THE BEST WIDER ROAD BIKE TIRE AND WHEEL SIZES

How wide should the tires be on your road wheels? Here are my recommendations for the best bike tire and wheel sizes to improve speed, comfort and handling.

One of the biggest shifts in road cycling in recent years has been the move to wider tires.  By spending less than $100/£70/€90 on a pair of 25mm wide or wider tires, many cyclists have been led to believe their comfort, speed and handling will immediately improve over what they experience on the 23mm wide tires that most of us have used for years.

Unfortunately, merely shifting to wider tires is a simplistic, incomplete or, depending on your set-up, partially or completely wrong way to improve your ride performance.  It’s not surprising that all of us busy and budget conscious road cycling enthusiasts would be attracted to a quick and cheap solution to better riding.  But unfortunately, it’s not that easy (or quick or cheap).

In this post, I’ll try to give you a more complete explanation of how wider tires and/or wider wheels can give you some or all of the better comfort, speed and/or handling you are looking for or make no difference or make things worse.

I’ll also try to do a few things that I haven’t seen in a lot of other articles that have addressed this topic.  First, using published tests and analysis where available, I’ll quantify the benefits and drawbacks that previously have only been claimed.  For example, exactly how much is rolling resistance reduced using wider tires and how much will it reduce your time over different distances?

Second, I’ll attempt to look at what the interrelated effects are of using a wider tire or wheel rather than looking at them in isolation.  For example, what effect does using a wider tire on a stock size wheel have on your handling?  Or, with the wheelset you bought to improve your speed, how wide a tire should you go with?

Finally, I’ll make all of this relevant to you, my fellow road cycling enthusiasts rather than than to cyclists in general or to triathletes, commuters, recreational, or gravel riders who do different speeds, distances, road surfaces and courses.

At the end of all of this, I’ll lay out my recommendations for the best combinations of bike tire and wheel sizes for road cycling enthusiasts based on your comfort, speed and/or handling priorities.

In a previous post I’ve reviewed the best road bike tires which covered standard and wider sized tires used by enthusiasts today.  After completing this post, I’ve written a review of wide alloy wheels that can bring you some of the ‘wider’ performance benefits on a reasonable budget, or at least a smaller one than what you might spend to get the full performance benefits of wide all-around carbon wheels that I previously reviewed here or aero wheels, reviewed here.

FIRST, SOME BASIC EXPLANATIONS OF WHEEL AND TIRE WIDTH

Most new road bikes with rim brakes today come with wheels that are designated 15C or are 15mm wide between the tire bead hooks that run along the inside of each rim.  These bikes are also generally specified with tires that are 23C or 23mm wide on their outside before inflation.  It may seem odd to call out the inside width of the wheel’s rim and the outside width of an uninflated tire but it will become clearer why later.

rim and tire widths

If you look at the bikes Bike Radar selected for their 2016 bike of the year awards, you’ll see that 3 out of the 4 rim brake bikes that were picked as the best in their price ranges are sold with 15C stock wheels while 2 come with 23C tires and the other 2 with 25C ones.  If you look at the 11 rim brake bikes that made up their £2,000 to £2,750 or US$2800 to $3800 category where many road cycling enthusiasts shop, 8 of those 11 bikes are equipped with 15C wheels and 8 with 25C tires.

As is the case with most new bikes, none of these wheels or tires are high performance or terribly comfortable, no matter their size.  Unfortunately, you don’t have the choice to switch them out for another set without an extra charge or for most, take delivery of the bike without any wheels and get the price reduced.

You’ll also see the same size 15C wheel rim widths on many rim brake alloy wheels that are sold as upgrades to the stock wheels.  This includes popular alloy upgrades including those I have recommended such as the Shimano Dura-Ace C24, Campagnolo Zonda and Fulcrum Racing 3 and also those in the popular Mavic Ksyrium line.  This will change for model year 2017 whees as all of these will come in 17C version.

Most popular carbon wheels have been sold in much wider rim widths for several years.

You’ll often see these widths referred to as 622x15C or just 15C on the wheel spec sheets and as 700x23C or just 23C on the tire boxes rather than or in addition to the mm sizes they refer to.  The first number is the rim or tire diameter which is the same for nearly all road bike wheels and the second one is the inside rim and outside tire widths, which vary.  The C designation is one set out by a cycling group called ETRTO (for European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization) that has worked with manufacturers to standardize around sizes.

The trend today is toward road cycling wheel rims that are 17C or wider and tires that are 25C or wider.  Starting mid-year 2015 and continuing in the 2016 model year Fulcrum, Campagnolo and Mavic have begun selling some 17mm wide upgrade rim brake wheels. By model year 2017, this transition should be complete.

Most new road bikes that have disc brakes come with 17C stock wheels and 25C tires.  As this “road disc bike” category is only a few years old, bike companies have made their frames wide enough to fit and deliver the benefits of these and even wider wheels and tires.

Whereas 15C wheel rims typically have an outside width of 19-21mm wide across their brake tracks, 17C rims typically run 21-23mm outside widths.  The widest alloy road rim brake and disc brake wheels run 19.5-21mm inside and 24-25mm outside.

The drawing below shows these rim width ranges and also the rim profile that often, though not always, accompany these widths.

Comparing Alloy Wheel Rim Widths and Profiles

About 10 years ago ETRTO recommended tire widths that would, in their view, safely fit each internal rim width or size (13C, 15C, 17C, 19C, etc.).  The concern was that a tire too wide for a rim could result in unsafe handling or a failure in the tire sidewall or rim.  On the other hand, a tire too narrow for a rim might disengage from the rim and cause a blowout.  While some companies, shops and riders still use the chart derived from these recommended combinations as if it were a sacred tablet (or perhaps a lawyer’s commandment), I hesitate to reproduce it here.

Why?  It doesn’t account well for the range of tire pressures, tire materials, tire bead designs, rim wall thicknesses, rim hook designs, riding speeds and probably a half dozen other factors including aero performance, rolling resistance, tubeless tires and modern designs of both rims and tires.

Many of the leading wheel design companies recommend tire widths narrower than the ETRTO ones to maximize aero performance.  These rim/tire width combinations run safely.  Mavic, on the other hand, seems to actively promote the width of the tires it sells with it wheels as adhering to the ETRTO recommendations at the expense of their aero performance.

