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Old 26.08.2020, 09:40
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GenevaSculler GenevaSculler is offline
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Re: Bike with fat wheels

True when you are talking about road racing and running the fastest race tyres (I'm running 32s on my commuter and 25s on my race bike now for the reasons you mention) but not really relevant to this discussion. Have a look at and click on the Road Bike, Mountain Bike and Fat Bike tabs at the top to see the rolling resistance results - the absolute best Fat Bike tyre is costing over 30w extra (for a pair) in drag vs. the top Road Bike tyre.

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Sorry to get nerdy, but I feel that it is my duty to debunk the wider tyre equals more rolling resistance myth. Wider tyres actually offer LOWER rolling resistance. It's a bit complicated to explain, but basically a wider tyre will have a shorter contact patch than a narrower tyre inflated to the same pressure, and hence less tyre deflection. There has actually been a general trend amongst road bikers moving away from 21-23c width tyres and towards wider 25c-28c tyres in recent years.

Of course, this is not to say that wider tyres are faster, as this will also be determined by a number of other factors, notably, rotational mass (a wider tyre not only requires more material, but also a wider rim), tread pattern and rubber compound.

As for the type of bike, the world's your oyster. Depending on your riding style, at one end of the spectrum, you could go for a classic Dutch bike (they typically run fairly wide tyres), you could get a mountain bike and fit it with slick tyres (which will still be wide), or you could even get a 'gravel' bike which is essentially a road bike with wider tyres to cope with a wider variety of terrain. You'd be looking at 1.5-2.5" tyre width in most of the above-mentioned cases. Of course, you could go extreme and buy a fat bike, which will come with 4-5" tyres (you can actually get replacement slicks for those as well), but that will of course be complete and utter overkill.

The bottom line is that anything over 1" in width will be more than capable for riding on bumpy city roads, but 1.5-2.5" will give you better comfort and traction. As for the tram tracks, just look ahead and approach them as square on as possible. I'm sure that your fear will dissipate after a few rides.