Home Forums Bike Forum Wide road tyres..

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  • Wide road tyres..
  • davy90
    Free Member

    My new wheels have just turned up at the office with a pair of 30mm Schwalbe Pro Ones which I will attempt to wrestle on in the next days once my disc rotor tool arrives.

    I’ve had 28mm Conti Gatorskins with tubes for years on my commuter and found them fairly grim, magnifying the lack of compliance in the frame and not feeling particularly rapid either.

    Used to ride 38mm G-One All Roads on my CX/Gravel bike which I liked as they were light and relatively snappy/quick on and off road, and more recently I’ve been riding mainly road on my Revolt on 40mm Cadex AR which also feel good and work well for the bridleways and crappy tarmac in Surrey/East Sussex where most of my road riding is. Solo I’ll happy pootle along all day but riding with other roadies, I have to work hard to keep up over 30km/h so have taken the plunge on a new wheelset to see if it helps.

    Picked 30mm to enable slightly lower pressures for comfort whilst still giving a weight and aero benefit over the Cadex ARs. Anything larger and I felt like there is little point swapping wheels as I’ll don’t think I’ll get tangible benefit. The Revolt wheels are the hookless CXR2 with a 25mm internal width, the new wheels are clincher 19mm internal.

    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    My road wheels are 19mm internal and I’m going to end up with 32mm I think… I’m not 100% convinced that I won’t subsequently decide that I would have preferred the 34mm from a comfort perspective but I suspect I’ll get used to it and get wider ones next time. It’s a good job those Rene Herse tyres are out of stock although I did read that because they are hand made the rubber thickness can vary and so they are a faff to setup tubeless as sealant can come out of the sidewalls for a week or two… CBA with that on a £90 tyre.

    Schwalbe Pro Ones is what I’m getting in a 32c… probably… or maybe a 30c. No, 32c definitely… maybe. Bloody carpal tunnel. 🙄

    freeagent
    Free Member

    I’ve always got on really well with Gravel King slicks, 32 on the road bike, 35 on the commuter and 38mm on the gravel bike for more road based rides. Set up with a mix of tubed and tubeless and I’ve never felt slow. Recently swapped out GP5000 32 tubed on the road bike to the 32 Gravel King tubeless and the Garmin isn’t suggesting I am any slower.

    Yeah, the Gravelking slicks i had (35mm) rode really well, but were very puncture prone. I’m about to hit the button on a pair of GravelKing + tyres for my winter road bike – they’ve got extra puncture protection which i’m hoping will help.

    I’ve also got a set of GravelKing SKs – think they’re 35mm – i find them really draggy in the road – like towing a trailer!

    Jamz
    Free Member

    I thought the opposite was true. Thin tyres at high pressure are bouncy so they skip over bumps on the surface, lose grip and generate fatigue. Wider tyres at a lower pressure are more absorbent of road imperfections and remain in contact with the surface for a greater percentage of time. No?

    Yes, that theory is broadly correct, with the caveat that skinny tyres are not bouncy – they are jarring – they deflect sharply over road imperfections. Whereas high volume tyres do actually bounce because they effectively have 2-3cm of undamped suspension in the tyre casing.

    Bigger road tyres are certainly smoother over those sorts of smaller jarring road imperfections, because they absorb them, as you say. But, when using really big tyres (40mm +) they can become quite bouncy and unstable on larger more undulating road imperfections (think more along the lines of road subsistence problems), especially at higher speeds. It’s not a massive problem, it’s not even noticeable most of the time, it’s just less than ideal. A 32mm tyre does a very good job of absorbing smaller road defects without getting bounced around so much by larger defects.

    1
    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    Yes, that theory is broadly correct, with the caveat that skinny tyres are not bouncy – they are jarring – they deflect sharply over road imperfections. Whereas high volume tyres do actually bounce because they effectively have 2-3cm of undamped suspension in the tyre casing.

    Ah I see. Thanks for explaining. 👍

    birky
    Free Member

    I’ve got a 2013 Defy with 622-14 rims. It came with 23mm tyres and since they wore out I’ve used 25s and now thinking of trying 28s. The charts I’ve seen say 28s should be ok on that rim width but I’m wondering if squeezing the tyre will make it taller and it’ll not leave enough clearance from the frame. What clearance is acceptable?

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    I do think the tyre construction can make almost as much difference as the width, I ran 25c Conti tyres (GP/GP4 seasons) for ages thinking they felt pretty good, I’ve recently switched to 28c front and 25c rear Vittoria on 20mm int rims (still with tubes) both with a higher TPI (I think) and I would say there’s been an appreciable improvement in comfort and (anecdotally I guess) rolling.

