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Fat rear tire, Skinny front tire?(4 posts)

Fat rear tire, Skinny front tire?KillerQuads
Aug 7, 2002 8:51 PM
Besides bicycles, I also ride motorcycles. All road racing motorcycles have wide rear tires (about 50% wider than the front tires). This improves traction, steering, handling, feed back, and tire wear.

So why don't road bicycles have wider rear tires? Since the rear tire bears more weight and is the drive wheel (as in motorcycles), it would only make sense. I think there would be more comfort (our "hard tail" roadbikes have no rear suspension), longer rear tire wear (My same-size rear tire wears 5 times faster than my front), better rear rim protection, and very little loss in rear wheel aero dynamics (front would remain skinny). By keeping a thin front tire, the handling would remain nimble.

I suggest a small difference in width such as 25 or 28 mm rear with 23 mm front for training/commuting and 23 or 25 mm rear with 20 mm front for "racing".

With my motorcycle and bicycles I like to have the pressure slightly higher in the rear tire (bears more weight).

Some may say that a thinner front tire would lose traction and slide in the rain. However, motorcycles are raced rain or shine at extremely high speeds, and they handle well with fatter rear tires.

I am about to try this fat rear setup to see if it makes any difference.
Done that.Eager Beagle
Aug 8, 2002 12:17 AM
For a couple of years. 25 rear harder than 23 front. Far more confortable, and evens up the wear rates. Doesn't slow me down an iota.
BMX and some of the downhill guys do the opposite.Spoke Wrench
Aug 8, 2002 5:35 AM
Fat tire in front, skinny tire in back. They want the front tire to float over the loose stuff and the back tire to dig in.
BMX and some of the downhill guys do the opposite.eddie m
Aug 8, 2002 1:02 PM
Motorcycles have big tires on the back because they have lots of power to put on the ground. On bicycle, you want a narrow high pressure tire on the back for efficient power transfer. A larger, softer tire does not have a huge amount of more rolling resistance, and it usually has better tracction, but it transfers power to the ground less efficiently. It looks wrong but, as Spoke Wrench says, it works for BMX and DH guys. Competition usually proves what works best.