Like many SOBs, I have ridden my bike with 700×23 tires with about 100 psi of pressure.  As a high mileage cyclist (~9,700 miles YTD), New Mexico’s rough roads have taken a toll on my body and on my bike.  Always looking for a way to improve my riding experience, I discussed with Rich Leishman the benefits of riding with larger tires at a lower pressure.  As an curious person, I decided to pursue this option.  About 2 months ago I switched to 700×28 tires which I now ride with 60 psi pressure.  Saying that my rides are now more comfortable does not do justice to change that I notice when I switched tires.  More accurately, riding with 700×28 tires with 60 psi pressure is a completely different riding experience.  I literally roll along, rather than micro-bounce along, the road.  I do not know about my bike but, as for me, I end the ride without any of the discomfort I previously experienced when riding my bike.  Additionally, I have not noticed ant significant changes in my speed or in my cadence as a result of this change.  Those riders who find themselves in the state that I was in may do well to consider this change.

Some important factors to consider for those contemplating this change are:

  • Will my wheels accommodate these larger tires?
  • Will my bicycle accommodate this larger tire/wheel combination?

I had no such issues with my changeover for my Specialized Roubaix SL4 bike.

As for tires, I recently retired my pair of 700×28 Specialized Armadillo All-Condition tires (440 gm; 60 tpi; $45) after nearly 3,000 miles during which time I did not get a single flat!!!  I am now riding with a pair of 700×28 Specialized Armadillo All-Condition Elite tires (350 gm; 120 tpi; $55).  To date, these tires are definitely an improvement over the previous pair as they are more flexible and provide an even smoother ride.  Additionally, although both pairs of tires are rated 700×28, the Elite tires are definitely narrower.

As for going back to 700×23 tires, I quote the raven, “Nevermore!”

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