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Why fat tires?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
OK, I've been out of biking for quite a few years, and am surprised at all
the fat knobby tires on bikes now. I'm used to the skinny tires. Don't the
fat knobbies take more to pedal? My Suburban has 27x 1 1/4 tires, my old
Racer was 26 x 1 3/8.

--
Charles of Schamburg
post #2 of 33

Re: Why fat tires?

n5hsr wrote:
> OK, I've been out of biking for quite a few years, and am surprised at all
> the fat knobby tires on bikes now. I'm used to the skinny tires. Don't the
> fat knobbies take more to pedal? My Suburban has 27x 1 1/4 tires, my old
> Racer was 26 x 1 3/8.
>

They are not all fat. Most mtbs' come with fat knobbies. Some comfort /
hybrids come with fat tires. But road bikes still have skinny tires, as
do some cross / hybrids. Mostly depends on the type of bike you are seeing.

Ken
--
You never have the wind with you - either it is against you or you're
having a good day. ~Daniel Behrman, The Man Who Loved Bicycles

Homepage: http://kcm-home.tripod.com/
post #3 of 33

Re: Why fat tires?

"n5hsr" <n5hsr@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:0dWdnWFtVI52PHneRVn-ig@comcast.com...
> OK, I've been out of biking for quite a few years, and am surprised at all
> the fat knobby tires on bikes now. I'm used to the skinny tires. Don't
> the fat knobbies take more to pedal? My Suburban has 27x 1 1/4 tires, my
> old Racer was 26 x 1 3/8.
>
> --
> Charles of Schamburg
>

Yes you are right, the big tires take more the pedal, and have more rolling
resistance.
But off road the fat knobby tires are needed for improved traction and
better ability to ride through soft stuff.
You probably have noticed how bad the 27x1.25 tires are in soft turf with
wet grass when you are riding.
Anyway, if you are seeing them on bikes on the street, these are the "faux"
mountain bikes, used by many people for commuting purposes.
Most notably the Hispanic riders use them for getting to and from work, etc.
Unfortunately after the big touring bike crash around the late 70's turned
stores off from regular thin tire bikes. But the mountain bike craze went
into full swing. So now there are jillions of cheap "faux" mountain bikes,
intended to be ridden on the street. Basically the public today, see
mountain bikes as being cool and neat to have because they have all the
"trick" features on them. Unfortunately the regular thin tired road bikes
are perceived by the public as being for racing and used by pro-racers etc.
having limited utility for day to day use. Usually most road bike riders
wear spandex, colorful jerseys, helmits and such so they look like racers to
the public as well.
But the "faux" mountain bikes work for their intended purpose, riding on the
roads and sidewalks at around 10mph, usually the rider picks one gear and
never shifts gears. The large stiff knobby tires lose air slowly so the
owners don't have to add air often. Most of these knobby like tires have a
center ridge that tends to help reduce rolling resistance.
Now then real mountain fikes or All Terrain Bicycles have good lightweight
heavy duty frames, and good components and are intended to be ridden hard
off the road. But the "faux" mountain bikes are actually street bike
cruisers that happen to look like mountain bikes because the public likes
the style and doesn;t like the regular road racer style.
Walmart just happens to be trying some marketing experiments with a "faux"
road bike design. I think they have two different models now too. So you can
see one internet sales model on the website and some other people have
reported a different model at some of the stores too. In this case for one
design, they took a mountain bike frame and put on two piece drop bars and
thin 700c25 aerodesign wheels. So it works better on the streets than the
"faux" MTB's do.
post #4 of 33

Re: Why fat tires?

Dear Charles of Schaumberg:
Hi! Fat knobbies are a fashion statement in bikes now -- sort of
like all those 4 wheel drive SUVs and overly-lifted big-tired pickup
trucks that will never see mud. In part, it is because of the beach
cruiser tire heritage -- the 26x2 inch knobbies Schwinn used back in
the 1930's were based on the knobbies on motorcycles of the era
(nowadays most street cycles are on slicks -- weird, I JUST had this
conversation with a gal riding an old Honda). In part the continuance
of knobby tire design is inertia, although for years the tire designers
have tried to create mixed use tires with slick center tread and knobby
sides. Another factor in the fat tire popularity bowl is the streets
are in worse shape, or are perceived to be in worse shape, than they
were. Given a bigger tire, you could use lower air pressure and
consequently get more cushioning (a statement fraught with conditionals
and which I type with trepidation) -- whether or not you've got a
suspension fork or suspension bike.
You can find fat street slick tires -- the 26x1.4 are about on par
with the 26x1 3/8 tire of yore, ALTHOUGH they won't fit on the same
rims (see www.sheldonbrown.com for his tire size essays).

