Can I put 28mm Tires On My Road Bike?

Every bike comes with tire width specifications from the manufacturer. Actually, tires are some of the essential components for a road bike when it comes to a ride’s quality. If your bicycle has narrower tires, you may be asking, “Can I put 28mm tires on my road bike?”

You can put 28mm tires on your road bike if its frame and forks have enough space to accommodate the tire. Some bicycles have big allowances than others, and so they allow you to fit larger tires. Actually, most road bikes can accommodate tires of up to 28mm in width since they are only 3-4mm wider than their narrower equivalents.

Previously, road race cyclists used tires that were as slim as 18mm. On the contrary, current-day professional road cyclists use 25mm tires as their standard. 

But is it possible to put 28mm tires on your rod bike? Please read on for a comprehensive answer.

Can I put 28mm tires on my road bike - low section of an athelete cycling

Can I Put 28mm Tires On My Road Bike – Does Wheel Size Matter? 

Technically, road bikes are designed to be light, more responsive with better acceleration, and are definitely made for the road. Therefore they have slimmer wheels than the other bikes.

Notably, earlier road bikes used tires that were as thin as 18mm wide. Surprisingly, professional road racers have increased that to the new 25mm standard. What has led to this significant change in on-road race bike tires?

Indeed, these cyclists have realized that larger tires offer more comfort, better grip, and less rolling resistance.

So, does wheel size matter on a road bike? Yes, it does. Wider tires dampen road vibration making the ride a bit comfortable.

Due to fewer bike vibrations, the rider also has a better grip and control of the bicycle.

Also, if inflated to the same pressure as the narrow tires, wider tires roll with less resistance which makes them energy efficient. Again, having bigger tires enables you to overcome bigger obstacles smoothly.

In addition, the wider tires are not susceptible to pinch flats, so tire size matters a lot when it comes to road bikes.

Therefore, if your bike has 25mm, or 23mm tires, you can upgrade with the Schwalbe – Marathon HS 420 Touring Bike Tire, which features 3mm puncture protection and a reflective sidewall.

Putting Wider Tires On A Road Bike – Factors To Consider:

Putting wider tires on your road bike may be a great idea, but have you considered whether your bike can accommodate the bigger tires?

Notably, some bikes can accommodate tires that are up to 44mm wide. But for your road bike, such big widths cannot fit. Here are some factors to guide you in choosing the ideal width for your road bike.

Consider Your Frame Size

Before clicking that button to complete your purchase, are you sure the tires you are about to pay for will fit on your bike?

Notably, some bikes have more allowance than others for wider tires.

First, you need to consider how much space is left by your current tires? Measure the space between the tire and any non-wheel part of your bike.

The shortest clearance from the chainstays, brake bridges, and forks should be your clearance.

Once you ascertain that you have more than 5mm on each side, you can consider a wider size of the tires.

All the same, you need to ensure that you leave enough space to avoid mud from constantly impeding your riding.

Consequently, if you want an excellent 28mm wheel for your road bike, you can go for the Panaracer GravelKing Folding Tire that is light in weight and ideal for gravel surfaces.

Does Wheel Size Matter

Consider Your Wheel Rim Width

The other factor to consider when going for a wider tire is your rim width. Generally, your tire needs to be wider than the rim.

Therefore, it would help if you measure your rim width and go for a slightly wider tire. Specifically, the tire needs to be about 20mm wider than the rim for the wheel to function as expected.

So, if you want to upgrade to 28mm tires on your road bike, you can do so without changing the rims. But if the rim is wider than the tire, you can go for a rim such as the Wheel Master, which is strong and light in weight.

Are 28mm Tires Good For Gravel?

Like we had earlier noted, road bikes are geared for road cycling. All the same, you might have to travel on dirt roads now and then. So, are 28mm tires good for gravel?

Compared to bikes with slimmer tires, a road bike with 28mm tires will do much better on gravel.

First, the 28mm tires will carry air at a lower pressure than the narrower 23mm or 25mm.

As a result, the wider tire gives in when it steps on objects, thereby smoothing out the effects of rough terrains.

In addition, you should go for a tire like the IRC Tires Marbella Tire that runs tubeless and has x-guard sidewall protection.

Are 28mm Tires Good For Gravel

Are 28mm Tyres More Comfortable On Road Bikes?

Of late, tire testing has proven that you don’t have to punish yourself by riding bikes with rigid, narrow tires.

Wider tires such as the 28mm are more comfortable on the road bike than their slimmer counterparts.

Consequently, wider tires use larger volumes of air at low PSI. In the article 28mm vs 32mm tires, we found that broader tires operate optimally at low air pressures.

As a result, the tire remains relatively springy and works as a shock absorber. In return, a bike with wider tires reduces road vibrations making the ride more comfortable.

Therefore, comparing road bikes with 23mm or 25mm against one with 28mm tires, the latter feels more comfortable than the other two, whether on asphalt or dirt roads.

Actually, wider tires go over obstacles more easily and gently than narrow ones.

So, if you usually ride off-road, go for 28mm tires such as the Vittoria Zaffiro, which has a wire bead and treads that make off-road trips easier.

Once you have the right tires on, you can comfortably enjoy riding your bike. Ride either on gravel or tarmac without much of a hassle.

Also Read: Should my inner tube size match the tire size?

Final Take

“Can I put 28mm tires on my road bike?” that’s the question we had at the beginning. After going through the discussion above, it is clear that you can put 28mm tires on your road bike.

Since the tires are wider than the 23mm and the 25mm, you will experience less rolling resistance and dampened road vibrations.

Also, the wider tires will make your experience on rugged trails a bit friendlier than what you would get from narrower tires.

All the same, before you upgrade your road bike tire size to 28mm, you need to ensure that you have enough wheel clearance to accommodate the new tires.