    Unlike the OP I’m limited on width due to still being on a rim braked bike, I think both ends could go up to 28c but I’ve tended to stick to a skinnier rear tyre on the basis that I know it will fit and I can adjust pressure to improve ride to some extent.

    My Gravel bike runs 40mm tyres on a 25mm int rim and those are in a sweet spot (IMO) for a mixed on/off-road drop-barred bike not so skinny that every bump feels jarring, not so draggy that 10 miles on tarmac is an utter chore but hardly whippet fast.

    I have the same 20mm int rims on my CX bike as the road bike, but I’m running 31mm vittoria terreno’s tubeless and there is a very different ride quality there to the road bike (obviously at about 2/3rds the pressure, with about 20% more volume), It’s basically the bottom end of what sensibly works off-road I reckon, and you still have some uncomfortable moments when you catch something square edged and wince as the rim take a knock.

    without constraints, at higher pressures on the road (without knobbles) I can see that sort of tyre working well, for Road bikes there has to be a limit to where more width is benefificial (IMO) and you’re just carrying about extra cushioning that really belongs on a gravel bike…

    Without the constraint of rim brakes I’d probably favour something in the 30-32mm width range, possibly tubeless for more comfort/better rolling, but I wouldn’t rule out other types of tube just for simplicity (latex, TPU, etc) and I would always look at the tyre construction and favour higher Thread count as a way to gauge suppleness of the casing.

    igm
    Full Member

    I have the WTB Exposure 36s on the gravel bike for commuting – loaded up with panniers they’re brilliant.

    Without load the GP5000 28s on my road bike feel nicer.

    PS –  the Exposures were £27 at Wiggle, though they’re now out of stock

    J-R
    Full Member

    What about a combo then? Say 30c up front with a 32c rear? Near perfect Goldilocks solution???

    I’d much prefer better grip up front – rear grip is rarely much of a limitation on the roads.

    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    So the other way round then? Tbh after I typed it I did decide that I would want the larger volume up front anyway, if anything, to ease the discomfort in my hands.

    dc1988
    Full Member

    Goodyear eagle F1 tubeless 32c are £69 a pair at Evans right now, I’ve just ordered a set.

    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    I saw those but it didn’t say if tey were 700 or 650 or whatever so I ignored…

    EDIT – actually if you filter by 700c tyres they come up in the results.

    w00dster
    Full Member

    Ran quite a few sets of Rene Herse and had no problems setting up tubeless. And I’m a cack handed fool.

    The Compass Tyres come out at £120 a pair (   https://www.merlincycles.com/challenge-strada-bianca-handmade-tubeless-ready-road-tyre-700c-296584.html   )

    I’m a bit of an OCD kind of guy, there’s others  with a racing background on here who are similar….and we kind of repeat the same things on these types of threads. But your question is about finding the holy grail between comfort, speed and puncture resistance. There are probably just a small number of tyres that meet these requirements and you’re still going to have to compromise. There is also the fine balancing as to get speed and comfort, as you then start introducing less puncture resistance.
    GP5000 are probably the safest best. But I wouldn’t rule out the Compass. As long as you’re comfortablem with the fact that it’s a race ready tlr tyre. The only flat I had that wouldn’t seal was a huge **** off nail through the side wall. I used my compass tyres for crit racing, general road racing and also lots of fast training rides. They’re not on the bike now, I’m running mainly gravel tyres (scwalbe g one ultra. Ok but heavy, grip in winter off road is great though)

    I know I’m the wrong demographic, but for me I’d be seeing how comfortable a 30mm handmade clincher is. The speed certainly won’t slow you down. They do cut up over, but so will most comfortable fast tyres. It’s part of the compromise.

    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    @w00dster – thanks for all that info. A few questions if I may..

    So, if I understand correctly the Strada Bianca are similar to the Rene Herse and both will suffer from more punctures? Is it just the sidewalls that are puncture prone and if I’m careful on and use on the road only will this be acceptable? That being the case is Stan’s Race sealant going to be the best option? Are they going to hold pressure once installed though or is sealant seeping through the sidewalls a problem?

    Do you not think the Pro Ones are a contender?

