Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tire Size & Rolling Resistance


Are you a bike geek?  Then today's post might be of interest to you.  There is an older article out about Tire Size and Rolling Resistance.  If you aren't well you just might learn something that "goes against the grain" when out looking for a new bike or maybe your first bike.  Today's bike manufacturers really do not take the "average" rider into consideration with most of the frame technology and size capabilities in my opinion.

I read an interesting quote that goes something like this: "When was the last time you were 2nd place on the podium because of a 28mm tire instead of a 23mm tire?"  Maybe another good question might be when was the last time you even raced your bike in a sanctioned USAC race?  If you race Cat 3 or higher then I would guess you are pretty dialed in with bike tire size and pressures.  But if you are a recreational rider looking to gain comfort and fitness on the bike then maybe you should consider wider tires as a good option to help get  you started.

Here is my favorite point from the article:


On rough surfaces, however, a tire at lower pressure is able to absorb more of the bumps than a tire at higher pressure, with less deflection of the bike and its rider. This is the same “sprung vs. un-sprung weight” argument that demonstrates why suspension makes a bicycle faster on rough terrain — it takes less energy to keep the bike rolling if only a small amount of weight is lifted (like a small section of the tire) than if the entire bike and rider is lifted by the bump.
If the bike were rolling on smooth glass, it’s clear that higher pressure would be faster. The question is, what is the ideal pressure for the surface you’ll be riding on?
When was the last time you rode your bike on smooth glass?

There are many frame options that allow for a wider tire today - you just have to be open when talking to the shop staff and explain what your end goals are from your bike riding.  If you are looking to get in shape, see some great sights, and just enjoy the open road then a wider tire, in my opinion, is the way to go.  If you are planning on racing and training hard then a narrower tire and the frame that limits tire size is the way to go for you.  We are not all cookie cutters so be open and try one of each and you decide which bike feels better.

Originally posted by
Tom's Pro Bike
3687 Walden Avenue
Lancaster, NY 14086
(716) 651-9995
email: tom@tomsprobike.com


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