Tom posted a link the other day from VeloNews about what is the best rolling tire and it was an extremely interesting article. HERE IS THE LINK Here are some cut outs to the things that interested me the most:
Compound is paramount - Rubber compounding is the inexact science of mixing together different organic polymers and, often, inorganic compounds. Tire companies tend to hold their proprietary formulas as closely guarded secrets.
Supple casings reduce rolling resistance but cannot make up for bad compounds - All tires have multiple layers of threads holding things together. Two sheets of unidirectional threads laid across each other at right angles generally counts as one layer. Tire casings are specified in TPI (threads per inch) per sheet. The higher the number, the thinner the threads, since more of them can be crowded together.
Check out how tire pressure effects the rolling resistance. It would be great if we all rode on pure track surface but that is not the case in Western New York. You need to experiment with different pressures and find what is your best pressure.
Wider tires are faster - Tire rolling resistance comes from internal friction within materials (energy loss due to hysteresis) and small bumps that lift the bike and rider.
When it comes to internal friction, wider tires have shorter contact patches and, thus, less deflection. If pressure is the same, the area of the contact patch must be the same to support the same load. (Since both load and pounds per square inch remain constant, the area in contact with the road will also be the same.) But a wider, shorter contact patch will have less vertical depth of deflection, So internal friction and hysteresis loss will be lower.
If a wider tire is constructed of the same materials in the same thicknesses as a narrower one, it will often roll faster on a rough surface, despite being heavier. This is due to both lower internal friction and the fact that the wider tire will better absorb imperfections in the road, thus lifting the bike and rider slightly less on each little impact.
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