Ultra Wide Tires vs Narrow Tires - Page 2
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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bremerradkurier View Post
    Kind of wondering how deep you could corner with that wide of a slick tire, even if you'd lose ground on the straights.
    Probably deep...

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  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bremerradkurier View Post
    Kind of wondering how deep you could corner with that wide of a slick tire, even if you'd lose ground on the straights.
    In a reverse of the "Uh oh, I've got a "mechanical", let me switch to my ultralight climbing bike" strategy before the big climbs, I'd love to see the mechanics give Sagan a bike with big fat sticky slicks and a dropper post before a long descent, just to see what he could do with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harryman View Post
    In a reverse of the "Uh oh, I've got a "mechanical", let me switch to my ultralight climbing bike" strategy before the big climbs, I'd love to see the mechanics give Sagan a bike with big fat sticky slicks and a dropper post before a long descent, just to see what he could do with it.
    Head to head race against Matthieu van der Poel with the same setup-I'd drop money on that pay per view.

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    There is more to the equation than just the tire size. There are so many variables. It's really impossible to even quantify them.

    At road speeds, especially for pros, you have to consider aerodynamics AND rolling resistance.

    Tire pressure, total system weight, road surface (smoothness), air temperature, and many other factors contribute.

    The shopping cart analogy has been used here before. They generally roll pretty well on a smooth hard floor. Not so much out on the asphalt in the parking lot.

    I suspect as more and more top end road bikes are designed to accommodate wider tires, you'll see more pro teams move to wider tires when conditions warrant it.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    Drum test comparing 23,25,28 and 32mm Continental GP 5000. I don't know how drum tests compare to real world and haven't read this yet, but here it is.

    https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...000-comparison

    results from the article:

    Ultra Wide Tires vs Narrow Tires-continental-tires-rolling-resistance-test.jpg


    Two main things I take away from the results are:

    1. a 28mm tire needs to be pumped to an "mind-boggling" 100 psi to barely beat a 23mm tire pumped to 100 psi (which is normal operating psi for a 23mm). But take the same 28mm tire and pump it to 80 psi (more real world practical), then it now has a slightly higher rolling resistance than a 23mm at 100 psi.

    2. Regardless of what tire size you run, HIGHER PSI always lead to faster rolling (lower resistance) if your road surface is like the test drum. So all this bro talk about lower psi equals better rolling only applies to maybe mtb or gravel, but out on the tarmac, you sitll need to pump it as high as the specs allow.

    Now, the other thing in this test that FAVORS the wider volume tire is the fact that they use LATEX tubes. Due to the nature of latex, an 80g latex tube can be used safely in a 23mm thru 28mm wide tires, no problem, and this puts shift the advantage toward the bigger tires because an 80g latex tube would comprise a lesser proportioned of the combined tire/tube weight of the final package, thus giving the bigger tire a seemingly advantage. However, most people will use BUTYL tubes, and a thin 100g butyl tube that works for a 23mm tire will not work for a 28mm tire, you'll need to get a larger (and heavier) butyle tube for the 28mm tire, and this will decrease the advantage of the larger tire + larger tube combination. So, this test favors the wider tires a bit, but in real world most folks do NOT use latex.

    But rolling resistance is just one contribution. What about wind resistance due to wider tire or profile? If wider is all that, then why are TT guys using 28mm (TT bikes are still using 23mm), and why are trackies using 28? or even 25?

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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    2. ... So all this bro talk about lower psi equals better rolling only applies to maybe mtb or gravel, but out on the tarmac, you sitll need to pump it as high as the specs allow.
    By now, I think most people know this isn't true. Even for smooth roadways, there is a point where surface irregularities cause an increase in RR with increasing tire pressure. https://blog.silca.cc/part-4b-rollin...-and-impedance

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    As in tire pressure trumps all.
    Thing is, though, the larger tire may have a watt less rolling resistance, but it still won't accelerate or climb as well as the skinnier tire, if that matters.

