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  1. #1
    The Goal is Soul
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    Widest tires on road rims?

    My new commute to work takes me on some rougher pavement and has a section of unpaved trail....and I don't know if the stock 25mm tires are the best choice. What is the widest tire I could put on a Bontrager Select rim and still fit into the fork and brake calipers on my road ride?

  2. #2
    n00bsauce
    Reputation: Mel Erickson's Avatar
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    Impossible to answer through a calculation. We'd have to know the exact dimensions (not the manufacturers listed dimensions, the exact measured dimensions of your equipment as installed) of the rim, tire, fork and brakes. The only practical way to determine this is to try different tires.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire

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  3. #3
    No Crybabies
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    depends

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawk
    My new commute to work takes me on some rougher pavement and has a section of unpaved trail....and I don't know if the stock 25mm tires are the best choice. What is the widest tire I could put on a Bontrager Select rim and still fit into the fork and brake calipers on my road ride?
    I've had 35 mm tires on one road bike. 28's are the largest that fit others. With fenders, sometimes the largest I can get on without any rubbing are 23mm. Really depends upon your particular fork, frame, brakes, fenders, etc., not so much the rim.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawk
    My new commute to work takes me on some rougher pavement and has a section of unpaved trail....and I don't know if the stock 25mm tires are the best choice. What is the widest tire I could put on a Bontrager Select rim and still fit into the fork and brake calipers on my road ride?
    Panaracer Roll-y Pol-y's are 28mm wide. Wider tires will fit on the rim, but not between the calipers. http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/htm...ollypolly.html. I've used these on very rocky steep dirt roads. I've put a couple thousand miles on them and gotten one flat.

  5. #5
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    My commuter will take 32c on the back, 28c on the front

    The fork limits the front and the chain stays limit the back. I suspect if I used different brands, the size limits would change. I've been liking Panaracer Paselas lately. They don't cost a lot, ride very comfortably and are acceptable for flat resistance, rolling resistance, handling, durability and noise. I hate buzzing tires.
    We have nothing to lube but our chains.

  6. #6
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    My commuter will take 32c on the back, 28c on the front

    The fork limits the front and the chain stays limit the back. I suspect if I used different brands, the size limits would change. I've been liking Panaracer Paselas lately. They don't cost a lot, ride very comfortably and are acceptable for flat resistance, rolling resistance, handling, durability and noise. I hate buzzing tires.
    We have nothing to lube but our chains.

  7. #7
    young old-timer
    Reputation: timcupery's Avatar
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    attempt to resurrect this thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawk
    My new commute to work takes me on some rougher pavement and has a section of unpaved trail....and I don't know if the stock 25mm tires are the best choice. What is the widest tire I could put on a Bontrager Select rim and still fit into the fork and brake calipers on my road ride?
    I'm quite interested in this question as well, and no one has directly answered it yet. Mavic Open Pros, for example, are recommended (on Mavic's website) ideally for tires between 18 and 23c. Of course you can use 25c or 28c tires on them fine. But I'm curious: if you were building a wheel on which you planned to use 28c or 32c tires (let's assume that the frame and brakes have proper clearance), would you want to start out with a wider rim? Why or why not? I don't know the answers on this one...

  8. #8
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    No specific answer

    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    But I'm curious: if you were building a wheel on which you planned to use 28c or 32c tires (let's assume that the frame and brakes have proper clearance), would you want to start out with a wider rim? Why or why not? I don't know the answers on this one...
    As reported by others, 32 will generally work on nearly any regular road rim. However, there are specifics in the design of a particularly narrow rim that might keep things from working well. At the limit, you can envision that with an extremely wide tire and an extremely narrow rim, the pressure of the tire would tend to bend the tire bead out of the slot in the rim sidewall. The general principle is that when you start getting to the point where you're needing a 32+ tire width, you're also wanting more durability across the component spectrum. A wider rim will be stronger (and heavier), so may become appropriate.

  9. #9
    Big is relative
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons
    As reported by others, 32 will generally work on nearly any regular road rim. However, there are specifics in the design of a particularly narrow rim that might keep things from working well. At the limit, you can envision that with an extremely wide tire and an extremely narrow rim, the pressure of the tire would tend to bend the tire bead out of the slot in the rim sidewall. The general principle is that when you start getting to the point where you're needing a 32+ tire width, you're also wanting more durability across the component spectrum. A wider rim will be stronger (and heavier), so may become appropriate.
    When I was putting my commuter together I knew that I would be using larger tires, at least a 28mm. With that in mind, my main commuting wheelset is built with Salsa Delgado rims which are wider than a standard road rim such as an Open Pro. My backup commuter set is a MA40 wheelset with 32 spoke shimano hubs. That is a strong wheelset as well, but the salsa rims are tougher. A 28mm or larger tire will fit on a narrower rim, but you have to realistic about the purpose of your wheelset. If you intend to ride some off-road as part of a commute or JRA, a light wheelset with a larger tire will not take the beating well and you will shorten the life of the wheelset. As a general rule, the larger the tire, the lower the max pressure. I use 28mm armadillos on my commuter and the max pressure is 100#. I run them at 90# since armadillos are a little harsh to begin with.
    Retired sailor

  10. #10
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    I don't think rim width is the limiting factor

    We've sort of danced around this, but I didn't notice that anybody mentioned it specifically: Within pretty broad limits, you can run just about any width tire on most common rims. I've gone as wide as 700x41 on some no-name but skinny wheels I liberated from my wife's bike to put on my singlespeed. You're more likely to run into clearance problems with the brakes or between the fork blades. That's one reason I bought an Atlantis--I'm a big guy and I ride on rough roads, and it would fit big tires.
    As somebody else said, the only way to be sure is to try 'em. I can't imagine a shop would object if you told them you wanted to mount the tires and see if they fit before you paid for them. But then if they DO fit, you have to buy them there, not go home and order from Nashbar.

  11. #11
    Paranoid Android
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons
    However, there are specifics in the design of a particularly narrow rim that might keep things from working well. At the limit, you can envision that with an extremely wide tire and an extremely narrow rim, the pressure of the tire would tend to bend the tire bead out of the slot in the rim sidewall.
    Not really an issue with modern clincher tires. Gary Fisher at one point was using Rolf Sestrieres on his custom 29er MTB with mountain tires. I have two friends that race downhill on what are basically cross-country width rims with 2.7 inch tires. I've also seen some pro cross racers using Ksyrium with wide cross tires (some up to 40mm). You won't really run into any problems with a tire being to big for the rim; it's mostly about frame, fork and rack clearance above all. But, as you mentioned, as some point you have ask yourself if you need sturdier equipment all around if you're getting into much bigger tires.

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