So what is the best tire width to run a bike tire for road racing, commuting, and mountain biking?
Race tires used to be very narrow but in recent years the popular width has become 25mm. I run 25mm on my “race bike” and actually find it pretty comfortable for commuting too.
Commuter or hybrid tires are most often regarded as wide tires that provide lots of volume and cushioning because they can be ridden at lower air pressures than racing tires. Commuter tires also usually have a more slick tread than mountain biking tires and that provides for less rolling resistance and more speed similar to cyclocross tires.
Mountain biking tires are always wide (greater than 2 inches width) but the narrower versions are also very capable on dirt track. My knowledge on mountain biking is limited so if someone wants to share their experiences, please do.
Generally more tire width means more rolling resistance when inflated to the recommended pressure. More tire width also generally means more weight and more air resistance, but when you are feeling fatigued from riding too narrow a tire you will come to realize that a fatter tire actually increases your average time because you can just roll over some obstacles without losing a lot of energy.
Some people also ride different tire widths and treads on the front tire and the rear tire. For instance, a narrower tire on the front wheel would decrease air resistance.
It is hard to compare tire width without discussing tire tread because most wider tires have some sort of tread and are not completely slick.
My opinion – I ride 25mm width tires on a bicycle during dry conditions, 28mm width tires on a bicycle during wet conditions, and 32mm width on a bicycle during rainy or snowy conditions. I also have 35mm width tires with spikes/studs for icy conditions.
7:30 Looks like a fence got knocked down by a car smashing through it?
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