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  1. #1
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    Exclamation 31 c tires on a road bike

    Is it possible to use a 31c tire on road bike ?

    My bike is teammachine ALR01 Ultegra – Road – BMC Switzerland

    thanks

  2. #2
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    Per your bike's specs "Tires 26mm maximum width****", so the answer is likely "no".

    Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk

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    Most likely not as most mainstream road racer is limited to 28c max, if even. 31c pushing beyong the envelop. this question should be asked to the BMS support

    but why would you want to put a 31c tire on a 23mm wide rim? It's akin to making your tire into the bulbous off-road tire. It's good and more cushy for going in a straight line, but carving will suck

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    Quote Originally Posted by nova_rider View Post
    Per your bike's specs "Tires 26mm maximum width****", so the answer is likely "no".

    Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
    that means the max it'll most likely fit is a 25c tire

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    Most likely not as most mainstream road racer is limited to 28c max, if even. 31c pushing beyong the envelop. this question should be asked to the BMS support

    but why would you want to put a 31c tire on a 23mm wide rim? It's akin to making your tire into the bulbous off-road tire. It's good and more cushy for going in a straight line, but carving will suck
    Thanks.. I was watching time trial tour de france and saw valverde crash around a wet curve..
    Watch this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t46JY1ur8LA

    Speed is not too much of an issue for a non professional rider like me.. but safety is.. Im just getting into road bikes.. Please suggest a better tire with more traction and safety..
    Thank you guys !

  6. #6
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    And the 'c' goes w/ the '700' to describe the wheel diameter. The tire is 31mm wide, so it should be 700c x 31mm. Everyone does it wrong, but that's the way it should be.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tijj View Post
    Please suggest a better tire with more traction and safety..
    Thank you guys !
    Continental Grand Prix 4000SII Reflex 25mm

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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    And the 'c' goes w/ the '700' to describe the wheel diameter. The tire is 31mm wide, so it should be 700c x 31mm. Everyone does it wrong, but that's the way it should be.
    So will a 700 c X 31 mm tire fit my bike? Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by tijj View Post
    So will a 700 c X 31 mm tire fit my bike? Thanks
    Nope.

    Maybe a 28mm? That might be too tight though and cause some damage.

    Safe bet is 25mm.

    How much do you weigh?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    Nope.

    Maybe a 28mm? That might be too tight though and cause some damage.

    Safe bet is 25mm.

    How much do you weigh?
    I am 158 lbs at 5'7 .. Bike riding will get it down to 145 - 150 lbs which is my normal weight..

  11. #11
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    So in your new 25mm tires, put about 62 psi in the front and 78 psi in the rear. Give or take five or so.

    They should be comfortable, have great traction, be safe in all conditions and provide extra safety via their reflective sidewalls. I use them, love them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tijj View Post
    Thanks.. I was watching time trial tour de france and saw valverde crash around a wet curve..
    Watch this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t46JY1ur8LA

    Speed is not too much of an issue for a non professional rider like me.. but safety is.. Im just getting into road bikes.. Please suggest a better tire with more traction and safety..
    Thank you guys !
    A wider tire wont give you more grip in wet conditions (or in general). Rubber compound and the ability to clear water out of the way is what supplies the grip when its wet. Painted lines are extremely slick when wet no matter what tire you're using. My 23mm Continental Gatorskins have far more grip than I dare to use on wet roads and I'm very brave through corners.

    On a side note about tire pressure. Sportbike riding on track days we actually increased tire pressure in wet conditions to keep the tread open to clear water. I imagine keeping the sharp profile of a skinny road bike tire would clear standing water much easier than a wide tire at low pressure.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    A wider tire wont give you more grip in wet conditions (or in general). Rubber compound and the ability to clear water out of the way is what supplies the grip when its wet. Painted lines are extremely slick when wet no matter what tire you're using. My 23mm Continental Gatorskins have far more grip than I dare to use on wet roads and I'm very brave through corners.

    On a side note about tire pressure. Sportbike riding on track days we actually increased tire pressure in wet conditions to keep the tread open to clear water. I imagine keeping the sharp profile of a skinny road bike tire would clear standing water much easier than a wide tire at low pressure.
    Speed and surface area being what it is the smart thinking has always been to lower bicycle tire pressures about 10psi when it's wet.
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  14. #14
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    Simple physics. Higher pressure on narrower tire produces smaller contact patch, but results in greater downward force between the tire and the road. A wider tire has larger contact patch, but that also translates to less force exerted onto the road by the tire, thus reducing traction.

