Does wider tire width reduce flats?
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Does wider tire width reduce flats?

    I've heard that a wider tire can reduce the occurance of flats. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I usually ride 23's but I know that in the paris-roubaix they use fatter tires, probably for shock absorbing as much as anything.
    I dont see how a fatter tire would prevent flats as there is more contacting the pavement but perhaps I'm wrong. Any thoughts?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I could be totally incorrect, but it is my experience that a 25 is less likely to flat than a 23........this based on a heavy rider. When I first started riding I was around 230lbs and rode on 25's and never had a flat! My buddy who is about 220lbs currently rides on 23's and has his fair share of flats.

    Currently, I ride on 23's and weigh 180lbs and have no issues with flats.........

    So, I assume if your weight is not an issue you should be fine on either.....

  3. #3
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    Many variables

    Quote Originally Posted by holdenJames
    I've heard that a wider tire can reduce the occurance of flats. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I usually ride 23's but I know that in the paris-roubaix they use fatter tires, probably for shock absorbing as much as anything.
    I dont see how a fatter tire would prevent flats as there is more contacting the pavement but perhaps I'm wrong. Any thoughts?
    Even two tires in the same line would be run at different pressures, so it is pretty hard to say that simple width would affect flat frequency. The only comparison that would be valid (if you could do it) would be flats from road debris, since pinch flats are a function of tire width and pressure combined. It is hard to see how a tire with the same casing and tread would have fewer flats just because it is 2 mm wider.

  4. #4
    Just Riding Along
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    Fewer pinch flats

    at correct pressure with wider tires.

    Puncture flats depend on tire construction. Many tires are designed to be somewhat to a lot more resistant to puncture flats (they are heavier, of course.)

    If you're sitting by the side of the road you don't much care how you flatted. If you're a heavier rider (heavier than pro weights), have your fair share of road hazards and are riding recreationally, consider 25mm tires to reduce pinch flats. If you get a lot of puncture flats, consider the puncture resistant types in the appropriate width.

    I ride recreationally and have a 25mm Gatorskin on my road bike. It's also much more comfortable than the 23mm predecessor. The time I lose riding the heavier tire over its lifetime will be less than the time I spend fixing one flat.

    If you have a team car with spare wheels following you around, ride the most expensive stuff out there.
    Bikes are like bottles of beer; as soon as you get one, you want another.....

  5. #5
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons
    Even two tires in the same line would be run at different pressures, so it is pretty hard to say that simple width would affect flat frequency. The only comparison that would be valid (if you could do it) would be flats from road debris, since pinch flats are a function of tire width and pressure combined. It is hard to see how a tire with the same casing and tread would have fewer flats just because it is 2 mm wider.
    'Wider' tires are also deeper and have more air cushion for the same pressure making them harder to pinch flat. - TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  6. #6
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    You don't actually loose that much speed with 25s if you are a heavier rider. Narrow tyres sag in the direction of rotation but wider tyres sag perpendicular to the direction of rotation (across the plane of rotation) and therefore offer less rolling resistance. I have been riding 25 Ultra gator skins on my steel training rig and conti attack/force 22/23 on my carbon weekend bike - so far I have had one flat on the attack force (after 400 miles) and no flats on the gators eventhough I have done at least double the miles. However I can't comment on rolling performance too much as I am running them on totally different set ups, i.e. steel bike on mavic cosmos with Ultegra 9s and carbon on Fulcrum 3's with record.

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