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I have a road bike with 22mm tires. They are super fast, but I get them punctured a lot.

I have decided to switch to wider tires to avoid snake bites, and I was wondering what would be the minimum recommended width of the tires.

I am fully aware that I may not be able to fit just about any 622 ETRTO tire (700c) due to cantilever brake clearance; which is why I am asking about the minimum.

UPDATE: In the end, I went for Continental Grand Prix 4-Season, 25-622, and never looked back - these are (expensive, but) AWESOME!

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    This is going be very dependant on terrain, speed and weight. – alex May 2 '16 at 7:10
  • Terrain is the city, lot of curbs and cracks in the road/sidewalk. I weigh 64 kilos, so that shouldn't be a problem :) – Boris May 2 '16 at 7:25
  • Speed is about 28 km/h in average. I tend to ride quite recklessly, as it's not easy achieving that average on such terrain – Boris May 2 '16 at 7:27
  • What tyre/tire pressure do you run? I had some manky "thickslicks" that were terrible at any pressure on which I could ride. Even at 135 psi I still got snake bites, being two punctures about 10 mm apart. – Criggie May 2 '16 at 10:17
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    145-160 psi (10-11 bar) seems ridiculously high. I have a fixie with 23mm tires and I run about 95-110 PSI (6.5 to 7.5 bar). Never had a problem with pinch flats or any other kind of flats. I'm using $30 Vittoria tires on that bike, so nothing especially puncture resistant. – Kibbee May 3 '16 at 1:13
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I've commuted (central London roads) for 2 years now on the same set of 25mm Gatorskins. I've had only one snakebite (my bad for not paying attention) and never (yes!) had a prick puncture with these tires.

I've just (this week) switched to 28mm tubeless (Schwable Pro One). I built these tubeless for the Paris-Roubaix ride (notorious for pinch flats!). I did the 170km of Paris-Roubaix with no issues (tires or otherwise) and thought I try out the tubeless for my commuter bike.

And wow! They make the commute smoother, actually quieter, and I still average 25-28km/h (that I was getting on the 25mm Gatorskins)

  • With good tire construction you can go even bigger without any real speed loss. I ended up settling in on 700x38 and my average commute speed remained 25-30 km/hr, which is pretty close to what I was getting with 25 mm Gatorskins (give or take 0.5 km/hr). The difference in comfort however - epic. When I was using cheaper large volume tires, the difference was closer to 2-3 km/hr decrease in average speed. – Rider_X May 4 '16 at 18:42
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I doubt you're getting snake bites in a 22mm tyre unless it's very low on air. Even then it's not likely.

Snake bites have a distinctive two-hole pattern so you can check. It's more likely that you're getting ordinary punctures. There may be tough 22mm tyres, but most this thin are designed to be light. There are certainly anti-puncture options at 25mm which should fit, but may be a touch slower.

  • Thanks, I got my eyes set on 26-622 Schwalbe Kojak, any comments or tips on those? :) – Boris May 2 '16 at 7:23
  • I've never used them so I don't know. I run marathon plus 28s but on wider rims than you've probably got. When I looked into road bike tyres for commuting I was planning on fitting gatorskins. – Chris H May 2 '16 at 7:29
  • I did a road race a couple months back, and had a puncture on the rear. I lost 12 minutes changing out the tube (okay need to practice that to be faster) but I doubt even a super puncture resistant tyre would have added 10-12 minutes to my time. – Criggie May 2 '16 at 10:18
  • @Criggie while I don't race, I'm with you on the sentiment (I've got a train to catch on can't afford the time of a tube change). – Chris H May 2 '16 at 17:04
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    Many of the pros are using 25mm tires now. They are actually faster as well as more comfortable. The days of jarring your bones one 19mm tires are long gone. – Kibbee May 4 '16 at 13:43

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