WHY RIDE WIDER WHEELS AND TIRES

With that as background, what changes when you move to rims wider than 15C and tires wider than 23C?  It’s really three things – comfort, speed and handling – to varying degrees and not always in a good way depending on what combination of tire width, rim width and rim profile you choose.

Let’s take them one at a time and then together.

Comfort

With a wider rim or a wider tire or both, you don’t need to pressure your tires as high as with a narrower one to support your weight.  All things being equal (temperature, outside pressure, humidity, rim and bead design, tire model, just to name a few), you need the same amount of air to hold your weight up in the larger volume of the space created by the wider rim and/or tire as you do with narrower ones.  And we all know that riding at a lower pressure makes the ride more comfortable because the tires deflect more at lower pressures to absorb bumps and uneven road surfaces.  So if you have a wider rim and/or tire, you can ride more comfortably by lowering your tire pressure.

For years, ‘real’ roadies and racers used to blow up 20C and 23C wide tires to 110 to 120psi for what we foolishly thought and felt would make us go faster (less tire surface touching the road, more aero shape), our tailbones and soft tissue be damned.  Now it’s not uncommon for road cyclists to ride tube/tire combinations at 80 to 100psi (and tubeless or tubular ones even lower), all with wider rims and tires.  If you are doing a century, sportive, gran fondo or just riding irregular pavement on your long training or fun rides, lower pressure tires can make the ride a whole lot more enjoyable.

Why not just lower your pressures on whatever combination of rim and tire width you are running now to get more comfort?  You can do that to a degree (maybe 5-10psi), until the point where the tire loses the shape you need to handle well and you are more prone to getting a ‘pinch flat’ from squeezing your tube between the rim and tire bead (Type 1) while cornering.  Too low tire pressure can also cause the tube to pinch flat when you hit something straight on (Type 2) and there’s not enough air to prevent the tube from folding on itself.

Source: tubesaddle.com

Source: tubesaddle.com

No matter what width tire you are running, the key here is to find the right pressure to inflate your tire.  For that I suggest you start with a table provided by your tire company and a little trial and error of your own.  Tire companies vary quite a bit in what they recommend or even how specific they are willing to get as you can see in the examples for Zipp tires and Michelin ones on the left and right, respectively, below.  (Can’t even find one from Continental, maker of my recommended Grand Prix 4000S ii.)

Zipp and Michelin tire pressure recommendations

Zipp and Michelin tire pressure recommendations

I find it helpful to start with the tire company’s typically conservative recommendation and experiment by dropping the pressure in 5psi increments to find the level of comfort and handling performance that feels right for the speed, roads and bike handling I’m doing.

Putting a 25mm tire on many of the  15C stock wheels that come on new bikes is kind of like putting lipstick on a pig.  Many of these stock wheels aren’t terribly compliant or comfortable to start with. Putting an oversized tire on them softens the ride but doesn’t do anything to improve the speed or handling.

Of the alloy upgrade wheels I’ve recommended, the DA C24 is a very comfortable wheel with 23C rubber on it.  The other three are very stiff, good for heavier riders but harsh for those in the 160lb/73kg weight range and below. But there are a good number of alloy upgrade wheels in both 15C and 17C sizes that are compliant to start with and that you don’t need to run out and put wider tires on to make them comfortable.  There’s a table that compares comfort and other performance factors of alloy wheels in my post here.

Speed

The 1) tire’s rolling resistance, 2) wheel’s rim width and profile, and the 3) relationship between the rim and tire width all contribute to how much added speed you can get… or lose going with a wider tire and/or rim.  Again, let me break these three down.

Improved 1) rolling resistance, or the reduction in friction between the tire and the road, is often written about as a primary benefit of wider tires.  Tests by a range of independent sources I charted in my review of the best road bike tires (here) and those done by private testers hired by cycling publications show that, all else being equal, a wider tire will reduce your rolling resistance and therefore speed your ride.

But, the amount of rolling resistance reduction you get going from a 23C to a 25C to a 28C tire is only about a couple of watts combined for the front and back tires regardless of the tire, tester and test conditions.

Here’s a few of examples of the rolling resistance test results in watts for tires from the chart I mentioned above.

  • Continental GP4000S II tire, butyl tube, 17C wheel, 120psi, 18 mph/29 kmph, 70-73F/21-23C, conducted by Bicycle Rolling Resistance (report)
    • 23C = 25 watts; 25C = 24.4 watts; 28C = 23.2 watts or a 1.8 watt reduction
  • Continental GP4000S II tire, butyl tube, 109psi, 21 mph/35 kph, wheel size and temperature undefined, conducted by Tour Int (April 2014 Issue, subscription required)
    • 23C = 22 watts; 25C = 21 watts; 28C = 19 watts or a 3 watt reduction
  • Schwalbe One tire, butyl tube, 109psi, 21 mph/35 kph, wheel size and temperature undefined, conducted by Tour Int (April 2014 Issue, subscription required)
    • 23C = 24 watts; 25C = 25 watts; 28C = 26 watts or a 2 watt increase
  • Zipp Tangente Speed tire, latex tube, 15C wheel, 120psi, 18.6 mph/30 kph, 20C, conducted by Tom Anhalt (Crr Overall Spreadsheet)
    • 23C = 23 watts; 25C = 21 watts or a 2 watt reduction
  • Zipp Tangente Course tire, latex tube, 15C wheel, 120psi, 18.6 mph/30 kph, 20C, conducted by Tom Anhalt (Crr Overall Spreadsheet)
    • 23C = 25 watts; 25C = 24 watts or 1 watt reduction

I’m sorry, but a one or two watt rolling resistance difference spread over two tires going from a 23C to a 25C sized tire is not going to make any noticeable change in your speed or time unless you are riding a TT and care about a couple of seconds difference.  What will make far more difference is picking the brand and model tire with the lowest rolling resistance.  I selected some of the best to show above but the complete chart shows as much as 5 or 6 watt differences between the more popular clincher tires.  That could mean 15 seconds or so over the course of a 25 mile/ 40K road race and as much as a minute or more over the length of a century or sportive ride.

These tests are run with tires of different sizes inflated to the same pressure to get that one or two watts of reduced rolling resistance.  Of course, I wrote earlier about how you can lower the pressure with a wider tire to improve your comfort.  And comfort is why most roadies go to wider tires in the first place.  So what happens to rolling resistance when you reduce the pressure?

Mavic claims that you fully lose the rolling resistance benefit from the wider tire when you drop the pressure 20psi.  Tests from Bicycle Rolling Resistance (see here) on a wide range of tires shows that you lose a couple watts over two tires when you go from 100 to 80psi.