    I believe the biggest contributor in staying upright, regardless of conditions, is maintaining proper balance and be mindful of weight transfer while braking.

    Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by nova_rider View Post
    Simple physics. Higher pressure on narrower tire produces smaller contact patch, but results in greater downward force between the tire and the road. A wider tire has larger contact patch, but that also translates to less force exerted onto the road by the tire, thus reducing traction.

    I believe the biggest contributor in staying upright, regardless of conditions, is maintaining proper balance and be mindful of weight transfer while braking.

    Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
    Physics always wins!!!

    Same rider weight but on a sharper tire profile will slice through standing water easier every time. Which would warrant running a higher psi while its raining. If a wider tire also has a softer rubber compound more suited to wet conditions it could very well have more grip but it will still hydroplane in standing water easier than a narrow tire.

    Larger contact patch does not translate into higher friction coefficient whether its wet or dry. Its primarily the rubber compound that provides grip.

    I got rid of TV so I haven't been watching the TdF but I'm pretty sure it was the slick painted lines that the riders kept falling on. They can be like ice when wet. Also be aware of any road with a smooth texture in wet conditions like some old chip seal roads can get.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    Physics always wins!!!

    Same rider weight but on a sharper tire profile will slice through standing water easier every time. Which would warrant running a higher psi while its raining. If a wider tire also has a softer rubber compound more suited to wet conditions it could very well have more grip but it will still hydroplane in standing water easier than a narrow tire.

    Larger contact patch does not translate into higher friction coefficient whether its wet or dry. Its primarily the rubber compound that provides grip.

    I got rid of TV so I haven't been watching the TdF but I'm pretty sure it was the slick painted lines that the riders kept falling on. They can be like ice when wet. Also be aware of any road with a smooth texture in wet conditions like some old chip seal roads can get.
    If you think a bicycle can hydroplane on wet roads you'd be confused.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nova_rider View Post
    Simple physics. Higher pressure on narrower tire produces smaller contact patch, but results in greater downward force between the tire and the road. A wider tire has larger contact patch, but that also translates to less force exerted onto the road by the tire, thus reducing traction.
    Uhhh no, changing air pressure does not lessen the force exerted onto the road by the tire. If you and your bike weigh 170lbs, there will always be 170lbs force exerted onto the road by the tires.
    That's simply physics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    A wider tire wont give you more grip in wet conditions (or in general). Rubber compound and the ability to clear water out of the way is what supplies the grip when its wet. Painted lines are extremely slick when wet no matter what tire you're using. My 23mm Continental Gatorskins have far more grip than I dare to use on wet roads and I'm very brave through corners.
    I'm not so sure about additional width not helping on wet surfaces, but what I am sure about is a Gatorskin being a pretty unimpressive wet weather tire, regardless of width. This is a pretty common complaint with those tires, along with a somewhat rough ride quality. I've experienced both issues. If you want to have some fun in the wet, try a 25c GP4000s II or 4-Seasons (and probably lots of other tires that aren't Gatorskins).

    When it comes to trying to squeeze large tires on a road frame, keep in mind that widths vary between manufacturers and rim widths. For reference, a 25c GP4000 measures 27.5mm wide on my 17.5mm internal rims. Generally, the wider the rim, the wider the tire will be for a given size. The 27.5s fit my frame with room to spare, but that width/height is about the safe limit of most forks that I've owned. They are my current go-to tires though. They're pretty much great at everything, and bumping up from a 23c was noticeable. I say try that route. 2-packs are pretty cheap on eBay (~$70), and if they don't fit, just sell them.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Uhhh no, changing air pressure does not lessen the force exerted onto the road by the tire. If you and your bike weigh 170lbs, there will always be 170lbs force exerted onto the road by the tires.
    That's simply physics.
    Correct. Force will not change, but increased air pressure reduces a tire's contact patch, thus same force results in higher contact pressure between the tire and road.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    If you think a bicycle can hydroplane on wet roads you'd be confused.
    Exactly. Sipes on road tires just provide edges, they're not needed for water dispersion. And edges can be good on a slick road. Rubber compounds likely have more of an effect in the wet than a couple of mm width difference.

  21. #21
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    OP, if you google "do wider tires give better grip", you'll come back with a number of sites explaining the physics grip and traction, and why F1 cars or dragsters use the tires that they use. Because if wider is always better, then all cars would be riding on rubber steam rollers for wheels, and moto GP bikes would be riding those stupid wide tires that those custom cruiser guys like to put on.

