I love the idea of fatter tyres on all bikes, including road, and have been convinced of the increased comfort they offer for years. However, many people believe this is a trade-off paid for by a loss of speed.
I have been running various 28mm tyres on my All City Big Block (fixed gear) on a set of H Plus Son Archetype rims for a couple of years now. The Archetype was one of the first road rims to push the ‘wider’ concept with its 23mm external and 17mm internal width. The rim was met with rave reviews and has since become somewhat of a classic. I am around 73kg and run pressures of 90psi in both the front and rear. One of my reasons for getting a Big Block was the fact it can take wider rubber (up to 32mm) while still having track/street geometry. Afterall not one of the 12+km I have put on the bike have been on a silky smooth velodrome.
Compared to many people who were/are still using 23’s at 120psi I figured I was running both wide and low…how wrong I was.
With no power meter its impossible to compare the actual speed effect of running wider tyres at lower pressure compared to narrower ones at higher pressures, but luckily some clever wheel experts with PhD’s have done all the science for us and the result is we are all riding slower than we could be!
Check out this podcast from CyclingTips and prepare to forget everything you ever thought you knew about what makes a fast tyre!