Friday, August 17, 2007

A Tale of Two T-Servs

Fat tires feel invulnerable, but that comes at a price. I've been running 700x35 Panaracer T-Serv for Messenger tires on the Cross Check, because those were on my fatty/exploring wheels. After a few weeks of that, I'm tired of trying to accelerate that mass on the morning time trial day after day.

My previous commuting wheels had a 700x30 on the rear and a 32 T-Serv on the front. The rear rim cracked and the front tire finally got damaged. But I missed the slightly greater agility the bike had with those tires. They didn't wear me out quite as much as the week wore on.

Last night I finally got the time to set up commuting wheels again. But when I inflated the rear tire of the latest set of 700x32 T-Servs, it measured almost as wide as the 35. Something about it seems slimmer, but not that much slimmer. The old T-Serv casing measures three or four millimeters narrower than the new one supposed to be the same size. That's measured bead-to-bead across the flattened casing. But then the front tire looked noticeably slimmer than the rear. It was more like I expected them both to be.

Both new casings measure narrower bead-to-bead than the 35. Inflated, the 35s measure 33-ish. The 32s measure 30 and 31. I'll find out today if any of this makes the bike more nimble again.

The new fatty rear will have 36 spokes. The front still has 32, but front wheels can afford to be a little lighter. I'm not likely to do the full expedition load with maxed-out panniers front and rear. The old fatty rear, with 32 spokes, becomes the new commuter. The rim is heavier and wider than I would have liked, but it's what I have.

I can't find the IRC Tandem tire anymore. My last one wore through to the cord.

Time to throw together lunch and head off into the fog. The severe storms that trampled through last night bypassed us, but the air is moist and cooling as the front continues to pass.


bmike said...

Bicycle Quarterly makes a compelling argument that some fat tires ride faster than many skinny tires. Their conclusion is that tire construction (casing, tread, etc.) influence speed and 'feel' far more than size. Check out the article if you get a chance... BQ Vol 5, No.1

That said, I've been running Conti GP 4 seasons on the rando bike - in 23,25, and 28mm - I do like the 28's at about 80psi. On the fixed gear I've been running 32 Pasela's.

cafiend said...

Mmmmm. Paselas. (drooling noises). The Pasela has a very similar profile to the T-Serv, but a skinwall instead of black.

I ran Conti 23s on the road bike when we sold them. They were all right as long as I kept them at 110 or higher. Below that, even at 100, I would always get a pinch flat. The front one refuses to wear out. Front tires are like that. On the back I have a schwag Avocet baldy that a rep brought.

My fixie is way retro, because I've had it since 1980. At that time, 27x1 was as legit as 700x25. 700s were the new kids in town to most American riders. I have 1 1/8" something or other on there. Equivalent to 28.