Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Tire width different front - rear question

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Tire width different front - rear question

Old 07-19-19, 06:52 PM
  #1  
Beachgrad05
Just Keep Pedaling
Thread Starter
 
Beachgrad05's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Lakewood, CA
Posts: 3,336

Bikes: 99 Schwinn Mesa GS MTB, 15 Trek Domane 5.9 Dura-Ace, 17 Trek Emonda SL6 Pro & 18 Bianchi Vigorelli

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 41 Times in 27 Posts
Tire width different front - rear question

I recently had an issue with Continental tire. They sent me a replacement but in 23 not the 25 it replaced. Rather than deal with trying to send back for a 25 I wonder if I can use it on bike with other tire being 25.....if so...better to have 23 on front or back?

I rode motorcycles and front was skinnier than rear tire so am guessing ok to use 23 on front and 25 on back.

A friend just told me they run 23 on back wheel and 25 on front for “stability on descents as well as speed”. This person doesn’t like descending steep grades. Has vertigo.

So what would be best overall for handling and safety?
Beachgrad05 is offline  
Old 07-19-19, 07:16 PM
  #2  
surak
Senior Member
 
surak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Seattle
Posts: 813

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix, Canyon Inflite AL SLX, Giant Contend SL Disc 2, Priority Continuum Onyx, Santana Vision, Kent Dual-Drive Tandem

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 309 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 42 Posts
I had a 23c in front when I wanted fender clearance. I swapped it for a 25c after deciding some fender rub was better than the sketchy handling I experienced with the 23c in urban environments.
surak is offline  
Old 07-19-19, 07:42 PM
  #3  
DaveLeeNC
Senior Member
 
DaveLeeNC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pinehurst, NC, US
Posts: 1,412

Bikes: 2020 Trek Emonda SL6, 90's Vintage EL-OS Steel Bianchi with 2014 Campy Chorus Upgrade

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 297 Post(s)
Liked 56 Times in 38 Posts
When the 23 that I have on the rear wears out, I plan to replace it with a 25. But 23 is the biggest that fits on the front, so I will be riding 25R and 23F.

dave
DaveLeeNC is offline  
Old 07-19-19, 07:47 PM
  #4  
znomit
Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk
 
znomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 3,873

Bikes: Giant Defy, Trek 1.7c, BMC GF02, Scott Sub 35

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 218 Post(s)
Liked 85 Times in 48 Posts
I'd put it on the front because the comfort and handling is more important there.
znomit is offline  
Old 07-19-19, 07:52 PM
  #5  
Beachgrad05
Just Keep Pedaling
Thread Starter
 
Beachgrad05's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Lakewood, CA
Posts: 3,336

Bikes: 99 Schwinn Mesa GS MTB, 15 Trek Domane 5.9 Dura-Ace, 17 Trek Emonda SL6 Pro & 18 Bianchi Vigorelli

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 41 Times in 27 Posts
Originally Posted by znomit View Post
I'd put it on the front because the comfort and handling is more important there.
Put 23 on front?
Beachgrad05 is offline  
Old 07-19-19, 07:57 PM
  #6  
znomit
Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk
 
znomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 3,873

Bikes: Giant Defy, Trek 1.7c, BMC GF02, Scott Sub 35

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 218 Post(s)
Liked 85 Times in 48 Posts
Originally Posted by Beachgrad05 View Post
Put 23 on front?
Sorry for mixing that up, no put the 25 up front. There are benefits to going both ways though, so the correct answer is of course "it depends".

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#mixing
znomit is offline  
Likes For znomit:
Old 07-19-19, 07:58 PM
  #7  
ridingfool
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 223
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 14 Posts
when I use 2 sizes I always put the 23 on the front and never seems to be a problem. I'm also a heavier rider so prefer a 25 on the back
ridingfool is offline  
Old 07-19-19, 08:06 PM
  #8  
sdmc530
Heft On Wheels
 
sdmc530's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 2,430

Bikes: Specialized,Cannondale,Argon 18

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 641 Post(s)
Liked 202 Times in 152 Posts
I run two different sizes on my two of my bikes.


I have 28R 25F on one bike and 25R and 23F on another. Never had an issues. I try to stuff the largest tires on my road bikes I can and this is what I can do on two particular bikes with good enough clearance. I would run what you got and don't worry about it. When it wears out buy what you like.
sdmc530 is offline  
Old 07-19-19, 08:11 PM
  #9  
DrIsotope
Non omnino gravis
 
DrIsotope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: SoCal, USA!
Posts: 7,724

Bikes: Nekobasu, Pandicorn

Mentioned: 116 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4295 Post(s)
Liked 808 Times in 489 Posts
TWENNY THREE ON FRONT BECOZ MOAR AERO!1!