Robert Leone rleone@hotmail.com

n5hsr wrote:
About his surprise at all the fat knobby tires on bikes.
post #5 of 33

Re: Why fat tires?

"Rich" <richa_colorado@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:11u9j9m8n3uc41a@corp.supernews.com...
> n5hsr wrote:
>> OK, I've been out of biking for quite a few years, and am surprised at
>> all the fat knobby tires on bikes now. I'm used to the skinny tires.
>> Don't the fat knobbies take more to pedal?

>
> Fat knobbies not only allow you to get more exercise on your daily
> errands, they also make the ride a little smoother.


Fat, lower pressure tires definitely. Knobbies, I don't think so. Unless,
that is, you consider road buzz smooth. :-)
post #6 of 33

Re: Why fat tires?

"n5hsr" <n5hsr@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:0dWdnWFtVI52PHneRVn-ig@comcast.com...
> OK, I've been out of biking for quite a few years, and am surprised at all
> the fat knobby tires on bikes now. I'm used to the skinny tires. Don't
> the fat knobbies take more to pedal? My Suburban has 27x 1 1/4 tires, my
> old Racer was 26 x 1 3/8.
>


The mountain bike craze of the 90s means there are lots of knobby -tired
bikes out there. Most of them are being used on-road, which is a case of
style over substance.
post #7 of 33

Re: Why fat tires?

Smoother ride, works on grass, on and off pavement shoulders, etc.

Yes, they're harder to push. Knobs make it worse, slicks make it better.

Somewhat more puncture-proof.

--
Ron Hardin
rhhardin@mindspring.com

On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
post #8 of 33
Thread Starter 

Re: Why fat tires?

"Ken C. M." <kencmjr-nospam@netzero.net> wrote in message
news:9sqdnRHkF8m0OHnenZ2dnUVZ_sednZ2d@giganews.com...
> n5hsr wrote:
>> OK, I've been out of biking for quite a few years, and am surprised at
>> all the fat knobby tires on bikes now. I'm used to the skinny tires.
>> Don't the fat knobbies take more to pedal? My Suburban has 27x 1 1/4
>> tires, my old Racer was 26 x 1 3/8.
>>

> They are not all fat. Most mtbs' come with fat knobbies. Some comfort /
> hybrids come with fat tires. But road bikes still have skinny tires, as do
> some cross / hybrids. Mostly depends on the type of bike you are seeing.
>
> Ken
> --
> You never have the wind with you - either it is against you or you're
> having a good day. ~Daniel Behrman, The Man Who Loved Bicycles
>
> Homepage: http://kcm-home.tripod.com/
>
>
>


Haven't found a bike shop here yet, so I was at Wally-World looking for
other things for the new place and waltzed past the bike rack. I just about
had a major cow when I saw Schwinn on their rack.

I don't want to road race, I just want to commute 3 miles down the asphalt
to my place of work. There's a nice little park halfway there, and the
roads are mostly 2 lane between, speed limit 45 officially. It's pretty
much a straight ride. I was thinking of maybe getting an old ladies
Varsity or something like that to ride, so I don't have to get 'over' the
bar because of my hip. I need the exercise, they did a quad bypass on me
last year. (My brother thinks I ought to get a tattoo of a zipper put on
the scar!) I don't think I need really fat tires to get down the asphalt.
Definitely don't need knobbies. I'm not going to do tricks, I did that 30
years ago on my 19" frame Racer, and whupped all the little kids on their
bikes with 20" wheels and sissy bars. I was going fast and turning left
long before NASCAR thought of their slogan!

Charles of Schaumburg
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 

Re: Why fat tires?

"Rich" <richa_colorado@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:11u9j9m8n3uc41a@corp.supernews.com...
> n5hsr wrote:
>> OK, I've been out of biking for quite a few years, and am surprised at
>> all the fat knobby tires on bikes now. I'm used to the skinny tires.
>> Don't the fat knobbies take more to pedal?

>
> Fat knobbies not only allow you to get more exercise on your daily
> errands, they also make the ride a little smoother.


?? I would have thought the knobbies would make the ride bumpier, like my
friend with the 4x4 with knobbies that never got her off the road.

