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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,

I'm buying a Specialized Tarmac (a fairly high end road bike) to bike to work and run across town to my parents during rush hour. I could probably get by with something cheaper, but it's so much fun and that's not the point. :) Plus, I feel safer on my commute to work riding as close as I can to the speed of the car traffic.

My question is - are there any 23c Puncture Resistant Tires with a reflective sidewall? My search so far has turned up the Panaracer TServ tires, but the smallest size they come in is 25c. I liked the sound of the Continental GP4000s, but as far as I can tell they don't come with reflective sidewalls. Hope someone already has an awesome tire on their bike that they can tell me about. :)

P.S. Of course there's Gatorskins to...23c, but no reflective sidewall...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
PeanutButterBreath said:
I'd recommend 25Cs, personally, especially for a commuter.

But even more than that I would recommend a set of lights over relying on reflective sidewalls.

While I can certainly respect the viewpoint that a lot of people have about getting 25c or 28c tires for comfort reasons, I'd prefer to go as fast as possible. I personally don't have any comfort issues with 23c tires. More specifically, I'm paying an extra grand for a better level of carbon that has a better ride so I can still ride skinnier tires (and "better ride" isn't based on theory or reading, it's based on several test rides of the bikes).

I like going fast - it's fun, and it motivates me to ride. :) But also - when I'm cruising across town to my parents, I prefer to go faster because I only have so much time in the evening. It's over an hour ride each way, and the faster I travel the less time I spend...traveling. For my work commute, I don't normally like riding on roads, but the road to work runs along a river and doesn't have any cross traffic because there's 1 bridge I go by (and the road goes under it). But the faster I travel, the fewer cars I have passing me. Plus, I do feel safer when cars pass me going 35 when I'm going 25 than I do when I'm going 15. It's nice to be going close to their same speed.

Secondly, your assumption that it's an either/or thing is inaccurate. I already own 2 Dinotte 200L (lumens) bike lights and a tail light. I'd like to have as much visibility as possible, plus a bike tire is much larger than the pinpoint of light put out by my bike light which makes it easier for a driver at an intersection to track where I am.
 

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25Cs are more appropriate and likely as fast or faster for the kind of riding you are describing. The extra road chatter that makes some people uncomfortable on narrow tires also makes them slower. Being able to tolerate this symptom of inefficiency does not make them faster again. Either way, the difference is minimal.

More visibility is better, but if you are already rolling with lights (and presumably reflective clothing), I don't think sidewalls should dictate your tire choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
PeanutButterBreath said:
25Cs are more appropriate and likely as fast or faster for the kind of riding you are describing. The extra road chatter that makes some people uncomfortable on narrow tires also makes them slower. Being able to tolerate this symptom of inefficiency does not make them faster again. Either way, the difference is minimal.

More visibility is better, but if you are already rolling with lights (and presumably reflective clothing), I don't think sidewalls should dictate your tire choice.
Why do you feel that 25c is "more appropriate"?
 

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PeanutButterBreath said:
Less likely to pinch flat when ridden over potholes, grates and the other things that are more often encountered when riding in town.
You may also find 25c's to be a bit more comfortable than 23's when you do hit those potholes, grates and other things. Going off subject here, I was about to change from 23 to 25 to reduce the vibration to my lower back from chip-sealed roads, but I changed saddles first and now I don't need the wider tires. I got a slightly wider, slightly softer saddle and that took care of the problem. I was a little apprehensive about getting a softer saddle, but it works great, no pain, no numbness.
 

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Specialized Armadillos with reflective sidewalls in 25mm. Still ride like an armadillo but they are reflective.

Puncture resistant tires won't really ride any different between 23 and 25. You will appreciate the extra volume of a 25 when you ride over manhole covers and storm drains. It's not faster if you have to slow, bunny hop, or swerve for fear of snake biting a tube.
 

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bigbill said:
Specialized Armadillos with reflective sidewalls in 25mm. Still ride like an armadillo but they are reflective.

Puncture resistant tires won't really ride any different between 23 and 25. You will appreciate the extra volume of a 25 when you ride over manhole covers and storm drains. It's not faster if you have to slow, bunny hop, or swerve for fear of snake biting a tube.
also remember..you're talking 2mm here. Not a lot of width. 23s might provide a bit of advantage for a light rider who is racing, but for heavier riders or those who are just commuting the 25s are often a better choice. Personally I ride both and can't really tell a ton of difference. At least with Continentals which tend to be pretty narrow in general. Right not I'm riding a 23cm Conti GP4000 up front and a 25cm Conti Ultra Gatorskin in the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
mh3 said:
Conti does make a GP 4000 with a reflective sidewall, I believe they're only available in 25mm's though.
Thanks! I didn't know that.

Like a post below said, there's not really *that* much difference between 23 and 25. If there's no 23c tires with a reflective sidewall, I'll probably wear out the pair my bike comes with, then try a 25c.

If anyone else knows of a 23c, though, please post. :)
 

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Bocephus Jones II said:
also remember..you're talking 2mm here. Not a lot of width. 23s might provide a bit of advantage for a light rider who is racing, but for heavier riders or those who are just commuting the 25s are often a better choice. Personally I ride both and can't really tell a ton of difference. At least with Continentals which tend to be pretty narrow in general. Right not I'm riding a 23cm Conti GP4000 up front and a 25cm Conti Ultra Gatorskin in the rear.
I did the Seattle to Portland (202 miles) last weekend in 10:15 and believe it or not I did it on 25mm tires mounted on standard spoked (32 front, 36 rear) wheels. I finished ahead of many people riding fancy wheels and 23mm tires.
 
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