    2
    Jamz
    Free Member

    Compass tyres, and the better Challenge ones, are hand made – as opposed to vulcanised. The result is that the tyre is very flexible (and generally thin) so will ride beautifully and have a very low rolling resistance, especially over rough roads. And yes, they will leak sealant because of that. They are basically an ‘open tubular’ design – the tyre tread is bonded/sown to the casing, as was historically done with tubs (which is how you create a proper tan wall tyre). Being hand made makes them more expensive, so they are generally sold as fast racing tyres and are therefore not the sort of thing that you would want to run through winter, unless you have money to burn. Compass/Rene Herse do make an endurance casing with more puncture protection, but they are still a very expensive tyre to run in winter. The standard or extralight casings have very minimal puncture protection – I have had both casings on different bikes and I have never had a tyre with so many plugs in as those!

    These days a top notch vulcanised tyre can be faster than a hand made one, but they never ride quite so well (especially if you’re on Continental), so a hand made tyre tends to be the connoisseurs choice. If you want to try something that is a bit of a half way house then Vittoria Corsas are good, or a Corsa Control in winter – although they do tend to get cut up quite easily.

    As we head into winter you’re probably better off a good quality vulcanised tyre. The Conti GP5000 is the leader in that category. I have never used Schwalbe Pro Ones but I’m sure they’re fine too. GP5000 (and the GP4000 before it) usually tests as the fastest everyday tyre (although maybe the newish Michelin Power Cup now beats it…?). Challenge do make cheaper vulcanised versions of their tyres, but they wear down notoriously fast. The Panaracer Gravel King is also basically a vulcanised version of the Compass/Rene Herse tyres, and they make an excellent winter tyre as they can often be bought cheaply, but again, not the best puncture protection, although the file tread is nice to have. Everything is a compromise at the end of the day. On my best bike, I have been using Michelin Power Cups over summer, but I will take them off and put some Vittoria Corsa Controls on over winter, mainly because I bought some at a great price. The main thing to remember is that life is too short to ride shit tyres!

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    I have 36mm tyres on.
    They are noticeably more comfy.
    They downside (And bear in mind I am on a bike with mudguards and rack, plus biffer atop the saddle) is that at higher speed I do think I can feel extra wind resistance of my bike and me compared to a racing snake on a skinnier tyre and frame….But, that is speeds above what I can comfortably hold pedalling.
    I *think* the wind resistance would be more of an issue if I lived somewhere flatter.

    freeagent
    Free Member

    Goodyear eagle F1 tubeless 32c are £69 a pair at Evans right now, I’ve just ordered a set.

    Thanks for the heads up – just done the same

    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    I think I might stick some Pro Ones on for the winter then as they can be had for £40 each and treat myself in the summer to some super duper handmade ones perhaps. The reviews of the Pro Ones seem on a par generally with the GP5000s and they claim to be super comfy because of their 127EPI casing as opposed to the 67EPI on a standard Schwalbe – for reasons best known to Schwalbe they measure EndsPI instead of TheadsPI and don’t add up the layers. eg a three layer 50TPI is sold as a 150TPI tyre by most but Schwalbe have 127EPI per layer they say…. 🤷‍♂️

    sanername
    Full Member

    I don’t know what it is, but I’ve never got on with Rene Herse tyres. I’m not sure if it’s the compound or the width (I’ve only used them in 36+ sizes), but something makes me feel like they’ve got less grip than other tyres. When I lean the bike over for a corner they start to get slidy very quickly, a bit like a mountain bike tyre with no transition knobs. Anyone else experience this? I maybe that I’m a big guy 1.95m and 105kg, so perhaps the weight/width/pressure compromises go awry.

    I’m going to try a bunch of other wider tyres (including some schwalbe’s with mini knobs) and see how I go. I ride mostly in Dumfries and Galloway on roads which are often either shite or covered in shite, so a pure road tyre isn’t quite right.

    mert
    Free Member

    When I lean the bike over for a corner they start to get slidy very quickly, a bit like a mountain bike tyre with no transition knobs. Anyone else experience this?

    How wide are your rims? Have found with (very) wide slicks and flexible casings you need either higher pressures or wider rims so stop that drifty feel, think it’s the way the tyre flexes as you side load it.

    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    I’m not sure if it’s the compound or the width (I’ve only used them in 36+ sizes), but something makes me feel like they’ve got less grip than other tyres.

