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Change tires for Century?(11 posts)

Change tires for Century?Andor
Mar 22, 2002 5:41 PM
Doing first Century in a few weeks. Currently I ride, And find comfortable 23c tires. Wondering though if I should switch to something thicker for the century. Read somewhere that thicker than 23 would be more comfortable. Is there really a noticable difference on long rides?
re: Change tires for Century?davet
Mar 22, 2002 6:14 PM
700X25 (wider) tires are inflated to a lower p.s.i., therefore are slightly more compliant or softer e.g a 'better' ride. That can be a difference over a long distance. A question would be will the 700X25 fit between your brake arches? Probably so, but you need to check. If you are comfortable with the 700X23's and are inflating them to the max p.s.i., lower the pressure 5# and see how that works for you.
Is there a difference?Ahimsa
Mar 22, 2002 6:21 PM
Brother let me tell better stick to those 23's.

Why? Well, because if comfort is your aim, then you will never go back once you size up. I'm loath to saddle up with anything smaller than a 28. Skinny tires are for full on racing. Not for distance or commuting or touring IMO.

I will say this though, if you are comfortable on the 23's and they are what you prefer, I would ride this one on them. Then ride the next one on a bigger tire. It will give you something to compare to and also remove any excuse like "those damned bigger tires are why I rode badly".


Cheers and good luck!


PS. I claim no knowledge of the needs of the super light weight rider. Anyone under 150 pounds may have differing needs and preferences, but I still think all riders would do better on a bigger tire.
Under 150...mduell
Mar 22, 2002 7:01 PM
Under 150# is super light!?!? Crimey, you live in fat-farm, USA or something?

I'm 141#, and I tried 20's for a day on my 56cm Allez (19#)... two pinch flats later I decided to go back to 23's. OTOH, my girlfriend runs 18's (she thought they looked sexier when we were at the LBS) on her 54cm Trek (dunno about its weight, but its pretty stripped down) and absolutely loves the ride, never had a pinch flat.

Sorry about the fat-farm comment, but equating 150# with super light is just crazy.

Mark Duell
I'm with Ahimsa--you'll never go back to those puny thingsretro
Mar 23, 2002 5:21 PM
One of cycling's great mysteries, along with why we insist on 53 tooth chainrings most of us don't need, is why we use such skinny tires. I bought one set of 28s to try them six or seven years ago and haven't used anything smaller since. Most of my riding is on 32s or 35s. If they're any slower, I can't measure it consistently, and they're MUCH more comfortable.
Don't change anything for first centuryms
Mar 22, 2002 6:51 PM
Having completed my first century last fall (and then a second and a third), one piece of advice that I had been given was not to change anything with which I was comfortable before the first century. I did not listen (I drank cytomax for the first time during my first century) and almost did not finish. If you are going to experiment, whether it is with equipment or nutrition, do it some other time.
re: yes there's a differencecyclopathic
Mar 22, 2002 8:31 PM
still I'd keep 23.

even a very hilly century isn't long enough to punish you. I would only do it for a double or more and only if I ride a stiff Al frame. The other reason would be if there're at least 6-10mi of dirt or roads are exceptionally bad.


PS and don't worry you'd be just fine bring some food good luck
re: Change tires for Century?bic
Mar 23, 2002 12:09 AM
If you have been training and only have a week to go don't change just to change. You should be close to that milage already with your present equipment. Having said that there is of course a difference between not only tire size, make and model, and also pressure. I rode a century a few years ago on then a ten year old stiff alum. trek with 145psi 23 Fortenzas. Went like hell but beat the piss out of me. Now ride the same bike as a commuter with 28 105psi and it rides like a caddy.
re: Change tires for Century? - 23c will work finecentury2
Mar 23, 2002 6:48 AM
re: Change tires for Century?Me Dot Org
Mar 23, 2002 8:48 AM
This is an interesting topic, because it really is about the tradeoff of comfort versus speed.

I would agree with the post that said don't change anything major before a century. For my first century, I put on a fanny pack and loaded it down with a first aid kit and enough protein bars and gel to survive a nuclear war. It threw my balance (and my back) off.

Most centuries are well-supported, and should have rest stops every 20 miles or so. Like a good vacation, don't overpack.

As far as the tires, I've always kept to 23c, run at 120 psi. I flatted on one Century at 96 miles (bummer!)

If you feel really 'beat up' after long rides, this is something you need to address long term, not just for one Century. 100 Miles in a day should be a muscular/cardiovascular challange, not an ergonomic one.

One more piece of advice: Stop every 20 miles (or so), but don't stop long enough for your muscles to tighten.

re: Change tires for Century?Ray Sachs
Mar 24, 2002 3:18 AM
Unless the roads are pretty bad or unless you feel uncomfortable on your 23s already, I'd stick with them. I did my first century on 20s pumped up to 150psi. That was pretty stupid and it was a little harsh, but it really wasn't bad. I've since gotten into fatter tires, riding Michelin 23s and Vredestein 25s (they're the same width, whatever it actually is) on my road bikes, Roly Polys (true 27mm) on my audax bike, and 32s on my touring/commuting bike. I'd take the 27s for any multi-day supported tour and on relaxed social rides, but I'd rather have the 23/25s on anything up to about 200 kilometers where I wanted to feel a bit faster (not saying I'd actually *BE* faster, but lighter and smaller FEELS faster to me).