the dream
rockin' and rollin' on two wheels by pedal power

Going HVLP

Posted: February 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: bicycles | No Comments »

I have been following the discussion regarding the performance benefits, which include ride quality, of using fatter tires with lower pressure, which I call Higher Volume Lower Pressure or HVLP (and which I am preparing large decals for my bike). This post by Mike at the Black Mountain Cycle blog provides a good summary and a list of techie articles on the subject.

To test out HVLP I installed some Continental Four Seasons 700x28c tires on my Masi Prestige and started with 80 psi front and rear. (At the same time I put some Zefal fenders on the bike to take away some of the fretting associated with riding a bike of this ferousity in this wet and grubby winter/spring season). The setup isn’t optimal because the Ambrosia rims are probably a little on the narrow side. Consequently, it is possible for them to roll/flop a little under high cornering. That said, my fat ass didn’t notice this happening.

It was hard to say if the tires were as fast as the Continental Grand Prix tires on my race bike which are 700x22C and inflated to Hinault-approved 100 psi. They were, however, much surer and plusher. After the big freeze and thaw cycles we have been having the roads are a mess, pocked with pot holes of varying sizes and strewn with debris. These monster tires glided over everything (and the fenders removed the irritating ass chill that typically follows riding through water on the road.

So far, I am digging the experiment and plan to experiment with +/- 5 psi to see if I can dial in the ride.

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