    According to the reviews I’ve been reading since starting this thread they’re supposedly more grippy than other tyres except in the wet whereby you need a lower pressure… What pressure are you running yours at?

    woodster or jamz will undoubtedly have better advice for you…

    Daffy
    Full Member

    I’m a huge fan of GP5000TL.  In almost 20k km, I’ve only had one puncture which wouldn’t seal on its own and needed a little assistance , that and they’ve been ran down to the canvas without puncturing.  They grip well, steer well and wear well compared to 4000s.  Looking forward to trying the 5000S TR next.  Lighter, and “better”…but are they as durable?

    shedbrewed
    Free Member

    OP I would say if you can fit wider tyres and you aren’t racing or testing then go for it. 28mm was always the magic size for me when testing and racing and now I just do fun stuff like audaxes I prefer a little more comfort and not so fussed on the aero aspect. My datum’s were two imperial centuries I did a week apart. One on my fast bike on 28mm corsas and one on my Audax bike on Rene Herse 44s. The average speed difference between the two over 100 miles was 0.8mph in favour of the 28mm corsas. That’s such a negligible difference for me that it just doesn’t matter and I’ll take the comfort of the bigger tyres any day. I’ve used so many different tyres now that I tend to just go for the ones I like at that time. Bontrager R3 hard case lite 32mm were superb right up until the carcass and tread separated by bubbles.

    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    I’m leaning towards a 34mm Pro One for the winter as I am not sure I can be bothered with the puncture/ride ending cut potential of the hand made tyres – that and the poor wet performance (unless you wipe with vinegar every few rides – yes you read that right, either the Rene Herse or Challanger website mentions it). We go down (and up obv!) some quite steep roads and one of the group has recently crashed twice skidding down a hill (I don’t want to be unkind but I do think that may have been due at least in part to her poor bike handling ability but it may have been her tyres…🤷‍♂️) and I myself have struggled to slow down on occaision with both wheels locking up at relatively low speed on a steep descent and that is on a dry road in the summer!

    So grip, comfort and speed are top priority followed by puncture resistance but without ride ending failures…. Purely road riding mostly off the main roads where possible.

    Cast your votes…

    Challenge Strada Bianca in a 30c or 33c

    Challenge Gravel Grinder in a 36c (if it’s the case that the Bianca is a daft choice for a north east UK winter and a more gravel oriented tyre will be stronger and more reliable when used on road – 36 is wide though…😲).

    Schwalbe Pro One TLE in a 32c or 34c

    Conti GP5000S TR in a 32c

    Vittoria Corsa Pro Control in a 34c

    Vittoria Corsa N.EXT in a 34c

    dc1988
    Full Member

    I always thought the GP4000s were great tyres so I assume the GP5000 are equally good if not better. The only reason I haven’t bought a set is I’ve not seen the 32c for less than about £70 per tyre

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    I bloody hope wider tyres are worth it, just removed my old 25mm GP4000s for some non-tubeless 28mm GP5000s.

    45g extra weight per end (the difference between a normal inner tube and a latex tube, and I don’t recall noticing when I swapped tubes). Only marginally larger to look at, I think because old GP4000s were slightly oversized anyway before Conti got more accurate with their sizing.

    Most worried about the sound when bouncing them on the kitchen floor, they’ve lost that nice pingy latex noise 😂

    diggery
    Free Member

    Conti GP5000S TR in a 32c

    would be my vote, but in the AS or All Season variety.  A bit heavier, better wet grip and more puncture resistance at the cost of a couple of watts a tyre.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    so should I fit the widest I can – for supreme comfort?

    No.

    I’m using 28c Pro Ones, on 21mm rims, because they fit in my mudguards, and they are supremely comfortable. I can see no need to add the extra weight from a comfort perspective. However, you might get more grip on greasy and/or rough roads.

    davy90
    Free Member

    Now have very sore thumbs… ended up breaking out the tyre levers and washing up liquid…. (thanks GCN video) Tyres are on and inflated, not convinced that the beads are in the correct place fully as there was no pop even with the air tank, second tyre seemed to seal with just the track pump… but they’re holding air, added some Stans sealant and had a tootle up and down the road.

    Zippy :)

    Won’t get to ride properly until Friday.

    1
    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    Ive noticed that sometimes when seating/reseating tubeless there isn’t always a pop, especially if you’ve used a lubricant to help get them on. Make sure the thin bead line on the tyre is uniformly visible a few mm above the rim edge on both sides and that will confirm they have seated OK.

    jameso
    Full Member

    I don’t find 25 to 30mm is a major change, yes there’s a bit more comfort from being able to drop the pressure but a 30mm tyre at 65-70psi is still not much tyre for many of the lanes I ride on. Fine on smooth roads, not great on at least half the tarmac I ride in an average 50-100 miler. A 30mm tyre is fine for 3-4 hours but on longer rides I’m finding they get annoyingly jarring after a while, whereas a 650 x 50mm G-One is another world and I carry speed on some of those lanes in a way that makes a real difference to maintaining a pace. 50mm is ott for all-tarmac rides yes, still I don’t think they’re slower over long distances but over a short section or a hill effort they’re not as responsive-feeling if that matters. You wouldn’t road-race on them but if you want to feel fast over a longer ride I’d say go for bigger, good quality tyres and ideally match them to a suitable rim so the aero section is ok.

