Wider tyres safer in the rain?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by pfc, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. pfc

    pfc New Member

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    Are wider tyres better in the rain?
     
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  2. huboon

    huboon New Member

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  3. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    Adding to huboon's response, tyres with silica gel or the like grip better in the wet. If you run them slightly softer than your dry weather pressure, you will get even more grip.
     
  4. pfc

    pfc New Member

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    Thanks guys. I've been riding an mtb with slick 37's for 10 years and have just made the jump to a flat bar road bike with 28's. It's probably in my mind but I'm feeling a little paranoid as I corner in the wet.
     
  5. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    I have a portfolio of tyres ranging between 23mm and 28mm. The tyres that grip the best in the wet are the 23mm ones. Not because of the width, but because of the quality of construction and the compounds used.
     
  6. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    And

    Besides having better wet and dry traction, smooth tread also has lower rolling resistance, because its rubber does not deform into tread voids.

    From Sheldon's post. Most people still think treaded tires are better in the rain. They are not.
     
  7. Solanog

    Solanog New Member

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    Then what is thread for in road bicycles?
     
  8. Albert 50

    Albert 50 New Member

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    Threads holds the tyre together. Tread is a WOFTAM
     
  9. pfc

    pfc New Member

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    Thanks for all the info. I understand the bit about tread and also materials used in construction. It's the width I'm really questioning. Would 2 tyres, both made of exactly the same material and both with no tread, one of them a 23, the other a 37 have differing grip?
     
  10. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    The problem with that question is that, to my knowledge, you can't get 37mm tyres with the same quality as the top end 23mm tyres.
     
  11. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    Yes. If the compound is the same, a wider, lower pressure tyre has better grip, wet or dry.
     
  12. Russ Reynolds

    Russ Reynolds New Member

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    I'm still a bit baffled by the comment that treaded tyres are not better in the rain. It may be a combination of speed, width, compound etc but what makes the physics on a bike tyre any different than the physics of a car tyre ? What do V8 Supercar or NASCAR drivers do as soon as it rains ?
    The last I knew, tread disperses water ?
     
  13. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    There are several reasons why aquaplaning isn't a risk for bikes
    1) the contact patch for a bike tire is an oval, with a pointy bit forward. It does a great job of forcing water out of the way all by itself
    2) the contact patch of a car tire OTOH is close to rectangular, with the wide side forward. it needs the treads to get rid of the bow wave.
    3) speed, even the fastest of bike riders will look like snails in comparison to race cars. slower speeds equals more time to squash the water away.

    I think that I've read that bikes can in theory aquaplane, but only at speeds reached by vehicles normally found on runways and race courses...

    Personally I'm wondering whether treads might not have a bit of a positive influence anyhow, by allowing for a more positive interference fit between tire and surface...
     
  14. Russ Reynolds

    Russ Reynolds New Member

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    Thanks mate. When you put it like that, it all makes sense. I wondered why nobody questioned it and I was the only dumb arse.
     
  15. jock.c

    jock.c New Member

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    The problem isn't aquaplaning, it's maintaining grip when cornering. And the main problem isn't the tyre compounds or construction: it's rider experience.

    Unfortunately most riders don't get out and train in the wet stuff to test the limits. When confronted with a wet corner the inexperienced riders will enter at dry weather speeds and there's a very high probability that they'll lose traction and end up nursing a sore head and a cracked helmet. Black ice (oil/water mix on the road surface) helps things along beautifully.

    Tyre manufacturers laud their dual compound tyres but (having ridden a lot of them) IMHO they're a load of rubbish. You really need something that provides consistent and predictable grip no matter what you're doing with the bike, and dual compound tyres just don't cut the mustard. Simple rubber tyres with good construction might not be world beaters but for training in the wet they're the duck's guts.
     
  16. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    Also check the first link that huboon posted: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#hydroplaning

    According to the rule of thumb used by the aviation industry, you have to go at 100 mph to hydroplane with a tyre that is inflated to 100 psi.
     
  17. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    I recall that something that I read stated that narrow bicycle tyres can aquaplane at 180km/h. So if you plan to ride that fast, get treaded tyres.
     
  18. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    Geez dude, do you ever read other people's posts, or click on links they provide?? :rolleyes:
     
  19. Little Lance

    Little Lance New Member

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    Just have to mention something, when you have bought fresh, new tyres do not ride in the wet and especially around corners!
    Usually the makers put a special wax on the tyre to keep it in tip-top condition.
    If you do decide to go for a ride rub it off very finely with some sandpaper.
     
  20. jock.c

    jock.c New Member

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    Chill DL. You're on the interweb, where everyone can see your failings and insecurities.
     
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