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Tire width - 20 vs. 23 ?(9 posts)

Tire width - 20 vs. 23 ?montavi
Mar 1, 2002 6:16 AM
I saw Performance has a great deal on Michelin Axial Pro's - but they only have 20's. I currently have 23's (Conti's) on my bike. What's the main difference in ride characteristics - harsher? less traction?

re: Tire width - 20 vs. 23 ?mrotis
Mar 1, 2002 7:02 AM
How much do you weigh? Do you ride in a lot of wet weather? I ride 20c's because I find them on sale quite often. The ride is not appreciably harsher to me but I don't ride a stiff aluminum frame and I weigh < 150. If you weigh a lot more, you'll probably have wheels go out of true more often on 20's and they are a little more sketchy in wet weather because of the smaller contact patch to the ground. I'd suggest buying a decent pair on closeout for a small sum and try them - I've been pleased, I haven't had more flats and I like spending <$20 per tire.
re: Tire width - 20 vs. 23 ?slm
Mar 1, 2002 11:55 AM
In reality, 20c tires do not have a smaller contact patch than 23c tires (at equal pressures). The 20c contact patch is longer and narrower whist the 23c contact patch is shorter and wider.

Also note that because of the narrower contact patch, 20c tires will actually be better handling on wet pavement.

One could argue that it is impossible to hydroplane any bike racing tire regardles of size or tread due to such high contact pressures between the tire and road surfaces would certainly "squeeze out" any water between the two.
re: Tire width - 20 vs. 23 ?pedaler98
Mar 1, 2002 7:03 AM
I've found that 23's corner better and have better all around traction because of the tire being more rounded over as opposed to the 20's that tend to have a very upright profile. also, i have read some articles that state the same.
re: Tire width - 20 vs. 23 ?Elefantino
Mar 1, 2002 7:33 AM
I, too, was once bitten by the siren song of cheap 20s.Mine were Contis.

I notice more of a difference between 20 and 23 than I do 23 and 25. (Well, duh.) I run 23s at 110 psi. At the same pressure, 20s make me "feel" the road more.

You can let some of the air out of 20s to make them more compliant, but then they wear faster.

Have you tried the Performance Forte Kevlar or Forte Pro Kevlar? Good tires. Long wearing. Good traction. I've been pleased with them. But I only buy them when they're on sale, which they're not right now.

I dunno. For $20 a pop I might spring for the Axials just to see how they ride. That's a good deal. I know. I sell Vittoria Pro Team Kevlars in 700x23, but that's another matter and I don't want to be accused of being a spammer ... again.

re: Tire width - 20 vs. 23 ?weiwentg
Mar 1, 2002 10:49 AM
I got 3 20mm Axial Pro Lights for $20 each from our friends at Performance. they're damn good tires. am I less confident in corners? a little, I guess...
Rolling resistance..... a little off topicmixinbeatz
Mar 1, 2002 8:23 AM
One thing to keep in mind, is that smaller tires have generally less rolling resistance. I read a post some months back on a newsgroup posted by jobst brandt(wheel guru) that said that the quality and casing thickness also played a role. He basically said that a high quality 28 clincher may have less rolling resistance than a low grade 18. Ride both and see what you like better and keep in mind that width for a 20 or 23 can vary quite a bit between manufactures. I ride 20 and am a 180 pound sprinter type and have never noticed any advantages to go any wider. After trying basically every manufacturer on the market I chose to stick with conti's which have been great overall. Just watch out for some of the 3 tires for $49 specials at performance, I realized that sometimes those tires are on sale for a reason!
re: Tire width - 20 vs. 23 ?Thorman
Mar 1, 2002 9:28 AM
I run the Michelin Hi-Lite 20's on my bike and consider them a decent tire for the money. I bought them from Performance when they were on sale (I think they still may be on sale). The only thing I've noticed is that after only around 900 miles my rear tire is starting to get a flat spot in the middle. I will buy these tires again and very soon by the looks of my rear tire. By the way I am 183 lbs and have Ksyriums.
Click on this site..DINOSAUR
Mar 1, 2002 10:08 AM

Keep in mind that manufacturers measure their tires differently. A 23 in one brand might be compared to a 25 in another. Same as for a 20 to a 23.

I would think that if you weigh over 190lbs you would want a 23 on the rear. 20's also wear a lot faster and would be rougher riding. A lot depends on your body weight and you type of riding. Not to speak of the psi you use...