Tire Upgrade - how noticeable an effect ?
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  1. #1
    So. Calif.
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    Tire Upgrade - how noticeable an effect ?

    I'm a new comer to road biking, and am wondering how much 'improvement' I might notice or measure by upgrading tires to Michelin Krylion Carbon or possibly Pro3 Race, in a 700-23C size. Presently running Zaffiro 700-25C tires. The specifics-

    ME :
    175 lb, 5-11 male. Total weight (me + gear + bike) about 200 lbs.
    Riding for fitness and recreation, not racing.
    Presently doing about 2, 25-30 mile rides per week, at a moderately hard pace.
    A 30 mph downhill descent is still somewhat terrifying ;)

    BIKE SETUP:
    Shimano WH-R500 rims.
    Now- Vittoria Zaffiro 700-25C tires, inflated to 110-115 psi. These are basic entry-level tires.

    ROAD CONDITIONS:
    Generally good condition asphalt in So Calif (Manhattan Beach - Palos Verdes).

    TIA !

  2. #2
    monkey with flamethrower
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    High end tires are typically more supple and weigh less. But unless you are trying to shave off every possible gram and have show your riding buddies your fancy tires your Zaffiros won't work any worse than whatever high zoot tire you want. By itself the Zaffiro is a fairly good tire. Ride them till they wear out and get something else. Fancy tires won't make you a better rider, riding more will.
    Chances are, I posted this drunk.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    +1

    zaffiros are fine tires. 700x25 is where it's at. try much less pressure (90psi?) and see what you think...i think it will improve comfort and wear without sacrificing speed.

    at the same weight, i run 90-95 in my 23c zaffiros.

  4. #4
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    I did this exact thing

    My first bike came with crappy, heavy Maxxis tires and I put almost 3K miles on them. I never had a flat with these since I was surprised to find that they had wire beads. I was so excited about new tires and saving weight. I put on Michelin Pro2 or 3 and lightweight tubes. I figured I saved at least a half pound in rotational weight. Two flats the first week and then something blew a hole in the tread. I didn't have any more money so the Maxxis tires went back on. Did i mention that bike lanes are covered with all sorts of stuff?

    I say be happy with your tires. I currently run Rubino Pros on my bikes.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_h
    Generally good condition asphalt in So Calif (Manhattan Beach - Palos Verdes).
    In that case you don't need super stout tires, so...

    Good tires are something even I can feel on a bike. I like to ride a Pro3 on the front (lasts forever) and a Krylion on the rear... but Pro3s on both would be smoother and faster. Besides a more supple ride, they will probably improve your speed (due to lower rolling resistance, not weight) more than any single change you could make. The Zaffiros are 33 tpi as I recall... cheap tires. Use some fairly thin tubes also.

  6. #6
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    Your tires are fine. Just ride the bike.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    +1 on dookie's suggestion

    to drop the pressure a bit. 95-100 will feel quite different from 110-115. With 25mm tires, that should be plenty of pinch-flat protection for your weight. You'll have more comfort, and better control. Those descents will feel more sure, too. Pretty soon you'll be be solid at 30mph, and terrifying yourself at 40!

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I replaced well worn Rubino pros with Open Corsa evo-cx 290TPI.
    There are too many variables for me to say if they are faster, although
    they sure don't feel slower. What I have noticed, though is that they ride
    better. I am holding my breath on the durablilty factor.
    All I said was that our son, the apple of our three eyes, Martha being a cyclops, our son is a beanbag, and you get testy!

  9. #9
    So. Calif.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia
    ... drop the pressure a bit. 95-100 will feel quite different from 110-115. With 25mm tires, that should be plenty of pinch-flat protection for your weight. You'll have more comfort, and better control. Those descents will feel more sure, too. Pretty soon you'll be be solid at 30mph, and terrifying yourself at 40!
    Actually, I just returned from a ride where I reduced the 700-25 Zaffiro's pressure from 115 to 105.

    A subtle softening of the ride, mainly perceived as less harshness or vibration thru the handlebars. Overall, I'd call it a slight improvement. (bike note- Aluminum frame, carbon fork, carbon seat stays).

  10. #10
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    Ride the Zaffiro's until they wear out. Then upgrade.
    I used to run Zaffiro Pro's (60tpi). Decent tire- long wearing & durable.
    Then tried Rubino Pro's. More $$ than Zaffiros, durable, perhaps sl. less long-wearing (I get 3000mi+ from a set). MUCH nicer ride & notable decrease in rolling resistance. The RP is now my fav all-around tire.

    Beware of the highest-end tires, though. These are often race tires with soft, super road grip and great ride but rapid wear and lower puncture resistance.

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