Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Good Touring Tire Size

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Good Touring Tire Size

Old 07-26-10, 02:02 PM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Bradenton, FL
Posts: 41

Bikes: Bianchi Volpe, Trek HiFi Deluxe

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 1 Post
Good Touring Tire Size

I'm just wondering what the ideal touring tire width would be. I'm using 700 x 32 right now and they seem like they might be a bit skinny for touring.

Any thoughts?
jryan is offline  
Old 07-26-10, 02:25 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Cyclebum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NE Tx
Posts: 2,766

Bikes: Tour Easy, Linear USS, Lightening Thunderbolt, custom DF, Raleigh hybrid, Felt time trial

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jryan
I'm just wondering what the ideal touring tire width would be. I'm using 700 x 32 right now and they seem like they might be a bit skinny for touring.

Any thoughts?
They're not, as long as you're pedaling on pavement or hard pack. I put 6000 miles on a pair of 32 Schwable XR's. That being said, a fatter tire will act as a better shock absorber, have a bit more traction in soft surfaces, and probably have longer thread life. Will also most likely weigh more too, and depending on your bike, might interfere with fender mounting.

I am currently running Maxxis Overdrive 38's, but don't have enough mileage for a good evaluation. They were recommended by someone on here as a reasonably priced, solid touring tire. No argument about that yet.

https://www.bikemania.biz/ProductDeta...xxis_Overdrive
Cyclebum is offline  
Old 07-26-10, 02:33 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
KDC1956's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 671

Bikes: Surly LHT 52cm Nice Bicycle I think.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
You might want to look at Panarace tires I have the on my surly lht they ride good.And they don't cost to much either.
KDC1956 is offline  
Old 07-26-10, 02:57 PM
  #4  
Macro Geek
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 1,362

Bikes: True North tourer (www.truenorthcycles.com), 2004; Miyata 1000, 1985

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 7 Posts
There is no size that will fit all needs. I have toured on tires as thin as 23 mm and as thick as 32 mm. I know someone who tours on 20 mm wide tires. In the future, I am unlikely to install anything thinner than 32; but I have no desire to go thicker, either.

If you plan to ride a lot on sand, consider thicker tires. Otherwise, 32 mm work nicely under most conditions.

By the way, one manufacturer's mm tire may not be the same size as another, even if both claim the same dimensions. Differences can be significant. I once had a bike that could accept up to 28 mm wide tires, but one brand of 28 mm tire simply would not fit.
acantor is offline  
Old 07-26-10, 03:42 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Far beyond the pale horizon.
Posts: 14,253
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4242 Post(s)
Liked 1,342 Times in 931 Posts
Originally Posted by acantor
By the way, one manufacturer's mm tire may not be the same size as another, even if both claim the same dimensions. Differences can be significant. I once had a bike that could accept up to 28 mm wide tires, but one brand of 28 mm tire simply would not fit.
Your problem here did not have to do with the width of the tire. It had to do with the diameter.

Rims can accept a range of widths (see sheldon brown for more information). Narrow rims can't take as take tires that are as wide as wide rims and vice versa.

As it turns out, the actual width of a 28 mm (or whatever) tire varies by manufacturer. That is, different 28 mm tires might be a bit narrower or a bit wider than that.

The range of tire widths that a particular rim can take is much larger than the variation of the actual size of 28 mm tires.

As it turns out, there is also some variation it the diameter of the tire bead as well as variation in the diameter of the rim edge. This means that certain tires are hard (or impossible) to fit on particular rims. But this doesn't have anything to do with the width of the tire.
njkayaker is online now  
Old 07-26-10, 03:50 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,864
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1250 Post(s)
Liked 753 Times in 560 Posts
No 32mm are definitely not too narrow.

Personally, for decent roads I really like 28mm Continental Ultra Gatorskins which measure on the narrow side for a 28mm. They have a nice lively feeling ride and are adequately flat resistant.

