Putting thinner tyres on a touring bike

Bigtallfatbloke

New Member
...It just occurred to me that it might be possible to put thinner tyres on my touring bike and go faster?

Ok there would be a trade off in other areas I suppose...but is this possible? is it worthwhile? ...or is there a reason why tourers have thicker tyres?...must be ,,,or they wouldnt have them I suppose...doh...:smile:
 

Blonde

New Member
Location
Bury, Lancashire
The tyre width range you can use may depend on what rims you have. Some touring rims are designed to take wider tyres and a thinner one may not fit so well. However, I reckon you'd be more likely to have trouble doing it the other way round - trying to fit fatter tryes to a narrow rim. The reason tourers often have wider tyres is to absorb road/trail vibration - the assumption is that the bike will be loaded with luggage and that you will be riding a reasonable distance on consecutive days and therefore want to be as comfortable as possible. The other thing is that in theory, wider tyres roll better - so are useful on a tourer where keeping the loaded bike's rolling momentum is more important than quick acceleration (which is difficult with luggage or a heavy load anyway). There is nothing to stop you changing the tyres though, as long as they will fit your rims.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Get some 18mm tubs - can let you have an old pair :smile:

For race bikes 23mm is seen as the best compromise these days - I used to ride 20mm for training, but they were a little harsh - 23mm supposidly roll better and are slightly more comfortable. Used to use 18mm tubs once upon a time when TT'ing - they only liked straight lines....
 

Chris James

Über Member
Location
Huddersfield
I put a pair of 23mm on an old tourer (previously had 32s) and it felt horrible. Using Sheldon Browns table the rims were too wide (can't remember the rim width off the top of my head)

I changed to 28mm and got a better ride and seemed to roll faster.

Basically - I wouldn't bother!
 

walker

New Member
Location
Bromley, Kent
tourers are generally wider to be able to withstand the higher loads (Panniers etc) and make longer distances a little more comfortable. if you don't do either of these I can't see why not
 

Danny

Legendary Member
Location
York
When I am riding unladen on day rides I use 23" tyres on my touring bike, but then put on 28" tyres if I am carrying gear on a longer journey.

As Chris said, the ride on 23" tyres feel pretty hard if you are used to wider tyres, so I would start with 28" or possibly 25" tyres and see how you get on.

I feel like I go marginally faster with thinner tyres, but I suspect with a touring bike it does not make much difference.
 

John the Monkey

Frivolous Cyclist
Location
Crewe
fossyant said:
Get some 18mm tubs - can let you have an old pair :smile:
18mm?!? My word. What happened if you hit a pebble..? :biggrin:
 

Chris James

Über Member
Location
Huddersfield
Dannyg said:
As Chris said, the ride on 23" tyres feel pretty hard if you are used to wider tyres, so I would start with 28" or possibly 25" tyres and see how you get on.
Not just that though. I have 23mm on my audax bike and it gives a very comfy ride.

The issue with the tourer was that the rims were not suitable with narrower tyres leading to a STRANGE (as well as uncomfortable!) ride. I think my old tourer rims are 19mm (I still haven't checked), which according to the table below shows a min tryre width of 28mm (they feel very nice with 28mm though). As said above, you CAN go lower but it may affect the handling.

Not sure what width the rims on the Galaxy are BTFB - although it will say on it.

My audax bike has 13mm rims.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire_sizing.html
 

Paulus

Started young, and still going.
Location
Barnet,
For the last few years I have run 28's on my tourer from 32's and it made quite a difference. It rolled faster and the handling was better.
 

Tim Bennet.

Entirely Average Member
Location
S of Kendal
It also depends on the make of tyre. I have Michelin 28s that are way wider than Panaracer 32s, so you have to take care. You could make things worse.
 

P.H

Über Member
It's not all about size
Weight, pressure and suppleness all play a part. I like 28mm GP4000 All Season, half the weight of my touring tyres, take 110 PSI and are still comfy.

 
OP
Bigtallfatbloke

Bigtallfatbloke

New Member
Ok...thanks for helping.

Here is a question...

I have a Daws Galaxy and it came with some schwalbe Marathon plus tyres 700c 32

I am a heavy bloke (16 and a half stone) and I tour with four panniers so the load is IRO of 20 - 25kg I guess.

I dont ride off road.

I like the puncture 'security' of my existing tyres although I have had one screw go through a tyre( I always carry two spare tubes in a pannier)

I want to ride faster and reduce the tyre drag if possible, but need to have tyres capabe of supporting the load still.

Evans are selling a Schwalbe Marathon 'racer' tyre (700 x 30 or 35c)

http://www.evanscycles.com/product.jsp?style=13957

which claims to be faster...reckon it's a good bet for me???
 
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