    The ultimate compromise? Tubular tires are 26-28mm. By virtue of their round shape, they have the wide contact patch and lesser rolling resistance of 28 mm clinchers, but don't have beads, so weigh as much as 25 mm tires, or slightly less if you include the clincher inner tube. tubular rims are also lighter as they have no beads.

    Hear tell 25-28 mm tubeless equal the performance of tubulars, due to no inner tube flexing inside the tire, which some mechs are saying adds rolling resistance. So there's that, too.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Thing is, though, the larger tire may have a watt less rolling resistance, but it still won't accelerate or climb as well as the skinnier tire, if that matters.
    Since you quantify the effect on RR, why not do the same for acceleration and climbing. This supposed 1 W better rolling tire would cost how many watts for acceleration or climbing? The tire of choice would be very different if the cost for acceleration and climbing were 10 W or 0.001W.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    results from the article:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	continental-tires-rolling-resistance-test.jpg 
Views:	31 
Size:	133.7 KB 
ID:	324807


    Two main things I take away from the results are:

    1. a 28mm tire needs to be pumped to an "mind-boggling" 100 psi to barely beat a 23mm tire pumped to 100 psi (which is normal operating psi for a 23mm). But take the same 28mm tire and pump it to 80 psi (more real world practical), then it now has a slightly higher rolling resistance than a 23mm at 100 psi.

    2. Regardless of what tire size you run, HIGHER PSI always lead to faster rolling (lower resistance) if your road surface is like the test drum. So all this bro talk about lower psi equals better rolling only applies to maybe mtb or gravel, but out on the tarmac, you sitll need to pump it as high as the specs allow.

    Now, the other thing in this test that FAVORS the wider volume tire is the fact that they use LATEX tubes. Due to the nature of latex, an 80g latex tube can be used safely in a 23mm thru 28mm wide tires, no problem, and this puts shift the advantage toward the bigger tires because an 80g latex tube would comprise a lesser proportioned of the combined tire/tube weight of the final package, thus giving the bigger tire a seemingly advantage. However, most people will use BUTYL tubes, and a thin 100g butyl tube that works for a 23mm tire will not work for a 28mm tire, you'll need to get a larger (and heavier) butyle tube for the 28mm tire, and this will decrease the advantage of the larger tire + larger tube combination. So, this test favors the wider tires a bit, but in real world most folks do NOT use latex.

    But rolling resistance is just one contribution. What about wind resistance due to wider tire or profile? If wider is all that, then why are TT guys using 28mm (TT bikes are still using 23mm), and why are trackies using 28? or even 25?
    1. Same PSI to same PSI and the larger volume tire won in every one of these tests.

    2. The test drum is aluminum diamond plate and I don't know any place where that matches a road surface.
    Too old to ride plastic

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    I don't know how drum tests compare to real world
    They don't. Steel drum data is useful.... if you're riding on a steel drum.

    Myth 16: Higher Tire Pressure is Faster
    Back then, tire resistance was tested on steel drums that measure only the hysteretic losses. On steel drums, there is no doubt that higher pressures produce better results – as shown by all tires in the table above. Take the Vittoria Rubino Pro (second from bottom): At 60 psi, it requires 40% more energy than at 120 psi. I mention this tire, because later on, you’ll see how it performs under real-world conditions.

    Drum tests also suggest that high pressure is more important than a supple casing: In the table above, the slowest tire at 120 psi has less resistance (13.4 W) than the second-fastest tire at 60 psi (13.9 W). That is why tire makers used to make their wide tires with stiff casings, so they could withstand high pressures. A wide, supple tire – limited to a low pressure rating of, say, 60 psi – would perform poorly on the steel drum. That is why they didn’t exist – who would want to make a slow ‘high-performance’ tire? It all made sense – if you test tires on steel drums.

    Imagine our surprise when we found that in the real world – on real roads – tires perform very differently. We tested numerous tires, with two different methods (roll-down and power-meter), and always found the same: Higher pressures don’t make tires faster. And the advantages of supple casings are much larger than the steel drum tests suggest.