I used 32mm tires on the Trans America, but have since cut the load I carry and gone to the narrower 28mm tires. I am very happy with the change.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 07-26-10, 03:55 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 137 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 81 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by jryan
I'm just wondering what the ideal touring tire width would be. I'm using 700 x 32 right now and they seem like they might be a bit skinny for touring.

Any thoughts?
without knowing the load it's a somewhat meaningless question. I'd be quite happy with 32mm on good roads, 175lbs of rider and 60lbs of bike/gear, for 130lbs of rider and 50lbs of bike/gear you might go to 28mm or enjoy 32mm for a little extra cush. For 225lbs of rider and 60lbs of bike/gear my personal preferences would be to 35mm although 32mm with good tires would be perfectly doable.

The size of tires is related to load and road.
LeeG is offline  
Old 07-26-10, 03:58 PM
  #8  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Bradenton, FL
Posts: 41

Bikes: Bianchi Volpe, Trek HiFi Deluxe

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 1 Post
Thanks Everyone. I need puncture protection too. I use the bike for commuting too and the roads are full of debris around here. I'm currently running a set of 700x32 Bontrager hard case tires, but I will soon be getting a Surly lht and am interested in switching tires. I've heard a lot of good things about the Schwalbe marathon plus tires. I like that they have the reflective strip on them as well.
jryan is offline  
Old 07-26-10, 04:08 PM
  #9  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Bradenton, FL
Posts: 41

Bikes: Bianchi Volpe, Trek HiFi Deluxe

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 1 Post
without knowing the load it's a somewhat meaningless question
I'm roughly 220lbs and probably wouldn't carry more than 60lbs of gear.
jryan is offline  
Old 07-26-10, 04:14 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 137 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 81 Times in 64 Posts
try the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme or Panaracer T-serv in 35mm or Pasela TG for the front tire. You'll have a cushier ride and have a bit more leeway on tire pressure. The Marathon plusses are kind of overkill unless you HAVE TO have lots of puncture resistance. Vittoria Randonneur Pro is nice, pretty fast and quite cushy.

Last edited by LeeG; 07-26-10 at 04:20 PM.
LeeG is offline  
Old 07-26-10, 04:24 PM
  #11  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Bradenton, FL
Posts: 41

Bikes: Bianchi Volpe, Trek HiFi Deluxe

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by LeeG
try the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme or Panaracer T-serv in 35mm or Pasela TG for the front tire. You'll have a cushier ride and have a bit more leeway on tire pressure. The Marathon plusses are kind of overkill unless you HAVE TO have lots of puncture resistance. Vittoria Randonneur Pro is nice, pretty fast and quite cushy.
I need the extra puncture protection for commuting. I'm not sure that the city I live in even owns a single street sweeper Even my bontrager hard case tires are getting tore up here (Still no flats though, except for a wood screw)
jryan is offline  
Old 07-26-10, 04:57 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 137 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 81 Times in 64 Posts
If you search around another tough tire is Schwalbes Marathon XR. I don't know Bontragers but I think you'll take a hit in rolling resistance going from them to the Marathon Plus for the extra puncture resistance. Unloaded riding and light touring the 32mm in a tough tire is a perfectly good size for a 220lb rider. It's the addition of 30+ more lbs on that makes the 35mm tire kind of desirable. Without a loaded bike you can hop over ruts and bumps but once you pile 30lbs on the bike you're pretty much plowing through whatever comes which makes that bigger tire oh so nice without any practical sacrifice in speed.
LeeG is offline  
Old 07-26-10, 05:39 PM
  #13  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Bradenton, FL
Posts: 41

Bikes: Bianchi Volpe, Trek HiFi Deluxe

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 1 Post
Ok. I think I've decided on a 35 wide tire. Now I just need to figure out which brand/model to get. Thanks for all the input!