Charles of Schaumburg
post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 

Re: Why fat tires?

"gooserider" <gooserider@mousepotato.com> wrote in message
news:4s4Ff.10808$g47.694@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
>
> "n5hsr" <n5hsr@comcast.net> wrote in message
> news:0dWdnWFtVI52PHneRVn-ig@comcast.com...
>> OK, I've been out of biking for quite a few years, and am surprised at
>> all the fat knobby tires on bikes now. I'm used to the skinny tires.
>> Don't the fat knobbies take more to pedal? My Suburban has 27x 1 1/4
>> tires, my old Racer was 26 x 1 3/8.
>>

>
> The mountain bike craze of the 90s means there are lots of knobby -tired
> bikes out there. Most of them are being used on-road, which is a case of
> style over substance.
>


Sort of like all the Stupid Useless Vehicles (SUV's with 2 wheel drive) that
I have to dodge with my Corolla?

I swear the way some of them drive, one has to flunk an intelligence test to
own one. If I ever needed a 4x4, I would buy something that had real 4x4
drive, like a WWII era Jeep or better yet, a 6x6 Deuce and a half.

Charles of Schaumburg
post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 

Re: Why fat tires?

"Ron Hardin" <rhhardin@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:43E4E779.19B7@mindspring.com...
> Smoother ride, works on grass, on and off pavement shoulders, etc.
>
> Yes, they're harder to push. Knobs make it worse, slicks make it better.
>
> Somewhat more puncture-proof.
>
> --
> Ron Hardin
> rhhardin@mindspring.com
>
> On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.


OK, I haven't had a puncture in years. I've had a couple rim bands give
out, leaving the spoke ends to poke tiny holes in the tubes, and lost air
that way. I blew a tire up once over 30 years ago trying to get it back on
the rim. 120 lbs in a 60 lb tire will do that, but I didn't know I'd gotten
it up to 120, the gauge was only showing about 70. I've had more flats on
cars lately. Is it me, or are the streets getting nastier than they were 20
years ago?

Charles of Schaumburg.
post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 

Re: Why fat tires?

"Leonard Migliore" <ora@laserk.com> wrote in message
newsra-DEE57E.11502004022006@ispnews.usenetserver.com...
> In article <0dWdnWFtVI52PHneRVn-ig@comcast.com>,
> "n5hsr" <n5hsr@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>> OK, I've been out of biking for quite a few years, and am surprised at
>> all
>> the fat knobby tires on bikes now. I'm used to the skinny tires. Don't
>> the
>> fat knobbies take more to pedal? My Suburban has 27x 1 1/4 tires, my old
>> Racer was 26 x 1 3/8.

>
> Yeah, and what about all the fat knobby people riding them?


Well, I don't see people my age riding bikes much. They're too busy driving
their SUV's. As for me, I lost 25 lbs in 5 weeks, but I don't recommend
what I did to lose it. Being in traction for 5 weeks is not a lot of fun.

Charles of Schaumburg
post #13 of 33

Re: Why fat tires?

"n5hsr" <n5hsr@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:luednTk_V_uy0XjeRVn-tw@comcast.com...
> "gooserider" <gooserider@mousepotato.com> wrote in message
> news:4s4Ff.10808$g47.694@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
>>
>> "n5hsr" <n5hsr@comcast.net> wrote in message
>> news:0dWdnWFtVI52PHneRVn-ig@comcast.com...
>>> OK, I've been out of biking for quite a few years, and am surprised at
>>> all the fat knobby tires on bikes now. I'm used to the skinny tires.
>>> Don't the fat knobbies take more to pedal? My Suburban has 27x 1 1/4
>>> tires, my old Racer was 26 x 1 3/8.
>>>

>>
>> The mountain bike craze of the 90s means there are lots of knobby -tired
>> bikes out there. Most of them are being used on-road, which is a case of
>> style over substance.
>>

>
> Sort of like all the Stupid Useless Vehicles (SUV's with 2 wheel drive)
> that I have to dodge with my Corolla?
>
> I swear the way some of them drive, one has to flunk an intelligence test
> to own one. If I ever needed a 4x4, I would buy something that had real
> 4x4 drive, like a WWII era Jeep or better yet, a 6x6 Deuce and a half.
>
> Charles of Schaumburg


I think it's a combination of the "cool" factor and the uncomfortable
experiences many people had with road bikes. Putting a casual cyclist on a
race-oriented bike is a recipe for discomfort, IMHO. I was fortunate enough
to start cycling on a touring bike as a kid, so I have always ridden
comfortable bikes with relaxed geometry. I also got used to riding my
touring bike on all sorts of surfaces. It looks as though non-racing road
bikes are making a resurgence, which is a good thing.
post #14 of 33
Thread Starter 

Re: Why fat tires?

