Going Big On Spring Tyres - The 28c Change
On Sunday morning I spent an age trying to fit a set of 28c tyres into my SKS Chromoplastic mudguards on my steel touring/commuting bike. I've previously run 25c and 23c tyres on this bike, but I fancied a change...
Why? Because it's spring, and with that comes the Spring Classics; cobbles, gravel and rough roads.
Look at most of the bikes the Pro's use in the Spring Classics, and you'll spot 27c, 28c and even 30c tubular tyres are the norm; these help to give grip, comfort and keep things rubber side down on the cobbles of Northern France and Flanders. I'm not going cobble hunting, but I did fancy seeing what the difference was in terms of feel, grip and performance.
My tyre of choice was the Vittoria Rubino Pro Tech 28C; I've reviewed the Vittoria Rubino on the blog (Link), and the Pro Tech version is the latest incarnation, which features a folding bead, higher TPI and a reinforced side wall; all perfect for springtime riding.
Are big tyres better? If you've read my post 'Big It Up - The 25c Takeover' (Link), you'll know that I'm a fan of the 25c volume tyre; with its greater grip and comfort. In fact, I fit 25c tyres to all my road bikes now, when tyre clearance allows. The added volume of 25c inspires greater confidence, better wet weather handling and better comfort on rough roads; these are all things that are major advantages, countered only very slightly by the added weight of the larger tyre.
If 25c was so good, then I thought 28c had to be worth a try; especially on a bike that I primarily use for load-lugging, touring and commuting. Boy was I right...
The transformation is incredible, it's almost like this bike was made to be used with 28c tyres. The grip is improved ten-fold, the rough roads get soaked up, the confidence descending is huge, and to be honest it looks pretty great as well.
If your bike will take a set of 28c tyres, I strongly recommend giving them a try. If you are surrounded by rough roads or you need to carry extra gear; or if you just want a more comfortable ride, these are something that will tick a lot of boxes.
In fact, they're so good I'm going to leave them on the bike for everyday use. Big It Up!