Hybrid Bicycles - New to Hybrid, tire questions
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Hi everyone, I am new to hybrid bikes, and am about to pull the plug and purchase a Specialized Crosstrail Pro, but I have some questions. The bike comes with 700 x 45c tires and I am wondering how wide and how narrow I could go if I want to replace/upgrade someday. The allure of a hybrid to me is I could put narrow tires on for pavement/city and wide for trails, but I have no idea what the limits are, and so far 45 is the widest I have been able to find online. Also, if anyone has any opinion on this bike I would appreciate it. In my area (central WI), the selection is pretty slim. It was either this or a Cannondale Quick CX2. Thanks.
The widest tire you can use is dictated by both your rim width (internal width from bead hook to bead hook) and the frame clearance you have, ie the size of the gap between the present tires and the frame. If you have 5 mm clearance on each side of the 45 mm tires then obviously 55 mm tires will be absolutely the largest you could use, 50 mm is a more likely max. Keep in mind that wider tires are also taller tires and frames often are angled so that the available space diminishes as the tire height increases which may limit your tire size even further.
On the other hand 45 mm tires are likely to be the max you would want to use anyway.
I would guess that you could go as small as 28 mm and that would be a decent sized road tire. Personally I would never go smaller if the highest performance tires were made that wide but, alas, they are not so you may want something smaller for a century or something like that. If you really want to know how narrow a tire you can use you need to check out a tire/rim size chart, Schwalbe has one online based on the industry standards. (http://www.schwalbe.com/gbl/en/technik_info/reifenmasse/?gesamt=27&ID_Land=38&ID_Sprache=2&ID_Seite=141&tn_mainPoint=Technik) If your rim width is between 15 and 19 mm a 28 mm tire will fit and the chart is a bit conservative so even a 21 mm rim might work with 28 mm tires. There is no need to go below 25 mm tires, in my opinion, but it is less likely that rims supplied with 45 mm tires would be compatible with 25 mm tires, though not impossible. A 17 mm rim would work with both 25s and 45s and I think you would be fine with 19 mm rims and 25 mm tires but wider rims are less likely to work with 25s.
I finished my growing up in central Wisconsin (Marshfield/Spencer) after starting out in Illinois where I now live. Certainly if you drive south as far as the Chicago area you can get any bike you might want. If you see another brand/model that you would rather have it could be worth the drive. I know you call us FIBs and all but we really aren't all that bad. ;) Don't get me wrong, the brands you are looking at are fine and your LBS should be able to guide you to the model that fits your riding goals and budget. But if you want something else, well I am sure that Madison and Milwaukee would have anything you might want too.
06-27-11, 07:25 AM
Where in central Wisconsin are you?
Hostel Shoppe in Stevens Point for Specialized and Giant.
Campus Cycle and Sport Shop in Stevens Point for Trek, Gary Fisher and Masi.
Bring's Cycle and Fitness in Wisconsin Rapids for Giant, Trek and Gary Fisher.
Bikeway in Marshfield for Trek, Gary Fisher and Giant.
It might just be me, but I'd look for something more in the lines of the Giant Rapid, Trek 7.xFX, Gary Fisher Waubesa, Specialized Sirrus, Masi CaffeRacer or Cannondale Quick (non-CX).
Thanks for all the help, it confirms what I was thinking. I am about one hour northwest of Madison. I spent a good deal of the weekend looking in Madison. I wanted to look at the Trek Montare?, but found out they are on backorder. I don't think anyone has one, at least not in Madison. I also was looking at one from GT, but the GT dealer in Madison (Williamson Bikes?) doesn't carry it. I even tried a fair amount of 29 ers as well, but in the end I want something along the lines of a crosstrail pro. If I really get the urge to do more mountain biking than that can handle I'll fix up my current mountain bike and replace some parts. It was just that I wanted something with suspension for when I am on uneven ground such as a rail trail, and still, if I ever get in good enough shape, to commute to work on pavement. I just couldn't see doing that on a mountain bike.
06-27-11, 01:21 PM
I don't know how much you are going to benefit from a suspension fork and wide tires on rail trails. I ride on packed, crushed limestone and feldspar, and rough and cracked pea-heavy asphalt rail trails on 700x28 tires and a carbon fork and am very satisfied. I'd still think about no suspension fork and no excessively wide tires. But you certainly could put narrower tires on a Crosstrail Pro.
It was just that I wanted something with suspension for when I am on uneven ground such as a rail trail, and still, if I ever get in good enough shape, to commute to work on pavement. I just couldn't see doing that on a mountain bike.
Maybe you have something more difficult in mind than a rail trail when you say this. I agree that all the rail trails I have seen in Illinois and Wisconsin are well suited to a rigid hybrid with tires 25 mm or wider though 28 and above are preferred.
06-29-11, 11:20 AM
Beware the stock tires on the Crosstrail (Boroughs). They are flat magnets. Fine on pavement, but I averaged a flat every third trail ride. I switched to Armadillo Crossroad tires and haven't had a flat since. They're thinner (38) and a bit heavier, but woory-free. Other than that, I love the Crosstrail and even bought the women's version (Ariel) for my wife. Changed out the tires on hers, too.
06-29-11, 12:03 PM
I put 700x38 Specialized Nimbus Armadillos w/Airlock tubes on my Giant Cypress DX which roll a bit better than the Crossroads Armadillos. However, I see they changed the tread on the Nimbus Armadillo, so the Hemisphere and Infinity Armadillos are other Armadillos with a little less aggressive tread than the Crossroads. If you get a flat with Armadillo tires and Airlock tubes you must have run over a buzzsaw.
06-29-11, 12:33 PM
As some people mentioned above, if your planning on riding the rails to trails type trails in Wisconsin 45mm is complete overkill. I live in Madison and ride many of the trails in central Wisconsin on a Trek 7.5fx with a carbon fork and 700x32 tires, any wider tire is not necessary. If rails to trails & paved riding in your thing id give some thought to a Trek FX or a Cannondale quick series bike. I definitely recommend against getting a suspension fork, it will slow you down to much and you dont need it on Wisconsin's excellent trails.
If your looking for trails to ride in central Wisconsin check out my blog, i have maps, mileage charts, photos, etc for many of the trails in central Wisconsin. http://bartsbiking.com/
I want to thank everyone for their very helpful replies. I probably do have higher expectations than the rail trails. I live about a 10 minute drive from Mirror Lake state park and I want to possibly ride their trails too. I also have a 10 year old son and I anticipate that at some point he may want to try an off road trail or two and I want to be able to keep up. I pulled the trigger on the Crosstrail Pro and have been riding for the last few days and so far I am very satisfied. Now I just need to get into shape :). It has a suspension fork with a lockout, so the only downside that I can see is the added weight. Thanks for the link Jimbo, I'll definitely check it out.
From everything you have said I think you made a good choice, enjoy! Don't worry about getting into shape, you have a 10 year old coach who is going to make sure that happens!! :lol:
06-30-11, 08:26 PM
I have a 09 Crosstrail comp. and I am running a set of Michelin Pilot Sports 700 x 35 for the street. Just put them on a month ago and really like them. I have gone a little crazy with tires, started with Panaracer Rimbo's, now the Michelin's and have a set of Conti Light Contact's (foldable) 700x42 waiting in the wings. All are around 500 grams and foldable. Having fun on a bike again after 20 years.
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