Brucey wrote:I happened to have a recent Michelin 23mm tyre in my hands earlier. Writ upon the sidewall was a maximum pressure rating of 8 bar (116psi) and a minimum pressure rating of 6 bar (87 psi). The latter seems too high for light-built folk, and the former seems too low if you are erm, 'somewhat thick-set' shall we say.
Part of the trend to wider tyres is the change in the cycling demographic; there are a lot more people who are above average weight riding bikes these days.
Mass produced 'racing bikes' have weight limits that are almost double the weight of an average professional cyclist, and skinny tyres won't do more than a narrow range of rider weights, not very well, at least....
Based on what evidence, define 'very well'?
My personal anecdata says you're wrong.
The lowest weight I've been as an adult is 13st 9lb, I commuted to 6th form and at 17, 4 miles each way to college for two years as well as riding the lanes of the East Riding most weekends and a couple of Brevet Populaire's, all on 23mm tyres, this was on a Raleigh Winner and later a Falcon something or other I bought with the paper round money I'd saved.
When I bulked up a bit more in my early 20s and bought my first reasonable bike (A R501 Raleigh Record Sprint) for a 10 day/700 miles tour in France I did that on 23mm tyres.
The same bike I commuted into work with and once or twice managed over 20mph average, it was 6-7miles (mostly along country roads and a dual carriageway), not mega impressive to some but I'd say doing 'very well' on skinny tyres and a 'big' rider. I later bulked up further and still rode on 23mm tyres until about 2008/9 when I bought 25mm gatorskins for my new bike. At my max of nearly 17 stone I rode 22mm tubulars with ease, that weight was around 3 years ago.
Skinny tyres will do 'very well' and for more than a narrow range of rider weights as you seem so confident to state, the only thing holding performance back is the rider themselves, you can apply that at any rider weight on any size tyre. Narrow minded thinking on what works and what doesn't work seems to be prevalent on this forum and from the same posters repeatedly.