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  1. #1
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    Not enough tire clearance

    I am trying to salvage an old road bike. When I received it the tires were flat and crumbly. I purchased new tubes and tires today. They match the wheel and the tires that came off. But now fully inflated they don't fit the frame. The tire hits the bar that holds the brake. Can tires vary this much even if the are the same size or do I have a bigger problem? Anything I can do?

    It's a Univega Vivatech, 700 x 25c wheels, vertical dropouts, Armadillo tires.
    Last edited by therentedmule; 06-07-08 at 11:03 PM. Reason: spelling error

  2. #2
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    Bent frame/fork. Loose headset.

  3. #3
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    Yeah that's what I first feared. But the only other rider was my father and he remembers nothing that could have damaged the frame (doesn't mean it didn't happen). So I'm trying to exhaust all other possibilities before I give up on the beast. She's right where I want here minus the tire issue, should have done wheels first. And, oh yeah, it's the rear tire.

  4. #4
    Senior Member cizzlak's Avatar
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    can you post a pic? its always helpful. having a hard time envisioning this problem being caused by the skewer (assuming QR wheels) not being seated in the dropout properly. it would be so obvious i will again assume you would have noticed that already... then again, "never assume - it makes an ass out of u and me"

  5. #5
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    Oh REAR TIRE. Older bikes tend to have straight seatstays/chainstays (the rear triangle) and u should be able to tell if bent or not by inspection.

    If looks OK, am guessing you are using a 27" wheel rather than a 700c. The better frames will also have an adjusting screw on the rear hanger, tweak it, may make a diff.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cizzlak's Avatar
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    all he did was change the tubes/tires. this tells me he is using the original wheel the way the bike came to him. furthermore, he specified the dropout is vertical and not forward-facing horizontal, thereby indicating that he will not have any form of adjustment screws in the dropout, as there is nothing to adjust.

    pic please

  7. #7
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    Yes original wheel, clearly labeled 700 x 25c. Same with old tires, I believe they were original too. No visible frame damage. Tire rubs equally all the way around. Front tire fits, just a couple mm of clearance. As you can see by the picture the breaks hit the rim nicely. If I were to guess the old tires were thiner wheel to stay. Is this possible? Any tires out there that may allow for more clearance?

    I guess the next thing to do is put the old tire back on with the new tube and see if that fits. Won't be able to do that until tonight until after I get the kids to bed.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Senior Member cizzlak's Avatar
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    interesting. would not have thought it to matter but it looks as though everything is in order save for the "fattiness" of the new tire. let us know what happens when you try the old goods. perhaps someone else has a better eye..

  9. #9
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    What size is the frame? Is there a chance this frame was not originally shipped with 700C sized rims on it?

  10. #10
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    Your new 700 x 25 tires are probably larger in cross-section than the original 700 x 25 (nominal) tires. The simple solution to the tire fit problem is to return the 25 mm tires and get some 23s.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by therentedmule View Post
    Yes original wheel, clearly labeled 700 x 25c.
    U mean label on the rim, not just tires right? With weird situations, I would not trust ANYTHING and pull out my measuring tape. Also notice brake pads are at their extreme inside adjustment.

    Wow, either u have gold cogs or those looks corroded(?).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmithepa View Post

    Wow, either u have gold cogs or those looks corroded(?).
    That's sawdust. The bike has been hanging in my father's workshop the last 10 years or so.

    Rims are labeled and are original. Check that the rims are only labeled 700c, I thought they had both numbers but that was pretty late last night.

    Measurement of wheel is taken from outside of the rim? ANd the new tires fit pretty snuggly. Would a mismatched tire even fit?
    Last edited by therentedmule; 06-08-08 at 12:39 PM.

  13. #13
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    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rim-sizing.html


    Whatever the reason, ur hangup on history. The picture evidence simply suggest, the wheel is too big for this bike. U may be able to get away with it by finding the skinniest tire, but that would be a band-aid and u may be putting up with frequent flats.

