Switching from 32mm to 28mm tires?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Returning_cyclist, Dec 28, 2019.

  1. Returning_cyclist

    Returning_cyclist New Member

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    I have a Trek Hybrid, that came with 32mm tires. I was told by Trek that I could switch to 28mm with the same rims. The idea was somewhat appealing. I was thinking I could drop a little revolving weight off the bike (almost 1/2 a pound) and also have it be a little more efficient.

    My question is, is that going to be a big mistake? Am I just going to end up giving up comfort for nothing?

    My riding is all on streets and roads, I don't off road at all.
     
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  2. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    A lot depends on the rest of your bike. If it's a 30+ pound hybrid, dropping half a pound won't make a lot of difference, so it may not be worth the cost until your current tires are worn out. It also depends on the tires. If your current tires have thick treads and stiff casings (quite likely), switching to a lighter, more supple, performance-oriented tire could lower your rolling resistance without sacrificing comfort, while also dropping some weight. Lightweight tubes will help, too.

    Frankly, if the goal is better performance, the most effective thing you can do is to get rid of the upright hybrid riding position, which creates a lot of drag and limits your ability to engage your muscles and get your weight over the pedals. While it would be possible to convert a hybrid to dropped handlebars, it would probably be more cost-effective to sell it or trade it in and get a road bike.
     
  3. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    There's quite a bit entailed converting a straight bar to a drop bar, you need new bars obviously, but you also need to brake/shift levers (brifters), new cables and new bar tape, not a huge amount of trouble but more than you might have thought. The most expensive part is the levers and if you go with Sora you can pick up a set for around $170, if you want better levers Ultegra will cost you about twice as much. The bar will run around $35, and cables for basic Shimano for about $30. So you'll have roughly $240 not including labor if you let someone else do the conversion.

    Another cheaper option is to go with what's called Trekking bars, also known as Euro bars, these won't get you as much down and aero as a drop bar but it's a bit better than straight bars and you won't need new brifters but you might still need new cables.
     
  4. Returning_cyclist

    Returning_cyclist New Member

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    In fact I got rid of my road bike about a month ago. I cannot ride in a drop position anymore due to osteoarthritis in my spine. Even with the hybrid I have to stop and stretch every 1/2 hour. My bike is in the 25 pound range, so not a tank, but obviously not a lightweight road bike either.

    From what you're saying Brian, it sounds like I might get a bit of improvement from lighter, more performance oriented 28mm tires. I wasn't planning on just replacing my current tires, I'll wait until it's time for a swap, which should be in a few months.

    I may eventually opt for a carbon fiber frame hybrid, which would shed another 3 pounds or so. I realize that is not going to be in the class of a lightweight drop handlebar road bike. But I suspect it would be a pretty noticeable improvement.
     
  5. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Isn't it nice to give us more information?

    So you have a back issue, then I wouldn't even consider a drop bar, in fact you're not going to be able to be more aero so I wouldn't even pursue that whole idea.

    You might want to look into a bar called the Moustache bar, this bar will allow you to move your hands in more positions while riding but it won't require a new set of brifters, maybe new cables if the ones you have don't reach.

    [​IMG]

    upload_2020-1-4_14-10-30.jpeg

    Nitto makes the best moustache bars.

    Keep in mind, if you go with narrower tires they have to be pumped up with more PSI then wider tires, more psi means more road shock being transmitted up your arse and up your osteoarthritic spine causing more discomfort and or pain. Also hybrid bikes, like the one you have, are the best option for you, the only other option is a recumbent bike but you would have to test ride one for awhile to see if it would really work for you or not, but recumbents are expensive, like in the $2,500 neighborhood. Comfort bikes are also suppose to be good for the back but they have a weird riding style but at least you can ride a bike.

    If I were you I wouldn't be worrying about speed, I would be worrying about being more comfortable, but that's just me, but from what you said about your back and your previous road bike you don't want to go to drop bars and you don't want narrower tires, if anything you should be looking at a wider tire then what came on the bike so you could lower the psi more so the tire will absorb more road shock; but you do what you want, sometimes we have to learn the hard way.
     