But for reals, in my case it would be the 23 in the front because I wouldn't want to pump my rear tire to like 110psi.

For most folks, it probably makes no difference. If your wheels are wider than 18c, it's gonna mount to about 25 anyway.
__________________
DrIsotope is offline  
Old 07-19-19, 08:13 PM
  #10  
Beachgrad05
Just Keep Pedaling
Thread Starter
 
Beachgrad05's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Lakewood, CA
Posts: 3,336

Bikes: 99 Schwinn Mesa GS MTB, 15 Trek Domane 5.9 Dura-Ace, 17 Trek Emonda SL6 Pro & 18 Bianchi Vigorelli

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 41 Times in 27 Posts
Thanks everyone. Think I will go with my initial instinct of 23 on front. As an Athena I think I prefer the 25 on rear wheel. Doubt I would experience handling issues. Have experience with 23’s on bike before switching to 25’s. Plus motorcycle experience with front being not as wide on my sport bike.
Beachgrad05 is offline  
Old 07-20-19, 02:30 AM
  #11  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 10,558

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 179 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3344 Post(s)
Liked 720 Times in 494 Posts
For awhile last year I ran 23 front/25 rear. No problems. Ditto on my hybrid, 32/35. No problems with handling.

I've since switched back to 700x25 front and rear on one bike, both 23 on the other, and 700x42 on the hybrid. But that's just because I settled on tires I liked better for comfort. Not an issue with handling on turns.
canklecat is online now  
Old 07-20-19, 02:47 AM
  #12  
ooga-booga
lead on macduff!
 
ooga-booga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,615

Bikes: come and get 'em

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 550 Post(s)
Liked 213 Times in 123 Posts
you'll be just fine and i doubt you'll really notice much difference between the two. rocking a '28 up front and a '25 in back on
a mid-80's steel bike that doesn't have clearance for the '28 in back. thought it did. take it on the road and light dirt and it does just fine.
i do like to switch it up occasionally and swap the wheels with '23's from the other bike. the mid-80's bike feels like a new, racier bike at that point.
ooga-booga is offline  
Old 07-20-19, 08:24 AM
  #13  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 27,365

Bikes: R3 Disc, Domane, Haanjo

Mentioned: 328 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10947 Post(s)
Liked 1,008 Times in 580 Posts
Yeah, unless we were talking about gravel/dirt, I'd put the larger on the rear so that I can run a little lower pressure (vs the smaller tire) without increasing the chances of a pinch flat. For gravel/dirt, some prefer the larger tire up front for handling on loose surfaces, iirc.
WhyFi is offline  
Old 07-20-19, 08:25 AM
  #14  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 27,365

Bikes: R3 Disc, Domane, Haanjo

Mentioned: 328 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10947 Post(s)
Liked 1,008 Times in 580 Posts
Oh wait - I forgot a classic BF answer:

Put the smaller tire up front so that you're always riding on a slight downhill, bruh!
WhyFi is offline  
Likes For WhyFi:
Old 07-20-19, 09:42 AM
  #15  
RGMN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 207
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 19 Posts
I run a 23mm on the front of my Ritchey Road Logic 2.0 simply because I can't fit a larger tire. A 25mm rubs the underside of the Campag Skeleton brake. A 25mm or 28mm fits in the rear no problem. I've had no issues with it setup this way.
RGMN is offline  
Old 07-20-19, 08:17 PM
  #16  
Kimmo
bike whisperer
 
Kimmo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Melbourne, Oz
Posts: 8,493

Bikes: https://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=152015&p=1404231

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 657 Post(s)
Liked 125 Times in 103 Posts
Originally Posted by RGMN View Post
A 25mm rubs the underside of the Campag Skeleton brake.
Here's a tip from @FBinNY from the mechanics forum: epoxy a couple of short lengths of spoke in each dropout, then you can run a 25.
Kimmo is offline  
Old 07-20-19, 08:24 PM
  #17  
BengalCat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Brentwood WLA
Posts: 309

Bikes: 50/34, 11-40, 11 Speed

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 46 Posts
My personal experience, (YMMV) IMO was black and white is to go wider on the front on mismatched sizes. It produced better handling and a more comfortable ride.
BengalCat is offline  
Old 07-20-19, 09:02 PM
  #18  
Point
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 400
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
According to Sheldon Brown, the newer tire should always be in the front. You want the tire with less chance of failure there.
Point is offline  
Likes For Point:
Old 07-20-19, 09:08 PM
  #19  
Doge
Senior Member
 
Doge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 9,852

Bikes: 1979 Raleigh Team 753

Mentioned: 151 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3099 Post(s)
Liked 112 Times in 83 Posts
The front tire is more important for grip. the rear tends to hit things you may dodge with the front. So for that - bigger on rear is better.
But...if you don't wack things, the smaller profile on the power wheel is more responsive.

