Really interesting article by Jan Heine over at Bicycle Quarterly about the rolling resistance for tires with various pressures.
The common wisdom is that higher pressure and narrower tires offer less rolling resistance, but their tests showed a surprising result that flies in the face of a lot of "pro" advice over the last few decades: Tire pressure has almost no effect on a tire's speed
The second half of the common wisdom about narrower tires would seem to be contradicted by the pro peloton moving from 23mm to 25mm tires lately. I doubt they would move to wider tires if they were slower. You would think the extra rotational weight would make a difference, but maybe the increased comfort and puncture resistance are worth it. However, during some race interviews at a Middle Eastern event recently, many pros were still running 140 psi. Surprisingly, many did not know their tire pressure; they just leave it up to their mechanics. Of course, latex tubes do lose pressure so if it's a particularly long stage, it will be quite a bit lower at the end of the day, and the roads in that part of the world tend to be brand new and as smooth as billiard tables.
"The variations are much smaller and hard to predict – they depend on the tire as much as on the road surface – so the take-home message is that tire pressure doesn’t matter enough to worry about it. Inflate your tires enough that they don’t collapse when you corner at speed, and you have found the optimum pressure for your tires. It’s that simple."
Read the full article here
So what do you think? Have you changed to wider tires and lower pressure? Have you felt a difference in rolling resistance or comfort?