Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thoughts on 23c vs 25c and the PR3 and GP4000

Wow, does anything in that title make sense to non-bike nerds? Yesterday I lamented over the loss of a close friend, the 23c Michelin ProRace 3 rear tire, due to a mishap with a shard of glass from a Corona beer bottle. Today, I rode again, after a short break, on the old Continental GP4000 25c tires. I've decided they have some life left in them, yet. The difference in the ride quality impressed me enough I felt I should report here and share it with the world.

Upon installation of the skinny looking Michelin's, I noted they went on easier than the gp4000 tires. The PR3 also look very skinny compared to the former 25c GP4000. Noticeably less volume, in other words, not as tall off the rim. The reduction in volume requires a higher PSI to avoid pinch flats, and, thus, results in a stiffer ride. The PR3 is also faster, but probably not because of the higher PSI. That's just because of the tire itself. It's smaller, lighter, and has faster rubber (assumption).

When I started my ride this morning I noted I liked the solid black color of the gp4000 over the grey stripe down the middle the PR3 have. The stripe on the PR3 was not perfectly straight either so at one point it would wobble some. This, I find, to be very disconcerting because I always think my wheel is out of true. It's not though.

I can't say the bike felt slower or heavier with the gp4000.

The commute this morning was beautiful with sunny skies and no wind. I was flying down the path at an average speed of around 26 to 28mph most the way. At some points the path is pretty choppy, and I noted the gp4000 felt much more solid and in contact with the pavement. Basically, they were confidence inspiring. I did not notice the degradation so much in handling when I went to the PR3 last week, but it's pretty noticeable switching back.

I'm curious how the 23c gp4000 ride quality will be which should arrive next week some time. I think they have a tiny bit more volume than the PR3, and are also slightly more durable. We shall see...

For now, though, I think I like the ride quality of 25c vs the 23c.

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