Rim Width - Tire Width Questions
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  1. #1
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    Rim Width - Tire Width Questions

    1. Given that 25mm tires fit my Mavic Aksiums and Reynolds Assault (2013) wheelsets..

    Will there be any difference going to 25mm width rims? Comfort ? Speed?

    2. What about using 23mm tires on 25mm rim widths.. which would be better?

    a)wide tires(25mm) on 20-21mm rims?
    b)standard tires(23mm) on 25mm width rims?

  2. #2
    Bianchi-Campagnolo
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    First of all it's the inner width of the rim that matters. Here's a table from ETRTO, via Schwalbe and Slowtwitch:

    Attachment 300587

    Generally I'd think that a 23mm tire on a 17c rim would roll and corner better than a 25mm tire on a 15c rim, and it should also be more comfortable.
    In my experience a 25mm tire on a 15c rim beats a 23mm on the same rim any day.
    They do anything just to win a salami in ridiculous races. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me. It was the illest of times, it was the dopest of times. And we looked damn good. Actually the autobus broke down somewhere on the Mortirolo.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlepitboy View Post
    1. Given that 25mm tires fit my Mavic Aksiums and Reynolds Assault (2013) wheelsets..

    Will there be any difference going to 25mm width rims? Comfort ? Speed?

    2. What about using 23mm tires on 25mm rim widths.. which would be better?

    a)wide tires(25mm) on 20-21mm rims?
    b)standard tires(23mm) on 25mm width rims?
    What you will find is that a 23mm tire mounted on 25mm rim will have about the same crosssectional diameter as a 25mm tire on a 19mm rim.

    While the 23mm tire on 25mm rim is certainly more aero, I cannot say that I have documented more speed for a given wattage.

    Being that I am running tubeless at 80psi it is super comfortable.

    I think handling is probably the biggest benefit. They instill confidence in corners.

  4. #4
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    As others have alluded to, it is the shape of the tire that will change going from a narrower rim to a wider. A 23mm tire will typically measure out wider than named on a rim with a wider internal diameter. This adds more volume (so you can run lower pressure for more comfort without as much concern for pinch flats) and straightens the sidewalls (so the tire is being pushed to the side less when cornering, giving better traction and confidence).

    I've been on Velocity A23s (17.5 internal width) for awhile now, and really enjoy the comfort and cornering. I have a set of 19mm internal rims I am in the process of building up, but those will probably be cyclocross wheels exclusively.

  5. #5
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    I see no reason why you wouldn't run the 25mm tires on the wider rim. I would take a wider tire over a wider rim simply because tires are cheaper for a similar affect on ride quality.

    I do like the cornering of wider rims though as really skinny rims (13C I think) are kind of sketchy even with 23mm tires. My Sram S60's are really skinny so they only go on the TT bike where turning isn't as important; they were sketchy crit wheels though still manageable.

    I've used mtb rims (skinnier XC oriented ones) with 25mm road tires on my cx bike and honestly never noticed any increase in feel. I think there's a limit as to how wide a rim can go before the wide rim affect helps the tire out. I would think a 23mm tire on a 23mm rim (internal width) would be unacceptable, as an extreme.
    Last edited by bikerector; 09-25-2014 at 11:08 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerector View Post
    I see no reason why you wouldn't run the 25mm tires on the wider rim. I would take a wider tire over a wider rim simply because tires are cheaper for a similar affect on ride quality.

    I do like the cornering of wider rims though as really skinny rims (13C I think) are kind of sketchy even with 23mm tires. My Sram S60's are really skinny so they only go on the TT bike where turning isn't as important; they were sketchy crit wheels though still manageable.

    I've used mtb rims (skinnier XC oriented ones) with 25mm road tires on my cx bike and honestly never noticed any increase in feel. I think there's a limit as to how wide a rim can go before the wide rim affect helps the tire out. I would think a 23mm tire on a 23mm rim would be unacceptable, as an extreme.
    My wheels are HED Ardennes Plus. The rim measures 25mm, out to out. My 23mm tire measures 25.6mm installed on the Ardennes. This provides a nice aero profile and eliminates the light bulb look of a wider tire mating into a narrow rim. Why not run a 25? Well, a 25 would measure 27-28mm and may not fit the frame.

    23mm tire unacceptable in a 23mm rim? Not sure what your basis for that statement is. I have found no ill effect even weighing in at 200+ pounds.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue CheeseHead View Post
    My wheels are HED Ardennes Plus. The rim measures 25mm, out to out. My 23mm tire measures 25.6mm installed on the Ardennes. This provides a nice aero profile and eliminates the light bulb look of a wider tire mating into a narrow rim. Why not run a 25? Well, a 25 would measure 27-28mm and may not fit the frame.

    23mm tire unacceptable in a 23mm rim? Not sure what your basis for that statement is. I have found no ill effect even weighing in at 200+ pounds.
    I meant internal width of the rim since that's the important measure in this convo. My bad for not specifying that, I've edited above.

    Are you certain the 23mm tire is actually 23mm wide (on a standard width rim) then if it's measuring 25.6mm on your rims? Tires do vary quite a bit in width brand to brand. Michelins, for example, are pretty well known for running wide, at least among all the riders I talk with locally.

    Alternatively, I've had 2.4"/61mm mtb tire measure within a mm on a blunt 35 rim and a blunt rim which are 7mm difference internally. Honestly, I expected a lot more difference. My point being, I'm not so sure that a 2-4mm internal difference is going to give to a 2mm wider tire at the tread though it should flatten it out some reducing the "light bulb" effect. I would expect some change, just not as much as you're suggesting.

    At only being 200+ pound there's not reason a true 23mm shouldn't work for you just fine, I've been doing it fine for along time even before I started using wider rims. 25mm are still preferred because they ride better and they hold my fat butt up better but my old road frame would only take a 23mm tire. I'm not sure on actual measurements though since I just new a 25mm gatorskin from my CX bike hit the stays when I tried to share wheels once without changing tires.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue CheeseHead View Post
    Why not run a 25? Well, a 25 would measure 27-28mm and may not fit the frame.
    In most cases, it is vertical height rather than width that limits tire fit. Wider rims can actually lower the height of the tire.

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