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There's still something about 23c tires

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There's still something about 23c tires

Old 06-09-21, 03:23 PM
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Prowler 
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There's still something about 23c tires

I know that, like the tidal bore in Truro, NS, I’ll be going against the flow here but I have to say that there is still something really neat about 23c tires. Wider and fatter tires are all the rage and I have a variety of em - 25c, 28c, 31c, 47c - but I have one bike that is 23c all the time and another that is 23c enabled (second set of wheels, plug and play). My ride this morning, in the cool air, reminded me of how nice 23c tars are.

Are they faster - seemingly
Are they quicker turning (flickable) - yes
Do they spin up faster - feels like it
Is the ride harsher - not that I can tell
Are they lighter - yes
Do they wear out faster - no idea. Don’t care
Are they aaall day comfortable - yes
Do they look cooler - don’t care. How would I know?
Do they make you look sexier - lost cause
Will they turn you into a crocodile - unlikely, eh?
Are they more fun - yes, sometimes
Do you ever just feel like some rascality - Aw, yeah.

531, Ultra 6, non-areo, bar-cons, “serving spoon” saddle, Cyclones, cages, Reich bell, 30 quiet miles of no cars and 80% shade. It was a very nice ride on the ole VMC. Väldigt mycket

Just my inexperienced opinion.

Cheers



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Old 06-09-21, 05:26 PM
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Funny, I was thinking something similar this weekend. I switched over to my clincher wheelset, which are running with 23's, on my Colnago last week. As I was riding, I was they just look right on a late 70's bike and I agree, they feel more aggressive. I do like my wider tires for ride comfort. But the 23's still have their place.
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Old 06-09-21, 05:29 PM
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As Nancy Reagan often said, "just say 'yes' to 23mm tires."
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Old 06-09-21, 06:12 PM
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No argument here. My Ironman may be due for tires after this season, and it will get 23s again. Love the ride.
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Old 06-09-21, 06:19 PM
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23 mil tires + thudbuster post = yes!

I'd like to be able to ride thinner tires on large diameter rims but just can't. Our roads aren't glass smooth around here and rider weight is an issue. I usually ride a 1.5" x 26".
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Old 06-09-21, 06:21 PM
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I like 700x23 on my Ironman because they look right, especially with the classic Mavic CXP 30 wheelset. Wider tires look kludgy on narrow aero rims.

For the past couple of years my various road bikes have been shod with either those 700x23 Soma Supple Vitesse or 700x25 Conti GP Classic skinwalls. My crabon fibber bike with Conti GP Classics has latex tubes for a better ride. But at the moment I'm using heavy duty butyl tubes with the Soma Supple Vitesse SL... and those tires are so sweet they still feel a bit nicer than the wider Contis with latex tubes. I have some skinny latex tubes for the Soma tires but haven't installed 'em yet.

Heck, I'd get 700x20 if I could find a good set like the Soma Supple Vitesse SL I'm running now on that bike. I'd bet the ride would still be good and skinnier tires would take better advantage of aero rims with 14mm inside width.
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Old 06-09-21, 07:19 PM
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23mm works well enough for me, although something a bit bigger isn't bad either. You can get some really nice tires in both sizes, and that's what matters.

However, for some of the bikes that we love so much, it's tough to fit tires over 25mm.
Here's my Hetchins with small 23mm tires.....



I recently put some 25mm Continental Gran Prix Classic tires on it and it is only a few mm from the brake caliper! Might have to stock up on some skinny tires if I want to keep it on the road.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 06-09-21, 07:29 PM
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No argument from me; all my bikes (with the sole exception of the one with tubulars) are outfitted with 23s for reasons 1-5 in the first post. And, as SwimmerMike noted, they do seem to be just the right proportion for late 70s bikes.

