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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    6

    Fatter tires on a road bike

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    Hi-

    I am new"ish" to riding on a road bike. I have been riding a road bike for over a year, but I don't get out often. Even after all this time, I find myself wishing I had wider tires. I just can not get comfortable on these tires coming from a hybrid. I am on the brakes downhill for fear of hitting a pothole or some debris. I just do not feel stable at all!

    So can I get a a slightly wider tire without having to change my whole wheel? Can I put a different size tube from what I have on there currently? ANd how do I see what size width I have on there now?

    Thanks for input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,748
    The maximum tire width depends on the frame/fork. What road bike do you have?

    Also it's possible that you don't feel stable because the bike doesn't fit you right. Did someone at the bike shop do a fitting when you bought it?

    - 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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    6
    I have a Giant Avail and love it! My tires say 700x250...they are really skinny. I have not been fitted for the bike by bike shop. I fitted it myself using computer specs.

    I am used to riding my specialized hybrid which rides more like a road bike (except for handles). I just can't seem to feel confident on this bike?? I'm way more nervous about hitting a pothole or going too fast and not having control.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    So those are 25mm tires. You may be able to put 28's on - http://www.bikeradar.com/us/road/new...nounced-41702/ - depending on your year and the tire. Presuming you have disc brakes?

    I agree with NYBiker - though - that sounds "off" to me. I don't feel *that* unstable on skinny tires (though 28's and 32's are my preference). Are your bars way below your saddle? Do you feel uncomfortable other times (besides when descending)? How is it on flats/climbs? Is there something about the bike that is making you feel like you don't have control? Can you reach the brakes easily?
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,351
    Do you spend time looking at your front wheel and worrying about it? Stop! Your focus needs to be out in front of you where you are going not right below you.

    Also, relax your grip and shoulders, don't
    be tense when going over bumps.

    The wheels on most entry to mid level bikes are bombproof. You aren't going to hurt
    anything. Sounds mostly like a technique and confidence issue.

    And, as everyone intimated, if you haven't had a fitting, get one. Ideal position on your
    bike will help. If you need 28's, then fine. FWIW, I go over a lot of bumpy stuff on 23's. I'm pretty confident with my handling skills, And that is the main thing.

    One thing you can do at any tire width is get better quality tires. I like Continnental for road bikes . Not the Sport version, they can be iffy. My favorite is Continue GP 4000s. My mechanic prefers the Conti Four Season, and a lot of people like gators. Looking at the tread, I'd say you might be happiest in the Four Seasons. They are available in 28mm, if that is what you need. The quality of these tires may make the 25's feel much more stable than your current tires. (I'm actually sure just changing to really good tires will make it feel like a different bike. Been there). Tire quality makes a huge difference to me in stability.

    http://www.continental-tires.com/bic...-prix-4-season

    You might go to the Continnental website and read the descriptions for different types, too.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 08-23-2016 at 04:51 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    553
    At first, a 700x25 equipped bike (meaning 25mm wide tires - your new bike) will feel a bit less stable than a 700x35 equipped bike (35mm wide tires, typically what you find on a hybrid). As NY says, as long as the bike fits you, I'd say just do a bit more riding. You'll get used to it. The 700x25 setup is actually pretty durable. Most of us have put umpteen thousands of miles on 700x25 road bikes on pavement of all kinds and even gravel and dirt at times. They're not as dainty as they look.

    The most dangerous cracks in the road with skinny tires are the ones that run parallel to the road, the ones that point in the same direction as your wheels. These can pinch your wheels if your wheels fall into them and cause you to lose steering. These are dangerous. The much more common horizontal to your wheels cracks and shallow/small potholes a 700x25 can handle pretty well. Not the most comfortable, but the closer you hit them at 90 degrees, the better.

    As to going to a bigger tire, looks like the Giant is a pretty standard road bike. Most of the time, you might be able to squeeze a 700x28 on such a bike, but not always. Take your bike to the dealer and ask them, but as I said, I'd jut do a bit more riding on the 700x25s. Put some more miles on them and they'll come to feel very normal.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,351
    Decided to check out Schwalb Marathons, as I've got a set for my cross bike, and they have a lot of tread. They are available in 700x 25c and 700 x 28c. With that much tread, 28 would feel very sluggish after coming from race type 25's. I have a feeling you would really like the 25c Marathons. For what you describe, I think tread type will make a bigger difference than tire width. ( and 28s may not even fit).

    http://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_ti...hon_Plus_HS440
    Last edited by Muirenn; 08-23-2016 at 05:13 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,748
    One thing to consider is that there might be a maximum width tire that can go on the bike. Someone at my LBS measured my bike years ago and told me that 25mm tires are the widest I can use. I don't know exactly what he measured on the bike to determine that.

    Another thing is tire pressure. Higher pressure means you feel bumps and cracks in the road more and that can make the bike feel jittery. There's a good chance that you can safely lower the pressure in your tires -- most people inflate them to a higher pressure than necessary -- and that will give you a smoother ride.

    - 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
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    12,995
    The fact is, it does feel different. Tires 2-3mm wider might help with the transition, but in the end, you need to spend some time just getting used to a different position on the bike. What Murienn said is excellent advice.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,351
    Just reread your original post, and realized you were worried about not being able to go over potholes and debris. A road bike isn't really designed to go over stuff like that, you need to swerve a bit to avoid (while not swerving into traffic or other riders). It's a technique thing. Are there any good group rides you can join for newer riders so you can work on technique with more experienced riders?

    Did you ever get new tires? I'm curious what you went with, and how they are working.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

 

 

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