My wife and I are just getting into touring from mountain biking, so road tires are very foreign to us.
jryan is offline  
Old 07-26-10, 06:26 PM
  #14  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 13,207
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2735 Post(s)
Liked 967 Times in 791 Posts
second that size because of your weight. In all the long road trips I did, a bunch of 700-1600km trips (450-1000miles) I never had a flat, only weighed 135 and prob had 40-50 lbs (actually never once weighed my bike on any of the five or so long trips I did) and I always had 28s on my touring bike. Liked the combo of size alright enough to go on a gravel road , with good rolling resistance.

Used to use the same tire, cant reacall what brand but it was a kevlar one, definately worth the extra money.

would get flats in town once in a blue moon, but never on a trip, was always careful to have pressures at max, and probably on the road there is less glass bits than in the city.
djb is offline  
Old 07-26-10, 06:38 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
zeppinger's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,016

Bikes: Giant FCR3, Surly LHT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
I like my Schwalbe 37c Marathons. Very puncture resistant, nice ride, long treat life, and can be ridden at higher pressure for roads and lower pressure for dirt. I think its a nice compromise when your not sure what you will encounter.
zeppinger is offline  
Old 07-26-10, 08:14 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 137 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 81 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by djb
second that size because of your weight. In all the long road trips I did, a bunch of 700-1600km trips (450-1000miles) I never had a flat, only weighed 135 and prob had 40-50 lbs (actually never once weighed my bike on any of the five or so long trips I did) and I always had 28s on my touring bike. Liked the combo of size alright enough to go on a gravel road , with good rolling resistance.

Used to use the same tire, cant reacall what brand but it was a kevlar one, definately worth the extra money.

would get flats in town once in a blue moon, but never on a trip, was always careful to have pressures at max, and probably on the road there is less glass bits than in the city.
A friend of mine weighed 125lbs and toured with 25-30lbs on sew-ups. When I weighed 145lbs and toured with 15lbs 28mm was fine and 32mm for 20lbs. Now I'm 220lbs and the one tour and multiple grocery trips have been on 35mm-2.0 tires. I go a bit slower and love plowing through bumps I used to jump over.
LeeG is offline  
Old 07-27-10, 03:10 AM
  #17  
Real Men Ride Ordinaries
 
fuzz2050's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,723
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Generally speaking, 28mm is great for unloaded road use, I'll go up to 32 for actually carrying stuff, and 35 if I think there might be a bit of offroad involved. I find it hard to resist dirt trails though, so most of my bikes lean to the wide side.

Then again, I just picked up some Fat Franks at 2.35 inches, and they are fun. I don't think I would tour with them, but I might consider it.
fuzz2050 is offline  
Old 07-27-10, 04:43 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,864
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1250 Post(s)
Liked 753 Times in 560 Posts
Since weight came up.. I weigh about 195 when in good form and have hit 220 when not.

When I rode the Trans America I ranged from something like 210 to 190 over the course of the trip. I was carrying between 40 and 50 pounds over the course of the trip. 32mm tires were fine for that and I never wished for wider.

On my other tours I weighed in the same range. I carried less gear though (30-ish pounds). On those tours I was very happy with the 28mm ultragatorskins and think they would have been fine on the Trans America trip as well.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 07-27-10, 05:16 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
wrobertdavis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston, Tx
Posts: 904

Bikes: Surly Bridge Club, 1992 Miyata 914

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by jryan
I'm just wondering what the ideal touring tire width would be. I'm using 700 x 32 right now and they seem like they might be a bit skinny for touring.

Any thoughts?
How much you weigh and how much you intend to carry will greatly affect what works well. I weigh 238 and tested some panaracer pasela tg 700x35 tires in commuter service hauling home 50-60 lbs of groceries before going on tour. They worked, if I pumped them to 90 psi, but I sensed that bigger would be better for my weight and load. I replaced them with Schwalbe Marathon supreme 700x40 tires. These proved to be markedly more stable and comfortable for carrying loads. They also are heavier and accelerate slower but for loaded touring this is not a factor.

Be sure that you consider what size rims you have if you want to go much wider than 32c. I am running rims that are 25mm wide.