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Old 06-09-21, 07:41 PM
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I think all of you spent too much time riding 19mm tires.
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Old 06-09-21, 08:17 PM
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Definitely lighter. Seem faster, or they make you want to ride faster. If they're nice tires, they ride really good, not harsh at all, until you hit that really bad pot hole. I'm about 185 and I ride them at 100psi. Works for me. And they sound good.
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Old 06-09-21, 08:36 PM
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I'm still not buying the fat tire thing. Plus they look terrible. Even if they were faster, you still look like a goon.
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Old 06-09-21, 08:45 PM
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All my road bikes have 23’s, two of which are tubulars. I can feel the difference with the ones I put miles on. Even with 25’s the diffence in handling and acceleration can be felt.
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Old 06-09-21, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by krakhaus View Post
I'm still not buying the fat tire thing. Plus they look terrible. Even if they were faster, you still look like a goon.
I look like a goon anyway, so nothing lost.
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Old 06-09-21, 09:04 PM
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@krakhaus I didn't buy it truly until very recently. 23/25mm guy all the way. Light, fast, beautifully proportional with standard diameter steel tubing, classic/heritage etc. Finally got tired of reality (city streets and paths) beating me up, and that was really prompted by buying, on a lark, a pair of Soma Supple Vitesse 700x48mm tires and mounting them to a bike that didn't fit me but fit them. What a revelation. Got 42mm versions of the same that fit my tourer (with the heart of a racer) and the transition to the Dark Side was complete. Being able to trophy truck over garbage roads at the same speed you would on a super light race bike, and not get jackhammered to death in the process, is 1000% worth it. But you have to have a bike/frame that matches your style as well as good quality tires.

I know a lot of big tire bikes look slow, fuddy, dorky, old-timey mustache rider-y, or just awkward (650B and tall frames are a pass for me), and that was my chief complaint, especially as a 65cm+ bike rider. Skinny tubing at scaffolding sizes with the equivalent of UGG work boots boat anchoring the overall aesthetic--a really bad look. So, since I like road/race bikes but don't want to have to drive to the countryside where the roads are decent, I'm just infusing a ton of go-fast and aggressive into my touring bike (a Trek 620) and it's well on it's way to being both capable (over bad roads) and fast. Your roads may be different, likely better, so there is no "need." I completely understand. Some guys just don't care how bad the roads are, they just deal. That was me, too. I'd keep the big tire door open, just in case.

Until some future date where I pick up another 66cm road bike (instead of the 620 and maybe the 510 only), long live 23s.

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Old 06-09-21, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
@krakhaus I didn't buy it truly until very recently. 23/25mm guy all the way. Light, fast, beautifully proportional with standard diameter steel tubing, classic/heritage etc. Finally got tired of reality (city streets and paths) beating me up, and that was really prompted by buying, on a lark, a pair of Soma Supple Vitesse 700x48mm tires and mounting them to a bike that didn't fit me but fit them. What a revelation. Got 42mm versions of the same that fit my tourer (with the heart of a racer) and the transition to the Dark Side was complete. Being able to trophy truck over garbage roads at the same speed you would on a super light race bike, and not get jackhammered to death in the process, is 1000% worth it. But you have to have a bike/frame that matches your style as well as good quality tires.

I know a lot of big tire bikes look slow, fuddy, dorky, old-timey mustache rider-y, or just awkward (650B and tall frames are a pass for me), and that was my chief complaint, especially as a 65cm+ bike rider. Skinny tubing at scaffolding sizes with the equivalent of UGG work boots boat anchoring the overall aesthetic--a really bad look. So, since I like road/race bikes but don't want to have to drive to the countryside where the roads are decent, I'm just infusing a ton of go-fast and aggressive into my touring bike (a Trek 620) and it's well on it's way to being both capable (over bad roads) and fast. Your roads may be different, likely better, so there is no "need." I completely understand. Some guys just don't care how bad the roads are, they just deal. That was me, too. I'd keep the big tire door open, just in case.

Until some future date where I pick up another 66cm road bike (instead of the 620 and maybe the 510 only), long live 23s.