    Why? Because the suspension losses are significant even on very smooth roads. And both lower pressures and supple casings reduce the vibrations of the bike and thus the suspension losses. But you cannot measure suspension losses unless you have a rider on the bike. That is why earlier studies (and many since) failed to give meaningful results…

    Above are the real-road results for three Vittoria 700C x 25 mm tires, including the Rubino Pro. We tested on brand-new, ultra-smooth asphalt. For the Rubino, there is no difference in speed between 80 and 11o psi. It’s clear for all tires: Higher pressures don’t make them faster.

    (Note that the Watts are for the entire bike and rider, not just for one tire. That is why the power measurements is so much higher than in the drum tests.)

    What happens is this: As tire pressure increases, the tire flexes less, and the hysteretic losses go down. However, the tire also vibrates more, and the suspension losses increase. The two roughly cancel each other, and that is why there is no clear trend in the table above.

    Before we continue, it’s important to mention that we made sure these results are statistically significant. This means that we are seeing real differences in performance, not just ‘noise’ in the data.

    The graph shows a few more things:

    Really low pressures make a tire slow, because it flexes way too much: the hysteretic losses are huge. The extreme is a totally flat tire – very slow. At some point, the tire has enough air to avoid excessive flex. Above this ‘break point,’ hysteretic and suspension losses start to balance each other.
    Hysteretic and suspension losses are non-linear, so they balance differently for different tires and different pressures.
    CX Tubular: A tubular tire sits on top of the rim, so it can flex around its entire circumference. It can run at very low pressures without excessive flex. The break point is low (80 psi).
    CX Clincher: A clincher rim constrains the tire around about 1/3 of its circumference, so higher pressure is needed to avoid excessive flex. The break point is a bit higher (87 psi).
    Rubino Clincher: The Rubino’s stiffer casing is harder to flex: The hysteretic losses for the same amount of flex are higher. The stiffer casing also transmits more vibrations, so low pressure doesn’t reduce the suspension losses to the same amount. This means that the break point is higher than for the more supple CX (95 psi).
    All three tires roll slowest at moderately high pressure: The tire is already too hard to absorb vibrations, so suspension losses are high. However, the casing still flexes, so hysteretic losses are also high. It’s better to run low or very high pressures, at least on the very smooth asphalt of our test track.

    Summary: On real roads, even smooth ones, higher pressures don’t roll faster.

    We tested many tires – above from our first tests in 2007 that measured the time for a roll-down on a carefully chosen test hill – and we always found the same: Above the break point, increasing the tire pressure doesn’t make you faster. The break point is higher for stiffer tires. For the tubulars, the break point is lower than the pressures we tested.

    I wish we had done this testing when I was still racing. Back then, I ran 21.5 mm Clement Criteriums at a bone-rattling 130 psi. I would have been faster – much faster – on 28 mm Campione Del Mondos at much lower pressures.

    The above results were on ultra-smooth pavement (Vittoria) and relatively rough, but not bumpy, pavement (others). Does the road surface affect a tire’s break point?

    To test the extreme, we ran various tires on rumble strips, which are a good stand-in for cobblestones. (Unlike real cobblestones, rumble strips are very regular, so we could obtain repeatable results.) We also tested each tire on the smooth pavement right next to the rumble strips.

    On the smooth pavement (left), the Compass 26 mm tires roll as fast at 75 psi as they do at 95 psi. This confirms what we’d found before: Even on smooth roads, tire pressure makes no difference.

    On the rumble strips (right), higher pressure was slower: The 26 mm Compass tires used 20% more energy at 95 psi than they did at 75 psi.

    Summary: On really rough surfaces, higher pressures roll slower. Wider tires roll faster on rough surfaces because they can handle lower pressures.

