20mm vs. 23mm tires

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Road Buzz, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. Road Buzz

    Road Buzz New Member

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    What are the differences between 20mm and 23mm tires: ride, resistance, wear, cornering? Is it worth trading my 23's for 20's just for my recreational riding--will I see any benefits?
    - Buzz
     
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  2. nbfman

    nbfman New Member

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    I just asked the same question at my local store. I was told that for the roads around my area, which tend to be rough pavement, the 20 mm would give a harsher ride. He recommended 20 mm or 19 mm for the reduced weight if I planned to do a lot of hill-climbing. Otherwise, he thought 23 mm would be more comfortable, as they can be inflated to lower pressure. However, he did say that after my 23 mm's wore out, it might be good to try 20 mm for a while to see how I like them, so I am thinking about trying 20 mm in the future.

    nbfman
     
  3. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    Unless you're riding on really smooth pavement, the rolling resistance for a 20mm tire is going to end up being higher than for a 23. The smaller drag area can make up for it, but you really have to be flying. My personal experience has been that since 20mm tires have to be inflated to higher pressures, they bounce a bit more. This can make the bike feel really slippery going through corners. They also seem to puncture more easily since they don't conform to debris as well. If you're just doing recreational riding, you might even be better off going up to 25mm.
     
  4. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    I was a 20mm devotee for at least 10 YEARS, and 'good' 23s are far better: they roll better, they absorb bumps much better (which makes you faster :)), they corner HEAPS better, and the comfort can't be compared, especially on the front. 20s would only be better on the smoothest of smooth roads.

    Several times over the years, I mistakingly judged all 23s after trying cheap ones, so, that gave me a bad impression of them: they just felt slow and squishy. Then I tried some good ones (high-end Michelins, Vittorias and Vredestein), and it made a big difference. I now use Vredestein TriComps, which are a little more affordable than the other good brands, and they're rated to 145psi, which is handy if you're on the heavy side.

    here's an older thread on this topic:
    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t230098-.html
     
  5. domaindomain

    domaindomain New Member

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    for general and leisure riding I think 23s will suit better.

    Its occassionally nice to go for a nice tyre in 20mm section for a special ride but you will, genrally, find the ride less forgiving. The profile is typically lower on a narrower tyre too and that makes shock absorption less.

    There are some intermediates that you might want to consider too

    Veloflex Black for instance are 22mm

    Tufo C S3 Lite for instance are 21mm

    Both are fine tyres
     
  6. Road Buzz

    Road Buzz New Member

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    Thanks for the input... another thought I heard since posting my question yesterday is that smaller diameter tires can lead more easily to rim damage with a flat--since the tire will more likely deflate and compressin inside the rim walls.
    - Buzz
     
  7. Rideastrong

    Rideastrong New Member

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    unless you are racing and need to save a couple grams form your wheels ride a 23. A good 23 will ride smoother, absorb more impact and road imperfections and handle better.
     
  8. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    The also increase the risk of your rims getting gouged from hitting rocks off center.
     
  9. otherworld

    otherworld New Member

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    20mm tyres are only of any use at all on the track or for time trials on a very smooth course. You need at least 23mm or 25mm. There are a lot of threads on this subject already posted . Do a search Regards Jay.
     
  10. Road Buzz

    Road Buzz New Member

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    Thanks Jay... good info on the search: sorry to waste the time when the question was already out there and answered. I saw your more complete relpy on another thread. Later, Buzz
     
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