Panel Discussion: The Wide Tire Revolution

Bigger is better… but less is more! (Wait, w h a t ?) 😀
Read on my amis cycliste…

Off The Beaten Path


“Buy the nicest, most supple tires you can afford; and buy them in the widest width that you can fit in your frame.”

That is Joshua Poertner’s summary of a panel discussion on Joshua used to be the president of Zipp, the makers of super-fast aero wheels, and he did a lot of research on how to make your bike faster.

The panel included Joshua, cycling journalist James Huang, and me, with Elden Nelson (who runs the blog “The Fat Cyclist”) moderating. The goal was to explain the science behind the current trend toward wider tires to an audience of racers and performance riders, who want to understand how to make their bikes faster.

In the podcast, we talk about why narrow tires feel faster, but aren’t. We discuss how lower pressures increase the internal resistance as the tire flexes, but decrease the suspension losses from the vibrations of the bike – the two

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4 thoughts on “Panel Discussion: The Wide Tire Revolution

  1. Yeah, but if those R3’s are as slow as the AW1’s, and they probably are, go with something else. Great flat protection at the cost of a little more than a mile an hour. On the plus side, they make one a stronger cyclist. I had to work my butt off to keep up, compared to a Specialized tire. I was not alone in this opinion either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Go for it buddy!
      I was running 28mm on both ends, but had to switch back to the 25mm rear, with some clearance issues that would not go away. When I say the 28 barely fit…there was maybe room for a piece of paper between the rubber and the chain stay. If the wheel is 100% true and road not 100% smooth, it would rub now and then. Marks on the carbon frame were enough to make me switch back.

      So, with the 28mm up front I still get the benefit of lower pressure (roughly 85-90 psi) which gives me a slightly better ride and tons of edger grip for bombing those corners! The 25mm in the rear is still much better than the 23mm…as far as comfort and handling go too.

      Liked by 1 person

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