    So now we know that higher pressures don’t make your bike faster – whether on ultra-smooth asphalt, on rough surfaces like cobblestones, or anywhere in between. For supple tires, the break point – even on smooth surfaces – is close to the point where the tire becomes unrideable, because the sidewalls collapse under hard cornering. On rough surfaces, it’s hard to reach the break point – the tire pinch-flats before its performance deteriorates.

    Conclusion: If you want to go fast, you need supple tires. That is all. Pumping them up harder won’t make you faster. On rough surfaces, it actually makes you slower.
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  11. #36
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    This topic has been debated to absolute death and I'm not sure why when there is data to back up the claims of the guy saying wider tires at lower pressures are faster. Also, I'm pretty sure that has to do with tubeless as well because you don't get friction between the tube and tire.

    Go listen to the CyclingTips podcast where they talk about this and interview the Jan Heine guy.

    Pro cyclists don't change to newer tech because the sport is rooted in heritage and tradition, plus it is tough to make huge changes in gear and hardware due to how the mechanics work and moving all their stuff around the world.


    To answer your question, I've done a couple races with 32mm wide tubeless tires on my Aeroad and have kept up with the group just fine.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    They don't. Steel drum data is useful.... if you're riding on a steel drum.

    Myth 16: Higher Tire Pressure is Faster
    Back then, tire resistance was tested on steel drums that measure only the hysteretic losses. On steel drums, there is no doubt that higher pressures produce better results – as shown by all tires in the table above. Take the Vittoria Rubino Pro (second from bottom): At 60 psi, it requires 40% more energy than at 120 psi. I mention this tire, because later on, you’ll see how it performs under real-world conditions.

    Drum tests also suggest that high pressure is more important than a supple casing: In the table above, the slowest tire at 120 psi has less resistance (13.4 W) than the second-fastest tire at 60 psi (13.9 W). That is why tire makers used to make their wide tires with stiff casings, so they could withstand high pressures. A wide, supple tire – limited to a low pressure rating of, say, 60 psi – would perform poorly on the steel drum. That is why they didn’t exist – who would want to make a slow ‘high-performance’ tire? It all made sense – if you test tires on steel drums.

    Imagine our surprise when we found that in the real world – on real roads – tires perform very differently. We tested numerous tires, with two different methods (roll-down and power-meter), and always found the same: Higher pressures don’t make tires faster. And the advantages of supple casings are much larger than the steel drum tests suggest.

    Why? Because the suspension losses are significant even on very smooth roads. And both lower pressures and supple casings reduce the vibrations of the bike and thus the suspension losses. But you cannot measure suspension losses unless you have a rider on the bike. That is why earlier studies (and many since) failed to give meaningful results…

    Above are the real-road results for three Vittoria 700C x 25 mm tires, including the Rubino Pro. We tested on brand-new, ultra-smooth asphalt. For the Rubino, there is no difference in speed between 80 and 11o psi. It’s clear for all tires: Higher pressures don’t make them faster.

    (Note that the Watts are for the entire bike and rider, not just for one tire. That is why the power measurements is so much higher than in the drum tests.)

    What happens is this: As tire pressure increases, the tire flexes less, and the hysteretic losses go down. However, the tire also vibrates more, and the suspension losses increase. The two roughly cancel each other, and that is why there is no clear trend in the table above.

    Before we continue, it’s important to mention that we made sure these results are statistically significant. This means that we are seeing real differences in performance, not just ‘noise’ in the data.

    The graph shows a few more things:

    Really low pressures make a tire slow, because it flexes way too much: the hysteretic losses are huge. The extreme is a totally flat tire – very slow. At some point, the tire has enough air to avoid excessive flex. Above this ‘break point,’ hysteretic and suspension losses start to balance each other.
    Hysteretic and suspension losses are non-linear, so they balance differently for different tires and different pressures.
    CX Tubular: A tubular tire sits on top of the rim, so it can flex around its entire circumference. It can run at very low pressures without excessive flex. The break point is low (80 psi).
    CX Clincher: A clincher rim constrains the tire around about 1/3 of its circumference, so higher pressure is needed to avoid excessive flex. The break point is a bit higher (87 psi).
    Rubino Clincher: The Rubino’s stiffer casing is harder to flex: The hysteretic losses for the same amount of flex are higher. The stiffer casing also transmits more vibrations, so low pressure doesn’t reduce the suspension losses to the same amount. This means that the break point is higher than for the more supple CX (95 psi).
    All three tires roll slowest at moderately high pressure: The tire is already too hard to absorb vibrations, so suspension losses are high. However, the casing still flexes, so hysteretic losses are also high. It’s better to run low or very high pressures, at least on the very smooth asphalt of our test track.