How much should you reduce the pressure when you go to a wider tire?

Look at the Michelin chart above a little closer and you’ll notice that for your given weight, they recommend dropping the pressure when you go from a 23C to a 25C tire by… wait for it… about 20psi.  Ugh.  Well at least you get a more comfortable ride at essentially the same rolling resistance from a wider tire.

So the claim of going any faster from reduced rolling resistance on a wider tire is, at best, false hope and at worst, uniformed hype.

By improving aerodynamic performance, a wheel’s 2) rim width and profile play a part in the speed you can get for the same amount of power output.

On one hand, a wider rim does put more frontal area into the wind by making any tire you mount to it wider and thereby increasing your aero drag when going straight into the wind.

On the other hand, some companies have shaped the profile of wider rims more than those making narrower ones in a way that reduces the amount of drag caused when you aren’t going into the wind.

And because you aren’t riding directly into nature’s wind, or what’s called the atmospheric wind, most of the time and you create your own apparent wind as you speed along, the effective wind is almost always coming at you from one side or another.  According to extensive field testing of road cyclists done by FLO Cycling (reported here), 80% of our riding time is spent with the effective wind coming at you from 0 to 10 degrees, 50% from 0 to 5 degrees, and only 11% of our time are we riding straight into a 0 degree effective wind.

Sptarting about 2010, HED and Zipp and other wheel makers since have demonstrated in tests of the wheels they’ve made that you can greatly reduce the drag of your wheels with a wider, deeper and U or toroid shaped rim versus those with narrower, shallower square shaped ones.

Look back at the drawing above comparing three alloy rim widths and profiles that range from the 15C, box section profile Mavic Open Pro shown on the left to to the toroid profile FLO 30 one on the right.

FLO had wind tunnel tests done to compare the Open Pro, the top, purple line in chart below against the FLO 30, the wheel represented by the red line.  Headed straight into the wind, the wider, toroid shaped FLO 30 has about 70 grams less drag, the equivalent of 9 watts.  At a wind direction of 10 degrees the reduction in drag improves to about 155 grams or 20 watts.  Over a 25 mile or 40K distance, that drag reduction will result in a 30 to 60 second time savings.  Over a century or sportive?  Well you’ll have time to grab another sandwich and still finish ahead of your buddies riding the narrower wheels.

FLO vs Open Pro Aero Data

 

I’m not saying that you can’t put a toroid profile on a 15C, shallow rim.  Let’s just say I don’t know of anyone doing it.  It may be harder to make and you’ll also get less of an arc out of a narrower, shallower rim than a wider, deeper one.

Likewise, few companies have put more rounded shapes on their 17C alloy wheels.  Indeed, some of the companies like Fulcrum and Campagnolo that have recently widened some of their alloy wheels from 15C to 17C haven’t changed the basic box shape profiles they’ve used on their rims for years.

It begs the question of whether the will is there or there is enough of an aero benefit going from a 15C to 17C rim even if you did add more shape to a box or V section profile.  The early and anecdotal comparisons of the speed benefits of this increase are inconclusive.

For example, Bicycling’s tech editor Matt Phillips had these immediate impressions (full review here) on riding Campagnolo’s wider Shamal Ultra wheelset:

I got to ride the C17 wheels for about two and a half hours at the launch of Campagnolo’s new Potenza group. For background, I’ve ridden the previous generation Shamal Ultra extensively, including immediately previous to this trip.

To be honest, I can’t say that a 2mm rim width increase made a significant, or even noticeable difference. Perhaps if I normalized everything else and rode the two wheels back to back, I’d pick something up, but in the test conditions I was given, I did not.

Though he doesn’t write about speed comparisons specifically, Velo News’ Dan Cavallari had this alternate view (full review here) after a similar first ride on the same model at the same press event:

Yes, it’s a bit against the grain to release an aluminum race wheelset in the era of carbon everything, but Campagnolo does not offer up the Shamal Ultra race wheels as a compromise. They’re light at 1,505 grams (2-way fit version; more on that below), stiff, and feature a wider rim than previous iterations of the Shamal.

And after a 40-mile ride in the mountains of Gran Canaria, we can honestly say we really like them. To write the Shamal off as just another aluminum wheelset would be a mistake because Campy certainly made an alloy wheel that’s not just good — it is competitive with the best carbon race wheels out there.

OK then.

The 3) relationship between the rim and tire width is the final consideration in determining how your speed can be affected by going wide.  Frankly, it’s the question readers ask me about more often than not.

Typically the question goes something like “can I put a 25mm tire on my XYZ wheel?” But, I’ve also heard questions like “my budget is x. what wheel would be best with a 25mm tire?”

That second question stopped me dead in my tracks the first time I read it.  When riders are choosing wheels that will cost 5 to 10 times that of the tire that they are basing their choice on, it really tells you how strongly some feel the push to get on the wide tire bandwagon that is rolling through the enthusiast peloton these days.

To the first question, I almost invariably answer that you don’t want anything wider than a 23C tire if you want to maximize speed.  If, however, you put comfort ahead of speed, go ahead with the 25C tire.

There are no wheels that I’m aware of where mounting 25C tires on the rims will make you faster or equally fast compared to that of narrower sized tires of the same model on the same rims.

Despite marginally improved rolling resistance even at the same inflation pressure, the aerodynamic relationship between the tire and rim has a far greater effect and favors the narrower tire.  I will try to explain why below but this drawing begins to give you a picture of what’s going on.

triathlete

Source: Triathlete magazine

Simply stated, air deflecting off a tire will continue at its exit or tangent angle.  If the rim is wider than the tire, some of the air will reattach to the rim and continue to flow along the rim until it detaches from the rim as it passes by.  If the rim is narrower than the tire, less of the air will reattach and more of it will be become turbulent as it passes by the rim.  The wider the rim is relative to the tire, the greater the amount of air that will reattach and the less the amount of turbulence.  The greater the distance between the air passing by the rim and the rim itself, the greater the amount of turbulence.  More turbulence creates more drag.

HED patented the relationship between the tire and rim widths including the angle of the rim where the air coming off the tire first reattaches.  This allows them to design wheels to excel across the range of yaw or effective wind direction the rider will likely see for the type of riding or event he or she is doing.  In the drawing shown taken from the patent application, you can see the central role of different tire widths (440’, 440”, 440”’) and its relationship to the rim angle (465) at the point where the air would reattach.

