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20 or 23s--advice requested(10 posts)

20 or 23s--advice requestedSpecialTater
Jun 16, 2003 9:33 AM
I'm currently running 700x23 Specialized Turbo tires (stock on the Allez Elite) but need a new rear due to a gash. I can get Michelin Axial Selects for a good price at the LBS but they are 700x20. What difference will I notice? Would I need to change both (the front's still in good shape) and keep the old front as a spare? What about the Specialzed Cippolini's? Those are a little more, but in my size and available today. Other suggestions are welcomed too.

Thanks from a newbie buying his first set of road tires...
well.....african
Jun 16, 2003 9:39 AM
I have run 23's for a long time. They are very comfortable and work well. If I was you I would stick with them. I have 2 bikes, and one I have to use 20's as there is not a lot of clearance between the rear wheel and frame and 23's rub the seat tube. It works well as it is a time trial bike, faster tires. If you are a newbie stick to the 23's. The 20's are a bit faster, but the 23's are safer and better, especially in the rain.

Use 20's if you like them in a race, or in my case I have no choice. Try gearlink.com for cheap tires, thats where I get mine.
Pretty narrow...especially for the rear tire...biknben
Jun 16, 2003 9:43 AM
The narrower you go the less air you put between you and the ground. That air is acts as a cushion. Many people go from a 23 to a 25 to add comfort. If you go down to a 20 you may notice a narsher ride. With less cushion you also increase the probability of pinch flats which are most likely in the rear.

Many would consider 20s best for time trial use. More aero with less frontal area. The dabate rages about which size offers the best traction.
NO 20's...C-40
Jun 16, 2003 9:52 AM
Even at 135 pounds, I gave up on 20's years ago. The 23's will permit lower tire pressure, ride better and may also have lower rolling resistance.

Conti GP3000's have been my choice for years, just don't pay $50 for them. They can be had for $28-35.
agreeweiwentg
Jun 16, 2003 3:39 PM
like C-40, I have had personal experience (and I weigh even less than he does). 20s are not comfortable and offer no advantages outside TTs.
re: Go with 23's...Mike Prince
Jun 16, 2003 2:40 PM
As others have said, 20's will not ride as well. Also, you will be more prone to tires without air (I can't say the f word). Also, if you really hit something hard, there is less protection (cushion) for the rim - I did this on railroad tracks in my youth and really messes up a nice rim - don't know if a 23 would have saved the day or not.

Anyhow, I'd go with the 23's. If the 20's are such a good deal, get one, put it on the front and put the good 23 on the back.
re: real happy with the Michelin Axial Carbonjrm
Jun 16, 2003 2:52 PM
In a 23. Kinda heavy bu they roll great.
23's.KG 361
Jun 16, 2003 3:47 PM
20's are way too thin for average riding. If you want good tires for not a lot of $$, get Panaracer Stradius pro's, elites, or the new Stradius extremes. Great tires for a lot less than some of the other, better known road tires.
Here's how to chooseKerry
Jun 16, 2003 5:25 PM
If you don't get pinch flats at 110-120 psi, then you can ride the 20s at that pressure. You're very light and very light on the bike. In the likelihood that you do get pinch flats with 20s and those pressures, stay with the larger tires. For a while, 20s were all the rage because people could pump them harder and they weighed less. In practice, you get a harsh ride or risk pinch flats, and minimal reduction in rolling resistance even with the higher pressures because the casing still has to deflect a lot to create the contact patch.
20s are technically obsolete for road ridingBergMann
Jun 16, 2003 8:14 PM
In an age of 130-140 psi rated clinchers, there is absolutely no reason to submit yourself to the hazards of a 20 mm tire, unless you are paid large sums of money to ride them (i.e. trying to beat Lance in a TT).

If you're a rolling-resistance freak, pump up your 23s to 125psi+, and the contact area will be essentially identical to a set of 20s at the same pressure.