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Old 06-12-2014, 04:08 PM   #1
Troy64
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Cycling question

I am interested in getting a road bike and was interested in people's experience with tire widths.

One bike has 25mm tires and the other has 30mm wide tires. Which width is best for a 50 mile commute and casual fitness riding?


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Old 06-12-2014, 07:48 PM   #2
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You will definitely feel the efficiency difference with a narrower, harder tire. I commute on 23mm tires and have 2 miles of dirt road to traverse each day during my 12 mile journeys to and fro. I've had 2 flats in 4 years, both on the dirt and consider that a worthwhile tradeoff.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:36 PM   #3
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It will also depend on how heavy you are. I am 200# and have ridden mostly on 28, 30 or 32s. Especially when I am carrying a load on the bike it seems to be too heavy for 23s or 25s even when they are aired up to the maximum pressure. I imagine that a more normally sized rider would do better on the skinnier tires and they would be more responsive and efficient.
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:57 AM   #4
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I'm 230lbs and I prefer 28s for my road bike and 32s for my cyclocross bike. I'd love to be able to ride on 23s, but don't dare to try. (I've ridden 1K miles on sets of Continental Gatorskins without a flat... amazing tires.)

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Old 06-13-2014, 01:49 PM   #5
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I ride my road bike on 20's...strictly for fun and fitness, and rarely puncture, usually early season when there's lots of road debris. BTW, I'm still a welterweight.
My business partner tried for years to also use 20's, he would puncture about 10 times per season, he finally switched to 23's and rarely flats out anymore (he usually does 2,000 to 3,000 miles per year).

I commute on my mountain bike on 32's, never had a flat!
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post

I commute on my mountain bike on 32's, never had a flat!
Uh oh... you may have jinxed yourself by making that statement! ;-)

I always rode on Gatorskins and never had a flat, even when others in my group encountered the nasty goat heads (sand burrs) in Kansas. But at home, when riding on the 32s that came on my Bianchi Axis cyclocross bike, I once had three flats in one 40-mile ride!

No matter what the width, the Gatorskins have become my all-time favorite tires for incredible flat resistance and long wear.

Take it easy,
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:15 AM   #7
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I went with a Specialized Secteur with 25mm tires. It can easily handle 28's, but I'm not sure if it can go wider. I am only 160ish, so these should work. I will try them out today along the Mohawk river.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:39 AM   #8
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moving thread to "Biking" section...

Hope you don't mind, but moving this over...

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Old 06-17-2014, 10:06 AM   #9
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Cycling question

I did not know this sub forum existed. Don't mind at all. Thanks!


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Old 06-17-2014, 10:10 AM   #10
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And to add my comments - I rode the Secteur and the Allez, and bought the latter, mostly because the fit felt better. I also have a Specialized Sirrus hybrid, which has been a great bike for riding with the family, etc...but what I really want? The new Specialized Diverge - a gravel/cross/multi-road bike that is launching in three weeks...can't wait to try one, and may end up selling the Sirrus to get one.

Remember - the proper number of bikes to own is N+1, where N is the number you currently own, PROVIDED that N+1 < S-1, where S is the number of bikes owned that would cause your spouse to leave you.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy64 View Post
I went with a Specialized Secteur with 25mm tires. It can easily handle 28's, but I'm not sure if it can go wider. I am only 160ish, so these should work. I will try them out today along the Mohawk river.
I have a 2010 Secteur as well, and it's definitely not possible to go any wider than 28's on that particular year, at least.
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:05 AM   #12
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I'm light so I do well with skinny tires. Another part of protecting the tires, beyond just weight and road conditions, is paying close attention to what you are about to hit. Road bikes are generally stiff, with essentially no "suspension." So if you just sit on the saddle when you hit holes, edges, etc., all that impact is going straight to the tires. I'm always careful to get out of the saddle (just an inch is plenty) when I can't avoid hitting something. That way, only the weight of the bike (25 lb) is directly impacting the tires, and your body weight is on nice springy suspension courtesy of your legs and arms.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:13 PM   #13
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Conti 23 Kevlar with min 100 pounds of air for general all around.
Most folks don't run enough air and snake bite or puncture.
Some tires will wear better than other and some are really flat prone.
I have had the best luck with Continental. They can be a nightmare to mount depending upon the wheels....so hope you don't flat them.

I know lot's of folks that ride wider tires. I run those on my MTB or tandem.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:55 PM   #14
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I ride on Vittoria Rubino Pro's and definitely notice the efficiency difference over other tires I've used (Bontrager, Michelin, Conti).

And here's a plug for what I feel is an outstanding bike, the Motobecane Immortal Force. I've had mine for 4 years and friends with much more expensive (lie 3 to 4x) bikes are blown away when they ride at it and assess the components that come along with. It's an all composite frame/forks with Ultegra components (mostly) and goes for $1400. The downside is that you have to buy it off the internet so there's no trying it first. I have ~8K miles on mine and no issues so far.

It goes without saying that I have no business interest or other ulterior motives. I do think it's worth passing along the few truly superior products out there that I happen to stumble upon!
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:02 PM   #15
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Remember - the proper number of bikes to own is N+1, where N is the number you currently own, PROVIDED that N+1 < S-1, where S is the number of bikes owned that would cause your spouse to leave you.
This is one of the few important equations governing our lives. It also applies to fly rods, though those are much easier to hide. I haven't figured out how to add an event horizon/threshold that defines the conditions surrounding the 'leaving moment' to the basic equation and could use some help from my fellow engineers, mathematicians and physicists.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtflyfish View Post
And here's a plug for what I feel is an outstanding bike, the Motobecane Immortal Force. I've had mine for 4 years and friends with much more expensive (lie 3 to 4x) bikes are blown away when they ride at it and assess the components that come along with. It's an all composite frame/forks with Ultegra components (mostly) and goes for $1400. The downside is that you have to buy it off the internet so there's no trying it first. I have ~8K miles on mine and no issues so far.

It goes without saying that I have no business interest or other ulterior motives. I do think it's worth passing along the few truly superior products out there that I happen to stumble upon!
+1 on the value of mail-order Motobecanes. I have an older aluminum frame LeChampion that was an incredible value (I purchased it from BikesDirect in 2005). I put a lot of miles on it, including Biking Across Kansas in 2006. I think the only component that wasn't a top-of-the-line item was the bottom bracket, which I replaced after three or four seasons of high-mileage riding.

I also have a nice Bianchi that cost more, but has lower-level components (and a frame that is made in Taiwan, by the way).

Take it easy,
Bob
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:39 PM   #17
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I have tried a few tire brands and I like Schwalbe best of them so far. I am currently running Schwalbe Marathon 32s and they have been very dependable, even in some less than ideal situations.
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:42 PM   #18
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The hardness or softness or thickness or thinness of ones tires is not directly related to speed. There are other things at play - primarily road surface, how well the tire is made, weight of rider and gear, etc.

Look up some older issues of Bicycle Quarterly for a good primer on tire widths and materials.


That all said. For me, 28s and up. Even on the 'road' bike. And for pavement and dirt. And I run them at lower pressures.
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