23 or 28s for commuter



Eggyolkeo

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Sep 17, 2007
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I've got a Kona Dr Dew with Michelin 35mm tyres. I love the comfort of them, but am very slow compared to some of my road bike buddies.

I'm scared of going all the way to 23mm, would 28mm yield much improvement?

Also, I haven't had a puncture yet, after a year of riding it. Are the 28s still fairly robust?

Finally, any suggesting for tyres would be great. I'm commuting, meaning mainly road, but the odd footpath on occasion.
 

sideshow_bob

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Apr 26, 2005
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the picture i've seen of it looks like it's got standard 26" mtb rims? if thats the case, put some 1.5" mtb slicks on it like maxxis xeniths and see how you do.

i find they roll pretty well on my commuter.

--brett
 

gclark8

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Apr 13, 2004
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Bob has a point.

What is the rim size and width? :confused:

I'll answer later....
 

Eggyolkeo

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Sep 17, 2007
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Sorry guys, should have stated. It has 29" wheels, but unsure of width. But as you can see the 35mm tyres are rather bulbous on it!
 

Retro Grouch

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Dec 29, 2005
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Eggyolkeo said:
I'm scared of going all the way to 23mm, would 28mm yield much improvement?
Since you're riding a bike that was originally designed for 35mm or 38mm tires, I'd measure your rim width and check Sheldon Brown's website to see how narrow a tire he recommends.
 

gclark8

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Retro Grouch said:
Since you're riding a bike that was originally designed for 35mm or 38mm tires, I'd measure your rim width and check Sheldon Brown's website to see how narrow a tire he recommends.
The wheels look like Mavic, however, check as Retro suggests.

You will get best overall value here in Aus with Conti Ultra Gator Skins, they are imported in 23 and 28mm.
 

Eggyolkeo

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Sep 17, 2007
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Thanks guys. They are Sun ME14A rims. Strange though. It has 35 tires now, yet on the rim tape is stamper "25/28 made in Taiwan". Anyway, following the Sheldon guide as suggested, inner width was 14mm so 23mm tires are suitable.

I bought the Conti ultra gatorskins in 23mm, and had a puncture in 4.5kms! Damn! Not 1 puncture in 800kms on the 35mm!

Oh well, maybe the bike wasn't happy about the minro surgery today. Hopefully I have more luck in the future. For the few kms I did get on it, seemed a lot faster. It was easier for me to accelerate, and they were quieter on the corners.
 

Eggyolkeo

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Sep 17, 2007
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I used my small air compressor, need to get a t-bar pump I reckon. Had 105 rear 100 front, but no idea of the accuracy of it (probably not too good).

To be fair, I did go over a driveway gutter quite fast, so will have to be more gentle. I'm used to being able to do these at high speed with ease :)
 

garage sale GT

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Jun 6, 2006
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Eggyolkeo said:
To be fair, I did go over a driveway gutter quite fast, so will have to be more gentle. I'm used to being able to do these at high speed with ease :)
I found a 27X1-1/4 Panaracer to feel faster than a 27X1 Forte because you don't have to pick your line so carefully to keep the bike rim from bottoming out on bumps. The actual widths of the tires are 28 and 23mm, but I bet your tires would also measure a bit thinner than advertised. As for rolling resistance I have no real basis for comparison because the Panaracer is a skinwall and the forte is not.
 

buckybux

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Jul 14, 2005
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I wouldn't go any smaller than 28's on a commuter. I use Gatorskins and have not had a flat in two years.
 

thepeddler

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Apr 22, 2007
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I went to gatorskin 23's for a while but switched back to the detonator 28's as I found the 23's to harsh a ride. Also I kept getting punctures on the gatorskins???

Perhaps a 28 gatorskin may be a better option? Maybe less chance of puncture and a more comfortable ride?
 

buckybux

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Jul 14, 2005
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thepeddler said:
I went to gatorskin 23's for a while but switched back to the detonator 28's as I found the 23's to harsh a ride. Also I kept getting punctures on the gatorskins???

Perhaps a 28 gatorskin may be a better option? Maybe less chance of puncture and a more comfortable ride?
I tried the Gatorskin 23mm one season and they did not work out well. Flats for sure. Can't say on the ride, because I only use them in the winter when we have rougher rides and a lot more debris on the surface. I run them with less pressure too, and that helps, 100 lbs.
 

artemidorus

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Mar 10, 2004
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Gp4000s (23mm) are fine for my commute but I keep a close eye on the road for glass fragments.
 

garage sale GT

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Jun 6, 2006
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Try a nice skinwall tire, maybe even wider than 28 like a 32 or a 35 Panaracer Pasela Tourguard. The skinwall feature mitigates some of the increase in rolling resistance coming from using a wider tire. However, bear in mind that they are not very resistant to sidewall abrasion. I only shop the low end of the market; the Nashbar Prima is another skinwall.

Latex tubes are supposed to help too but I have not tried them in a road bike size. They are more resistant to pinch flats as well as allegedly having lower rolling resistance.
 

mikesbytes

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Apr 12, 2006
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There's actually a lot less difference between 23mm and 28mm tyres of the same construct than you would be led to beleive. I ride predomintly on 23mm tyres but I have used 25mm and 28mm tyres. Basically the 23mm tyres give you better aerodynamics and the 28mm tyres give you lower rolling resistance. Based on the type of bike you are riding, you body will be catching a lot more wind than those on racers and this will be the most significant difference between you and those racer guys.

Assuming the same bike, the improvements you can make are;
1. if you don't already have them, then shoes and cleats
2. lower your handlebars to reduce wind on your body
3. high pressure road style tyres
4. improve the power output of your body