    If I was building an all-round road bike now I’d want light 37-42mm tyres on it. 700 or 650, not too fussed but I think the increase in rim size from 650 to 700 can mean dropping 5mm on tyre width for similar comfort with a slightly more road bike cornering edge feel.

    Edit to add, if I think about a couple of the guys I ride with and how happy they are clattering over holes in the road on 28mm tyres.. maybe I’m just intolerant of things others are ok with..

    shedbrewed
    Free Member

    @oceanskipper if you want some challenge gravel grinder in 700/36 I have some HTLR that are lightly used, no punctures that you can have for £65/pair posted.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    I think if I had bigger tyres I might end up going faster still on the really rough sections and putting more impact into my road bike frame. It’s not an MTB nor is it a gravel bike. I mean, on a really bad section of broken road I slow down, but these are generally pretty transient. There are some truly shitty lanes but I either avoid those or mince them, they’re not that common. Roads that are just normally rough are fine on 28c.

    The biggest benefit for me with larger tyres would be when there’s gravel and mud all over the place. There is one corner on my local loop that frequently floods and is consequently deep in gravel, that I take slowly on 28c and I would corner faster if I had more rubber, but that would require basically a different bike altogether with its associated compromises.

    On this bit of road I brake, but I am still doing a fair speed. I just don’t hammer down it. I used to have to really take it carefully on 23c but not on 28c. But on an MTB I go full pelt down it.

    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    Yeah I’d love to put some of those Rene Herse Jon Bons on, but perhaps not for the winter. There are mixed reviews about their performance in the wet and I’d rather test that during the summer whereby they won’t need to be removed if that turns out to be the case. There’s considerable faff in getting them setup too potentially, tread and sidewall thickness can be variable because they are hand made and they might potentially be difficult to seal. I CBA sending them back and, having no experience of them to date I wouldn’t even know if any I bought were thinner than they ought to be; and then seemingly if you use the recommended SmartSeal sealant it needs changing every 30-45 days and is so thick/good it blocks up any valves so needs pouring in with the tyre unseated – even with the core removed it clogs apparently and will likely be a right pain with Reserve Fillimores although I’d be intrested to know if anyone has tried it. They would need to be outrageously good for all that to be worthwhile – maybe they are but I don’t feel like testing for myself over the winter. I may still be persuaded otherwise though!

    I’m still undecided but I’m thinking 34mm Pro Ones as they make a point of promoting  the “Souplesse” feature so I’m assuming Schwalbe must be quite confident that they are more comfortable than their competitors…..

    Jamz
    Free Member

    I don’t find 25 to 30mm is a major change, yes there’s a bit more comfort from being able to drop the pressure but a 30mm tyre at 65-70psi is still not much tyre for many of the lanes I ride on

    What do you weigh?! I’m 69kg and run 25s at 70psi! (and no, I’ve never had a snake bit in 12 years of road riding…) 30mm I would run at 52psi, which is just delightful.

    1
    TiRed
    Full Member

    Most worried about the sound when bouncing them on the kitchen floor, they’ve lost that nice pingy latex noise

    I predict that you’ll be on 25c GP5000 non-tubeless with latex tubes. It is a magical combination. Thank me later.

    mert
    Free Member

    FWIW Challenge are doing a few models in kits now, pair of tyres for ~€100

    jameso
    Full Member

    What do you weigh?!

    75kg, generally have tubed 28mm tyre that’s 30mm on a 19mm rim tyre @ ~65psi, might go a bit firmer on the rear up to 70. If the pressure drops between rides to ~60 I don’t mind but much lower than that starts to feel ‘flat’ to me.

    Perhaps if I have a bike on narrow 700Cs I want it to feel relatively firm and I’m more used to some tyre bounce on the 650B bike. My old classic /Sunday roadie is on 23s still and that’s ok at 95-100psi, I just avoid the rough lanes.

    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    Out of interest are the Rene Herse really that easy to puncture? @shedbrewed you say yours were full of plugs – was that from gravel riding or nails/thorns/glass on UK roads? Anyone else used any?

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