 

Source: HED cycling patent filing

Source: HED cycling patent filing

The toroid rim profile and rim length is covered by a patent that HED first developed and licensed to Zipp around 2009  that was central to the Zipps successful Firecrest line and caused other companies to move away from the box and V shaped profiles they had used for years.  While many leading wheel manufacturers have adopted angled brake tracks like those you see in these drawings, Specialized is the first company to license this newer HED patent.

So, as you can see, the relationship between the tire and rim’s width, along with the rim’s profile and depth, have a great effect on your wheel’s aerodynamics.  While the leading wheel designers including HED, Zipp, ENVE and Easton have their own design teams, all of these companies recommend you use tires narrower than the brake track width of their rims.

Most of the leading wheel companies designed their toroid shaped, carbon rims which have a 25mm or wider outside width around 23C tires.  Of course, as my review of the best road bike tire documents, many of the best 23C tires actually measure between 24mm and 25mm wide when mounted and inflated depending on the tire model and rim size it is mounted on.

In the case of Easton’s EC90 Aero 55, they recommend an even larger tire-rim width difference.  Easton’s 55mm deep Fantom wheel rim has a 19mm inside width, a 28mm outside width at the brake track and has a 29.5mm maximum width at the at top of the arc of its toroid shape.  As you can see in the chart below, 21C and 22C tires generally performed better in their aero tests compared to even 23C tires and certainly compared to tires of the brand and model.

Easton Fantom Tire Tests

Source: Easton Cycling

In the case of the same Zipp Tangente clincher tires used in these tests, the 21C bested the 23C version by 60 grams of drag which equates to 7.8 watts and 23 seconds savings over a 40K TT at 30mph/48kph.  (The time savings will actually increase if you don’t ride that fast.)

Of course, alloy wheels aren’t as wide, deep, rounded or angled at their brake tracks as the carbon wheels made by Easton and others are.  However, the findings that tires and rims work together to determine aerodynamic performance and favor tires narrower than rims are applicable to carbon or alloy wheels.

Handling

A wider tire and a wider rim together can provide better handling.  The wider tire provides a wider “contact patch” than on a narrower tire.  While the area of the tire patch for both tires is the same as long as your weight and the tire pressure is the same, that area spreads further across the width and less along the length of a wider tire.

The wider contact patch on a properly shaped and supported tire is what gives you better handling when road surface, moisture, tire inflation and speed are all the same.  While handling seems like a highly subjective property, Tour Int magazine – the highly analytical German cycling review publication – actually ran tests using a stunt rider to test and establish tire grip grades.  While the wider contact patch better handling claim makes sense and tracks with many enthusiasts experience including my own, I await quantitative evidence of how much better the handling is going from a 23C to 25C tire.

Continental use the handy (and frequently seen) chart below to show contact patch differences though, as discussed above, their headline conclusion about rolling resistance is technically correct but insignificantly small (and doesn’t warrant one, let alone two exclamation points) to the average roadie.

Conti contact patch chart

Now if you reduce your tire pressure on the wider tire to get more comfort, you’ll get a still wider contact patch than on the wider tire inflated to the same level as the narrower one.  So you’ll increase both the width and area of the contact patch relative to the narrower, more inflated tire you used to ride.  This is part of what improves handling.

The other part of the improved handling comes from a wider rim.  The wider rim sets the foundation for the wider tire to better keep its shape as you can see in the drawing on the left.

 

wide-rim-drawing

The problem comes when riders, having read about all the benefits of wider tires, mount a pair of them on the 15C wide alloy stock wheels that came with most of our new bikes or the upgrade alloy wheels sold by most of the leading wheel makers for the last 3-5 years.  A 25C tire on a 15C wheel can feel squishy, even more so if you’ve reduced the air pressure to get more comfort.  This squishy feel is a symptom of the tire losing its shape and its tendency to fold back on itself.  This is the opposite of the improved handling you are looking for by going to a wider tire.

In the worst circumstances, a tire that’s too wide for its rim can experience a Type 1 pinch flat when you are cornering at speed as shown an earlier drawing or the tire bead can pull away from the rim hook, also resulting in a flat.  Not good, to say the least.

PERFORMANCE FROM DIFFERENT TIRE-WHEEL WIDTH COMBINATIONS

So what combination of bike tire and wheel sizes are best for you, my fellow road cycling enthusiast?

The tire-rim width chart in the ETRTO standards manual says a 15C rim can safely use tires from 23C all the way up to 32C or mm in width.  If you look closely, it also says that you should use nothing narrower than a 28C tire on a 19C rim and a 35C tire on a 21C rim.  ENVE, Bontrager, and Easton make 19C road rim brake clinchers and HED and Zipp both make 21C ones and none of them are recommending tires that wide on their wheels.

The ETRTO standards say nothing about the speed, road surface, tire type or tire pressure conditions you are riding under.  A mountain biker bouncing along on knobby tires inflated to 40-50psi on a dirt trail going at half the speed of a roadie leaning into a fast corner on a smooth road with tires pumped up to 80-100 psi are experiencing very different situations.  And it hasn’t been updated as road wheels have gone through a couple generations of major change.

In my humble opinion, the chart is a guide that needs to be updated or tossed when considering the real world that road cycling enthusiasts live in today.

Instead, here’s my take on what mix of comfort, speed and handling you can expect with different tire-rim combinations.

A 23C tire on a 15C wheel – this is the likely stock or alloy upgrade wheel and tire combination you have as a baseline on bikes made before 2016.  You know how this rides.  This is still a perfectly good width combination in my view.  What follows are your options.

A 25C tire on a 15C wheel – somewhat improved comfort over a 23C tire but worsened speed and handling for reasons described above.  Better to reduce pressure 5psi or so on 23C tire for better comfort without losing handling performance.  Neither combination is going to be an aero star.

A 25C tire on a 17C wheel – better comfort but no better speed or handling than a 23C tire on a 15C wheel.  23C tire on 17C wheel at right pressure will get you somewhat improved comfort with improved aero if the rim has at least a rounded nose rather than box or V profile, is >35-40mm, and you are riding at 18mph/29kph or faster.

A 25C tire on 19C or wider wheel – best comfort, improved speed and handling over options above. A nice set-up for long endurance rides at a good average speed (18mph/29kph or higher) especially on deeper (>35-40mm) and preferably rounded profile wheels.  But, most alloy wheels aren’t going to be that deep or have a rounded rim profiles where the spokes join the rim.

