A couple of things recently made me think about tire pressure and size. The first was a friend who was talking about the ‘feel’ of larger tires and lower pressures. The second was yet another good little GCN+ documentary; this time on Andrea Tafi. Tafi was a winner of 3 Monuments when he was riding for Mapei, including his favorite – Paris Roubaix, in 1999.
GCN’s Dan Lloyd asked Tafi, while riding with him in Tuscany, what he rode for tires in that race. He said 23s, at a pressure of around 90 psi. After a nice show of shock, Dan then asked him what he was riding right now, to which Tafi replied, ‘same’. They were riding on the gravel strade bianche and Dan said, ‘I’m riding 28s’! Tafi quickly says ‘too much’, in an unapproving manner.
I’m sure we’ve talked about the ‘wider tire, less rolling resistance’ thing before, which I have no opinion on, but here’s what I ride, for the record:
Colnago C59: 23s, usually at 100 psi
Bianchi Infinito: 25s; 90 psi
I think that once I get down to race weight, I’ll reduce those numbers by 10 psi each. I can feel the difference between my two bikes, by the way, but I don’t think I can say I prefer one over the other too much. The Bianchi feels a little ‘spongy’ in comparison to the Colnago, and not necessarily in a good way. I like to feel the road a little.
What are all you riding out there?