I could be completely wrong but, replacing the default tyres that came with the bike (Kenda K948, 700 x 40c) with something slick would make the ride easier?

I see guys with road bikes or other bikes push past me with ease while I feel like I am struggling. The only thing I noticed is the tyres, correct me if I am wrong.

On a completely different note, if I can replace, what tyre sizes should I look at?

I use this bike purely on road to commute from home to work

EDIT: Thanks guys for all the response @Criggie, the max psi on these tyres is 85

  • Skinnier tires will indeed reduce your rolling resistance. You need to know the width of your rims to determine how small you can go with your tire width. See the answer here: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/35979/… – renesis May 18 '18 at 15:13
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    Kenda 948s are a decent hybrid style commuter tire, going to something slick wouldn't likely make much of a difference as those tires are not overly knobby in the first place. – Nate W May 18 '18 at 16:34
  • @nate 40mm to 32mm or 28mm will make a bit of a difference, but I agree: the Kendas are definitely not big, heavy, squishy tires to begin with – Argenti Apparatus May 18 '18 at 19:34
  • Yes size would make a slight difference but i read the main question as "[would] something slick would make the ride easier" – Nate W May 18 '18 at 19:36
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    There are significant differences in rolling resistance between tires, and Kenda is not known to be particularly good in that matter. Narrower is not necessarily faster. Check for example bicyclerollingresistance.com for actual measurements. – ojs May 19 '18 at 10:07

Changing tires will help - but probably not as much as you want. The annoying truth is likely simply that the people passing you have lighter, more efficient bikes and are fitter and stronger.

That said, you can definitely decrease your rolling resistance with narrower tires, with less tread, running at a higher pressure. The narrowest you can go is limited by your rim width. There are many rim with vs tire width charts out there you can consult. Manufactures also specify minimum and maximum rim widths for their tire models.

A 28mm road tire is probably as narrow as you want to go on your bike, even if your rims allow narrower. Be aware that narrower tire affect ride comfort significantly.

Other things you can do are: make sure you are not running pressures that are too low for road use in your current tires; make sure you drivetrain is clean, lubed properly and not worn out.

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