Wider tyres on your road bike can increase comfort and speed

If you are looking for a simple way to increase your road bike's performance and comfort and currently ride narrow 700x23c or 700x21c tyres, then switching to a high quality wider tyre might just be the answer.


Wider 25c or 28c road bike tyres can increase comfort and performance at the same time.

The performance benefits are gained from:
  •  A wider but significantly shorter contact patch on the road translating to less rolling resistance. For example, Continental has tested a 20mm tyre with 160psi, a 23mm tyre at 123psi, a 25mm tyre at 94psi and a 28mm tyre at 80psi to all have the same rolling resistance.
  • Ability to run lower pressures which leads to less power losses as the elasticity of the wider tyres absorbs road shocks that would otherwise be transferred back to the rider on a narrower, higher pressure setup.
  • Cornering feel is improves as the larger radius of the contact patch allows for a smoother and more predictable change in direction.
  • Power increase is in the order of 2-3 watts.


    The comfort benefits are obvious:

    • Wider tyres provide more cushioning and ability to run lower pressures hence an improvement in vibration dampening and less rider fatigue on longer rides

    Other considerations:

    • In order to run wider 700x25c/26c/28c or even 700x30c tyres you need to ensure you have sufficient space between the fork blades and rear frame stays so there is no tyre rub on the frame.
    • For the optimum setup, your new wider tyres should be fitted to slightly wider profile rims for the best aerodynamic benefits 23 - 25.8mm widths are ideal (See diagram below). If your road bike is less than five years old, it's likely to have wider profile rims that older bikes.
      Definitely not a fad, the shift towards wider road bike tyres has filtered down from years of experience in the pro peletons. Courtesy of Global Cycling Network's video "Are Fatter Tyres Faster?" from 2016, it's evident the trend is here to stay.

      Woolys Wheels stocks a large range of road bike tyres from Pirelli, Specialized and Vittoria. Call or email us if you have any questions prior to purchasing your new wider tyres.
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