Go Big

I have a suspicion that many people would enjoy their bikes more if they went to slightly larger cross-section tires and ran them at lower pressures than what they’re accustomed to. I typically ride at least 32mm tires for commuting and general utility riding, and I’ll often go up to over 40mm. Of course, the clearance around the fork and chainstays, as well as rim width, place limits on tire size. But still, I often see relatively narrow tires mounted on bikes that would accept wider rubber. And there’s nothing that says you have to pump your tires to the max pressure listed on the sidewall. I’ll often run my tires at 20% under the recommended max pressure to soften the ride; you’d be amazed how much this improves the comfort of any bike. If you’re running small cross-section, high pressure tires, you might be pleasantly surprised by the improvement in ride quality you’ll get from a wider tire run at lower pressure.

Rivendell has an excellent tire recommendation chart that breaks tire choice down by road surface and rider weight/load. View the chart here.

Which tire size do you prefer for utility riding?

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