    As far as bicycles go, the difference between a 25mm vs a 28mm vs a 31mm wide tire, when it comes to grip and traction... is basically nil as far as bicycle application goes. If you're a true heavy guy, like 250-300, then a wider tire would help, but it's not because of more grip, it's because wider tires deal better with support if you're 250-300 lbs, but you're not. If I were you, I'd stick a 25mm tire in there and stop worrying.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah2000 View Post
    I'm not so sure about additional width not helping on wet surfaces, but what I am sure about is a Gatorskin being a pretty unimpressive wet weather tire, regardless of width. This is a pretty common complaint with those tires, along with a somewhat rough ride quality. I've experienced both issues. If you want to have some fun in the wet, try a 25c GP4000s II or 4-Seasons (and probably lots of other tires that aren't Gatorskins).

    When it comes to trying to squeeze large tires on a road frame, keep in mind that widths vary between manufacturers and rim widths. For reference, a 25c GP4000 measures 27.5mm wide on my 17.5mm internal rims. Generally, the wider the rim, the wider the tire will be for a given size. The 27.5s fit my frame with room to spare, but that width/height is about the safe limit of most forks that I've owned. They are my current go-to tires though. They're pretty much great at everything, and bumping up from a 23c was noticeable. I say try that route. 2-packs are pretty cheap on eBay (~$70), and if they don't fit, just sell them.
    You're right on all counts. The extra width on a bicycle tire does definitely help as a bicycle doesn't go fast enough nor have enough surface area to cross over to hyrdroplaning. If it's raining drop your pressure by 10% or so and be careful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    If you think a bicycle can hydroplane on wet roads you'd be confused.
    I'm sure it's extremely difficult to full on hydroplane on a bicycle but you'll still be losing traction long before hydroplaning happens.. It's more of a guess but I can imagine standing water reducing enough traction to cause problems at 15 to 20mph. A wider tire would only make that loss of traction happen easier.

    Pisgah, the GP4000s are the next set of tires I want to try since I keep hearing so much about them. I'm only at around 3,000 miles on a road bike since starting last year but the rear Gatorskin is getting pretty thin. The Gatorskins are far smoother rolling than the Vittoria tires that came on the bike and they have a better feel through corners whether wet or dry.

    As for grip vs contact patch size. Having more square mm in contact with the pavement will reduce the amount of pressure on each square mm of the tire. A narrow tire will have more pressure for every square mm in contact with the ground. The end result is nearly equal grip assuming it's with the same rubber. Motorcycles only have wide tires to slow down tire wear. Otherwise MotoGP bike would be trying to run razor thin tires too.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    I'm sure it's extremely difficult to full on hydroplane on a bicycle but you'll still be losing traction long before hydroplaning happens.. It's more of a guess but I can imagine standing water reducing enough traction to cause problems at 15 to 20mph. A wider tire would only make that loss of traction happen easier.

    Pisgah, the GP4000s are the next set of tires I want to try since I keep hearing so much about them. I'm only at around 3,000 miles on a road bike since starting last year but the rear Gatorskin is getting pretty thin. The Gatorskins are far smoother rolling than the Vittoria tires that came on the bike and they have a better feel through corners whether wet or dry.

    As for grip vs contact patch size. Having more square mm in contact with the pavement will reduce the amount of pressure on each square mm of the tire. A narrow tire will have more pressure for every square mm in contact with the ground. The end result is nearly equal grip assuming it's with the same rubber. Motorcycles only have wide tires to slow down tire wear. Otherwise MotoGP bike would be trying to run razor thin tires too.
    As I posted...confused.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post

    Pisgah, the GP4000s are the next set of tires I want to try since I keep hearing so much about them. I'm only at around 3,000 miles on a road bike since starting last year but the rear Gatorskin is getting pretty thin. The Gatorskins are far smoother rolling than the Vittoria tires that came on the bike and they have a better feel through corners whether wet or dry.
    In addition to being one of the slowest rolling tires you could possibly buy, the gatorskins are horrendously hard and corner like you're on ice. I can't imagine how cheap those Vittorias were if you think the gatorskins are actually better. I would flat out refuse to ever ride a gatorskin tire, even if it were mounted on some $5000 Ligthweight wheelset or something.

    You're going to love the gp4000s. So much more superior in every single way.

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