A 23C tire on a 19C or narrower wheel – best speed. If you’ve chosen this set-up, crits, road races or TTs and triathlons are probably your passion, deeper aero wheels are probably your preferred hoops and comfort is further down your list of what matters though there are plenty of wheelsets in this width that will be plenty comfortable to start without the need of a wider tire.

* * * * *

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159 comments

  • Grahame Lancaster

    Hi Steve,

    been ploughing through your articles which are great and easy to read, hope you might point me in the right direction.

    Have pair of mavic Mavic – Cosmic Carbone 40C , few years old now been retired from sale I think

    The specs (http://revolutionbikeshop.com/mavic-cosmic-carbone-40c-clincher/) state

    etrto 622x13c (19-28mm tyre size)

    I have terrible problems with grip (wheels locking up under breaking, also not very grippy)

    I ditched the ykison mavic tyres and used shwalbe one’s 23mm which improved things a bit, but still very sketchy compared to my standard mavic cosmic carbones running the same tyres and pressures (wider alu rim I think).

    My gut suggests the issues may be to do with the narrow tyre bed – have you any thoughts on this?, feels like a pram wheel at times.

    I was going to try a 25mm/28mm but am concerned its too wide to be safe despite what the specs say, not too worried about speed sacrifice at moment.

    would wither a 25 or 27/28 be worth a go, otherwise I’m looking at selling the wheels, which cost an arm and a leg!

    • Grahame, If you have a problem with wheels “locking up”, probably be time to get new brake pads and make sure they are aligned well. If you want better handling, go with a narrower rather than wider set of tires than you have now for the 13C wheels. 25C or wider tires will make the handling worse. I’d suggest Continental Grand Price 4000s II in a 20C size. That vintage Yksions weren’t very good for handling and grip. At some point you’ll want to go with wider wheels to get more comfort and better handling. Steve

      • Thanks Steve, I did take the bike back to the LBS and they toed in the brakes and new mavic supplied pads but not much difference. Ill def try the conti tho and have an eye on getting some enve wheels. thanks for help, much appreciated.

  • I laugh at all the BS on tyres, the “technology”, etc,I raced on singles/tubulars and high pressure/clinchers for training. The choices were no where near as extensive as now.

    What is blinding people I feel is a couple of factors, the aero effect, in real riding, how often will you have a direct head wind? I would say sometimes but the road changes direction and then?? Riding with the effect of buildings and trees etc changing air flow around the bike, other riders around you so looking at pure aerodynamics is a Utopic myth unless you are circulating around a indoor velodrome.
    So what is the real aero effect gain?? Nowhere as much as we are led to believe.
    Handling and bike compliance with added comfort is a real time effect in every condition and situation so that’s where I feel the effort should be made.
    Being in my prime in the mid 80Kg bracket (80s into the early 90s), I excelled in cornering, descending and pave, why? The bike worked with me to do this, the trend then was to go 23mm tyres and even 21mm pumped to 120psi and more, while I was on 28mm at 100psi or less, a supple tyres melds with the road surface with better handling/cornering hence faster riding unless all you do is ride TTs on a strait piece of road with a direct head wind..

    Put rounder tyres on, enjoy your bike and stop being a aero-weeny and enjoy the ride

    • Lb, Aero performance is not about the the frontal surface width of the tire. Rather, it’s about getting the air coming off the tire to continue to flow along the rim and increase the lift/reduce the drag of the wheels. If the inflated tire width is wider than about 90% of the rim width at the brake track, the wind is going to separate or at best create a turbulent flow at the intersection with the rim.

      Think about an airplane wing. If the leading edge of the wing was wider than the section behind it, you wouldn’t get nearly as much lift as wings where the width gradually increases from the leading to trailing edge.

      With today’s wheels being deeper, there an opportunity to continue that attached flow a lot longer than with the shallower wheels you may have raced on so you can get a lot more lift. And while direct head wind happens a small percentage of the time, wind coming within +/- 10 degrees of straight on happens most of the time. With wheels less than 30mm deep or speeds less than 18mph/29kph it matters little due to the exponential aspects of the aero equation. In those cases, handling and compliance/comfort play a more important role in your tire width decision. Steve

  • Hi Steve,
    I have Hed + rims 25 mm outside , 20.7 inside . I run tubeless Schwalbe Pro One 23 mm tires as they measure 26 mm on this set-up and my bike will only take 27-27.5 wide tires for 2 mm clearence at the chainstay.
    I think this tire runs wide and I would like to know if anyone has promoted using the o-o edge ,lay flat measurement as a way to tell if a tire will fit and what the tire might inflate to on a given rim.
    For example:I now know that a Schwalbe ProOne tubeless 25 measures 70 mm wide laying flat and is 28.5 when installed and inflated. The same tire in 23 mm is 61 mm layed flat and measures 26 mm inflated.
    I think A tires installed width could be determined better this way.
    I really enjoy your articles.
    Thanks, Dave

    • Dave,
      Rim inside width and tire pressure both affect the mounted and inflated tire width. I don’t see how the o-o measurement would address this.

      I’d also encourage you not to run a 23C tire on your 20.7mm inside width HED. That’s going to be a far less comfortable set up than a 25C and, more importantly, it’s not a terribly safe set up. The stretching you get will make the tire height less which will make the handling worse and will also run a greater risk of the tire pulling away from the bead. You should also have at least 4mm of width between your tire and chainstay to allow for wheel deflecting. Watch this video from Ben Delaney at Bike Radar to see how much deflection you can get. Get a bike with a wider chainstay or use a narrower wheelset.
      Steve

      • Steve,
        Your recommendation seems contrary to thesdvice on your site, where you recommend 23 mm tires on these and similar wheels. Your thoughts ,if I read them correctly, were that 23’s would give a better shape , thus handling and speed would be improved. I think you recommended the very set-up I have.
        My bike is a Moots CR and I love it, so I won’t be chamging it, but I would change wheels if nessesary.
        With the 23’s mounted I have 3 or 4 mm clearence at the chainstays and the tires measure 26 mm.
        I can’t run 25 mm tires as they measure 28.5 when on my wide rims and only leave about 1.5 mm clearence at the chainstays.
        With all this info. I’d really appreciate your advice for my particular bike.
        Thanks,Dave

        • Dave, you are right and I’ve now modified my recommendation about 23C tires on rims >19C. While I do think 23C tires are fine on 19C rims, I don’t think you should run 23C tires on rwim ith inside width of 20.7mm (or over 19mm) because they begin to stretch too much to comfortably and safely handle high speed cornering maneuvers.

