Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,713 Posts
advantages: aerodynamics (very little), weight (very little)

disadvantages: everything else (comfort, handling, rolling resistance)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,636 Posts
Pros and cons

enac said:
what are the advantages or disadvantages of 21's over 23's?
Narrower tires are lighter, and very slightly more aerodynamic. They wear faster (less rubber) and require higher pressures to prevent pinch flats, and therefore are less comfortable, have poorer traction, and quite possibly higher rolling resistance because the harder tire is bouncing off road surface roughness/imperfections.

Rider a tire width such that you don't get pinch flats at 100 psi.
 

·
eRacer
Joined
·
2,555 Posts
I don't see ANY real advantage to riding less than 23's, unless you are 'hooked' on the 'skinny' look.
 

·
n00bsauce
Joined
·
13,507 Posts
I like 25's as a nice compromise between comfort, performance and fit. I run them at 90 and I weigh 170 at the moment (165 later in the year). They give a comfy ride and they will fit most modern performance road bikes. Handling is better, especially when in loose sand and small gravel this time of year like we get from road sanding in the winter. I don't get pinch flats at 90 with 25's and I think other types of flats are less likely too because the tire can conform a little better and ride over a potential sharp pebble rather than it being forced in by a higher pressure tire. Rolling resistance and aerodynamics are non issues to 95%+ of all riders in tire size ranges that will fit modern performance bikes.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
11,980 Posts
Anything less than 23s would only be effective or useful on a board track.
 

·
Lemur-ing
Joined
·
18,987 Posts
Mr. Versatile said:
Anything less than 23s would only be effective or useful on a board track.
I actually use 22s for my tubulars at 90-95psi.

Then again, most shops sell that or 19s (or is it 20/21s?) for tubulars and I don't wanna ride anything less than 22s anyway.

That said, my 22s are more comfortable than my 23s with 100psi just coz the front tire on the other set of wheels is kinda screwed up in that it's not even for some reason, despite taking it off and putting it back on and having the LBS try their hand at it too.
 

·
n00bsauce
Joined
·
13,507 Posts
We're talking clinchers here. You can run tubies at lower pressure because there's no fear of pinch flats. It's the lower pressure that makes the 22's more comfy, not the uneven nature of the 23's. Besides, there's really little difference between 22's and 23's. If you measure tires there is variation between brands and some manufacturers 23's may actually measure smaller (or larger). Comfort and pressure are inversely related, on the general whole.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,473 Posts
Mel Erickson said:
We're talking clinchers here. You can run tubies at lower pressure because there's no fear of pinch flats. It's the lower pressure that makes the 22's more comfy, not the uneven nature of the 23's. Besides, there's really little difference between 22's and 23's. If you measure tires there is variation between brands and some manufacturers 23's may actually measure smaller (or larger). Comfort and pressure are inversely related, on the general whole.

+1...I have various tires branded as 23c but they measure between 22c and 25c
 

·
Lemur-ing
Joined
·
18,987 Posts
Mel Erickson said:
We're talking clinchers here. You can run tubies at lower pressure because there's no fear of pinch flats. It's the lower pressure that makes the 22's more comfy, not the uneven nature of the 23's. Besides, there's really little difference between 22's and 23's. If you measure tires there is variation between brands and some manufacturers 23's may actually measure smaller (or larger). Comfort and pressure are inversely related, on the general whole.
True. But, I can actually see the way the 23s are mounted that when the front wheel spins, it's uneven at the tires. I'm sure that's the factor since the rear of the bike feels perfectly fine.

The front, with those wheels, really make me wish I had new tires.

To add, I've ran my 22s at 100-105 before (for reasons I can't even remember) but they're darned comfortable vs. the 23s on the other wheel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Do any of you mix and match? Run a 21 at the front and 23 on the rear--or vice versa? I am specifically talking tubulars?
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top