I get it, but to meI just feel like I'd be back on a mountain bike. I was a Seattle bike messenger for 11 years. I started out on a mountain bike with 1.25 slicks, and rode that for the first year. When I went to a road bike, which weren't cool back in 1995, I couldn't believe the amount of energy I was wasting on the fat tires. That was enough to sell me on skinny tires forever. Right now I'm riding 25's and I do like them better than the 23's, but next time I'm replacing my tires, I'm going with tubeless 25's
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Old 06-09-21, 09:31 PM
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I too like my tires narrow. For my modern bike, when it was time to replace the stock Bontrager tires I went with Continental GP5Ks in tan wall to give it a bit of vintage panache. Those are only available in 25mm. I have an older bike that I'm running weathered and cracked Schwinn Records on until I can find another set of 1-1/8 skin walls I like in stock.

Because I believe it is just as important to love the way your bike looks as it is to like how it rides.
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Old 06-09-21, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuck M View Post
Because I believe it is just as important to love the way your bike looks as it is to like how it rides.
That is truth
I read something about Cippolini always riding his stem at 130mm totally slammed, regardless of the bike he was riding because he couldn't be happy if it didn't look cool. I can relate.
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Old 06-09-21, 09:46 PM
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I just got a bike from 1982, with what are supposedly 700x25 tires, but even inflated they're narrower than the 700x23 Michelin Dynamic Classics I've got on another vintage rig from the same year. So, what's in a number?

I've got one bike with 23's and 22s (clincher and tubular wheelsets), 4 with 25s, and 2 with 28s. You'd think it would take time to get used to it, switching from 23's to 28s, but it doesn't. Each bike looks right with whatever tires it's wearing.
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Old 06-09-21, 09:58 PM
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I never got caught up in the move to wider tires. About 90% of my bikes have 23's and the other 10% have 25's.
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Old 06-09-21, 10:09 PM
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I like 23c even if the kool-aid doesn't. The are great for fast road and runs to the store.

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Old 06-09-21, 10:13 PM
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23mm - morning/noon/night
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Old 06-09-21, 10:14 PM
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If you are riding aging urban roads with an aging body, go big if your frame allows.
If not, dig those 23's.
By
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Old 06-09-21, 10:19 PM
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I have two bicycles that can't take anything wider than 23's. They're two of my most desirable machines, but they don't get ridden a whole lot.

Thanks to all posting here who help to lessen demand for higher volume tires, and thereby helping to keep their prices from going higher.

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Old 06-09-21, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rjhammett View Post
I never got caught up in the move to wider tires. About 90% of my bikes have 23's and the other 10% have 25's.
Pretty much the same here. I only have one set of Continental 25 tubulars - the rest are 22/23mm. Only one bike sports 28's. Now, if I could just find some 21's that were stock on my 84 PSV
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Old 06-09-21, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by krakhaus View Post
I get it, but to meI just feel like I'd be back on a mountain bike. I was a Seattle bike messenger for 11 years. I started out on a mountain bike with 1.25 slicks, and rode that for the first year. When I went to a road bike, which weren't cool back in 1995, I couldn't believe the amount of energy I was wasting on the fat tires. That was enough to sell me on skinny tires forever. Right now I'm riding 25's and I do like them better than the 23's, but next time I'm replacing my tires, I'm going with tubeless 25's
Was your mountain bike fully rigid or did it have suspension? Tire tech has advanced considerably in the 15, 20, and 25 years since 1995. I bet that old rubber was heavy and stiff and stuck to the road more than it should have. My Soma 42s are just 395 grams each, folding bead, thin sidewall. My 48s are 420g each. It's crazy. You're set, mentally, and I get that and respect that 100%. But if you ever decide to get the hair-brained idea to wander back to Big Tire Land and come across some 650B or 700C Soma Supple Vitesse or Compass/Rene Herse tires for a good deal, and end up liking them, it's ok. You won't have any judgement coming from me!
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