  14. #14
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    This last post happened as I was editing my previous one. Could it be that the bike really should have a 700x23 tire? Would this difference mean more clearance?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmithepa View Post
    the wheel is too big for this bike.
    Is anything to be done about this?

  16. #16
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    Everybody should stop making this more complicated than it is. First, the wheels are correct for the bike. The only other possible choice for the original wheel size would be 27", and that's bigger than the 700c wheels that are on the bike now. Second, the "25" marking on the original tires was fiction; tire manufacturers in the late '70s and early '80s usually marked the tires as being at least 2 or 3 mm wider than the actual measured width. So use 23-mm-wide tires (yes, that will give more clearance) and enjoy.

  17. #17
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    I agree with everything Trakhak says - I've got two identical pairs of wheels (700c diameter) with the same make of tyres on (Michelin Tracer) One pair of tyres is 700 X 23 and the other is 700X25. They fit their respective frames perfectly, but when I tried to swap one of the 700 X 25 wheels into the rear of the other frame, it was really close to the brake bridge, insides of the chainstays and chainstay bridge. Your frame seems to have closer clearances than mine, hence the problem. Try your old tyre again and you'll probably find it's a lot smaller in section when inflated. Larger section tyres give a smoother ride, but if they don't fit, they won't work!

  18. #18
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    Looks like a good candidate for a 650B conversion
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
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  19. #19
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    Likely made for 23C's, or as the case with many '80s roadbikes, 20C's. Either tire size is reasonably easy to procure. As for the 25C's you have on it now, they look a tad larger then the general consensus of 25C's available out there in the first place.

    Size down to a proper 23C, and you'll be fine. Vedestein Ricorso skinwalls would fit well - they also look good on a vintage machine and roll like the devil. Inexpensive, and good quality for the price paid.

    -Kurt

  20. #20
    Bike Builder ruppster's Avatar
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    If you buy a 25c of any other brand it will work. Specialized puts a 25c tread on a 28c casing. Look inside the tire there is a stamp that says 700 x 28c. They put a 28c tread on a 32c casing. They actually have to dual rate some racing tires as 25/23c so people actually know what they are getting. I had the same problem with Armadillos on a 1989 Diamondback frame. I wish they would label the tires properly.
    Link to Specialized Roubaix tires with dual rating.

  21. #21
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
    Your new 700 x 25 tires are probably larger in cross-section than the original 700 x 25 (nominal) tires. The simple solution to the tire fit problem is to return the 25 mm tires and get some 23s.
    Yeah, Armadillos run relatively big for their rated size. Ask the shop to swap you for some 23s.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
    Everybody should stop making this more complicated than it is. First, the wheels are correct for the bike. The only other possible choice for the original wheel size would be 27", and that's bigger than the 700c wheels that are on the bike now. Second, the "25" marking on the original tires was fiction; tire manufacturers in the late '70s and early '80s usually marked the tires as being at least 2 or 3 mm wider than the actual measured width. So use 23-mm-wide tires (yes, that will give more clearance) and enjoy.
    And you know this how?

    Maybe it was designed for 650?
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  23. #23
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    I think we worked that one out. I think I'll try out the Armadillos in a 23 if the shop will swap them for me. Unfortunately I won't be able to get that bad boy on the road until next weekend but I guess it could be worse.

    Plus it now looks like I have a good excuse to get those Fast Boy Fenders instead of the Freddys

    The bike was new around 1990 I do believe the 700c was stock but the frame is an aluminum version of a popular steel frame that was around in the 80s so I guess you never know. When it's time for some new wheels I'll look at the 650B conversion.

    Thanks for all the input.
    Last edited by therentedmule; 06-08-08 at 08:01 PM.

  24. #24
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    Follow-up:

    I changed out the Armadillo 700x25 tires for Armadillo 23s. The fit is nice, problem solved.

  25. #25
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    Glad you got the problem taken care of. Have fun riding it now!

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