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I have always ridden 700x23C tires, which don't weigh that much more (empty) than 700x20C tires. But then I noticed how much of a wheel's weight comes from the air at 120 psi. Since they're thinner, inflated 20C tires should weigh quite a bit less than 23C tires. This difference is in rotating weight, which counts! Why don't more people use thin tires? Are they really uncomfortable? More prone to flats?
 

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Insignificant. I'd ask one of our engineer types to confirm, but I think you're mistaken about "how much the air weighs." I believe the air in a typical road tire, even at 120 psi, weighs something in the neighborhood of 6 or 7 grams. The difference between 20 and 23 mm tires would be less than a gram. Leave your valve caps off if you care about a gram.

And yes, the comfort and flat resistance are significantly different, especially if you use the pressure appropriate to the load and tire size -- most riders don't really need 120 psi in a 23mm tire, and you'll be more comfortable and corner better with lower pressure.

ON THE OTHER HAND, narrower (preferred term, rather than "thinner") tires are more aerodynamic, but it's a small difference, generally outweighed by the other factors, except in some special circumstances (TT on a track, for example).
 

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There is a reason why touring bikes ride 32c or wider tires, and it is not to go so much slower. If you are not racing and have never tried anything over 23 try a wider tire and see how much time you lose vs. your comfort level.

I am used to 28c so to me 20c would feel like I was rattling teeth loose.
 

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kayakguy said:
There is a reason why touring bikes ride 32c or wider tires, and it is not to go so much slower. If you are not racing and have never tried anything over 23 try a wider tire and see how much time you lose vs. your comfort level.

I am used to 28c so to me 20c would feel like I was rattling teeth loose.
I'm with kayakguy. I weigh 240, so my perceptions are somewhat skewed, but most of my riding for the last 10 years has been on 35mm tires. I don't go measurably slower (been doing the same commute for 20+ years, so I have lots of comparisons), and they're much more comfortable and stable. My "fast" bike, which I don't ride very often anymore, rolls on 700x27 Ruffy Tuffys and feels harsh to me now.
 
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Gawd people are so off centre on tires and tire pressure.

I rode those 18's and 20's back in the '80's.

They are awful.

Rattle your fillings loose and if look at them wrong, you pinch flat.

move to 25's and lower your tire pressure.

You will, honestly, go faster, and with a LOT more comfort.


This nonsense about tire weight, weight of air , lower resistence, etc - time to get over it.

go to a 25, lower pressure. You will go faster.
 

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The problem is manufacturers fudge on tire size. A 25 Conti is closer to a 23 Michelin. A 25 Vredestein is closer to a 28 Conti. And so on...I put some 25 Michelin's on my bike and they barely clear the chain stays..right now I'm using 23 Michelin's.

First I heard about the weight of air..
 

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Dinosaur said:
The problem is manufacturers fudge on tire size. A 25 Conti is closer to a 23 Michelin. A 25 Vredestein is closer to a 28 Conti. And so on...I put some 25 Michelin's on my bike and they barely clear the chain stays..right now I'm using 23 Michelin's.

First I heard about the weight of air..
Funny . I have Conti GP4000 25's and they are 25 on the nose . Guess I got lucky
 

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toomanybikes said:
..........I rode those 18's and 20's back in the '80's.

They are awful.

Rattle your fillings loose and if look at them wrong, you pinch flat.........
I not only used the narrow tires, I got the ones with a kevlar belt. No wonder my hands were numb after every ride.

When I finally went to Michelin 23's, life was good. If you remember, they were one of the first to make an actual 23 that was labeled 23.
 

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I'm kinda "new schoolin' it" myself, and thinking about going UP in size. I've been riding 700x23 forever, but I might go back to 25's as long as I'm not racing. I'm not too worried about the weight difference - a few grams. I'll just quit taking water! ;)

The roads here are crap anyway - it might help to take a little of the edge off riding bad pavement.
 

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25's

axebiker said:
I'm kinda "new schoolin' it" myself, and thinking about going UP in size. I've been riding 700x23 forever, but I might go back to 25's as long as I'm not racing. I'm not too worried about the weight difference - a few grams. I'll just quit taking water! ;)

The roads here are crap anyway - it might help to take a little of the edge off riding bad

pavement.

25's will make your bike ride a little smoother if you ride real crappy roads. The 23's have a little more 'racy' feeling to them. What I do sometimes is put a 25 on the rear rim and a 23 in front. The rear tire is the one that gets all chewed up. The front tire will last forever. Of course if you rotate your tires this won't work.
 
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