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Thread: MTB Tire Size

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    MTB Tire Size

    What's the smallest diameter tire I can put on a 26" MTB rim? The rim says 559x17. Does "17" mean the rim width is 17mm?

    I typically road bike, but I have an older Rockhopper that I would like to use to pull my kid around in his trailer. It currently has really knobby 26x1.95 tires that have a lot of road resistance. I'd like to replace those tires with a smaller, smoother tire.
    Last edited by Cain; 10-21-07 at 12:39 PM.

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    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    17MM sounds very small for a MB rim! You should probably remove the tire and actually measure it.
    I run a 26x1.5" on a 20MM rim and could go to 1.25" IF I wanted to without problem.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

    Near the bottom of the page

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    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Find the ETRTO number on the rim (not the one on the tire). It should be 559 x XX. There is a page on Sheldon's site that will tell you what size tires you can use.

    Link anyone?

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    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    Find the ETRTO number on the rim (not the one on the tire). It should be 559 x XX. There is a page on Sheldon's site that will tell you what size tires you can use.

    Link anyone?
    The OP says the rim is marked 559 x 17. That is on the narrow end of the spectrum for a mtb rim, but I do have a couple of mtb wheelsets with rims of that width (measured between the two inside walls of the rims). I've run anything from 26" x 1.0" to 26" x 2.14" tires on them, no problems. So to answer the question, "how narrow a tire can I use?", the answer is as narrow as you want for a 26" mountain bike tire, which as far as I know don't come any narrower than 1.0 inch.
    Last edited by well biked; 10-21-07 at 11:48 PM.

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    Thanks for the help. I found the link to Sheldon's site regarding tire sizing. My wife has a hybrid with 1.25" tires. I didn't know if I could even go that low of diameter. I went with some 1.5" street tires that should serve me well.

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