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Rear 28c / Front 23c - Any Advantage?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by OldSeagul, 6 Apr 2008.

  1. OldSeagul

    OldSeagul New Member

    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    I've just read on an Australian cycle forum about a woman's racing team which had 700x28c tyres on the rear and 700x23c tyres on the front. The reason given was that there is more weight on the rear tyre and it would therefore be more comfortable & grip better, and it didn't matter what size the front tyre was as you only used it for steering.

    I thought this sounded like a good idea as I have never read anything that says both front & rear tyres have to be the same width (on my motorcycle the rear is wider than the front). It would also make my front wheel easier to take off without deflating it - presently it is 28c and if I pull it out without deflating it, I pull the brake blocks out too.

    Does anyone have any arguments for or against having different sized tyres and what the benefits would be either way?
     
  2. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    Well firstly, assuming that the 23 is faster rolling than the 28, then don't be tempted to think that it will be just as fast as both 23s, because the driven wheel is 23. The rolling resistance of each tyre is independant, and therefore the rolling resistance from the tyres of that combination will be half way between that of having 2 23s and that of having 2 28s.
    Presumably the advantage of it is to get maximum handling to rolling resistance ratio, but the rear tyre is important to handling too even if not as much, and it's not a popular configuration amongst professional cycling like the TdF etc, so as ideas go I would say it is fairly near the 'hair-brained' ball park.
     
  3. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Location:
    York
    Any argument in favour would be if they actually won any races - or even improved their placing - with there tyres like this. Have they?
     
  4. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Staff Member

    sounds like the team "sandbagging" to me…
     
  5. OP
    OP
    OldSeagul

    OldSeagul New Member

    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    Apparently, yes.

    http://www.bike-zone.com/road/?id=2002/jun02/sterwalcheren/sterwalcheren023b

    This is the forum I got it from:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=83517

    Quote: 'Actually, a dutch female cycling team (FarmFrites with van Moorsel) did some tire testing prior to the olympics and the 27mm wide tires came out best for rolling resistance! I vaguely remember that they've switched from 20mm to 23 front and 27 rear. 23 because of better aerodynamics.'
     
  6. OP
    OP
    OldSeagul

    OldSeagul New Member

    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    Where did I get the idea from that they were Australian?
     
  7. Crackle

    Crackle Pah Staff Member

    Location:
    Wirral
    I once met a German cycle tourist who used exactly the same philosophy but different tyre sizes. She had cycled thousands of touring miles and reckoned it made a big difference to rolling resistance and overall ride feel and that was some 15 years ago. Not sure about racing though :angry:
     
  8. Canrider

    Canrider Guru

    I've heard of smaller differences in tyre size being used in the past--things like 19 front, 21 rear and the like. I think the logic there was air resistance on the front tyre, so probably a time-trial or track idea.

    What you need to ask yourself is: Will doing this make any detectable improvement to *my* riding? And the answer is probably no, barring the wheel-removal issue you identified in your OP.
     
  9. NickM

    NickM Veteran

    For touring? I thought touring cyclists didn't care about stuff like that?

    Anyway, for touring I would want the bigger section tyre on the front too, for the sake of my poor old neck and shoulders.

    Except that it doesn't apply anyway, now that I've seen the light and changed to sensible (i.e. recumbent) bicycles :sad: