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  • Road Bike Wheel Rim/ Tyre Width?
  • andykirk

    Hello All

    I am using this ‘lockdown’ period to finally get around to building up a 1990’s steel road frame I have had hanging around for years. I need to buy some wheels/ tyres. I see there are various rim/ tyre widths available, but coming from an MTB background I really have no idea about these and what to look for. I suppose what I am looking for is a tyre slightly wider than the norm for comfort (and safety in they wet) however not being able to visit my local shop is there any way I can measure/ estimate before purchase? Note this bike is for fun/ fitness, racing is not a priority.

    Premier Icon akira

    Most people running 25mm tyres these days and road rims are getting wider. Problem is rims used to be very narrow and most people used to run 23mm or less for tyres. An old frame may not actually have that much clearance.

    Premier Icon epicyclo

    Depends how old the frame is. If it originally took a 27″ wheel, odds on it will take a decent width of tyre.

    Most 1950s t0 60s road frames were more general purpose and most could easily fit a 38mm tyre. I’ve got a 40mm in my 1950s Dawes Windrush.

    The car boom of the 1960s meant the market became more oriented to sports bikes with skinny tyres and no clearance.

    A 1990s frame is likely to have insufficient clearance unless it was a touring bike.

    Premier Icon cynic-al

    Your frame may not take >23mm but no way will it be for 27″ wheels.

    Rim width really doesn’t matter at road pressures so get whatever wheels and work out what tyres fit from there.

    I’d expect there is info on the measured diameter of certain tyres so you could measure up the frame.

    If it has mudguard eyelets there’s a good chance it will go over 25mm width.

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