          There are tradeoffs and crossover points. Wider tires are more comfortable as long as they aren’t so wide relative to the rims to increase pinch flats and aren’t so underinflated to create squishy handling. However, wider tires are less aero than narrower tires if their mounted and inflated width is greater than the outside width of the tire. For people who have low profile rims or who don’t care about speed, aero is nothing. Narrower tires will handle fine on narrower rims but narrow tires on wide rims are going to handle worse than wider ones and at some point the handling will be, IMHO, considerably worse and high speed cornering can become problematic.

          In your case, 25C tires is what I’d suggest for the 20.7mm internal width HED rims. But for your Moots, I’d suggest a 19C or 17C wheelset with a 23C tire that will expand to no more than 25mm for your 30mm (?) min chainstay width. Note that different tires will measure different widths on the same rim. For example, I measured 23C Zipp Tangente, Michelin Pro 4 and Conti GP4K tires at 24.7, 25.0 and 26.0mm respectively at 100psi on the same Easton EA90 19C rim measuring 19.5mm inside rim width. These tire widths will also increase as you run the tire at lower inflation pressures and as the tires age. Steve

          • Steve,
            I am going to buy new wheels per your suggestions.
            Could you recommend some alloy and carbon wheels in the 17-19 internal width ?
            These wheels would be used for every day , mountain trips, 100-150 mile rides/events.
            I don’t road race anymore , bur I love to go fast, and I do competitive group rides.
            Thanks for all your help.
            Dave

  • I should add that I do like tubeless wheels , but I am not locked into them.

    • Dave, take a look here for alloy and here for carbon all arounds. While you probably don’t want to hear this considering how much you like your Moots, you might want to consider a new bike with more modern chainstay dimensions (and other features) to better fit your current, perfectly good HED wheels. Steve

  • Hi Steve, I’ve just bought a Specialized hybrid with 21c rims fitted with heavy 30 tyres. I’ve always been keen on Conti tyres and would like to fit some 28 Gatorskins. The ETRTO site suggests at least 35 tyres on these rims !! The 30’s look enormous . Knowing that it’s entirely up to me from the safety angle, how about these 28 Conti’s. Cheers, Nev

    • Nev, Hybrids are a whole different game than road bikes. If you are going to be riding off road, you want wide tires, perhaps tubeless. Aero is irrelevant. Wheel size often different than road wheels. Frame geometry definitely is. You can’t extrapolate off-road handling and comfort from what I’ve written above. Steve

  • Another awesome review, Steve. Thanks! My top tire priority is safety and my main concern as an urban rider is getting caught in seams in the pavement. This seems a little different than what you refer to as “handling.” I would think that a fatter tire would be safer in this respect, but I’m not sure if this thinking is correct. Do you have any thoughts on this?

    Pending your response to the above question, I have two bikes: One with 13mm rims and the other with 17mm rims. If I extrapolate your recommendations above and want to prioritize handling, I’m guessing you’d say to go with 20-23C on the 13C rims, and 25C on the 17C rims. Am I on the right track? Thanks!

  • Hey Steve, Norwegian fan here!

    I have a 90 km “timetrial” this summer, including 2x1000m of ascent AND descent. Given the profile aerodynamics is not my main concern on this route. I have decided to use my standard race bike, and i have a pair of FLO 30 wheels that I belive will be my best choice. The reason for this is because i belive the wide profile will help me with a safe and quick descent, and that the 200 grams I would save by using by DT Swiss R21 Dicut wheels would have a smaller impact.

    I have then 2 questions for you:

    1. On the wide Flo30s would you recommend 23c or 25c tires (probably GP Conti 4000 IIs)
    2. Should i rather switch to the DT Swiss wheels

    Thanks for your help!

    • Hello Carl, I must tell you that I am a fan of Henrik Kristoffersen and Aksel-Lund Svindal!

      My answers are
      1) 23C
      2) No

      Cheers,
      Steve

  • Hi Steve, currently I run 23mm GP 4000S II on 17C with 4.5/5 bar (less feels squishy). Could I reduce the tire pressure for another 0.5 bar with 19C rims and my 70kg?

    On my other bike I run 25mm GP 4000S II on 21C rims and 4/4.5 bar which is a lot smoother on very rough roads. But these won’t fit in my first bike.

    • Charlie, 4.5-5bar (65-73psi) is way low already for rider your weight for tube & tire set up on the road. I’d think the handling would be pretty squishy already and you’re apt to get more pinch flats. I’d actually raise it on your 17C wheels for better performance. See here for more https://intheknowcycling.com/2016/04/03/best-wider-road-bike-tires-wheel-sizes/.

      • Thanks Steve, yes this is the absolute minimum and with another tire this would be too low, but the “hard” 4000S II takes it without a noticable higher rolling resistance, still good cornering and no flats so far. With a Vittoria or Veloflex tire this would be an issue for sure.
        There are a lot of very rough tarmac roads around here, and there is much more vibration from the tire with 5/5.5 bar. I am spoiled by the 25mm tire on 21C and it also feels faster on rough roads, too. But my Cannondale Evo 1st gen, only takes real 25mm in the back, so the only chance without changing the frame would be a wider inner rim. But if an even more reduced pressure wouldn’t make sense with 19C, then I have to stick with what have. It’s complaining on a high level. 😉

  • Hello Steve, I’m not a long time follower… in fact, I just found you online!! In the short time I’ve browsed your reviews, I’ve come to respect your POV. I could use some help deciding on a set of wheels.

    I’m in my 50’s, do a couple of 40+ mile rides per week, have an ’06 Litespeed Siena Ti bike (yea, I know… it’s awesome!!) on Ultegra 10/sp, am 185lbs, don’t race, live in hilly San Diego and find myself in this dilemma….

    It would be nice to replace my circa 2002 Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels. They’re straight, work well, but narrow (15mm internal). I’d like to try some 25C tires…. Plus, I just want something new!!

    I found a great deal on the 2014 version of the Easton EA90 SL for $375, delivered from a reputable LBS. These are the 17.5mm internal/22mm external width wheels.

    https://www.eastoncycling.com/products/details/ea90sl-wheels–2014-wheels

    Should I pick them up or are the improvements of the newest 2mm wider wheelset worth the extra $500?
    Of course, if you think I should look at something else… feel free to suggest.