"Rich" <richa_colorado@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:11uak4ipgr29n8d@corp.supernews.com...
> n5hsr wrote:
>
>> Sort of like all the Stupid Useless Vehicles (SUV's with 2 wheel drive)
>> that I have to dodge with my Corolla?
>>
>> I swear the way some of them drive, one has to flunk an intelligence test
>> to own one.

>
> WHy does one need four wheel drive to drive on the road?
>
> We have mid-size 2-wheel drive SUV. It has more cargo space then your
> Corolla. We fill it with camping gear and drive in the mountains. And I
> can haul home wood and such from home depot (woodworkings a hobby) on top.
> And it'll haul my family, all our stuff, and a tandem across the country.
> We need the space, not 4 wheel drive.
>
> It appears perhaps it's you that is having difficulty in hte intelligence
> dept not to see the benifits of such a vehicle.
>
> Rich


I see no benifits in most of the SUV's I see here in the 'Burbs. They're
big, but my Previa van holds just as much and I doubt if any of them ever
actually go out camping with them here. They are for show, i.e. Keeping up
with the other Sub-Burbers. 'I feel so much safer in my SUV'. - Typical
comment. Meanwhile they have blind spots big enough to lose a Corolla in,
and they don't pay attention! I'm literally driving Chicago style, one
thumb on the horn button and one hand out the window . . . . My brother's
Mazda got hit by some stupid little girl with her daddy's SUV. She was
backing up, and hit him. He was honking his horn and flashing his lights,
and had nowhere to backup. The parking lot attendent was also yelling at
her to stop, and she finally did, but he was yelling quite a bit before she
did. That is the attitude of the average SUV driver I see here. I don't
count, I'm just driving a Corolla. What happens if I'm just riding a bike?
(Fortunately for the SUV drivers, I'll be along the edge of the road and not
behind or in front of them. And if they do hit a bicycle rider in this
state, they can pretty much forget driving a vehicle!)

Charles of Schaumburg
post #15 of 33
Thread Starter 

Re: Why fat tires?

"gooserider" <gooserider@mousepotato.com> wrote in message
newsJeFf.1401$_c.505@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
>
> "n5hsr" <n5hsr@comcast.net> wrote in message
> news:luednTk_V_uy0XjeRVn-tw@comcast.com...
>> "gooserider" <gooserider@mousepotato.com> wrote in message
>> news:4s4Ff.10808$g47.694@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
>>>
>>> "n5hsr" <n5hsr@comcast.net> wrote in message
>>> news:0dWdnWFtVI52PHneRVn-ig@comcast.com...
>>>> OK, I've been out of biking for quite a few years, and am surprised at
>>>> all the fat knobby tires on bikes now. I'm used to the skinny tires.
>>>> Don't the fat knobbies take more to pedal? My Suburban has 27x 1 1/4
>>>> tires, my old Racer was 26 x 1 3/8.
>>>>
>>>
>>> The mountain bike craze of the 90s means there are lots of knobby -tired
>>> bikes out there. Most of them are being used on-road, which is a case of
>>> style over substance.
>>>

>>
>> Sort of like all the Stupid Useless Vehicles (SUV's with 2 wheel drive)
>> that I have to dodge with my Corolla?
>>
>> I swear the way some of them drive, one has to flunk an intelligence test
>> to own one. If I ever needed a 4x4, I would buy something that had real
>> 4x4 drive, like a WWII era Jeep or better yet, a 6x6 Deuce and a half.
>>
>> Charles of Schaumburg

>
> I think it's a combination of the "cool" factor and the uncomfortable
> experiences many people had with road bikes. Putting a casual cyclist on a
> race-oriented bike is a recipe for discomfort, IMHO. I was fortunate
> enough to start cycling on a touring bike as a kid, so I have always
> ridden comfortable bikes with relaxed geometry. I also got used to riding
> my touring bike on all sorts of surfaces. It looks as though non-racing
> road bikes are making a resurgence, which is a good thing.
>


Good. I'll have to find one, though I'm wondering if a good used Schwinn
from the pre-China days might be a good investment for the ride.

Charles of Schaumburg
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