You can do either. Pros and cons to both.
Doge is offline  
Old 07-20-19, 09:33 PM
  #20  
RGMN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 207
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 19 Posts
Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Here's a tip from @FBinNY from the mechanics forum: epoxy a couple of short lengths of spoke in each dropout, then you can run a 25.
Yeah, I've seen that hack. It's really entertaining when (not if) one side falls out. Bring wrenches to remove the brake.
RGMN is offline  
Old 07-21-19, 12:09 AM
  #21  
Kimmo
bike whisperer
 
Kimmo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Melbourne, Oz
Posts: 8,493

Bikes: https://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=152015&p=1404231

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 657 Post(s)
Liked 125 Times in 103 Posts
Originally Posted by RGMN View Post
when (not if)
By that logic, anything bonded should eventually asplode.

Gotta glue to clean surfaces. I'd build up the epoxy to surround the bits of spoke, to form a new arch for the dropout.

IMO the biggest issue with it is what it'd do to the geometry by raising the front 4mm instead of 2.
Kimmo is offline  
Old 07-27-19, 05:02 PM
  #22  
RGMN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 207
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 19 Posts
Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
By that logic, anything bonded should eventually asplode.


Gotta glue to clean surfaces. I'd build up the epoxy to surround the bits of spoke, to form a new arch for the dropout.


IMO the biggest issue with it is what it'd do to the geometry by raising the front 4mm instead of 2.

No, my logic is that most mechanics are not well versed in properly bonding metals with adhesives. They won't get an adequate surface prep (likely needs to be etched,) the joint will fail and the spokes will fall out somewhere down the road, usually at the most inconvenient time. Like my buddy who had the spoke fall out while fixing a flat on Mt Evans, just after 11 switchbacks. Shifted the tire enough that it hit the fork. He said he walked a LONG way carrying the front of his bike before someone offered him a ride.

Frame manufacturers typically know how to prep the joints properly. Cleaning only part of the surface preparation.
RGMN is offline  
Old 07-28-19, 01:22 AM
  #23  
Jax Rhapsody
Rhapsodic Laviathan
 
Jax Rhapsody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 672

Bikes: Rideable; 83 Schwinn High Sierra. Two cruiser, bmx bike, one other mtb, three road frames, one citybike.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 8 Posts
If anything; pure aestetics alone dictate skinnier tire up front.

Sportbike
Hotrod
Dragster
Sand Rail
Chopper

Wouldn't look right any other way.
Jax Rhapsody is offline  
Old 07-28-19, 09:16 AM
  #24  
SCTinkering
Senior Member
 
SCTinkering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 72

Bikes: 2003 Airborne Valykire w Ultegra 6800, 2018 Trek FX-5S with GRX/Xt 1x drive train

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Yeah, unless we were talking about gravel/dirt, I'd put the larger on the rear so that I can run a little lower pressure (vs the smaller tire) without increasing the chances of a pinch flat. For gravel/dirt, some prefer the larger tire up front for handling on loose surfaces, iirc.
Yep, that's how I do it on my MTB. Oh the bygone days of the Panaracer Smoke 2.0 on the rear and Dart 2.3 on the front. The Dart just looked wrong. Handled awesome, but the optics were...strange.
SCTinkering is offline  
Old 07-28-19, 10:42 AM
  #25  
DrIsotope
Non omnino gravis
 
DrIsotope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: SoCal, USA!
Posts: 7,724

Bikes: Nekobasu, Pandicorn

Mentioned: 116 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4295 Post(s)
Liked 808 Times in 489 Posts
My "SoCal fire road" setup is Panaracer Gravelking SKs, 700x43 in the front and 700x38 in the back. Partly because the chainstays won't clear a 43, but also because for whatever reason the 43 has two more rows of knobs than the 38. When it gets loose, I'm very thankful for those two extra rows.
__________________
DrIsotope is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.