    Thanks!!
    Jay.

    • Jay, I’d measure the width between the front forks and rear chainstays to make sure a 25C tire is going to fit. A 25C tire on a 17C or 19C wheel is going to measure 27mm or so and you want another 5mm either side of the tire for lateral bending when cornering. So it’s best if you have 40mm or so of width in there. You’ll also want to see if your caliper brakes will reach that far without having to replace the cable and even if they do whether they are going to give you enough leverage or will close more like an A than an upside down U on around your brake track. That may be the biggest limitation. If the 17C wheelset and 25C tires will fit, I’d think that’d it wouldn’t be worth spending an extra $500… or at least I wouldn’t. On the other hand, if there’s room in the frame and it’s still in good shape, you might want to consider upgrading your groupset ($600 for an 11-speed Ultegra 6800) to replace what may be some old/worn 53/39 chainrings and help that 50yo/185lbs guy get up hills a little easier by moving to a 50/34 chainring with an 11-28 cassette. Then going to an 19C wheelset like the new EA90SL would be worth it and a 17C would have been a mistake. Improved comfort going from 15C/23C to 17C/2C whee/tire is highly dependent on the compliance built into the wheel and not just the wider tire. Some wheels there’s little difference when they step up, some there’s a lot. Steve

      • I appreciate your insightful response, Steve. It looks like I’ll have plenty of room for a 25c tire. As for the brakes, they will certainly retain the “U” shape you eluded to..

        I installed a new, full Ultegra 10 group last year. Compact crank, 11/28 cassette all still in excellent condition so I don’t think I’ll be replacing it in the near future. I’ve been happy with my selection as there is very little flat land here!

        I decided to pick up these wheels because they HAVE to be an improvement over my circa 2002 wheels (unless you believe them to be inferior or know of something else I should pick up).

        I just read your tire recommendations and am a bit puzzled. My intent was to run 25C Continental Grand Prix 4000S II’s but you state not to use a 25C/25mm size Conti tire unless the wheels are 27mm or wider at the brake track, I believe the brake tracks are 22.5. Can you clarify please?

        Again, thanks so much for your time and effort!!
        Jay.

        • Jay, The 25C will be fine for what you are trying to do – not racing, shallow wheelset, comfort a priority over speed. Steve

  • Dear Steve,

    like Dave I have been happy with 23mm tyres (GP 4000S II) on HED plus clincher rims 20.7mm inside width. HED recommend 22mm+ tyres on the HED plus clincher rim. Have you ever seen “high speed cornering maneuvers” result in accidents with narrow tyres on wide rims?

    Andrew

    • Andrew, No, but I don’t go looking for bike accidents. I’ve had a couple of my own and that’s quite enough thank you. I wouldn’t recommend 23C Contis on 21C rims unless you are going in a straight line or taking very wide turns. Very aero on deep rims intended for TT or triathlon type courses (and that my be the context in which HED may have recommended them) but neither comfortable or good handlers on all-around type riding and limited/no benefit on shallow rims. Steve

  • Steve,

    Very informative and well-written article. I am wondering if you can help me with the following. I am considering a wheel upgrade and unsure if the new wheels will fit my​ frame.

    I currently run 23C tires on a 15C rim (Conti 4000s on Shamal Ultra rims which according to Campagnolo specs are 20.5mm wide). At the widest point of the tire, these leave a few mm’s on each side (between tire and fork) maybe 3 or 4 at most, on each side.

    I am considering buying Campagnolo Bora One rims, which are a 17C rim and 24.2mm wide, as per Campagnolo.

    If I mount the same 23C tires on those 17C rims, will they be wider than my current setup of 23C on 15C rims and if so, by how much? Do you think they will fit?

    • Rob, Looking back at my measurements of different 17C wheels with those 23C tires, you are likely to get an inflated tire width of 24.5mm +/- 0.5mm. You want about 5mm either side of the tire to the forks and stays to allow for wheel deflection in turns. Don’t know what the tires measured on your Shamal’s but I think you might be cutting it a tad too close my friend. Steve

  • Great and helpful information especially for novices like me, so thank you. I’m hoping to get some additional confusion cleared up if you are still monitoring comments. I keep searching around and still have no clear answer.

    In the article, it seems to make it clear that the rim size (15C, 17C, etc) references the inside width in millimeters. For instance, it is described that common road bikes come with “wheels that are designated 15C or are 15mm wide between the tire bead hooks”. I understand the “C” to be the fact that the rim has hooks or “crochets”.

    So, here’s what I don’t understand. I’m looking to purchase one of the lower tier Fulcrum models from Racing 7 LG up to Quattro LG. All claim a wider rim and use of a minimum 25C tire. But, the descriptions I see for these rims indicate they are only 17C. The spec page on Fulcrum’s website confirms with “23,2 mm, ETRTO 17C”. However, I can easily see 622 x 20.5 printed inside the rim in pictures on the same page (http://www.fulcrumwheels.com/en/wheels/road-bike-wheels/racing-quattro-lg). So, I’d expect the 20.5 to be the actual mm width and thus they be would actually be 20C, right? What am I missing?

    Bottom line, I’m after this combo:

    “A 25C tire on 19C or wider wheel – best comfort, improved speed and handling over options above. A nice set-up for long endurance rides at a good average speed (18mph/29kph or higher)”

    Thank you!

    • Rob, This numbering system is anything but clear, so I totally understand the confusion. The C designation for wheels is based on the inside width across the bead hooks. On tires, it is based on the outside width as mounted on, I believe, 13C or 15C wheels when this whole crazy system was developed. The actual mounted and inflated tire width on today’s wider rims is much wider than the actual C designation of the tire.

      I don’t believe Fulcrum make any wheels in the price range you are looking at wider than 17C. Most companies don’t. Not sure what the 20.5 refers to in the photo. Perhaps the rim tape width. The Quattro is clearly a 17C wheel that apparently is 23.2mm outside width, at the brake track.

      Here’s my review of wider alloy wheel upgrade choices. Unfortunately, they are more expensive than the Fulcrum Quattro and Racing 7.

  • Hello Steve. I am from Portugal. What are the best tires and width for the Bontrager Aeolus pro 3.

  • Hi Steve, great article!

