Address: 670 Houze Way, Roswell, GA 30076    Phone: 770-642-4057    Hours: Mon - Thurs 10am -7pm,  Fri 10am -7pm,  Sat 9:30am - 6pm,  Sun 12pm - 5pm



23mm tires vs 25mm tires

Lately there has been a great deal of discussion on which tires are better, 23mm or 25mm.  Some people argue that the 23mm are faster and others the 25mm.   Here is a summary of the pros and cons of each tire.  This might help you choose between tires next time you are due for new ones.


In the past few years the 23mm tire has become a tool mostly used by Elite Time Trialists.  Its low weight and ability to be ran at very high pressures seem to be an advantage for those seeking the ultimate performance over a short period of time. 

On average, a set of 23mm tires will save you 40 grams over a set of 25mm tires.  While this may seem like a good amount of weight, is it worth sacrificing other benefits to save 1/10th of a pound?  Some sprinters and professional climbers might argue that those 40 grams make a difference during that explosive effort, however, for most of us the difference is negligible. 


The 25mm tire wins all day on this one.  Ran at the same tire pressure the 25mm provides more cushion to your ride helping you ride longer without discomfort.  This usually translates into a more efficient and faster ride.  A tire that beats you up over the course of several hours is more likely to affect your performance than a slight weight penalty.

Rolling Resistance

While the 23mm tire has a narrower contact patch, compared to the 25mm it has a longer contact patch.  The wider but shorter contact patch on the 25mm tire produces less resistance.  It also helps in the traction department, when the width of the tire is key.  Look at the illustration from Continental on their tires below:


In this area the benefit is relative to the size of the rim you are riding.   While the current trend on rims is to go wider, there are still those out there running thin 19mm< aluminum rims.  If you were to run a 25mm on a 19mm rim, the tire would bulge creating more aero drag than necessary.  In this case, running a 23mm tire would be more beneficial.  When using a wider (most newer rims are) rim of 21mm or more, the tire sidewalls will sit flush on the rim making it more aerodynamic and adding to the overall benefit of the 25mm tire.


While 25mm tires seem to outperform the 23mm tire in almost every area there is still a place for 23mm tires.  More at home during Time Trials or for those doing very short intense efforts where weight savings might be a priority over comfort, rolling resistance and traction.
For most of us however, the 25mm simply delivers more benefits.  It is more comfortable, it has lower rolling resistance and better traction compared to the same tire in 23mm.

Come talk to our friendly and knowledgeable staff.  They will help you determine what size tire is right for you as well as explaining different clincher, tubeless and tubular options.  Take your riding to the next level!


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We are a short drive from downtown Atlanta and carry the largest selection of bikes around. On any given day we have over 800 pre-built bicycles in stock and ready to roll out the door.  Come visit us and see why we are known for our price, selection, and legendary service.

670 Houze Way, Roswell, GA 30076


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