Different tyre sizes front and back opinions experience please

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by clid61, 11 May 2018.

  1. clid61

    clid61 Veteran

    The North
    Coming from a MTB / BMX background ive always ran thin rear fat front . Just having a play with my road bike now and my 32 mm slick fits on front ok with clearance . should I leave 23 mm rear or put a 32mm on too and see how it handles ? Ta in advance edit == theyre both 700c ttyres doh !
  2. MichaelW2

    MichaelW2 Veteran

    Burn him!
    mickle, meta lon, HLaB and 2 others like this.
  3. boydj

    boydj Guru

    A 32 at the rear would make a significant difference to your comfort if you run it at a much lower pressure than the 23. I doubt you'd notice any other difference.
  4. Banjo

    Banjo Fuelled with Jelly Babies

    South Wales
    32C May not fit between the chainstays on the back. try it before buying another one.
  5. bpsmith

    bpsmith Veteran

    Conti have a set of road tyres where you have different sizes front and back. Theirs are a single size difference with the wider on the rear.
  6. Alan O

    Alan O Über Member

    If you're going to use different size tyres, I'd also think it would make more sense to put the wider one on the rear. The biggest benefit with wider tyres is comfort, and that's best under where the weight is.
  7. SkipdiverJohn

    SkipdiverJohn Über Member

    Just to resurrect an old thread; I've just taken delivery of a couple of special offer original Marathons in 700 x 38 size with the intention of putting them away as future spares - as I always like to buy stuff when it's cheap, not when I need it urgently and have no choice but pay full whack!.
    However, it has got me thinking about experimenting with mixed sizes on my Raleigh Pioneer hybrid. Currently I've got 700 x 35 Delta Cruiser+ front and rear, with pressures roughly as per the Frank Berto pressure chart for a 60/40 weight distribution. It's reasonably comfortable, considering the terrible condition of the roads, but I was wondering if it might be worth me experimenting with a 38mm Marathon at the rear only and dropping the pressure a bit for a better ride? There is no issue with clearance, because some later Pioneers were factory-fitted with 700 x 38 from new. I've also found by experience that Delta Cruiser+ & Marathon come up about 1-2mm under their nominal size anyway even when inflated close to max pressure.
    So the question is, am I just buggering around swapping tyres for little tangible benefit, or am I going to really notice the difference? I've done quite a few miles on the bike so I'm familiar with what is "normal" comfort on 35's. There's also the question of wear rate; Marathons are generally rated as a very hard-wearing tyre, more so than DC+ (which in fairness are also cheaper to buy). With all my previous bikes I've always got through tyres at the rate of two rear ones to every front, so if I fit a very hard-wearing Marathon to the rear, and leave the less hard-wearing DC+ on the front, maybe they'll both wear out at the same time!
  8. Afnug

    Afnug I'll Sithee

    If you swap front to rear when you estimate the rear is half worn, they are ready for changing at the same time, handy if you want to try a different set of tyres and keep them both the same.
    SkipdiverJohn likes this.
  9. SkipdiverJohn

    SkipdiverJohn Über Member

    That's true, you can engineer the simultaneous demise of a pair of identical tyres by swapping ends at half-life, but it means extra tyre changes. I've already ridden both DC+ and Marathon, and I don't perceive much difference in their handling or rolling resistance, so I am happy to run a mixed pair so long as the size difference is small. What I wouldn't want to do, is run two dissimilar tyres with such as big size difference that it stood out visually like a sore thumb.
    Afnug likes this.
  10. iandg

    iandg Guru

    I've ridden Continental X King 35c rear and Vittoria Cross XN Pro 32c front. I had a pair of each in the shed and wanted to set up my Raleigh Professional for off-road fixed riding. The size difference was due to frame clearance, not much room under the fork-crown but the stays were fluted so room for a larger tyre.
    Last edited: 14 Mar 2019
  11. meta lon

    meta lon Guru

    :laugh: :laugh: I did spill my tea
  12. Slow But Determined

    Slow But Determined Nid Yw Cymru Ar Werth!

    On the bike I am sal
    What width wheel you are running will have a say in what tyres you fit as well as frame clearance.
  13. SkipdiverJohn

    SkipdiverJohn Über Member

    I've now fitted a special offer 38c Marathon to the rear of my Pioneer, in combination with a 35c Delta Cruiser+ at the front. I was feeling quite pleased with myself earlier, because the Marathon was "persuaded" on to the rim by hand without the need for tyre levers or cable straps, despite having a reputation for being a "difficult" tyre.
    For a total rider & bike weight of 230lbs, I'm running 50 PSI in the front 35c and 65 PSI in the rear 38c. Went on a test ride for about 8 miles in the howling wind, and the Jury's out ATM. It's pretty comfortable considering the road surfaces but I'm not 100% convinced it's all that much different from running a 35c both ends. A little better maybe, but not a significant improvement. I'll clock up a few more miles to evaluate better. If I'm still not convinced I might fit the other 38c Marathon I've got to the front and lower the front pressure by a couple of PSI and see what that feels like..
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