires can FEEL slower, but in reality this is not the case.
Yes, more flexible tires make all the difference here, and why I have been in love with my wider Supremes for a few years now, but here is a good article that addresses this whole issue, it's worth the read.
In the Jan Heine "myths about bike riding" etc series.

https://www.renehersecycles.com/12-m...es-are-slower/

robow 03-20-21 05:00 PM

Side question, those running Marathon Supremes, what psi are you running your 32 or 35 mm at when touring ? Thanks

mstateglfr 03-20-21 09:13 PM


Originally Posted by fishboat (Post 21972370)
If memory serves, I think I contacted Vittoria (couple 2-3 years ago) about "Hyper" replacements and they directed me to the current "Voyager" and sort of implied it was the same tire. It's not..not even close. The last set of Hypers I got was from (??) Planet Cyclery?? in the UK for $15 a tire..cough..should have bought many more than just a set..didn't know then what I know now.. Shortly after that order..5 years ago..they discontinued them.

(not a great tire on a damp/slick off-road rail-trail-ish though)

I have some hypers on one of my bikes right now. I think it's the size that is listed as 37 and measures 35.
Love em.
And they are nothing at all like the base Vittoria Randonneur tire(I assume that's what you refer to).

I wish I bought half a dozen more Hyper tires a couple years ago from Planet X when they were something like $15 each.

fishboat 03-21-21 02:35 PM


Originally Posted by 3speed (Post 21976044)
Vittoria Hyper tires..
I'm So disappointed they stopped making that tire. I have one brand new pair in 35mm that I've had set aside for a couple years now, waiting for my next big road tour. Have you found anything close as a replacement?

Nope..not from Vittoria. I've looked at their lineup a couple times over the last few years(been quite a while since I've done it) and I don't see any place where the Hypers "went".

Unfortunate

comfort rider 03-22-21 02:25 PM

Yes, it's hilariously thin.

Bill in VA 03-22-21 03:09 PM

From reading all the responses, and being a Volpe rider, my take is "hilariously thin" is only a thing if you are letting trends and advertising affect what you do. If you are satisfied at your current tire width and inflation pressure with your preferred tire it is a non-issue. By all means experiment, but the original question seemed more towards being trendy than that based upon need or practicality.

I used to ride towpaths and dirt roads on 25mm tires before gravel was a thing, and 32s were for older bikes. I did one ride with rear panniers with 25s. I no longer do loaded touring, and use 32s for all my riding, but not heavy duty tires, but extra-supple light tires (Rene Herse) and I have not had flat issues. Fortunately, Volpes are very flexible at many things and can fit a fairly large tire.


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