    Summary: On real roads, even smooth ones, higher pressures don’t roll faster.

    We tested many tires – above from our first tests in 2007 that measured the time for a roll-down on a carefully chosen test hill – and we always found the same: Above the break point, increasing the tire pressure doesn’t make you faster. The break point is higher for stiffer tires. For the tubulars, the break point is lower than the pressures we tested.

    I wish we had done this testing when I was still racing. Back then, I ran 21.5 mm Clement Criteriums at a bone-rattling 130 psi. I would have been faster – much faster – on 28 mm Campione Del Mondos at much lower pressures.

    The above results were on ultra-smooth pavement (Vittoria) and relatively rough, but not bumpy, pavement (others). Does the road surface affect a tire’s break point?

    To test the extreme, we ran various tires on rumble strips, which are a good stand-in for cobblestones. (Unlike real cobblestones, rumble strips are very regular, so we could obtain repeatable results.) We also tested each tire on the smooth pavement right next to the rumble strips.

    On the smooth pavement (left), the Compass 26 mm tires roll as fast at 75 psi as they do at 95 psi. This confirms what we’d found before: Even on smooth roads, tire pressure makes no difference.

    On the rumble strips (right), higher pressure was slower: The 26 mm Compass tires used 20% more energy at 95 psi than they did at 75 psi.

    Summary: On really rough surfaces, higher pressures roll slower. Wider tires roll faster on rough surfaces because they can handle lower pressures.

    So now we know that higher pressures don’t make your bike faster – whether on ultra-smooth asphalt, on rough surfaces like cobblestones, or anywhere in between. For supple tires, the break point – even on smooth surfaces – is close to the point where the tire becomes unrideable, because the sidewalls collapse under hard cornering. On rough surfaces, it’s hard to reach the break point – the tire pinch-flats before its performance deteriorates.

    Conclusion: If you want to go fast, you need supple tires. That is all. Pumping them up harder won’t make you faster. On rough surfaces, it actually makes you slower.
    I'm familiar with Heine and agree with his work but stumbled upon the test I posted soon after reading this thread. The question was posed because I don't know any roads that ride like an aluminum diamond plate drum.
    Too old to ride plastic

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcorn View Post
    This topic has been debated to absolute death and I'm not sure why when there is data to back up the claims of the guy saying wider tires at lower pressures are faster.
    Beat to death for sure.

    Data backing up better rolling resistance does not back up being faster on the road by the way. I've never seen any data that takes rolling resistance, weight and aerodynamics all into account as they relate to size and speed correlation. Have you?
    Last edited by Jay Strongbow; 03-01-2019 at 10:59 AM.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    1. Same PSI to same PSI and the larger volume tire won in every one of these tests.

    2. The test drum is aluminum diamond plate and I don't know any place where that matches a road surface.
    yes, and that's what I said based on the results.

    But who in their right mind would run 100 psi in a 28mm tire? A 28mm tire @ 80 PSI (realistic) is still higher rolling resistance than a 23mm tire @ 100 PSI.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcorn View Post
    This topic has been debated to absolute death and I'm not sure why when there is data to back up the claims of the guy saying wider tires at lower pressures are faster.
    Because all generalizations are false. There is plenty of data on rolling resistance, aero drag from tires/wheels, and suspension losses from road roughness individually and in concert. However, the optimization of tire width and pressure depends on the power, weight, and drag area of the particular rider as well as the roughness of the road on which she rides. All you can do is understand the forces acting on the rider and how the various parameters affect that.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    yes, and that's what I said based on the results.