    I had a local bike shop build me a new wheelset using the Boyd Altamont Lite rims. You’re probably familiar with the specs of the wheels so my question is, what are the ramifications of riding tires that measure closer to 27mm, 28mm or even 29mm when mounted? I

    I’m currently using my older 23C tires from when I had 15C inner diameter wheels. My current front tire (Michelin Pro4 SC 23C) measures 25.15mm wide and 21.41mm tall at 70PSI and the other (Conti GP4000S II 23C) measures 26.6mm wide and 22.79mm tall at 85PSI rear wheel.

    I picked up a few tires to test mount. Two Corsa G+’s at 28C and 25C and the newer Michelin power competition in 25C. In that order, and in width and height by mm, the tires measure 29.10 x 25.5mm, 27.28 x 23.7mm and 26.78 x 23.00 after letting them stretch for 48 hours starting at 75 PSI.

    I’ve factored in deflection and my frame will not have issues running 28C tires.

    If my priorities are more towards comfort and reliability but still would like good speed to hold on to wheels in fast group rides (38-40kph), which would you recommend I use? Thanks!

    • Karl, As I lay out in my post, tire and rim size need to be considered together when prioritizing speed, comfort and handling. And I did evaluate the Boyd Altamont in my review of the best upgrade wheels for rim brake bikes here https://intheknowcycling.com/2016/05/03/best-road-bike-wheel-upgrades/#Wider. For those reading along, I measured the Altamont front rim at an average of 19.7mm wide internal, 24.7mm wide external and 25.0mm deep and the rear at 19.8mm, 24.3mm and 25.1mm. FWIW, I take 4 or 5 rim and tire measurements at different points around the wheel to come up with an average as there can be quite a variance due to rim manufacturing tolerances and the effects of pressure. I always measure tire at 100psi just as a benchmark though they will be marginally narrower at lower pressure.

      Also, as your measurements indicated, tires with the same C or mm rating (like 25C or 25mm) can measure a mm or two narrower or wider than another of the same rating made by a different manufacturer. And some will measure differently than tires made by the same manufacturer. So Conti GP4KSII measure wider than Mich Pro4, Mich Pro4 measure narrower than the Mich Power Competition that replaced it (the Conti GP4KSII and Mich PowComp measure about the same), and the Zipp Tangente 25C actually runs narrower than the same tire in a 23C. And, of course, all the sizes are useless if you are comparing wheels of different rim widths. The whole tire measurement scheme was developed years ago around 13C wide rims. One of the road wheels I’ve been testing this summer has a 25C rim. One 28C tire I put on it measured nearly 33mm wide, another about 30.5. With this in mind, I find the whole hype around 25C tires and wider tires, in general, more than a bit ill-informed on the part of the hypsters (ie. tire makers, reviewers and sellers).

      OK, onto your question. If your focus is on comfort, go with wider tires and lower pressures. Recognize though that as you get wider and lower, you will reach a point where the handling will get worse than with a narrower tire or with a higher pressure depending on width and pressure in relationship to your rim internal width. And you’ll also reach that point where you’ll be more likely to get pinch flats rolling straight or in cornering. For the relatively wider Altamont rims, I’d expect you would be fine with 25C Conti 4KSII or Mich PowComp at 75psi if you weigh up to about 175lbs. You didn’t mention your weight, which is a critical factor in determining tire pressure and performance. I weigh 150lbs around this time of the season and don’t run any tubed tire 25C below 75psi. When I do, I lose road feel and my handling gets mushy in the turns. I do run 28C tubeless tires down to 65 psi but that’s a whole different ball game. If you weigh 175, I’d think 75psi would be the lower limit. If you weigh closer to 200lbs, I wouldn’t go near 75psi. Anything wider than 27mm mounted and inflated to 75psi on that rim would probably start to give lower performing handling. I wouldn’t suggest anything wider than the widest measuring 25C.

      Comfort, by the way, is also a function of the vertical compliance of the rim. Much of the push to 25C tires was to make up for the lack of compliance in many rims. You can improve the comfort of a less compliant rim by lowering the pressure in the tire or putting a wider tire on, but only so much. Likewise, a compliant rim is going to be comfortable with all but the highest pressure tires (like 110psi). As you can see from the chart in the post where I reviewed the Altamont, it’s compliance was on par with most of the wheels in that review.

      As to speed, low profile wheels like the Altmonts, regardless of the tire width, aren’t going to help you go faster. Tire rolling resistance will help you somewhat but not enough to notice by changing width. I detailed in the post above the roughly 1 watt of rolling resistance improvement as you go from 23C to 25C to 28C as a rule of thumb, but it’s not always the case. The bigger difference is between tire models, e.g. a Conti GP4KSII will have much lower rolling resistance than a Conti All Season or Gatorskin tire. All the tires you mentioned are in the same general performance tire class so have lower rolling resistance. The GP4KSII and PowComp are among the best.

      Steve

      • Thanks for the detailed response Steve.

        I will use tires that measures 26-27mm then regardless of its printed “C” rating. I forgot to mention that I weigh 143lbs pretty consistently. Not too far off from your 150 so I’ll go with your suggestion of not running any 25C tubed tire under 75psi.

        What about tire height? Is there a sweet spot there?

        As usual, very good and valuable information to me so thank you for taking the time!

        Regards,
        Karl

        • Karl, Ok. At your weight you might be able to get down to 70psi without issue. I ran some 28C Pro-One tubeless at 70 psi front, 75 psi rear on some 25mm internal width disc brake road wheels (ENVE 4.5AR) Saturday and loved them. Those were tubeless however, so no concern for pinch flats.

          I really don’t have much insight into height. That’s a blind spot for me. I think it marginally affects speed (taller=faster) rather than comfort but don’t know by how much.

          On the subject of how to ride faster, I’d encourage you to read the two posts I wrote on that subject here: https://intheknowcycling.com/2015/04/15/how-to-ride-faster-on-your-bike-10-better-ways-part-1/ and here: https://intheknowcycling.com/2015/04/16/how-to-ride-faster-on-your-bike-10-better-ways-part-2/. I learned more about how to ride faster doing the research for these posts than from all my evaluations on wheels and tires.

          Now if I could only stay on my training program, I actually would ride faster! Steve

          • Lovely wheels those ENVEs! I remember Si at GCN had a video on those wheels and tire combo and I was drooling.

            Ok about the height. The differences seem minimal anyway (1mm or less between 25C models)

            Thanks for the reading material on riding faster. I took a quick glimpse and will add to my to read list. Best of luck staying on your training program Steve! Thanks again

            Karl

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