Bob
wrobertdavis is offline  
Old 07-27-10, 09:31 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
BigBlueToe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I toured for years on 700 x 28 Specialized Armadillos. They were fine, and I didn't have much of a problem with flats. When I bought a new bike (LHT) I put 700 x 32 Schwalbes on. I like them better. I think they ride more comfortably and roll just as easily. I haven't had a flat after three tours on them. If I was going to spend a significant portion of a tour on dirt roads I'd probably put on something bigger, but for pavement I think they're just right.
BigBlueToe is offline  
Old 07-27-10, 09:36 AM
  #21  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,355 Times in 862 Posts
35~40mm , get a casing that will handle 6 bar, so rolling resistance can be reduced by pumping your tires Up enough..


Of course clearance with Mudguards will be the limiting factor on your bike..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 07-27-10, 10:09 AM
  #22  
Junior Member
 
Monoix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 17

Bikes: Kona Dr. Dew, Crescent -80s race frame with 7-speed hub gears, Gary Fisher Joshua X0

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
For your weight 35 will work, but personally I'd use as wide tires I could fit, up to what the fenders and clearances allow. Nothing wrong with having loads of comfort and load bearing capabilities for a few hundred grams of added weight. 35 mmm Schwalbes are probably 32 mm in real life when on the rim, and a 37 would be about 35. The standard Schwalbe Marathon is an excellent touring tire, available in many widths. I'd use that any day before XR or Plus. Also - take a look at the Schwalbe Marathon Racer.

As for tire pressure - check out the article "how to inflate your tires" at www.vintagebicyclepress.com. Here's the chart for a fast check (note that the weight is per wheel _not_ the rider's weight.) This chart is an excellent help for getting the fastest and easiest rolling tires with a maximum of comfort.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
pressure..jpg (40.3 KB, 376 views)

Last edited by Monoix; 07-27-10 at 10:24 AM. Reason: added tire pressure chart
Monoix is offline  
Old 07-27-10, 10:21 AM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
wrobertdavis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston, Tx
Posts: 904

Bikes: Surly Bridge Club, 1992 Miyata 914

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by Monoix
For your weight 35 will work, but personally I'd use as wide tires I could fit, up to what the fenders and clearances allow. Nothing wrong with having loads of comfort and load bearing capabilities for a few hundred grams of added weight. 35 mmm Schwalbes are probably 32 mm in real life when on the rim, and a 37 would be about 35. The standard Schwalbe Marathon is an excellent touring tire, available in many widths. I'd use that any day before XR or Plus. Also - take a look at the Schwalbe Marathon Racer.
I had read that Schwalbe tires run smaller than the nameplate size. Idid not find this to be the case when I mounted my 700x40 tires on a wide rim (25mm). Actually, I don't believe its appropriate to mount them on a narrower rim. These tires were exactly 40 mm wide when inflated within recommended pressure range.

Bob
wrobertdavis is offline  
Old 07-28-10, 12:22 PM
  #24  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 288
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
I just invested in good tires for the first time in my life: Vittoria Randonneur Pros, 700 x 32, on sale at Nashbar right now for $35. They have double puncture protection, and excellent reviews---average 5 stars at Nashbar.

My previous tires were 28s. I love the new 32s. I don't notice any loss of speed, but I notice a big increase in comfort. They are wholly adequate on fine gravel bike paths---I haven't tried them on anything rougher yet. I feel they're good for a combination of terrain.


I've never used anything wider than 32 for touring, and wouldn't want to. I ride 90% paved roads and 10% fine gravel paths. Touring is more or less all paved.

I highly recommend these tires---worth the money.
GetUpnGo is offline  
Old 07-28-10, 12:47 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
Newspaperguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 2,206
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I tour with 28s or 32s. My routes take me on paved roads and on hard packed gravel. The only time I had problems with multiple flats was on an old railway bed which had been converted into a multi use trail. There were a lot of sharp rocks on there which left me with multiple flats.

If I were to do that route again (and I'm strongly considering it) I might go for a wider tire. Of course, it's also possible the trail has been cleaned up since then.
Newspaperguy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.