    But who in their right mind would run 100 psi in a 28mm tire? A 28mm tire @ 80 PSI (realistic) is still higher rolling resistance than a 23mm tire @ 100 PSI.
    When last did you ride on an aluminum diamond plate drum.
    Too old to ride plastic

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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    When last did you ride on an aluminum diamond plate drum.
    Roads around here (Irvine, Newport Beach, Laguna, South OC in general) are smoother than that diamond drum, so nice that I use tubular on 3 of my 4 bikes now (have only gotten 2 flats in 2 years).

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcorn View Post
    This topic has been debated to absolute death and I'm not sure why when there is data to back up the claims of the guy saying wider tires at lower pressures are faster. Also, I'm pretty sure that has to do with tubeless as well because you don't get friction between the tube and tire.

    Go listen to the CyclingTips podcast where they talk about this and interview the Jan Heine guy.

    Pro cyclists don't change to newer tech because the sport is rooted in heritage and tradition, plus it is tough to make huge changes in gear and hardware due to how the mechanics work and moving all their stuff around the world.


    To answer your question, I've done a couple races with 32mm wide tubeless tires on my Aeroad and have kept up with the group just fine.
    beaten to death yes, but quality data to claim that wider and lower psi tires on a road course (not some backcounty gravel) are faster??? No data. Because if data exists, Pros and Olympic track teams be all over them wide 40mm tires by now. As a matter of face, Pro TT bikes are still being setup to use 23mm tires. So, you tell me where this data is buddy that the pros are not seeing.

  19. #44
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    You don't ride wider tires at the same pressure as narrower tires, if you are expecting to accurately compare them.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    beaten to death yes, but quality data to claim that wider and lower psi tires on a road course (not some backcounty gravel) are faster??? No data. Because if data exists, Pros and Olympic track teams be all over them wide 40mm tires by now. As a matter of face, Pro TT bikes are still being setup to use 23mm tires. So, you tell me where this data is buddy that the pros are not seeing.
    You just don't want to believe data that doesn't conform to your notions of what works. And as far as your 40mm tire comparison, why don't you speak to dcorn's successful use of 32mm tires.
    Too old to ride plastic

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    Roads around here (Irvine, Newport Beach, Laguna, South OC in general) are smoother than that diamond drum, so nice that I use tubular on 3 of my 4 bikes now (have only gotten 2 flats in 2 years).
    And the Pro's use tubulars at Pari Roubaix, what's your point?
    Too old to ride plastic

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    And the Pro's use tubulars at Pari Roubaix, what's your point?
    They ride with sag cars, I don't. My point is I don't need a sag car to ride tubular, it's a testament to how nice roads around here are. Get it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    You just don't want to believe data that doesn't conform to your notions of what works. And as far as your 40mm tire comparison, why don't you speak to dcorn's successful use of 32mm tires.
    Data? you say I don't want to believe in data, yet I used the data in the very link you post to present all my points in here. Is there anything you wish to dispute my argument based on my use of data from the link you posted? Maybe that's why you sidetrack me with question about the road in my area because you cannot debate the point so resort to sidetracking? Do you even know what the hell you want to debate about bro?

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    They ride with sag cars, I don't. My point is I don't need a sag car to ride tubular, it's a testament to how nice roads around here are. Get it.
    No.

    I'd say flats are caused more by debris than rough road surface. Unless the roads ridden are filled with large potholes and thermal upheaves, but then no tires are safe.
    Too old to ride plastic

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo View Post
    You don't ride wider tires at the same pressure as narrower tires, if you are expecting to accurately compare them.
    Heine has found, in his research, that there is a quite large pressure window in which a tire works. Too high=harsh ride and flats, too low=squirrely handling and pinch flats. between those two and everything works.

    That was just my simplified version.
    Too old to ride plastic

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