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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    8

    Tire advice needed

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    I bought a Trek Lexa SL at the end of last year and like it so far, but I'm pretty sensitive to road vibration. I've switched the saddle, wear cycling shorts and gloves, but I still feel it quite a bit. Now my riding distance is expanding and I'm finding riding on well-maintained crushed limestone (gravel) trails is going to be unavoidable at least part of the time. Also, I live in Wisconsin, which means we have some crappy roads due to freeze/thaw as well as sealcoat often used on roads for patching (though my concern is mostly with trails). Anyhow, I'm thinking of replacing my 700c x 23 tires with either 25's or 28's. I want more comfort and better handling on those trails (admittedly I haven't ridden the trails on my 23's much), but I also started to do triathlons and road races and am beginning to be somewhat competitive so I'm worried about how much speed/efficiency I'll sacrifice. Finally, I'm quite petite - 5'1" and 105 lbs, and I have an impossible time pumping my current tires up to 110 psi using my floor pump - I have to have my husband do it for me (not very practical). Any advice on 25's vs. 28's? Also, should I look at any tires specifically or just pick up the Bontragers at the Trek store? Would it be a stupid hassle to switch out 28's for training and 23's for events? Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Riding a wider tire will definitely improve the ride however not sure your fork will accommodate a wider tire. A quick call to the LBS will answer that question. If so then also consider two sets of wheels so you can quickly switch out depending on what it is you want to do with the bike. For full disclosure I think a 28 tire is "narrow" as I ride a touring bike with a 650B wheel and about 40 mm wide tires.
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    8
    I did stop into the LBS yesterday and they said the bike can accommodate up to 28. I guess I just don't know if going up to 28's will sacrifice too much performance?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Where's Mimi Some great articles about width and performance out there. Not sure how geeked out you want to get but here is just one of many articles in Bicycle Quarterly
    In racing, a skinnier tire will come off the line faster, however, once up to speed a wider tire has no less performance and will roll just as fast. I am not a racer but have often caught up with a pack of roadie's and been able to ride with them on our local "bikeway" on my touring bike with my 650b x 40's. Going from a 23 to a 28 isn't going to drop your performance and hopefully will make your ride way more fun as you won't be bounced all over the place.
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    In addition to a wider tire, I would also try lowering your PSI. At your weight, 110 psi, even for a 23cc tire, is arguably too high. There are some past threads on that issue if you'd like to read more about it.

    As for changing out tires before a race, it's really not that big of a job, and it's a skill you need to know anyway. Think of it as good practice.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    494
    I don't race, but I ride with some racers and tri-people, and I know they would not want to give up speed when coming off the line. Two sets of wheels might be the answer. I wouldn't want to change tires for different events, although I guess you would get really good at it!

    And +1 for Indysteels advice on PSI. At your weight, you probably don't need 110 PSI. In fact, riding a lower PSI would make your ride more comfortable.


    Grits

    2010 Trek 5.2 Madone WSD, SI Diva Gel Flow
    2002 Terry Classic, Terry Liberator

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    I'd add that there are lot of good tires on the market. I've long run Vittoria Rubino Pros on mine and have had good luck. Our roads in Indiana are similar to yours, although I'll admit that I'd rather walk my bike than ride on gravel on 23cc tires. I hate when I encounter fresh chip and seal.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,828
    http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/...-faster_209888

    25s or 28s have lower rolling resistance than 23s. You will not sacrifice speed. The wider tires do increase drag, but for the riding you're doing with the wheels that came on your bike, that shouldn't matter.

    +1 on dropping the tire pressure, too.

    As for which tires to get, I've been happy with the Bontragers that came on my bike, but I don't know offhand which model they are. I've had other Bonti's in the past that were more prone to flats.

    I've also been happy with Continental Gatorskins. My main concern is avoiding flat tires. I had some Vittorias a few years ago that rode like butter, but I had too many flats with them and the sidewall started to peel off after only one season of riding.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    8
    Thanks, all of you! The links were great, and led me to even more information out there (much of which I didn't understand, but alas...) I think from what I'm reading, at my weight and performance level, it probably doesn't matter much whether I go with 25s or 28s. I'm leaning toward 28s then just for comfort, if I can find a good tire I like in that size - from what I'm reading, it appears the high-quality road tires don't often come in 28. If my performance really gets up there I may switch back to 23s or 25s for racing. One of the things I came across suggested that 28s would perform better than 23s at the same tire pressure, but obviously you wouldn't pump 28s up to where 23s would be...would it hold then that I would want my 28s at their max since I'm riding my 23s higher than need be for my weight, or would I want the 28s less inflated also? Clearly I have a lot to learn!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,828
    In spite of some bontis going flat, I ride on Bontrager race lites with kevlar and have ridden across the country several times on the same pair of tires. Of course I religiously check the for cuts, embedded stuff, thorns etc. after every ride, come what may.

    marni
    marni
    Katy, Texas
    Trek Madone 6.5- "Red"
    Trek Pilot 5.2- " Bebe"


    "easily outrun by a chihuahua."

 

 

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