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 firstname.lastname@example.org
About his surprise at all the fat knobby tires on bikes.