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Thread: Recommend tires

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    But my question (I imagine asked before) for all you smarties - if wider tires are faster, why do I see so many people riding skinny tires, especially people on road bikes, and in general people riding faster than I do? Does everyone with a "stronger motor" just happen to be among those fooled by skinny tire propaganda?
    At a certain point the tire width does affect air resistance. A wider tire might require a wider frame and more space between the pedals, which is exacerbated if the bike has a short wheelbase; this can also affect air resistance. If you're not trying actively pedal more than 25MPH/aren't being paid to ride a bike, you don't need to care. If you're really light (like most people paid to ride bikes), you can run a lower pressure with a relatively skinnier tire. If you buy a light road bike they didn't (until recently) take a wider tire. Until recently it was hard to get brakes for a road bike that worked with a wide tire. All sorts of reasons, mostly boiling down to a bad few years in the industry and the power of habit. Even the pros are running wider tires than they were 20 years ago, which were narrower than tires from 40 years ago. I suspect a lot of it had to do with chasing ever higher pressures without any science showing that it was helping. Now the trend is reversing, but slowly/conservatively because the science is still hard. You can't double-blind-test a race.

    from some online site that compares tires, it indicates that Contacts are lighter than, and take higher pressure than, City Riders of the same width - and Sport Contacts lighter than, and higher pressure than, Contacts.(on the other hand the Top Contact Winter is lighter still, but not quite as high max pressure as the Sport Contact) So A. Is that a good way to think about things?
    No. All the pressure on the sidewall tells you is how high you can pump the tire before you risk popping it off the wheel. It has nothing to do with how high you should pump the tire. It loosely correlates to tire width (higher tires generate much higher forces on the wheel at a given pressure) but not at all with tire quality (cheap tires can be overengineered, or high quality tires might be made of really strong materials).

    B Is that part of why the Top Contact is recommended?
    No, it's because it's relatively fast rolling but still durable. The compass tires hozn mentioned are much more flexible, but I personally wouldn't run them on a daily commuter. I do plan to put some on my weekend bike the next time I need a new set there.

    C. Wait the regular Top Contact is not lighter than sport contact - but is a folding tire?
    The top contact isn't lighter than the plain contact either, but from my experience it rolls a little better. There's a lot that goes into the weight--how much rubber there is, what the bead is made of, what the breaker strip is made out of. The easiest way to reduce weight is to make it thinner, but the thinner it is, the more delicate it is. But on the other end of the spectrum is a bulldozer tire, and who wants to ride around on that?

    Or should I look at rolling resistance estimates from here https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...ontact-ii-2015
    There's "some" debate over how meaningful the rolling a tire on a drum tests actually are. Those are exactly the tests that led to the higher-pressure-above-all-else craze, and if you look at the numbers you'll see why. The problem with the numbers is that people haven't been slowing down with wider tires the way those numbers say they should.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emm View Post
    Different bikes (weight, geometry, etc), overall fitness of the rider, and other factors not related to your tires contribute significantly.

    On my fancy carbon road bike with 23s I average about 15-16 MPH for long rides. On my steel adventure bike with 36 tires I average about... 15-16 mph for long rides So honestly, I don't think the tires make a huge difference, especially if you're not racing. I think a person's overall fitness, the type of bike they ride (factoring in the bike's geometry, weight, etc), and other characteristics of the rider and the bike make a bigger difference. Skinny tires tend to come on road bikes, which tend to be lighter than hybrids like your bike, so that may be why you see them so often.
    I can attest that Erin can ride her heavy steel Renegade with a rack 20 mph on the flats. Road bikes in general are moving towards wider tires with the greater prevalence of disc brakes. I'm a mile or two per hour slower on my commuter bike with 32s than my carbon fiber road bike with 25s, but the road bike is waaaay lighter and has a waaaaay better wheelset. The titanium bike is waaaay faster than the carbon fiber bike although the tires are wider than the 32s on my commuter bike.

    I say go with the size of tires that match the terrain that you'll face. Since you're mostly commuting in urban areas, a pair of nice Schwalbe Marathons that will help reduce the chance of flats from road debris sounds good to me. Mine have about about 4-5,000 miles on them and still have great tread and the only flat that I've gotten is when I misjudged a curb cutout and rammed a curb pretty good.

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    In addition to what's been said, Schwalbe has a FAQ page devoted to the "why do the pros use skinny tires" and "do wider tires roll better" notions: https://www.schwalbe.com/en/rollwiderstand.html

    For me (relatively slow, but faster than I used to be) - it looks like I'm maybe 1 mph faster on average on my drop bar bike with 32x622 tires than I am on my commuter with 47x584 tires (or my previous commuter with 42x622 tires). However - I chalk that up mostly to it being 15 pounds lighter so it's easier to get up a hill and to spending more of my time with that bike on the area trails rather than in DC traffic. I'm also 1 mph faster on my commuter bike when I don't have the trailercycle attached. Lots of variables in play.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    if wider tires are faster, why do I see so many people riding skinny tires, especially people on road bikes, and in general people riding faster than I do? Does everyone with a "stronger motor" just happen to be among those fooled by skinny tire propaganda?
    Skinny pros on lightweight bikes ride skinny tires because they're lighter weight (esp rotating weight) and their skinny tires are usually expensive tubulars and really supple
    Availability. most road bikes will clear 25-28mm tires, maybe 30mm these days. and most stock road rims would do poorly with more than 32mm or so.
    Tradition/looks - skinny tires still make sense on a nice groomed velodrome, afaik

    Agree with hozn/mstone as well

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by vvill View Post
    skinny tires still make sense on a nice groomed velodrome, afaik
    Yes, any time you ride on a polished wooden floor you should definitely be using skinny high pressure tires.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by LhasaCM View Post
    In addition to what's been said, Schwalbe has a FAQ page devoted to the "why do the pros use skinny tires" and "do wider tires roll better" notions: https://www.schwalbe.com/en/rollwiderstand.html

    For me (relatively slow, but faster than I used to be) - it looks like I'm maybe 1 mph faster on average on my drop bar bike with 32x622 tires than I am on my commuter with 47x584 tires (or my previous commuter with 42x622 tires). However - I chalk that up mostly to it being 15 pounds lighter so it's easier to get up a hill and to spending more of my time with that bike on the area trails rather than in DC traffic. I'm also 1 mph faster on my commuter bike when I don't have the trailercycle attached. Lots of variables in play.
    Not having another child is definitely part of my strategy.

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