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  1. #1
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    Tire for roads in bad conditions?

    The roads in my area are in really bad shape, with tons of potholes everywhere. I also ride in cobblestone roads, and it's very uncomfortable. Over here, there's no such thing as a well-maintained road.

    I have a BH ultralight RC with 700x23c tires, but Im looking for a tire that will fit this bike, will absorb all this vibration a little better, and will be able to withstand these road conditions.

    I understand it's not a mountain bike, but there has to be a tire that will make the ride more comfortable.

    What tire do you recommend?

  2. #2
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    I'd fit the largest tire you can, which for most rim brake road bikes, seems to be somewhere in the 25-28mm range. Maybe measure around the chainstay/seatstay/fork/brakes and see how much clearance you're working with currently. That should give you a rough idea of how much more you can fit. Maybe a 25mm Conti GP 4-seasons? It's tougher than a GP4000, but rides better than a Gatorskin. Specialized has a good range of tough but nice road tires as well (Roubaix Armadillo Elite? 25mm casing, 23mm tread... might work if you have tight clearance). Keep in mind that a 25mm tire from one manufacturer isn't necessarily the same width as a 25mm from another. Generally though, there're within 10% of the spec.

    Another option is switching to tubeless. This would allow you to run a little lower pressure than you can with tubes, which would increase comfort and control. The tubeless part greatly reduces the chance of a pinch flat with those lower pressures, especially if your goal is comfort over rough roads... but it's a pretty expensive upgrade if your rims aren't already tubeless-ready. But, the tubeless 26mm Specialized Turbos on my road bike are noticeably more comfy than the 25mm GP4000s they replaced.

  3. #3
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    The largest most supple tire that will fit the bike. 25's, 28's, 32's, the biggest that will fit.

    Larger tires are less susceptible to flats so if your concerned with comfort 1st I wouldn't worry about flat protection A flat barrier detracts from the comfort of a supple tire. Also experiment with tire pressure, less is gooder. There are many tubeless fans out there but I haven't bothered as I haven't had enough flat issues to try that route. Latex tubes are also used by many to improve the comfort factor.
    Too old to ride plastic

  4. #4
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    Thanks.

    Is there a way to know which size would fit in this particular bike?

    I called a local shop and he says that I have to take the bike to the shop, but I can't. That's why I posted here.

  5. #5
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    You have to check and measure the clearances that you have with the tires you have in there now. Then you can decide how much room there is for larger tires.
    Too old to ride plastic

  6. #6
    hfc
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    Get a set of calipers (these are the ones I use) and measure between the chainstays. Brake clearance is the other area you’ll have to look at. Vittoria Open Pave are durable tires with good ride quality. Panaracer makes a couple of gravel tires that would work well also.

  7. #7
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbtwenty View Post
    Is there a way to know which size would fit in this particular bike?
    I called a local shop and he says that I have to take the bike to the shop, but I can't. That's why I posted here.
    There is no quick & easy answer to this and that's why the bike shop said to take the bike to them. They would probably test fit some other wheels with fatter tires already installed to see what works. If your bike came with 23mm tires there is a very good chance that it won't take anything bigger than 25mm and that won't give you much respite from your bad roads. The limiting factors are chainstay width and brake arm clearance (over top of the tire).

    As tires when fitted and inflated rarely measure what they're advertised as, the only way to know for sure is to install and look.

    High volume and low pressures are what you need. It could be that you just have the wrong bike for your road conditions.
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  8. #8
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    Tubeless will give you lower pressure options and smoothest ride if you want use that bike on those roads with the size limitation of a 23mm tire. Are you wheels tubless ready?
    Gravel Rocks

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  9. #9
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    The first thing I would try is reducing tire pressure on what you already have. Hey, that's cost-free!

    Especially in the front, most riders carry more pressure than needed. How often have you heard of someone getting a pinch flat in the front?

    Start off by reducing your rear pressure by 10PSI and your front pressure by 20PSI. See how that feels.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  10. #10
    What the what???
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    The first thing I would try is reducing tire pressure on what you already have. Hey, that's cost-free!

    Especially in the front, most riders carry more pressure than needed. How often have you heard of someone getting a pinch flat in the front?

    Start off by reducing your rear pressure by 10PSI and your front pressure by 20PSI. See how that feels.
    ^^^This^^^ except I might start with 5psi less in back and 10 less on the front.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    How often have you heard of someone getting a pinch flat in the front?
    Two times. And I got 'em both. They're the only two pinch flats I ever had. One was caused by insufficient tire volume (decades ago on those stupid 20mm wide clinchers) and the other was on my normal 25mm tires when I had been too lazy to pump the tires for 2-3 weeks.

    IMO 23mm tires at any pressure for any body weight (over 85lbs anyway) are terrible tires for the roads he describes. 40-45mm would be ideal.
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  12. #12
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    There is no quick & easy answer to this and that's why the bike shop said to take the bike to them. They would probably test fit some other wheels with fatter tires already installed to see what works. If your bike came with 23mm tires there is a very good chance that it won't take anything bigger than 25mm and that won't give you much respite from your bad roads. The limiting factors are chainstay width and brake arm clearance (over top of the tire).

    As tires when fitted and inflated rarely measure what they're advertised as, the only way to know for sure is to install and look.

    High volume and low pressures are what you need. It could be that you just have the wrong bike for your road conditions.

    Yup...this is what car tires have 5+ alpha-numeric terms in their sizing designation...resulting in finding car tires that fit your car being easy---so long as you know *exactly* what you need.


    ...And conversely....

    Why shopping for bike tires is so frustrating, if you're trying to maximize clearance.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  13. #13
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    These may be just the ticket...

    https://www.retyre.no/
    Too old to ride plastic

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    Two times. And I got 'em both. They're the only two pinch flats I ever had. One was caused by insufficient tire volume (decades ago on those stupid 20mm wide clinchers) and the other was on my normal 25mm tires when I had been too lazy to pump the tires for 2-3 weeks.

    IMO 23mm tires at any pressure for any body weight (over 85lbs anyway) are terrible tires for the roads he describes. 40-45mm would be ideal.
    Yes, 40-45mm would be ideal. Unfortunately he would need a new bike for that. I don't think he's looking to go that route........yet.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Yes, 40-45mm would be ideal. Unfortunately he would need a new bike for that. I don't think he's looking to go that route........yet.
    That's why I said above that he probably has the wrong bike for the conditions.
    .
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  16. #16
    changingleaf
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    Very cool.

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