  6. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    Unfortunately, the biggest issue with a hybrid is the upright position that reduces your ability to fully utilize your muscles, and increases wind resistance. That's going to be the gating factor on performance at any speed much above 10 mph. No matter what you do to lighten the bike, the only gains you'll make will be when going uphill at a modest pace (which certainly helps somewhat). You may be able to make some gains in rolling resistance, but that's a pretty minor factor.

    That said, kudos to you for continuing to ride! Keep fighting the good fight.
     
  7. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Brian, I've seen guys riding mountain bikes with those wide mountain bike tires, cruising along at 20 to 24 mph on the pavement, that's not really slow, and they must be getting some sort of work out that utilises muscles somewhere that has allowed them to ride at that pace.

    When you ride hybrid bikes, you are going to be in the upright position and this means that the saddle is going to bear most of your weight and this further means that the strain of your back is going to be reduced, going to a drop bar will only create more problems for his back, sure he'll be more aero but at what cost to his pain level? He's already said he had a road bike and he had to get rid of it, so why even experiment with drop bars that are going to give him the same issue he had with his road bike? There's no common sense in that.

    So he may have to give up a bit of speed for comfort, there's no shame in that whatsoever, at least he's doing something, in this case riding a bike, when about 70% of adults in America do nothing!
     
  8. Returning_cyclist

    Returning_cyclist New Member

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    Ok thanks guys for the information.
     
  9. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    So what? The fact that you've seen some riders going that fast on pavement on a mountain bike proves nothing. I have too, but they were young, strong, didn't have back problems and were in a low X/C position that was reasonable aerodynamic. Are you seriously going suggesting that you or for that matter, anyone can ride as fast on an MTB or in an upright position as you can on a road bike? I sure as heck can't and it's pretty unlikely that Returning_cyclist can.

    I suggested a road bike, he said that he had to go to a hybrid due to back problems, and I left it at that and praised him for sticking with riding. What is your issue with that?
     
  10. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Young and strong? No man, I was talking about middle age guys!

    If you read my post I never said that he could go as fast on an upright position vs on the drops, I even said he wouldn't be able too, but I also said he would be more comfortable since he had already told us he had to get rid of road bike because he wasn't comfortable in that drop position and yet YOU INSIST he must ride aero! Are you arguing just for the sake of arguing? go find something else to do.
     
  11. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    So you're just going to make up a bunch of crap and try to pin it on me. I never said - or insisted - on any of your made up BS. Perhaps you need to work on your reading comprehension
     
  12. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so you never said this on post #2:

    "Frankly, if the goal is better performance, the most effective thing you can do is to get rid of the upright hybrid riding position, which creates a lot of drag and limits your ability to engage your muscles and get your weight over the pedals. While it would be possible to convert a hybrid to dropped handlebars, it would probably be more cost-effective to sell it or trade it in and get a road bike."

    Or this from post #6:

    "Unfortunately, the biggest issue with a hybrid is the upright position that reduces your ability to fully utilize your muscles, and increases wind resistance. That's going to be the gating factor on performance at any speed much above 10 mph. No matter what you do to lighten the bike, the only gains you'll make will be when going uphill at a modest pace (which certainly helps somewhat). You may be able to make some gains in rolling resistance, but that's a pretty minor factor."

    Or this from post #9:

    "So what? The fact that you've seen some riders going that fast on pavement on a mountain bike proves nothing. I have too, but they were young, strong, didn't have back problems and were in a low X/C position that was reasonable aerodynamic. Are you seriously going suggesting that you or for that matter, anyone can ride as fast on an MTB or in an upright position as you can on a road bike?"

    Then I apologize to you because I thought you wrote that stuff.
     
  13. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    Really, what is wrong with you. The first post you quote was before he told us he had back problems that prevented him from riding a road bike.

    The second one is simply explains why a lighter bike isn't a great deal of help when you're sitting upright, except when climbing at low speed. Do you have an issue with that?

    The third post was in response to some nonsense you wrote in the post above it.

    If you want to turn this thread into a pissing contest, go find someone else to argue with. This is long past being useful to the OP.
     
  14. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    That's true, sorry, I was thinking he said it in is his first post since I read that sometime ago. so you got me on that, I apologize to you sincerely.
     
  15. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    No problem. It's all good.
     
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