Can I/should I fit narrower tyres?

Atari Boy
Atari Boy Posts: 26
edited September 2012 in Road beginners
My Giant Escape RX2 has 32mm wide tyres, Maxxis Columbiere 700x32mm to be precise.
Do I have anything to gain by fitting narrower tyres and if so how narrow can I go?
Whilst the bike is a hybrid, it's used solely on the road.

Many thanks


  • You might be able to. Some of the wheels that you find on bikes of the 'hybrid' ilk have rims that make it less than ideal, but a narrower tyre is usually possible.

    As for whether or not you 'should'? I wouldn't bother. My favourite bike has 27" wheels so I have very little choice of tyres - 27x1 1/4 (32mm), which is what I use, and 27x 1 1/8 (28mm) - I don't massively begrudge that fact. I have the comfort, puncture-resistance and versatility of bigger tyres, which is perfect for commuting. The bike is an old steel racer, not an out-and-out racing machine. Use tyres that befit the bike; you have little to gain as you won't transform the bike into something that it fundamentally isn't just by changing the tyres. If your bike were ultra-racey and stiff, it would make more sense (and these bikes don't tend to fit big tyres anyway).

    What would also make more sense would be to get some more road-oriented tyres, but don't expect miracles. :)
  • Thanks for your reply. The tyres are very nearly slick. As per below.


    What do you suggest I replace them with?
  • I did a brief Google search and what I saw looked knobbly to me. If that's how they are I wouldn't change them at all until they wear out, unless you have problems with incessant punctures!

    As for tyre recommendations, everyone has their favourites. I've been using a pair of Gatorskins I put on in May, and have been very impressed; no punctures and no complaints from me. Schwalbe Duranos and Marathons are also popular choices for tough road tyres. I'm sure others can chime in with their suggestions. :)
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,500
    slicks will give the best grip on the road

    the limiting factor is the wheel rims, for each rim size there're min/max recommended tyre widths

    at high speed there's a small benefit from narrower tyres, but the rolling resistance, grip and comfort will be poorer

    if you find them slippy on wet roads you could change to a tyre with stickier rubber, otherwise keep them - i'd stay with wide+slick even if you change tyres
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Thank you for your comments.
    Sounds as though I need to remember the old adage 'if it ain't broke, don't mend it'.
  • hi , i have an escape R2 for my commuter . i found the maxxis punctured to often. i fitted Schwalbe marathons , they fit no bother and are slightly smaller width , i can say hand on heart i have never had a puncture in two years riding to work and on the odd bridleway, would defo reccommend them.
  • kieranb
    kieranb Posts: 1,674
    there will be a slight weight penalty with bigger tyres as well and somewhere the line must be crossed where bigger is not better. On my commuting MTB I have 2 inch tyres and my, they are heavy and slow to accelerate but comfy and practically puncture proof.