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Tire Size

violette2010-04-28 19:38:17 +0000 #1
I bought specialized pro tires size 700x23. They are narrow but I could go smaller. My LBS told me not to go any smaller 700x20 because it is dangerous. He said if you hit sand or gravel, you're toast! Does anyone here have narrower tires. I think the smaller the less rolling resistance???
SadieKate2010-04-28 19:40:13 +0000 #2
Read this thread.

forums.teamestrogen....esistance#post205729

Why do you want to decrease the size of your contact patch? Are you racing? Remember also, that the narrower the tire, the harsher the ride. If you're not racing on these tires, why?
aicabsolut2010-04-28 20:28:11 +0000 #3
I don't even know many racers who go skinnier than 23s. The Specialized tires do seem to get a bit wide after very little wear (they LOOK more like 25s). There are much better tires for tight and/or wet cornering and racing, but the Spec'd tires are really really durable, and, again, if you don't race, there isn't much need to go with a pricier tire with a shorter life.

I've been told by friends that the best of both worlds for durability and performance are the Conti 4000 series tires. I've been happy with my Michelin Race tires (so much better for racing than Spec'd, except for maybe the open tubulars), but they don't last as long.

I would not go skinnier. The skinnier the tire, the more you are prone to wiping out for bumps, and you have less cornering surface. They are the most useful on the track, but not really worth it on the road, particularly if you're not racing, and I think even road racers tend to stick with 20s at a minimum.
SadieKate2010-04-28 19:51:12 +0000 #4
Even racers pick wider tires based on the conditions. Remember Tyler Hamilton's TdF team trial in the rain? The team went with stupidly narrow tires and had lots of flats.

Read that thread.
Grog2010-04-28 21:00:18 +0000 #5
Yes, the less rolling resistance, i.e. less surface of your tire touching the pavement, i.e. less surface of your tire keeping the bike upright.

Frankly, I'm not even sure I'd do 700X20, but I'd certainly not go any smaller than that... Even if there were millions of $ on the line (which obviously there aren't), I don't think I'd risk my collarbone or brain for a few tenths of a kilometer faster on my average speed.

But of course, if you try it, please report to us with the results!
violette2010-04-28 21:47:44 +0000 #6
Thanks for the info. I don't race, just ride. I was just curious, because I tried a Spe'd Tarmac once with smaller tires and they were FAST. But then again, the Tarmas is more of a racing bike.
TxDoc2010-04-28 21:45:42 +0000 #7
Quote:

Originally Posted by violette

I bought specialized pro tires size 700x23. They are narrow but I could go smaller. My LBS told me not to go any smaller 700x20 because it is dangerous. He said if you hit sand or gravel, you're toast! Does anyone here have narrower tires. I think the smaller the less rolling resistance???

Here's my experience with different size of tires, hope it helps.

I used 700x21 tubulars on a bike for about 2 years, but then when I changed from that particular bike I decided to go back to clinchers and to a size 700x23. Don't get me wrong, I did love the feel of the tubulars!!! They give you a more sharp ride, and the narrower tires definitely are a bit faster - but not enough that you would really notice the difference unless you race or do speed work.

Frankly, weighing the pros and cons, 700x23 offer more stability and higher resistance to puncture, and have a longer life compared to the 700x21.

I did try 700x25 once, but removed them right away after the first day. Those were definitely too wide for me - I noticed a lot more rolling resistance and no advantages.

All in all I think it's mostly personal preference, so my suggestion would be to try 700x23, then 700x21, and see what you like more. However, if you do not race, I would stay with clinchers either way because taking care of a flat on a tubular is really not a nice experience if you do not have a mechanic following in the car with an extra wheel...
aicabsolut2010-04-28 22:34:39 +0000 #8
Quote:

Originally Posted by violette

Thanks for the info. I don't race, just ride. I was just curious, because I tried a Spe'd Tarmac once with smaller tires and they were FAST. But then again, the Tarmas is more of a racing bike.

Yeah, it may have been more the bike than the tires. The Tarmac has a "snappier" more responsive ride, and it could have been lighter, stiffer, etc. from what you're used to. There's more to the ride than the tires, but you may notice a difference in ride quality and responsiveness between different tires (treaded/all-condition, slicks, different brands, different types of rubber, etc.) as well as with different widths of the same tire.

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